WHAT IS CANCER?
Cancer is the collective term for diseases where
malignant cells crowd and destroy healthy and essential body
cells. It affects people of all ages and races. Science has
found more and better ways of treating cancer, but until now
nobody knows how or why it begins (a little like love, actually).
Some believe that 75% of adult cancer cases are
caused by environmental factors, but some babies are
actually born sick. Researchers thus speculate that genetic
factors play a large role in childhood cancer (e.g.,
cancers of the eye, soft tissue sarcoma, kidney, testes,
ovaries, lymph nodes, and bone).
HOW IS CANCER TREATED?
Killing cancer means killing cancerous cells, through surgery, radiation,
and chemotherapy. Contrary to popular belief, chemotherapy is not radiation
therapy. It is actually injections, usually three syringes a week. This is
the kind of therapy you�ll see during your visits to the hospital so be
prepared to help with the not-so-congenial relationship between needles and
60%-90% of childhood caner is cured, especially
if diagnosed early. It�s not a cheap victory. Expenses
may reach P1,000,000 a year, including multi-vitamins,
medicine, surgery, blood transfusions, and transportation.
WHO ARE THE FACES OF KYTHE?
The children of Kythe, or the wards of East
Avenue Medical Center, are 6 months to 18 years old. We
have 25-30 new cancer patients each year. They are the
center of the Kythe vision, they are the reason why you are
WAIT A MINUTE, WHY AM I HERE ANYWAY?
The doctors work to heal and strengthen the body,
but cancer leaves emotional and psychological wounds too
deep in the human soul for simple medicine. Parents worry
over finances and the possibility of losing their baby. The
child, too young to understand what is happening to him,
grapples with fear and guild and the looming concept of
Kythe means healing presence of love. We can�t
make the cancer go away � that�s the doctor�s job. We
can only face the cancer with them and hold their hand.
Listen to their fears and hopes, and assure them
that it�s ok to feel that way. Play with them. Make
chismis with them. Show them that cancer hasn�t made them
any less human � that while it did take away their hair,
it can�t steal their childhood, or their person.
The key word is empowering. In a situation they have
little control over, we emphasize their individuality and
lead them to discover their own solutions and resolutions.
GULP(back to top)
Don�t be afraid. Everyone has the instinct to
nurture, and being there for the families of Kythe is just
like being there for your barkada. This is just a guide, a
footnote to your own natural strengths. Believe in
yourself, and know that we�re behind you every step of