The World Health Organization recently reported that by 2010 cancer will replace heart disease as the number one global killer. I was a little surprised to learn this as I had always thought of cancer as number one for a long time. I realize other diseases such as heart disease, AIDS, Diabetes, Obesity, and Alzheimer’s are bad in their own right, but to me cancer has always been the “Big Kahuna” of them all. I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t somehow seen or felt its effects. For example, I lost my grandmother to ovarian cancer years ago. I have also seen friends and other relatives lose battles to lung and brain cancer. Its all rather disturbing to see people cut down this way.

Recently, an old high school buddy of mine lost his battle with lung cancer. Mike was a sportswriter who lived and worked out of Washington state. He was very active and appeared to be physically fit. Interestingly, Mike wasn’t a smoker yet he developed a tumor the size of a golf ball in his left lung. After it was discovered and treatment prescribed, Mike developed a positive attitude as he went to do battle with the beast. As a writer, he would send his friends frequent updates on his progress even after his surgery. For a while it looked like he was going to beat it, but unfortunately an infection developed causing the doctors to open him up again and he didn’t survive. This one hit close to home as Mike was my age and a good guy. It particularly bothered me that he got lung cancer even though he was a nonsmoker and his family had no history of the disease.

The disturbing part of cancer is that the public really doesn’t know that much about it. It has been with us so long that I believe we now take it for granted. For example, I wasn’t aware there is now over 100 forms of cancer, such as lung, breast, brain, prostate, skin, pancreatic, leukemia, etc. Years ago, when you were diagnosed with cancer you were basically given your last rites. But the medical community has made progress over the last fifty years and cancer is now primarily treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Regardless of the progress though, cancer is still headed to number one as the WHO points out, and this is one “Big Kahuna” we could do without.

If you would like to learn more about cancer, I encourage you to visit the following web sites:

American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For a listing of Tim’s Pet Peeves, click HERE.

Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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