Daffodil Day

As published in La Fiamma, L’Angolo Della Terza Eta 26 August 2013

Daffodil Day is one of Australia’s best known and most popular fundraising events. It raises funds for the Cancer Council to continue its work in cancer research, providing patient support programs and prevention programs to all Australians.

Daffodil day officially falls on the fourth Friday in August each year. This year, the Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day is on Friday 23 August.

The daffodil was chosen as the symbol of hope for all affected by cancer because of its reputation as a hardy annual flower, pushing its way through the frozen earth after a long winter to herald the return of spring, new life, vitality and growth. As one of the first flowers of Spring, the daffodil symbolises rebirth and new beginnings. To Cancer Council, the daffodil represents hope for a cancer- free future.

Cancer Council brings together Australia’s leading state and territory cancer organisations. Their vision is to minimise the threat of cancer for all Australians, through successful prevention, best treatment and support.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease of the cells, which are the body’s basic building blocks. The body constantly makes new cells to help us grow, replace worn- out tissue and heal injuries. Normally, cells multiply and die in an orderly way. Sometimes cells don’t grow, divide and die in the usual way. This may cause blood or lymph fluid in the body to become abnormal, or form a lump called a tumour. A tumour can be benign or malignant.

A benign tumour consists of cells which are confined to one area and not able to spread to other parts of the body. This is not cancer.

A malignant tunour is made up of cancerous cells, which have the ability to spread by travelling through the blood stream or lymphatic system (lymph fluid).

There are many different kinds of cancer. The cancer that first develops in a tissue or organ is called the primary cancer. A malignant tumour is usually named after the organ or type of cell affected.

A malignant tumour that has not spread to other parts of the body is called localised cancer. A tumour may invade deeper into surrounding tissue and can grow its own blood vessels (angiogenesis).

If cancerous cells grow and form another tumour at a new site, it is called a secondary cancer or metastasis. A metastasis keeps the name of the original cancer. For example, bowel cancer that has spread to the liver is called metastatic bowel cancer, even though the person may be experiencing symptoms caused by problems in the liver.

Coping with a diagnosis of cancer

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it is often difficult to take in the diagnosis immediately. It is normal for people to ask “why me?” or to  feel sad, angry, helpless and worried about the future.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor about what your diagnosis means for you and what the future may hold. You may find that knowing more about the illness helps ease the fear.

Where can I get reliable information?

Information and support for you and your family is available for the cost of a local call anywhaere in Australia. You can ring the Cancer Council NSW on 13 11 20. If you need the assistance of an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask for an Italian- speaking interpreter. The Cancer Council website also provides Factsheets in Italian. Visit www.cancercouncil.com.au

For more information about services that you may be eligible for, please call the Intake Officer at Co.As.It. on 9564 0744.

Published in L’Angolo Della Terza Eta, La Fiamma, 26/8/2013