Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases of our time.
In this day and age, many people are in a fight against cancer. These people learned that they had cancer because of various symptoms that suddenly appeared as they were going about their daily lives, or with no symptoms at all, simply as a result of routine health checks. Then their lives were suddenly changed as of that moment.
Cancer generally strikes people at times when the disease is far from their minds and causes various physical and psychological changes in them. That is because cancer sometimes means a very difficult course of treatment and this costly treatment may sometimes last for years. When adverse side-effects caused by the treatment are added to the difficulties of the cancer itself, the course of the disease may prove most unpleasant. All these things necessitate that the person with the disease be patient in psychological terms and trust in God and also be strong in material terms.
The fact is, however, that most people today are suffering severe psychological and material difficulties. The materialist world-view has made people angry, brittle, loveless, impatient, worried and prone to depression. The high cost of living, unemployment and low wages have impoverished many people. It is therefore almost impossible for people to fight cancer as they need to in material terms. That is why, despite all the scientific advances and endeavors, the death rate in cancer patients is still very high.
The materialist world-view that prevails across the world has generally led to a money-focused way of thinking rather than a human-focused one in the health sector, as in all other spheres. The primary aim in treating sick people is to make a profit out of them. Cancer patients may be those who are most affected by this. Cancer drugs are so expensive that poor people with the disease are literally told to ‘die!’ State support for cancer patients is inadequate in many countries. People are left alone to fight the disease. For example, the annual cost of one new cancer drug developed in the U.S. is more than $120,000. The average annual cost of most drugs is around $25,000. Bearing in mind that the average annual income of a family of four in the U.S. is $52,000, these costs are an enormous figure. Insurance companies are wary of cancer patients. Someone with cancer who has health insurance will still need to meet 25% of the costs out of his own pocket.
Let us now consider what happens to a cancer patient living under such conditions. Someone who learns he has cancer and is unprepared for it, still seeks to keep his spirits high. He then finds out how much the treatment is going to cost and starts to wonder how he is going to meet those expenses. He sells everything he has accumulated with such difficulty over his life, and finds himself in a grim situation.
The need for an urgent solution is manifest. It is wrong to leave people alone to fight such a severe disease as cancer. It is essential that states become involved and support cancer patients. That will both make life easier for people fighting cancer and considerably reduce cancer-related mortality rates. So what can states do in the fight against cancer?
Everyone actually knows the answer to this question. What needs to be done is to honestly put all those answers everyone already knows into practice.
First of all, countries must lift all financial burdens from people fighting cancer. Cancer drugs must be provided free of charge or at very low prices. Cancer patients must be treated free of charge in hospitals. This is very important to ensure the survival and cure of the majority of patients who lose the fight because of a lack of financial resources.
Another fact known to one and all is this; it is much easier for cancer patients to fight the disease if they are not depressed. Research has shown that people with powerful spiritual beliefs are more resistant to serious diseases. That being the case, countries must also provide measures that will support patients spiritually. On the other hand, it is also essential for health personnel to be given special training in how to approach patients with such severe illnesses as cancer.
It is impossible to say that countries who don't know how to combat cancer and leave their peoples to fight the disease on their own are truly developed. Moreover, no community with a conscience can close its eyes to cancer patients dying because of poverty. People must receive the most up to date treatments, irrespective of their incomes: Anything else would be sheer cruelty. Human life is sacred and no price can be put upon it. Countries therefore need to make haste in the fight against cancer and help patients with the disease.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Diplomacy Pakistan: