April Cancer Awareness

by Jane Ashley

Most likely, these cancer awareness programs will, unfortunately, be lost amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, as cancer patients and survivors, it’s good for us to take a moment and reflect when the pandemic is over, and a COVID-19 vaccine is available that the diagnosis of cancer will still be made every day of every month for the foreseeable future.

April Cancer Awareness

What’s happening in April?

National Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Month. We’ll be having a full feature on oral, head, and neck cancer, written by Greg, our WhatNext patient leader.

Related Head and Neck Cancer Articles

Living With Head and Neck/Throat Cancer

24 Things to Ask Your Doctor About Head And Neck Cancer

5 Side Effects of Radiation For Head And Neck Cancer

Preventing The Dental Side Effects of Head And Neck Cancer Treatments

Head And Neck Cancer Awareness Month Wn Logo

Esophageal Cancer. Our esophagus is a long, hollow tube that connects our throat to our stomach. It’s considered part of our gastrointestinal system and pushes our food down into our stomach when we swallow.

Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

Men are 3-to-4 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than women. An estimated 18,440 people in the U.S. will develop esophageal cancer in 2020 — 14,350 men and 4,090 women. Esophageal cancer is the 7th most common cancer in men. African-Americans are twice as likely to develop the squamous type as Caucasians.

The Esophageal Cancer Education Foundation has a lot of helpful information about esophageal cancer.

Testicular Cancer. 

About 1 in every 250 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in their lifetime — that equates to just over 9,500 cases annually. It is primarily a young man’s cancer, with two-thirds of the cases occurring in men between 20 and 39. Testicular cancer is highly curable when caught early, 99% are cured. Most testicular cancer is found by the man or his partner, so regular self-exams are critical to early diagnosis.

Testicular Cancer Society

National Minority Health Month. 

Sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the hope is to draw attention to the need that minority populations (and, indeed, all populations) find more ways to be “ActiveAndHealthy.” Sadly, we are seeing that African-Americans in the U.S. are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Nmhm Logo 2020

National Cancer Control Month. 

Points Of Light Logo

Since 1938, the President observes this federally-endorsed program to encourage each of us to do what we can to lower our risk of cancer.

National Volunteer Week – April 19-25. This has to be one of the BEST weeks possible — SHINING A LIGHT ON THE PEOPLE AND CAUSES THAT INSPIRE US TO SERVE. Points of Light recognizes that the entire world faces challenges (obviously now more than ever before), but that every person can make a difference.

Cancer Control Month

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we see volunteerism at its finest. We’re seeing groups of women busy sewing masks for local health organizations and essential employees. We’re seeing teenage boys building wooden crosses to display in yards. We are hearing about husbands using 3-D printers to use with hospital-grade masks so that the nurses’ ears don’t hurt from wearing on a 12-hour shift.

Making Masks

Each of us at WhatNext can be a volunteer too. How? Even when we are at home, sheltering-in-place, we can post an encouraging Facebook post. We can call a church member who lives alone to let her know that we care. We can call our fishing buddy and talk about the “good ole days.” We can let someone know that we care.


Sadly, cancer recognition is on the back burner for a while. Treatments are being delayed; surgeries have been canceled, and treatment protocols have been amended to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic. But eventually, we and the world will recover, and life will go on. But no one will ever be naïve enough ever to believe again that “this” couldn’t happen in our country.

More Informative Articles

Tips For Weathering The Coronavirus Pandemic

Blood Transfusions And Cancer-Can You? Should You?

2020 Cancer Facts And Figures

Financial Assistance For Cancer Patients

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