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2011年3月21日 (月)

To Cancer Patient Advocates All Over the World

To Cancer Patient Advocates All Over the World

Facing a Catastrophe – A Letter from Japanese Advocates –

March 20, 2011

On March 11, Japan was hit by a M9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami waves. The number of casualties is rising. Our country is heart-stricken and devastated. The news spread quickly and we have received thousands of kind messages from all over the world. Thank you all. You gave us hope and courage to extend a helping hand to tsunami victims and to rebuild those regions damaged by one of the biggest disasters that the world has ever known. What we can do in return is to tell the world what we learn from this catastrophe. It will take time to grasp everything to give a detailed analysis, but here is a brief report as of this moment.

We have been trying our best to collect information to support cancer patients in the affected district from day one. What to do in case of running out of drugs, how medical and general supplies are to be provided, which hospitals can accept cancer patients for treatment, and so on. As we went along, we faced a lack of evidence-based medical information on what to do for cancer patients in case of possible radiation exposure. We received various questions from patients but in many cases we found it difficult to find answers.

For example, is it OK for a patient under chemotherapy to take iodine tablets? Or what should we do if patients under chemotherapy or radiotherapy are put in a danger of being exposed to radiation? There were also many concerned patients who wanted to know how it is different from the radiation exposure they go through in cancer treatment.

A lack of information makes people blind. Plus, our eyes cannot see radiation. In any fight, when you cannot see the face of the enemy, it can easily provoke fear and panic. We, cancer patient advocates, know that as a fact from our fight against cancer. We have also learned from our experience that it is important to stay calm to make a right decision in such a difficult situation. Our knowledge and experience has been a great help in dealing with this emergency.

With your support, we will do our best to draw out lessons from what we are experiencing now and give out information continuously. By doing so, we hope we will contribute to the welfare of the global cancer patient community. So, pray for Japan. Pray for Tohoku. Please back us up in any way you can.

Thank you very much for your understanding and support.

newhttp://j-can.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post_6249.html

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