TESTICULAR CANCER - email of the month

I just received this rather lovely email from a patient. I'm grateful for the feedback, and also that the book can be useful to those who are younger than my father, and whose precise cancer is not described within it.

I am a 27-year-old cancer patient currently approaching the end of my chemotherapy. I had my diagnosis with testicular cancer in late May of this year only to find the cancer had spread to the back of my stomach. The prognosis is good with an excellent chance of ‘cure’ and my long-term outlook is fantastic.

I am writing to you as, I have read your book One in Three and want to thank you for providing me with a text that dispelled the myths, distortions and falsehoods that surround this disease. You’ve written a thoroughly comprehensive book that it is easily accessible, cool and collected in its approach to this emotive subject. The book has given me a good understanding of the history and science of cancer, which has definitely helped towards my feelings of empowerment over my illness. I would like to applaud your message that we desperately need to talk about cancer, without it being a dirty word. The taboo only encourages the suspicion and ignorance that surround the disease. The eventual defeat of cancer cannot just be a scientific milestone, but one of social inclusion. I’ve experienced the gob-smacking insensitivity of individuals who feel obliged to off-load their self-opinionated wacky theories, as to why I have cancer and to cure. There are a lot of well-meaning souls out there; who are actually quite dangerous, One in Three has been a fabulous anchor, when confronted by madness. I fully support any public discourse about cancer that will elevate the patient from modern day leper to a first class citizen. The prejudice surrounding cancer is just, if not more of an obstacle to its defeat, as it is a medical conundrum.