I always wondered, why daffodils?

It’s about the way they bloom. Often able to survive harsh weather conditions, these resilient bulbs grow underground and blossom during Spring, where the flourishing of nature is at its peak. They signify rebirth and renewal. And that is why, for those affected by cancer, the daffodil is a beacon of hope.

Cancer research continues to play a pivotal role in more than just new drugs and therapies. It informs every aspect of patient care, ranging from the early symptoms to the advancing treatments. While survival rates have doubled since the 1970s and health outcomes have significantly improved, the ripple effect has positively contributed to the economy as well.

While currently expected that every one in two Australians will receive a cancer diagnosis by the age of 85, research suggests that every one in three cases is preventable. Inheritance of cancer-causing mutations is a contributing factor to the diagnoses. But, 90-95% of these mutations occur because of ageing and exposure to environmental factors, which one can control to some degree. How?

A few pointers we can all apply:

  • Early detection is vital. Sometimes symptoms will be subtle or absent until the disease has progressed. Alhamdulillah, minor changes will not often indicate a serious problem, but it is still safer to consult a doctor rather than dismiss them.
  • While it can be a daunting phase, there’s strong encouragement to attend screening tests and preventative consultations.
  • Controlling certain risk factors can make a considerable difference. Key examples are limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption, and employing safe sun practices.
  • Consider donating for cancer research. While this may not be as personal as the other points, research is saving lives. As cliche as it sounds, every penny counts. Allah’s Barakah and Qadr define the results. Regardless of the ultimate discoveries being minor or pivotal, the smallest of your contributions are not wasted. Your reward for this Sadaqah Jariyah is with Allah.

To end off, a gentle reminder. To you, who has in the past, or is currently struggling with this trial. To the warrior fighting this disease, to the resilient friend, family member, peer, colleague, carer, and to the one who anxiously awaits the results of another screening test; I’m proud of you. It’s not easy. But, Allah knows you can do it, and He’s with you, nearer than your jugular vein. Regardless of how challenging times may become, know this:

“Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. [Qur’an 94:6]”