Discovering my 'new normal' after breast cancer diagnosis at 34.

28 July 2011

Cancer vocabulary: 'Awareness'

People often talk about "awareness" when referring to a certain cause or organisation. "Raise awareness" they say. What does this really mean?

According to my dictionary, aware is an adjective:
  • "having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact"
  • "concerned and well-informed about a particular situation or development"
... and the noun awareness in the thesaurus has these synonyms:
  • "consciousness, recognition, realization; understanding, grasp, appreciation, knowledge, insight; familiarity; cognizance"

    Well, here's what "raising awareness" means to me:
    • Awareness about (knowledge of) a particular support organisation and what they can help with. For example, being aware of the Cancer Council Queensland means I am able to contact them if I need to, maybe to ask some questions or get some information.
    • Awareness is also about early detection - noticing any unusual changes to your body (if you can; some changes are not easily detectable) and seeking advice and assistance if there is something that doesn't seem right.

    What does "raising awareness" mean to you? Is it simply a euphemism for "raising money"? Or is it more than that?

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