The National Cancer Institute statistics report cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide.  In 2012, there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide.  The number of new cancer cases will rise to 22 million within the next two decades.  More than 60 percent of the world’s new cancer cases occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America; 70 percent of the world’s cancer deaths also occur in these regions.

In the United States, the overall cancer death rate has declined since the early 1990s.  The most recent Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, published in March 2016, shows that from 2003 to 2012, cancer death rates decreased by 1.8 percent per year among men, 1.4 percent per year among women, and 2.0 percent per year among children ages 0-19.

Although death rates for many individual cancer types have also declined, rates for a few cancers have stabilized or even increased.

As the overall cancer death rate has declined, the number of cancer survivors has increased.  These trends show that progress is being made against the disease, but much work remains.

Under these figures, odds are someone close to you has been touched by the disease.  Keeping this in mind, the Scotland County Cancer Fund was built on the premise of neighbors helping neighbors.

Since its inception in 2004 the Scotland County Cancer Fund has worked to raise money to benefit local families battling the disease.  In its first year, the cancer fund offered $50 to victims and their families to help offset some of the costs of seeking treatment.  The local charity is now able to offer $1000 per person, per 365 days to assist with unexpected expenses that occur when undergoing cancer treatments such as fuel, lodging and other travel costs incurred when attending doctor visits.

To date, the Scotland County Cancer Fund has helped 131 people, some more than once.

In order to qualify for financial assistance, recipients must be residents of the county for a continuous year and actively receiving treatments.

The Scotland County Cancer Fund is hosting its 13th annual Ham & Bean Supper and Auction on Saturday, March 4th at the Memphis VFW.  The supper starts at 6:00 p.m. and will be followed by an auction.  Some of the items that will be auctioned include quilts, Oakwood furniture, and gift certificates from area businesses.

If you have items to donate for the auction, please contact Margaret Curry, Kim Nicoli, Dave Trueblood, Chris Tinkle or Shelley Curry.  You can also leave donations at the Scotland County Health Department.