Social Advocacy Project Proposal: Cancer

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Executive Summary- A decade from today, or even 50 years ago, cancer was a term that most people were not familiar with; however, today, over one million people in the United States alone get victim each year.  Cancer is a term that covers a large scope of illnesses ranging from the major organs like the brain and stomach to every part and cell of the body.  These illnesses are caused by many triggers such as smoking, family history, diet and health habits, and ultraviolet sun rays.  However, more than half of men and one third women get cancer each year in America and for most, the causes are uncertain (American Cancer Society). 

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, his or her entire world turns upside down in a second.  The scary thing about cancer is that it has become synonymous with death as the majority of cancer victims do not survive.  This disease spreads through the blood stream and reduces one’s life substantially.  There is no cure for cancer, as there are only ‘treatments’, and the only chance people have of recovering is by prolonging their lives through extensive and painful radioactive treatments (NCCS). 

Advocacy can be technically defined as: “A combination of individual and social actions designed to gain political commitment, policy support, social acceptance and system support for a particular health goal or program” (Correlation).  Strong advocacy for cancer is critical in order to prevent cancer outbreak and lower the staggering statistics.  Cancer advocacy not only aims at helping patients and families, but also educates and trains the rest of society to stay healthy and in cases of outbreak, detect the cancer early on. 

Statement of Impact- Thousands of families are shattered and deeply affected by cancer.  This disease is not only attacking its victims swiftly, it is rapidly becoming a common household experience.  For this reason, we need more advocates to stand up and fight the depression, negativity and death cancer brings with it.  Even though political advocacy is important as it is the means by which the cancer research projects are funded, I aim to inspire advocacy on a larger level.  Advocacy is more than raising money.  It is about creating a support network and using that support network to actively help a cause.  Who better to be part of this advocate group than those who have had personal experience with cancer, whether through losing a family member or becoming a survivor?  I will not only be an effective advocate but will know exactly what I am dealing with when it comes to helping entire families cope.  This is because my own grandmother succumbed to ovarian cancer and I witnessed her entire war with the disease.  Even though the war might take our lives, the important thing is to win the smaller battles while alive. 

Cancer advocates need to build and promote a soothing and strong environment, both emotionally and by providing needed treatment resources.  Even though cancer is mostly terminal, this does not mean that the patients and their families should be left alone.  In fact, it means working more diligently to provide the best quality of life possible.  Cancer advocacy is imperative because it provides people the help they need to maintain personal control in their lives and depend less on others.  This is crucial to building up will-power and optimism and essentially becoming personal advocates.  For cancer, every patient must become his or her own personal advocate, empowering each other to speak up and realize that this is not anybody’s fault.  Furthermore, cancer advocacy is imperative for people to explore their options and choose action as many people give up even before putting up a fight, thus reducing their chances to survive and recover.

My presentation will explore all three sides of the rhetorical persuasion triangle. First, I will advocate through logos, or logic, by pointing out critical statistics and facts about cancer that are hard to ignore.  This way, the audience will be pulled in with the mindset that they are receiving the truth and not made up numbers.  Secondly,  I as the advocate will convert to pathos, by aiming at triggering the audience’s emotional strings.  By showing the emotional effects and social dilemmas of cancer, the audience will be persuaded to put themselves in the cancer patient’s shoes and thus their reaction will be strong and effective.  Lastly, I will end the triangle through the ethos approach.  In any persuasive presentation, it is important that the audience realizes the presenter is in charge.  This will be done by using personal stories, proving that the issue is personal to me and that I am not some random presenter reading facts about cancer.  By using these steps, the advocacy presentation will not only be affective, it will make cancer advocacy successful.  

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