In Greek mythology, a giant crab named Karkinos wassent to aid the Hydra in its battle with Heracles (Hercules in Roman mythos). Despite its efforts, Karkinos was defeated and the goddess Hera then placed it amongst the stars as a constellation. This is said to be the origin of the zodiac sign Cancer —cancer, of course, means “crab” in Latin.

You may have wondered before how the disease cancer had gotten its name. There is a reason why it shares the same name as the astrological crab. The connection between the two lies in the early accounts of Hippocrates on the disease, which described the veins and projections of a spreading cancer as having a crab-like appearance. Hippocrates initially called the disease carcinos or carcinoma (Greek for “crab”) but the Latin translation cancer eventually became its official name.

Cancer is a disease wherein one’s cells grow and divide uncontrollably. Old cells don’t die when they should, and new cells form when they aren’t needed. As a result, the extra cells often form masses of tissue called tumors that can harm surrounding tissues as well as form new tumors. These tumors can also severely damage bodily functions, eventually leading to death.

Though there is still no known cure for cancer, many treatments are available to help prolong the lives of cancer patients. These treatments usually help control the growth of cancer cells and relieve the symptoms they cause. Unfortunately, these treatments can be very costly and thus prove financially difficult for many patients to maintain.

Through Gava, many have petitioned and campaigned for the funding of their loved one’s cancer treatments. Gava Users like Michael Palmon had put up the campaign Vani Santos’ Sarcoma Treatment Medical Fund which aimed to fund his good friend’s medical treatment for Sarcoma (a cancer that forms from bone and soft tissue), while Isaac Cortez had sought financial support for his very strong mother who continues to smile through each chemotherapy (Tita Luzette: A Filipino Cancer Story). May Gava users give attention to campaigns like these and see what they can do to help.

Below are others worth checking:

A Strong Mother Fights  – Melita Ayuda faces cancer of the bone

Jojo Gatchalian’s Chemo Fund – Funding Jojo Gatchalian’s chemotherapy for nasopharyngeal cancer (a rare cancer of the head and neck)

Fight Against Breast Cancer – Tita Fely’s breast cancer battle

Poppet’s Cancer Struggle – Poppet’s fight for his life

No one really knows when it will strike. Many people have lived normal and happy lives before they found themselves clamped by the claws of cancer. Yet it’s inspiring to know that despite this, many still choose to fight. Choosing to continue battling cancer deserves as much admiration as any Herculean hero. Let us help them be victorious.

Image credits:
Cancer constellation from
Spreading cancer and featured image from