Facing the music

Popular Greek singer Vicky Moscholiou, who died on Tuesday at the age of 62, was a brave person. Her decision to make public her diagnosis of cancer two years ago was an act of courage and conscientiousness in a world of hypocrisy and cynicism. It took guts to expose her personal tribulations to public scrutiny in a country which hushes up any kind of illness. We do not want to face the problem, so we pretend it does not exist. It is a widespread ill in our society. Many of our fellow citizens refuse to visit doctors for important check-ups because of their preconceptions of corruption in the medical profession. Many women fail to undergo critical medical examinations. Entire families founder in shame and guilt due to the sickness or disability of a close relative. In such an environment, it is not surprising that we see very few sick people in wheelchairs on the roads and that our television channels broadcast very few reports about cancer and AIDS… However, with her spirit and courage, Moscholiou highlighted a different approach. She told the truth, admitted to her fears and shared her anxiety. Moscholiou gave cancer a human face and brought a taboo issue into the here and now. Chemotherapy and specialized treatments are not the only remedies for cancer. We also need a society that supports both patients and their families…

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