Crap for The Cure
Did you ever have something you wanted to say for a long time, but held off because you knew you’d offend a bunch of people?
Good. Then you know where I’m coming from on the subject of The Cure.
I bit my tongue through the fun runs, the yogurt lids, the bumper stickers. I said nothing about “tough enough” cowboys in pink shirts. I kept my silence regarding the beribboned teddy bears and advocacy days, the special credit cards, the posters and preachers and ads and fads.
And then it happened: The camel’s back broke when I stumbled across someone’s Facebook lament that the latest “I like it…” meme is a lost opportunity because it fails to make a connection raising awareness for breast cancer.
Is she serious?!
Does anyone honestly believe that we still need to “raise awareness” for breast cancer? I don’t think there’s a rock big enough that you could live under it and fail to be aware of breast cancer.
That’s proof that raising awareness works!
Erm, no. I’ll bet you’re aware of pancreatic cancer and esophageal cancer and bladder cancer, too. When was the last time you saw a ribbon “reminding” you of them?
But it isn’t just about awareness! We’re raising money for The Cure.
Congratulations. How’s that working for you?
According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, despite over $1 billion raised since 1982, 1 in 8 women are still diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. Statistics indicating slightly decreased mortality rates over the past 30 years are the result of changing diagnostic patterns rather than an actual decrease in mortality among cancer patients. Furthermore, researchers have yet to discover a cure for any cancer since Nixon “declared war” in 1971.
That’s why it’s so important we keep searching for The Cure!
For existing victims, yes, I’d say it is extremely important. But wouldn’t the majority of us, who don’t have breast cancer but stand a good chance of developing it at some point, be better served to put our money on prevention?
You don’t have to cure something that never occurs in the first place.
Don’t you think we would already be preventing breast cancer, if we knew how?
Scientists have known for years that lifestyle factors, particularly nutrition, have a dramatic impact on the incidence of most cancers, including breast cancer. It turns my stomach that they understand this stuff, but go on letting millions of people, and their families, suffer anyway.
Want to know what they know, but aren’t bothering to tell you? Here’s a summary:
Sugar feeds cancer. You can prevent or starve many cancers by changing your diet to eliminate sugar (including grains and excessive fruits, as well as the more obvious refined and unrefined sources like HFCS, table sugar, and honey). I particularly like this quote from Dr. Dan Ayer: “It’s been known since 1923 that tumor cells use a lot more glucose than normal cells.” Since 1923. Nice.
Visceral fat (belly fat surrounding the organs) contributes to cancer development. You can reduce risk by changing your diet to reduce your girth. Dr. William Davis explains: “Visceral fat…produces large quantities of inflammatory signals…that can trigger inflammatory responses in other parts of the body. Visceral fat also oddly fails to produce the protective cytokine, adiponectin, that protects us from diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.” He goes on to note that eggs, meats, vegetables, and natural oils do not contribute to the accumulation of visceral fat. Wheat, corn, potato, and fructose do.
Other preventative measures you can take include the following: Getting adequate Vitamin D; avoiding environmental toxins such as pesticides and added hormones in food; avoiding damaged and processed fats in favor of natural, healthful plant and animal fats; getting plenty of sleep; ensuring adequate Omega-3 intake; and increasing fitness through exercise.
You claim animal foods aren’t a risk factor. What about The China Study?
Wouldn’t someone tell us if we could really prevent cancer with lifestyle changes?
I just did.
But no, the government and industry aren’t likely to say anything. Cancer is a cash cow for the medical and pharmaceutical industries — and the politicians they support. Why prevent something when you can make billions “curing” it, especially when the “cure” often contributes to return business a few years down the road? (Radiation, anyone?)
You don’t really still trust those guys, do you?
Use your brain. And your money. To prevent instead of pretend.
You sound like a heartless bitch.
Did you hear me say that breast cancer isn’t a devastating disease? Or that it wouldn’t be wonderful if we did discover a cure for cancer? Or that anyone is stupid for desperately wanting a cure? Or that we shouldn’t rally around cancer sufferers and their families? Or even that some cancers won’t still occur among the fit and well-nourished?
I didn’t say those things, and I didn’t mean them.
What I said is that the tremendous amount of time and money we pour into research for The Cure would be better spent on educating and aiding people in prevention. How’s this for a plan: Let’s teach people what they can do to avoid getting cancer in the first place. Then, let’s help them afford the whole, real, unprocessed, fat- and protein-rich, low-carbohydrate foods they need to pull it off.
Unless, of course, you’d rather see them undergo some new, painful, and expensive attempt at The Cure.
[Now, before you get your bra in a bramble — if you’re so inclined — please take time to read the rest of the series: Cancer for a Fortnight, Before Early Detection, In the Beginning: The Cancer-Inflammation Connection, Only YOU Can Prevent Inflammation, Supply Lines: The Importance of Angiogenesis, Short-Circuit: Inhibiting Angiogenesis Naturally, Please Don’t Feed the Cancer, Blaming the Victim?, Fighting Mad(ness), Too Much of a Good Thing: Estrogen and Breast Cancer]
A few good resources on cancer and its prevention: