Is cancer really necessary?

When I was younger, death from cancer was an uncommon event.

We didn’t have vitamins, drugs were quite primitive, diets were not particularly well balanced or nutritious, and we used cleaning solutions, cosmetics and soaps that contained whatever manufacturers cared to use.

In our brave new world, we have vitamins and prescription drugs galore, recommended guidelines for diets and a vast structure of federal agencies to protect us from harmful foods and drugs. However, cancer has become a major threat to be reckoned with.
Approximately one in three people in the US will contract cancer during their lifetime, if the figures I have been reading are correct. The CDC maintains a website which show the incidence of cancer by age, sex, race and geography. You can dig around in there for hours and draw your own conclusions. I came up with 30,287 out of 100,000 for all ages and sexes.

All I know is that too many of my friends and loved ones are threatened with this implacable enemy of survival.

When I look to see what has changed in my lifetime, I see the presence of thousands of new chemicals in everyday articles and additives in our foods and general environment.

There are so many additives now in our toothpaste, soaps, cosmetics, laundry detergents, pet foods, etc. that it seems more than carelessness for agencies like the FDA to mount heavy attacks on supplements instead of stepping up testing of DEA, a widely used ingredient of toxicological concern.

On the other hand, supplement sales probably cut heavily into sales of pharmacuticals. Could it be that the drug company grants paid to high level FDA staffers are affecting their judgement?

Additives allow foods to remain apparently wholesome longer. They provide all sorts of desirable qualities to the soaps and shampoos we use. They make things looks better and they cover up undesirable smells. Additives are a huge business, probably larger than the tobacco business. Unfortunately, too many additives like Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and DEA are not very good for the body.

I’m sure no additive manufacturer wants to poison people, but I would bet that they operate on a don’t ask, don’t tell basis when it comes to long term effects of substances like DEA on the human body. If the FDA doesn’t tell them to stop, how can they justify dropping a profitable product like DEA to their stockholders?

I don’t think the solution will come from medicine. The doctors I have met are highly motivated individuals who care for their patients, but they are focused on drugs and operations as a remedy for diseases like cancer. Nutrition is a secondary concern.

I think the solution is to remove more toxic substances from our individual environments. There are practitioners who espouse this course of action, but they are a small minority at present and their voices are drowned out by industry lobbyists.

Watching the incidence of cancer grow from an occasional event to a one in three certainty in my lifetime makes me feel like I’m out on the tracks watching an oncoming train.

Surely there must be somebody else adding up the inconsistencies in the current approaches. It sounds like no one has done a root cause analysis, or they didn’t like what they found.

In any event, it will get worse unless some one starts thinking outside the box. Perhaps we should discard the box entirely and do some correlation between the introduction of new chemicals to the environment and changes to the incidence of cancer. We may have to roll back the clock in some areas and eliminate some harmful inventions.

What do you think?

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0 Responses to Is cancer really necessary?

  1. You’ve been Bestiary-ed.

    Re: your post. I think that other things used to kill people first, and those things have decreased.

    But to be honest, all I know is that I’M still alive. 🙂

  2. David says:

    The Commissar honors me by listing me in his Bloggers Bestiary.
    I am pleased with the picture he chose to illustrate this site.

    Regarding cancer vs other diseases, I used to have the same opinion. I am not sure now.
    I get concerned when gov’t agencies are more interested in
    suppressing alternative solutions than in investigating causes.

    The CDC site shows some disturbing trends in incidence of cancer:
    age 20 = 30.2/100k (1)
    age 40 = 146.3/100k (5x)
    age 69 = 2258.1/100k (75x)

  3. Kathleen says:

    I’m glad that you’re looking into this and are outraged about it. There are definately environmental causes for some types of cancer. More outrage is needed on a wider scale for changes to occur.

    I’ve noticed too that I seem to know more people with cancer than in the past. In part I suspect it’s because I’ve passed the half-century mark and the incidence of most types of cancer increases with age. There is a greater likelihood of cell mutation as bodies undergo wear and tear with age. Given the aging of the boomer population, an increase in cancer would seem likely.

    I wonder also if the American lifestyle itself is a primary culprit. Amazingly, a high proportion of cancers can be prevented by lifestyle choices: diet and weight control, exercise, stress-relief, not smoking and care in sun exposure. Another key to prevention/early detection is regular screening, notably for colon, breast, prostate and cervical cancers.

    I had breast cancer seven years ago. Among the things I learned from it was that I didn’t want to have radiation and chemotherapy again–some things in life aren’t better the second time around. So I did a lot of research to find my best path of avoidance.

    My personal plan includes regular exercise (aerobic and weight-bearing), wearing sunscreen, diet aiming for 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day–we don’t always make it but aiming high helps, trying to balance my life so that the demands don’t exceed my capacity, regular time in nature to refresh my view of the big picture, getting and giving hugs every day, reaching for the meaning in everyday life. And, yes, I get the regular cancer screenings even though I’m not fond of the process.

    None of this means that my body won’t produce another cancer. And I know that not every type of cancer is lifestyle-related. But many are and I’m cutting the odds significantly. Meantime, it’s a positive way to live. I feel good, I have energy and I have more to give to the world around me.

    I’d like to see this kind of lifestyle become epidemic in our country. Maybe the number of cancer deaths would drop dramatically within just a few years.

  4. Tony Goodson says:

    The trouble is that apparently average life expectancy is going up, which leaves all these medical and chemical people to gloat.
    I agree with you, there’s something very very wrong going on.
    As well as chemical poisoning, there’s the unknown threat from electro-magnetic radiation.
    X-Rays perhaps?
    The body is resistant to a lot of what is thrown at it, and it’s perhaps the combination of these factors which is causing a rise in cancer, though some would say it’s because everything else has been eradicated that cancer and heart disease are the main killers.

    I’d say it’s the combination of genes, smoking, electro-magnetic radiation, diet, chemical overload, that is causing the rise in disease. Take out one of these factors and you significantly reduce the chance of premature death!

  5. Carrie says:

    Great post! And I agree. I also think the industrial revolution in itself has contributed to greater illnesses, poor air quality, etc. etc. etc. It’s what we’re doing to ourselves and a product of our own sorry evolution.

    I just wish somebody powerful would find and promote a better way, or maybe just go back to the old way. Personally, I can’t wait until we have our backyard so we can grow our own veggies again 🙂
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: More Wandering About
    URL: http://technicalities.typepad.com/technicalities/2004/02/more_wandering_.html
    IP: 66.151.149.26
    BLOG NAME: Technicalities
    DATE: 02/12/2004 11:41:35 PM
    Over at Ripples, David has a thought provoking post about additives causing cancer. I KNOW that additives cause me to have migraines. It’s an excellent deterrent to eating lots of things that would be very bad for me. Not to

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