The more I read about cancer, the more I am convinced that there is something dreadfully wrong in our country. According to the American Cancer Society, 1,529,560 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2010. This year, 569,490 people will die from cancer -- more than 1,500 a day. More than 11,700 people will die from melanoma this year. (Source: "Cancer Facts and Figures 2010") Why was I always so smug to think that cancer wasn't something that would ever happen to me? If it is true, as according to David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, and author of Anticancer: A New Way of Life, that all of us have cancer cells in our bodies, but not all of us will develop cancer, why don't we hear more about ways for the bodies that God created to fight the harmful agents that have infiltrated our systems?
The food we eat, beverages we drink, and the air we breathe have become our attackers. How do we change what we've always known and, quite frankly, enjoyed about food? It's not easy; it's not very enjoyable, but it is absolutely essential. Why don't we see more studies about natural ways to treat the health issues we face? I am not a conspiracy theorist, by any means, but I believe with all my heart that our health system today is being manipulated by pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies. And, as with most of the failures in our country, it's all about greed. There's simply no money to be made by recommending that people juice, add turmeric to their food, eat red grapes and blueberries, consume dark chocolate, drink green tea, give up meat (except for omega 3-rich fish), give up white bleached flours, beware of plastics and cans, and exercise. And, the insurance companies would rather pay for a one-time invasive procedure than have you be monitored by sonogram every three-four months or pay for preventive therapy.
So, it's up to us to change our behavior, to live a more healthful life, and to educate ourselves in how to do that. It's up to young mothers to introduce that healthful behavior to their families. I'm choosing to fight melanoma by changing just about everything I put in my body. I welcome your input and hope you will share your stories. We hear a lot about people who die from cancer, but there are many survivors. I heard of one today: a breast cancer diagnosis with recommended double mastectomy. She refused the surgery, deciding to help her body fight the cancer. That was fourteen years ago. She's still going strong.
Dr. Servan-Schreiber has teamed up with M. D. Anderson to examine the effects of an innovative, standardized integrative oncology program based on the model outlined in his book. This is great news for all of us. Someone you love, if not you, will have cancer. Maybe our focus will shift to preventing cancer rather than curing it. Not an original thought, I'm sure. I just didn't pay attention before.