Whenever anyone shows up to the party with bad news I always question the news they bring. Some people are like that, they really don’t wish to see anyone having a good time so they tell you about the orphanage that burnt down or how bad the economy is or how bleak our future looks.
When the persons doing the talking are supposed to be the experts on the subject you are almost forced to take what is being said for granite. Thus what you have is optimism being oppressed by reality, a truly sad state of affairs.
Such is the case of the International Agency For Research on Cancer (IARC) and their report on the 20 year outlook for cancer fatalities.
The IARC is I believe an arm of the United Nations. ( No not where all the superheroes live, that’s the justice league.) The article came out of London last week and boldly states that fatalities from cancer will double by the year 2030 with my arch nemesis, lung cancer, leading the way. Here’s a startling little fact for you from the article, in 2008, lung cancer was the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer worldwide at 1.61 million cases. Lung cancer also accounted for the most fatalities at 1.38 million. Let’s see a little quick math and that’s roughly a 14 % survival rate if you are a true optimist. The overall figure of all cancers combined for 2008, 12.7 million diagnosed with 7.6 million fatalities. Now fast forward twenty years and we are faced with a staggering figure of 21.4 million worldwide cases along with 13.2 million fatalities.
If the director of the IARC, Christopher Wild, has provided us with his best assessment of the future then he is no longer invited to the party.
The research done to provide such a report I’m sure was completed by highly intelligent people, probably a panel of experts, top scientists, researchers, doctors, people who’s walls hold many more plaques and certificates then mine ever will. Now let me tell you why I cannot accept their look into the crystal ball of our future.
As a current lung cancer survivor, I sometimes replace rational, practical thinking for straight passion in what I do and what I believe in. When I read a projection of this nature, it is a direct assault not only upon me but against every cancer group and organization worldwide. It’s an indictment against who we are and what we stand for. If you are going to stand up and say, “Sorry, every mile you walked, every minute you’ve volunteered along with every dime that you have ever raised or donated to fund one of the many worthy cancer organizations or institutions that provide research that are out there was for nothing.” Are you attempting to convince me that in a world of the future we have made no advances in the treatment of various cancers. Is what your saying to me and every other person, family, child, loved one on the face of the earth that we still have no answers, no cure, in fact it is getting worse? Are you telling me that the scientists and researchers who have dedicated their lives, spent the long, long hours in the laboratories the world over have lived a life in vain?
Why would I accept any of that? You might as well try to convince me that fighting for survival was not worth the fight.
The Human Factor.
Whenever I hear the phrase the “The Human Factor,” it seems to be meant to conjure up that “We just could win this thing feeling.” The feeling that even against overwhelming odds the human spirit will find a way to overcome and be successful. In this instance I believe the human factor has a darker idea behind it. It would seem to me that if we cannot reduce the fatalities from cancer in the future then the human factor is in play. In this case it would mean that the people who benefit more by us not finding a cure have won and are keeping the status quo meanwhile continuing to profit from overpriced treatments and medications billed on your behalf to insurance companies that are happy to pay it and then just raise the patients premiums to pay for it. A finely greased money machine. Let’s face it there is plenty of money to be made at the cost of someone else’s misery and if someday an executive should happen to find themselves battling a severe case of guilty conscience, Well, we feel bad for old Charlie, but Betty is waiting in the wings to keep the machine running please pass the torch.
If there are no significant advances made, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s because curing cancer is not cost effective.
So if the human factor comes into play as it has over the past twenty years then what are some other things that we might have to look forward to in 2030?
To change our future some thing would have to change today. Before we start to discuss the need for alternative energy sources, health care, recycling, food and water safety, we must first discuss a fundamental change in the way we conduct business, starting at the top and working backwards.
First all lobbyist should be removed from the political system and anyone who has taken large amounts of lobby money from places like oil companies should be removed from office. So take the money and the special interest groups out of the politics and your left hopefully with people making decisions based on what is in our best interest. That would be a great advancement for our society.
In the future if we could change the current human factor thought process from “the one who dies with the most stuff wins,” to “the one who gives back the most stuff wins,” wouldn’t that help brighten the future?
In the future, one day, what if we realized that just because we can afford to super size our meals,does not mean that it is in our best interest to do so.
What if in the future we outlawed plastic containers? No more water bottles, plastic storage devices, plastic food containers. Lets go back to glass. Why, you ask. For what’s left of our environment. How about this, so we do not continue to add to the floating country the size of Texas that is made up of plastic garbage that has been dumped in the ocean where it gathers in the pacific out of sight out of mind. If you are not aware of this do some homework. If it’s Texas sized now, in twenty years what will it be?
In the future if we took a step back and once again began growing our own food at least enough to supplement some of what is being purchased, could we not begin to alter the effects of all the chemicals placed in our food? Bring back the family farm and you will re grow strong communities, teaching our children how to be self sufficient and live a life based off of being good neighbors and not what some mindless bimbo is doing on reality TV. If you grew corn and your neighbor grew wheat maybe you would take the time to get to know them again and arrange a practical arrangement, without the fear of being sewed for stepping on their property.
With a change to the current “Human Factor”, maybe we would have a universal healthcare system in this country like the rest of the civilized world. Maybe the wellbeing of each citizen would mean enough to us to disband the health insurance industry altogether and restructure the way the health system works.
Twenty years from now if we changed our thought process from being disposable consumers to being people more in tune with the world around them willing to give up a little in return for a better not necessarily easier life, would we see the results of that effort in our lifetime? Would our children or grandchildren?
Twenty years from now, will having it all, still mean the same thing? Or will decades of having it all finally have caught up with us and forced us to change what we were so unwilling to change when the decision was ours?
One of the greatest things about the country we live in is that we have the freedom to alter our future by simply opening our eyes to the present and as individuals making the necessary changes to our lifestyle, not necessarily the easiest changes to improve our life and health.
Twenty years is the blink of an eye, twenty years passes like the moon on a warm summers night. We could have such an impact in twenty years if we chose to. We could commit to alternative fuel sources, we could eliminate things from our lives that destroy our environment. We could change our eating habits to become healthier. We could change our buying habits to fit a lifestyle that doesn’t end up being our downfall.
Twenty years from now we could reduce the cancer fatality rate by twenty five percent and we could do it without the need for new toxic remedies or even finding a cure after the cancer cells have been activated. Many of us talk about it all the time. I am constantly seeing articles referring to three things. Proper diet, exercise, natural vitamin sources. But the fact of the matter is this, you are probably reading this article and others like it because you have a connection to cancer already either you yourself have been effected or someone close to you. You are likely to already be aware of the effect of proper diet on the body, It is getting information out to everyone else who have not been directly effected but could easily find themselves as statistics twenty years from now.
Here’s how you can have a direct impact on the future, help those who have not had a direct cancer impact, understand how to help themselves avoid it.
Cancer once it has begun, once the cells are active and spreading is unpredictable at best. Lung cancer is so lethal of a killer that it claims over seventy percent of those diagnosed. If we do not change some things right away, then I’m afraid that the U.N. report will be dead on accurate (please forgive the poor choice of phrase)if not understated. But the things that need to be changed need to come from each one of us. We have to be the ones who take charge of our lives, if we are waiting for the government to intervene then we are fools. If we are waiting for large health care or pharmaceutical companies to save us with a mystical cure, It is not in their best interest to cure it, just find new and expensive ways to treat it. Our best chance for a cure seems to me to be found on one of the many college campuses where research is performed. Of course the fear being that a cure will be found and then tied up and obscured in the red tape world we live in. A cure for cancer, is going to cost some big businesses a whole lot of cash when discovered.
Let’s talk about that way to reduce the fatality rate. Cancer cells have the capability of killing you once they become active and begin to multiply and spread. Cancer cells are present in everyone’s body but they are held at bay by our immune systems. It is when we have a fundamental breakdown in our immune systems that the flood gates open for the multiplication of cancer cells.
If you allow enough cancer cells to gather and that’s when you have problems my friend. Now pay attention please. The best way to reduce cancer fatalities, the best way to fight cancer…..avoid it. You cannot avoid having bad cells in your body, what you can avoid is letting your immune system go to hell and opening yourself up for an attack.
For the future, let’s just concentrate on what we know and what we can control. First of all, you can greatly reduce many life threatening illnesses including cancer by keeping your bodies ph balance level. If you began today to make healthier dietary choices and began to reduce your intake of fast foods or questionably prepared foods you would be taking a step in the right direction. If you started questioning where the meat you purchase comes from, how it is raised, how it is prepared for market and what type of chemicals are used in raising it, you would be making a step in the right direction. Farm fresh does not substitute for organic. I believe and I’m not alone, that the immune system is effected greatly by our intake of various chemicals in our industrial farm produced foods. Take control of what you eat. Reduce the amount of coffee you drink maybe supplement green tea for coffee. You need to find ways to reduce the amount of acid you are adding to your body. Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. Meat is also a high acid contributor which is why fish and chicken are considered better for you then beef and pork.
Vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants are vital to helping grow and unleash the cells in our bodies that kill things like cancer cells keeping them in check.
Exercise and sunlight, these two things can not be understated. Unfortunately, we have found a way to make exercise a multi billion dollar industry and we as a society have changed the definition of exercise to joining a gym or buying a ton of equipment. Let me help you out with this, walk, learn some deep breathing exercises, cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Walk and preferably take a walk in the sunshine, the body needs sunshine it helps keep everything in check. What else does the body need? Water. We are organic beings and if you look at it in that manner, Sunshine, water proper intake of minerals avoidance of harmful toxins. Couple some dietary alterations with finding ways to reduce stress in your life and your well on your way to avoiding becoming a 2030 statistic.
If in places where it were possible we could alter our over eating and poor choice eating habits I think we reduce cancer as well as other major disease fatalities greatly. If we remain too busy to care, too busy to teach our children better habits, too busy to stop and look at the world we have forged for ourselves, then I am afraid that everything will be in vain. I’m afraid we will visit a future where over thirteen million people dieing from cancer alone will be just a small piece of a much larger problem.
I am not asking you to donate money, I’m not asking you to walk a marathon. I’m not asking you to completely change or live your life afraid that the sky might be falling. What I am asking for is that you open your mind to finding better ways to live in the future by making small changes now starting with your health and the health of the people you are responsible for. Then let’s look at the way we do things, the way we govern ourselves and our actions and the things we need to do to reduce cancer by fifty percent in the year 2050.