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Cancer and Empowerment

Cancer and Empowerment


In the last two days, I had a fascinating conversation and heard a very interesting story on the radio about cancer and its connection with diet and environmental toxins. The conversation was with a young woman with whom I volunteer at the food justice non-profit People’s Grocery. She had just heard that an acquaintance of hers was diagnosed with cancer. I told her that I know two young women, both in their twenties, who battled cancer. Our acquaintances are of an age formerly thought to be too young to be concerned about cancer.

My fellow volunteer commented that the statistics are such that now nearly every American has either had cancer or knows someone who has been diagnosed with it. This startling increase in the incidence of cancer – especially among younger people – seems to be due at least in part to environmental factors like chemicals in foods, beauty products, and plastics, GMO foods, industrial runoff and much more.

The conversation I heard on KPFA radio discussed the difference between the view of cancer taken by the American medical society and that taken in much of the rest of the world. In the U.S., the story asserted, we tend to see cancer – with the possible exception of lung cancer – as just being the result of bad luck. We don’t tend to look more deeply into the causes of it. And we’re afraid to admit just how toxic many of the chemicals we’re exposed to in daily life really are.

So I’d like to take this chance to affirm that cancer is a real threat, but one that we have the power to address. We should acknowledge that environmental toxins truly can lead to cancer. Those stories in the news about carcinogenic Teflon are not just hype. But rather than becoming immobilized by fear, we should realize that we have some control in determining our likelihood of contracting cancer. We can make healthy decisions for our own lives – and vote with our dollars in the process.

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Read more: Cancer, Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Environment, Food, Green, Health, Nature

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


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3:09AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012


1:27AM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

I believe that the toxins make cancer

10:25PM PDT on Aug 13, 2012

Cancer groups are very suspect- no cancer no money.

1:50PM PST on Jan 13, 2012

The world takes a wrong stance concerning pesticide use, we need to turn around this attitude...
when is humanity going to realise they are only puppets in the hands of the marketeers!

2:05PM PST on Jan 3, 2012

vote with your money!

2:11AM PST on Dec 27, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:51AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:52AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Joan that is awesome - good for you :-)

12:47AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Yes Rene we all will die and it will be of something but hey do we want our children to die early?and if we can have more good years with our loved ones don't we want too? I survived lung cancer and believe it's not only environmental but mental as well. CC C brings up radiation and yet that is one of the things that helped put my cancer to rest but it was also my friends wonderful baby daughter who visited me every week and my cancer group and lots of other non traditional treatments.

12:24AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

We've got to die of something.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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