Get your mind out of the gutter.  Not that ‘c’ word. But sometimes I think it’s almost as bad trying to have a conversation with someone about cancer. It’s a minefield. Every company has pink ribbon. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been donated. Research, drugs, and advances in treatment are boasted about through campaigns. And, yet, more people are diagnosed and die from this disease daily. And, despite those millions of dollars spent annually, there is no published data for a cure.

I have had this post ready for some time, but held back. I have several friends who are survivors. My own mom died of cancer.  I even did the Walk for the Cure in Toronto several years to raise money to help. But I can’t support cancer research anymore. And that’s probably a hot button. I agree that treatments for some are necessary, but I believe more that prevention is key. So if I eat organic and do yoga I won’t get cancer? Absolutely not. There are so many factors that can cause cancer. But diet helps. Stress management helps. Sleep and exercise help. Prevention is not a profit industry, so little is published.

I can’t support cancer research anymore

It took some time to develop this mind shift. I worked almost 25 years ago in a job where I was exposed to alternative research. As with anything with me, continued exposure over time led to my own investigations, which led to change. Breast cancer statistics boast increases in survival rates. To be ‘cured’ women were once followed for 10 years; now they report only the first 5, yet the biggest risk for death occurs when cancers recurs after the five-year mark. Is that not false advertising? I know many women who are breast cancer survivors, and credit their life to drug and treatment plans provided by our hospitals. It can work. It does work. But often it does not. One of the leading Canadian cancer research centres in Montreal, Quebec published data that states 70% of all cancer death can be prevented through lifestyle.

Compare the 1980 statistics when Asia had the lowest rate of cancer globally. They started ‘Americanizing’ with fast food, more meat, and higher fats resulting in the highest collorectal cancer rate in the world in 2005. There are many direct links to cancer including obesity, acidic diets, and high stress. There have been natural therapies available from as far back as Rene Caisse in the 1930’s with conflicting results. But don’t our medical therapies have conflicting results, too? And yet we blindly follow the advice of doctors as if we have no control over our own bodies.

Our North American medical system is based on treating a problem once it’s established, and often just masking symptoms. Research for cancer treatment (notice it is treatment) is funded by pharmaceutical companies who want to sell their drugs. They don’t research prevention because there is no money in that. I checked the Canadian Cancer website earlier this year and their current six big research projects are all based on treatment. American and Canadian Cancer Centres actually provide information that states high sugar diets, chemical hair dyes, and antiperspirant do not add to cancer risk, and; herbal remedies or positive attitude don’t help in cure or recovery. On these same sites are information about research and grants, and a list of sponsors who make products with sugar, and toxic chemicals like processed meats, junk food, and chemical sunscreen. These products are linked to cancer in studies outside of the American Cancer Institute. Separate studies show cancer thrives in an acidic environment. A more alkaline-based diet, therefore, makes sense. Microwaves, teflon pots and pans, cigarettes, chemical sunscreen, and a myriad of other components of our daily life are shown to increase cancer risk. Yet they are still available for sale on our store shelves.

Pink Ribbon campaigns are an industry

My biggest complaint has got to be companies poisoning us with their chemical-laden cosmetics, or unhealthy foods playing our heart strings with the ‘pink’ campaigns. There are good fundraisers that direct funds into good research. But there are too many that play on our hearts and do little to advance research, or that even send a significant portion of sales on to research organizations. The cancer walks are an industry. Pink Ribbon campaigns are an industry. People have full time jobs making ‘pink’ products, and organizing fundraising events. I’m not against anyone having a good job, but I am when it’s built on false promises.

We are bio-individual. Exercise and diet that support good health vary for each person. And what works for one may not work for another in anything from losing weight to clearing up acne, or overcoming anxiety or depression. Cancer is no different. Research; find what’s best for you. I am continuing to learn, and have developed a strong connection to holistic approaches to support the individual. I still have much to learn, but have made many shifts over the last several years. Start making adjustments to lifestyle that resonate with you to set you up for good health; don’t wait until you hear that dreaded ‘c’ word.