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May 1, 2005

Prevention Key to Victory in Cancer War

Topics: Medicine

The author of this impassioned commentary on the war on cancer makes two very important points. As a cancer survivor of two battles(in rapid succession - now four years post-treatment) with Stage IV cancer, the issue of prevention strikes a familiar chord - the less disease there is, the less there is to treat. However, although not addressed by the author, the concept of preventing cancer doesn't just apply to folks who don't have cancer yet. It also applies to both cancer patients and cancer survivors(more on this in another post). Yet the author's points are very important and should get much more attention than they have received to date!

There is strong scientific evidence that this modern epidemic is due to avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens in the environment -- air, water, soil, workplaces and consumer products, notably, food, toiletries and cosmetics, and household products -- and even some common prescription drugs.

But our ongoing defeat in this war is attributable to two important factors. First, NCI and ACS have focused their abundant resources and institutional mindsets not on preventing cancer, but on attempting to treat it once it strikes.

The simple fact -- the more cancer is prevented, the less there is to treat -- continues to elude the generals' master plan.

Another reason our cancer generals are so disserving is that they have become far too chummy with special interests who either oppose cancer prevention policies or who trivialize cancer prevention. The ACS heavily depends on its ''Excalibur donors'' -- a gallery of chemical industries opposed to regulating carcinogens, and pharmaceutical companies seeking approval of their highly touted miracle drugs, drugs that have shown limited success over decades.

Right on target! Just broaden the application. I strongly believe that a strong mindset of cancer prevention is important for everyone, but also very important for CANCER PATIENTs AND CANCER SURVIVORS. The more disease you can reduce or prevent, the less there is to treat and the better your chances of survival. If you are a cancer patient or survivor, you can even contribute to the success of your treatment and post treatment success by taking steps to prevent further disease and to help your body combat the disease. Establishing a mindset of prevention is the first step(more on this also - in another post).

As the author of the article points out, almost every American knows the pain to family and friends caused by cancer. The fact that so much of it is avoidable and that the cancer war has not sufficiently focused on preventing it, borders on criminal neglect.

Hat tip - The Cancer Blog

Posted by Hyscience at May 1, 2005 10:14 AM

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