Cancer – How to keep the thief out?

Can we have 100% certainty that we won’t be robbed? No.

Can we do our best to minimize the risk and not create opportunities? Yes.

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Do you put your child in a car seat when driving around? I assume yes. Why? Because you understand the risk – easy to foresee the consequences.

Do you feed your child a highly processed sausage? Probably yes. Why? Because you do not understand the risk – there are no immediate consequences and everyone around you does that.

It is difficult to keep eyes on the prize, if the consequences of your actions won’t be visible for many years to come. It is a bit hard to think, that because you left a window open today, the thief might get in… in 10, 20 or 30 years time. But he just might. Cancer, sorry Mr.C, is a very patient man.

So what helps Mr.C get in?

A few things that come from the outside:

  • Chemicals – guess no surprise here. What sort of chemicals? Well all sorts of shape and colors: things you might eat, things you might drink, things you might smoke or breathe in.
  • Viruses – some open the door for the intruder e.g. HPV, Hepatitis B & C
  • Radiation

A few things that are part of our house:

  • Hormones
  • Genes

Today let’s focus on two things: one that we have a massive influence on, and one that we have no say what so ever.

One: Chemicals

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In developed world one in three cancer deaths is linked to tobacco.           1 in 3.         OK set of numbers. But stop and think. You have 9 people sick. Out of these 9 people 3 could have avoided being sick. Now think 60. Imagine a bus full of 60 people. Out of these 60 sick people 20 chose to inhale stuff that made them sick… Are you one of them?

Today I won’t take on the recently famous WHO report on processed and red meat. I will enjoy writing it when everyone has forgotten a bit and catch you chewing on that supermarket sausage 🙂 However I want to mention one simple thing: at least let’s not eat what we do not recognize. If we have a package of something that should contain meat (i.e. minced meat) and the label has 25 ingredients, maybe don’t buy it? Before we put something into our trolley, maybe let’s turn the package over and actually check the label? Let’s take control over what we eat. Let’s not blame it all on the manufacturers. If we stop buying products stuffed with chemicals and start buying consciously, the market will follow. And please do not try to tell me it is more expensive. What are we saving on? Our health or health of our families? Would we really consciously trade our health for a higher spec of a car???

Two: Genes

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We are now obsessed about it because it sounds like a death sentence. That we might carry an inherited genetic defect- that one wrong instruction, which is like a ticking bomb in our pocket. But… only 0.3% of the population has that wrong instruction in their library.      0.3%   . What does that mean? Imagine a group of 300 people – 5 buses or a fully booked decent size of a plane. Out of all that full plane of people only 1 will carry that bad gene.

Don’t you have a feeling that we tend to swap One and Two around?

We cannot do much about the gene. That set of keys has been given away. But how much can we do about what chemicals we bring into our house? A lot. How much can we do to have a well maintained and cherished home? A lot.

So let’s all go for a run and grab a banana on our way back.


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