Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Healthy Living

Today I read two different articles discussing how what we eat and drink can affect the incidence of breast and other types of cancers.

"Better diets, more exercise and controlling weight could also prevent more than 40 percent of colon and breast cancer cases in some countries"

In my case, I can't blame my cancer diagnosis on genes so I can scratch that off the list. I can't blame it on family history, cigarettes or obesity. There is no definitive reason why I was diagnosed with cancer and someone else wasn't.

I do believe that our environment has something to do with the increase in cancer diagnoses. I don't know what it is exactly. The food that goes in, the food that doesn't go in, the air quality, the toxins in the environment or some combination of all of the above.

I wish I could say that I am a perfect healthy specimen, but I'm not. I have tried very hard to modify my diet and for the most part I do quite well. I rarely drink anymore and have increased my exercise. But the fact is, I still am carrying about 20 pounds of extra weight, I still eat dairy and red meat and I could certainly use more exercise and less stress.

Though I very much appreciate the news articles, it is also a little bit frustrating to hear that 40% of cancers could be prevented with healthier living. Tell that to the organic eating, maniacal exercisers, yoga breathing people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Tell that to Lance Armstrong or Scott Hamilton. It feels a little bit like blaming the victim; "If only you wouldn't have eaten that steak, you wouldn't have been diagnosed with cancer..."

I put just as much faith in good eating as anyone else does, but there are plenty of people who have much worse living habits than I have and they seem to make it through life without a cancer diagnosis---(they may die of heart failure, but that is a different discussion altogether!)

So I guess the next time my daughters ask me how I got cancer, I'll have to tell them, "It was the Cheetos"