The "Fight" Against Cancer.

Happy First of Summer!

While I've always been a fan of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and all of the work that they do (me and the CCS go waaayyy back), ever since learning about cancer and its mechanisms of action this past year at CCNM, I found myself questioning their fight against cancer campaign: http://www.fightback.ca/

In short, cancer occurs when your own body's cells start replicating abnormally. So, does this mean that the CCS wants us to fight ourselves? Cancer is normally an autoimmune (i.e. when the body attacks itself) disease and is rarely caused by an external pathogen. Moreover, is the term fight appropriate in the sense that it is quite negative. I guess I am more a believer in positive thoughts and messages when it comes to healing; however I do see how the idea of "fighting " cancer can be empowering to some and encourage them to be stronger and more resilient.

Also, I found an interesting article written by a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Iva Lloyd, that touches on the potential mis-use of the term "cure" by the CCS and other cancer organizations. In her article "Is Cure of Cancer Really The Goal?", she says that the majority of fundraising money is spent on researching new drugs (i.e. suppression) to stop cancer and she questions whether the money can be spent on cancer prevention instead.

I recently attended a cancer screening put on the by CCS and there it was discussed that something like 90% of cancers are preventable, with only a handful being determined by genes alone (oh, and even if you have a particular gene for cancer, it doesn't mean that it will be "turned-on" as most genetic cancers still require a trigger).

And thus, like many of my posts, all I can say is that living a healthy lifestyle is really the key to disease (including cancer) prevention and eradication.

Lastly, on the topic of cancer research, Tony and I listened to an audio version of this article about breast cancer screening this week. It is a lengthy article (seven long pages) but it is incredibly thought-provoking and actually quite scary...


  1. Well I read the article and it is indeed very interesting. And no doubt true. In my case anyway-unlike the military experts, my surgeon was very upfront with this very information--about the potential inaccuracy of the conclusions from the mammagram. The next step biopsy--is a very serious and very painful one, but the information received is more specific-although albiet, still only as accurate as the medical technologist looking through the microscope(reading another picture.)
    As the article says-Mammography isn’t as a good as we’d like it to be. But we are still better off than we would be without it."
    Everyday millions of bike riders wear helmets, and even though, they are expensive to buy and uncomfortable to wear, many aren't worn properly and when there is impact, they don't always do what they are designed for,-- sometimes they do. Mama M

  2. I can believe most of the 7-page article is true but I am sceptical that the time-consuming indepth tactile exam could be any more foolproof because as the article points out, breasts are so individual in size and form and density. Despite the costs, the real value of mamagrams is in their ability to record a snapshot that is most useful as a comparison tool. A radiologist relies less on the cloudiness or irregularities of a single mammagram, but more on comparing a person's original and subsequent mammagrams for changes.

  3. I agree with both comments above.

    The subsequent mammagrams is important, as mentioned above. With the body being so unique, only when it is compared to itself will we know what is the norm for that body. In naturopathic medicine we discuss this idea a lot. Just because the lab results say the body is "normal", if the patient doesn't feel normal, then something needs to be investigated. We all can fit into the same picture.

    Thank you for reading the article despite its long length (and for commenting on the blog!).


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