We’re all obsessed with the easy way out.
I’ve written about this before, and I believe in this strongly:
There are usually two ways to do things – and doing it the right way is never, ever easier upfront. The right way takes more time, requires more effort, and often requires educating ourselves.
For example, take a look at these common scenarios – I bet you instinctively know which one is the “right” way, and which one is the “quick fix” that our microwave/ADD generation usually resorts to:
- Texting how much you appreciate someone vs. calling them
- Clean eating vs. eating out
- Using plastic shopping bags vs. buying reusable ones
- Making lifestyle changes to prevent ailments vs. managing symptoms after developing a problem
- Watching TV vs. going for a walk, serving someone who needs help, playing a game with the family, or virtually anything else (we’re trying to do better – but Netflix is so dang convenient)
- Feeling entitled to money (from government, family, church, charity, or even borrowing from a bank) vs. working towards self-sufficiency
- Actively engaging with our children vs. plopping them in front of the TV or handing them an iPad
- Losing weight with a healthy diet and consistent exercise vs. weight-loss pills or quick-fix diet programs
- Burying our heads in the sand about what causes cancer, relying on outdated rhetoric (“cancer is random!”), and hoping it doesn’t hit us vs. educating ourselves and making the necessary lifestyle changes to avoid cancer
It’s this last one I want to talk about.
I’m writing this near the end of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and I’ve got a problem with the way we treat this.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome that football players wear pink gloves and shoes. I love that people sport those pink ribbons all month long. Lots of money is being raised, and that’s fine.
What does grind my gears is all this talk of a “cure.” That one day, scientists will develop a pill, or some specialized chemotherapy, or the Easter Bunny will wave his paw and rid the world of breast cancer.
It only serves to reinforce our lazy, quick-fix mentality. Indolence is secretly becoming the worst disease of our time.
All this talk of “Run for the Cure” or “Find the Cure” serves as misdirection to what you and I can actually do to prevent cancer in the women closest to us.
Are you going to find the cure? Or me?
Of course not.
I’m not a genius scientist in a lab. Neither are you.
Essentially, there’s nothing you and I can do on a day-to-day basis to help find a cure. We’re not actively helping to research in a lab. Besides, there may never be a cure. The laws of science may not contain an answer to “curing” cancer (I don’t count radiation or surgery “curing” because often it doesn’t fully get the cancer, and there are still many types of cancer that can’t be operated on, and radiation causes insane collateral damage).
Which is false.
Sure, it’s much easier to stay ignorant. It’s much easier to laugh when someone suggests that what we eat and put on our bodies causes cancer.
It’s much harder to educate ourselves on such a vast topic. It’s hard to swap out our McDonald’s fix for a grass-fed burger with organic fries cooked in coconut oil.
But it’s right. It’s better.
I don’t like that Breast Cancer Awareness Month becomes a way for us to donate some money and feel better about what we’re doing for the fight against cancer. I don’t like that it teaches us to push it out of our awareness and wait for others to figure it out.
But here’s what we can do:
[box type=”info”] Did you know that a 2012 study showed that 99% of breast cancer samples contain parabens, which is found in deodorants (along with many other personal care products)? Mommypotamus has an awesome Facebook graphic that explains the link between deodorant and breast cancer. She also links to the scientific study in her post.[/box]
Now, I don’t mean to say that cutting out deodorant is the key to stopping breast cancer. There are other factors involved. My point is that there are lifestyle changes we can make to prevent breast cancer.
Is it easier to claim it’s all scientific hooey without doing research ourselves? Of course.
It’s not easy to learn how to make deodorant, buy all the stuff, make it, and then worry what others will think. It’s weird because it’s different. (If you are looking for an awesome recipe Erin really likes Scratch Mommy’s deodorant recipe!)
But isn’t it worth it to prevent breast cancer?
According to Cancer.org, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetimes. About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in 2014.
Let’s take a conservative estimate that deodorant and other personal care products are causing 1/10 of those incidents. We could prevent more than 23,000 cases of breast cancer and save 4,000 lives per year – in the U.S. alone.
Shouldn’t that be life-altering information? Shouldn’t that be sent to everyone in the world? Shouldn’t that be taught in our textbooks, on TV, by the government?
Shouldn’t this be common knowledge? The reasons why that stuff isn’t common knowledge is a topic for another (more conspiratorial) day.
Changing Our Focus
So, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month – and every other month – let’s change our focus. Instead of trying to find the cure, let’s help educate people on prevention.
I know a big focus of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is mammograms. Great, let’s keep that going. But, that’s still focusing on a treatment after we’ve developed cancer.
We can do more. Let’s do the research ourselves and learn about the impact of processed foods, deodorant, other personal care products, plastics, and even our water supply have on cancer rates.
Let’s spread the word because it’s more important than just about anything else.
Let’s put the responsibility in the fight against cancer back on us.
Shared on Real Food Forager