Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lifestyle causes cancer

40% of cancers are due to lifestyle factors? Hmmm.... I'm somewhat surprised. I don't consider these to all be lifestyle options we have chosen. I am not sure we can change all of these: being overweight, alcohol, tobacco, sun/tanning booths, too much red meat, lack of fruits and vegetables, lack of fiber, lack of exercise, post menopause, having children, infections, radiation exposure, and occupational hazards.

For women you can't change menopause, it happens. And on having children? Maybe you never wanted them or you wanted them but it didn't work out for you? Not much you can do about that after your mid-40s.

But the whole part about exercise, eating right - fruit, vegetables, fiber, and red meat, watching your weight, alcohol, and tobacco are all changeable. Radiation exposure is a bit difficult. I mean you can minimize the number of x-rays and other medical exams you have but the sun provides natural radiation and if there is what is radiation leak you don't know its there. I mean the air doesn't turn blue if the air is contaminated so you may not know. Infections are somewhat preventable but not always. Occupational hazards are another - whether you are a construction worker who was exposed to asbestos or a high tech lab worker who was exposed to carcinogens - you don't always have the option of changing your job.

From my point of view, I do eat right, I used to smoke but quit, alcohol not as much, I used to be skinny prechemo, also chemo put me in menopause, I've never been in a tanning booth and always use sunscreen because I fry in the sun (but was exposed to a lot of sun as a child), I am relatively athletic, I never had children, and don't think I work with radiation or other occupational hazards. So am I in the 60 percent? I don't know. I am not going to try to second guess this. I hate these articles. They always give people with cancer a guilt trip.

3 comments:

the Big C and Me said...

Caroline,

That's the first thing I thought when I heard about this study too: Oh great, more guilt, more blame it on the cancer patient! Oy Vey is all I gotta say. ;-)

-Renn

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