The work for cancer prevention requires more than intention; it requires effort.
The work we do is not cutting edge. However, it is thoughtful and requires hard focused work.
So much of the way we operate in this world is about responding to suffering, and we can either do something after the fact, or work to prevent it. Personally, when I see people suffering it haunts me.
Those images will live in my head and my heart.
Prevention is our response to cancer; it's not everyone's, but it is for our organization, Less Cancer.
For me, it's all about preventing the unspeakable suffering that cancer brings. And it's a win-win economically. We see profitability with prevention when the public is informed about a particular disease risk. When we can prevent disease, in turn, we often prevent cataclysmic economic burdens that include unemployment, financial instability, debt, homelessness, and hunger.
As the founder of Less Cancer, I understand we cannot help everyone, but we can help many. We know with information, education and informed policy people can have the foundations for change that can save lives and reduce incidences of cancer, not to mention all the outcomes that come with cancer. We can especially help children, who can learn to write themselves a lifetime prescription for good health.
For some, that is just not enough. They may suffer from addiction and may continue to smoke, drink to excess or have poor diets.
It's not just their problem. We all need to be invested in the health of our communities, both from a social and an economic perspective.
I certainly am no stranger to dependency; I struggled to stop smoking cigarettes which I eventually did and then flipped to Twizzlers licorice. Trading one for the other may not have helped my health all that much! I have seen friends and family struggle with addictions on a multitude of levels. Sometimes there is little we can do to help. The reality is that addiction, beyond causing personal chaos with the individual, family, and friends, if using cigarettes or alcohol can cause cancer. While we can not manage the behavior of others, it does not mean people with the right information and interventions cannot change. They can, and it requires a lot of work on everyone's part.
Much of what we do in prevention is not some cutting edge magic with talk of the moon, but rather common sense, thoughtfulness and caring about your fellow man. While I too pray for the magic cures, we know looking back on the last 100 years we have a world with more cancer, not less.
It's not just talking about cancer prevention but rather demonstrating, teaching and asking for the change that we know will reduce incidences of cancer.
When it comes to corporate greed of polluting communities, waterways, air and impeding human health we need not just to expect more but ask for more. We do that in our work for Less Cancer, but we as individuals need to do that across the board in our lifestyles.