In your six-degrees-of-separation, everyone of us has been affected by it. Cancer has been a topic of discussion and concern for over 75 years. Founded in 1937 (yes, 1937) the National Cancer Institute (NCI) now spends just under $5 billion each year. The Canadian Cancer Society spends just under $200 million a year…and they are only two of at least 27 North American foundations bringing awareness and research to the disease. It is a sad state of affairs when you realize that after 75 years, researchers still do not understand the root cause of the disease which has now become the number one cause of death in Canada taking the lead at 30% compared to heart disease trailing far behind at 19%. But according to the Canadian Cancer Society, “We’ve come a long way in the fight for life. Just think today, over 60% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive compared to about 25% in the early 1940s when we started funding research. That jump in survival was only possible because of caring people like you! ” Although this statement might make you feel all warm and fuzzy, the limited statistical data from 1973 to 1996 shows conservatively that the rate of cancer has been on the rise 1.5% each year with some forms of cancer growing over 41.5% over this same time period.
If our children’s school grades looked like cancer prevention and treatment statistics, they would get a failing grade. At the age of 75, our kids would still be in Grade one at best! To add insult to injury, many large corporations have partnered along the way such as Revlon, Avon, Ford and many others. In fact, it has become so commercially viable that you can now literally buy every item in your house hold including your car and your underwear all the while supporting cancer research. Now your pleasantly pink undies (sprayed with formaldehyde) can match your pink Teflon coated carcinogen utensils and even your “pink” make-up containing lead and other toxic chemicals…and if you happen to be in Canada in April, don’t forget to buy some daffodils to brighten your day and add a splash of yellow to your over the top pink chic décor. Yes, I’m saying, “screw you” to commercialism that cancer has become. There is no reason to bring awareness to the elephant in the room!
So before you shoot the messenger, hear the message. At the age of 32 and 10 beautiful years of marriage, I held my wife’s hand as she passed into a coma. Thirty minutes later, she took her last breath and our 16 month old son and I said goodbye to Tracey Anne Taylor-Faye for the last time. During my wife’s walk with cancer, we had lots of well intentioned friends and co-workers. Our house was full of daffodils and lots of people trying to show support in any way they could. Well meaning people, who felt helpless trying to support people they loved. Many people are walking that same walk right now and many of us may travel that journey before our time expires, so do yourself, your health, and the ones you love a favour – say NO to supporting breast cancer by buying a pink frying pan. Go out and plant a whole bed of perennial flowers that will bloom year after year. Cut a cheque directly to cancer research and forget supporting companies trying to make a buck along the way. Start caring about the two things you have complete control over – what you put on your body and what you put in your mouth. Read ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t wear it, don’t eat it, in fact, don’t have it in your house. Be good to yourself and those around you and above all, take time for the people you love…and that includes yourself.
Environmental Working Group Study: http://www.chemicalindustryarchives.org/factfiction/facts/4.asp
Canadian Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/cancer-statistics-at-a-glance/?region=on
National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/research-funding
Want to know what is in your cosmetics and body care products?
Search it at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/