Friday, January 13, 2012

What causes cancer?

When I came back to work after my first surgery, someone who knew of my diagnosis asked me if the doctors told me what caused my cancer?  I’m sure I answered with a tone of “are you f’ing stupid?” but the words I said were “the doctor said the medical community is light years away from knowing what causes any one individual to get cancer”. Which is actually what he said. Even though I hadn’t asked because…  I’ve never been under the impression that I would ever learn HOW I got cancer.

It peaked my interest that the Winter 2011 edition of Cure magazine has on the cover, “What Caused My Cancer? (The answer may be more complicated than you think)”. We got a good laugh about this at support group because we always thought it was a very complicated! However I was inclined to read the article and it began:

“Today, the list of possible environmental carcinogens reads like a catalog of modern conveniences, including cell phones, plastic bottles, styrene in Styrofoam, imported drywall, high-voltage power lines, light at night. Other environmental causes of cancer may be rooted in lifestyle factors, such as obesity, drinking alcohol, a fondness for suntans and smoking, or infections with viruses and bacteria. In fact, knowing all the ways the environment can conspire to fuel cancer growth, perhaps the real wonder is how so many people can remain cancer-free for so long.”

“Even the most wicked environmental carcinogens must still find an accomplice within a person’s own DNA. After all, for reasons no one knows, the vast majority of smokers do not get lung cancer.”

The article was very interesting and confirmed what I always suspected. The cause of cancer is very complex.  If it was simple we would’ve found a way to prevent it years ago!

No comments:

Post a Comment