Read Post 1 'Something You Don't Know'
So the first six days of my experiment have somewhat proven my point better than I expected. Even three days in to not wearing a bra, I was already mostly forgetting that my ladies were loose. I quickly became used to it, not seeming as aware of it as I'd thought I would, as on the first day. So even the lack of this useful piece of underwear didn't long keep me aware of anything. How quickly we adapt and forget, sometimes.
A whole month of not wearing a bra will be about as effective in making me aware of cancer as a whole month of wearing and seeing pink will. I need to do more.
I have been doing research. I'm surprised with some of the things I learn, but then again, not very surprised. My nation has been struggling with its overall health for some time. The other day I wrote up these couple paragraphs:
The organizations researching cancer cures are fighting a losing battle. Even though their efforts have produced many treatments, they will forever have to research new ones if human behavior doesn’t change. Cancer is sometimes in our genes (hereditary), and some cancer cases are brought on by outside influences, but most by behavioral unassertiveness (both considered 'environmental' factors). The 2010 Cancer Facts and Figures states:
Environmental (as opposed to hereditary) factors account for an estimated 75%-80% of cancer cases and deaths in the US. Exposure to carcinogenic agents in occupational, community, and other settings is thought to account for a relatively small percentage of cancer deaths, about 4% from occupational exposures and 2% from environmental pollutants (man-made and naturally occurring). …The estimated percentage of cancers related to occupational and environmental carcinogens is small compared to the cancer burden from tobacco smoking (30%) and the combination of nutrition, physical activity, and obesity (35%). (Facts 50)
This surprised me. I thought the majority of cancer cases were hereditary. I'm not sure why I thought that. But MOST CANCER IS PREVENTABLE.
powerful image 'no smoking'
This is why I feel it seems like a losing battle they're fighting. They can't very well find a cure for laziness and addiction. Indeed, those already have cures: hard work, exercise, preparedness, asking for help, will power. Pills and invasive treatments aren't usually needed there. (There are many interferences in life that make it hard to be happy and healthy. I will address this in another post soon. I'm just saying there's a lot to be said about taking as much control as you can about your health.)
The Facts and Figures also says:
The goals of the American Cancer Society’s research program are to determine the causes of cancer and to support efforts to prevent, detect, and cure the disease (56).
This is logical. From their studies they discover, for one, that nutrition, physical activity and obesity are contributive factors to the chances of getting cancer and they can recommend that we do something about it. In my opinion it seems largely preferable to avoid cancer treatment by not getting cancer, as much as I can help myself.
'Facts' goes on to say that only the federal government receives and spends more money as an organization in the US. At least, that's what I think I understand when I read: "The [American Cancer] Society is the largest source of private, nonprofit cancer research funds in the US, second only to the federal government in total dollars spent" (56). Or maybe they're saying that the government spends just a bit more than they do in researching cancer? Actually, that makes more sense. It's hard to believe that the American Cancer Society is spending trillions...
Anyway, the ACS is working hard, researching hard. I'm curious to know more about what, exactly. This is where I'm hoping to do more to heighten my awareness.
I have two friends that have connections with a cancer research facility here in Utah. One friend has given me the contact information that I need to set up a tour of the facility. I didn't even know I could do that; I have no idea what I'm in for, but I'm excited to find out. My strategy is to first speak to my friend who is an intern doing cancer research, ask him questions and see what questions our conversation makes me formulate for my tour of the research facility.
If you had this opportunity, what questions would you ask? I'm only one person and my mind is narrow in its wondering. I ask for your participation, please! Do you have anything on your mind about cancer? What would you like to be more aware about? Anything at all, let me hear your questions. If you do not want your questions to show publicly, send me a message through facebook (and if you're not my 'friend' find this-- http://www.facebook.com/mlefairchild --and message me that way). Thank you in advance for your contributions to my quest!
*picture of blue (not pink) bra found from http://myzerowaste.com/2011/09/its-recycle-your-bra-month/ another small way of making a difference in the world!