November is lung cancer awareness month

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    Nov 17, 2009 6:16 AM GMT
    I just wanted to bring lung cancer awareness month to everyone's attention. Though there are no giant walks or bracelets that thousands of people wear to show their support, there are thousands of people living with and dying from lung cancer. In fact, it is the most deadly of the cancers - and one of the least publicized.

    I lost two aunts, and both grandparents on my mother's side to this terrible disease. I witnessed my grandmother's fight daily as I watched this darkness take her life day by day. Today my only living aunt struggles with the treatments and my mother's lung cancer continues to sit in remission. I take each day as it comes and celebrate thier victory against this terrible disease. Yet, I know one check up we will learn its reared its ugly head again, as it is persistent.

    I'm sure some of you have loved ones who fight this cancer that sits in the darkness taking victims at a faster and faster rate. Keep those people in your hearts through the month and throughout the year. Hopefully, we can fight it and gain the awareness to bring national attention to lung cancer.
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    Nov 17, 2009 3:27 PM GMT
    This past May, we put my Mom in the grave. She died from old age and COPD. She had stopped smoking in 1982, with occasional 1-a-days until about 1993. Unfortunately, she didn't stop soon enough. Mom spent the last two years of her life on an oxygen machine. In May, when her hemoglobin dropped to a miserable level, the morphine was turned up and she was allowed to pass in peace with her sister by her side. Almost without exception her friends died from lung cancer. I can tell you from personal experience that I find oncology wards very depressing, especially with regard to lung cancer.

    My good friend Dave, a retired airline pilot from Phoenix, retired at 41, and died at 59, this past April. He smoked nearly non-stop, and even when he was on oxygen refused to give it up. He was a brilliant, likable guy, and it was a tragedy that Dave will never get to seen his grand children play hockey, or soccer, or be in a musical. What a waste.

    When used at intended, smoking and tobacco, don't just make you smell like an ashtray, but, they kill you. Many of us have seen folks close to us die way early because of smoking.

    As a society, we're so fucked up in our priorities. Folks destroy themselves with smoking (about 800,000 a year die) and food (about 2 million a year die), needlessly, but, at least they aren't jailed for their horrible behavior as are drug users whom only die at the rate of about 3100 a year. In this country, if you're sick, or injured, or stupid, you're on your own. In this country (with the highest incarceration rate per capita of anywhere in the world) if you don't have the preferred drug of choice, you'll be disenfranchised from society (branded a felon), and sent to rot in jail. It's ironic that we're so punitive about behaviors like pot smoking, yet, folks are allowed to kills themselves by eating to death, or smoking cigs.

    If you smoke, you're an idiot, and need to learn how to control that self-destructive behavior. You have a responsibility to yourself, and to society in general, to behave properly and take care of yourself.
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    Nov 17, 2009 3:41 PM GMT
    Lung cancer is a completely preventable disease. So much so, that if people stopped smoking, lung cancer could pretty much be eradicated. Therefore, the fight should be against smoking and pollution, not its cancer byproduct.

    I never really understood all these "fights" against cancer. Cancer is a naturally occuring response within the body to either behavioral mistakes, viruses or fungus. It's not some foriegn invader that has to be killed, attacked, etc.

    So instead of fighting cancer, the fight should be for healthier lifestyle choices. Like buying foods without sugar. Using cleaning products that don't contain toxic chemicals, eating organic fruits and vegetables instead of pesticides and junk food.

    If you survey people you know with cancer, you'll most likely see a pattern. I've lost friends to cancer, have others currently undergoing treatments and in no way want to discount the severity of these diseases. But, it's time we realize that the fight against cancer is really our own fight against our bad habits. Your body eliminates cancerous cells all the time, it's when your immune system becomes compromised, by junk, stress, etc., that cancerous cells become too much for your body to handle.
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    Nov 17, 2009 3:42 PM GMT
    My mom still has trouble quitting. She smokes a few cigs a day. Its frustrating to see, but there is nothing you can do to make someone quit. In many ways, the damage has been done. There is more and more evidence that lung cancer is passed along. Smoking obviously does not help you chances of getting lung cancer. Its a chicken or the egg situation.

    I try not to criticize smokers and point guilt fingers at then. Its a terrible disease and as frustrating as smoking can be, you have to support the ill and help them be survivors.
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    Nov 17, 2009 3:55 PM GMT
    With fat asses and smokers, we've failed to do something that we often do with other addictions: INTERVENTIONS.

    If you smoke, you're 10 times more likely to have a disease costing more than 100K. Same thing for obesity. If you smoke, you'll be out from work nearly twice as much with illness.

    It's important to be diligent in making these self-destructive behaviors unacceptable among our loved ones.

    In our family, on both my dad's side, and mom's, it was simply, and remains to this day, unacceptable to be fat ass, as it's completely preventable through proper behavior. We would do well to take that forward into future generations.

    Just because a particular bad behavior is legal, it doesn't make it right, as we see, across the board, daily.

    We have a responsibility to our loved ones to not be active, nor passive, enablers, in their self-destruction, and to impede that self-destruction as much as possible.

    The fattest teenage is 880# in Houston, TX. His mother continues to feed him, because she "loves him so much." His mother needs slapped. We're every bit as guilty when we don't object. Just because it's legal to eat yourself to death, or smoke, doesn't mean you should stand by idly and let someone kill themselves.

    That sort of complacency is why we have an obesity pandemic that will cost us for many years to come in financial, emotional, and productivity areas.

    To the credit of the media, smoking has been made much less "cool" than it used to be. We need to continue that effort in both smoking and obesity. It saves lives, but, it has to be truthful information. "Reefer Madness" is not what we need.
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    Nov 17, 2009 4:38 PM GMT
    Probably the best advice for anyone with cancer is to:

    1) Completely eliminate sugar from their diet (by carefully reading labels). There's research that shows that cancerous cells require much more glucose than normal cells, so by eliminating sugar you supposedly help to "starve" those cancer cells.

    2) Dramatically increase vegetable and fruit intake. Particularly, carrots, beets and asparagus (if I remember correctly). Many people find it hard to consume enough, so juicing is a great way to get a large intake of nutrients without having to actually eat 5 carrots at a time.

    3) Tumeric is a great anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help in the fight against cancer. It can be taken in pill form.

    4) Eliminating dairy and meat from the diet.

    The basic concept, according to natural (time-tested) medicine, is to help the body fight off cancer using its own natural defenses. Many people report success with these methods and it just makes sense. If you consider the "why this happened" aspect of cancer, you're more likely to figure out how to reverse it.

    There's a great site with natural remedies, rated by patients, called Earth Clinic.

    I've tried some of their remedies and many do work.

    Your doctor's unlikely to know anything about this stuff though, cause they're not taught it in school. I'm honestly not sure why, but it's probably because there's no money in natural medicine.