Life Redefined: The Cause of Cancer
In actuality, the real cause of cancer is likely a combination of many of the above factors. Yes, thanks to lots of research from great scientists we are able to identify many agents that cause cancer. For example, cigarettes. There are over 60 carcinogens in a cigarette and we know that smoking cigarettes increases the likelihood of a cancer diagnosis. But not everyone who smokes will develop cancer, so the cause of cancer cannot be cigarettes alone. Realistically, I don’t think most of us will never know the exact cause of our illness because the possibilities are endless. The combinations of possibilities are infinite.
The winter issue of Cure (vol. 10, no. 4) has a great article entitled “Connecting the Dots.” The article discusses some excellent points concerning the questions that we all have about the causes of cancer. While the article doesn’t provide all the answers to our questions, it does provide some excellent tips on how to interpret the various reports that claim the cause has been identified. For example, distinguishing public opinion from scientific discovery. “BPA free” has become such a buzz word that many people purchase products simply because of the label yet have no knowledge of the potential effects BPA actually has on the body. Is BPA a major health concern, or is it more of a marketing ploy? (I’ll let you do your own research and draw your own conclusions as my purpose today isn’t to discuss the health effects of BPA.) The article urges readers to take the time to understand the research and science that is driving public health opinions, and I would urge you to do the same.
Thyroid cancer is now on the National Cancer Institute’s list of common cancers. While we strive to do all that we can to raise public awareness of thyroid cancer, that’s a list that we just don’t want to be on. With an expected 56,460 new cases of thyroid cancer in the United States in 2012, our search for answers has a greater sense of urgency. While many researchers claim that the increase in diagnoses is due to better diagnostics and earlier detection, other scientists say that the cause of increase is unknown. I can’t help but wonder, what if the better diagnostics is actually the cause of the increase? The previously mentioned article in Cure states that “researchers say that the majority of excess radiation exposure may come from the overuse of medical imaging, particularly computed tomography (CT) scans.” Perhaps the improved imaging we now have available is being overused and we are overexposed to radiation, a known cause of cancer. Perhaps. This is yet another question to which I don’t have an answer.
As I continuously ponder these unanswered questions, I’ve resolved to keep focused on what I can control. I have control over the food that I put in my body. I can control the amount of time I exercise each week. I can take measures to control and manage the stress in my life. I can do my part to raise awareness of thyroid cancer, to make others aware of the potential causes and the lasting side effects of life without a thyroid. But I’ll keep asking questions because, in my opinion, constantly asking questions will eventually bring about the change we desire to see.
What are you doing to raise awareness of thyroid diseases and cancers this month? What public opinions surrounding thyroid disease/cancer do you want to change?
*Cure magazine, “Connecting the Dots” http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/1790
*National Cancer Institute: http://nci.nih.gov/
Tags: Life Redefined, many causes of cancer, questions about cancer, thyroid awareness month, thyroid cancer, thyroid cancer awareness, Thyroid Cancer in Young Adults, Thyroid Cancer Survivor, what causes cancer