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The Man-Made Disease?

Updated on July 4, 2011

Just Stand Up--Artists Stand Up To Cancer

A Truly Modern Malady?

Tomorrow, September 10th, the major networks and a variety of cable channels will all be broadcasting the same program. The second edition of "Stand Up To Cancer"; the fact that, since the last edition in 2008, two stars have fallen to this disease. In that same time, I have seen cancer affect me personally; a former co-worker lost her battle with cervical cancer, and a friend from a social networking site is fighting a battle with leukemia.

My friend's battle with leukemia is being waged in an alternative fashion. She's using what she describes as "herbal chemotherapy". She also has made the case that cancer is a "man-made" disease.

What she means, and I have to agree with her, is that we have provided the means for cancers to become more common. This may be blamed on two things; the Industrial Revolution and the petrochemical revolution.

The Industrial Revolution brought pollution and, at that time. unknown waste products into the ecosystems. Asbestos, for example, without knowing the effects it had on the lungs, was a common insulation. Little was known about the by-products of steel making or smelting. The folks who painted the luminescent numbers on alarm clock using radium would lick the brushes to ensure a finer point and introduce the material into their own bodies. Chemicals leaking into groundwater or washing into streams, rivers, etc, may be leaving their legacy even today.

Later on, scientists realized that petroleum could be used as a basis for literally millions of compunds in everything from paints, to furniture, to toiliteries. Foods could be fertilized and preserved, and packages could be lighter and stronger. But how much research was done into the effects of these substances on the body? With the links between chemicals and cancer being made more clear and widespread each day, it would seem that little was done in many cases.

Another component of the cancer epidemic may be technology. We're exposed to radio waves, microwaves and other electric fields each and every day, we breathe fumes from cars, trains and buses. Much of this has made us sedentary as well, and obesity is shown as a risk factor for cancer.

Am I saying to live "off the grid" and eschew technology. No, I am after all, doing this on a computer. But a look at our lifestyle, and what changes we can make, may be in order. After all, the best life you save may be your own.


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    • steve8miller profile image

      Steven Miller 7 years ago from Ohio Great City of Dayton

      I always say cancer is the man made disaster. Nuclear age brought a lot of new cases. As well like you mentioned the age of synthesizing petroleum for things like plastic. It is sad we simply allow this to go on. I am sure the pharmaceutical companies are happy. Great hub.