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Lisa Priest took your questions

Globe and Mail Update

The Globe's Lisa Priest took your questions. ...Read the full article

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  1. Mark Mulholland from Toronto, Canada writes: In Lisa Priest's article in today's Globe she makes the comment 'lack of screening program is very short sighted' and asks the question why isn't more being done to prevent it.

    It is ironic that she doesn't mention anything in her full page article about what people can do to prevent cancer in the first place. And, I'm not talking about screening. That's what is short sighted.

    Cancer is a fact of life and we should do everything we can to help those affected by it. But, we need to dircet more attention to fighting cancer before it happens and not just after it happens. Imagine if we spent a tenth of the cancer budget on prevention. Imagine the suffering that would be prevented.

    The focus of most coverage I have seen recently is about treating cancer. How about more coverage on prevention including diet, exercise, not smoking and other lifestyle choices. As individuals we need to take more responsibility for our health and be less dependant on governments to cure us once we become sick. Many cancers are preventable. People want to be healthy, let's help them.
  2. Krista Clement from Canada writes: As was pointed out above, one of the conundrums of the so-called 'Canadian Health Care Plan' is that we don't have national health care - we have a handful of provincial plans. However, I don't particularly trust the provinces. When it comes to cancer care, I don't really think the provinces are looking at evidence and standards. The provincial governments just use health care to negotiate with the federal government and scrap with each other via the media. Unfortunately, I doubt any federal government has the will to take health care away from the provinces and handle it at a Canada-wide level.
  3. frank smith from Calgary, Canada writes: Not much will improve the cancer situation as long as the government insists on supporting technologies like genetically modified foods (which is a continuation of chemical agriculture) and uranium mining and refining, for example. We really have to dig deep and admit that at least some of our technologies are killing us. Do we have the courage to transition away from these technologies?

    In my daily life I find that most people who view doctors and the 'cancer industry' with suspicion are the ones that actually survive the disease; as the answers and cures are out there but require a complete change of lifestyle. Unfortunately, your doctor will only supply you with expensive drugs and mainstream ignorance. Cancer is an opportunity to regain ones independence as the disease, like all diseases, can only be cured through a deep understanding of how your body works and how it relates to the food you eat, the stress we endure and the relationships one keeps.
  4. Emma Hawthorne from Canada writes: Interesting discussion! But regarding Cottage Dreams, in addition to raising funds I hope Seanna raises 'cottages.' There must be 10s of thousands of cottages sitting empty accross Canada at any given time. Cottage owners should be able to donate one week or more to Cottage Dreams to ease the recovery of survivors and their families.
  5. Krista Clement from Canada writes: RE: Prevention by lifestyle change, alas, most Canadians are unwilling or unable to change their habits until faced with catastrophe. To prevent cancer, those changes need to start years earlier, when we are all still thinking that it'll be 'the other guy.'

    RE: The doctor 'only' supplying patients with drugs and surgery and radiation, I know that most health professionals recommend much more than that, but become a bit discouraged because few patients actually listen and have the ability to make the recommended changes.
  6. Lorenda Stefan from Calgary, Canada writes: I too was wondering why there has been so little emphasis on the role of prevention in the Globe's special report on cancer . Especially given the fact that approximately 70% of degenerative diseases (cancer included) are related to poor lifestyle choices. Lung cancer by far, is the most frequent cause of death by cancer in both men and women. The medical costs of treating this almost entirely preventable disease, are astronomical. Yet we still allow cigarettes to be sold! Why is it legal to cause cancer?

    Maybe we should spend more of those billions of dollars earmarked for 'cancer research', on helping people learn about nutrition, good diet, exercise, stress reduction techniques, etc. There are many good resources out there if only people would open their minds and their eyes to the possibility that drugs, radiation and surgery are not the only options available.

    One excellent resource was written by Neal Barnard, M.D., founder and President of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (5,000 physicians and 100,000 lay persons are members, including myself). Dr. Barnard is the author of 'The Survivor’s Handbook' which provides comprehensive information on eating right for cancer survival. Subjects include: Fueling Up on Low-Fat Foods; Favouring Fibre; Discovering Dairy Alternatives; Replacing Meat; Planning Healthy Meals; Antioxidants and Phytochemicals; Immune Boosting Foods; Maintaining a Healthy Weight; Foods and Breast Cancer Survival; Foods and Prostate Cancer Survival; and much more.

    I'd like to know what percentage of the dollars that go to cancer research are spent on lifestyle education? Probably very little... such a shame!

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