Just in case you hadn’t noticed that everywhere you go is draped in pink, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the National Breast Cancer Awareness website this month “is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease and provide greater access to services.”
Everywhere you turn there an event being held in the name of breast cancer awareness. My best friend recently walked about a million miles in one weekend to raise money for cancer research, and I applauded her for that; however, are we actually doing anything to prevent breast as well as other types of cancers? Or are we just leaving it in the hands of these organizations that pay researchers to find a cure?
I am not trying to ruffle anyone’s feathers, so please don’t misinterpret what I am saying and think I am Ms. Anti-Pink. What I am trying to get across is that there are surefire ways to GREATLY reduce your risk of the disease that don’t require raising millions of dollars. I am also not saying these organizations who raise money in the name of finding a cure don’t have their hearts in the right places. What I am saying is that with the exception of some very rare cancers, we may already have, dare I say, the cure.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
I am going to be honest with you; I did not become a vegetarian for health reasons. I have a bleeding heart for animals and could no longer support their consumption. What I didn’t realize is that the “side effects” from ceasing to eat meat and limiting my intake of animal protein (i.e. eggs, dairy) would greatly reduce my risk to many cancers.
Have you ever heard of the Blue Zones? These are a “regions of the world where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100 years.” There are several reasons why, one of which is sticking to plant-based diet which resulted in a lower risk for most cancers. If you don’t believe me please read The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner!
Perhaps the greatest evidence for how a plant-based diet can greatly reduce or even eliminate your risk of most cancers is compiled in a phenomenal documentary called Forks Over Knives. Rather than regurgitate facts and figures as to how, I encourage you to watch it. The proof is is in the (vegan) pudding.
None of this is breaking news. I am not telling you what hasn’t already been known for decades. Why is it, however, that we continue to look to pharmaceutical companies for our salvation?
I am not discouraging you from doing your monthly breast examinations or getting a mammogram. Those are great detectors, but they are not preventions. Awareness needs to be integrated into our daily lives and not just relegated to one month out of the year. I am not saying that Breast Cancer Awareness Month should go away. I am saying every day we should think pink.
Pam Ortiz Miller was born and raised in suburban New York avoiding books and writing of any kind as she preferred musical theatre where people sang you everything you needed to know. It wasn’t until she was a senior at the University of Maryland that she discovered a love of writing. Her main writing focus is poetry, however, she dabbles in short stories, news articles, screenplays and occasional angry letters to customer service reps and estranged relatives. Her latest endeavor is a blog entitled The Real Housewife of Ormond Beach chronicling her adventures in the domestic arts. Like most New Yorkers Pam ended up in Florida where she lives with her husband, three cats and a very special dog. Her hobbies include traveling, photography, cooking, cinema and getting rid of tan lines. On her off days from being a domestic diva she can be found rehabbing sea and land turtles.