You Don’t Catch Cancer
We have a broken health care system , everyone knows that by now. So what are the issues? First, health care is not “health” care. The system in place around the world is to wait until people get sick or hurt and then try to fix or save them with drugs and surgery. It’s really “sick” care, not “health” care. Nothing is done to establish health and stop people from getting sick to begin with. The result of such a system is as tragic as it is predicable: too many sick people!
The United States, for instance, keeps trying to figure out an effective, affordable way to pay for health care but the bottom line is they never will. There is a combination of too many sick people and too many that are not “really” ill but feel sick due to a destructive lifestyle. The only way to fix the situation is to start creating less sick people! We cannot solve it just by trying to figure out insurance and how to pay for more sick care.
In Zimbabwe, East Africa, where we have a Maximized Living clinic, there are many that are severely sick and more money, drugs, and doctors would help. The problem is, there are so many sick people coming into the system, there may not be enough resources in the world to treat them! We’re working to bring not just “sick care,” but “health care” to that region. Our clinic is there not only to treat those who are already ill but also to fight illness from happening in the first place so we can get disease and dying down to a manageable level!
While some sick care will always be necessary, sick care alone is a model that has failed. We have to get people well before they end up sick and have them use less drugs and need fewer hospitals, not more.
An example of these failing models is cancer. We’ve lost the war on cancer!
• Cancer killed 565,650 people in the United States in 2008—more than 1,500 a day, equivalent to three jumbo jets crashing and killing everyone aboard every day, 365 days a year.
• In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the “war on cancer.” Yet in 2008, cancer took the lives of about 230,000 more Americans, 69 percent more, than it did in 1971. Adjusting these statistics for population growth, we’ve still made insignificant progress and in many ways we’re worse off now than we were then.
• In 1975, 199 of every 100,000 Americans died of cancer. By 1991, twenty-nine years after the war on cancer started and billions of dollars were invested, the number was up to 215!
• The sobering reality is that the number had dropped from 120 to 109 per 100,000 between 1950 and 1967. So the United States made more progress in keeping people from dying during those seventeen years when there was virtually no cancer research than it did in thirty later years from 1975–2005.
The only way to win this battle is to not get the disease in the first place! This can be accomplished a great deal of the time. Early detection is better than late, but early detection still means one thing: You have the illness! If even one cancer cell gets out of control, as Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society states, that one cell “is smarter than 100 brilliant cancer scientists.” But the good news is that your whole body is smarter than that one cell. A healthy body makes thousands of cancer cells every single day, but that healthy body destroys those cells and keeps them at bay.
Waiting until people are sick before acting is not only potentially too late, but often the cure is worse than the condition. Just look at the commercials for prescription drugs. If you pay attention to the last twenty seconds they’re generally filled with horrible side effects that include cancer, passing out, losing your hair, and death. In fact, these are the same symptoms for which you were taking the drug in the first place. That’s why today’s wonder drug is often tomorrow’s class action law suit.
We should all be very thankful for the many advances in medicine to treat people in crisis. Yet to reduce the catastrophic levels of disease you have to provide the kind of care that stops people from getting sick and addresses causes of disease and not treatment alone if you’re going to win the war.
You cannot “catch” cancer! Cancer is millions of abnormal cells that develop over years. It is a problem of lifestyle, immunity, and decreased function of the body that can be prevented.1 It is fact. You develop cancer by your everyday choices. You cannot “catch” it, you develop it. The same is true for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. Please do not wait until you are full of cancer, are suffering and in pain, and are medically bankrupt to do something different. Follow our path to a maximized life every day so you’re not catching or developing anything but good health.
1CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2006; 56:254-281. Sept./Oct. 2006.
2Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003; 290:3092-3100. Dec. 17, 2003.
3Preventing Chronic Disease. Oct. 2005.
4The New England Journal of Medicine. 1999; 341:650-658. Aug. 1999.
5Journal of the American Medical Association. 2002; 288:2300-06. Nov. 13, 2002.
6Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2002; 34:592-95. 2002.
7 Archives of Internal Medicine. 2005; 165:214-220. Jan. 24, 2005.
8Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2002; 34:1242-1248. 2002.
9Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2006; 38:173-178. Jan. 2006.
10Journal of the American Medical Assocation. 1996; 276:205-210. July 17, 1996.
11Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity for Everyone: The
Importance of Physical Activity.
12 Archives of Internal Medicine. 2001; 161:1645-1652. July 9, 2001.
13American Journal of Health Education. 2005; 36:302-307. Sept./Oct. 2005.
14The New England Journal of Medicine. 1986; 314:605-13. March 6, 1986.
15White EG. Counsels on Health. Page 52. Washington DC: Review and Herald
16 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes for
Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids
(Macronutrients) (2005). National Academies Press; 2005.