Well, here we are! The end of October, the end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the end of Pink for October and Halloween (not that it has to do with anything really).
In the aid of breast cancer awareness
Over the course of the month I’ve written about:
- Mum’s story of breast cancer
- Baking for breast cancer awareness
- My memories
- Pocketful of Sequins, a book for breast cancer awareness
- Crafts for breast cancer awareness
- What cancer is and why your hair falls out
- Pink Ribbon Day
I also though the information accompanying the Breast Cancer Risk Calculator was excellent. Simple things, for example your risk increases with age, with weight, drinking alcohol… and don’t forget men are at risk too! They also have a section about understanding risk and dispelling statistical myths or misconceptions.
People or the environment, world hunger, poverty or health
Ever since I read this post by The Foo I’ve been meaning to make a comment on it here. I don’t share all of his frustration over a lack of action, or a lack of information and awareness appearing to be a lack of action. It’s probably because I’m studying molecular biology, so I hear about up-and-coming cancer research all the time. However I have often pondered how we should pick our battles, how we can choose our causes, because we surely can’t actively support them all.
I don’t have answers, only some thoughts on how we can weigh these things up.
In my post about what cancer is I wrote a bit about what genes and proteins are. Mutation of genes and dysfunction of proteins causes many different diseases, including different cancers. So, to go from not having cancer to having cancer there needs to be a mutation along the way. Sometimes these mutations are just a mistake, an unfortunate, yet (in a way) normal part of how things function. However some mutations are induced by “mutagens” or “carcinogens”. Basically, things that cause mutations or that cause cancer.
Some of those things we can’t reasonably avoid, for example sunlight. UV rays from the sun can cause mutations of DNA in the lower cells of our skin (basal cell carcinomas, melanomas etc). However, we can reduce our exposure to the sun and we can reduce our exposure to many other factors. This website has some brief points on how to deal with household chemical usage and other lifestyle risk factors for breast (and other) cancer.
I’m not suggesting that all cancers are induced by the way we live, however it is something to think about. The more we pollute our earth the more likelihood that we will come in contact with things that we carelessly discarded in our bins or down our drains. Things we never imagined are making it inside our bodies through food, drinking water, swimming water and air.
The things that we discard may not even be the biggest contribution to pollution and toxins, it may be our consumerism. Factories producing plastics, chemicals, making energy, using energy, most of it producing unpleasant discards, all for the things we buy and use.
When we’re choosing whether to support environmental foundations or cancer research foundations, we might think about how our environment impacts our bodies, our children’s bodies and future generations.
I’m sure there are many good causes (and probably more than a few not so good ones too). I would suggest that it’s not a bad thing to let your interests and passions lead you when choosing something to support. If you see something lacking, whether it be awareness of an issue or whatever, fell free to take action! Seek out those that have noticed the same deficiencies and bring awareness, bring money, bring time, bring what you can.
More to life (and death)
While the effort to make this world a better place are great. While we absolutely should be looking after our earth and looking after each other. This world is not all there is. Don’t be blinded by human efforts to what God has done.