Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to avoid getting cancer

Even before one of my favorite people died of cancer two days ago, I was obsessed with how to avoid cancer.

Everyone has their thing they're worried about. Some people have a family history of heart disease and heart attack, and try to eat a low-cholesterol diet. Some people have relatives with Alzheimer's disease, so they try to eat certain foods and keep active minds. Some people just don't want to get fat. In my case, almost everyone I've known that has died has died from cancer, and other people close to me have had it and survived it, so I'm somewhat obsessed with avoiding cancer.

Here are some strategies for avoiding cancer that have been clearly shown to not work.
  • Eat lightly of mostly organic vegan foods, exercise every day, be skinny, enjoy your job.

  • Eat lightly of hearty American foods, exercise every day, be skinny, and live in a close-knit community.
Well, I could go on, but you get the idea. I have a bone to pick with cause and effect.

Lately my strategy has been to eat foods without ingredients. Tomatoes. Apples. Nuts. Milk. I think this is a good first step, because processed foods are kind of weird. You never know exactly what's in there. (Corn derivatives, most likely.) Of course, single-ingredient foods can still be bad for you.

I think the other part of the solution is to live a happy, stress-free life in a close-knit community. I don't know how feasible that is in our society, but I think that (like running) it would add years to one's life and also life to one's years.

Anyway, this is my current question. I don't know if the answer matters.


Alan said...

You can't definitively say what *doesn't* work just from one single example. It is possible that there were other factors involved, like a genetic predisposition or environmental factors.

You can make healthy decisions with your life, but it would not be prudent to expend excess thought and stress over consciously trying to avoid cancer. You should just try to live the happiest, healthiest, most productive life possible and deal with any medical issues that happen to arise. Your quality of life undoubtedly decreases if you are constantly striving to extend your lifespan as much as possible.

11ba4cd8-1fcf-11e2-84a7-000f20980440 said...

You might be run over by a car tomorrow. There's no point worrying about it. Just enjoy the day as long as you are alive. In fact, I'm quite sure stress and worry cause cancer.