A lot of buzz in the media this morning about the controllable causes of cancer, following information from a Cancer Research-funded review, led by Professor Max Parkin, that has found commonality between various cancer types: the causes of which primarily include smoking, obesity and a lack of fruit and veg. All of which we can, to some degree, control.
Handily, Cancer Research have produced this great info-graphic to drive home the point:
A spokesperson on BBC breakfast this morning made a salient point that struck me. We are, sadly, bombarded now with statistics and stories about various cancer experiences – largely because (and here is that big statistic), at least 1 in 4 of us will suffer from some kind of cancer at a point in our lives. His point was that possibly because of this, our instinct is to consider fate and chance as more significant factors than anything within our control. The conclusions of this research suggests how wrong we are.
Now I’m not for one moment suggesting that all cancer sufferers can jump on a treadmill and eat their way healthy – my own mother’s grueling (though successful) experiences of radiation treatment are testament to that. But these words rang true. Just because we might be that 1 in 4, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do everything in our powers to give ourselves the best chance to be one of the other three. And by doing so, maybe we can carve out a whole new set of statistics for the next generation.