Dr. Weeks Comment: The fact that conventional cancer treatments cause cancer is not news and is not surprising.
We know that chemotherapy nurses are at risk of getting cancer from their exposure, indirectly, to chemotherapy agents.( http://weeksmd.com/2012/07/oncology-nurses-get-cancer-from-handing-chemo-drugs/ )
And everyone who has been X-rayed (or CAT scanned) feels vulnerable and abandoned when the tech flees to behind a lead lined wall before exposing us to radiation.
So when the author encourages us to “take risks” and live life to the fullest “take your own great chance”, my plea is that people with cancer or who have been told “we got it all” will do their homework and “risk” the lifestyle change of starting to take… anti-oxidants. When Dr. Mark Levin publishes in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science “ascorbic acid selectively kills cancer cells” – that got my attention. Are you taking anti-oxidants? Did Robin RObert’s oncologist encourage her to take a cheap and effective agent which “selectively kills cancer cells?”
Watching Robin Roberts tear up in front of millions of viewers on “Good Morning America” last month, I cried, too.
With equal measures of courage and fear, Ms. Roberts, an anchor of the show and abreast cancer survivor, explained that the life-saving treatment she received five years ago was responsible for a new diagnosis, this time myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood and bone marrow disease once called preleukemia.
MDS is a potentially fatal condition that can be caused by radiation andchemotherapy, both of which Ms. Roberts had in her initial cancertreatment. In medical-speak, it’s a “secondary cancer.” As a cancer and chemo survivor, I know that I, too, have a higher likelihood of developing these cancers.
For the nearly 14 million cancer survivors, including Ms. Roberts and me, life is a roller coaster of a ride knowing that the treatments administered to us may one day exact a heavy price. Neither the reprieve nor the freedom it brings is permanent — but with more awareness of these mental healthissues and new therapeutic interventions, doctors and patients are much better equipped than ever before to fight these demons.
After I found the bottom of the bucket of fear, I looked again to Mr. Church. Again, I am trying to seek out his notion of great chances, but it is more challenging in my 50s, with a mortgage and aging parents.
I now understand that the senator’s credo was not meant solely for those with life-threatening conditions. Are you happy in your relationship? Does your work satisfy you? If not, take your own great chance. You don’t need to have had cancer to benefit from this life lesson.
Steven Petrow is a journalist and founding editorial director of Everyday Health.