The Hypocrisy of Cancer

March 7th, 2010

“Thank God for those writers, activists, and demonstrators who have the courage to dig around in the manure and expose hypocrisy,” my rector said this morning from the pulpit.

That was it!

I could have blogged about my contempt for pinkwashing, defined here as “the term used to describe the activities of companies and groups that position themselves as leaders in the struggle to eradicate breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease.” Or I could have asked why the many  environmental links to cancer are not more widely acknowledged in our society.

But then again, why did I want to risk being pegged yet again as just  one of those “hysterical Mommy bloggers?”

Sadly, many people shrug off cancer, perhaps as a means of coping with the fear of this horrible disease.  “Everything causes cancer!,” they’ll joke. “We can’t live in bubble wrap,” they’ll say.

It  doesn’t have to be this way. If we would only clean up our environment, ban known carcinogens from use in our personal care products and household cleansers, and prevent exterminators from spraying pesticides inside homes,  we’d be well on our way to reducing and preventing the increasing numbers of breast cancers.

Don’t just take it from me. Listen to what these experts say about environmental linkages to cancer. And please check out the round-up of posts on this topic from the other members of the Green Moms Carnival. Among them are some experts as well. We’re posting Monday over at Nature Moms.

  • The Breast Cancer Fund: “No more than 10 percent of breast cancers are genetic, and science points to toxic chemicals and radiation as factors in the sharp rise of breast cancer incidence.”

    • Dr. Devra Lee Davis and the Environmental Health Trust. Dr. Davis says, “We should…find  safer substitutes for the things we use every day that appear to be toxic, according to their labels…For nearly a century, the following things have been understood to cause cancer: tobacco, benzene, asbestos, tars, sunlight, hormones, and radiation.”

    To be kept informed of the latest developments in the fight against cancer-causing environmental contaminants, follow these groups:

    — Lynn

    Copyright OrganicMania 2010

    11 Responses to “The Hypocrisy of Cancer”

    1. Anna @Green Talk on March 7, 2010 9:18 pm

      I would rather be deemed as hysterical and safe instead of putting my head in the sand. Great links for anyone who wants to learn more.

      Change comes from knowledge.
      .-= Anna @Green Talk´s last blog ..Are Toxic Chemicals Lurking in your Furniture and Building Products? =-.

    2. mother earth aka karen hanrahan on March 7, 2010 9:34 pm

      That statistic no more than 10% of cancers are genetic really hit me ….wow
      .-= mother earth aka karen hanrahan´s last blog ..Carcinogenic =-.

    3. Diane macEachern on March 8, 2010 4:13 am

      The burden shouldn’t weigh so heavily on consumers to figure out whether they can trust the products on the shelves. But it does. We should lighten that load by instituting sustainable standards across the board to ensure that all products meet a high bar for health and environmental protection. Until then, the more consumers shift their spending to the products and services that offer the greatest health and safety benefits. The way we spend our money is our first line of defense – and the surest way to send a direct signal to manufacturers who have their own best interests in mind.
      .-= Diane macEachern´s last blog ..We Don’t Wait for Our Child to Get Hit By a Car Before We Tell Her to Look Both Ways When Crossing the Street =-.

    4. Cancer – Can You Get it From Your Environment? » Green and Natural Parenting on March 8, 2010 4:09 pm

      […] Lynn at Organic Mania talks about the Hypocrisy of Cancer. […]

    5. Micaela on March 9, 2010 7:01 am

      What your rector said was spot on Lynn! If enough people “have the courage to dig around” – we can get the government to make much needed changes to the way chemicals are regulated.

    6. Amber on March 10, 2010 2:28 pm

      I’m with your rector. We NEED people to expose the hypocrisy and the dangers we face that we don’t know about. It is easy to feel overwhelmed as individuals, I understand that, but if everything really DOES cause cancer then we need to be systematically addressing that instead of hiding our heads in the sand and allowing the situation to worsen.
      .-= Amber´s last blog ..My Shampoo-Free Experiment =-.

    7. Lynn on March 11, 2010 3:20 pm

      Anna, Karen, Diane, Amber, and Micaela: Thanks for your on-point comments. Sorry I was so late responding – been crazy trying to get ready to leave town today!

      I am about half way through the carnival posts and can’t wait to finish!

    8. Katherine on March 11, 2010 10:22 pm

      Oh, I am so with you about pinkwashing. I was diagnosed with inflammatory BC when I was 31. One of my favorite breast cancer quotes comes from Barbara Ehrenreich who said, “The infantilizing trope is perplexing. Certainly men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not receive gifts of matchbox cars.”

      Funny you should mention that you don’t want to be catagorized as another “hysterical mommy.” Why not embrace it (in hurmor)? We are growing and they are going to have to take us seriously.

      I’ve just found you but I think we have a lot in common. I’m hoping to contribute to your carnival.

    9. Lynn on March 12, 2010 9:56 am

      Katherine, it would be great to have you contribute to the carnival! Can’t wait to check out your blog! So glad we found each other. — Lynn

    10. I Wilkerson on March 12, 2010 1:32 pm

      I started out by eating natural foods (my kids count their veggies) then moved to body care products (three daughters) and started an internet business (Spring Morning Bodycare) with all ewg-rated products. This was a huge enlightenment as I learned that the term “organic” is largely unregulated outside of foods.

      More recently I learned that even home canning lids are coated in BPA! It is a huge effort to stay informed!
      .-= I Wilkerson´s last blog ..Take Back Our Farms: The “March” on Eau Claire =-.

    11. Cancer – Can You Get it From Your Environment? » Nature Moms Blog on March 24, 2011 5:27 pm

      […] at Organic Mania talks about the Hypocrisy of Cancer. Monday, March 8th, […]

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