This is not a post about my health, specifically--this is a post about an alarming statistic I just read about from a report issued in May 2010 by the President's Cancer Panel Report, which is the most comprehensive report to date linking environmental factors, like chemicals, with rates of cancer. And one of the stats is that 41% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
If you are interested in reading the entire 200 page report, you can find it by googling "President's Cancer Panel Report 2010." For something more digestible, read Nicolas's Kristof's summation/opinion of the report--and a handy list of things we can do to try to limit the number of toxins in our lives, such as the following (which I quote, in full, from his article):
¶Particularly when pregnant and when children are small, choose foods, toys and garden products with fewer endocrine disruptors or other toxins. (Information about products is at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com or www.healthystuff.org.)
¶For those whose jobs may expose them to chemicals, remove shoes when entering the house and wash work clothes separately from the rest of the laundry.
¶Filter drinking water.
¶Store water in glass or stainless steel containers, or in plastics that don’t contain BPA or phthalates (chemicals used to soften plastics). Microwave food in ceramic or glass containers.
¶Give preference to food grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers and growth hormones. Avoid meats that are cooked well-done.
¶Check radon levels in your home. Radon is a natural source of radiation linked to cancer.
Finally, a bit thank you to Donna for sending me the link to this article on environmental factors and breast cancer, which notes that the very powerful Breast Cancer support group, the Susan G. Komen foundation, is devoting $1.25 million to looking at the link between environmental factors and breast cancer--a major shift in the group's focus from not just treatment but actual prevention.
I really hope that all of you are in the 59% of people who do NOT get cancer in their lifetimes--because it sucks to be in the 41st percentile.