Lenten Cancer Journey: Week Two

This is the week I have been dreading: week two of my Lenten experiment.

As I believe I have mentioned, cancer is a plague on society. It is, unfortunately, I am learning, one that in far too many cases is preventable. Seventy percent of cancers can be attributed to lifestyle factors, one of those being physical activity.

In the US, overweight and obesity contribute to 14% to 20% of all cancer deaths. That’s a staggering number. It’s also the biggest challenge for someone like me. I am not obese but I am overweight (just ask the annoying little scale on the Wii Fit who lets out a startled ‘oh’ every time I try to weigh myself). I am not a naturally active person. I’m far more likely to want to curl up with a good book than head out for a nice walk or a bike ride.

The nutrition changes I have been making all this past week are one thing. I like food and I like trying new things so a little less red meat is not going to cause any great hardship. Forcing myself to be active and achieve the 30 minutes of activity a day the American Cancer Society recommends is a big change for me. I have been trying to get more active but it is something I periodically try for a while and then let drop until I make myself try again a few months later.

What is most important to me is that I find a way to change this and set a better example for my kids. The Dudes want to get outside and run around when they can, though I suspect the Little Dude suffers from nasty allergies that limit his outdoor enjoyment, but I just don’t get them out there enough. There is always something else seemingly more important. Other than her weekly social jaunts to the gym, The Girl too needs to be practically forced into physical activity. A sedentary life is not what I want for my children and my biggest challenge will be finding a way to change that.

I have to say… I am at a bit of a loss as to how to accomplish that.

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3 Responses to Lenten Cancer Journey: Week Two

  1. dawna says:

    oh that wii scale!! i know exactly that "startled little oh" sound. :)the good news is that housework can be considered part of your daily 30 minutes, AND that the decluttering kick you've got yourself started on will count! plus, you can get the girl to help. AND, the 30 minutes doesn't have to be all at once, nor does it have to be the same every day. so really, you're not at such a loss after all. that, and perhaps i should take my own advice. :)hugs, megan. this lenten cancer journey you're on is both enlightening and inspiring. thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. MLO says:

    I think you should read any "causation" literature with a salt lick. I am a cancer survivor, and every oncologist – or professional in cancer treatment – has stated boldly that the only 100% cause of cancer is radiation. Everything else is a complex and multivariable thing that they still don't understand.Here is the thing. Most of the research is pure corrolation. Causation experiments in humans would never pass an ethics board.Also, after radiation, the most common cause is plain old genetics, then, "We don't know." This is from well-respected professionals in the field who also know how to read research – which most doctors, and people, do not.

  3. Atlantic Writer says:

    I appreciate your comments but don't want to dismiss lifestyle factors as an important cause of cancer. The exact correlation is still a mystery but scientists do know 70% of cancer are not genetic. Well respected researchers and scientists do know certain factors like smoking, sun exposure, vitamin D and many other factors do have an impact on cancer rates. I know there are no easy answers and nothing will guarantee me a cancer-free life, especially with my genetic history, but I think trying to live as healthy as possible is still the best thing I can do to make sure I am here for my kids.

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