I hate cancer.

We all hate cancer.  We hate what it does to people we love.  We hate its persistence.  We hate its mystery.  We hate its devastation.

I hate cancer.  It took away my brother when he was only 33 years old.  It left his wife and two young children without him.  It took my parent’s son.  It took an amazing man from this world.

I hate cancer!

Yet for all of our hatred of the disease, we spend little time directing our hatred towards its causes.  Why don’t we hate cancer’s roots?  Why do we focus on the destroyer, the cells, and not the catalyst?  Why don’t we hate the cause?

Is it genetics?  Is it diet?  Lack of exercise?  Environmental toxins?  Substances? Thankfully, we have some answers and we’re discovering more every day.

I hate whatever caused my brother’s cancer.  I hate whatever caused your mother’s cancer.  I hate the causes of cancer.

I don’t want to wait until cancer has taken root to battle it.  Essentially, the foundations for cancer are all around us, in our air, in our food, in our lifestyles, in our bodies, in our culture.  I hate those things.  I hate a culture of consumption that  marches us forward, dazed in the pursuit of pleasure, until one day someone has to stop and we’re forced to notice.  I hate a culture that allows the causes of cancer to seep into our air, our water, our free market.  I hate an environment in which we’re exposed to cancer’s causes unknowingly.  I hate a culture that blames cancer’s victims for consuming products that fuel cancer producers’ profits.

I hate the causes of cancer.

We don’t know what caused my brother’s cancer.  We’ll never know.  His was a rare cancer.  Others are not.  And though we have researchers working night and day trying to find cures and searching for cancer-causing genes, the rest of us aren’t looking much further.  Why don’t we hate the roots of the disease?  Sure, we love boobies and think that cancer sucks, but how serious are we?

I don’t want to wait until cancer takes hold to notice it.  It’s here.  It’s everywhere.  It’s waiting to grow.  If we don’t start paying attention to what’s feeding it, it’s going to thrive.

I hate cancer.  I hate its causes more.

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