(If you have never read “Breakfast Smoothies” you might want to read the short introductory page. Explanations about the most blatant lies usually follow the essay.)
“That might be true of most cancers,” said Ben.
Yes. Most of the Health Care Industry effort targets early diagnosis, treatment, and cure.
“The Health Care Industries would not make any money if we prevented the disease, would they?” said Tim.
“Speaking of prevention,” said Ben, “this mornings smoothies taste extremely healthy.”
Just one of Alicia’s standard breakfast smoothies. Why do you think I’ve got such a crowd this morning? Just joining Ben and Tim was our neighbor, Erica.
“Not to listen to your ideas on cancer prevention. That’s for sure,” said Tim.
“I overheard as I was walking through the garden,” said Erica. “We don’t try to prevent breast cancer because men don’t get breast cancer and because men run all the industries; not just those that make money on the treatment, but the companies that give us cancer in the first place.”
It is low incidence, but men do actually get breast cancer, I said.
Erica just shook her head as she picked up her smoothie.
On a roll, I said, What if we, as a society, decided, ‘you know what? There’s no sense in trying to prevent rape. Instead, why don’t we just provide better counseling? That would help women get over it.’ It would be much more effective.
Or, if the city of Miami decided that it just cost too much to try to prevent violent crime. Cut back on the police force. It’s too expensive and not very effective. Instead, they decided to provide urgent care centers on every block, staffed 24 by 7, by well trained trauma teams. That way, if you are mugged or shot you can be assured of quality, immediate, care.
“And ongoing counseling,” added Ben.
And ongoing counseling. Trauma therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, surgery, drugs, whatever.
“Unless, of course, you are killed during the violent crime,” suggested Erica. “Or die at the urgent care center,”
I can see the ads: “Nobody wants to be injured on the street. But if you are, don’t you want the very best care possible? Come to ViolenCare. Our ambulances are roaming the streets of your town, right now.”
That’s how we deal with cancer. Detect it early; get to the scene of the crime early. Research for better treatments: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, pills, shots. We are getting better all the time at treating the victim and not doing anything to prevent ourselves from becoming victims.
“As if we were the problem all along,” said Erica.
All the while we pump stuff into the environment, coat our bodies with stuff, eat processed stuff treated with chemicals. All of this stuff gets into our bodies and takes advantage of other stuff going on, like weakened genes.
“But there’s no proof of any of that,” said Tim. “I’m sure of it. I watch TV shows about this all the time.”
Ben put his face in his hands, but didn’t say anything.
That’s because industry spends more money telling us that there is no proof that their products harm us, than we do at finding the proof.
It’s not in our best interest to figure out why we get cancer. It would cause massive disruptions in too many industries: chemical, manufacturing, utilities, cosmetics, food; probably every company except iTunes.
“I feel a lot better, now that we’re buying music electronically and not producing vinyl records any more,” said Tim.
It’s not a frivolous matter: less air and water pollution, not to mention better health for those in record manufacturing – the people making all those 45s and LPs.
“Not making them, you mean. They all lost their jobs,” said Tim.
And now they’re making vinyl siding.
“Really, you sound almost like you are against cancer treatment,” said Ben.
Of course I’m not against treatment.
But tell me this. Would you rather your daughter have the best treatment for breast cancer – chemo, radiation, surgery – or not get cancer in the first place?