Steffanie Rivers

Steffanie Rivers

*Have you ever wondered why the number of people diagnosed with cancer every year continues to go up, more than a half million people annually continue to die from the disease, but despite all the time and money invested in the name of finding a cure none has been found?

Okay, so there are at least 100 known forms of cancer which statistics say strike more than 1,500 people everyday. That makes the task of finding a cure daunting. Still, if you count all the donations to telethons, walks, races for the cure events, pink paraphernalia sales and billions of dollars in government funding to the National Cancer Institute, the amount of money set aside to find a cure totals around $5 billion dollars every year, give or take a billion. Yet, all that money and brain trust has fallen short!

One can only assume there’s genuine effort to find a cure for this disease that affects children, as well as adults. But I can’t help wondering if different research teams would collaborate instead of developing separate conclusions about the same things, it’s likely they would be further ahead in the process. And what about private donors whose millions of dollars erect buildings dedicated in their honor, but get researchers no closer to a cure?

I have nothing against donating to a good cause. Finding a cure for cancer is as good a cause as any. But if the plan isn’t working – and all signs indicate it’s not – why keep throwing good money after bad?

Even if there is a cure, pharmaceutical companies are making so much profit by charging astronomical prices for cancer drugs which only sustain those who have the disease. I can’t be the only person who realizes creating a cure would prove detrimental to those profits. That fact alone might slow efforts to find a cure. A cancer diagnosis is one of the top reasons people claim they have to file for bankruptcy.

I don’t have a medical degree, but I’ve got plenty of common sense. It seems the more formal education one has the less common sense one uses. My combination of both has led me to the following conclusions:

Cancer in the body occurs when abnormal or mutated cells duplicate and overtake normal cell function; that much I deduced from simple internet searches. So instead of spending all the time, effort and billions of dollars on searching for a cure, it makes more sense (to me) to focus more time and effort on preventing cancer. That means getting to the bottom of what causes normal cells to mutate.

Having too much sugar in your diet is one of the reasons for abnormal cell mutation in the body. Some cancer researchers confirm refined carbohydrates such as white sugar, white flour and high fructose corn syrup used as sweeteners in food and carbonated drinks change the normal pH levels in the body. A slight change in pH levels isn’t harmful. But most Americans eat too much white sugar, too many products with white flour and consume too many carbonated drinks on a daily basis.

Consider the amount of sugar in cereal, prepared foods and even condiments such as ketchup and salad dressing. Even when you don’t think you’re eating sugar, most of the time you are in some form. Since sugar is highly acidic, the increased acidic environment in your body causes normal cells to mutate. And that can lead to the development of cancer, because cancer cells thrive in acidic environments.

Yet, other medical professionals claim the amount of sugar in the body has nothing to do with the growth of cancer. Research for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

Even if the over exposure to sugar doesn’t affect normal cell growth in your body, extra sugar in the bloodstream causes extra body fat. Obesity is known to cause cancer in at least six different parts of the body, including breast and colorectal cancer – two of the top three most deadly forms of cancer. So if the cancer doesn’t kill you, the fat will.

Before you sit down with friends and family for your next holiday mean, you might want to re-evaluate what’s on the menu, or at least how it’s prepared.

Because one in four people in the United States dies from some form of cancer, there are a plethora of medical screenings designed to detect the smallest amount of cancer growth. Oftentimes those screenings include PET scans, MRIs, CaT scans and X-rays. All these screenings are done by using radiation to capture pictures of the inside of living people. The good news is medical screenings can save lives by detecting cancer in its early stages. The bad news is over-exposure to low-level radiation from medical screenings is another cause of cell mutation which can lead to cancer. If you didn’t have cancer before all the screenings, all the screenings could cause cancer.

And let’s not forget about chemotherapy, one of the widely used radiation treatments kills cancer cells. The trouble is chemotherapy radiation can’t tell the difference between bad cancer cells and good normal cells. So the radiation kills both.

Everytime you are exposed to radiation for your annual checkups at the dentist, the OB-Gyn, the podiatrist, the chiropractor or any other radiation screening, you increase your chances of developing cancer. That includes radiation emitting metal detectors at airport security checkpoints.

Even though alternative screening options exist, most medical professionals choose radiation screenings because of image clarity. It’s reduces misdiagnosis which could lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. In some instances the use of radiation screenings comes down to profits: Many physicians have ownership in sidebar medical facilities or get paid for referrals. But’s what’s in the doctor’s best interest might not be in yours.

Don’t allow your doctor to dictate every step of your treatment. Ask questions, get second opinions and make educated decisions about your healthcare options.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference is more than just a Prayer of Serenity. It is a philosophy by which I live.

It’s every person’s choice to develop a more healthy lifestyle. That includes eating less refined sugar and doing more exercise, which creates more oxygen in the body. Cancer can not survive in an oxygen-rich environment. I’ve imparted this wisdom in hopes that you will have the courage to make the changes needed to lead a more serene lifestyle. Doctors say thirty percent of the people diagnosed with cancer could save themselves by making these lifestyle changes.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. For questions, comments or speaking inquiries, email her at [email protected].