This morning, on my way to and from voting, NPR was talking about the War on Cancer. The topic is always prevalent, but it has some extra attention today asThe specialists they featured were talking about what cnacer is, how to fight, how much and how little they know about it, and the kind of lifestyle necessary to best prevent cancer.
I understand how important it is to find a cure for cancer. I've lost two grandparents to it, and my mother might have breast cancer; we don't know for sure yet. She has a lump, though, and is going to try make it to a doctor later this week or early next. However, listening to this program, I was annoyed. Because at no point in this, or any other program I've heard recently, has anyone addressed the socioeconomic aspect of cancer in its developement or treatment.
Yes, a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables will help prevent many types of cancer. But are these specialists aware of how much the cost of fresh fruits and veggies adds up to? Produce is expensive. For many, my own family included, the choice is between filling the fridge with good foods, or having electricity to power that fridge with. For others, the choice is even more drastic. My mother works as a music specialist in Prince George's Co. Maryland, and for many of the children she teaches, the meal at school is the only one they have all day. And while upper administration countinues to give themselves raises and pats on the back, there is no money to provie these children with lunches better than pizza, hamburgers, wilted veggies and chocolate milk. The same families who have to make these choices rarely have adequate healthcare to boot.
These programs irritate me because they fail to see that having the answer doesn't make it accessible. Cancer rates will continue to rise unless that fact is accepted and addressed. I hope that Obama, who has lost two members of his family to cancer, will continue to provide cancer research, and other disease research for that matter, with the funding it needs to provide better understanding of what patients and doctors are up against.
- Maria D'Isidoro
- was sold to gypsies as a small child for half a tank of gas and a kitten. She was quickly, if not easily, retrieved by her mother after the kitten was revealed to be an Eldrich horror looking for a ride into the nearest metropolitan area to begin wreaking havoc. It's been a bone of contention between Maria and her family ever since, whether the Horror-kitten would've been more or less trouble than she grew up to be.