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WHY DO YOU THINK YOU GOT CANCER?

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1238
Joined: Jun 2013

One of the most frequent questions we ask ourselves is : Why me? And What did I may have done to increase my chances of getting cancer?

In my case I'm doing a genetic test so we will see.

In Eastern Europe each winter we consumed a whole pig in the form of bacon, sausage, and ham that was heavily smoked, which is the worst for colon cancer. Even though because of my wife in the last couple of years I have a good diet, but before that I ate pretty bad.

I was not to far from Chernobil.

I have been a very caring person and went out of me way to help people, putting my selflast. I avoided conflicts and had a lot of guilt.

I am a dentist which statistcally is the most stressful of jobs. And I worked way too much.

I never really excercised.

I never listened to my body. If I did I would have cought this cancer a lot earlier.

HOW ABOUT YOU? Let's learn from one an other.

Love,

Laz

Miss Cindy L's picture
Miss Cindy L
Posts: 34
Joined: Dec 2011

You sound very similar to me. First of all I lost my mother to Breast Cancer at a very young age for both of us. I always worried the Big C would get me someday but after I turned 50 I thought I was home free!! Boy was I wrong...Cancer seems to prove us wrong alot. I also worked way too much over the years as a single mom and thruout my life. I was the one to always help people and never said no. Over extended over stresssed never made time to execise consistently or to learn more about nutrition or really take time to care for myself in the way that I should. Ate alot of fast food, people pleaser, never slept enough, always in a hurry, workaholic, junk food holic you name it. Only in the last couple of years have I took the time to completely and utterly transform my lifestyle. Everything that used to matter matters no more. I live each day as if it was my last because it just may be one day. Stopped working at my job  began to workout in the gym  eat clean spend time with those I love and go back to college like I always dreamed of doing. I know my lifestyle plus possibly my genetics were the reason Cancer came knocking on my door. Hope this helps you....

Miss Cindy L's picture
Miss Cindy L
Posts: 34
Joined: Dec 2011

You sound very similar to me. First of all I lost my mother to Breast Cancer at a very young age for both of us. I always worried the Big C would get me someday but after I turned 50 I thought I was home free!! Boy was I wrong...Cancer seems to prove us wrong alot. I also worked way too much over the years as a single mom and thruout my life. I was the one to always help people and never said no. Over extended over stresssed never made time to execise consistently or to learn more about nutrition or really take time to care for myself in the way that I should. Ate alot of fast food, people pleaser, never slept enough, always in a hurry, workaholic, junk food holic you name it. Only in the last couple of years have I took the time to completely and utterly transform my lifestyle. Everything that used to matter matters no more. I live each day as if it was my last because it just may be one day. Stopped working at my job  began to workout in the gym  eat clean spend time with those I love and go back to college like I always dreamed of doing. I know my lifestyle plus possibly my genetics were the reason Cancer came knocking on my door. Hope this helps you....I didn't listen to my body either...

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 313
Joined: Jun 2012

In all honesty, I think it is >90% genetic russian roulette and <10% lifestyle.  I know countless people that have had a no more healthy lifestyle than me and that do not have colon cancer, including my own siblings.  We grew up eating the same things, and my lifestyle has been healthier than theirs since adulthood yet I have stage 4 mCRC and they don't have a single polyp.  My parents both led WAAAAAY less healthy of a lifestyle (and diet) than me, and both smoked for years, yet neither one got colon cancer.  Is lifestyle important, YES, but is it the main reason people get cancer, usually NO, in my opinion.  Does smoking increase your chance for lung cancer, YES, but does everyone who smokes get lung Cancer, NO, and people who never smoked can get lung cancer.  There are a few cases, like mesothelomia and asbestos, where there is amost a direct correlation, but in most cancers it is just not possible to say why one person gets cancer and another doesn't...

Tedd 

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Agree with Tedd 100%! Chances are my husbands cancer came from previous radiation...but who knows for sure. Blaming yourself doesn't make sense to me. Ive read of too many young "healthy" people getting this.

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Tedd, you are so darn sensible. Everything you post just makes so much sense. I agree with you, too.

In my husbands case, his cancer was caused by chronic inflammation. He had ulcerative colitis. Went for regular scopes. The cancer set in and took over quite quickly. I kick myself every day that I did not convince him to have his colon removed as a preventative measure.

Chelsea

MaryCarol5's picture
MaryCarol5
Posts: 97
Joined: May 2013

The doctor is having my tumor tested for a genetic link.  I'm not sure about this as there is very little cancer on either side of my family and no colon or related cancers.

I have eaten a mediterranian diet my entire life so diet is out.

I have had a history of digestive problems since birth so possibly years of irritation????

BUT, there is a very high rate of colon cancer in my rural farming community so possibly chemicals/pesticides?  It's the bread and butter here so not many willing to discuss the possibility.

coloCan
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

of CRC diagnoses is due to hereditary factors(ie:Lynch or FAP)what other causes are there? Perhaps the food supply.......(of course,lack of activity,smoking,drinking,too much burnt red meat,not enough fruit and vegetables might also have an effect as does not having a colonoscopy at suggested age and based on your own and your family's med history).....My opinion:the food supply in the US is getting more and more unhealthy on a daily basis and more and more people will get sick;what;s happening to bees and orther creatures is a mere prelude.......

danker's picture
danker
Posts: 1182
Joined: Apr 2012

My brothers all had cancer.  I assumed my lugs would get me,since I got bronchitis every January.  At age 77 had my first colonoscopy,

and yep I too had cancer.

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

maybe the fact that I grew up on top of a coal mine, possibly the extreme stress that was in my life in the years before I got cancer, when my sister was dying of this crap and my daughter developed a severe mental illness, that time I drank 12 martinis (just kidding...it was only 10)...

I don't know.  Could be a lot of things (and it's almost certainly a combo of factors).

I ate a good diet, was physically quite active, had a positive outlook and good social life, never smoked, drank in moderation (despite my smart-a$$ comments), was normal weight...

I just got it.  Once it was determined through extensive genetic testing that there was nothing specific going on (as far as they could tell), I set aside the "why"s of my cancer and just focused on dealing with the daily reality of having it.

AA

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

dup for some reason.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I believe stress plays a lot with cancer.   I was alway been my consideration.   Drank wine, a glass or two each night but I was allergic to it left me unguarded  I never drank a lot but if I went out I would drink and stop if I got hot or the start hives.  My doctor said take Benadryl it can't hurt if you stop At start of reaction.   My husband would say it can't be god for you but  I was enjoying myself, dummy me!

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Within any subset of individuals in any kind of group - controlled or otherwise...

Some will be...while some won't.

The arithmetic seems pretty simple...

...short of environmental exposure and the genetic tendency to be pre-disposed to certain conditions that can run through a particular bloodline....

All too often, we forget to take into account that much of life is random...

 

 

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Yes. I have 9 brothers and sisters who have this allergy and they are all okay. 7 are older then me.   Roulette. 

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I do agree that Stress is a strong contributor....especially prolonged stress.

While I think there is a correlation there, I'm not sure where the tipping point is.....but the constant release of Cortisol into the bloodstream, puts us in a Fight or Flight Syndrome.

And that's a receipe for trouble...

I honestly feel, that the stress I went through for 16-months being my dad's caregiver at all the hospitals....and taking care of his estate....and dealing with his wicked church friends......

Caught up to me....and I alluded to that fact during that phase. 

It broke me around the 13th month...and I feel it was a strong contributor to the situation I'm looking at now.

But, can't prove it one way or the other.....semantics at this point anyway.

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1238
Joined: Jun 2013

Cells are very simple, they are like miniture stoves, they only need 2 things: glucose and oxygen. They unite (burn) in the cell and energy cones out.

Stress constricts the smallest capillaries that are sopposed to drop glucose, oxygens vitamins, minerals to the cells. If they are constricted all the time, no matter how much oxygen, sugar, vitamins, antioxidants etc. you have in your blood, your cells will still starve an malfuncion, producing a ton of waste called free radicals. That is why no matter how much of these you take they will never get to your cell

where ever these free radicals go the distrot everything in they path: genetic material, proteins, cell membrains, blood vessels ets. when they hit the genetic material that causes mutations, or it can free up genes that are responsible for unstoppable proliferation and that what exactly cancer is. all other degenerative disseases are causeed by these free radicals: arthritis, cardivascular disease, diabetes etc. 

Laz

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

Why not me? I really never got into that game. I saw no purpose in it. I'm thankful that I got it instead of my wife or kids. I've been faced with the flip-side of the coin lately. I know four people who had the same oncologist as I have who have died since Christmas of 2012. Out of those four, I've been living with cancer twice as long as any of them had been.

I'm not doing anything special other than following my oncologists suggestions (which all make sense to me) I've been off chemo since the beginning of April, I had targeted radiation 3 times in one week near the end of April and I'm still off chemo. Whether I stay off it is up in the air. Things look good-ish and I'm fine-ish with that.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

So glad you made it to the rest stop.....

My onc told me I was in a very small group of patients in his practice who had seen 9-years as well.

He told me that was more important than the remissive streak.

You will outlive us all - and finally get the last word in:)

Happy for you, man.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

I know you've had lots of bumps in the road but I'm glad you're here!

The same day I found out that friend #3 had died, I met a guy from Florida, Steve, (who flies up to see Dr K a few times a year) who is 10 years out from DX and 4 years clear. I've also met a bunch of other people who have remained clear for many years.

One "funny" thing that happened was that the day I met Steve I started to talk with a woman who had a similar experience as I had with people she talked with at SK dying off, so she said she's stopped talking with people. I agreed. Then we looked at each other and I know I thought this and I sensed she did too: "Which of us is next?" I've seen her there, she's seen me there...we don't talk to each other

:-)

It' SO random IMO although family history & lifestyle most probably play an important role. It's complex and when I read that someone knows the answer I just shake my head and go "yeah..right..."

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1721
Joined: Nov 2001

When I was very young I was mis-diagnosed with a serious lung complaint, it eventually was dxed as a hiatus hernia at age 27. The treatment given for the non existent lung disease was two drops of creosote in a glass of milk every night. I was on that for several years. Creosote is a known carcinogenic. Like I said I have a fair idea what caused mine and despite having beaten the first ca ,I am under no illusions that there will not be more. Ron.

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 507
Joined: May 2012

This is a really good discussion. I always was surprised that in my immediate family we were not touched by cancer. It seems every family is touched by cancer. My mom, dad (now deceased from diabetes - which caused all kinds of problems), two sisters, brother, some cousins, aunts, all didn't have cancer. I really don't have a huge family - don't really know a lot of them. My grandparents all died before I was 10 except 1. He died when I was 12. So when I gave health history - no cancer. Well, my paternal grandmother and grandfather possibly died from cancer - back then 60s a lot of people didn't have real good health care. Things happened and no one really knew what they died from. My maternal grandmother died supposedly from liver disease - cancer???? Who knows. Is any one else like me - not really know the real history??
Sandy :)

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Good point Sandy - plus folks just didn't really talk about cancer - it was always kind of secretive for some reason.  My co-worker found the same thing when her dad died of stomach cancer - there was more in the family than she originally realized.

fatbob2010's picture
fatbob2010
Posts: 467
Joined: May 2012

I lean toward the Chernobyl event.  I was down-wind through out the entire event.  Art

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

for what it is worth here is another longish time survivor....diagnosed stage 3B in 2005 and then two bouts with reocurrence in the liver.  ...so i guess about 8 years since diagnosis and the amazing thing....coming around to 5 years NED>

Like Phil I believe it is a very complex question...I spend very little time worrying about it to tell truth.  It is what it is......that being said I was under huge amounts of stress from teaching school in the years prior to cancer....no family history so who knows.

I take very little or no credit for my survival thus far.....if I had a dollar for every time I have heard this over the years.....usually from well meaning folks who do not have cancer...

""Well I think attitude is everything.....without a good attitude you will never survive"Wink

gosh that was easy....nothing to cancer just your attitudeSmileSmile.....obviously I do not believe this is true but I never bother to tell those folks that and I do not argue with them....

maggie

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 696
Joined: Mar 2012

I would know what causes cancer and that would be a whole new discussion.  I do/did not waste much time thinking about it.  I am by nature and career a get it done and plow through type person.  I am also very analytical.  So I researched what I had, found doctors I trusted and was sure I was getting the best and most current treatments and ahead I moved.

I did make changes to diet (mediterrian-based), exercise (gym-goal 3X per week), and stress - everything I can to remove from my life.

Instead of thinking about why I got this......I think about how to not get it again.  I try to do everything to prevent a recurrance.

Life is a deck of cards and this is the one I drew.

I try to be a positive example to people that you can get through something terrible and come out the other side. 

Most importantly, I now say I feel I am on "borrowed" time and I will not waste a second.

Just my crazy thoughts...........Wink

 

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1388
Joined: May 2012

I ate healthy my whole life up until adulthood, exercised EVERY day for the first 25 years and then off and on for the next 15 years.  Out of 7 siblings my life is no more stressful than the rest (my whole family works hard and is stressed out), none of them got cancer.  I don't like that lifestyle is to blame.  Short of smoking, chemical dumping, and environmental hazards, millions eat pork, millions eat poor diets, millions have stress and they don't all have cancer.  I think it's predisposition.  I don't think you get cancer from a poor diet.  I think if you are predisposed, have polyps and then poor diet and stress add to the problem but are not actually the cause. There are plenty of people who are straight vegetarians their whole lives who still get cancer. Out of 7 siblings, I was just the unlucky one.  Unfortunately it has to be someone.

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