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lp1964's picture
Posts: 1210
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.



Posts: 454
Joined: Nov 2012

Just a whole load of stress 4 years ago. None I could avoid. But why me? I'm no one special & it happens to so many people who eat & live well. So I guess I don't  spend too much time worrying about it. Especially as stress probably played its part in me getting cancer. 

. We have friends from Gomel.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1210
Joined: Jun 2013

What or who is it?

Posts: 454
Joined: Nov 2012

Is a city in Belarus. Many people there were affected by the Chernobyl disaster

mp327's picture
Posts: 4120
Joined: Jan 2010

We've all wondered that. 

Posts: 1122
Joined: Aug 2012

I wish they knew the causes of cancer. I do think environment plays the biggest role. What we put into our bodies matter. If we look at countries that have widely differing diets than we do, the cancer rate is much lower. We cannot control what we eat in childhood, and as an American growing up in the 50's, the diet was not good at all.

I came to the conclusion that it is fruitless for me to figure out how I contracted two cancers....now maybe 3.

Cancer is on the rise! Why not me?

Posts: 1255
Joined: Oct 2011

At some point the question of what could I have done different enters all of our minds. Searching for the answer is what fuels research and thats a good thing, but I try not to dwell on it for too long because one of the answers is stress and that is something I have tried to keep at a minimal level. For the majority of my 54 years here on earth I have lived a relatively healthy lifestyle. My parents were aware of the benefits of eating lots of fruit and vegetables and getting plenty of exercise. Unfortunately so much was unknown about environmental dangers though. Even crayola crayons contained lead and I'm sure I nibbled a few, and who else my age remembers the rubber cement on our desks in school for projects. My dad had the most beautiful lawn but I remember smelling the weed killer all summer! As I grew up I made a few poor choices on my own, and for that maybe I pay the price but I wouldn't have believed it at the time. My husband has had a stem cell transplant and full bone marrow transplant for multiple myeloma (a blood cancer) and I, both anal cancer and breast. I too had genetic testing, (both my mom and grandma had ovarian/pelvic cancer)...my test came back negative for the mutated brac gene. I also had some further genetic test that determined it was unlikely I carried any genetic predisposition. Still I feel that there is something in our genetic make-up that puts some at a higher risk than others. There will always be the unforseen, like HPV, that we may not be able to predict but my way of thought now is to live as healthy as possible through diet, exercise, education and faith as an effort to be strong enough to battle any further cancer diagnoses. I try to encourage my friends and family to do the same so that if and or when they ever have to face this they too will be in the best possible condition to fight. It is funny you say you didn't listen to you body, as I did not either. Life was happening around me and I attributed symptoms to something else. Outcome may have been the same, but lesson learned!

I'll be attending another relay for life this evening with some friends and family, and will be taking with me the attitude of inspiring hope for the future health of all as we move forward in fighting this awful disease.

Lorikat's picture
Posts: 680
Joined: Jul 2011

I don't think I did anything but live....  Many people some years ago died from "the vapors, or consumption" or whatever..  Who knows what it really was!  I don't try to figure it out...


Posts: 475
Joined: Mar 2011

Why waste time asking why I got anal cance?.  Hopefully each of us appreciate life more now that we have endured this dreadful cancer.


RoseC's picture
Posts: 558
Joined: Jun 2011

In the beginning I thought about 'why' a lot (I still think about it now and then). After much research and a lot of time I decided that we will never really know why. I'm not okay with that but the wondering costs each of us a lot of emotion. LP, I just want to say - don't feel guilty about anything, not until and unless they come out with some fantasmagorical proof that anything you did was to blame for your cancer. And even then, how could you have known?

sandysp's picture
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2011

Apparently doctors get this one a lot as do priests, therapists, etc. Sometimes we get the wrong answers about why. I read a wonderful anthropological study in Smithsonian magazine, many years ago wherein a forensic scientist had the opportunity to study "mummies" in Peru that were apparently rising up all around from erosion of the soil in people's back yards, etc. He gladly collected these "mummies" and analyzed them. He found much to his surprise, they died from the same causes we are dying from cancerous tumors, many of them. They had no enviornmental polutants, etc. ate vegetables and fish, etc.  Not many years later I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. This was in 1973. I am lucky to be alive to have gotten cancer twice! Instead of "why me" I always ask, "why not me?"

Mortality is hard to face but sickness is harder. I have enjoyed life very much the last few months. After adjusting to Lymphedema. Now I am sick again with something else that's debilitating and idiopathic. This is really hard. It's all been hard. But life is b-u-t-ful and it's how we grow spiritually, in my belief, which is I guess the whole point.

Good luck and thank you for your thoughtful post.



OMG 1012
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 2012

I am really not sure, must have been the lucky one--it has taught me to be so much more appeciative of LIFE, I am blessed to have been able to go through treatment and hopefully it is gone where as some cancers there is no cure! --(completed treatment in Jan so I am hanging on pins & needles that it is GONE that seems to be the worse part of all this for me--)


Posts: 242
Joined: Feb 2011

Because I am alive.   so I can empathize and "be there" ... Really be there for others who share the same path.  



horsepad's picture
Posts: 131
Joined: Apr 2012

Heredity.  My father, sister, grandfather, cousins, aunts, all died of cancer.  Did I do things in my life that may have contributed to my getting cancer?  Absolutely.  I think if you eat anything that is not organic and breath you are increasing your chances.  Why me?  Why not.

sandysp's picture
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2011

I mostly eat organic after knowing what it is like to be poisoned for the first time in the way we were poisoned by chemotherapy to kill the cancer. I just don't choose to put any more poison into my body if I can help it. I believe I feel better usually if my eating habits are clean and simple. Eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy - whatever if I am celebrating something but went without it for months and felt better. It's my wiggle worm now since I don't drink any more:-)



Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2013

I had worked out at the gym since 1988, doing resistance training, cardio, powerflex classes lead by an instructor.  I ate plenty of vegetables and fruits, chicken and fish, although I did eat the less fatty butterfly pork chops (my diet was geared at keeping my weight down and powering my workouts).  I also was in college for RN (nursing) training, and during that period I stopped all working out, nursing school was very stressfull (I gained 20 pounds!).  In January, 2011, I developed shingles when dealing with my elderly mother's broken hip, that was extremely stressful heaing her begging to die due to the pain.  In January, 2012, after nursing school ended, I returned to the gym and by October had lost 20 pounds ... in May, 2012, I had noticed the pressure in the anal area as I tried to do situps and do barbell curls in my instructor lead "powerflex" class ... and the bleeding was diagnosed as "hemorrhoids" began in June, 2012 (I could feel the pencil eraser sized tumor with my finger).  Could my stress from nursing school have caused my anal cancer?  Or was it the fissure that I had surgically repaired back in the late 1980's which left an area that seemed always irritated?  I used to do the exercise and eat the proper diet, except while I was in nursing school ... was it the periods in school when I forgot about my exercise while I was losing sleep, up late at night studying, forgot my diet, under the constant stress of lectures, homework, labs and lab exams, clinicals at the nursing homes and hospitals?  Since the cancer treatment, I haven't exercised or watched my diet, thinking "I did the right things", but this question sort of reminds me that I should get on with life, stop feeling sorry for myself, and get back to doing the "right things".   

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