In a word YES! Listen I'm a CANCER survivor so I got a clue about all this stuff. Now 13 years well, I feel like I got famous, I got cancer and I LIVED to tawk about it. So I'm talking.
FYI, it took me two years and eight doctors to get a proper diagnosis of uterine cancer. I got in the stirrups more times than Roy Rogers!
You may be wondering:
How? Why? Are you serious?
Yup! And guess what? Misdiagnosis and mistreatment is fairly common. All too often cancer, in the earliest and most curable stages, mimics far more benign illnesses. Compound that with a medical community bludgeoned by health insurance companies to go the least expensive route of diagnostic testing and you've got a recipe for late stage diagnosis.
Oy Vey in NEON!
So what can we do? Well, for starters, transform from being a patient into a medical consumer.
I got lucky with my cancer. (How's that for an oxymoron?) But it's true. Because uterine cancer is so slow growing, even after two years of misdiagnosis, I was still in stage one.
Thus beginning my journey into the health space as a visionary of change for a healthier nation. First came the NY Times best-seller Cancer Schmancer, which then morphed into the Cancer Schmancer Movement! "Stage One is the Cure" became my mantra and the cornerstone of CSM.
"Catch it on arrival is your best chance for survival!"
But the deeper I delved, the more I felt that there was far too little emphasis put on prevention and far too much put on cure. I mean even if there was a cure, you would still be getting the cancer in the first place, which seems like an attempt at closing the barn door after the horse escaped. And the more I spoke in public forums, the more I realized that PREVENTION is the answer! Let's NOT get cancer in the first place -- How's that for a cure?
Now hear me out people because I'm about to blow your mind. It turns out that around 90% of cancer is triggered by our environment. And as much as you may be blaming planes, factories and automobiles, in fact, the home turns out to be the most toxic place we spend the most time in!
Believe it or not, those clean, pine smelling floors, that wall to wall-synthetic carpeting, your no-iron shirts and bed linens, as well as the foods we eat and most of our family's personal care items are more than likely creating a toxic environment that rivals an oil refinery!
Now my intention is not to scare you BUT when 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are anticipated to get cancer in their lifetime, there's little doubt we're slipping down a rabbit hole towards our own demise. Considering the kids of today, for the first time in US history, are predicted to NOT live as long as their parents, babies are being born "pre-polluted" with 200-300 chemicals found in the umbilical cord and American women's breast milk has been written as having the highest percentage of flame retardant in it from any other woman on the planet. You do the math!
And it's not one thing that is the culprit either. It's the amalgam of a trace of this and a smidge of that which begins to really add up. A woman (on average) may expose herself to close to 15 carcinogens before she leaves the bathroom in the morning with men running a close second! And that's before she opens the fridge or he opens the cabinet to reach for the counter cleaner.
But the good news is, once you wake up and smell the coffee, it's hard to go back to sleep. So, I'm sounding the alarm.
(I knew God gave me this voice for a reason.)
Here we stand at the beginning of a new century when historically, visionary ideas take hold and set the trajectory for the next hundred years. OK, so what's the BIG idea to get us out of this hole?
Detox Your Home
I intend to make "Detox Your Home" the "Don't Drink & Drive" of the 21st Century.
If we all partake in the "Detox Your Home" consciousness raising, flip the switch, game changing effort, we can not only effectively help to reduce our risk of cancers as well as many other auto-immune and pulmonary diseases, BUT we can also dictate manufacturing trends through good old fashioned all American consumerism and the power of purchase! Because at the end of the day, manufacturers don't want to kill us, they simply want to sell us; and they will sell us whatever we are willing to buy.
But where does one begin, you may be wondering? It seems overwhelming, daunting and maybe you just want to scream, "Stop the world, I want to get off!"
Well here's when being a sitcom writer comes in handy, where short and sweet is the name of the game. So start with this:
In, On & Around You
Ask yourself what are you putting in your mouth, on your skin, cleaning & gardening with?
Next time you go to replace an item in one of those categories, look for the US Organic seal and reach for products with very simple ingredients that don't require a degree from MIT to understand. I had a BF who was using some name brand XXX-antiperspirant. I said, "Sweetie, I'm a health activist. You can't use this." And he said with a confused expression like I suddenly had two heads, "But I sweat." (FYI; perspiring is the body's most effective and efficient function for detoxification.) So I said, "Well go to the men's room twice a day and wash your pits!"
If we continue to bombard our immune systems with the levels of carcinogens and toxins that we are presently doing on a daily basis, you can kiss your "cure" goodbye.
There's no wonder why The World Health Organization (WHO) rated US National Health as #35 in the world as compared to other nations. That fact is not only pathetic, it's embarrassing!
Listen up people, there's no downside to living a healthier lifestyle. Use common sense; if it looks like a duck & it quacks like a duck, odds are IT'S A DUCK!
Let's make it a project, fun for the whole family. And in so doing, we might actually help ourselves as well as the planet; because after-all, we are one BIG living organism!
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the Cancer Schmancer Movement. CSM, founded by Fran Drescher, is embarking on a major prevention program through healthy lifestyle. In this series, five well-known celebrities will discuss their journey and struggles with various health issues and how a preventative lifestyle factors in as a solution. To see all the posts in the series, click here. To learn more about the Cancer Schmancer Movement, click here.