Anyone that is dealing with cancer understands there are gaps in the medical model as there are with any model. I have tremendous gratitude for the many people devoted to healing and curing people of cancer.
The work of Less Cancer is unique and was initiated to expand beyond the cancer battles fought in a hospital setting or doctors office. We as an organization are focusing on cancer through prevention as opposed to a more traditional model of reacting to this wicked disease.
Our current medical model for cancer is somewhat of a double-edged sword. I often wonder what the landscape on cancer would look like today if god forbid we as a country did not have some of the successes for treating cancer?
Would we still be a country where almost a half million people a year are being killed from cigarette smoking? Would we still be that country that markets tanning to teenagers; with over 30 million tanning bed users annually at a time when melanoma rates are increasing? Cancer experts report half of cancers are preventable, yet incidences of cancer continue to increase. It takes very little to see the profitability and vast amounts of money that come with some of these risks. Our country's love of prosperity makes it complicated to put the brakes on profitability and convenience no matter the cost.
Less Cancer happens to be a virtual "underdog" in the war on cancer. As an organization, we are pushing back on a tsunami epidemic. With seemingly no end in sight but unlike the passion that started this fight to end the war we have the intelligence and science to outsmart this monster. We do not compete on a spreadsheet with large organizations with funding from pharmaceutical, chemical, tobacco or fast food sponsors. We continue to slug it out to win not the battles but rather the war.
We don't have to be bigger than cancer; we need to be smarter and more strategic. Our goal is not funding but rather finally ending cancer. The work we do for today in prevention has everything to do with protecting our children's futures, and you have everything to do with ensuring that success. We must have best practices, policies and legislation to protect the health and environment with the end goal being less cancer.
We are deeply investing all we have in a shifting culture with time, energy and minimal resources. We are not selling treatment, we are selling prevention. There is no short term financial model for prevention -- no buildings, machines or treatments.
The choices, policies and legislation we create today around human health and the environment will impact our children who do not have a choice over the future they will inherit. We need to be smarter than cancer and start protecting the health of our children. It is up to us -- all of us and we will get a lot more done when we work together.