Friday, September 16, 2011

Another one gone

Roses "Eclat de Haute-Bretagne"

This afternoon I am going to another funeral. Too many, this year. This time, not a grandfather in his late seventies, sad as that loss was. A mother in her forties, leaving teenaged children. That's the third one we've lost this year. A veritable epidemic of young women, taken all too soon, by the same disease. Why?

There are a lot of people out there who rail against the preeminent position of breast cancer research among all the other diseases of our affluent society. There is a real problem with pinkwashing, there is a real need for research money for other cancers. Colorectal and prostate cancer, as well as skin cancers of various kinds, are on the rise. Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer. But this is the disease that robs us of young mothers. Nobody, to my admittedly limited knowledge, writes children's books called "My Mommy Has Heart Disease".

But why? What is it about our environment, our genetics, our diets, that allows this scourge to take out so many young people? I can understand that smokers are more likely to get lung cancer, and that colorectal cancer may be connected to fibre intake (although this is apparently controversial). But what the heck causes breast cancer, and why are so many young mothers in this city, in this school, dying from it?

If anyone can answer this, I'd love to hear it.


  1. As someone with many loved ones in that city, including the one lost today, I wonder and worry about that myself. There is a genetic component, and I wouldn't be surprised if we looked into the ancestral history of the women of whom you speak,we find a geographic connection back in Europe.

    Or maybe it's just the worst luck in the world.

  2. Don't you know? BOOBS cause breast cancer. Men get it, too, by the way - that's one of the BIG problems with "pinkwashing." It breaks my heart to see, not "all the attention given to breast cancer" - after all, that's the kind I had, and I can't complain about being treated WELL, now, can I? - but to see the relative LACK of attention given other forms of cancer, too.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

  3. Holly, honey, boobs no more cause breast cancer than colons cause colon cancer. There may be a genetic susceptibility, but I'm convinced there has to be some kind of environmental trigger. I just read a recommendation for weight loss and exercise to help stave it off. That's not exactly Fate and Destiny, is it?

    Life Student, are you Lori? ;-)


Comments make my day! Please join the conversation.