Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Geographical Implications of Cancer

Utah officials outline cancer combat strategy | StrongerThanCancer

In a news release regarding one state's approach to cancer, it brought up some interesting thoughts on the geographical affects on cancer - like elevation, exposure to sun, and the lifestyle of the population.

Utah has very low cancer rates - their biggest concern is skin cancer which is quite preventable. But their lower overall cancer rate is attributed to their more active lifestyle.

It is interesting to think that in the United States we have such differences from one region to another. In the US, we have high cancer rates, and I often look to other countries with lower cancer rates to see how they may be reducing their risk. But there seem to be many areas WITHIN our country that have lower cancer rates, and not surprisingly, the higher cancer rates are in more urban areas.

Rather than blame geography, maybe we can look at the differences in lifestyle.

And how can we duplicate that if we live in a city, and work in a cubicle?

We are unsure if cell-phones cause cancer, but perhaps the lifestyle that has a cell-phone glued to the head could increase cancer risk. If the more active lifestyles have lower cancer risk, why limit it to the semi-regular trips to the gym - perhaps we can find ways to make our 'lives' more active - cultivate gardens, cook at home rather than eat-out, take stairs instead of use elevators (of course, if you work on the 30th floor of a building that can be difficult, but you could still take the elevator to the 25th floor and walk up a few flights)... or have a cab drop you off a few blocks away from your destination and walk the rest. Take every opportunity to get out and move - find ways to use your landscape - whatever it is - to keep energy flowing through your body...

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