Well my friends, I have finally bowed to socially conscious peer pressure.  I generally manage to avoid all trends and fads that lead to people doing things that make themselves feel like they helped, while not actually accomplishing anything.  I don’t wear pink in October because of my long-standing dislike of the Susan G Komen foundation.  I didn’t wear a yellow wrist band in support of a doping cancer survivor.  I didn’t dump ice over my head because I don’t like being wet or cold.  However, mainly because of a quiet post from a respected friend on my personal Facebook feed, I have decided to cave and participate in No Shave November #Letitgrow.  However, I just wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t try to use what limited platform I have earned in this life to make an actual difference.

So first off, for the four of you that haven’t heard what it is, No Shave November is the month when men stop shaving their facial hair and use the money they “save” by not shaving and donate it to the cancer charity of their choice.  The one most commonly suggested on the No Shave site is the American Cancer Society.  Then, just like in a relay for life, you can get your beard sponsored by other people who believe in your follicles doing good for the universe.  I guess women could skip shaving as well, but it’s probably not the kind of photo that would spark massive support on the internet.

My freshly shaven November 1st Mug

My freshly shaven November 1st Mug

None of this to me is a bad thing, so don’t mistake my occasionally snarky tone, or the issues I am about to raise as being anti-charity.  I am a huge fan of viral giving and making a difference where possible in the lives of others.  Also, I can’t very well criticize an organization whose hashtags and marketing engine I am going to use in my own posts, as that would just make me a hypocrite.  I just have huge issues with what I feel is the collective idiocy that we as a society have when it comes to cancer.  The myths, half-truths, lies and misinformation that comes pouring out from the medical community sometimes leaves me breathlessly angry, because I feel it is a collective betrayal of the global public.  Your average person that has not educated themselves on health goes to the doctor and trusts in them to provide guidance on the correct solution.  Yet your average doctor simply signs you up for a round of toxic chemicals coursing through your body, invasive surgery and horrible radiation.   The first chemo therapy treatment was done in 1956, according to cancer.org, you can’t tell me that we couldn’t have come up with a better way to treat this by now if we really wanted to.  The only way to turn the corner on what is truly an epidemic is to educate ourselves better on what is really happening.

So what set me off?  In the course of researching for my own knowledge just a few days ago, I came across a campaign slogan for cancer detection that shot me over the moon.  Early detection is the cure.  Oh really now?  Explain to me how in any universe that holds water.  If you have detected something, you HAVE it.  The entire goal of any of this should be to keep this plague as far away from your body as possibly.  If you have detected it, it’s too late.  So why are we billing that as the ultimate solution?  Why are we not educating ourselves on how to keep our bodies healthy so that we don’t need detection?  Because it’s not flashy, it’s not sexy, it’s not easy, and it doesn’t make a good T-Shirt slogan or call to action for armies of bright-eyed volunteers out there.  It might also represent personal empowerment instead of a corporate panacea, and we just couldn’t have that.

So what have I learned about cancer, and what am I doing with the information?

Most importantly, there is no cure, because there is no single cause. So what causes cancer?  Everything, basically.  Toxins in the environment, radiation from sources like microwaves and cellphones, your diet (specifically processed foods), extra hormones in the body (cancer cells feed on estrogen), smoking, drinking, drugs, plastics (BPA is terrible).  All that stuff sounds a little difficult to deal with, and it is, so rather than tackle the hydra of issues in their lives that are causing this, they pour money down the rabbit hole of radiation and surgery in the hope of creating a magic pill that makes it all go away.  The solution is never going to be simple, because the cause isn’t simple.

What can we do about it?  Change your life, often drastically.  The good news is that the changes you need to make to prevent cancer are all things your really should be doing anyway.  Change your diet.  Processed foods are bad.  Go look up all those chemicals in the food that you don’t know what they do.  Find out how many are carcinogenic.  Also, cut out dairy and wheat.  Dairy is just loaded with estrogen causing hormones which give cancer a place to thrive in the body, even if the milk doesn’t have rBST.  Wheat causes rampant inflammation in the body, and inflamed cells are more prone to growths.  Get rid of your microwave, on what level is t hat a good thing to do with food?  Get rid of plastic, BPA in your body causes excess estrogen, it’s never a good thing to have around.  You will feel healthier no matter what, and lower your cancer risk at the same time.

So what am I doing for No Shave November?  I am going to use this opportunity to benefit those I feel are actually helping America to beat cancer, whether they know it or not.  I am also going to use my platform and my journey to try to convince others to do so as well.  I have selected two organizations that I feel are doing tremendous good in the world to advance the fight against cancer.  If I am successful in my quest to make it through the entirety of November without shaving, I will donate $100 each to the two organizations I have selected.  If my willpower gives out, I will donate $150 each, just as a built-in incentive to succeed.  I will blog periodically about my progress, information I have learned, ways you can get involved, and how incredibly itchy my face is.

So who have I selected.  Organization number one is the Gerson Institute.  Dr Gerson researched and discovered a treatment for cancer using diet to tune your body and fight it off naturally.  Dr Gerson was then assassinated by Arsenic poisoning to keep his methods from being popularized and going mainstream.  His daughter has now carried on their work and brought hope to thousands of patients.  This is documented in a movie The gerson miracle, that is well worth the 90 minutes if you are interested in learning.  Their website also has lots of good free information as well.  Organization number two is the Farm to Table Legal Defense Fund.  While not a cancer fighting institution in the traditional sense, they certainly are doing great things to help protect the natural diets so key in fighting cancer.  In recent years government over reach into the food supply has reached insane levels.  The defense fund is doing their best to provide farmers with the weapons to fight back against the government and do their best to turn the tide.

What can you do?  Nothing, everything, or some step in between.  Join me in donating to these two organizations.  Pick your own organizations to donate to, just make sure they support what you believe in and aren’t just marketing.  Change your diet.  Change your life.  Tell others the truth about cancer.  Start your own No Shave Journey.  The future is what you make of it, and you will be just old a month from now if you do something as if you don’t.  So get up and make it count.