Letter from the Publisher: The Ever-Changing Debate on Cancer Prevention

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Cancer sucks! Not only does cancer suck, it is a disease that is extremely personal. Like an evil snowflake, it is incredibly individual and no two people’s experiences are the same. Within one year’s time, I watched my beautiful sister succumb to cancer while my husband, thankfully, began a journey toward beating it. I have one win and too many losses to count, thus I am, in this one instance, at a loss for words. (For anyone that knows me, this is a shocker indeed!)

During production of this month’s issue, which focuses on the dreaded disease, a number of Natural Awakenings publishers engaged in a healthy debate about the featured articles. The email exchange went something like this: “How can we print Andrew Weil’s food pyramid in our cancer issue when we all know that a healthy diet should not consist of cancer-causing meat products?” To which an annoyed publisher responded: “Meat!! Are you even up to date? Fruit is now linked to cancer.” This then generated the ultimate response: “Hello??? Where is the article on the genetic link to cancer?” We are a passionate group, and what I discovered through these emails was that Natural Awakenings publishers are serious in their desire to share the most helpful and up-to-date information with their readers.

That task can be extremely difficult, however, given that news about cancer is constantly changing. What doctors thought was good for you yesterday is no longer the recommended prescription today. Since the target for disease prevention is ever changing, it makes clarity on beating and preventing the disease (and all diseases) all the more difficult. Then there is the cold, hard truth that sometimes doctors can’t say what’s good for you; only you can say what’s good for you. I have heard people in their 80s say, “I promise if I get cancer, I won’t fight for a six-month life extension.” The personal nature of the disease, and the abundance of different treatment options, leaves me in a place I don’t often find myself … speechless.

So rather than pontificate on the subject, I ask that you read the information within the magazine and draw your own conclusions and make your own decisions, and I hope it drives you to always look further than the latest article that you read on the subject.

In the end, this topic is only universal in one aspect—for all of us, cancer sucks. We need to take heart, however, in the fact that people are out there every day trying to find a cure. Until then, we can only love and support those facing it or fearing it, and trust in both science and miracles because together that’s what can beat it.

If you or a loved one is battling cancer or fearing a cancer return, I wish you clarity when choosing your options and serenity in the moments that are free from pain and worry.


Malama Pono!

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Kelly Martinsen, Publisher

Check out Kelly Martinson’s book: A Year of Inspired Living
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