The Breast Blog: Run, Walk, Roll for Cancer Prevention
This from my friend Liz Armstrong.
This weekend, about 150 stalwart folks - from ages 2 to 82 - will be off and (mostly!) running in the Second Annual Run, Walk & Roll for Cancer Prevention held in conjunction with Ottawa's National Capital Race Weekend. While there are many runs for 'the cure', this is the only event of its kind anywhere in Canada focused on PREVENTION - stopping cancer before it starts.
I'm thrilled to be part of this event again in 2005. And along with my 10K race, I'm also aiming to raise 10K – yes, $10,000! – for cancer prevention. Whatever financial contribution you can make to help me reach this lofty goal will be enthusiastically and most gratefully received. All donations over $10. will be issued a charitable receipt from the Run, Walk & Roll's official sponsor, the Women's Healthy Environments Network (WHEN). More information follows about the crucial importance of cancer prevention, but if you're ready to contribute now with a credit card, it's (all too) simple :)
Go to hit the 'Donate Now' button, and follow the step-by-step instructions. (In the box that asks who you're supporting, it's Liz #7 - that's me, Lucky 7!). Within minutes you will receive an official receipt for income tax purposes.
Or, if you prefer, you can mail a cheque payable to WHEN, c/o Liz Armstrong, Box 430, Erin ON N0B 1T0, and I will see it gets to the campaign office ASAP. Thanks!
So, why PREVENTION? Simply because it's our best single opportunity to beat cancer, now at epidemic levels in Canada. In April, the Canadian Cancer Society released its 2005 statistics stating that close to one in two men and over a third of all Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Cancer is by far Canada's leading cause of 'potential years of life lost' – premature death. The tragedy is that so much of this loss is preventable. One of my personal reasons for running this year is to honour to Kathryn Manzer, my cousin Ron's wife, who died last October just two days before their daughter Jenny's wedding. This year's Run, Walk & Roll is dedicated to Kathryn – you can read a brief tribute to her on the WHEN home page.
Several decades ago, the World Health Organization concluded that between 80 and 90 per cent of cancers are caused by factors other than the genes we inherit from our parents. In other words, cancer results from modifiable factors – things we can change. Of course these changes include personal habits such as not smoking, eating healthy, fresh foods and getting regular exercise. But they also include eliminating scores of cancer-causing substances in everyday products, materials and practices in our homes, schools, workplaces - and the environment at large. The good news is we already know how to make nearly all of these changes – to replace this toxicity with healthy alternatives. But there is much to do to reach this ambitious goal - most Canadians, the businesses that provide our goods and services, and the governments representing us are only beginning to go down this road, if at all.
Right now, less than 5% of our annual cancer budgets are targeted for primary prevention, simply an inadequate amount for such a huge opportunity. Of course researchers need to keep pursuing better treatments and, ultimately, cures for cancer, but if we neglect prevention, we're missing a huge chance to reduce Canada's record high levels of cancer incidence.
Funds raised in the Second Annual Run, Walk & Roll will be targeted to educating all Canadians – including our political leaders – about the benefits of cancer prevention, then highlighting ways to take effective action to stop cancer before it starts.
A 2006 New Society Publishers' book on this subject – Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic – and a national conference featuring cancer prevention experts from around the world in 2006 – will be just two beneficiaries of funds from this Second Annual Run, Walk & Roll. A third major project will be the building of a Canada-wide coalition to ensure this cancer prevention work carries on as long as necessary to end the epidemic.
For more information on cancer prevention, please go to WHEN.