I’m guilty myself. A little part of me is proud to be a non-smoker with stage four lung cancer. In fact there’s a little superiority to it. Which doesn’t really help much because when you’re dead you’re dead. But I tend to get in the phrase “never smoked”. I have lungs. I got it. Life can be unkind.
My social media feeds in recent days have taken to telling me obesity is a leading cause of cancer. I’m not going to dispute the numbers. I’ll take them as given. But it’s a hell of a dangerous game to play. Turning cancer into a fat person’s disease? It doesn’t strike me as a campaign that’s going to increase Slimming World success rates so is there really value to it? Or do you just get a “they got cancer because they’re a chubster” attitude. Let’s be honest, there’s been a hidden unconscious agenda against investing in lung cancer research for decades because it’s seen as exclusively a smoker’s disease. Even though it kills more women than breast cancer or any other gender biased cancer for that question.
It’s doubtless a well meaning campaign. But I can’t see it being successful. I managed to lose seven stone before I was diagnosed in a major fitness hit. That came from deep down inside though. Nobody else triggered that.
Then there’s the exception to the rule. I think the Cancer Research UK campaign targets a dozen or so cancers where the numbers stack up. Some informal search engine activity on my part seems to identify that lung cancer works better the other way round. Stay big, reduce your risk of getting the nasty disease. Lose weight and you might get lucky and avoid prostate cancer but increase your lung cancer risk.
Guess which one’s easier to cure. Guess which one’s had more research money spent on it per death.
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