Monday 11 March 2013

I Would Be Surprised

I have been thinking about that horrible "C" word lately. It seems as if you can't turn around without someone that you know and love is now fighting a battle against this most insidious disease. I realize that for a good part of my life I have been self centred and have pretty much ignored the world around me for the most part, but I just don't remember cancer being as prevalent in our society in the past as it is now.

Perhaps the reason is that there are just more people in my life and they are getting older. Perhaps we as a species were never meant to live for as long as we do now and the human machine is simply breaking down in various ways as we push it beyond it's specs. Perhaps our scientists have developed better ways of detecting this horrible disease much earlier than ever before. Perhaps in the past we knew it by other names like the wasting sickness, consumption, or the anger of the Gods. Whatever the name, the end result was the same...painful death.

I have been wondering why the rate of cancer in undeveloped countries seem to be less than that in developed countries. It is interesting to note that although developed countries have a higher incidence of cancer, the mortality rate is similar to undeveloped countries. This is mainly due to better and earlier detection in the developed countries and an ability to afford the expensive treatments. Poorer countries have fewer health centres and in a lot of cases the population are for the most part uneducated, putting off seeking help later and not understanding the need for quick action.

I have been wondering lately if some of our problems are related to our reliance on electricity. I can remember as a young adult the health problems that afflicted people who lived near or under large power lines. I have since made sure that I never lived in close proximity to those lines, just to be on the safe side. I haven't avoided the use of electricity of course and I am one that actually embrace shiny,electrical things of all shapes, sizes and uses. I am reading a book that talks about how pretty much any electrical device will create a magnetic field around it. Some of these fields are tiny, and some are large, but they are all around us. Those of us living in an industrialized, first world nations are surrounded by these fields every minute of every day. They are in the phones we hold to our heads, the lights we have, our computers, TV's, cars, street lights, stoves and the list goes on and on. If you live in a modern house, you are quite literally surrounded by electric wires that are embedded in the walls and ceilings.

Undeveloped countries use far less electricity, and the rate of cancer is less. I have no idea whether there is any correlation between our modern lifestyle and cancer, but I would be surprised if there wasn't.

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