Dr. Thomson provides advice for a woman who believes one unhealthy behavior caused her cancer.
I remember years ago, sitting across from a woman we were recruiting for one of our breast cancer studies, and she said to me, “Well, you know, I started going to a…” I won’t name names, but a local fast food restaurant, “every morning drive through on my way to work. And I was eating this fast food every single day, and that’s why I have breast cancer today.” And what I try to really remind people is that cancer is a 20, 30, 40 year process. It’s a number of insults to the, you know, body, the tissue, the genetics, you know, everything that eventually accumulate into a lesion that is cancer, and it’s not a one-time behavior. It’s not a single behavior that’s even repeated that necessarily caused that cancer.
It’s an accumulation of a number of different things, and every little thing you can improve upon will help reduce your risk, but you should not feel that, there shouldn’t be a lot of self-blame here. We need to focus on what we can do from here to further enhance our health.
About Dr. Thomson, Ph.D., R.D.:
Dr. Cynthia Thomson, Ph.D., R.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona. She is a registered dietitian with a doctoral degree in nutritional sciences. She has been conducting cancer research since 1994. Dr. Thomson was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2003.