Sunday, March 23, 2014

F Cancer - The F Connection

F  CANCER and the Food Connection

I saw this posted on my Facebook Feed this past week and it struck me immediately because I remember when I was a kid it was rare to hear that someone you knew had Cancer.  Just this past year I have had many people that are very young that are in my life that have been through various stages of Cancer.   Cancer has taken away many members of my family.  My father had Cancer and all of my aunts and uncles died from various Cancers.  I spent 14 years at Sunnybrook Hospital and I can honestly tell you that Cancer is not pretty and affects more than just the person going through it.

My friend Lynn Manwar had Breast Cancer and went through the usual chemotherapy and radiation and then surgery and then she was clear of that only to find out that she now had to deal with seizures and then had to have surgery on her brain to get rid of the seizures.   She is working towards recovery.  She is eager to get back to her very social life.  This is a recent article about her. 
I introduced Lynn to another friend of mine that also had Cancer in the past and was working on a documentary about Raw foods.  She introduced Lynn to Raw foods which Lynn credits for her surviving the Cancer.
This photo of Lynn and I is from a few years ago at a party at my house before she went through her Cancer surgeries.

Another friend that I know from my Film Festival life has a husband who is only 40 years old and is going through stage 4 Cancer after feeling stomach cramps. This is their story.

This past week Film Critic, Journalist and Author Richard Crouse just revealed that he had gone through Cancer treatments, but in his case nobody knew about it until now.  I have known Richard for many years as I used to do the makeup for the Rogers Television show Real to Real when he was one of the hosts.  Richard's revelation was a surprise to many people including myself because he continued on with his very busy entertainment schedule while he was undergoing treatments.  I run into him about town every now and then and I never noticed anything different about him and that's the way he wanted it.  He didn't want "pity" from anyone and chose to have a good attitude and continue living a healthy life.
I am sure Richard will inspire and help a lot of people.   Richard wants to save your life so he has decided to tell his story.   Read about him here:

What all of these 3 people have in common is their love of movies, life, people and they all lead a very healthy normal lifestyle.    So why did they all get Cancer?  None of these people smoke.  None lead high risk lives.  There has to be more to this connection.  Why is the funding for Cancer going up and the cases of people getting Cancer going up along with it?  Most of the news says that more people are surviving from many cancer diagnosis.

But here's the thing that I think may be one of the reason's that things have changed over the past 100 years.  We can now diagnose it earlier and more people talk about it.  Drug companies are constantly pumping out cancer drugs and I think that they don't really want to find a cure because they make billions off of Cancer drugs.  There is a whole machine that runs around the world of Cancer.   My mom had Dementia and nobody talked about it and there wasn't really much out there for her.   There is a walk for Memories but it is a blip on the media radar compared to all the Cancer walks and fundraising activities.  This past year I even participated in fundraising for A Cook for the Cure.   I don't know if the $200 that I raised will make a difference but I hope some of it does.

What I think is probably the thing that most affects and helps Cancer is our FOOD.  We are eating more processed food because of our busy lifestyles and also because sometimes it's just cheaper and more convenient.  We don't know what's in this stuff and the long term affects it has on our bodies.

We don't know what to eat anymore because the EXPERTS tell us different things everyday.   You shouldn't eat Beef,  you shouldn't eat dairy,  you shouldn't eat Fat, you shouldn't eat white foods.   But then you hear about people getting sick eating lettuce or other so called healthy foods.   If eating the right foods is key to preventing or helping Cancer then how do we know if these foods are actually what they claim to be and are actually healthy for us.   With companies like MONSANTO making money off ruining our health by creating GMO corn and other products and producing TOXIC pesticides that are sprayed on our farms and then the run off waters then are consumed by animals and by us.  How can we reverse this process?  I believe that if you look at a chart of when food changed and align it with the Cancer rates you will see a connection.  Michael Pollan researches this in his books.

Here's the thing.  Eating Organic food that is Local and Seasonal is probably the best thing we can do for ourselves but let's face it most people can't do 100% Organic food in Ontario.  The cost is prohibitive and because of our long winters it's not realistic.  It's almost impossible to sustain a 100 mile diet unless you don't like food.  Unless you live on a farm and have a full abundance of all kinds of varieties of chickens, cows, pigs and goats you are probably at risk of eating something that has not had the care and attention to it's processing that it should have.  We breath in Toxic air and eat food that is covered in toxic pesticides and eat food that could possibly be genetically modified.

So what can we do?  Well we can do the best we can to try and know where our food comes from.  I love to go to farmer's markets in the summer and prefer the ones where the actual producer is selling the food.  But what can we do the rest of the year?   Eat as much Organic Food as you can afford.   But especially the Dirty Dozen. Here is the link to find out what they are:   The more we support Local Organic food the more the big producers will change their ways.  While it's probably not realistic to expect everyone to have enough food from small independent farmers it will send a message to the big producers that we don't want their chemicals and we want REAL FOOD the way it should be.

90% of Cancers are curable if caught in Stage One.
Here's an idea.  Why don't we figure out how to prevent it from getting to Stage ONE.

Update:   I am sad to say that Joel Urnom lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on May 2nd.  His wife Brandi and his daughter Viva will keep his memory alive and will keep fighting to get more attention on this Cancer to save people in the future.

My memory of Joel.
Every year I would see Joel and Brandi host our annual Oscar Party with our group of people that volunteer together at the Toronto International Film Festival.  We would normally have it at an Uptown restaurant called Safari but one year we had it in Joel and Brandi's condo party room.  This was the last Oscar party he was able to attend.  A year later we went back to Safari and Joel was too sick to attend so we sent them photos while they watched quietly at home.
This photo is Joel holding my fake Oscar on the fake red carpet that I brought to jazz up the party room.  This is how I would like to remember him.

R.I.P. Joel Urnom - February 15, 1973 - May 02, 2014


  1. Lovely article. I almost agree with you 100%! What can we do? Get back o basics. Families need to host 'Family Canning Days' and put as much as that summer sunshine in jars as possible. I used to, before farming' nurse in a nursing home, where I cared for extremely elderly people. What did these extremely elderly people eat? They were raised in a time where Mom would save the pork fat on the back of the stove and use it for frying. They NEVER had margarine, but they used butter by the truck load. They baked their bread, fried their eggs in bacon fat, mashed their taties, smothered them in gravy, had lots of home canned veggies....and they were the longest living generation to date. My young doctor has told me to get margarine out of my house....Done. I have officially gone back to the 'good old days'. I bake all of our bread and can like a mad woman, including all of my chicken and beef stocks. Hearty, healthy and in moderation. Hope it helps.

  2. Thank you for your comments Leasa J I agree with you that our parents ate all this stuff. My parents didn't make everything from scratch because they were city working people but my mom did make dinner mostly from scratch everyday. On the odd occasion we might have a pizza or Swiss Chalet when she was too tired to cook... but that was rare. I am trying to teach myself how to make things like bread and more pickling and jams and trying to preserve as much as I can. I wish I still had an extra freezer.


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