Cancer, the number two killer in the United States besides heart disease is insidious, intelligent and tenacious. It has been spoken about like a loose cannon celebrity, talk show hosted over and campaigned and protested against. It hits celebrities, world leaders and normal people every day.

It is a disease caused by the uncontrolled division of less specialized cells that spread to surrounding tissues. Normal cells generally have a very distinct function and divide according to their purpose. Cancer cells are unspecialized, and are the reason why they continue to divide without stopping. Cancer cells are able to induce nearby cells to form blood vessels, which in turn provide oxygen and nutrients to the cancer cell. That’s like being kidnapped and held at gunpoint in your own home, while being forced to cook dinner and dessert for your unwelcome guests. Cancer cells are also able to invade the immune system, tricking it into believing it was one with your body, avoiding detection. It can start anywhere in the body and at any time. It’s a genetic disease so the health defects of your parents can be passed down to you with likelier odds that you pass it down to your kids as well. I’m sure no one can think of a less welcome curse.

The best way to treat cancer is early detection since the cancer cells will not have spread as aggressively to surrounding tissue.

Sudden and unexplained weight loss, pain, fatigue, fever, skin changes, change in bowel habits or bladder function, sores that don’t heal, white patches inside the mouth or tongue, unusual bleeding or discharge, continuous cough, indigestion or trouble swallowing, and recent changes in moles, warts or other skin spots are all potential symptoms of cancer and should be checked out ASAP!

A clean environment, healthy plant based diet, regular exercise and yearly doctor check-ups may help prevent cancer from becoming a life threatening issue. Improving our diet, restoring our natural environment, ridding the world of fossil fuels and unclean technologies is one of the biggest steps towards curing the occurrence and rapidity of cancer. Understanding and listening to your body are the best warning signals you will have. Stay in touch, from the inside out!

Written by Maria Schumann for bodono.

Maria Schumann is a writer living in NYC.
About Maria Schumann: “I love writing poetry, breaking a sweat at bikram yoga, and reading serial killer books while cooking. I love watching documentaries and I am always game for a crazy night of poker. Understanding the importance of a healthy relationship with my body and mind inspires me to help others come to a symbiotic relationship with their bodies and minds as well. Through writing I am able to reach people with my words and hopefully inspire positivity and change.”