The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Columns

July 28, 2012

Vos: Race for the Cocoa Butter not the cancer answer

— I eat a minimum of processed meats that contain nitrites.

I drink from a stainless steel water bottle instead of my old plastic one to avoid BPA leeching into my water.

I wash my pesticide-covered produce in vegetable soap.

I gave up saccharin soon after my high school girlfriends stopped having Tab belching contests behind center field at my hometown ball diamond.

I have a fan in my attic and a tube in my closet that removes radon from my basement.

I threw out my eczema cream when the brand I’d been using received a “black box” warning from the Food and Drug Administration.

I buy milk that doesn’t come from cows given growth hormones.

I gave birth, and I breastfed a relatively long time — not so long that my son asked in coherent paragraphs to be fed, but long enough for me to know he had a mouthful of teeth.

I pick out the bluest, reddest, orangest, greenest fruits and vegetables I can find.

And despite all of that action to avoid numerous cancers, apparently all I needed to know about breast cancer prevention was that I should have dug my bikini out of the museum and hit the tanning bed awhile ago. I could have avoided breast cancer surgery, radiation and gotten a bonus Malibu Barbie look. 

To illustrate the tanning-cancer prevention theory, the Paddlefish Days parade today in Madison Lake is to feature bikini-clad women who are marching to raise money for the Breast Cancer Natural Prevention Foundation, which advocates cancer prevention through ultraviolet light exposure. (I’m not sure how to break this to my friend who has melanoma.)

The parade whipped up lots of publicity, both because more than 450 women in bikinis were supposed to descend on the streets of Madison Lake to break a world record (about 40 were signed up late in the week) and because the cancer-prevention premise seems wacky. Call it The Race for the Cocoa Butter. (Please don’t sue me for copyright infringement, Susan Komen Race for the Cure people.)

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