Why are we so focused on "the cure"?

It’s commendable how people have banded together to find “the cure”.  I doubt there is anyone reading this who hasn’t somehow contributed to the fight to cure breast cancer or some other horrible disease.  But I find myself wondering why we are focused so much on the cure and not on prevention.   You see, all this effort and money is focusing on helping people after they have been diagnosed with a disease.  Even all of the “early detection” techniques are focused on what to do after the diagnosis.  Perhaps we’re closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out.


Wouldn’t it be a much better world if no one ever had to go through a biopsy?  Wouldn’t it be fantastic if no one ever had to hear the words “You have cancer.”?  Wouldn’t it be awesome if no one had to suffer the toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiation?  If we focused even half of the money that is spent to find “the cure” on prevention of cancer, we would make significant progress in stopping the disease before anyone has to suffer with it.


Perish the thought that Cancer is a multi-billion dollar industry and that there are no profits in healthy people.  Cancer provides a lot of jobs to a lot of people – not only in the research sector but also in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.  Cancer is also keeping a lot of lawyers employed.  Do you know that some of the money donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation is used to sue other charities who have used the term “the cure” in their event promotions?  This unsettling information was published in the Huffington Post last month.  Here is a link to the article.  It’s so disturbing to know that money that was donated to help fight diseases and save lives is being used to squash other charities that are trying to do the same thing.  I guess we need to re-define “not-for-profit”.


No one should ever have to hear the words “You’re sick.”  Our bodies were designed for health.   Even if you are genetically predisposed to a disease, it is the environment that turns a gene on and off.  You need to create an optimal state of health so that the “sick genes” stay turned off.  For more about the effects of the environment on genetic and other diseases, read The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.


Health is actually very simple.  Drink water.  Eat whole foods.  Exercise.  Be joyful.  Breathe deeply.  Relax.  Does that sound hard?  It shouldn’t.  As more of us employ a holistic lifestyle where we are conscious of keeping our bodies and minds healthy, the world will become a healthier place and fewer and fewer people will hear the words “You’re sick.”  Let’s focus our energy, and our money, on preventing these diseases so that we don’t have to worry about that horse getting out of the barn.


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Comment by Patti Bartsch, Ph.D. on March 14, 2011 at 5:44pm

Awwww!  Thanks Jennifer!  You made my day!


I have been having a lot of great conversations lately about nutrition and holistic health and how (sadly) most doctors don't ever take Nutrition in college or in medical school.  It's basically an education in pharmacology and surgery - rather than health.  I think the statistic is something along the lines of 6% of medical schools even OFFER Nutrition classes and in most of them it's an elective.  Hippocrates (let food be thy medicine) must be rolling over in his grave!  "First Do No Harm" - how does that include 3 pages of side-effects?

Comment by Jennifer Lamm on March 14, 2011 at 4:21pm

If people thought there would never be a cure they sure might take better care of themselves... my daughter lost so many family members to early death due to disease or cancer that she got a masters in nutrition.... she has helped me alot to eat even better though my daddy was always the yule gibbons type... interesting how my doctor calls me mrs. healthy..... you are a great doctor patti to teach holistic means instead of supporting the cure in my opinion.  Thank you for this blog.

Comment by Jennifer Lamm on March 14, 2011 at 11:17am
I have long thought the cure for cancer is in the prvention...
Comment by Patti Bartsch, Ph.D. on March 13, 2011 at 7:13pm
I agree Marlene.  There are lots of things I didn't mention that will support health.  Vitamins D and C are in my daily supplement list for sure!  Thanks for the reminder!
Comment by Marlene Thoms on March 13, 2011 at 4:59pm
I agree, prevention is far better. You forgot to mention the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D in substantial amounts is lacking in many people, now that we've given up sun worship, but the authorities are far behind the research as to the benefits in preventing several killers, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, poor immune systems. Vitamin C: a horse naturally produces about 20 grams of vitamin C daily, humans produce 0. Just eating fruits is not enough, who eats ten or 20 oranges a day? Eating well and exercising helps, but some supplements are necessary for most folks.

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