What You and I Can Do
My effort to change the cancer care system is evident in this book. I also take every chance I have to inform others about the way that cancer affects all of us. Your own interests, talents and contacts offer opportunities to share your personal experience and efforts as well.
If you are so inclined and able, participating in any of the organizations mentioned in this book will offer you chances to both inform others and to learn more about cancer yourself. If you are reluctant to talk about your own experiences, please think twice. Again, everyone is affected by cancer, and your disclosures may help others to talk about their experiences.
At the very least, bear in mind that you have elected representatives who are more interested in input from their constituents than most people realize. Your most direct connection is with your Congressional Representative and Senator. These persons will respond to your communication about your personal situation and about your desire to focus more federal attention on cancer care and research. You can send that person copies of articles or books that express your views, and, if possible, direct attention to relevant current issues. You can make contact with your Representative through http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and your Senator through http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
If you mention your interest in advocacy for winning the War on Cancer to your doctors, they may well have more specific suggestions for you.
ConclusionOnce again, the traditional focus on killing cancer cells puts the cart before the horse and explains why our conventional treatment of different forms of cancer has and will continue to lead us to a dead end in the War on Cancer.
We have lost decades of potential progress against cancer. Public understanding of the situation and pressure for change is needed to point cancer research and care in a preventive and curative direction by supporting and funding the initiatives of the American Association of Clinical Oncology and the Director of the National Cancer Institute that focus on the process through which cancer cells develop— neoplasia.
It is up to Congress to intelligently and effectively provide adequate funding that is not dictated by the financial incentives of industry lobbyists and the unrealistic regulation and conduct of clinical trials but by the goal of preventing and treating neoplasia.