Do you know what cancer really is? Do you know what causes cancer?
Cancer is an illness. But, it’s not just like any disease (or any deadly disease for that matter).
It’s not simply caused by a deficiency—like the deficiency in vitamins and nutrients or the deficiency in our immune systems. In fact, it’s caused by the opposite of deficiency—growth.
In medical terms, cancer is caused by overactive division of cells. The cells divide and increase at a rate that greatly outpaces the death of cells. This disrupts the balance and causes growth or what we call a tumor.
Generally, cancer is a lifestyle disease. Ironically, the lifestyle we have now is too focused on growth. It's like saying that the lifestyle we have now is focused on having cancer. We’re too focused on having more, earning more, or making it big. We’re too focused on growth by our materialistic standards. No wonder why more and more people suffer from cancer nowadays. And those who win the battle against cancer, generally had a defining change in lifestyle.
It’s the only solution to prevent cancer (in most cases that is). But, changing our lifestyle also requires a change not only in our actions, but also in mindset, in our standards, and in the way we see life itself.
Also, cancer is not just an individual illness. It is society’s illness. The main cause of stress, which in turn causes cancer, is the ever increasing focus of society on growth. Stress is caused by the ever-increasing materialistic standards of the world. When there is someone who has cancer, somehow, our society has failed him or her by imposing on that person standards which are difficult to meet, impossible even.
Also, we are very much cancerous to the planet we live in. We're too focused on growth that the environment is suffering. Yes, I'm thinking about climate change and the unbelievable amount of pollution our planet is having a hard time recovering from. And I'm just scratching the surface. I haven't talked about how animals and the other inhabitants of this earth suffer because of us—all because of our greed and ego and our relentless pursuit of growth.
Maybe as a society, we have to redefine what success or progress means. Maybe it should mean more than just economic growth.
As individuals, maybe we have to redefine what success means to us. And, we have to change our focus from growth to living a life that truly matters—to us and to others—and that is truly enjoyable.