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By Charlavan Baker Hart

April 1, 2009 (El Cajon)-- I spend part of each week and sometimes a portion of each day doing what I call ‘social cancer research’. My team of researchers is large but in my universe it is just me. Chief, cook and bottle washer.

I had cancer 9 years ago. An advanced case of breast cancer! It hit me like a ton of bricks because I had not even considered such a thing. I thought cancer happened to people who maybe had abused their bodies, had inherited a tendency, perhaps, or other vague but unproven notions.

No, without warning, I had breast cancer. So, I had the mastectomy, had the chemotherapy, and decided on a few other things to get over it. But basically, I was just lucky. I plan a lot on luck. It has always worked for me.

In those years, it became very apparent to me that no one else knew much about it either. So I began to study. Then I ‘re-studied’ because the medical field kept changing their views about it also. ENTER the pharmaceutical companies. One more time, we trusted to luck. Some of the treatments worked, others didn’t.

I have written a book about breast cancer that is ready to publish and am looking for sponsors (everything costs so much money) to help fund it. Most projects of this type are funded by drug companies and I refused to go there. Some of them work. Some don’t. I don’t know which is which.

I have to keep remembering that ‘I am well’. What I think that means is neither the cancer nor the treatments killed me. I was just lucky. I know that is not always the case. So, my mission is just to study, discuss and share the things we DO KNOW.

I know the odds. 12% of the women population will have breast cancer sometime in their lifetime if they live to be 80. I know a lot of them won’t make it. I want to know why.

All I have to go on is the research I do. And you know me; I am going to have an opinion and am driven to share it. You already know I can’t keep anything to myself.

These are things I believe. Everyone at some point in their lives has cancer cells in the body. The immune system fights them off. The immune system can be compromised by a number of things but the most obvious is stress and trauma. The overage of breast cancer compared to other types is because there are constant changes in within the breast. Changes in the cell structure can accelerate the spread of cancer if those cancer cells are in the breast. The changes cause it to spread quickly when the cells divide.

That last paragraph is based on my own opinion, my own history and has very little to do with the medical field. It also avoids the drug field. It is simply what I have concluded and I reserve the right to change without warning.

We need to keep the body detoxified and stress free to keep the immune system strong. I don’t need to tell you to stop smoking and limit the booze. We need also to change the diet. Too much processed food compromises the system in general. All of this just helps solve the problem before it starts.

Now, on to my other passion. I have played poker since I was 21 years old and have played professionally, recreationally and even taught it for a few years. I intend to win the World Series of Poker before I cash in. You may think that those passions are unrelated and in the real world they are. But they both involve a great deal of dedication to the task at hand, knowing the odds and hedging your bets. And LUCK. The odds in breast cancer are one out of eight. That of winning the World Series is much closer to one in a million but I’ll just bet it would be easier to find sponsors for the poker passion than the other one.

We’ll see. Just feed the passion. Both of them.



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