Meditations of an oncology geek

Health Insurance vs. Health Assurance: Part 1

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2 September 2013

The reason why I do cancer research (and perhaps why we as a society subsidize medical research) is because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to live the happiest, most meaningful, productive life as possible. While I’ll be the first to admit the absence of disease is not health, there is no denying that it’s much easier to attain life goals without the burden of disease, be it cancer, diabetes, or obesity.

In the lab I fight cancer with some pretty high-tech means. Outside of the lab I do so in more subtle ways. One of these ways is commuting to work via bicycle. Unless it’s torrential rain (rare here in southern California) I will ride my bike to work. I also ride my bike to get groceries. And to the dry cleaners. And to social events. And to meetings with collaborators. The list goes on, I want to stress that the bike is my primary mode of transportation despite owning a truck. Part of the reason why I do so is economic: the annual operating cost of a bicycle is about $300 (Moritz, 1997). In my own experience, it’s been even less than that for my commuter bike. There is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that aerobic exercise (like commuting via bicycle) is a very effective means to reduce cancer risk on many fronts. In fact, I will risk going out on a limb here and declare that it’s some of the best data I’ve seen for broad-spectrum cancer prevention.

In the near future I will re-visit the relationship between exercise and cancers (It’s been a few years and there’s new data), but I would first like to share a brilliant TED talk about the benefits of cycling by Dr. Allen Lim.

Below are a few points from his talk that deserve re-iterating.

From having spent the better part of the last decade working on a cure, it is my opinion that the best defense remains a good offense: prevention. At the current time one cannot buy insurance from cancer. There is no magic bullet (pill), no magic diet, no special sauce. In future articles I will present information on how I came to discover perhaps the most effective anti-cancer device I know: the bicycle. This first article (and Lim’s talk) merely scratches the surface of some of the other benefits of this incredible device.


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Written by Ryon

September 2nd, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Science Blog

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