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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,655
Registered: ‎06-29-2010

Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

[ Edited ]

@NoelSeven wrote:

Re:

"I just can't see cancer as a 'poverty issue' though.  It's a disease that hits every socio-economic level and educational level."

 

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Hi LR, the article points out several variables where poverty increases the risk of cancer, and also reports that "Cancer rates are frequently higher where poverty is most concentrated, and eastern Kentucky is a case in point."

 

The lack of sufficient education is another variable.

 

Poverty increases numerous health risks for people in America.  You might remember reports that came out a few months ago about poor children in the inner cities becoming very ill for life from lead paint where they lived and rented in poor areas. 


I've heard about 'things' just about everywhere.  What puzzles me is that growing up my family didn't have money.  There was lead paint on objects and many things existed for everyday use that have since been banned due to health related issues.  We never ate lead paint, walked to school and weren't abducted and harmed, didn't get sick from our toys and utensils or even food products.  What is going on in Appalacia that hasn't happened just about everywhere else.  Cancer does not play favorites.  Prior to this board being changed, there was a thread on Appalachia around two years ago discussing their plight.  It was determined that there has been county health officials and teachers informing the people and students of how they need to take some action for themselves.  It fell on deaf ears it seems. 

Never Forget the Native American Indian Holocaust
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Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

Interesting article.  I have long been fascinated with Appalachia and like to read books - nonfiction about and fiction set in Appalachia.  The surface or Mountain Top Mining and what it has done to the beautiful environment makes me sick.

 

@ tansy, you mentioned a book series or title?  Can you tell me title(s) and/or author?  I've read several too but would have to go to where my log my books to get names. 

~Dogs are my favorite people and my favorite people are dogs.~
Honored Contributor
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

I've seen those documentaries on PBS and yes these people and poor people everywhere in the US have been pretty much forgotten. I think help should begin at home, but people with means and the talent to heal, will fly half way across the world to adopt and heal when our own people have the same needs. I believe suffering is suffering, but we need to fix what's wrong here before we fix the rest of the world.

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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

LR, I agree cancer does not play favorites, but the risk factors are greater with some groups, not always poverty.

 

Cancer clusters were identified years ago where people had been exposed to things like toxins.  There was a cancer cluster in wealthy Marin County, a breast cancer cluster.

 

It's all based on stats, when people in certain groups have a higher rate than other areas, and this is what's being said about those in extreme poverty in Appalachia.  The thinking behind it is those factors are poverty variables such as inadequate eduacation and poor nutrition.

A Thrill Of Hope The Weary World Rejoices
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Registered: ‎09-01-2010

Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

[ Edited ]
I have lived my entire life in a very rural area of southern WV, and don't really know what to make of these documentaries. There are still many "hollers" in my county, but the families I know who live in them, are there because they like the peace and quiet. They have electricity, indoor plumbing, satellite TV, vehicles and cell phones. Many of these hollers were built around coal mines, and working mines are few and far between these days. However, there are many WV families where mining is in their blood, and that is all generations of their family has ever done. My husband came out of the military and went into the coal mines like his dad and brother, and I absolutely hated his job choice. I came from a family of railroad men, and never wanted my husband digging coal underground. Thankfully a big layoff eventually came along, and I pushed my husband to use the mechanic skills he learned in the mines, and we never looked back There was no way I could embrace the coal miner way of thinking. The documentaries I have seen always find a rural family living in a simple shack with no running water, an outhouse, and a cookstove. As a kid in the 60's, I knew people who lived that way---some were my family, but we don't live like that now, nor do I know anyone who does. One of my brothers lives in the house that his wife's great grandparents built in the late 1800's. My SIL insists on living there, so my brother has spent enough money preserving and updating that house to have built a luxurious modern home. When they married in the mid 80's, that house had a wood fired cookstove in the kitchen, no running water or indoor plumbing. I grew up knowing a local family who were as backwoods as you could find in this area. The family only sent their kids to school through 6th grade; even the kids in my generation had 6th grade educations, but their children were the first high school graduates in the four generations I knew personally. Everyone in this family has survived on welfare, mainly due to their lack of education. They are very simple people, but even they have vehicles, cell phones, and computers inside their unsightly homes. I would not be surprised that yet another documentary could be made about a WV family living in one of our hollers, but if they're out there living the simple life, I think it's by choice, not because the world just moved forward and left them there. Personal hygiene meant heating water on the wood stove and bathing in a galvanized tub, using homemade lye soap---I lived through some of those days, but my parents bought bar soap for bathing, and lye soap was only used in the laundry. Our poor dietary habits were formed around eating what we raised, what we hunted, and what we could make with store staples like white flour and sugar. Our poor dental hygiene came from drinking unfloridated well water, and not receiving dental care until our baby teeth fell out and there were issues with our permanent teeth. I feel sure there have been many people who filled baby bottles with soda and gave them to their toddlers, but I don't know anyone who did it. My girls wouldn't drink plain water, so their pediatrician suggested I give them koolaid in their bottles and sippy cups, so I am guilty of doing that. I believe this world and its people have evolved enough to where the majority of us live exactly the way we want to.
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen


@MrsSweetieBear wrote:

Interesting article.  I have long been fascinated with Appalachia and like to read books - nonfiction about and fiction set in Appalachia.  The surface or Mountain Top Mining and what it has done to the beautiful environment makes me sick.

 

@ tansy, you mentioned a book series or title?  Can you tell me title(s) and/or author?  I've read several too but would have to go to where my log my books to get names. 


Anything you can recommend

@MrsSweetieBear?  I'm up for a nonfiction title......

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,953
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

[ Edited ]

RedTop, thank you for such an informative post!

 

To clarify, the area in the report is speaking about the Appalachian area in Kentucky, an area where the people are extremely poor and which is a cancer cluster (higher than normal rate).

 

I don't remember the specific geographical area documented in the PBS report, but I remember the visuals inside the homes which were as you described in the WV area you are familiar with, and it did show a mother giving a baby a bottle of Mountain Dew, which is not to say we can assume most homes are like that.

 

Every documentary I saw stressed the wide-spread lack of health care, which obviously is a deciding factor. 

A Thrill Of Hope The Weary World Rejoices
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Posts: 64
Registered: ‎05-06-2015

Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

Well here goes - I will probably be poofed.

 

I worked for the City of Philadelphia after graduating college.  My job was to work with people on welfare.

 

Several years ago a  promininent and very rich person said he did not worrry about poor people because there is a safety net in this country. Nice thought but I think he was very very wrong.

 

Many people think the poor are getting free everything - money, educaton, food, etc.

 

But they have never been to the areas so I haven't a clue how they come up with their (seems to me) false opinions/impressios..

 

I found the poor live really really badly.  You do not want to know the things I saw. They are unemployable because they don't know how to dress or interview.  They have no skills.  They have no confidence.  If society keeps telling you you are worthless because you are "taking" not "earning" you eventually believe it.  Yet some people in the US rail time and time again about welfare.  That they work so why cannot the people on welfare go to work even it it is in Burger Ba&f.

 

So the "safety net" has big big holes.  And there are loads of unsympathetic people in the world - they have the attitude "well I worked hard to get where I am why should I help any one else - let them work too."

 

Next tine you hear someone spout off about the poor - think - where have they gotten their opinions.  Do they really know what they are talking about or are they just spouting what they have heard other people say.

 

I worked there for 2 years. (I got married and relocateed.  Luckily I found computers.)  While I am certainly not an expert, at least I have some small foundaton for my beliefs.

 

And yes, I am a bleeding heart liberal.. If I wasn't bfore, that job made me one.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,953
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

 

Thank you, amaivy, I agree with you, I've seen it also.

 

A Thrill Of Hope The Weary World Rejoices
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen


@NoelSeven wrote:

 

tansy, I remember that report on tooth decay and parents giving almost babies Mountain dew!

 

The article highlights the need for education, I know there's a group trying to change the habit of drinking soda all the time.


 

I remember reading an article about the pop/soda problem. They said people buy soda with their food stamps and trade it for pills or money. Makes me wonder why that beverage is so prevelant there? To have such a currency?