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Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

Hungry girl nibbles on a breakfast bar (Shutterstock)

 

There’s a cancer epidemic in Central Appalachia

 

This report is one of the saddest I've read lately.  It's the story of people needing help.

 

The sound of Appalachia is often "raspy voices, heavy wheezing and sighs of resignation that so frequently accompany a diagnosis of lung cancer."   It is where" central Appalachian valleys where family clans have lived since Scottish and Irish settlers first arrived in the region in the 1700s."

 

"Kentucky has more cancer than any other state in the country. It has the highest rates of lung cancer and colorectal cancer—incidence and death—in the U.S. Several other cancers, including cervical, also occur at disproportionately high rates. The cases are heavily concentrated in the Appalachian counties...   Escaping this poverty can be nearly impossible."

 

"Poverty is a carcinogen,” former National Cancer Institute Director Samuel Broder said in 1989. Cancer rates are frequently higher where poverty is most concentrated, and eastern Kentucky is a case in point. There’s not a family in eastern Kentucky that has not been touched by cancer.” 

 

You can read more about those suffering in the article here:

 

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/theres-a-cancer-epidemic-in-central-appalachia/

 

 

A Thrill Of Hope The Weary World Rejoices
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

I often think of Appalachia as one of the most overlooked areas in this country with regards to helping the poor.  I know that we, as Americans, are world citizens and I think it's wonderful that we help so many in other parts of the world, but IMO, we need to step up and put our own first.  

 

PBS has an excellent series on Appalachia and I'm absolutely amazed that it resides in this country.  We literally hear very little or nothing about it.

"Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~Henry James
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

Our very own third world country within our borders.  The amount of tooth decay is staggering, too, much of it from Mountain Dew and the like.  

 

The situation is overwhelming.  

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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

That was an excellent series.  

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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

TG, I agree with you about it being an overlooked part of this country.

 

I've never been to Appalachia, but have been interested in that area since first reading the Foxfire books.  PBS has done a great job educating us about the needs of that area, also.

A Thrill Of Hope The Weary World Rejoices
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

[ Edited ]

@tansy wrote:

Our very own third world country within our borders.  The amount of tooth decay is staggering, too, much of it from Mountain Dew and the like.  

 

The situation is overwhelming.  


 

You nailed it, Tansy.  I was absolutely amazed while watching the PBS show about that area.  I can't understand why the media only focuses on poverty around the world.  That's important too, but what does it say about us when we let this happen within our own borders?

 

P.S.  I would love to see Angelina Jolie or another high-profile celebrity bring awareness to Appalachia.  For most of us it's only a quick plane ride away; there's a lot we could do for those folks as fellow Americans and neighbors.  And why the heck do our politicians completely ignore Appalachia???

"Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~Henry James
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

Haven't read the article yet, but poverty equates to poor diet, lack of health care and preventative screening, and higher use of tobacco products, all increasing risks to cancer. 

 

No real surprise here.

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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

 

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.

A Thrill Of Hope The Weary World Rejoices
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

[ Edited ]

I just watched a news segment this past weekend (CBS, I think) where drones are being used to drop medications to patients in areas hard to access by car. 

Keep Your Face To The Sunshine and You Will Not See The Shadow
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Re: Appalachia: Poverty Is A Carcinogen

I remember watching a program, it may have been on PBS. It was about the huge meth problem in the Appalachians. It showcased other things too, unemployment, poverty etc. It was just really eye opening to see in our country.