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Cancer and Driving?

Posted May 13 2009 11:31pm


Potholes suck and are copious in Chicago after this evil winter.  They jacked up our car big time - $1,800 of repairs.   Instead of fixing it, we’re giving the car-free life a two-month trial.

Young adult cancer patients often talk to me about cancer and the environment.  We all agree that there is a connection between the two, and that too little research is being done.  But while we are waiting for scientific advances, shouldn’t we be doing more to reduce known carcinogens – like fuel emissions?

A great article by Breast Cancer Action shows internal combustion engines release 4 major chemical that have been show to cause cancer in animals and humans.  The solution to this problem is way bigger than me not driving.  We need stricter regulations on car emissions, investment in public transit, and design of more walkable communities.  But in the meanwhile, it doesn’t hurt for me to drive less.

Without a car for the last month: I’ve gotten more exercise and met more neighbors walking, read more and heard lots of cool languages spoken on the bus, and joined a non-profit car share where I can pick up a set of wheels  in the White Castle parking lot across the street from my house (classy huh?)  This would not have worked if I still had treatment fatigue, and I might not like it come winter.  We’ll see…

My next blog post is going to be about how to cut down on car emissions – even if you are still driving!  Until then:  How often do you drive? Do you ever equate daily activities of your life with carcinogenic output?  If you have had major illness, treatment, surgery, did it affect your driving habits? Have you ever used the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program?

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