Ten ways to give yourself cancer – Dr. David Hepburn

A recent article I wrote recommending the top ten things you could do to acquire a heart attack generated a plethora of mail, and I do enjoy an occasional plethora. For example:

An interesting article, as in the Chinese curse “may your life be interesting.”” Wing Chow

Shing hoa chou bein mein wong shang sweet and sour.”  Sean McElgunn

We are upset that you have given the heart attack prime time as we think people would really prefer to know the best ways to get cancer.” Canadian Cancer Society

You are an idiot!” Rosemary Hepburn   “But you’re still my only son.”

Dr. David Hepburn
Dr. David Hepburn

And so, in order to give cancer equal time, here are my top ten recommended ways to get cancer. I include modifiable risks only as, though genetics plays a significant role in many cancers, it is a little awkward to go to the stork station and request a new set of parents because they usually say “Sorry Dave but this is the 62nd time you’ve asked us this month.” But as more than 30% of all cancers are self-induced, there is plenty you can do by yourself. Cancer is a growth industry, with 8 million deaths each year globally, projected to increase to 12 million by 2030.  If you don’t want miss out on the trend here’s what you can do.

  1. Tobacco: be it ingested by smoking, snorting, the attractive chewing or in an enema, be it 1st, 2nd or even 3rd hand, be it mild, moderate or severe, be it in a pipe, a puff, a paper or a pinch, tobacco is far and away your single best bet for getting a tumour or two or twenty.
  2. Alcohol: Fire back two drinks of alcohol or more per day. Alcohol not only boosts your serum boorish levels, but it can boost your chances for melanoma, stomach, breast, colorectal, liver, mouth and throat and oddly even lung cancer.
  3. HPV: This contagious virus is not only responsible for those sweet genital warts but HPV, particularly when combined with smoking really enhances your cancer chances. The combination of the two not only increases your likelihood of developing cervical cancer by a whopping 15 times, but also causes fatal squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. And if you don’t have a cervix and are currently lacking a head or neck, you can enhance your risk of getting liver and lymphoma cancers by getting the Hepatitis C or even B virus.
  4. Obesity: Yes, that is a lot of a lot of us. So crank that spare tire up to say a spare walrus and increase your chances of getting: breast, colon, kidney, uterine, esophageal and prostate cancers.
  5. Sedentariness: Couch potato-itis not only helps your walrus develop, but if you’re skinny and just can’t get fat, then being a happy slug might help you snag pancreatic, breast, colon or uterine cancers. Exercising not only scares away tumours but it gets your clothes sweaty.
  6. PAHs and HCAs: Do not ignore the effects of burnt barbequed beef giving us those crunchy carcinogenic PAH’s and HCAs. And while you’re sweating over the barbie, light up a cigar. Bulls Eye.
  7. Ditch the D: Indications are that colorectal and breast cancer may be associated with low Vitamin D levels. No more Vitamin Dave.
  8. Diabetes (primarily type 2): is associated with an increased risk of some cancers (liver, pancreas, endometrium, colon/rectum, breast, and bladder). Oddly diabetes is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Sweet!
  9. Quit vegetables:  Stop eating your vegetables and fruit and dig right into those saturated fats. Wrap your hotdog up with salami and bacon. Barbeque them until extra crispy for added potential.
  10. Expose yourself: Get a job that exposes you to difficult to spell chemicals or even radiation. Inhale copious amounts of asbestos, benzene, pesticides or solvents. This can be done alone or with the rest of the band.

And should all of that fail then try these: avoid your pap smears, load up on the sun, practice unsafe sex, demand X-rays and CT scans for every sniffle. And if you need more ideas, heck, I have a plethora.


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