some live more down stream than others

Topics: Cancer, Environmentalism, Environment Pages: 2 (724 words) Published: October 28, 2013
It is easy to “go with the flow,” so to speak. Don’t argue, don’t mess things up, and don’t disturb everyone else. That is the way we have been raised and is a point raised in Jim Tarters essay, “Some Live More Downstream than Others.” But by doing this, are we allowing critical issues to go unnoticed? In his essay, Jim Tarter raises the highly sensitive question about cancer vs. environment. Are they connected? Should they be considered on the same playing field? environment. Are they connected? Should they be considered on the same playing field? Jim Tarter, a cancer survivor, comes from a family riddled with cancer victims and survivors. And when Tarters sister Karen was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, Tarter decided to use his past fight with cancer to try and discover more about the dark mystery surrounding cancer. During his research, Tarter came to the conclusion that cancer is not just a genetics issue but also an environmental issue. That cancer development rates are significantly higher in areas of high pollution, chemicals and waste production and disposal. An interesting point that Tarter brought up was that we as a society tend to look to the present moment, the case by case problems, patient by patient. How can we cure this patient? What needs to be done for this patient? But maybe we should be looking to what may be the source of the problem instead. After a 4 year struggle with ovarian cancer, Karen died. During her last 6 months of life Tarter had been her care taker. Throughout those 6 months, Tarter received a book from a friend called Living downstream Sandra Streingrabber. One of the quotes from that book that stuck out to Tarter was how Streingrabber talks about how there is a need for a more upstream focus with cancer. She states “…So preoccupied were these heroic villagers with rescue and treatment that they never thought to look upstream to see who was pushing the victims in (825 Streinbrabber). This passage sends a clear message about...
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