Congress and Prostate Cancer
The first “Big C” was Congress debating and voting on the “Buffett Rule” of taxation. And the second was Mr. Buffett announcing that he has Stage 1 prostate cancer. From the New York Times (See 4-17-12 article below), as the title of article suggests, Mr. Buffett is downplaying the effects of the cancer on his life or his work:
“Revealing Prostate Cancer, Buffett Plays Down Effect”
Warren E. Buffett disclosed on Tuesday that he had prostate cancer, a development that would probably heighten the questions over his successor as the chief executive of his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway.
Yet Mr. Buffett, who will turn 82 this summer, also made clear that he would continue to run the company, writing to shareholders that the disease was in Stage 1 and that he had been told by doctors that it was “not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way.”
Earlier blog. I recently blogged about the world’s third richest man (1-21-12) after reading about his dietary preferences in a Time cover story earlier this year. In that article, he was almost boasting about his unhealthy eating habits.
I found it disturbing at the time that the world’s third richest—and one of the world’s most influential people—was not helping people understand the millions of lives that could be saved—simply by changing what we eat.
Here is a brief excerpt from that blogpost, which was all about the importance of “conscience” that he learned from his father.
My question is this. If he were to understand what our Western diet-style is doing to our health, our planet and the future of our way of life; how would his conscience permit him to not apply a portion of his mighty wealth to changing it? Maybe his conscience is not as strong as his appetite. From the Time article:
Buffett, who has a soft elderly face but moves briskly, stacks a plate high with waffles, bacon and roast beef. Despite his Eisenhower-era diet, which includes 60 oz. of Coke (preferably Cherry) a day, Buffett remains surprisingly thin. “I haven’t had a taste of broccoli or asparagus in years!” he boasts. “I formed my thoughts on eating at the age of 5, and I haven’t changed them.”
Bacon and roast beef? He might feel differently when he learns what’s at stake. The definition of conscience, from my online dictionary: an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.
But now that Mr. Buffett has been diagnosed with cancer, he may be more open to learning about prostate cancer and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it. And if he does learn more, we are confident that his conscience would insist that he do the right thing. Imagine what he could do with his wealth in terms of truly fighting cancer—the way Dr. Colin Campbell outlined in The China Study.
In our book, we cover the chronic diseases that are primarily driven by the food that we eat—and among them are virtually all cancers. Quoting Dr. T. Colin Campbell in Chapter 3 under the “Big C” section:
- Doctors should be discussing the option of using dietary change as a potential path to cancer prevention and treatment.
- The U.S. government should be discussing the idea that the toxicity of our diet is the single biggest cause of cancer.
- Local cancer alliances and institutions should be discussing the possibility of providing information to Americans everywhere on how a whole-foods, plant-based diet may be an incredibly effective anticancer medicine.
Requested meeting with Mr. Buffett. As a member of the board of directors of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation, I am sure that Dr. Campbell would love the opportunity to meet with Mr. Buffett and tell him all about cancer and what we can do about it. And it’s not about providing financial support for the kinds of “magic bullet” research that’s been taking place since Nixon was president. It’s about understanding and taking action on the fact that “the toxicity of our diet is the single biggest cause of cancer.”
Added on April 20, upon receiving my copy of Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” issue. As expected, Mr. Buffett is in that group and his article was written by President Obama. Here is an excerpt…
Warren Buffett is not just one of the world’s richest men but also one of the most admired and respected. He has devoted the vast majority of his wealth to those around the world who are suffering, or sick, or in need of help….Today, at 81, he reminds us that life is not just about the value you seek. It’s about the values you stand for.
I should also add that as an executive recruiter, I have been quoting Mr. Buffett for years. In describing what he seeks in CEOs of companies that he might acquire, he says, ” I look for three things: Intelligence, Energy and Integrity. And if the CEO doesn’t have Integrity, those first two will kill you.”
New York Times article, Revealing Prostate Cancer, Buffett Plays Down Effect
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation