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About Us

leroy lowe

Leroy Lowe, PhD
Co-Founder and President

Getting to Know Cancer

Years ago, as a young man, I sat with my grandfather in his living room after he had been sent home from the hospital to die. He had inoperable cancer, and he was managing his pain with a dark and murky-looking pain medication concoction that the hospital had sent home with him. I am glad that I was able to spend time with him during his final days, but I watched him suffer an intolerable amount of pain as he withered away. The disease literally consumed the man. It was a horrible way for anyone to have to die.

Many years later, my aunt died of cancer as well when she was only in her 40's. We weren't really close as adults, but she had been my best friend when I was a kid (she is pictured on the right as a young girl). We had spent many of our summers together as youngsters. We caught frogs and turtles in nearby ponds, and she taught me to swim in the local river. She was spontaneous, enthusiastic and caring, and I really did love her dearly. So when she died from cancer, it triggered something deep inside of me. With a family of my own, cancer became a very real concern. So I decided that I needed to do something to help, and I spent the better part of the past decade intensely focused on the science of cancer (just so that I could understand the problem). After literally thousands of hours of study, I began to piece together the issues and what I learned was unsettling to say the least.

  • The first issue that I began to focus on was the fact the risks of getting cancer in Canada and the United States are 2-4 times greater than nearly 100 other countries, and that we are in dire need of environmental regulatory reform (as it relates to chemical exposures). The day-to-day low-dose exposures to disruptive chemical mixtures that are now found in our food, our water, the products we use daily, and in the spaces where we live are significant and yet they are largely unregulated. This is because our regulations are focused on the assessment of the carcinogenic potential of individual chemicals, while the carcinogenic potential of mixtures of chemicals is ignored. Yet the science of cancer has shown us that the disease can be readily instigated by mixtures of chemicals, so this is an area of regulatory reform that urgently needs to be addressed.
  • The second issue is that our current approach to chemotherapy lacks promise despite the fact that many billions of dollars are being spent every year on research. The pharmaceutical companies have mainly focused on targeted therapies, yet cancers are comprised of many different mutated cells, which make it a disease that is nearly impossible to address with only a few isolated targets. These therapies often put the disease in remission, but the risk of relapse is high (because the drug targets are not effective on all the mutated cell types), therefore a broad-spectrum chemotherapy (i.e., therapy that can reach many targets) is desperately needed. Fortunately some of the safest and most promising chemicals for this sort of approach are being found in foods and other plants, but these substances are not patentable, so this approach has not been pursued by industry. Therefore this another important problem that also needs to be addressed.

Fortunately, I was not the first or only person to raise these issues, and I quickly found some help. I had approached Theo Colborn at TEDX (http://www.endocrinedisruption.com ) to gain some insights into the low dose chemical exposure problem, and she put me in touch with Michael Gilbertson (shown on the right). Michael is a reputable scientist with a background in environmental health, and he has worked with Theo Colborn for many years. Michael had lost his wife to cancer, so he and I worked together to identify some of the key hurdles standing in the way of change, and then we recruited a large group of scientists to act as advisors, and the "Getting to Know Cancer" was launched.

But if you really want to understand what we are doing, you first need to understand the disease. So please take your time on this website. Once you understand the disease, you will see what needs to be done. The challenges we face are great, but we are truly optimistic about the possibility for progressive and positive change.

Hopefully we will even inspire you to want to help us, we are looking for all kinds of people with all kinds of skills. In any event, please submit your email above and let us keep you in touch with our progress. We are going make the world a better place - you can count on it!

Sincerely

signature of leroy lowe

Leroy Lowe, PhD
President and Co-Founder
Getting to Know Cancer

902-893-5362 tel.

leroy.lowe@gettingtoknowcancer.org

Rosemary Lowe
(circa 1968)

Michael Gilbertson, PhD
Co-Founder and
Chief Scientist

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