By Jesse Abernathy, Native Sun News Editor
SANTA FE, N.M. – Russell Means says he is still cancer-free and will forever be unaffected by the dread disease.
Means, who is Oglala Lakota, was diagnosed last summer with what was then referred to as “terminal” esophageal cancer. In December, the actor and former American Indian Movement activist claimed victory over his affliction partially by way of “Indian prayer and Indian medicine.”
“The cancer’s gone – I don’t have to worry about that,” Means said from his wife Pearl’s familial home in Santa Fe.
“I beat it, it’s gone,” he said firmly.
As was the case in December, Means’ voice is still clear and robust – a noticeable difference from the height of his throat cancer last August, when his tones were audibly weak.
“None of my doctors believe in the term ‘remission,’” said Means. “Either you got cancer or you don’t – period.”
Means concurs with his physicians in ascribing no validity to the cancer-related state of remission, which is an all-too-common polarity of metastasizing, or actively spreading, cancer cells.
“Remission means there’s cancer hanging around – to me, that’s what it means – and I totally reject that basis. The reason the medical profession uses that word is because they know their radiation, chemo and their meds weaken the immune system to the degree that it invites all kinds of disease. But specifically, it invites cancer to come back, so that’s why they say ‘remission.’ They know, because of how they treat cancer, it weakens you and makes you even more susceptible to disease.