Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Russell Means (Photo By REUTERS/Joshua Lott/REUTERS)

Russell Means (Photo By REUTERS/Joshua Lott/REUTERS)

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.

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Incredibly happy to pass along this update on Russell Means, diagnosed this summer with deadly throat cancer:

Russell Means (Courtesy of Native Sun News)

By Jesse Abernathy, Native Sun News Editor:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In a remarkable turn of events, actor and American Indian activist Russell Means says he has defeated throat cancer.

This reversal of fortune is nothing short of a miracle. Means was diagnosed this summer with what was then essentially referred to as incurable, or inoperable, esophageal cancer. His physician gave him mere days to live at the time, he said. “The prognosis was grim,” Means told Tom Lawrence of the Mitchell Daily.

In a Dec. 8 telephone interview from his seasonal home in Scottsdale, Means spoke in a clear, robust voice – a stark contrast to his last Native Sun News interview in August, when his tones were made fragile and husky by the disease.

“I won the battle, man – I’m cancer-free,” he declared victoriously. “The doctor told me the day before yesterday that ‘Mr. Means, you will not die of cancer’.”

The triumph in Means’ voice was unmistakable.

Means, an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, partially attributes his amazing recovery to the outpouring of support – in the form of supplication – from all of the multifaceted corners of the globe.

“I beat it with prayer – prayer from all over the world from all the different disciplines,” he said.

“And Indian prayer,” Means added. “Indian prayer and Indian medicine,” he said, in referencing his primary spiritual and cultural connection to his Lakota brethren.

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 Navajo miners work the Kerr-McGee uranium mine, 7 May 1953. (AP photo)

Navajo miners work the Kerr-McGee uranium mine, 7 May 1953. (AP photo)

The U.S. Justice Department seeks Native Americans interns are begin sought to help tribal members who worked in the uranium industry or lived downwind from atomic tests.

The interns will help cancer victims apply for compensation under terms of the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, according to this Deseret News story. The internship is designed to ensure that people who qualify for claims get the compensation they deserve. Interns will be based in the Four Corners area and will receive training, housing and a small stipend.

“In addition to helping us reach those Cold War patriots who are suffering and are entitled to compensation, this internship program will provide much needed summer jobs to bright students looking for an opportunity to serve,” says Tony West, assistant attorney general for Justice’s Civil Division.

He added, “The RECA program is an important part of the attorney general’s commitment to this administration’s work in strengthening the nation-to-nation relationship with tribal governments.”

For more information on the internship program or to apply, call (202) 616-4304, or click here.

Gwen Florio

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