Cancer Prevention Information
Smoking and drinking alcohol can cause some people to get certain types of cancer. These cancers might be prevented by avoiding tobacco and alcohol. The best idea is to never use tobacco at all. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes and even smokeless tobacco cause cancer. People who already smoke should try to quit.
The chances of getting skin cancer can be lowered by staying in the shade as much as you can, wearing a hat and shirt when you are in the sun, and using sunscreen, but one can't always rely on sunscreen.
Our diet (what we eat) is linked to some types of cancer, although the exact reasons are not clear. It is recommended to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains like pasta and bread, and to cut down on high fat foods. See additional recommendations below.
There are tests, called screening examinations, that adults should have in order to find cancer as early as possible. Cancer is much easier to treat if it doesn't spread.
According to the National Cancer Institute, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are due to identified factors, and thus are potentially preventable. (It is estimated that only 5 to 10 percent of all cancer cases are inherited.) Thirty percent are due to tobacco use, and as much as 35 to 50 percent are due to foods. The evidence also indicates that although genetics is a factor in the development of cancer, cancer cannot be explained by heredity alone. Behavioral factors such as cigarette smoking, dietary choices, and physical activity modify the risk of cancer at all stages of its development. The introduction of healthful diet and exercise practices at any time from childhood to old age can promote health and reduce cancer risk. Stress can also lead to unhealthy and potentially cancer-causing habits which can contribute to an increased risk of developing cancer. There are things you can do to control these and other risk factors. Some recommendations include:
- Eat a variety of healthful foods, with an emphasis on plant sources.
- Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible.
- If a food will not rot or sprout, then throw it out.
- Shop the perimeter (outside aisles) of the grocery store. Avoid heavily processed foods.
- Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
- Choose whole grains in preference to processed (refined) grains and sugars.
- Limit consumption of red meats, especially those high in fat and processed.
- Choose foods that help maintain a healthful weight.
- Adopt a physically active lifestyle - Adults: engage in at least moderate activity for 30 minutes or more on 5 or more days of the week; 45 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous activity on 5 or more days per week may further enhance reductions in the risk of breast and colon cancer. Children and adolescents: engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week.
- Balance caloric intake with physical activity.
- Lose weight if currently overweight or obese.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption.
- Reduce or cut out tobacco use
- Increase your intake of cancer fighting foods
- Avoid sugar. Cancer loves sugar. Some even feel cancer thrives on most carbohydrates too, so it would make sense to limit some of these too such as corn and potatoes. For information on this, go to http://www.immunerecovery.com.
- Deal with stress before allowing it to overtake you. Consider utilizing mind/body approaches or stress reduction techniques.
- Avoid pesticides and products that have cancer causing ingredients
Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention developed a Cancer Risk profile. It offers pesonalized method for estimating and lowering an individual's risk for the 12 most common cancers in the US. After filling out brief questionnaires, you will receive a description of the risk in the form of a colored bar graph., which you can electronically manipulate to experience "virtual" risk reduction. You will learn how different behaviors influence your risk and where to focus their prevention efforts. Go to http://www.yourcancerrisk.harvard.edu/index.htm to check out your risk for various cancers.
There are many products that have cancer causing ingredients. Some good books that discuss these products and good substitutes include: Beauty to Die for : The Cosmetic Consequence by Judi Vance; Drop-Dead Gorgeous: Protecting Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics by Kim Erickson; Dying to Look Good by Christine Hoza Farlow; The Safe Shopper's Bible: A Consumer's Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food by David Steinman and Samuel S. Epstein; Home Safe Home by Debra Dadd-Redalia; and Toxics A to Z by John Harte.
Organizations with a number of good products:
Neways: http://www.healthy-communications.com/yourdecisionsashealthconsumers.htm for a list.
Some feel that lack of cellular oxygen may be a factor leading to cancer. In 1931 Dr. Warburg won his first Nobel Prize for work proving cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen respiration in cells. He stated in "The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer" that the cause of cancer is no longer a mystery, we know it occurs whenever any cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements. So, it would be important to increase cellular oxygen levels and to take products that support the body’s detoxification process so that the cells can stay oxygenated. Cancer also thrives in an acidic environment, and can’t live in an alkaline environment. Many foods and drinks the average person consumes are acidic, with the colas and other soft drinks being highly acidic. So unless you are eating a special diet, your body is way too acidic. One should switch to a more alkaline diet. Another factor is that our enzymes get depleted from eating processed, irradiated and cooked food. Foods often don't get completely digested and these are treated as toxins, putting an additional strain on the already overworked immune system, which is trying to deal with all the chemicals and other environmental contaminants entering the body. This further tips the body in the direction of cancer. Good quality enzyme supplements taken with meals helps make sure that food is digested. There are many websites that discuss these issues. We will be discussing these as time permits.