I have put more links than normal in today’s blog, I think it is important that you read the other information provided by these sources. When it comes to cancer many people have a hard time believing that their lifestyle choices may promote or lessen the risk of developing cancer. Even if they have a genetic history of cancer a healthy diet and lifestyle will greatly reduce the risk.
When people hear the word cancer it invokes a real fear and an almost certain connection with death or at least fears of the toxic effects that some chemotherapy and radiation treatments leave cancer victims to live with. For women, the word breast cancer has frightening consequences for their health and their fear of losing an important part of being a woman.
Let’s discuss prevention first, why not do everything you can to ensure you or your loved one doesn’t suffer or die from this deadly menace. To understand how to prevent cancer we need to look at the potential causes and risk factors.
Many things can influence your opportunity to develop cancer. For example; exposure to toxic chemicals such as pesticides, industry pollutants such as PCB’s, toxic heavy metals like mercury and toxic petrol chemicals such as benzene have a promotional relationship with cancers. Also, chlorine in your drinking water can be a promoter of cancer. It may be hard to control these factors because of where you live or work, however important choices must be made. In addition, your exposure to certain viruses and bacteria such as the human papilloma virus, hepatitis B and C virus, Helicobacter pylori and some forms of herpes are potential cancer promoters. Certainly genetics may make us more susceptible to developing certain cancers.
Other factors increase your risk for developing cancer, such as smoking, having more than two alcoholic drinks a day, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, repeated excessive exposure to sunlight, hormone replacement therapy’s with an increase in estrogen, repeated radiation exposure, chemotherapies and some pharmacological drugs are linked to cancers and other diseases and negative health conditions. Even some antibiotics may increase your risk for breast cancer.
However, on cancer, diet and lifestyle are at the top of the potential cause list. Why is this? Our diet and lifestyle can tip the balance in both directions; in your favor preventing the cancer or it can tip it in the other direction opening up pathways in the body that may allow cancer to develop. Study after study confirms a direct correlation to a Western diet, (typical diet eaten by Americans) a sedentary lifestyle and cancers. The Western Diet has large amounts of animal foods, simple sugars, a high Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio, and primarily refined and processed foods. The Western Diet is not only associated with cancer, it is also related to higher incidences of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.
Studies show that the Western diet causes massive amounts of inflammation that promotes cellular genetic damage. In fact inflammation is related to so many adverse health conditions it was really hard picking a link to share with you, I could have picked fifty for you to read, so I chose this one. The body initiates an inflammatory process when fighting an infection to kill the infection, this is normal. Chronic inflammation is the type that causes a variety of harmful health conditions. The inflammatory process is very complicated and is associated with a variety of diseases and health conditions not just cancer.
Free radicals are one of the leading inflammatory promoters in the body. Free radicals are such a problem because so many things in our lives can cause them. For example, stress, working out, environmental pollutants in the air we breathe, pharmaceutical drugs, metabolic processes, cigarette smoke, pesticides, chemicals in our homes, petroleum products, refined and processed foods etc…all cause free radical attacks in our bodies. Antioxidants counter the effects of free radicals preventing cellular damage. The Western diet is a poor provider of antioxidants. Taking an antioxidant supplement while consuming a Western diet is a waste of your money, the antioxidant is wasted and evidence has shown that some antioxidants taken in supplement form may actually promote other diseases and health conditions. Antioxidants are the most powerful and useful to the body when they are consumed in their natural state, unprocessed or refined. There is a synergy between nutrients bundled in nature’s foods. For example, Vitamin C replenishes Vitamin E by giving Vitamin E extra electrons to neutralize more free radicals.
Our Western diet is counter to health; it fosters inflammation, is devoid of health enhancing critical nutrients and it causes damage to cellular genetic material. In a bold but true statement; the very diet and lifestyle the majority of Americans are living are killing them. In addition other cultures that once had good health have seen their populations adopting the western diet and now their health rates are declining.
Next Blog, Part II –How to Prevent Cancers and Other Alternative Treatments
Wally Bishop C.N.C.
The contents of this blog is not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.