Cancer has become one of the greatest fears for patients, since most have a family or friend facing cancer. Since cures, other than for specific malignancies, have not been very successful to date, prevention of cancer is the only sensible approach.
Reviewing research shows the hunt for magic bullets. However, the most successful is a combined program. The prevention of cancer means keeping the immune system healthy, so it can continually destroy improperly formed cells and prevent mutations. How do we do that?
The number one cause of cancer is still smoking. So, the obvious biggest prevention of cancer is to stop smoking!!! (We all know now the increased lung, mouth, throat and larynx cancer risk).
“Poor” fats such as saturated fats found in red meats and dairy products, fried, hydrogenated or refined oils should be minimized. They have been shown to act as cancer causing agents.
Maximizing the “good” fats, such as olive oil or coconut oil to cook with and using seed and nut oils such as sunflower seed/sesame seed or almond/olive oil for salads and cold food preparation. Coconut oil which is solid at room temperature, can also be used for sautéed foods and gives a lighter taste than olive oil.
You need to maintain a normal weight for your height within 10 lbs. It has been shown that colon, rectal, prostate, breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian and gall bladder cancer rates are much higher with obesity.
It is extremely important that you maintain a healthy diet with enough fibre. Therefore, the majority of your diet should consist of whole grains, such as whole grain breads/crackers/muffins and pastas, vegetables, fruit and legumes/beans.
Foods should also be rich in Vitamin A and C, Beta-carotene, selenium and zinc. These include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Sound familiar?
Also essential is four-to-eight glasses of pure water, depending on your weight. Take your weight and divide by two and that is the amount of water you should be consuming in a day. Make sure it is not chlorinated or fluoridated, so it can flush out toxins and by-products through the liver. It is the same as having a shower from the inside.
One should always minimize coffee/tea (or any stimulant tea such as Chai/Yerba mate/Roobios/Honeybush/white/green tea/Red Bull or any Pop) to a maximum of 2-3 cups/week. They are all very acidic, which minimizes the body’s ability to excrete toxins and all have naturally occurring stimulants and other naturally occurring chemicals.
As most of us know, it is important that we minimize sugar, alcohol, food colouring/additives/chemicals, since these put a huge load on the liver, and the liver is what has to detoxify everything. If it gets overloaded, the body will start to breakdown in some way and sugar is the preferred food for cancer.
Also important is minimizing occupational and home/garden chemicals and heavy metals.
Be aware and minimize the chemicals you are using in cosmetics and hair dyes. There are many companies now producing non-toxic cosmetics—look in your local health food store and please, folks, use natural hair dyes.
The others are extremely toxic and can easily enter the lymph system in the neck that is just above—yes, you guessed correctly—the breast tissue that is primarily made up of lymph glandular tissue— the leading type of cancer in women.
Consider supplementing the basic immune strengtheners and supporters, if you use up many in your life. These are beta-carotene, vitamin E, C, A, zinc and selenium. These strong anti-oxidants break down toxins and by-products and therefore remove them from the body.
Dr. Brenda Gill is a naturopath in Rosslandfor an appointment call 250-362-5035.