Preventing the Big C

We all know someone who has had cancer. The rate is almost 1 out of 2 men and 1 out of 3 women in a lifetime. In 2012 a little over 1.6 million people in America were diagnosed with cancer. Most medicine is focused on early detection, but what about actually preventing getting a cancer diagnosis in the first place? Or if you were previously diagnosed, doing what you can to make sure it doesn’t return?

Has it always been this way that so many of us have gotten cancer. It doesn’t appear so. It seems that cancer is a “modern” disease, and that traditional cultures showed little, if any, cancer. Dr.Albert Schweitzer studied over 10,000 traditionally-living Gabon natives in West Africa and never found cancer. Dr. Eugene Payne studied around 60,000 people over 25 years in Brazil and Equador, and again no incidences of cancer. The Hunza in northern Pakistan, the Inuit Eskimos, all these cultures with their traditional diets, had basically no cancer. But after the introduction of Western foods like refined oils, refined flours, processed foods and sugar, the incidence of cancer now rivals our own rates.

Deaths from cancer has basically remained unchanged, dropping only 5 percent since 1950 and in some cases rising (such as lung, breast and prostate). So for all the hype about early detection and early treatment, death rates are about the same. Many think that women in their 40’s should get mammograms. Did you know that you would have to screen 1900 women in their 40’s for 10 years in order to prevent one death from breast cancer, and in the process you will have generated more than 1,000 false positive screens. Plus the fact that over those 10 years a woman would have received 5 rads of radiation. This is about the level a Japanese woman would have received at one mile from the epicenter of the atom bombs dropped on Hiorshima or Nagasaki. This is why I recommend thermography for women concerned about breast cancer, which, through detecting “hot spots,” can find cancers long before a mammogram.

How does cancer start? You have trillions of cells and some become abnormal, which the immune system is designed to manage. Triggers that make cells become abnormal fall in these 4 categories:

-Environmental/toxic overload

-Hormonal imbalances

-Nutritional deficiencies

-Mental/emotional stress

Besides having been inadvertently exposed to something like a chemical, or insecticide or radiation, it is often the things we do every day that stress our systems. Many people microwave in plastic containers, drink tap water, use artificial sweeteners, eat processed foods and consume far too much sugar and refined carbohydrates.

There are many studies now showing a link between cancer and low vitamin D levels. It is estimated that 85% of Americans are severely deficient in vitamin D. I had a patient last year, who had an exemplary lifestyle and who got cancer. He was interested in finding out what could be done besides the standard medical treatment. All he needed was 10,000 iu of vitamin D a day for a limited duration. He is now happy and cancer free. I find most people need about 2000-3000 iu of vitamin D a day. Many doctors are now doing lab tests to make sure patient levels are optimal, at least 50ng/ml. Sometimes I put people with a susceptibility to cancer on a selenium supplement as well, as this mineral is often deficient in our diets.

Sugar and refined carbs should be substantially reduced because insulin and glucose greatly increase cancerous cell activity. That is why there is such a great correlation between diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and cancer. Some experts say that many precancerous cells would never turn malignant if not for the constant exposure to insulin, as glucose is needed for their metabolism. The director of the Cancer Center at Harvard Medical School says that up to 80 percent of all human cancers have glucose and insulin as instigating factors.

It is estimated that by the time a cancer shows up on a mammogram, the abnormality has been forming for 8 years. How much sugar was she eating all those years? The average person today eats between 150 to 180 pounds of sugar a year. In the year 1700 it was about 4 pounds. So just cutting your sugar intake in half, still might not be a healthy amount for your body.

You might consider doing a cleanse or a fast once or twice a year to detoxify. Eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables can be a key. It has been found that these veggies help the liver remove excess estrogen, which a key factor in both breast and prostate cancer. Sometime symptoms like PMS can indicate high estrogen. Gas and bloating and constipation indicate digestive problems and 80% of your immune system is in your gut, so make sure we get these things under control. A healthy immune system is so important to preventing cancer.

On the emotional level, I find that most cancer patients have a little black book in their subconscious. In it is written every person and incident that they have a grudge against….to heal we must burn that book and forgive every wrong that has been done to us. This does not exonerate the person from having to balance their debt or condone their behavior, but it frees us to live a healthier and happier life.

I have seen many patients who I sensed were going in the direction of cancer. With periodic cleansing of the cells and organs and balancing the lifestyle and diet these things can almost always be prevented. For those who I have seen that have had cancer, I have always seen a quantum leap in spiritual growth and self- knowledge after they have gotten over the initial fear and shock. But let us live a balanced and disciplined life as free from toxins as we can, and enjoy each moment as best we can.

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