Cancer prevention seems as elusive as a cure. Today, one in two men and one in three women will get cancer, quite an uptick from the statistics just a century ago when it was one in 20. Researchers project that the number of new cases of cancer is set to nearly double by 2050. What’s worse is that mainstream cancer treatment is not improving despite advanced technology.
We’ve known that carcinogens play a part in causing cancer, but how and why has eluded researchers. When DNA was discovered, researchers soon found that cancer cells carry mutated DNA. Since then, doctors and scientists seem to have stopped looking outside of genetics and are treating cancer as a purely genetic disease, which insinuates that it’s totally out of our control.
This all sounds pretty depressing—until you learn that there are other options. If chemotherapy “only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival” according to researchers, then maybe we need to shift our thinking and look at other possibilities.
According to the late Nobel prize recipient Otto H. Warburg, who was recognized for his work on the aerobic and anaerobic metabolic process in cells, “Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.”
Damage to mitochondria from environmental stressors and poor nutrition causes this switch from burning oxygen to burning glucose for energy. It’s the damaged cell’s last-ditch effort to produce energy for itself. However, glucose fermentation produces much less energy than the cell needs. Mitochondria are then forced to shut down all function besides survival and replication. It even shuts down the function of apoptosis (cell death). These damaged cells are now in a cycle of burning glucose and replicating without dying—resulting in cancer cells.
Of course, cancer is genetic to some degree, and someone who follows all preventative steps may still get certain types of cancer that are especially hereditary, such as breast cancer. However, if cancer is primarily a metabolic disease as Warburg states, there are things we can do to treat and prevent cancer.
Here are 6 of the top Cancer Prevention tips:
1. Have More Sex
As it turns out, sexual activity may help ward off cancer. Having sex at least once a week boosts the immune system which naturally protects the body from cancer. Women who had sex more than once per month were less likely to get breast cancer, according to one study.
But the benefits aren’t restricted to women only. Though some research has pointed to more sex equating to a higher risk for prostate cancer, more recent studies point to the opposite. A number of studies have found that men who ejaculate more frequently have a lower risk of prostate cancer. Researchers believe it could be that frequent ejaculation reduces inflammation, a risk factor for many diseases.
Others believe that regularly emptying the prostate can decrease the exposure of harmful substances, like built up toxins, which might play a part. Of course, the reason some men ejaculate less often than others may be because they are unhealthy, and being unhealthy is a huge risk factor for prostate cancer and other cancers. However, in general, safe sex is a pleasurable activity that can’t hurt to try.
2. Lower Toxic Load
We come in contact with potentially carcinogenic chemicals every day in our food, water, skin care products, and cleaning supplies among other things. Switching these highly toxic products for more natural versions can positively impact your health and reduce your risk of getting cancer.
Many household cleaners and scented products actually make the air quality less healthy. Switch your bleach for vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Trade in your all-purpose cleaner for a mixture of vinegar, water, soap, and essential oils.
When it comes to beauty supplies, toxic chemicals are shockingly hard to avoid. Many brands contain endocrine disruptors among other harmful chemicals. Skipping makeup all together is an option but if you still want to wear makeup and use other beauty products, check out the EWG’s database for safer choices. Another option is to make your own cosmetics from organic ingredients like arrowroot powder and beetroot powder. Avoid using plastic as much as possible and use glass, bamboo, or stainless steel instead.
Using these pointers and other tips for reducing your toxic load can help with natural cancer prevention. Coffee enemas are also a gentle way to detox and reinvigorate your live and detoxifying capabilities.
3. Clean Diet
The food we eat is one of the biggest contributing factors to our chances of getting cancer and cancer prevention. However, it’s not as simple as eating more vegetables. Many westerners follow the standard American diet (SAD) which is very high in sugar, carbs, and unhealthy fats, while low in nutrients. Beginning a clean eating diet (a diet rich in foods in the most natural state as possible) can not only reduce the toxic chemicals we ingest but can fuel the body with the nutrients it needs rather than just filling your stomach with empty calories.
According to Darshi Shah, health coach and nutritional therapist, and author of RIGHT Diet for Autoimmunity, the food we eat controls the way the body functions and “a guided diet can be used to manipulate this process in favor of our cells against the fight of a handful of cells gone rogue.”
Such a diet would include antioxidants from foods like kale, camu camu, and pecans to reverse the damage to cells from environmental stressors, nutritional depletion, and the normal aging process.
A paleo diet may be helpful in getting more nutrient-dense foods into your diet. Paleo diets have been shown to improve metabolic health. A ketogenic diet is another option which helps the body to begin burning fat as it’s the main source of energy instead of glucose as those on the SAD diet do. A ketogenic diet has been shown to help mitochondria metabolism and signaling in the brain.
If you’re not ready for a complete diet overhaul, start by replacing packaged foods with more vegetables and fruits. Buy organic produce whenever possible. At the very least, buy organic versions of the Dirty Dozen. Next, switch to organic grass fed, grass finished lean meats like bison and pastured, organic poultry instead of conventional meats pumped with steroids and antibiotics. Conventional meat is also contaminated with pesticides and GMO’s (through the animal feed). Stick with healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, and animal fats from healthy animals. Make vegetables a big part of every meal.
4. Avoid White Foods
In particular, avoid refined sugar, refined wheat, and limit dairy. Dairy causes inflammation and is hard on digestion for many people. Stick with fermented dairy if you still choose to consume it. Eating too much sugar and carbs—that also turn into sugar — is a huge risk factor for many kinds of cancer, especially breast cancer.
According to Shah, “Cancer cells need fuel and certain conditions to grow. They can be starved out by withholding the fuel they need or manipulating the environment they need. Sugar is fuel for cancer cells. Learning how to live on a diet without refined sugars can effectively begin the starving-out process,” preventing any tumors from growing. White foods also tend to be not only low in nutrients but low in fiber as well. Swapping these low fiber foods for higher fiber foods can help prevent cancer.
5. Address Deficiencies
Vitamin D deficiency is a growing problem in the U.S. Vitamin D is best acquired from sun exposure but many people don’t go outside much, or can’t get vitamin D easily because of their climate. Vitamin D is crucial for proper immune function and helps your body repair damage that can lead to cancer. Research suggests that vitamin D may slow or prevent the growth of cancer cells and increase cancer cell death. This study showed that vitamin D supplementation substantially reduced the incidence of cancer in postmenopausal women. More research is still needed to verify vitamin D’s role in cancer prevention, but its role in our overall health is so important that it’s worth taking anyway.
Magnesium is another important mineral that we just don’t get enough of. From packaged foods to organic vegetables grown in depleted soil, we aren’t able to get enough magnesium without supplementation. But research is showing that magnesium deficiency may be related to increased risk of cancer. One study found that the more magnesium a person took, the lower their risk for colorectal cancer. Researchers think magnesium’s ability to reduce insulin resistance may play a part. As we discussed earlier, a healthy metabolism plays a huge part in cancer prevention.
6. Smart Supplementing
No matter how many supplements you take, you’ll never be healthy if you don’t also eat a healthy diet, exercise, and make other lifestyle choices that keep your body at optimal health. When you have everything else in place, adding supplements to your health regimen can help fix underlying deficiencies and imbalances and may help with cancer prevention. One way to optimize your intake of supplements is to conduct a metabolomic exam. Metabolomic Medicine is a new way to use molecular blood tests to define optimal nutrition and supplementation to prevent chronic disease like cancer, with an amazing success rate.
In a culture where you can’t eliminate all toxins from your life no matter how hard you try, a supplement like CBD oil can go a long way to achieving bodily homeostasis. CBD oil works with the endocannabinoid system to protect the body from DNA damage from cancer cell growth—and even reverse the damage that may have already occurred.
According to Shah:
Cannabinoids induce apoptosis, which is a term that describes cell suicide. All healthy cells go through a normal cycle of life and eventually they die off—that is normal. Cancer cells start off as healthy once upon a time; then for unknown reasons, they stop listening to the body’s commands. They undergo changes and refuse to die. Cannabinoids help those cells die.
In other words, CBD oil can help keep your cells functioning properly so they don’t turn into cancer.
Cancer Prevention: Simpler Than You May Think
Preventing cancer is not as impossible as it may seem. Cancer prevention is more about looking at the body in a holistic way, meaning, accepting that the body works together as a whole, instead of each part acting independently. With a healthy diet and lifestyle, and supportive supplements that fix deficiencies and help the body get back into homeostasis, we may be able to truly to prevent cancer.
Mindy Wood is a writer, wife, mother, and homesteader-in-the-making, living in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She writes at Purposefully Simple about her choice to embrace a more intentional and sustainable life and encourages others to pursue their best life too.
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