Before I get started, I'd just like to say that this is a very difficult topic for me to cover, but if I can provide just a few steps to help in the prevention of this devastating disease, then it's worthwhile. Just like many others, I have been greatly impacted by cancer and have had to see the pain that many suffer first-hand.
Cancer is a disease that may affect any part of the body. It is said that there are about 200 different types of cancer, some of which are more common than others. Cancer itself occurs from an abnormal division of cells. Basically cancer is a mutation of normal cells.
Cancer can be linked to the following:
1. Environmental factors: Toxins such as smoke, mold, and chemical pesticides cause cell damage and toxicity build-up, which the body is constantly fighting against.
2. Worrying about cancer: I had to throw this in, because there are 2 sides to preventing cancer. One is to not just do whatever and eat whatever as if it doesn't exist, but "living in a bubble" to avoid cancer is the worst kind of prevention.
3. Stress: Stress in itself is a normal part of life, dealing with it the wrong way weakens the immune system. Change the things you can and accept the things you can't.
4. Diet: Many of the foods we eat including the ones deemed to be "healthy" have been linked to cancer. Ultimately cancer isn't just a result of eating certain foods, but it's what's not in the diet.
5. Genetic: Many people are more susceptible to cancer based on genetics, but from birth on, prevention is possible for anyone. Never tell yourself you're going to get cancer, even if everyone in your family has or has had cancer.
6. Lifestyle: In addition to diet, it is important to get physical activity, be it a 6 mile run or a walk up the block, not getting the body in motion creates a toxic environment.
7, Household Products: Many chemical cleaners such as ammonia( which is in many products including window cleaners), oven cleaner, and all purpose cleaners may aid in the growth of cancer cells from frequent exposure.
8. Cosmetics: Many fragrance, soap, make-up, etc. products have chemicals that have been linked to cancer.
Of course the previous list is just a sample of many ways in-which everyday people are exposed to potential cancer causing agents, but the important part of prevention isn't to avoid all links, because it's impossible, but if you don't know the causes, prevention efforts are in vain.
Problems of Conventional Prevention Methods
I don't know how many times I've heard exercising 30 minutes a day, eating right, and quitting smoking could help prevent some types of cancer. I completely agree with those 3 things, but for the most part, the only one that people will typically do is not smoke and that's because they already don't.
Cigarettes are very harmful to your health, but they take too much blame, fewer people smoke than before and more people have cancer than before although we know that smoking has been linked to cancer, it's a habit that takes all the blame.
Telling people to eat right is a very general statement and many people would call a meal consisting of chicken patties, instant potatoes, and diet soda eating right. Eating right not only means eating fruits and vegetables, it means eating fresh fruit instead of canned and having salad with a variety of vegetables instead of some wilted lettuce smothered in dressing.
30 minutes of moderate physical activity may be beneficial, but most people just ignore that aspect. The conventional prevention methods aren't aimed at real prevention. Think about it, a company receiving funding from big corporations who produce cancer causing foods, isn't going to tell you not to eat those foods.
As we all know antioxidants fight free radicals and free radicals aid in cancer causing cell damage, so companies have seen this as an opportunity to profit. The best advice I could give is to depend on natural foods for antioxidants, not the dark chocolate reese's cups. There's plenty of news for coffee being beneficial in prevention, but if it does aid in the fight against cancer, the only way to benefit would be to have it plain. The artificial creamer, sugar, and whatever else people put in their coffee would cause more problems than it would prevent.
In cases of family history, many have parts removed to prevent cancer from developing there. I think this is a bad idea to treat cancer, much less prevent it, that's dangerous because you take away healthy vital parts and still don't effectively reduce risk of developing cancer and it can still affect another part of the body.. That to me is like removing the hand to prevent carpal tunnel.
It is said that early detection is key, but prevention should always be the key. Many of the screening methods do more harm than good. For instance, mammograms do more harm, because they increase the risk of developing breast cancer from exposure to harmful radiation.
Contrary to popular belief, people have been naturally cured from cancer through the use of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fresh herbs. The reason I say that is because if these natural foods can help people who have cancer, imagine what they can do to prevent it.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, I highly recommend organic, locally grown because that's where your highest nutrient content's going to be. Dark green leafy vegetables are one of cancer's biggest enemies, for this, you can have things like kale spinach, broccoli, and wheat grass juice if you can get past the bitter taste.
Juicing is helpful in getting a variety of fruits and vegetables, but I wouldn't recommend depending on juice at the store. To maintain shelf life, all juice has to be pasteurized, which destroys many of the nutrients. Carrot juice is an excellent drink to fight disease and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. It's good to try a wide variety of things for optimal nutrition.
When it comes to meats, it's good to have less meats and more vegetables. If possible and though it can be pricey, I recommend free range chicken and grass fed beef. Conventionally raised animals are jammed into facilities where they are plumped up with hormones and become sick. An unhealthy animal will make an unhealthy person.
Though salmon has been shown to have many health benefits, wild caught Alaskan is best and farm raised fish has been shown to have high levels of mercury and other toxins, so it's best to avoid farm-raised seafood altogether.
It's important to eat to nourish the body instead of to satisfy cravings.
Other Prevention Methods
1. Use natural soap. Using natural soaps and avoiding the immune system weakening anti-bacterial soaps may help the body prevent toxicity build-up.
2. Use natural moisturizers. I can't recall the last time I used lotion, instead I'll use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (not the refined one). They moisturize better than lotion without ingredients most have never heard of.
3. Get some sunshine. With all these warnings about the dangers of UV rays, many choose to stay inside and fail to reap the benefits of the outdoors. Over-exposure to the sun may be harmful, but so is under-exposure. A day outdoors walking in the park can ease the mind and greatly lower stress levels. The sun is the best source of vitamin D. Get out of the house on a beautiful day and stop listening to what the news report telling you to stay inside and listen to them blab.
4. Exercise daily. Exercising doesn't have to be a trip to the gym and if you're anything like me, a run through the woods is far more beneficial than being on a boring treadmill. I believe a nice 2 mile run is very beneficial (saving for another hub). Don't beat yourself up over not doing a workout, just do something active, do jumping jacks, dance, whatever gets you moving.
5. Sweating. Sweating removes toxins from the body, explaining that dirty white shirt. If you have access to a sauna, use it, you're going to bring impurities out of the body, ease tension, and improve your skin.
6. Have Fun. It's nice to be on top of things and many of us have busy on the go lives, but we all need to take time out to laugh and be crazy, take a random trip, or something. If you ask many of those suffering from sickness, they'll say enjoying life is what keeps them alive.
In conclusion, I hope this hub has been beneficial for you and in addition to the prevention methods I've listed, there are many more. If there's enough interest, I may do a series of hubs on this topic, it is a difficult one to cover because I have felt the pain of watching close people lose the battle, but anything to prevent cancer and other debilitating diseases is a worthy cause.
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