Do you know that cancer has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in Canada? According to the latest estimates cancer is responsible for 30% of deaths and is affecting one in two men and two in five women, with 524 Canadians diagnosed with cancer every day. Although this sounds scary, there is so much hope among holistic health practitioners that this can be turned around based on recent reviews about the nature of this chronic disease.
As an Oakville nutritionist and certified cancer coach, I want to share with you some important information that will help you understand the true nature of this serious disease and the best strategies to beat it.
What is cancer?
Cancer is a chronic illness of more than 200 different diseases, characterized by uncontrolled division of abnormal (malignant) cells that can spread to other parts of the body and form secondary tumors or metastases. Usually spread to lung, liver, bone and brain.
Why we are all battling cancer?
This might seem a bit of an exaggeration, but you will understand it’s true if you keep on reading. Here’s how any cell can turn into a malignant cell:
It starts with a mistake that is made in the duplication process of the cell’s genetic material which is called a mutation. (Antioxidants and regular detoxification help to decrease the number of mistakes.)
When genetic mistakes or mutations occur one of 3 things will happen:
1. The cell may fix them with repair mechanisms.
2. Mutated cell may die shortly after being reproduced-programmed cell death (also known as apoptosis)
3. If the mutated cell survives, our immune system should ideally recognize it as “non-self” and destroy it before it became a larger tumour.
When the immune system is weakened by a combination of poor nutrition, stressors, pollutants, hormonal imbalances, or negative emotions, the cancer cell will continue to divide and reproduce, forming a cancerous tumour.
As a former MD who had been working with cancer patients for a long time, I have learned that cancer is mainly a genetic or hereditary disease that might be triggered by predisposing risk factors including specific known cancer causing toxins or carcinogenic compounds. This myth is totally busted now by recent scientific research.
The Truth about Cancer
Scientific research has proven that cancer is not a genetic disease. Cancer is predominantly an environmental disease that’s mainly related to the presence of environmental risk factors including:
Others: such as lack of exercise, stress, exposure to carcinogens, 10-15%.
While it’s true that having a family history of cancer may increase your risk of certain cancers, whether or not those genes are switched on or not depends largely on your diet, lifestyle and environment.
This is good news because it proves that cancer is a multi-factorial disease and largely preventable disease. You can cut your risk for developing cancer by half just by making positive changes in diet, physical activity and minimizing toxic carcinogens. It has been also shown that 30% of cancer deaths can be prevented by modifying these factors.
The truth is that cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes and a multi-factorial approach after diagnosis including medical, nutritional and lifestyle changes as well as mental, emotional and social support.
Here are some risk factors which have been scientifically proven to have a strong direct association with cancer
· Red meat, processed meat and low dietary fiber is strongly linked to colon and rectal cancer
· Obesity and increased total body fat is linked with oesophageal, colon and rectum, pancreas, breast (postmenopausal), uterine, kidney, gall bladder cancer.
· Abdominal obesity: (increased abdominal fat) is linked with colon and rectum cancer.
· There are growing links between insulin resistance (decreased response to insulin leading to high blood insulin) and the etiology and prognosis in colon, pancreatic, prostate and particularly breast cancer. These still need further research.
· Hormonal imbalances-recent evidence supports the role of insulin and IGF-1 (insulin growth factor 1) in supporting tumor cell proliferation. Cancer cells have insulin receptors and abnormal high insulin levels will allow these cells to use glucose for energy production and proliferation.
Please note that there are other factors that have been linked to cancer but the ones I chose here are those that are proven to have a strong correlation.
Now that you know the truth about cancer, I hope you are enlightened and feeling empowered and hopeful. There is a lot that you can do for prevention as well support of this scary disease and it all starts by taking charge of your own health and committing to make every choice you make in your life a valuable investment in your health.
If you know a friend or family member who is battling cancer or trying to make healthier choices in their lives, please share this article with them.
You can also check Healthy U Turn’s “The 5 Step Holistic Cancer Support” program designed specifically by Oakville nutritionist and cancer coach, Dr Maha Nasr to help cancer patients fight cancer naturally in a 5 step holistic approach.
For more information about the “The 5 Step Holistic Cancer Support” program, Call us at 416 876 4634 or sign up for a FREE Clarity Session with Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Cancer Coach, Dr Maha Nasr to discuss your health concerns and learn more about how we can help you.