We always hear so much about cancer and how science is striving to find a cure. Well, as the statistics show, we are losing the battle with cancer. We continue to spend millions of dollars a month on new pharmaceuticals and treatment regimens, but most healthcare providers are overlooking the simplest cure: prevention.
Attempting to prevent or avoid many items and exposures that increase your chance of developing cancer will in turn, minimize cancer risk. Here is a short list of known carcinogens that we, as Americans, consume large quantities of each day or have repeated exposure to in our lifetime:
1) Pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical exposure
- Found in most of our non-organic food supply
- Found in the packaging of many food items (i.e. BPA found in canned food linings and plastics).
2) Processed foods and artificial foods
- High levels of chemicals and artificial ingredients are found in most of our non-organic food supply (i.e. food colorings, nitrates/nitrites, and preservatives)
- Although we need pharmaceuticals to treat many things, they are all toxic to our body in some way. We must minimize the use of drugs or help offset their risk with antioxidants.
4) Pop or Soda
- Throughout the last 10-15 years, many have said that “pop” is bad for people. As time goes on, the scientific studies are showing that the “anti-pop” brigade was correct. Each day more and more ingredients found in pop are being deemed carcinogenic (i.e. caramel color, citric acid/sodium benzoate reaction).
5) Artificial Sweeteners
- Studies continue to show that artificial sweeteners are more harmful than they are helpful. Included in these are aspartame, splenda (sucralose), nutrasweet/equal, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, neotame, and cyclamate.
6) Obesity, Stress and Lack of Sleep
- Fat cells retain more toxins than muscle.
- Increased levels of stress increases the likelihood of developing cancer by decreasing the strength of the immune system.
- Poor sleep habits have been linked to weakened immune systems.
7) Exposure to Medical Diagnostic Radiation Exposure
- Excessive exposure to radiation increases your likelihood of cancer (depends on exposure time and volume).
8) Lack of Sunshine Exposure (Vitamin D Deficiency)/Inappropriate Sunscreen Use
- Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for many diseases and cancer is not excluded. Due to decreased sun exposure and other factors, this deficiency is very common. Also, many people are not aware that many commercial sunscreens contain ingredients that have now been found to become carcinogenic with sun exposure.
9) Avoid contaminated water (i.e. tap water with fluoride and high levels of chlorine or other non-filtered chemicals)
- Our water supplies are full of risky contaminants, many of which are not routinely screened for. Others, like fluoride, are mandated by the government, but have now been deemed unnecessary and shown to increase the risk of many medical problems in the levels that many people are consuming.
**Although limiting all cancer risk factors is not possible, small changes can make big differences. Follow the guidelines below to help minimize your cancer risk factors and hopefully lower your cancer risk.
- Lose weight (Even 5-10 lbs can help)
- Relax and rest
- Eat organically-including grass-fed meats (when possible) and avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
- Avoid processed foods, pop, and artificial colorings and sweeteners
- Avoid unnecessary radiation exposure
- Minimize your use of pharmaceuticals when possible
- Use appropriate sun exposure treatments (avoid commercial sunscreens, limit sun exposure between 11AM-1PM, etc.)
- Check your Vitamin D level
- Eat lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants (also include dark, leafy greens)
- Follow a routine vitamin supplementation plan to offset the toxins that we come in contact with daily. (Please talk to me before starting any regimens to ensure your safety. Unfortunately, not all supplements are the same.)
- Drink water (spring water preferred; reverse osmosis filtered is okay )