7 Simple Ways to Decrease Your Cancer Risk:
By Dr. Dana Myatt
7 Simple Ways to Decrease Your Cancer Risk
Modern medical science knows a lot about the causes of cancer --- much more, in
fact, than we know about its cure. "Carcinogens," or factors that cause cancer,
abound in the environment. Avoiding them is one way to prevent cancer. Other
factors are protective, helping shield us from getting cancer.
Here are seven simple steps you can take to greatly reduce your cancer risk.
- Take a hike. Even modest amounts of weekly
activity have been associated with decreased risk of breast, colon, prostate,
kidney, esophageal and perhaps other types of cancers. So get out those
walking shoes and take a brisk walk --- or any other form of your favorite
activity that gets your blood pumping --- for at least 30 minutes, three times
- Spice up your life. Many common spices
have proven anti-cancer benefits. Liberal use of herbs and spices, especially
turmeric, garlic and onions, cayenne pepper, ginger, caraway, orange and lemon
zest (grated orange or lemon peel), basil, rosemary and mint will not only add
more flavor to food, but also help keep cancer away.
- Let the sun shine in. Rates of skin cancer
(malignant melanoma) are rising 7% per years in the U.S. Yet for thousands of years "B.S."
(before sunscreen), skin cancer was not a major problem. Skin cancers are NOT
caused by moderate sun exposure. In fact, the vitamin D created in our bodies
in response to sunlight is highly cancer-protective. For those who have
trouble getting sufficient sunlight to manufacture a healthy dose of vitamin D
(about 12 minutes of sunlight per day), vitamin D supplements appear to be
nearly as protective. The recommended supplemental dose is 2,000-3,000IU of
vitamin D3 per day.
- Kick butt. That's right, donít smoke (or chew)
tobacco. Tobacco smoke (cigarettes, cigars, pipes) is associated with a LONG
list of cancers, including oral cavity/pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bladder,
bowel, stomach, pancreatic, cervical and uterine cancer --- oh yes, and lung
Smoking: Just the Facts
on the Wellness Club website or page 26 of your Holistic Health Handbook for a complete list of
problems caused by exposure to tobacco smoke). Tobacco in any form (smoked,
chewed) is a proven risk factor for cancer. Even second-hand smoke appears to
increase risk of some cancers. Kick butt while the kickin' is good.
- Stay "lean and keen." Maintain a normal
weight. Statistics released April 2003 by the American Cancer Society estimate
that at least 90,000 cancer deaths annually are attributable to overweight and
obesity. Cancers known to be associated with increased body (fat) weight
include: breast, prostate, colon, endometrial, and multiple myeloma.
Don't over-expose yourself. (Avoid
environmental exposure to carcinogens).
cancer-causing agents are all around us; most are man-made but some are
naturally occurring. Evaluate your surroundings for these known cancer-causing
A.) Radon: a
naturally occurring, odorless gas that comes out of the ground and can
infiltrate a house through the basement. If you have a basement in your
home, inexpensive tests will tell you if your level is above 4 picocuries
per liter (the minimum safe level). Correction is as easy as ensuring
adequate ventilation. Radon causes lung cancer.
B.) Asbestos: Homes built before 1980 may have asbestos insulation. Either
leave it alone or have it removed by a qualified contractor. Asbestos causes
C.) Workplace hazards: If you work with chemicals, including construction
materials (paints, thinners, etc.), be sure to wear protective masks, gloves
and other clothing. If you are unsure of your exposure, find out what
chemicals you are handling and take appropriate precautions.
D.) Water. Iíve said it before but Iíll say it again: water is a common
source of carcinogens and other disease-causing contaminants. Check your
water report yearly. If you use city-supplied water, ask for a water report
that will be provided for free. If you use well water, have your water
tested annually. Go to www.epa.gov/safewater/faq/sco.html to find a local
lab for water testing or use the service that we use: E-watertest provides easy and accurate
water quality testing This service is convenient, inexpensive and well (!) worth the
E.) Cosmetics: from shampoo to deodorant to face powder, cosmetics contain a
wide array of cancer-causing substances. Even BABY SHAMPOOS and creams
contain known carcinogens! Evaluate your cosmetic ingredients at this link:
F.) Minimize "food hazards," including antibiotics and hormones in meat and
dairy (organic is preferred). "Buy organic" for those fruits and vegetables
on "The Dirty Dozen" list (produce that is highest in insecticides,
herbicides and other carcinogenic chemicals). Review THE DIRTY DOZEN fruits
and vegetables here: http://www.foodnews.org
Eat "Super Foods." Some foods are
healthy, but others are super-healthy. Vegetables including broccoli, Brussels
sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, onion and garlic contain potent anti-cancer
substances. Pacific (wild) salmon and flax seed (and oil) are high in Omega-3
fatty acids. Flax seed also contains an anti-cancer form of fiber called lignin.
Concentrated tomato products are high in lycopene, a protective carotene. Add
these foods to your daily "must have" list of cancer prevention foods.
Estimates suggest that 70-90% of all
cancers are preventable by making these few lifestyle changes and taking
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