Friday, July 28, 2017 10:55

Nine Steps for Preventing Cancer

Posted by on Thursday, December 17, 2009, 22:15
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I only treat cancer patients when working with their cancer specialists. Although many of my patients have had success with the following program, I only use the general guidelines discussed below after reviewing a patient’s personal and medical history, performing a thorough examination and evaluating the laboratory studies to make sure that the program will be beneficial.

Please see your own physician before embarking on any treatment  for cancer. Cancer patients are best served by a team of physicians and other health professionals. Cancer is a frightening disease.

We continue to suffer from the scourge, despite the billions of dollars spent on research and treatment. Our strongest weapon against cancer has been, and continues  to be, prevention. Protect yourself by reducing or eliminating your risk factors with these “Nine Steps for Preventing Cancer”

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Be careful with chemical
  3. Slim down to your ideal weight
  4. Reduce the fat in your diet
  5. Give your “doctor within” all the nutrients and phytocheniicals necessary to keep it strong.
  6. Limit your exposure to the sun.
  7. Have regular checkups.
  8. Learn to recognize the signs of cancer.
  9. Remain optimistic and positive.

Cancer is the number two killer disease in this country. But if we do nothing more than stop smoking, eliminate most of the fat (especially animal fat) from our diets, reduce our exposure to chemicals and protect ourselves from the damaging rays of the sun, we can cut the rate of cancer in half.  Let’s take a closer look at the Nine Steps for preventing Cancer.

1. Stop smoking
It’s been about 30 years since the Surgeon General of the United States began warning that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. About one-third of the cancers striking us down are related to tobacco, especially to cigarettes and chewing tobacco. There’s no good reason to smoke and no “safe” way to do it. It’s best to give it up.

2. Be careful with chemicals
Look at all the chemicals you use or are exposed to everything from hobby glue to oven cleaners. Some of them are probably reasonably safe, but you don’t know which ones may harm you. Ask yourself if you really need to use or be around each substance. If not, throw it out. Some of the dangerous chemicals we knowingly or unknowingly come in contact with are benzene, acrylonitrile, arsenic, benzidine derived dyes and many solvents. At work, you can ask to see the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) that are supposed to be kept for various chemicals. These sheets will tell you if the substances you use or come into contact with are potentially carcinogenic.

3. Slim down to your ideal weight
Many studies have connected obesity to cancer. For example, males and females 25 percent or more overweight have an increased risk of rectal cancer. Males who are 25 percent or more overweight are also more likely to develop colon cancer. A study of 750,000 men and women found cancer deaths increased in those 40 percent or more overweight. Simply dropping down to your ideal weight will significantly reduce your risk of cancer.  Here’s a rough rule of thumb to approximate ideal weight. For men, it’s 106 pounds plus an additional five pounds for every inch of height over five feet if they have slim wrist bones, an additional six pounds for every inch of height over five feet if they have medium wrist bones and an additional seven pounds for every inch of height over five feet if they have thick wrist bones. For women, it’s 100 pounds plus an additional four pounds for every inch of height over five feet for women with tiny wrist bones, an additional five pounds for every inch of height over five feet for women with medium wrist bones and an additional six pounds for every inch of height over five feet for women with large wrist bones.

4. Reduce the fat in your diet
According to the National Cancer Institute, about 30 percent of the cancer deaths in men and roughly 60 percent of cancer deaths in women are related to a high-fat diet. I believe the numbers are higher. Everyone now agrees a high fat Standard American Diet (SAD) is responsible for many cancers, including the “cancers of affluence.” Unwrap a stick and a half of butter. Squeeze it in your fist. Rub
that butter between your two hands, spreading it all over your hands and fingers. That’s about as much fat as there is in the food the typical person eats in a day. Feel that fat on your hands. Imagine all that fat oozing into your body cells, gumming up the works, initiating and activating cancer cells, turning normal cells cancerous.  You don’t have to count the fat grams in your food or worry about the balance between saturated and unsaturated foods. There’s an easy way to switch to a low fat diet. Make fresh vegetables and fruits and whole grains the basis for your diet. Limit your intake of meat,
poultry and dairy products and always select the low-fat varieties. Instead of burying your salads under mounds of fatty dressings, use vinegar, lemon juice or other low-fat seasonings.  I’ll be the first to admit that fat does taste good. But you know what? Not too long alter you switch to a low-fat diet, you stop missing it. Pretty soon, the fat you used to crave doesn’t taste good anymore.

5. Give your “doctor within” all the nutrients necessary to keepit strong
We’re learning that many foods, such as cabbage and broccoli, have specific anticancer properties. Others, such as carrots, contain beta carotene or other natural antioxidants that protect normal cells
against the potentially cancer-causing damage of oxidation. Still other foods are high in the fiber that helps to guard against cancers of the colon and rectum. Many exciting studies have shown that nutrients such as vitamin A and beta carotene reduce the risk of all types of cancer, especially cancers of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, prostate and urinary bladder. You’ll find good amounts of beta carotene in carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and other vegetables. Other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E and the mineral selenium have also proved helpful in a laboratory setting. Crucifers, excellent cancer-fighting foods, are a family of vegetables that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kohirabi and kale. Even the conservative National Academy of Sciences agrees that crucifers, along with carrots and spinach, are important cancer fighters, especially in preventing cancer of the colon. Fibrous foods seem to protect against cancer of the colon, while
also lending protection from heart disease. Eating plenty of vegetables and whole grains will help stack the odds in your favor. I’ve also found high-fiber diets to be useful in combating diabetes (both insulin dependent and noninsulin-depenclent). Many other nutrients and phytochemicals help to strengthen the body’s resistance to cancer, including vitamins Bi, B2, C and E, folic acid, selenium, zinc, bioflavonoicis, isofiavones, lignans, limonene, lycopene, protease inhibitors, phytic acid and sulfides.  Specific foods that have anticancer properties include apples, apricots, asparagus, barley, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, currants, dandelion greens, eggplant, garlic, grapefruit, guava, lentils, mangoes, mushrooms, oats, onions, oranges, papaya, parsley, pasta, peppers, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, tangerines, tea, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, whole-grain rice and wholegrain wheat. All of these play a role in the battle against cancer. For many patients, I recommend taking the 4 ACES (A as beta carotene, vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium), Coenzyme Q1O and the proanthocyanidins. In addition, I strongly recommend the use of green tea and soy products for their cancer-fighting properties.

6. Limit your exposure to the sun
Although the warmth of the sun is pleasant and suntans are considered attractive, too much exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. It’s best to use a good sunscreen when going outdoors and to limit your time in the sun. Hundreds of thousands of us will develop skin cancer this year, and the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is steadily increasing.

7. Have regular  checkups
Regular examinations, Pap smears, mammography for women, the PSA (prostate specific antigen) and other tests can help nip some cancers in the bud. But make sure that your physician spends the time it takes to examine you from head to toe, to discuss your risk factors and to answer all your questions. Your doctor should ask you about your diet, your work, your hobbies, your family medical history and much more as part of his or her search for cancer risk factors. If he doesn’t spend time with you, consider a new doctor.

8. Learn to recognize the signs of cancer
Not every cancer advertises its presence, and the symptoms are sometimes easy to confuse with other problems. However, there are symptoms we all can watch for, including:

• A lump in the breast, nipple discharge or changes in the shape of the nipple may be signs of breast cancer.

• Vaginal bleeding between periods, abnormally heavy bleeding during periods and vaginal discharges may be signs of cancers of the cervix, uterus or vagina.

• Changes in bowel habits, continually feeling bloated, bloody stools (or black bowel movements), constipation and diarrhea may be signs of colorectal cancer.

• A cold, flu or feeling of general malaise that seems to last too long may be a sign of leukemia (a blood cancer).

• Persistent coughing, chronic hoarseness, coughing up of blood, difficulty breathing or pain upon breathing may be a sign of lung cancer.

• Painless red or white patches in the mouth or persistent, painful lumpy or swollen areas in the mouth may be signs of oral cancer.

• Dribbling of urine, having to urinate often, difficulty in starting the urinary stream and other changes in urinary habits may be signs of prostate cancer.

• Moles or birthmarks that change size or shape, small sores or bumps that appear for no reason and sores or other wounds that do not heal properly may be signs of skin cancer. Simple self examination is a powerful diagnostic tool. Here are some things you can do to watch for signs of cancer:

• Everyone can look at their urine and stools when they use the bathroom. Is there blood? Does your feces look like it was squeezed out of a tube? Have your bowel habits changed for no discernible reason? These may be signs of cancer.

• Many skin cancers are first noticed by the person’s spouse.

• It is especially important for women to learn to self-examine their breasts.

• Ask your doctor to show you how to check under your armpits for gland enlargement and how to check your liver (in the right upper part of the abdomen, just below the right rib cage) for lumps.

• Women should learn how to use a mirror to look at their labia (the outside areas of the vagina).

• Men should feel around their scrotums and check their testicles for tenderness or lumps.

Men and women can disrobe and stand in front of a full length mirror, checking any moles to see if they’ve grown, looking for skin discolorations or other problems. Be sure to check your back as well as
your front. Stand with your back to the full-length mirror. Using a large, hand-held mirror, examine the back of your body from head to toe.  I teach my patients the A-B-C-D method for identifying potentially malignant moles:

A = Asymmetry. The two sides of the rounded mole are not symmetrical (they don’t match).
B = Border. The outer border is not smooth or clearly defined. Instead, it looks scalloped or notched.
C = Color. Malignant moles may have multiple pigments (colors).
D = Diameter. Malignant moles are usually larger than a pencil top eraser.

Any abnormal findings, or even a suspicion of one, should be acted upon immediately. It’s best to be overly cautious.

9. Remain optimistic and positive
My own observations during 40 years of treating patients have convinced me that optimistic and positive people tend to have stronger immune systems than those who surrender to gloom. I firmly believe that enthusiasm, belief, love, forgiveness and perseverance are power flu medicines.

If you do get cancer….. Through the years, I’ve seen many cancer patients. I’ve noticed that the ones who look upon the disease as a challenge, who maintain a positive outlook on life, who continue to smile, love and laugh do much better than those who are filled with gloom and doom.

Our mind has a powerful influence upon our health. Thanks to modem scientific tools, we know that thoughts of joy, hope and love help to realign body chemistry and strengthen the immune system. On the other hand, many studies have shown that feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anger and alienation predispose us to many diseases. This is not a new idea. Hippocrates, the ancient physician, noted that unhappy women were more likely to come down with breast cancer.

Face your disease (be it cancer or anything else) with determination to survive and thrive. Don’t lose sight of your joy and love; in fact, make every effort to double them, Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Think of yourself as being healthy. Walk as if you were healthy, talk as if your were healthy, act as if your were healthy. With your mind’s eye, picture yourself healthy. Keep that great thought in your mind all day long. Every thought in your head becomes a “thing” in your body. Positive thoughts become endorphins and other biosubstances that boost the immune system and help tilt the odds in favor of health.

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