Most cancer is caused by lightning. It strikes out of the blue. But cancer doesn’t just happen by chance. It has a cause. Diet is one of the environmental hazards that lead to cancer and the evidence for this is many fold.
Some factors in diet seem to cause cancer; others seem to protect against it. You need to be aware of what you put in your stomach if you seek to decrease your chance of encountering malignancy.
For example, the Japanese have twelve times the incidence of stomach cancer as Caucasians, a differential that is strongly held to be due to as yet unidentified dietary factors.
Fat in the diet has been repeatedly linked with breast cancer. Whether it is the fat itself or the calories inherent in high fat diets is not clear, but when women or men are overweight, their sex hormone levels are altered in such ways as to bathe the sensitive tissues in higher than average hormone levels.
As support of the link between the two, the fact exists that breast cancer is much less common in Third World countries than in the U.S. A study of 48,000 men showed that those who had high dietary fat intake had two and a half times higher incidence of prostate cancer than those with low fat consumption.
Colon cancer also shows a correlation between incidence rates and dietary fat consumption. Colon cancer is rare in Africa, but is common in African Americans; cancer rates for Japanese are similar when they adapt to our diet.
Further a high alcohol consumption appears to encourage esophageal and stomach cancers. On the other hand, a wide variety of foodstuffs appears to act as a protector against cancer. This range includes fiber, vitamins, and some sulfides contained in garlic and onions.
The mode of action of these ingestibles is either supposedly direct or induced by somehow stimulating cancer fighting enzymes. Vegetables, greens, and fruits, which are beneficial for other reasons, seem to supply substances that act as cancer shields.
Conversely, the fatty foods of meat and milk products are suspected villains. Despite the studies, however, all the research that indicates an effect of diet on the rate of cancer is indirect. It is based on experiments in test tubes and in animals, and on epidemiological associations.
No one has proposed that a certain food stuff is a direct cure for or protection against malignancy. If such were the case, we would all be taking it or avoiding it. When this major food is discovered, I hope that it is something I like.
In the meantime, what makes sense to me is to eat a well balanced diet with major emphasis on the plant foods. Cancer is cruel. You need to employ constantly emerging information as to diet threats and benefits to limit its assault on you and your family.