95% of all cancers are caused by environmental determinants. A mere 5% are attributed to genetic factors. Among the environmental causes; wrong diets accounts to close to 40% of all cancers, closely followed by smoking tobacco and other environmental pollutants (35%), infections (15%) and radiation (10%).
Stress and lack of customary physical exercise are two of the main catalysts of cancer due to their detrimental effect on the immune and endocrine systems.
Cancer is the depraved growth of abnormal cells in the organism. This happens when the genes of a cell get corrupted and normal control behaviors stop functioning. The most important of these controls are cell growth, differentiation and auto-destruction when cells are unhealthy.
The mutant genes in cancer cells make them behave like effective and vicious armed ravagers with their own laws and unnatural rules of action, poisoning surrounding tissues and creating inflammation to support their conquest. To make survival viable, cancer cells claim undeserved blood vessels nearby to steal nutrients and oxygen they need for tumor growth and proliferation.
Angiogenesis is a normal physiological process that involves the growth of new blood vessels from already existing vessels. It is vital process for growth and wound healing. However, it is also a fundamental step in the transition of tumors from a dormant state to a malignant one.
Cancer cells in the form of micro-tumors produce angiogenin, a chemical substance that forces blood-vessels to approach them and spread new branches. The body's defense to angionesis, besides diet, is called angiostatin, a naturally occurring protein in the body that attacks fast-growing blood-vessels while sparing existing vessels.
Inflammation is a natural response to harmful stimuli. A mechanism of innate immunity the organism makes use of to heal wounds and infections. The signs of inflammation from latin to english are: Dolor (pain), Calor (heat), Rubor (redness) and Tumor (swelling). There are many immune system disorders which result in abnormal inflammation. And among the worse non-immune diseases with etiological origins in inflammatory processes we have cancer, that uses inflammation and exploits this repair process to invade the body.
Fighting off cancer the natural way
- Avoid stress and despair. These are two emotional estates which increase the secretion of both cortisol (stress hormone) and noradrenalin (the fight or flight hormone). Among the mechanisms these two hormones use two deal with their role in the organism is increased inflammation as a measure to prepare for potential wounds. The mind-body connection when it comes to cancer is very strong. Meditation, yoga and mindfulness are of great help with this task.
- Reduce linoleic acid and other omega 6 oils. Linoleic acid is an essential omega 6 oil, found in high amounts in sunflower, soy and corn oils. The fact that too much omega 6's in the diet aids in the development of cancer, together with their inflammatory properties, should be an important reason to limit their load in our diet, and substitute them with omega-3's and other health enhancing fats like coconut oil and cocoa butter which only contain about 2% linoleic acid. Other alternatives are natural butter and lard and olive, palm and linseed oils.
- Reduce simple sugars. High glycemic foods raise insulin levels too much, and insulin tells cells to grow, including cancer cells which have a much higher metabolism than normal cells. The anabolic signals by insulin can promote tumour development by inhibiting apoptosis (cell death), and by stimulating cell proliferation. Epidemiological evidence is accumulating and suggests that the risk of many types of cancer are related to circulating levels of insulin.
- Integrate anti-angiogenesis foods and supplements in your diet. Top choices among foods are Berries (anthocyanins inhibit tumor growth), Tofu (genistein, an isoflavone inhibits carcinogenesis), Dark chocolate (flavanols), Green tea (Polyphenols, particularly EGCG) and Garlic (sulphur compounds, arginine and selenium).
The natural approach to fight off cancer as a preventive measure is making sure we have at all times a fine tuned immune system (with many strong natural killer cells), keeping inflammation tightly regulated and blood vessels that will deny abnormal agents their nourishing services. A natural diet with on target supplementation will keep inflammation at bay, combat uncontrolled angiogenesis, strengthen the immune system and give you the tools for serious physical fitness involvement.
- The Role of Herbs and Spices in Cancer Prevention; National Cancer Institute.
- The Cancer Project; Physicians committee for responsible medicine.
- Sugar and Cancer: Is There a Connection?; Caring4Cancer.
- Protection against breast cancer with genistein: a component of soy; The american journal of clinical nutrition.
- Natural Cancer Treatments; Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc.
- A Review of 12 Commonly Used Medicinal Herbs; O'Hara, Mary; Kiefer, David; Farrell, Kim; Kemper, Kathi.
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