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A sobering fact, cancer is the second leading cause of death in this country. It strikes men, women, and children. Cancer is caused by a variety of factors, including exposure to environmental toxins, smoking, an unhealthy lifestyle, and genetic predisposition. However, the most staggering statistic is that improper diet accounts for almost 70% of cancers and is one of the main causes of death among human beings.
Healthy weight and good nutrition are important elements in the fight against cancer. Making some changes in your diet and lifestyle can greatly reduce the probability of getting cancer.
Suggested Dietary Guidelines to Lower Cancer Risk
*Eat a primarily plant-based diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, beans and peas, and minimally processed starchy foods.
*Eat five or more portions a day of a variety of vegetables and fruits, all year round.
*Eat at least three portions a day of a variety of cereals, whole grains, beans and peas, and root vegetables. Minimally processed foods are preferable.
*Limit consumption of refined sugar.
*Alcohol consumption is not recommended. If consumed, limit alcoholic drinks to less than two drinks a day for men and one for women.
*If eaten at all, limit intake of red meat to less than 3 ounces daily. It is preferable to choose fish and poultry in place of red meat.
*Limit consumption of fatty foods, particularly those of animal origin. Choose modest amounts of appropriate vegetable oils.
*Limit consumption of salted foods and use of cooking and table salt. Use herbs and spices to season foods.
*Do not smoke or use tobacco in any form.
Exercise and Fitness
Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, lose weight. Obesity is now a leading cause of some cancers. Be physically active. If occupational activity is low or moderate, take a brisk walk or similar exercise daily. Also exercise vigorously for a total of at least one hour a week. The consumption of a predominantly plant-based diet, when matched with regular physical exercise and the avoidance of tobacco, can decrease cancer risk by as much as 70%. A truly healthy body is far less vulnerable to cancer and more able to fight off its ravages. The guidelines listed above can help you in your fight against cancer.
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Major Discovery: How Carcinogens Cause Cancer
The current belief in medical research holds that most cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens, and that carcinogens cause cancer by damaging DNA. However, the huge effort and billions of dollars invested by the NIH, private foundations, and pharmaceutical companies in searching for damaged DNA in cancer has produced few discoveries and little benefits to the public. The reason for this limited success is very simple. The cause of most cancers is not damaged DNA.
Hunting for Genetic Mutations and Cancer
A little background:
1. What is a gene? A gene is an assembly line that produces a protein. A gene is made out of DNA. 2. What are proteins? Proteins are the major building blocks of cells. 3. What is a mutated gene? A mutated gene is a modified assembly line. A modification can take many forms, such as removing an essential part of the assembly line, replacing an important part with junk, etc. Very rarely a mutation is beneficial to the organism (X-Men, Evolution, Lance Armstrong?). In all other cases, a mutated gene is considered damaged DNA.
The current belief in medical research holds that most cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens, and that carcinogens cause cancer by mutating genes. In other words, according to the current belief, the structural integrity of our genes is our Achilles heel, and therefore, the first internal element to collapse under the attack of the carcinogens. This belief is so ingrained that the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), an institute at the NIH, recently stated that "all cancers are based on genetic mutations in body cells." Moreover, a search on PubMed, the search engine for scientific papers in life science, with the keywords "Mutation" AND "cancer" produced 86,490 papers and 12,238 reviews.
Mutation hunting is also a big business. Look at the NIH budget allocated to discoveries of genetic mutations, the number of biotech companies chasing genetic mutations, the magnitude of the licensing agreements between biotech and pharmaceutical companies aimed to utilize newly discovered genetic mutations, and the number of stories in the media on genetic mutations and their so-called "link" to disease. However, this huge effort and billions of dollars has produced few discoveries and little benefits to the public. The reason for this limited success is simple. The cause of most cancers is not a genetic mutation. Our Achilles heel is not the structural integrity of our genes. The story of the BRCA1 gene is a typical example of mutation hunting.
The Mystery of BRCA1
Genes, in general, produce proteins, which are the building blocks of cells. The concentration of proteins is tightly regulated. A mutated or physically altered gene produces an abnormal concentration of its protein, which may lead to disease. In 1994, Mark Skolnick, PhD, discovered the BRCA1 gene (BRCA1 is short for BReast CAncer 1). Following the discovery, scientists observed an abnormally low level of the BRCA1 protein in breast cancer tissues. The BRCA1 protein is a cell cycle suppressor, which means that the protein prevents cell replication. This observation created a lot of excitement. At the time, scientists believed that they were on the verge of finding the cause of breast cancer. The reasoning was that breast cancer patients must have a mutated BRCA1 gene, that is, a defected BRCA1 assembly line, which would explain the decreased production of the protein, and the excessive replication of breast cancer cells in tumors. In the United States, 180,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year. However, the BRCA1 gene is mutated in less than 5% of these cases. In more than 95% of breast cancer patients the gene is not mutated, the assembly line is not defected.
So here is the mystery. If the gene is not mutated in the great majority of the breast cancer patients, why are the tumors showing low levels of the BRCA1 protein? Today, this is one of the biggest mysteries in cancer research. The BRCA1 gene is not unique. Many normal (perfect shape, non-mutated) genes exhibit a mysterious abnormal (increased or decreased) production of proteins in cancer. Moreover, studies also report abnormal gene expression of normal genes in other diseases, such as atherosclerosis, obesity, osteoarthritis, type II diabetes, alopecia, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus, thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and graft versus host disease.
According to Dr. Raxit J. Jariwalla in his European Journal of Cancer paper: (Jariwalla RJ. Microcompetition and the origin of cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2005 Jan;41(1):15-9): "The prevalent view of the nature of cancer holds that it is a complex genetic process resulting from the progressive accumulation of mutations in specific cellular genes, such as proto-oncogenes or tumor-suppressor genes, leading to perturbations in processes involving signal transduction, cell cycle regulation, and/or apoptosis. Genetic instability in tumors has been known for decades, however, the role of genomic instability in causing and promoting tumor growth remains controversial. Furthermore, although many studies report abnormal gene expression in cancer cells, often, no mutations or chemical modifications are observed around the locus of the dysregulated gene(s), suggesting that a genetic alteration is not the initiating event of cancer."
So, if a genetic alteration (also called genetic mutation or damaged DNA) is not the initiating event of most cancers, what is this event? And how do carcinogens produce this initiating event? You can find the answers to these questions at http://www.causeofcancer.org/
John S. Boyd, Ph.D. The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (http://www.cbcd.net/), and causeofcancer.org (http://www.causeofcancer.org/), Rochester, NY. We are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that specializes in researching the biology of chronic diseases. We hope that once the biology is clear, pharmaceutical and biotech companies will be able to formulate drugs that will cure and even prevent these diseases.
The 4 step check for skin cancer detection
Moles can turn into cancerous melanomas so it's important you check your moles regularly and talk to your doctor if there is any sign of danger. Follow this 4 step, A-B-C-D, guide when checking your moles and if any of the points are true, be sure to take appropriate action. Asymmetry: If one half of the mole does not match the other half. A mole or birthmark that has skin growth which increases in size should be examined by a doctor. Border: If the edge of the mole is ragged, notched or blurred. Moles with skin cancer may have uneven borders. Color: If the mole is a mix of brown, black and tan rather than an even color you should ensure it is looked at by a doctor. A mole that appears red or blue should also be cause for concern.
What is the cause of cancer? The word cause has two meanings. The first refers to the elements in the environment which impact our body, for instance, tobacco, x-ray radiation, asbestos, other chemicals, etc. These elements are called carcinogens. Today, hundreds of substances are classified as carcinogens. The other meaning of the word cause refers to the internal element of the body, which is the first to collapse under the attack of the carcinogens. Let's call this element our "Achilles heel."
Diameter: If the mole is larger than a pencil eraser (6 mm). An important sign of melanoma is a change in size. Check your body thoroughly at least every three months and if you have quite a few moles be sure to keep an eye on any changes. If any of your moles stand out from the others or if a mole starts bleeding for no apparent reason you should always consult your doctor. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to protect yourself from skin cancer, or to catch it early enough so that it can be treated effectively, so make sure you check yourself thoroughly and often.
For further advice on health care and support, visit http://www.curemequick.com.
This article was submitted by Jack Prime, a contributer to the http://www.curemequick.com website.
As many people now recognise, oxygen is cancer's number one enemy. But an enemy of oxygen in the body is refined sugar, which increases acidosis and thereby eliminates oxygen. Refined sugar is the prime energy source for fuelling cancer cells, and it is found in large quantities throughout the modern diet. So is there any wonder that the incidence of cancer in the western world has multiplied many times throughout the past century!
In today's food industry, the presence of sugar is regularly concealed under its many pseudonyms, such as fructose, cane extract, corn syrup solids and so many other contemporary euphemisms. However it is particularly found in many popular soda type drinks, so heavily promoted and avidly consumed by millions around the world. What about artificial sweeteners like aspartame? Can't they be used instead of sugar? Yes indeed, they are regularly used as a sugar replacement in many diet drinks. I'm sure you know which ones they are. But what you might not be aware of is the long-term toxicity of many such products and the damage and illnesses to which they can lead. Evidence is accumulating and perhaps one day it will be sufficient to have them taken off the market.
However, as an alternative to artificial sweeteners, there is one totally natural sugar-substitute readily available today which stands out above all the rest, and that product simply goes by the name of Stevia. For centuries, the native Americans of Paraguay and Brazil used a species of Stevia, Stevia rebaudiana which they called ka'a he'e (or "sweet herb"), as a sweetener in yerba mate and medicinal teas for treating conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and heartburn. Stevia is a herb belonging to the daisy family, possessing zero calories, zero carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index. Fortunately Stevia has recently gained greater attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. It is also now available as a health food supplement in the USA and Europe.
It was not until 1931 that French chemists isolated the glycosides that give Stevia its sweet taste. These extracts were named steviosides and rebaudiosides. These compounds are around 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose (in the form of ordinary table sugar). Stevia's sweet taste has a slower onset but a longer duration than that of sugar. At high concentration it possesses a bitter and liquorice-like after-taste, which varies depending ipon which glycoside is consumed. As a sweetening agent Stevia has almost zero calories, in contrast to table sugar that possesses 4.5 calories per gram. Stevia does not significantly alter blood glucose, and so is attractive as a sweetener to diabetics and those on carbohydrate controlled diets.
In the early 1970s, the Japanese began cultivating Stevia as an alternative to artificial sweeteners such as cyclamate and saccharin, suspected carcinogens. Stevia sweeteners have been produced commercially in Japan since 1977 and are widely used in food products, soft drinks, and for table use. Japan currently consumes more Stevia than any other country, accounting for about 40% of the sweetener market.
Stevia is also able to perform a number of other beneficial tasks. For example, it has been shown that it may enhance moods and increase energy levels and mental alertness. The cosmetic industry also employs Stevia in many skin care products, where its topical application has been shown to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes. Whether you are a cancer sufferer, a diabetic, or simply want to lose weight painlessly, I highly recommend that you add Stevia to your nutritional regime. It is inexpensive and available through many health stores or via the Internet.
Lignans - Natural Defense Against Cancer
Flax is a plant that has been recognized since people first started to cultivate plants and flax has lent its unique properties to humankind for a great chunk of our history. The uses of flax are numerous and included cooking oils, seed and strong durable cloth. Medically, it was initially used to help cure coughs although recent research suggests that flax may have more application in treating and preventing prostate and breast cancer, and keeping arteries clear Flax seed is rich in alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has anti inflammatory properties. Specifically it is the flax lignans, these are fibers found in flax that are thought to contain the therapeutic agents. Other plants contain lignans such as these but none are as rich a provider as flax.
Hormones and Cancer
Sex hormones including estrogen and testosterone, important in libido and reproduction can go out of balance and stimulate the overgrowth of breast or prostate tissue, which can have important consequences for cancers of this type. Lignans act as phytoestrogens, naturally occurring compounds that have a similar action to estrogen in the body. When phytoestrogens are ingested, the body transforms them into a form that keeps hormones from over stimulating cells, thereby helping to support normal cell growth. Lignans are also thought to interfere with the enzymes that promote development of cancer.
Epidemological studies of populations that eat a lot of lignan suggest that this aspect of their diet produces lower breast cancer rates, and preliminary research suggests that increased lignan intake may act to protect breast tissue against cancerous growths. In a study published in 20001 women that were newly diagnosed with breast cancer and ate a significant amount of flaxseed every day showed reduction in the growth of cancer tumors. Numerous animal studies have shown similar findings. Lignans are important compounds in the body's fight against free radicals, the highly reactive substances that are created in many of the processes in the body and are implicated in cancers, heart disease and many other disorders. Lignans essentially mop up these free radicals, restricting their negative effect on our bodies.
We live in an ocean of bacteria and viruses. Yet, these microorganisms do not cause diseases; we become infected by diseases when we have weakened and inefficient immune systems. We see the evidence of this truth constantly around us. One person in an office gets a very bad cold. The person sitting next to him doesn't get a sniffle. Certainly both were exposed to the same microorganisms. What is the difference? It lies in their immune systems. That's why we get a flu shot, to build up our immune system against the infection. The immune system destroys cells foreign to the body.
Flax also has a positive effect on hormones and the substance appears to counter the effects of stress. One study2 of post-menopausal women showed that the participants who are the most lignans in their diet experienced the biggest fall in stress hormone levels and blood pressure Studies have also shown huge health benefits of lignans for men. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers known and prostate cells can be influences by hormonal changes in very negative ways. An early study has suggested that flax lignans, in combination with a low-fat diet, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. In the Duke University study, 25 men with prostate cancer were fed large doses of flax. All subjects experienced reduced hormone and cholesterol levels, and the tumor progression was slower3.
The benefits of flax for men do not end here. The plants ability to moderate the male hormone testosterone has many positive indications. Animal studies have suggested that flax can reduce prostate enlargement, although not related to prostate cancer, it is an uncomfortable condition that affects many aging men. Additionally flax lignans interfere with DHT, a form of testosterone that can attack hair follicles and cause unwanted oil production in the skin, thus helping to prevent acne and hair loss, conditions dear to any teenagers heart. Flax has been a mainstay in the background of human development for a long time and with mounting evidence that of the medicinal benefits of flax, it looks like it will be around for a lot longer. There are some easy ways to include flax in your diet as there are now flaw breads, enriched flax oils and even omega 3 enriched eggs from hens fed with flax.
1. Breast Can. Res. & Treatment 2000.64,1:146
2. J Am Coll Nutr 2003. 22: 550-554
3. Urology 2001. 58,1: 47-52
Iris is a Canadian trained physician who has been involved in the nutritional world for over 15 years and has a major interest in traditional Chinese medicine. Iris currently works as a medical advisor to Mitamins, the custom made online supplements company.
Mitamins Health Directory Informative health info
To remain happy and healthy, you must have a strong immune system. The immune system protects us from getting infections and diseases such as cancer. It is the system that helps keep us healthy. The immune system is simply defined as a complex system responsible for identifying and protecting us from infections and foreign substances. The immune system seeks and kills anything invading the body. By having a strong and healthy immune system, you can prevent the onset of various forms of cancer. Man used to be the hopeless victim of his circumstances. When Louis Pasteur discovered that bacteria caused diseases and that chemicals could kill bacteria, modern medicine was born. Since then, we have struggled to develop chemicals to enhance our health and fight bacteria-causing disease.
The alternative treatment of cancer has a popular expression that says: "All cancer is the result of an immune system that did not destroy the mutant cells." Obviously, the cancer cells are foreign to the body. The immune system of a healthy person can destroy 10,000 mutated (cancer) cells each day. When this defense mechanism fails, cancer cells can multiply and become a clinical case of cancer.
When a person has a strong, healthy immune system, they can either prevent cancer from occurring or slow down its rate of growth. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, taking vitamins and herbs, drinking plenty of water and exercising daily can boost the immune system, and in the long run, may prevent or slow down cancer. Nobel prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling noted in his recent book Vitamin C -- The Common Cold and Flu, that autopsies performed on people who had never suffered from any form of cancer, revealed evidence that they had as many as three cases of different cancers during their life spans and never knew anything about it. He credited a strong, healthy immune system for automatically dealing with all of the diseases -- an observation that underlines the importance of the immune system in eradicating cancer and other diseases.
In conclusion, there is a direct connection between having a strong, healthy immune system and preventing or controlling cancer. The immune system can be strengthened by daily exercise, eating healthy foods, and taking herbs and vitamins. Immunitril(tm) is the most complete immunity support formula available today. This revolutionary complex is a unique combination of herbs, extracts, minerals and anti-oxidant vitamins, providing maximum support for immune system function. This is just one more reason why every individual should strive to build up a strong immune system.
Kamau Austin is a health and fitness enthusiast and advocate. He writes on a regular basis on timeless health and fitness tips at the Fit After Forty Blog. See more useful news and tips about immune system health .
Symptoms Prostate Cancer - The food groups of dairy and most fats is eliminated, and sugars are strictly forbidden. Microwaves are not used to cook foods, and minimal cooking of foods is advised to maintain their nutritional and antioxidant value as much as possible.
Treatment Prostate Cancer - You'll find a variety of stores to be host to a vast selection of awareness jewelry. Some of the most popular items in the collection are those designed to increase breast cancer awareness.
Uterine Cancer - Cancer research has uncovered many links between what people eat and their risk of then getting certain cancers.
Vitamin Supplements - As soon as you start thinking about having a baby, you should start thinking about what you eat. Begin loading up on the foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, learn the five food groups and balance your meals. And once you do become pregnant, make good nutrition a priority.
Detox Diet Detox - As the first baby boomers enter their 60’s, research into ways to slow down the aging process has increased dramatically. The results of this research often creates more questions then it answers.
Teeth Whitening Treatment - Tooth whitening, also called bleaching, is a process of lightening and removing stains from a tooth. This process bleaches the enamel and dentin, the principal mass of a tooth, and brightens the discolored teeth.
Lung Cancer Stages - In approximately 25% of people with lung cancer, there are no symptoms and the cancer is detected during screening or a routine physical examination.
Cervical Cancer Fact - Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micronutrient antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.
Double Blind Study - On September 30, 2004, Merck & Co Inc (MRK) recalled Vioxx due to negative clinical trial results. Recipients of this drug seem to experience increased experience of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or intestinal bleeding.
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Glucose Levels - Over 18 million Americans are suffering of type I diabetes or type II diabetes. Other 4-5 million don't even know they have the disease. It's a concerning 6% of the U.S. population. Although it's not a fatal disease, diabetes is the sixth cause of death in the United States. 90 to 95% of those people have type II diabetes.
Providing Proper Nourishment - Heads up, folks. If you're not using a shower filter, your daily shower includes chemicals, toxins, chlorine and heavy metals. The chlorine in most municipal water systems can form carcinogenic compounds, such as trihalomethanes and chloroform. If you can't pronounce it, you probably don't want it on your skin.
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