The 25th anniversary of National Cancer Survivors Day is Sunday, June 3. As we celebrate the lives of cancer survivors around the world, it is important to realize that we too are at risk of developing cancer. The risk for an individual ranges from 40 percent to 70 percent. Naturopathy practitioner and prolific author Xandria Williams attributes this high percentage to unhealthy lifestyle choices of modern life. Here are 7 tips from her new book, Vital Signs for Cancer Prevention, on the risk factors that contribute to cancer and ideas on how to take preventive measures to keep our bodies healthy.
Alcohol Consumptionâ€”In Excess | Arguably all alcohol applies a stress to the liver and is toxic. Equally, there are suggestions that drinking either one or two, but no more, 6 oz. glasses of red wine a day may not do significant harm and may even do some good. It helps you to relax, improves social situations, applies the â€śfeel-good factor,â€ť and, specific to red wine, provides resveratrol, a beneficial bioflavonoid that helps prevent all three stages of cancer development: initiation, promotion, and progression.
Cigarette Smoking | There is now a clear link between cigarette smoking and not only lung cancer but also a number of other cancers.
Lack of Exercise | A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor. Even half an hour of walking a day can reduce your risk of developing cancer. Do more if you can. For maximum benefit it should be aerobic exercise, such that your breathing rate increases but you do not become totally out of breath. The latter would indicate that you have moved over into anaerobic exercise, and this is not helpful, because cancer cells thrive in anaerobic conditions.
Hormone Treatments | The use of hormone treatmentsâ€”the oral contraceptive pill and HRT â€”are thought to increase your risk of cancer as well as some other degenerative diseases.
Obesity | Being overweight is a serious predisposing factor for many types of cancer, including breast and prostate. Libraries of books have been written about weight and weight management, and if you are overweight you should consult these, obtain advice, join a club, or do whatever it takes to get your weight down to normal.
Improve Your Diet |It is almost certain that your diet is not perfect, so this is the time to improve the situation. Learn how to determine your metabolic type so that you can find which foods are best for you, as an individual, to eat.
1. Cut out all forms of sugar and refined carbohydrates (such as white flour and white rice and their products).
2. Cut out processed vegetable oils, such as sunflower or corn oil, and overheated fats, such as those that have been heated to smoking temperature or used for deep-frying, or fats that have been â€śburned to a crisp.â€ť Choose coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and olive oil instead.
3. Eat only organic foods. If you cannot do this, at least avoid processed foods that contain chemical additives.
4. Make vegetables the main part of your diet and eat much of your diet in the form of raw food to preserve valuable enzymes and other nutrients.
Reduce Your Stress Levels and Give Your Adrenal Glands a Chance | It is generally recognized that many cancers become apparent two or three years after periods of extreme stress. So, learn how to relax, to meditate, to take time out, and to have funâ€”and how to make your heart sing. Exhausted adrenal glands are a prime cause of several problems that generate triggers that convert healthy cells into cancer cells.
Risk factors differ from predisposing factors. They are those activities, situations, or other triggers that increase your likelihood of developing cancer [...] I urge you to change the ones that you can. If you donâ€™t make these changes, you may later wish you had.
If you think you need help, find a practitioner who understands the cancer process. When you have done all this and organized your new lifestyle, sit back, relax, and have fun. Remember, filling your life with joy and pleasure is an important aspect of preventing cancer. – Xandria Williams, author of Vital Signs for Cancer Prevention
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