Science is Clear: Cancer Prevention depends on a Healthy Diet.
In October every year, pink ribbons remind me we are working to “find the cure.” But is cancer prevention possible? Wouldn’t it be great when this is a cause we don’t have to fight for anymore? What is the approach of holistic medicine?
Unfortunately, you don’t hear a lot about real prevention. A lot about early detection, (mammograms and self-exams for women, colonoscopy to find early tumors, etc.); but the unspoken message is that early detection is the best we can do, living in the false belief that prevention is just good luck, and in the waiting time between tests just hoping we have escaped fate again.
Please understand: there is no magical healthy diet that can 100% guarantee cancer prevention. But there ARE specific choices of foods which over time will move someone OUT of the group called “more likely to get cancer” and INTO the group called “not as likely to get cancer.” That’s really good news, because anyone can do it.
It’s probably worth spending a few moments considering what risk reduction really means. The easiest way to understand may be to imagine a long line of people waiting their turn to get into a twin movie theater. For lung cancer risk reduction, when the customers get to the front of the line, the ticket taker sends all the smokers into the movie called “high probability of getting sick,” and the non-smokers are assigned to the movie “low probability of getting sick.” Now if you imagine yourself in that line, wouldn’t you want to choose the “low probability of getting sick” movie? Even though you know you still could become ill, you know your chances are better if you go with that group of people. And you get to stay with that group of people by behaving in ways that reduce your risk, in this case by stopping smoking.
And the fact that is equally true but less well known, studies suggest that as many cancers could be prevented by healthy diet as could be prevented by 100% of people stopping cigarette smoking. So you get to stay with the “low risk” group by eating in specific ways that have been studied and shown to reduce risk of cancer.
As important as it is to eat food that is designed to make you healthy, it’s also important to make sure the food you eat actually is good for you and has not been genetically modified, as so much of our food is.
I passionately hope that you take this opportunity to commit to a life of being well by eating well, take charge of your own cancer prevention by healthy diet , move yourself into a low-risk group, and tell your friends and family that they can choose the same.
to your health and wellness,
Robert Pendergrast, M.D.