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Thursday, 22 January 2015

CANCER – Causes, Prevention and Treatment

In attempting to understand and deal with the stubborn issue of this subject, let me first of all try to answer the question of – ‘What is Cancer’? I will also attempt to answer it by this dictionary meaning so that we can fully understand what we are dealing with here: Cancer is any malignant growth or tumour that is caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; cancer may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream.

Breast cancer tumour
Causes of Cancer
Cancer however manifests in numerous ways and in different organs of the body depending on what is causing it. Also, we should not forget the fact that cancer most of the time is listed in the category of lifestyle (influenced) diseases. This suggests therefore that we must be extremely careful about what we take in regarding our dietary behaviours, what we expose ourselves to, the kind of environment that we live in - referring to pollution and radiation, etc. We can therefore do something to help ourselves. Sometimes too, certain cancers have been traceable to genetic factors too, just like obesity, infections, and the lack of physical activities or exercise.

Other known culprits are such as – over-exposure to the sun, X-rays, mobile telephones; cosmetics like certain hair dyes, hair shampoos, creams, soaps, and antiperspirants, etc. All of these, among the dangerous ones that is, have traces of carcinogenic elements that have been found in them.

Types of cancer: First of all let me touch on the four major types of cancer. These are:

1.    Leukemia (blood cancer): Malignant neoplasm of blood-forming tissues; characterized by abnormal proliferation of leukocytes.
2.    Lymphoma: A neoplasm of lymph tissue that is usually malignant.
3.    Sarcoma: A usually malignant tumour arising from connective tissue (bone or muscle etc.).
4.    Carcinoma: Any malignant tumour derived from epithelial tissue.

The other forms or types of cancer, and you will be surprised they are so many, and they include – lung cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, brain cancer, buccal (oral) cancer, ovarian cancer, colon/rectum cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, adrenal cancer, anal cancer, bile duct cancer, bladder cancer, bone cancer, endometrial cancer, castleman disease, esophagus cancer, eye cancer, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumours, gallbladder cancer, stomach cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, vulva cancer, vaginal cancer, thymus cancer, small intestine cancer, retinoblastoma, salivary gland cancer, pituitary tumours, penile cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc. 

This is to say there are a few more cancers I have not mentioned here. And so you can see that virtually any part of the human body is prone to cancerous afflictions as long as the predisposing factors have set in towards that part of the body.
As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’. And so I always love to advocate preventive measures first in any situation before thinking of the cure if we can help it, that is. I will talk about two major ways to this issue which is by avoiding the avoidable, and by the application of natural/dietary approach.

What to avoid in order to prevent Cancer

  • Do not drink ice cold water or other drinks immediately after the consumption of hot meals. If you do this you will be altering the normal process of digestion in the way your food and the fats react with the sudden contact with freezing cold liquid.
  • Avoid dangerous cosmetics including certain hair shampoos and antiperspirants, etc.
  • Bleaching creams and soaps can cause (skin) cancer. This is obviously because these harmful agents are designed to eliminate the (dark pigmented) melanin which is the protective skin covering of your body. When this happens your skin is then exposed to all manner of harsh conditions. Do not use these items.
  • Avoid excessive intake of foods with additives, artificial flavours, preservatives, seasoning, colourants; they can also cause cancer. This is in addition to too much of alcoholic beverage consumption, and tobacco smoking. You must avoid these behaviours.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods – they have been denatured. They can also cause cancer. This is also in addition to too much of red (processed) meat such as beef; please reduce your intake of these as well.
  • Contact with (hazardous) industrial wastes should be avoided, e.g. fumes from factories, vehicles, power generators, and effluents; they can equally cause cancer because some of the particles emitted are carcinogenic when inhaled or taken into the system.
  • Stay away from radio-active equipments or minimize your exposure to them.