I have written other letters about the corruption of the cancer industry and the ineffectiveness and possible harm of mammograms. I know all this is hard to swallow, especially since our beloved doctors urge us to get mammograms every year, wear sunscreen every day, and never mention our diets. Don’t blame them. They are only doing what they know is best. It’s just that they get their information from the American Medical Association, the FDA, and the pharmaceutical industry. The FDA and the AMA are both on the side of the pharmaceutical industry. Follow the money. If physicians take time to read (most don’t have the time), they will see a Lancet (the British equivalent of the New England Journal of Medicine) article every now and then. Most good studies on diet and disease are from overseas because governments pay for them. The vast majority of research in the US is pharmaceutical-industry sponsored. Follow the money.
Surveys of physicians have shown that they do not talk to their patients about diet because 1) They don’t believe the patient will change and, 2) they don’t feel qualified or educated enough to give proper direction.
The bottom line is you have to be in control of your health care. You have to know what your doctor is prescribing and what the alternatives are. You have to know what your diagnosis is and what the alternatives are. I have the best medical knowledge provided to me by my medical doctor and my naturopathic doctors. It is still up to me to take charge and do what I think is best with the information I have available to me.
Please keep an open mind and continue to educate yourself on cancer in the coming weeks. These letters are extremely simplified to give you the easiest to understand and most concise information possible. If you want to read more, please don’t hesitate to ask. I will forward you anything I have found on any subject.
What is cancer?
According to T. Colin Campbell, renowned cancer researcher and professor emeritus from Cornell University:
“Cancer generally develops over a long period of time, divided into 3 stages, initiation, promotion and progression.
Initiation occurs when chemicals or other agents attack the genes of normal cells to produce genetically modified cells capable of eventually causing cancer. The body generally repairs most such damage but if the cell reproduces itself before it is repaired, its new (daughter) cell retains this genetic damage. This process may occur within minutes and, to some extent, is thought to be occurring most of the time in most of our tissues.
Promotion occurs when the initiated cells continue to replicate themselves and grow into cell masses that eventually will be diagnosed. This is a long growth phase occurring over months or years and is known to be reversible.
Progression occurs when the growing cancer masses invade neighboring tissues and/or break away from the tissue of origin (metastasis) and travel to distant tissues when they are capable of growing independently at which point they are considered to be malignant.”
What causes cancer?
It’s in the genes but it’s not genetic. What? This is a very confusing area. I will do my best to explain. All cancer starts with a cell that has a genetic mutation. It is the immune system’s job to kill and eliminate that cell. Some mutated genes are inherited or the enzyme system to repair the DNA is lacking because of an inherited mutation. Even so, a properly functioning immune system can prevent cancer promotion.
It is estimated that 80% of breast cancer patients have no family history of the disease. That doesn’t mean that 20% of breast cancer is genetic. Only 2-3% of cancers are truly inherited. Those patients with a family history also have similar lifestyles to their parents. We inherit recipes too!
But what causes the cell to become mutated to begin with? Free radicals are mostly to blame. They are produced when there is trauma to the body. Trauma due to illness such as a viral or bacterial infection, air and water pollution, chemical toxicity from herbicides and pesticides, and even prolonged stress as in divorce or loss of a loved one. Chronic diseases like diabetes and autoimmune disease also cause intense release of free radicals and are associated with higher cancer rates. All the above causes of cancer are also sources of inflammation, which you will see is also associated with cancer.
Dr. Russell Blaylock explains in his October 2008 newsletter that this free radical exposure chips away at our chromosomes and as the damage accumulates over decades, cancer develops. Those with malfunctioning DNA repair systems as in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations evidence this. They are associated with higher rates of breast cancer.
The good news is diet and supplements can improve our DNA repair abilities! We will delve into foods that prevent and cure cancer next week but lets continue to explore the culprits that are giving us cancer for now.
Hanging out with the wrong crowd
Mama warned me about this. If you don’t think of food as your friends, pause every time I bad-mouth one of your favorites and gauge how it makes you feel.
The #1 cancer causing food is charred meat. Remember, meat means animal flesh of any kind including fish and chicken. Dr. Blaylock writes that a woman who eats seared meats everyday increases her risk of BC over 300%! That could be just a charbroiled burger or grilled chicken salad for lunch or dinner everyday.
Dr. Blaylock goes on to explain that diets with higher meat content are associated with higher incidence of all diseases including cancer because of the iron, fat and cholesterol content. So even if it is baked, boiled, or cooked in any way, more meat means more disease.
In the 70’s the USDA told us to stop consuming so much animal fat and switch to vegetable oils instead. Canola, safflower, sunflower, peanut, soybean, and corn oil were preferred. The US consumes 50 times the amount of these oils than is required for optimal health. They contain Omega-6 fatty acids which if consumed in a ratio over 4:1 with Omega-3 fatty acids are inflammatory and linked to higher rates of cancer. The average American consumes a ratio of 10:1! Supplementing with Omega-3 oils only helps once Omega-6 consumption is reduced. Our main sources of Omega-6 oils are fast foods, processed foods such as cakes, cookies, crackers, chips, frozen ready-to-eat foods, and anything fried. Even olive oil is a source of Omega-6 fats. The highest source of Omega-3 fats is flaxseed oil, which has an Omega-6/3 ratio of 1:4. There will be more info on healthy fats next week. Hint: eat whole foods instead of oils, ex. avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Sugars, IGF-1, Insulin, Abdominal Fat
“High sugar foods are usually highly processed and refined, low in nutrient value, and also low in dietary fiber. In addition, these foods appear to increase serum insulin* and serum IGF-I levels , which appear to stimulate cancer cell growth.” Women’s health Matters: Nutrition and Breast Cancer, www.ucsfhealth.org.
IGF-1 is insulin growth factor and is also found in cow’s milk. Research is replete with studies that show a dramatic increase in BC with increased blood and tissue levels of IGF-1. High insulin levels and high blood glucose levels also show association with high BC rates and poor survival rates. Add additional abdominal fat to the mix and it is downright deadly.
High blood glucose is to cancer as gas is to a fire. Cancer is said to be a “high glucose metabolizer” which means it uses glucose as it’s main fuel source and uses it a rate much higher than normal cells. This is how PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans work. The patient is given a radionuclide attached to a glucose molecule. The cancer cells take up the potion more aggressively than the surrounding tissue thus showing up on the scan. It is very important to keep fasting blood sugar levels between 75-85.
This is the least known cancer risk factor. Most women I speak with think red wine is beneficial. Fact is every alcoholic beverage increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Risk appears greatest in post-menopausal women and those with hormone sensitive tumors.
“Alcohol consumption (1 drink/day) during a woman’s fifties increased risk for postmenopausal breast cancer by 12% in a large cohort* study, but statistical significance was not reached for women in their twenties, thirties, or forties.
A recent review study reported that data from many well-designed studies consistently shows a small rise in breast cancer risk with increasing consumption of alcohol.
A recent study found that as little as a half a glass of wine a day raised a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 6% (increased risk by 18% in postmenopausal women).
-Furthermore, 1-2 drinks a day increased risk by 21% and 2 or more drinks a day increased risk by 37%.
- The heightened risk was more pronounced for women with ER+ and progesterone-receptor positive (PR+) tumor types.” Women’s health Matters: Nutrition and Breast Cancer, www.ucsfhealth.org.
Last but not least, obesity
All of the above cause obesity. It is well documented that obesity is linked to higher rates of all diseases including cancer. But what is the definition of obesity? The conventional medical definition is a body mass index of 25 or greater for a woman. Dr. Joel Furhman, author of “Eat to Live” says that optimal weight is when a woman can pinch no more than an inch of fat at the belly button and a man a half-inch. He goes on to say that most weight standards in the US are at least 10% too heavy. Clinical obesity is defined as 50 pounds overweight. Suffice it to say most Americans are obese.
“Epidemiologic evidence suggests a positive association between body mass and postmenopausal breast cancer.
-Increasing BMI was associated with a 40% increased incidence and mortality of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
-Women with a BMI of ≥25 had a 58% increased risk of breast cancer.
-Obese postmenopausal women had 3.26-fold increased risk for breast cancer compared to healthy weight women.” Women’s health Matters: Nutrition and Breast Cancer, www.ucsfhealth.org.
This website contains more information on killing cancer. Just skim thru my articles on diet and disease, food, nutrition and supplements to find more info.
All the best,
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
More on cancer in these articles