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Cancer What Is It? – Article 8 In A Series Of 10
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Recall from previous articles that a large percentage of cancers, up to 95%, are caused by something related to your personal environment: diet and nutrition, physical fitness, stress, traumatic events etc. and/or something in the physical environment such as pollution, engineered toxins and so forth. This has clearly been established in all kinds of scientific and anecdotal literature. So it’s curious that research has also shown that that there are no significant cases of cancer in ancient human remains, suggesting that it is mainly a man-made disease of the Industrial Age caused by environmental changes and the modern diet. So what might be some of these changes?

Cancer can be traced back to mutations in DNA that affect cell growth and metastasis that are known as mutagens. Those mutagens that can cause cancers are referred to as carcinogens. Certain substances have been linked to specific types of cancer. While there are a lot of mutagens that are also carcinogens, not all carcinogens are mutagens. A common example of a chemical carcinogen that is not a mutagen would be alcohol. These sorts of chemicals may promote cancers by increasing the rates of cell division.

Many years of research has established links between tobacco smoking and several types of cancer, including those common to the lung, throat, head, neck, stomach, bladder, kidney, and pancreas. Tobacco smoke contains over 50 known carcinogens and countless studies suggest that it may be responsible for about one in three of all cancer deaths in the developed world and about one in five in the entire world. Whether those carcinogens are there by design or are a natural by-product of tobacco smoking is a little less clear.

Diet and obesity are synonymous with lower rates of health in general and contribute to cancer. For diet, it’s all about providing the body with nutrition so that it can work effectively to combat disease. There are approximately 72 trace nutrients available in nature and historically, the human body has evolved to use some or all of them. There are very few sources where you can get all nutrients at one time. However, there are many combinations of natural food sources that can give you most of these nutrients. Depending on the availability of those food sources in your area, vitamin supplements may also be a consideration. Improved nutrition contributes to more effective function of the various systems within the body, which collectively work towards a healthier and higher functioning immune system.

Obesity, whether caused by poor diet and/or a lack of physical activity, impacts the body and its systems in a very negative way. Generally, an obese body works more inefficiently than a fit one. The various systems have to over work to contribute their part. This can often put stresses that compromise the systems and create an environment for cancer to flourish. Additionally, a lot of obese people tend to eat less healthy diets which can result in more of an acidic balance which also creates the type of environment that promotes cancer growth.

Infection through viral and bacterial illness is also a large contributor to cancer. Often, one of these illnesses will grow in scope and compromise one or more of the body’s systems. Should we be concerned about all these bugs and illnesses that seem to be popping up everywhere that our immune systems are unable to manage? Should we be concerned that the common western medical approach usually has something to do with some type of pharmaceutical prescription? That’s another conversation for another article. Back to some common causes of cancer that have surfaced since the Industrial Revolution years.

Radiation in various forms has also been linked to cancers. Sources can include radon gas, exposure to medical machinery such as CT scanners, or too much direct sunlight. There’s some indication that forms of radiation from communications technologies such as cell phones or wireless internet can also cause cancer. But as with anything that is the foundation of a large economic driver, there's a lot of literature refuting this point as well.

One point of clarity; most forms of cancer are not caused by anything hereditary. You don’t inherit cancer. There are some indications that at the genetic level your genes may be pre-programmed not to fight cancer the same way as other people but generally, you don’t inherit cancer. Rather, the cancers grow and flourish when the body is unable to successfully fight off the growth of cancer cells. There are some recognized conditions in the body that can be inherited and can contribute to creating an environment that supports and promotes cancer. These generally take the form of some inherited defect in the genes that play a role in preventing tumors.

So, there are some things you can do to prevent cancer and other things that are beyond your control. But doesn’t it make sense to try to control the things that you can to give your body the best fighting chance it can have? Things like diet, nutrition, physical fitness and stress are within your control. The post-industrial environment is here to stay so what can you do to prevent cancer? Think about that for a bit.

In the next article, we will briefly examine the common types of cancer. Nothing you haven’t heard before but some perspective is never a bad thing. Read and learn…

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