"If we don't tell people that the science shows how they can protect themselves from disease with their own choices and what they can decide to take into their own hands, we are giving them false hopelessness.
Cancer lies dormant in all of us. Like all living organisms, our bodies are making defective cells all the time. That's how tumors are born. But our bodies are also equipped with a number of mechanisms which detect and keep such cells in check. In the West one person in four will die of cancer--but three in four will not: THEIR DEFENSE MECHANISMS WILL HOLD OUT."
-Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, Psychiatry Professor, Univ. of Pittsburgh-
Fifteen years ago, when Servan-Schreiber was a 31-year old ambitious neuroscientist he used himself as a research subject when a volunteer failed to show up for an MRI brain scan. He was completely taken by surprise when the scan revealed he had a brain tumor.
Servan-Schreiber is emphatic that there is no alternative approach to cure cancer. And it would be insane to forgo all the conventional tools that Western medicine has to fight cancer: chemotherapy, surgery, radiosurgery, immunotherapy, and the upcoming molecular genetics.
However, we are deluding ourselves if we don't seriously utilize the body's natural capacity to protect itself against tumors. Cancer isn't transmitted genetically--genetics accounts for at most, 15% of cancer deaths. "Genes load the gun, but our environment pulls the trigger."
As we've seen in heart disease, once again, inflammation has a large part in contributing to the disease process. Wayward cancer cells proliferate; they poison the surrounding cells with chemicals that cause inflammation; which in turn sustains the cancer's growth. Research in the journal Science confirmed that the most "successful", the most aggressive cancers--the ones that ultimately reach the lymph nodes--are the ones that provoke the most inflammation.
It takes from 10-40 years for the "seed" of a cancer cell to become a detectable tumor. It would be unwise to just wait for a tumor to be discovered before one takes action. Everything in the "Anti-Cancer Lifestyle" is the same as what's in the "Anti-Heart Disease Lifestyle" or the "Balanced Living Lifestyle". It's everything we already know. As my good friend Tess says, "We all know this stuff. It's just finding the time to do it, in this crazy rush-rush American Lifestyle."
Environmental chemicals to avoid:
* Dry cleaning chemicals-air garments out for several hours before wearing. (avoid perchloroethylene/tetrachlore-ethylene)
* Cleaning products such as liquid detergents, disinfectants, and toilet bowl sanitizers that contain alkylphenols (nonoxynol, octoxynol, nonylphenol, actylphenol)
* Deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum
* Cosmetics, shampoo, lotions, gels, hair color, nail polish, perfumes, and sunscreen containing estrogens or placental products, or those with parabens or phthalates
* Chemical household pesticides and insecticides
* Heating foods or liquids in plastic containers made with PVCs, Bisphenol A, polystyrene, or Styrofoam
* Preparing food in scratched Teflon® pans
Improve your diet--Phytochemicals have a profound influence on our physiology:
* If you eat animal products, stick to organic grass-fed beef & dairy products. Limit meat to 11 ounces a week. Beans, lentils, soy, tofu are preferred.
* Reduce your intake of sugar---according to Servan-Schreiber and Nobel Prize winner Otto Heinrich Warburg, "Cancer feeds on sugar".
* Reduce your intake of white flour, products containing omega-6s (sunflower oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, margarines, hydrogenated fats, non-organic animal fats
* Increase your omega-3 intake (fish, and grass or linseed-fed animal products)
* Increase your intake of anticancer products (turmeric, green tea, soy, fruits, vegetables)
* Filter tap water: use a carbon filter or an inverse osmosis filter, or drink mineral water or spring water
*Increase cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, berries, onions, garlic, leeks, chives, beets, citrus
*Organic produce is best--but eating more fruits & vegetables is key-even if they are grown with pesticides.
Exercise--Reduces cancer recurrence by 50%.
* Practice 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity per day
* Expose yourself to sunlight for 20 minutes each day
The Mind-Body connection.
* Practice a method of relaxation and self-centering (yoga, cardiac coherence, meditation, qigong, tai chi)
* Focus on what gives you satisfaction--not on what's wrong.
* Foster balance in your life--stress causes the release of hormones that trigger inflammation which slows down digestion, slows tissue repair, and reduces immune function.
*We nourish life in ourselves by making the time to spend quiet time alone.
To learn more, read excerpts from the book at the Daily Mail, published in the UK.
Read Julie's Health Club post at the Chicago Tribune.
For recommendations of non-toxic green products, check out the National Geographic's Green Guide, here.
For recommendations of cosmetics, food, and consumer products, check out the Environmental Working Group's site, here.
And be sure to listen to Dr. David Servan-Schreiber tell his story. It's only 7 minutes long. Click HERE if the YouTUBE video isn't displaying on your screen.