Cancer Prevention – A Lifetime of Exercise and Weight Control
By Judy Ford
Cancer usually starts up to 15 or 20 years before it is detected. This makes it difficult for researchers to work out the initial cause. Unlike infectious diseases that show up within hours or days of being contaminated or allergic reactions that are almost instantaneous, cancer remains hidden for many years. The initial trigger may be long forgotten by the time the cancer becomes evident. Our fight against cancer must be a lifetime’s commitment.
Family genes and cancer: The genes you are born with will influence your risk of getting cancer. If you come from a family where there is a known history of a particular cancer, it is important that you learn about the causes of that cancer and reduce your risks. For example, if you have a family history of bowel cancer then it is important that you look after your intestinal health by including high quality fibre in your diet. Using a Probiotic regularly to enhance your intestinal flora is also important. You should also have regular cancer checks but these will only tell you if you have the disease, not prevent it. You must focus on prevention through diet.
Mutation of normal genes and cancer: Most cancers start with mutation or change in a gene. Genes are altered by exposure to certain chemicals, radiations and viruses. Some of the most well known of the chemicals include benzene, formaldehyde, diesel exhaust and welding fumes. Most types of industrial fumes and dust are mutagens as are solvents (used in sprays, perfumes, air fresheners). Cigarette smoke is highly mutagenic. You need to be careful not to breathe in chemicals, absorb them through your skin or eat them in food. Most types of radiation cause mutation and many viruses can break chromosomes. One of the wart (Papilloma) viruses causes cancer of the cervix and is transferred from one person to another through sexual intercourse.
Why does weight matter? Damage to a gene or genes is only the start of cancer. It is promoted by anything that stimulates growth. The more extra weight you are carrying the more extra growth factors you have in your body. Every growth factor can be thought of as a cancer catalyst so a critical part of cancer prevention is keeping growth and inflammation levels down to a bare minimum. People who are overweight also carry higher amounts of toxins in their bodies so reducing weight also removes cancer-causing chemicals from the body. We all need to be lean to reduce our cancer risk and hundreds of studies have now proved the link between being overweight and having increased cancer risk.
Exercise is a great way of reducing weight and exercise probably helps protect against cancer through other mechanisms, including stimulating breathing, blood circulation and reducing stress hormone levels. But you can see that if cancer takes between 15 and 20 years to develop, these good habits of avoiding mutagens, reducing weight and exercising must start early and be maintained throughout a lifetime.
Dr Judy Ford is an internationally respected geneticist who has undertaken considerable research into the causes of cancer. Her research has shown that the risks of most cancers can be greatly reduced by changes to healthy lifestyles and healthy habits. You can find out much more about how to prevent cancer on her website http://www.egs.com.au