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Preventing and healing Cancer, Part 1

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When I was a child, cancer was a rarity. Today, according to the National Cancer Institute, the number of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 439.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2011-2015 cases). This is nearly 1 in 2 people being diagnosed per year. An astounding rate of increase!

Medically, the focus is on early detection as a preventive tool, and of course there is great value in that. Naturopaths go further and ask the question, "What causes cancer?" Because if we know the causes and can remove enough of them, we will go a long way to prevent it ever happening. In part 1, I will address the causative factors. Part 2 will teach you what early changes you can monitor in your body that let you know your vulnerability is increasing.

Cause 1- Deteriorating food supply

The last several decades have seen dramatic changes in our food. It started with modern farming techniques depleting the soil, then ramped up when chemical fertilizers were touted as the cure for this soil depletion. Next, pesticides and weed killers were added to control the increase in weeds and pests, that are actually nature's signal that the plants are not healthy! Finally, genetic modification took things dramatically further, not only introducing mutant plants but increasing the amount of chemicals used on them.

Additionally, food companies began processing foods and adding chemicals to 1) make cheap, subpar food taste better and 2) to make food last longer. Bernard Jensen, nutrition pioneer, said one of my favorite quotes. "Good nutrition is simple. Buy food that will go bad and eat it before it does." I would add to buy organic to minimize these chemicals.

Cause 2- Increasing environmental toxicity

The numbers of chemicals that have crept into our daily lives is incredible! My grandma used vinegar to clean the house, borax to wash the clothes, and a shoe to deal with bugs. There were no flame retardants in furniture and clothes, and no Wi-Fi blasting the nervous system. Her yard had hidden 4 leaf clover treasures and dandelion seed puffs to blow. The egg man delivered fresh eggs with creamy yellow yolks and the milkman delivered glass bottles with cream on the top. We had meals cooked at home and veggies from local gardens. There were no smog alerts in the summertime. Of course, there were some toxins , such as lead in paint and asbestos in building materials. But the numbers of toxins were far less than we have today.

Cause 3- Stress. And not just emotional stress.

Emotional stress is real, and people recognize that when it goes on for a long time, it has an effect on their health. The stress response happens like this: The nervous system perceives a threat, which sends a message to the adrenal glands to produce fight or flight hormones. These hormones heighten the senses and route blood flow to the heart and muscles (to fight or run away). The first problem we run into is that modern stresses don't require fighting or running, so our body doesn't get that physical release. The second problem is that nervous system irritants like wifi, artificial sweeteners, msg, mold and pesticides are constantly irritating our nerves, causing the nervous system to feel that danger is near. This constant stress response is then a drain on our immune system.

It's all about the numbers

Naturopaths use the illustration of your body's capacity for toxicity being like a bucket. You can withstand some, but when that bucket is full, the cumulative load creates the damage and changes that not only can lead to cancer but also other degenerative and chronic diseases. Any change you make to reduce this load, either by preventing exposure or increasing your release of toxins, will help you to prevent any kind of disease, including cancer. So stay tuned for Part 2, where I will help you to know what to do about these causative factors.

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