There are some things we can control in this life and some we can not. Can you prevent cancer? This is a subject that receives a lot of attention and rightly so.
It was estimated by the National Cancer Institute that there would be an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer that would be diagnosed in the United States in 2016 and 595,690 people will die from the disease.
The good news is that research suggests that only 5-10% of cancers are hereditary. That means that 90% of cancer is environmental and lifestyle related! What has a direct overall impact then, are the lifestyle choices we make daily.
The obvious risk factors are smoking (of course!), eating a highly processed diet, being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, etc.
Top Ways To Prevent Cancer – Forgiveness
What you don’t hear talked about very often is the relationship between disease and emotions. You have possibly heard the story of the teacher who told her students to bring in a bag of potatoes. On each potato, they were to write the name of a person or event where they had been wronged. They were then instructed to put those potatoes in their backpack and carry it with them everywhere for a month.
You can imagine the weight of the burden. The physical toll is great but imagine what it does to you emotionally. How do you deal with the baggage of your past? If you choose to hold onto it, it keeps you locked in chains. These feelings become your new “normal”. In time, you will lack energy and the zest for living that you once had.
One of my favorite sayings is, “You can’t look to the future through a rear-view mirror.” You can’t always control what happens in your life but, you can control how you choose to react to it.
Forgiving others doesn’t mean giving them access to you and your life again. It means that you release yourself from the heavy burden of harboring resentment, rejection, hardship, failure or sorrow.
Holding Grudges Can Make You Sick
Storing emotional pain in your body will eventually take its toll. Holding onto these negative feelings creates chronic anxiety. This can produce excess adrenaline and cortisol which deplete the production of the killer cells that fight disease.
According to Dr. Steven Standiford, chief of surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, refusing to forgive makes people sick and keeps them that way. With that in mind, forgiveness therapy is now being used to help treat diseases, such as cancer.
Dr. Michael Barry, the author of the Forgiveness Project, said that 61% of cancer patients have forgiveness issues and half of those are severe.
So what does forgiveness look like? It means to let go of the grievance or judgment that you hold. Forgiveness does not need to involve the other person and it is not for their benefit. It’s for yours.
Even though you may feel justified and superior in your feelings towards this person and you would like revenge, if you cling to this, you can’t heal.
Sometimes we are addicted to the adrenaline that anger provides or your identity as a victim. You may be afraid that by forgiving you have to re-connect with the other person which is not true. You need to ask yourself if you are willing to forgive.
How Do I Forgive?
Write your thoughts, feelings, anger or resentment in a letter. This letter is for you. No one else ever has to read it. Then, try to write a second letter with your other hand. This can help override the analytical part of your brain and you may find your writing is more honest this way.
Think about the incident and what happened. You need to accept that it happened. Did you learn and grow from the experience?
One of the things I learned from a personal experience that was very difficult for me, is to recognize that we are all flawed. All of us are trying to have a need met. What need do you think that person was trying to fulfill? It is your choice whether to communicate with this person ever again.
You will always remember what happened, but you will not be in chains anymore regarding the situation. You are honoring yourself with this process.
Cancer Prevention and Diet
Some foods specifically inhibit cell growth in certain cancers. Garlic, leeks, scallions and Brussel sprouts lead the list of foods that do just that for colon, prostate, breast, brain and lung cancers.
The cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) rated high on these lists as well. What this tells us is that IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT WHAT YOU EAT. The guideline I follow 90% of the time, is to eat food as close to how it is found in nature.
The minute we start eating out of factories, the farther we get from real food. I saw a wonderful documentary called “Food Matters” and someone in the film called fast food and highly processed food, “Frankenfood.” It’s so true! That’s all. It’s not complicated. Eat real food!
Juicing as part of a regimen to beat cancer has become part of an accepted alternative therapy. Here are some guidelines.
Here is an article I wrote that explains the benefits of juicing (even if you don’t need to lose weight).
Exercise and Cancer Prevention
I have to say that I debated whether I needed to write about exercise and preventing cancer. I thought it must be obvious to everyone but, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a bit about it.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published that exercise is associated with lowering the risk of 13 different types of cancers. Exercise alters T cells to a more effective disease-fighting form, boosting the immune system to fight emerging and existing cancer cells.
As I learned at The Institute For Integrative Nutrition, all changes can begin with baby steps. If you haven’t exercised in awhile, start with 5 minutes a day (no kidding!) for the first week and increase to 7 minutes the next week (that’s right!) and so on and so forth!
Build the habit with something that is fun for you. I have a small trampoline and I jump, jog and dance to fun music. Believe me, it is not drudgery! It is a blast! Here’s my rebounder.
The Environment and Cancer
The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that there are over 80,000 chemicals being used in the United States and most have not been tested for their effects on human health. Endocrine disruptors and phthalates are in dozens of household products. They can have a detrimental effect on your family’s health.
Instead of using commercial cleaning products, you can save money and your health by using simple white vinegar and water to clean most kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Here’s an easy recipe for homemade glass cleaner:
DIY Glass Cleaner
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 cups warm water
Combine everything in a spray bottle and shake well. The best news is that an entire bottle will cost you approximately 48 cents.
Check for aluminum in your deodorant, triclosan in your toothpaste, BPA in plastic bottles, lead in your lipstick and PVC in your kid’s toys! Please remember, never microwave anything in plastic!
I have found the most amazing antibacterial cloths that clean without toxic ingredients. They are chemical FREE, simple to use and save you a fortune in cleaning products that you will never have to buy again! To purchase, go to ToxicFreeHappyHome.com
I gave a speech to a group of women on cancer prevention a few years ago. A great non-profit that gave me great facts and figures was http://www.cancerschmancer.org/prevention If you visit their website, they offer an amazing amount of very helpful information.
Can you prevent cancer? We may not have control of a lot of things, but you do have control over what you put in your body and into your home. Just remember to live as close to how nature intended and you will lower your risk.
Example, studies are not conclusive regarding cell phone use. In the meantime, when talking on your phone, try using the speaker as much as possible. Keep your phone at least 5 feet away from your head when you’re sleeping.
Pay attention to pain, belly bloating, urgent need to urinate or pelvic pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.
If you found this article on the top ways to prevent cancer helpful, please leave a comment below or ask a question. Thank you for spending time on my site!