Cancer is still on the rise, yet it seems prevention is too hard a pill to swallow…
It seems counterintuitive that more research is not spent on why cancer starts in the first place and how to prevent it, rather than how to deal with it once it has started. Cancer is now affecting more than 43 percent of us in our lifetimes. That means prevention is key.
As a trained pharmacist and hormone specialist, working alongside some of the top prevention-focused doctors in the country, I have come full circle from funding anti-cancer research to funding education on prevention. I give monthly talks to educate people on lifestyle changes they can make to help protect them from getting cancer. The tricky part is explaining that prevention is not one magic pill, but a combination of healthy steps to get your body back in balance so cancer does not start in the first place.
One of my favorite books on this subject is called Anticancer: A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. As a practicing doctor treating cancer patients, he was diagnosed with brain cancer and had to fight for his life through all forms of treatment. He articulates that western medicine is fantastic at curing acute illnesses like a deep cut or a broken leg, but is less adept at treating long-term and chronic diseases like cancer.
Cancer prevention is within our grasp. Here are my top “must do” tactics each and every one of us should undertake in the battle against cancer.
1 Grape Seed Extract
For thousands of years, grapes have been used for their medicinal properties. Recently, medical evidence has put
grapes more in the limelight for preventative medicine. A 2006 study* shows that grape seed extract is effective in preventing breast cancer. Aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgen to estrogen, is expressed at high levels in breast cancer tissues. Grape seed extract is a potent aromatase inhibitor and suppressor of aromatase expression.
2 Citrus Bioflavonoids
This new and exciting breakthrough in cancer prevention has been shown to kill six types of human cancer. The anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer actions of citrus bioflavonoids are clearly indicated in scientific studies. A 2015 study showed that various compounds found in citrus bioflavonoids interact with key regulatory enzymes involved in cell activation and receptor binding and exhibit “antiproliferative” actions against cancer cells – meaning that they have been shown to prevent cancer growth.
3 Green Tea
There has been a fair amount of recent research into the link between green tea and cancer prevention. Some laboratory studies have shown that extracts from green tea can stop cancer cells from growing. Green tea contains substances called polyphenols, and a sub group called catechins, which scientists believe imbue it with antioxidant and anti-
It’s not enough to eat your veggies…
for optimal antioxidant protection via your diet, you need to be juicing your veggies and fruits! Get a juicer and try this favourite:
• 1 large handful of kale
• 1 small handful of mint
• 1 small nub of ginger
• 1 lemon (peeled)
• 2 apples
• 1/2 cucumber
5 Hormonal Balance
Too many people think it’s normal to have our hormones out of balance as we age. The best way to find out if your hormones are out of whack is to see your doctor (make sure he or she is trained in hormone restoration first). Correcting the metabolism is as important as exercise for weight loss, so make sure you get the right advice before you start.
A summary of forty-seven published studies and four trials from the University of Alberta showed overwhelmingly the beneficial effects of exercise in breast and non-breast cancer groups alike, including during and after cancer treatment. So get out there and get your sweat on!
7 Stress Reduction
The most common cause of cancer is stress. Extreme physical, mental and emotional stress weakens the immune system, and a weak immune system is a major causative factor in the development of cancer. Scientific studies have proven that hearty laughter has a powerful and immediate strengthening effect on the immune system. So stress less, and laugh more!
8 Chemical Avoidance
Avoid chemicals found in makeup, cleaning products, dry cleaning, and your food. Eat organic, wear organic makeup, avoid dry cleaners (the chemical ones, anyways). There is plenty of evidence to support the effects of chemical exposure on your cancer risk. It is simple to start shopping at an organic market rather than your traditional grocery store, or to find a dry cleaner or wet cleaner that uses non-toxic chemicals, or to switch to chemical-free makeup. Choose wisely!
Conclusion: When it comes to cancer, prevention is key – and it is within our control. By simply being more mindful of avoiding environmental toxins, paying attention
to our health, laughing a little, and taking some key supplements,we can do a great deal to keep the C-word at bay.
*References available upon request.
Michael Forbes has been a pharmacist for more than 10 years and is the owner of the Forbes Pharmacy chain. With a keen interest in and knowledge of age management and hormone replacement therapies for both men and women, Michael believes that we should all feel our best at any age.