Cancer Prevention Strategies
The best defense is a good offense. So what can you do to prevent cancer from occurring or recurring?
There are several widely accepted non-medically related strategies which have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer formation and cancer recurrence:
• Dietary modification
• Targeted nutritional supplements
Eliminate Bad Habits
It may seem easier to be given a pill to do the job, but a healthy body requires some intensive work and sometimes a dramatic change in your lifestyle. You should eliminate habits that promote the production of free radicals such as smoking and excessive drinking.
Increase the amount of vegetables consumed. Decrease the saturated fat, including meat and dairy products, as well as trans fatty acids found in processed foods. Choose healthy fats found in cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) and add flaxseed to your diet. Add fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruits to your diet.
Several foods in particular have known anti-cancer properties and should be come a part of your regular diet:
• Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
• Leafy green vegetables
• Yellow-orange vegetables
• Citrus fruits
• Green tea
Exercise not only improves your cardiovascular status, it reduces your risk or breast cancer by 18% if you exercise one hour per day. (By 10% if you exercise 30 minutes per day.) Weight training 3 days per week will also improve your bone density and decreases your body fat. This combination works to decrease your body's levels of circulating estrogen and therefore translates into good breast health.Before beginning any exercise program discuss your goals and limitations with your personal physician.
A diet that provides all of the antioxidants and vitamins we need is ideal. Let's face it, we all need a little help with our diets. And it is impossible to eat some amounts of the foods necessary to provide the levels required for the optimum effects. The following supplements are recommended for their proven efficacy in cancer prevention.
Vitamin A acts as a potent antioxidant by destroying free radicals in the body. It works to fortify mucous membranes and acts as a barrier for bacteria and carcinogens. It is essential for protein synthesis and normal cellular growth.
A deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to the development of cancer. It is a fat-soluble food factor and can be toxic if over dosed. Sources of this vitamin are dairy products. Recommended daily dosage: 5000 IU VitA
Vitamin E acts as a potent antioxidant and is thought to be responsible for correcting abnormal levels of progesterone to estradiol. Improvement in this ratio can decrease the risk of mammary (breast tissue) dysplasia. (The early changes we see in breast cancer development.) Excellent sources of this vitamin are wheat germ, whole grains, lettuce, and liver.Recommended daily dosage: 800 IU VitE
Vitamin C acts as a potent antioxidant as free radical destroyer thought to inhibit the formation and growth of cancers. Vit C inhibits the production of the enzyme thought to be responsible for cancer cells ability to break up normal cells and therefore infiltrate normal tissues. It is also required for tissue growth and repair. Excellent sources of Vit C are lemons, oranges, and green peppers. Recommended daily dosage: 500–1000mg VitC
Selenium inhibits the action of chemical substances and viruses that cause cancer. It facilitates the quick repair of free radical damage to DNA. In addition to its own antioxidant properties, it is essential for the production of glutathione another important antioxidant. It requires adequate levels Vit E to be effective and can be toxic if over administered.Recommended daily dosage: 150–200mcg Selenium
CoQ10 plays a crucial role in cellular energy metabolism. It is a powerful antioxidant and cancer fighter. It ignites ATP, the body's basic unit of energy that runs our entire body.Recommended daily dosage: 100–200mg CoQ10(Should be taken with meals for best absorption.)
Flaxseed is an Omega 3 essential fatty acid and has proven anti-cancer properties. It is also an excellent source of fiber. Flaxseed in the ground husk form has the greatest benefit.Recommended daily dosage: 1–2Tbsp Flaxseed Husks
These are recommendations for prevention of the formation of cancer. If you are currently undergoing treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Please do not take these supplements unless cleared specifically with your treating physician as they may interfere with the effects of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy.