Cancer: Diagnosis, Prevention, and More

Cancer is the scariest diagnosis most of us will experience. We know early diagnosis is key to ensuring cancer is treatable. The only more important step to early diagnosis is to avoid exposure to known risk factors.

Types of Cancer

There are almost as many types of cancers as there are parts of the body. Its point of origin, for example, lung cancer, liver cancer, or breast cancer, dictates the type of cancer. There is a multitude of sub-categories, for example, breast cancer is currently defined as lobular or ductal – thereafter there are hundreds of individual classifications, for example, hormonal receptive, non-hormonal receptive, triple negative. Each cancer has a multitude of variants and each has different treatment needs.

Causes of Cancer

There are two generally accepted routes to cancer from current medical research. One is exposure to a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agent; the second is a genetic deformity or predisposition.

While we cannot do anything about genetic predisposition, we can guard against exposure if we know we have a higher risk factor because of genetics. For example, dairy products are now known to be associated with breast and prostate cancer. If you have a genetic predisposition to this type of cancer from family history it may be wise to try a vegan diet for additional protection.

 The second known and more understandable cause of cancer is exposure to a carcinogenic, that is, chemicals known to cause cancer. We now know that radiation causes cancer; smoking causes cancer; asbestos, certain industrial chemicals, and excessive sun cause cancer.

What is not so well known is whether chemicals used in low doses food or hygiene cause cancer. The problem here is the doses and exposure are often difficult to trace and studies to date are inconclusive.

Diagnosis

The key to any diagnosis is noticing a change in your body. What is right or wrong is not as important as what has changed.

If you notice any signs of change in your body, make sure you find a cause. Cancer often comes with symptoms of fatigue, nausea or diarrhea, itching, changes in skin appearance, weight changes, or mood changes.

The next most important way to ensure an early cancer diagnosis is to complete regular screening.

If a cancer is caught early, treatment is usually highly effective. In most cases only when the cancer has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body from its origin) is it life-threatening.

Prevention

Prevention strategies should involve a healthy diet, avoiding exposure to carcinogens, and intake of anti-carcinogenic supplements where possible, and lots of regular exercise.

Anti-carcinogenic Foods

Certain foods, mostly herbal extracts and plants have been proven to show anti-carcinogenic properties in research studies. Of the most common is curcumin the herb commonly called turmeric, and tapioca a common starch.  Certain other herbs have healing properties related to different types of cancer, for example, milk thistle and resveratrol have been shown to be effective for reducing the spread of liver cancer.

Diet

An alkaline diet is shown to be effective against many types of cancer because  cancers don’t thrive in an alkaline environment.

Vegan diets are healthier than our traditional meat-based regimes. There is considerable information that states animal meat, in particular red meat, may increase the chances of developing certain types of cancer.

Another new discovery is that refined carbohydrates should be limited, particularly white sugars and flours. Processing of these types of products use excessive chemicals, which may be a contributory factor in their link to increased cancer risk

Vitamin C Supplements

Many new studies are underway to determine the effects of vitamin C on cancer. There is some preliminary evidence that it can be an anti-carcinogenic. There is even some experimental use of high doses of IV vitamin C for cancer reduction. As an immune boosting supplement, the theory behind this is that high doses of vitamin C put your immune system on steroids and allow it to do to the work of fighting cancer.

 Organic and Natural Lifestyle

Exposure to certain chemicals cause cancer. An organic and natural lifestyle is best for cancer prevention.

Lots of Exercise

Our body’s aerobic and homo-logical circulation improves greatly under exercise. Regular light exercise is a cancer prevention strategy that may also help with a variety of other complaints such as heart disease, joint and musculoskeletal disorders, and fatigue.

Treatment Options

The treatment options for cancer will depend entirely on the laboratory results for the specific type of cancer, the stage of progression, the health and age of the patient, and unfortunately in many cases the availability or cost.

Current treatments center around removal (surgery or laser treatment), or reduction by radiation, chemotherapy, or chemical doses.

New treatments are being developed which feature immunology development, which may revolutionize cancer, since it helps the body develop its own treatment. For coping with medication or treatment, it’s important to have a strategy to ensure you can stick to the prescribed treatment.

 Post-Treatment

Post-treatment recovery should involve slow and steady work on restoring your physical health, and regular screening to ensure the cancer has not returned. There may be follow up prevention strategies needed, or alternatively following dietary and lifestyle prevention strategies for the type of cancer is recommended.

Support

If diagnosed with cancer, it is of utmost importance you and your loved ones get adequate support. Support should be both for emotional well-being and to deal with the physical aspects of the disease. There are many organizations available that help cancer patients find support.

Summary of Cancer Strategies

Cancer prevention is best handled by ensuring your diet and surrounds are as chemical free as possible, rich in anti-carcinogenic herbs, healthy organic fruit and vegetables.

Next ensure you do appropriate screening for your specific risk situation, monitor and check any changes in health as soon as possible.

Finally, know there are lots of support options available, and ensure you use them all to stay informed and to feel more emotionally capable of dealing with your health.