Cancer prevention

While it is impossible to avoid all cancer-causing substances, it is possible to lower the risk of developing the disease by avoiding risks where feasible, and increasing consumption of nutrients that act to prevent development of cancer. It is important to avoid exposure to the risk factors mentioned above. Other lifestyle factors, including effective relaxation and stress management techniques can play a large part in reducing the risk of developing cancer. Regular checkups and self-examinations can also be useful in preventing death from cancer as they may reveal the disease at an early stage, when treatment is likely to be effective.

Cancer preventionDiet and cancer prevention

Between 20 and 60 per cent of deaths from cancer may be diet-related, making diet second only to tobacco as the most influential factor in the development of cancer. Cancers particularly influenced by diet include those in the colon, prostate, ovary, uterus, breast, skin, vulva, kidneys, cervix, stomach, esophagus, mouth and liver The body has many mechanisms to thwart the progress of cancer; such as detoxification of carcinogens, preventing and correcting damage to DNA, immune stimulation, and sealing off an abnormal cell growth. All these mechanisms rely on good nutrition.

A good diet can prevent cancer and a bad one can increase the risk, but it is not always clear exactly what is good and what is bad. It is known that nutrients play a role in contributing to or preventing cancer, but the exact relationship between dietary ingredients and cancer is elusive. There are many different types of cancers and some of these can take years to develop, thus making it difficult to pinpoint cause and effect.
Cancer prevention Food contains many chemicals,known and unknown, and the effects of many of these have not yet been investigated.

The dietary guidelines from the American Cancer Society are:

- choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources,

- limit your intake of high fat foods, particularly from animal sources.

- be physically active: achieve and maintain a healthy weight,

- limit consumption of alcoholic beverages, if you drink at all.

Foods to avoid for cancer prevention

Food contains many substances which can cause cell mutations or promote cancer. High intakes of saturated fat, sugar, alcohol, artificial sweeteners and food additives may cause cancer. Alcohol may promote the growth of abnormal cells, and food additives known as nitrites which are found in processed meats canbe converted in the body to carcinogenic nitrosamines. Frying, smoking, barbecuing and broiling fatty meat and fish may produce cancer-causing chemicals, and these foods should be avoided as much as possible.

Cancer preventionFoods to include for cancer prevention

There are many substances in food which prevent the development or progression of cancer. No specific diet is guaranteed to prevent cancer but a diet which is low in fat and high in fruit and vegetables will help reduce the risks. Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other cancer-preventing compounds. A person whose diet is high in fruit and vegetables also tends to eat less fatty and high calorie foods. Studies from many different countries consistently show that diets high in fruit and vegetables reduce the risk of cancer. Most experts recommend eating at least two fruits and three vegetables, especially dark orange and green ones, every day. Eating a variety of foods is also very important as no single food provides all the nutrients a person needs, and different nutrients protect against different types of cancer. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower may have particularly beneficial effects as they contain high levels of vitamins and minerals and other phytochemicals.

Fiber

Fruit and vegetables are also high in fiber. A high fiber diet may reduce the risk of several cancers, including colon and rectal cancer, by binding to potentially toxic bile acids, moving food more quickly through the intestines and exerting beneficial effects on gut bacteria. Fiber has also been shown to protect against other cancers such as those of the breast and prostate.

Fat

Maintaining a healthy weight is very important as obesity increases the risk of developing cancer, and many studies have shown that low fat diets protect against cancer. High fat diets are associated with an increased risk of many types of cancers. This is particularly true for diets high in saturated fats such as those from animal sources. High levels of certain polyunsaturated fats also appear to increase the risk of some cancers while monounsaturated fats do not.

 
 
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