Cancer: The C-Word
Aug 01, 2013 03:37PM
● By Holly Baker - Publisher
Cancer. There, I’ve said it. The C-Word—the elephant in the living room of just too many families today. We know it’s epidemic and as a society, we are continuously raising awareness, funding research and exploring treatments for this modern scourge. This month’s Natural Awakenings special issue on Rethinking Cancer touches a lot of bases and will inspire many to do some homework about their own options and those of their loved ones. But could it be that the simplest, easiest, most sustainable solution is to use an ounce of prevention, avoid getting cancer in the first place and eliminate the need for a ton of cure?
Research shows that only 5 to 10 percent of all cancer is due to hereditary predisposition. That means all the other cancer-related deaths can be traced to lifestyle factors that include fried foods, red meat, cigarette smoking, sun exposure, alcohol, stress, obesity and environmental pollutants, among others.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there are 12 million new cases per year of a disease that is preventable. Medical pioneer Stephen Paget’s “seed and soil” theory posits that the spread of cancer is dependent on the cancer cells (the seeds) and the environment of the body (the soil). It can take the body years to produce the environment that allows the cancer to flourish. More than 100 years later, the concept is looking pretty valid; it is both the health of individual cells and the environment in the body that determine whether a cancer may develop or not.
The good news is we can fight back by making better choices of what we put in our mouth. By taking proactive steps to improve our health, we have the potential to alter the environment in our bodies, reducing the risk of chronic disease and maintaining long-term health. Sustaining a healthy lifestyle and state of well-being is not only important to our own health, but to our loved ones, as well. As parents, we also take the responsibility of setting an example for our children; and eventually, their children.
Life seems to be so out of balance sometimes that we feel like it’s totally out of our control. But there is still plenty we can do to support healthier lives on a healthier planet. Fortunately, accessible resources and solutions are already in place. Tucson doctor DeeAnn Saber explains the relationship of naturopathy and cancer. Arlene Seigel, owner of R’s Raw Kitchen, weighs in on the benefits of a cancer prevention diet, while local writer Sylvia Haskvitz takes us on a tour of the Aqua Vita health food store.
The challenges of parenting seem tougher today than ever. How do we protect our kids from the thousands of toxins in today’s world? Our immune systems and psyches are bombarded from all directions with physical, psychological and ethical poisons. We are not even allowed to know which chemicals are added to our food supply. Diseases nonexistent a few years ago, like autism and ADHD, have become commonplace.
Randy Kambic, in “Play Together, Stay Together,” and Meredith Montgomery, in “Happy Parents, Happy Kids,” each present new insights into raising a healthy family.
This month’s articles offer information ranging from how to eat well on a budget, natural antibiotics and ideal supplements for kids. Boosting our body’s immune system requires a whole body-mind-spirit approach. Feeling connected with who we are and empowered to live a purposeful life that contributes to the health of our family, community and the planet keeps us all pointed in the right direction. You’ll find plenty throughout these pages to help steer you.