Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008. WHO estimates 12 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2030.
However, fear not, there is hope.
People fear cancer and also believe that there is little they can do to prevent it. They put developing cancer down to hereditary factors or sheer bad luck. However, scientific research shows that this is not the case, and that lifestyle factors such as diet can play a major role in preventing cancer
About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.
Generally, data has shown that individuals consuming fewest fruits and vegetables have twice the chance of developing certain cancers, suggest that these dietary shortcomings could play a role in the higher cancer rates now afflicting the West.
What is Cancer
Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs. This process is referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.
Cancer arises from one single cell. The transformation from a normal cell into a tumour cell is a multistage process, typically a progression from a pre-cancerous lesion to malignant tumours. These changes are the result of the interaction between a person's genetic factors and three categories of external agents, including:
- physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation;
- chemical carcinogens, such as asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant) and arsenic (a drinking water contaminant); and
- biological carcinogens, such as infections from certain viruses, bacteria or parasites.
Ageing is another fundamental factor for the development of cancer. The incidence of cancer rises dramatically with age, most likely due to a build up of risks for specific cancers that increase with age. The overall risk accumulation is combined with the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older.
Thus the growth of cancer takes a long time over many years or decades. A cancerous tumor is not an instant phenomenon, it is a result of a long process that take several years to form.
The slowness in the growth gives us the opportunity to intervene to block the rebel cell from maturing into a cancer cell.
How Cancer Develop
Immune System - Natural Killer Cell
Preventing Cancer Growth
- Chemotherapy ( Usually done together ).
- Surgery – cannot eliminate all cancerous cells.
- Radiotherapy ( X rays) – radiation will kill some of the normal cells too.
- Chemotherapy by medication or drugs to reach cancerous cells – many side effects including hair loss or drop in immune cell, organs complication.
Anti-Angiogenesis Metronomic is a new approaches by attacking the tumor’s blood supply thus depriving it food. But anti-Angiogenesis Metronomic has to be a continuous process.
The good news is that a significant quantities of some Anti-Angiogenesis Metronomic molecules are present in fruits and vegetables.
Eating to Prevent Cancer
- While it is true that the tumors that forms spontaneously in our bodies generally remain microscopic in size, posing no danger to health, it is also true that all too often these tumors do not grow and develop into lethal end stage cancel. However, if it does grow, we will be at risk of developing cancer.
- Anticancer molecules present in fruits and vegetables fight cancers at the source, before it can reach maturity. Anticancer molecules present in food keeps them from progressing to an advanced stage of lethality.
- In this way, we should try to think of cancer as a chronic disease, one that can be controlled on a daily basis with the help of foods rich in anticancer compounds.
- Among the many anticancer compound present in fruits and vegetables, phytochemicals are the most important.
Anticancer compound present in fruits and vegetables, phytochemicals are the most important
Anticancer compound present in fruits and vegetables, phytochemicals block carcinogen action, block the promotion and progression of cancer cells
- Cabbage family ( Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts ) have an almost magical ability to fight against the development of cancerous cells in the body. Eaten regularly, they are an easy way to help to prevent cancer.
- Broccoli is by far the best source of sulphorahane ( one of the phythochemical compounds )
- Rapid or light cooking techniques, such as steaming or stir-frying in a wok, are simple and effective ways to maximize the quantity of anticancer molecules. Over cooking reduces the effectiveness of the anticancer molecules.
Garlic and Onions
- Used for more than 2000 years before Christ, Garlic and Onions represent one of the best documented examples of the role of plants in the treatment of diseases and maintenance of good health.
- The molecules found in garlic and onions are also capable of slowing down the propagation of tumors by interfering with the growth processes in cancer cells, leading to cell death by apoptosis.
- Freshly crushed garlic is by far the best source of anticancer compounds and should be preferred over supplements (Drug).
- Soya Beans, Soya sauce, Tofu has Isoflavones, the anticancer compounds present in soya, possesses a chemical structure similar to that of sex hormones and may thus interfere with the development of cancers caused by high levels of these hormones in the bloodstream.
- Soya plays an important role in the prevention of breast and prostate cancer.
- Studies has shown that taking soya at an early age for woman decreases the incidence of breast cancer.
- Green tea is an exceptional source of powerful anticancer molecules that make it a key feature of any diet designed to prevent the growth of cancer.
- Green tea undergo the least transformation of all teas.
- Black tea (Red tea) – resembles that of green tea, except that the roasting stage is carried out and thus have very little anticancer activity.
- Japanese Green tea contains much more anticancer activity know as EGCG than Chinese Green Tea.
- Brewing time matters too, and to maximize the extraction of the anticancer compound, the infusion time allowed should be at least 8 to 10 minutes.
Higher EGCG has better anti cancer compound
- Most berries are an exceptionally abundant source of several classes of polyphenols that posses anticancer potential: ellagic acid, anthocyanidins, and proanthocyanidins.
- Eating cranberries should be preferred over drinking cranberry juice.
- Studies show that omega-3s reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and in cancer prevention.
- Omega-3s acids are naturally extremely unstable and it is preferable to use whole foods as source instead of omerga-3s supplements (Drug).
- Eating fatty fish once or twice a week is one simple way of increasing omerga-3 levels in your diet.
- Sardines, Salmon, linseed, soya, nuts are other sources of Omega -3 fatty acids.
Trans-fats, one of the unknown fats that are unknown in nature and that cause damage to cell. Look at the label behind the food package, it usually indicates if there is any trans- fat.
- Citrus fruits : Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons, Mandarins
- Studies has suggested that phytochemical compounds in citrus fruits block tumor growth by direct action on the cancerous cells, restricting their ability to reproduce.
- Citrus fruit consumption, whether in the form of whole fruit or juice, supplies the body with an incomparable source of specific anticancer molecules, while also providing the necessary daily requirements of many vitamins and minerals.
- Dark chocolate contains important amounts of polyphenols that are potentially capable of exercising beneficial effects on some chronic illness, including cancers and cardiovascular disease ( heart and blood vessel).
- Milk chocolate contains less polyphenols
- Substitute dark chocolate for sugar-filled junk food with no nutritional benefits.
Apricot kernels are, like most nuts and seeds, very nutritious. Among the nutrients they contain is one called amygdalin, which is also known as vitamin B17. This attacks cancer cells, and thus can help prevent cancer from breaking out in our bodies.
Amygdalin (vitamin B17) is contained in many hundreds of foods, but ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large extent from our Western diet. Peoples throughout the world who still eat a traditional diet, have been found to be largely free from cancer. These diets are rich in foods containing amygdalin.
Apart from apricot kernels, examples of other amygdalin rich foods are bitter almonds (amygdalin tastes bitter - sweet almonds do not contain it, and apricot kernels that are not bitter do not contain it). Other foods containing amygdalin are apple pips, grape seeds, millet, broad beans, most berries, cassava and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains - but not ones that have been highly hybridised (African orange pips contain some amygdalin, but American ones don't, wheat is low in amygdalin).
There are many ways you can fight cancer. One is to build up the immune system so that it is very strong. Another is to supplement with antioxidants which fight carcinogens in the body. However, amygdalin seems to be unique in the way that it directly attacks cancer cells.
Amygdalin was first extracted and named over one hundred years ago and has been listed in pharmacological dictionaries since that time as being non-toxic. However it does have a poison locked away in it - one of its constituents is cyanide. But, locked into the compound amygdalin, it is chemically inert and harmless to normal living tissue. In the same way common salt (sodium chloride) is safe to eat, and in fact is necessary to the body. But this also has locked away in it a poison - chlorine. Of course if you ate too much salt at one time you would be ill. This is true of any substance, and would equally apply to apricot kernels. However, amygdalin is less toxic than salt, and less toxic than sugar.
We are told that our bodies are creating cancer cells all the time. Normally the immune system can deal with them. However at times of stress or in a particularly weak part of the body, or under extreme or regular exposure to carcinogens, then the multiplication of cancer cells may become too great for the immune system to handle. Amygdalin comes alongside the immune system and attacks the cancer cells directly. The cancer cells have within them an enzyme which unlocks the poison in the amygdalin, and in this way the cancer cells are destroyed. Normal, healthy cells do not have this enzyme. In fact they have a different enzyme which unlocks the amygdalin in a different way and releases nutrients and also a neutralising agent which would neutralise any of the poison it came into contact with. Researchers at Imperial College London have been experimenting using cyanide to kill cancer cells, and state that any poison that escaped into the bloodstream would be quickly neutralised by the liver. (See reports in UK national newspapers of 7th September 2000).
Amygdalin is sometimes referred to as Vitamin B17 and is found in nitriloside rich fruits and plants. In its extracted, pure, concentrated form it is known as laetrile. Laetrile is used as the main therapy, but supported by other non-toxic therapies and good nutrition, in treating cancer sufferers in some clinics.
For prevention, however, Dr Ernst T Krebs Jr., the biochemist who first produced laetrile (concentrated amygdalin) in the 1950s, recommended that if a person would eat ten to twelve apricot kernels a day for life, then barring the equivalent of Chernobyl, he is likely to be cancer free. At the beginning of the 21st century it is expected that one in eight women in the UK will get breast cancer and one in nine men prostate cancer. If other types of cancer are added in, then no family is likely to be free. Therefore the suggestion that eating 10 - 12 kernels per day for life is likely to prevent cancer - is very good news indeed.
- NB the kernels should be chewed, or ground and sprinkled on food or in fruit juice, and only five or six (1½ teaspoons ground kernels) taken at one time/in one hour.
- Please also note apricot kernels may lower blood pressure.
- Please see 'Summary of suggestions for eating apricot kernels'.
Most of this information comes from World Without Cancer by G. Edward Griffin (American Media, California, 1974 and 1997). For testimonies of cancer sufferers treated with laetrile and nutrition therapy read Alive and Well (American Media, California, 1994) by Philip E Binzel, Jr., M.D.
Taking the above preventative action can cost less than a pint of beer or a cup of coffee per week.
Supplement ( Drugs)
Eating whole food provides greater benefits than taking supplements. There are no and there will no miracle cures that are able to entirely repair the damage caused by a poor diet. No one can eat just anything and then get off the hook by taking a pill.
- Fruits and vegetables contain pesticide residues that causes cancer. - False, the residue is present in trace amounts and no study has ever established a link between these residues and cancer.
- Only organic fruits and vegetables offer real health benefits. - False, In fact it would be better to consume many standard fruits and vegetables on a daily basis than to only occasionally eat organic foods.
Fighting Cancer Menu
- Quit smoking
- Lower red meat and calorie intake- avoid or reduce industrially process foods i.e. chips, soft drinks, crisps, hamburgers.
- Avoid barbecued meats. The greasy drippings that fall and catch fire produce toxic substances know as aromatic hydrocarbons.
- Exercise regularly
- Choosing to modify your diet in order to include certain foods that are exceptional sources of anticancer molecules represents one of the best weapons currently at our disposal in the fight against cancer.
- Lightly cook, steam or stir-fry Cabbages, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or Tomatoes.
- Habitually add Garlic or Onions to your cooking.
- Drink more Soya Bean Drink or Japanese Green Tea or choose Red Wine than beer.
- When you buy your fruit, take Berries, Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons, Mandarin Oranges conveniently.
- Add Sardines or Salmon to your dish.
- Choose Chocolate rather than sugar.