With billions of dollars spent on research over the last four decades, we still are faced with the shadow of cancer striking at any time. All of us have cancer cells, it’s how well our body deals with these cells that determine our chance of having a diagnosis. How is it that those persons that we determine as “completely unhealthy” live a long life and escape this disease, while those that are young and eat healthy and exercise regularly can be afflicted? Things ultimately happen at the DNA level in the cell. This is where cell division happens. Epigenetics, the science of how factors external to the nucleus of the cell greatly influence the life of that cell and ultimately, the life of that organism, is the one big argument to the feeling that cancer is determined by a genetic test. Genetics can more easily predispose you to something happening, but epigenetics is the way out of that pathway. What can you do to influence your genes to avoid duplicating wrong and developing to cancer?
1) Hypocortisolism – If you live in North America today, you have chronic stress knocking on your door. Bills, relationships, jobs, money, family, illness, travel, bereavement, … If you don’t experience stress then you have a gift. Even those with seemingly normal lives can become used to chronic stress and go years without an outward sign to others from abnormal cortisol. Low cortisol has many reasons. Acute stress has benefits in an evolutionary way, but chronic stress can result in someone going from high to low cortisol in a chronic way. Colorectal, Breast and ovarian cancer have shown a correlation to hypocortisol states as are the outcomes of these diseases. I rarely see “normal” cortisol levels when we test; a sign how long people wait to get help. Adrenal supplementation is consistently one of the most successful OTC therapies I see used.
2)Diet & Exercise – In the end, your health comes down to how you eat and how much you move. There has been quite a debate as of late concerning whether you should eat wheat, how much carbs you should eat (if any) or whatever. Any recommendation is open to debate. Mine is avoid processed food as much as possible and avoid as many contaminants as possible (herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals, etc.) – to me this means organic as much as possible; avoid any foods that are known to cause sensitivity in an individual and therefore decrease systemic inflammation; fill 1/2 your plate with vegetables; chew your food; consume healthy fats (don’t cook with olive oil at high heat); eat variety; increase fiber.
3)Sleep – There is an association between melatonin and various cancer types, most recently in the news is prostate cancer. The higher the level, the lower the risk. Melatonin aside, the effect sleep has on cancer incidence is well studied. Night shift workers often show higher breast cancer rates than women who sleep normal hours. These people have less melatonin than non shift workers. Not only is the incidence of breast cancer higher, but the death rate is typically higher from cancer in these women. It is thought that people with sleep problems have issues with the above mentioned cortisol during the night that contributes to cancer incidence.
4) Supplements – contrary to recent reports in the media, supplements are valuable to your health. A healthy body can stay healthy for the most part by getting nutrients from food. A body that is damaged or in a negative situation will find it difficult to get back to normal just from food alone. Preventative medicine uses doses of nutrients that are difficult to get from food alone. Vitamin D has shown anti-tumor effects in vitro and higher vitamin D intake has been correlated with a lower incidence of many cancers. It also helps with pain relief and disease progression. Vitamin E is a supplement that has received bad press for years. Most likely your supplement has only alpha-tocopherol. To be healthy and effective, all forms of vitamin E must be taken in one supplement (alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocopherol). Prostate cancer has been shown to be reduced with this supplement. Vitamin C has been repeatedly tested and shown to help prevent cancer and lead to more favorable outcomes in patients with existing cancer. These doses are often IV and deal with 10 or more grams daily. Some have dealt with doses of 100 g daily. Selenium is also helpful by enhancing the immune system function and acts as an antioxidant. Doses used were in the 200 microgram per day range. Melatonin has shown to increase the survival times and demonstrated anticancer effects. Doses used are 10-50 mg/day in the evening).
Granted, these are not complicated steps for the most part. DNA’s resilience has a good side in that it can lead the cell to replicate countless times without error. Unfortunately this is the downfall of the organism when errors occur in cell duplication and the mistake becomes engrained in the DNA. Without proper immune system function to clear a faulty cell or cells from the organism, then everyone hangs onto these cells. Maintain your immune system and keep the environment surrounding your DNA supportive to the next cell duplication.