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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #59 -- Health news for the health conscious
December 31, 2010
(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)
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In This Age of Technological and Medical Miracles, Cancer Rates Are Still On The Rise
It is six days before the year 2011 and electronics technology is progressing at warp speed. The year 2010 saw the introduction of 3-D TV into the consumer market.
The latter part of this decade saw the demise of analog broadcast television, and the government implementation of digital broadcasts; the television itself has become wafer-thin. Cell phones have become so compact that some models are designed to be worn in your ear.
Why, you would be justified in asking yourself, hasn't there been this much progress in conquering cancer?
Ah-ha! In the words of Shakespeare, "There is the rub."
Technology and the rush to bring new and innovative products to the consumer market is in large measure part of the problem. They have had the unintended effect of directly and indirectly making conditions ripe for cancer.
I've heard some authorities say that it isn't necessarily true that more people are developing cancer, but it is just that people are living longer.
Cancer doesn't develop overnight. It takes maybe 20 to 25 years for the disease to manifest itself. And with longer lives, the odds of cancer developing in an individual becomes greater.
I am not convinced that this is the major reason for the upsurge and continuing rise of cancer rates. Conventional medicine doesn't want to face the obvious. Rising cancer rates are in large measure technology-driven.
Studies have shown that cancer rates have risen dramatically across all age groups. This fact alone nullifies the contention that longer lives are the reason. Cancer is now the leading cause of death for all Americans under the age of 85. One out of every two men and one out of every three women will develop cancer at some point in their lives.
We are constantly learning through the media of famous singers, actors, and sports and political figures being stricken with cancer. And, sad to say, it strikes close to home too. I have two acquaintances who are battling cancer right now. And I have known many who have died from the disease. I am sure you too know someone who has the disease.
Based on the studies I have read, I believe that escalating cancer rates can be linked to the following:
Toxic Chemicals in the Food, Water, and Air
The air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink and bathe in are literally saturated with toxic chemicals -- toxic, carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals.
In the name of progress, the food industry has implemented processes which have imperiled rather than helped our health. Our crops are sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides in order to keep "pests" at bay. Meat suppliers have put in place factory-style innovations in order to reduce the time to slaughter, and maximize profits.
The FDA (Food and Drug Agency) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) teamed up to test over 10,000 food samples. Their objective was to find the level of carcinogens in America's food supply. Test results show conclusively that pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and neurotoxins (chemicals linked to brain damage) permeate the food supply.
Many of the fruits and vegetables are sprayed with not one or two, but sometimes well over 20 different pesticides! And keep in mind, the great majority of these chemicals have never undergone testing to determine whether they are safe. Many are associated in animal studies with cancers and other diseases.
This level of food contamination was not present 50 years ago. One reason is that the chemicals had not yet been invented. Another reason is that more people bought more locally-grown, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Fifty to sixty years ago when I was growing up, there were many more outdoor fruit and vegetable vendors. There weren't the number of Shop-Rites, A&Ps, Pathmarks, and other large-chain supermarkets that you see today where produce is shipped from hundreds and even thousands of miles away.
And it wasn't until the '70s when factory farming was introduced. This system displaced for the most part animals having continual access to outdoor grazing until time of slaughter.
They are now "herded" into factories where they are kept in overcrowded pens. This intense confinement not only stresses the animals out, but they become ill. They are also brutalized due to conditions resulting from severe overcrowding.
The animals are given antibiotics to combat disease; they are also given steroid and other hormones to speed up their growth. Instead of their natural diet, they are fed pesticide-laced grain and even "road kill."
The meat that you buy in your local supermarket contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, hormones, and antibiotics. You ingest these chemicals with every bite. In reality, conventional (non-organic, non-grass-fed) meat comes from sick and diseased animals.
This shocking and inhumane practice continues until today. So much for 21st century progress in the food industry.
Sixteen studies link prostrate cancer to pasteurized dairy products. Dairy products come from sick cows which are given bovine growth hormone. A study suggests that children who consume a lot of dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream) have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer once they become adults.
One ubiquitous chemical which is indirectly linked to cancer is high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is dirt cheap to manufacture and it is present in almost every food product. It has been linked to America's escalating obesity rate which itself promotes cancer.
High fructose corn syrup was developed around 1970. When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, it was nonexistent as was rampant obesity. Since then, high fructose corn syrup use has skyrocketed. USDA statistics tells us that the use of this sweetener has increased a staggering 10,673 percent between 1970 and 2005!
Nutrient Depleted Soil
Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants and other phytosterols which fight free radical damage. When these nutrients are missing, or in diminished quantities, your health suffers.
A study conducted by the American College of Nutrition looked at 13 nutrients in 43 crops grown from the years 1950 through 1999. They found that veggies that were eaten by our grandparents were a lot more nutritious than those currently sitting on supermarket shelves.
Here is a part of the disturbing findings:
Vegetables in the 1950s were 50 percent more nutritious than their modern day counterparts according to data from the USDA
It is safe to say that most Americans today are getting no where near the nutrient content from fruit and vegetables that were available 50 to 60 years ago. And even if the number of servings that the government currently recommends were being met, it would not come close to matching the nutrients that were present then.
A study which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that phytosterols in the diet plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of cancer. They have already been established as being able to reduce cholesterol levels 8 to 17 percent.
Phytosterols may turn on an enzyme that causes cancer cells to die. Scientific trials have shown that they may potentially prevent cancers of the stomach, ovaries, lungs, and breasts.
Adequate nutrition is a powerful asset against the threat of cancer. We had a lot more 50 years ago which is one reason why cancer rates were lower then.
Blinded-Sided By Technology
There is no question that Americans in general are less active now than they were 50 years ago. Our inactive and sedentary lifestyles are an indirect result of technology.
When I was growing up there were no cell phones, video games, satellite and cable television, and internet. These 21st century diversions devour a large chunk of time leaving little to none for physical activity.
Since these technological marvels didn't exist 50 years ago, there was nothing to keep us from playing outdoors. (Not that our parents would have allowed us to sit around inside.) Not only did we spend a lot of time outdoors, we also soaked up a lot of sunlight in the spring and summers months.
Fifty years ago, physical education was mandatory in schools. And we got graded for it. Nowadays physical education is nonexistent in the public school system.
An article in the Health for Life study in the March 26, 2007 issue of Newsweek revealed that the person who doesn't exercise raises his risk of developing colon cancer by 40 percent. Exercise also lowers estrogen levels; studies have linked high levels to breast cancer.
Modern conveniences have made many Americans lazy. Fifty years ago more of our common, day-to-day activities involved manual labor. Today, machines have relieved us of these activities.
Failed Healthcare System
Sad to say that if cancer does develop in an individual, the current healthcare system recognizes only three options: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or any combination thereof. Most oncologists are unaware of proven alternative cures. They have been for the most part indoctrinated into conventional medicine which is controlled by a broken healthcare system and pharmaceutical cartels whose only concern is the huge profits their drugs generate.
Not once did my sister's oncologist suggest an alternative procedure to treat her lung cancer; not once did he even use the word "cure." And that is not surprising. His stated objective was to diminish her suffering, but not to cure her.
Oncologists know full well that the conventional medical approach to cancer -- surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy -- doesn't cure it. Neither do "vested" interests want to cure cancer. A cancer cure would affect the enormous profits now being realized by only treating patients.
Over the decades, many cures for cancer have been discovered. Many protocols have been put in place to strengthen the patient's immune system, and to put naturally-derived nutrients into the body for the stated purpose of curing the disease.
Omega-3 to Omega-6 Imbalance
Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are necessary to good health; but their balance is equally critical. Prior to the introduction of vegetable oils into the American diet, the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 was much closer to the ideal of 1:1. Now some sources have placed the ratio anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1 in favor of omega-6.
We're consuming way too much omega-6 fatty acids, and it is helping to drive the obesity epidemic!
Several years ago the Associated Press stated obesity is the leading cause of cancer. The report states that 1 in 12 newly diagnosed cases of cancer are attributable to unhealthy weight.
In the United States, the National Cancer Institute says that being overweight and obese causes up to 14 percent of the cancer deaths in men and 20 percent in women.
Laurence Kolonel, MD, PhD, Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research) expert panel member says:
"We now know that carrying excess body fat plays a central role in many of the most common cancers. And its clearer than ever that obesity's impact is felt before, during, and after cancer. It increases risk, makes treatment more difficult and shortens survival."
A study conducted in 2007 looked at the consumption of omega-3s/omega-6s versus survival rates of laboratory rats bred to develop prostate cancer. The group which was fed a ratio of 1:1 had a 60 percent survival rate; the group fed a ratio of 40:1 had a zero survival rate.
A UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) study found that PSA levels and prostate cancer growth rates lessened when omega-6/omega-3 ratios were closer to the ideal.
Vegetable oils were introduced when error-laden studies determined that saturated fat was responsible for America's obesity epidemic. During the '60s and '70s, the percentage of Americans overweight hovered between 13 and 14 percent. By the 1980s, the percentage jumped by 8 percent.
In January, 1977 a Senate committee chaired by George McGovern published Dietary Goals for the United States. It advised that Americans significantly cut their intake of fat in order to abate an epidemic of the 'killer disease' (heart disease) supposedly sweeping the country.
The NIH (National Institute of Health) strongly recommended that all Americans over the age of 2 eat less fat, i.e., go on a low-fat diet. This is the period which saw the introduction of vegetable oils and a glut of low-fat products. The growth of America's obesity rate paralleled the consumption of large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids through vegetable oils and low-fat food products.
Clearly there were no technological food improvements going into the 21st century to reduce cancer risk. As a matter of fact, where protection against chronic disease is concerned, food technology was much better 50 years ago.
Inadequate Sun Exposure
Vitamin D is another major cancer-fighting nutrient which is woefully lacking in sufficient quantity. One reason is that medical authorities are scaring the American public into avoiding the sun because of skin cancer. The sunscreen industry is in collusion with conventional healthcare too.
The scare tactics are meant to hide the truth about the necessity of adequate sunlight. And the blind application of toxic chemical-laden sunscreen lotion makes a bad situation worse.
Experts are now saying that chemicals in commercially available sunscreens are to blame for the escalating skin cancer. The harmful chemicals identified include allergy-creating PABA, benzophenone-3, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC) and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC.) One chemical, octyl-methoxycinnamate, was found to kill mouse cells in laboratory studies even when administered in low doses.
Although vitamin D can be obtained from your diet, the best way to get it is through sun exposure. And the darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need.
It is possible to receive too much vitamin D through supplementation; it can build up to toxic levels. However, getting vitamin D through sun exposure avoids getting too much. Your body has a natural feedback system in place. It shuts down sunlight to vitamin D conversion when it has received enough sunlight.
Although when I was growing up sunscreens did exist (I remember the Coppertone commercials,) there was no widespread media message by the healthcare system to avoid or limit sun exposure.
As children we played all day in the sun; we did not confine ourselves indoors watching 24/7 satellite/cable television or surfing the web endlessly or playing exercise-deadening video games. Why? Because they didn't exist. Thank God!
Two new meta-analysis studies (meta-analysis combines data from multiple reports) showed that people with the highest levels of vitamin D had the lowest risk of breast cancer. A study has shown that 600 IUs (international units) of vitamin D is sufficient to lower the risk of pancreatic cancer by 41 percent.
Although the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400 IUs (international units), a recent study found that by raising the amount considerably will reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by 50 percent. Edward Gorham, Ph.D., a research epidemiologist with the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, found from his studies that 1,000 IUs to 2,000 IUs of vitamin D daily will achieve this 50 percent reduction of colon cancer risk.
Because of (a) increasing amounts of toxic chemicals in our food, water, and air (b) declining nutrient content of the soil (c) runaway technology (d) broken and stagnant healthcare system (e) omega-6/omega-3 imbalance and (f) inadequate sunlight exposure, cancer rates are increasing with no end in sight.
In the 1970s then President Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer. I think the thought of the time was that cancer was due to one overriding factor. It is not! And it is not that simple.
In order to bring our escalating cancer rates to a screeching halt, ALL of the issues I brought up have to be addressed. And it won't be easy. There are many vested interests that don't want things to change.
Our healthcare system in general, the pharmaceutical cartels, the sunscreen industry, and others stand to lose billions upon billions of dollars if people were permanently cured of cancer, or prevented the scourge from ever developing.
What can you as an individual do to prevent ever getting cancer? Or if you already have been diagnosed with it, what can you do to cure yourself?
Get enough sun exposure without sunscreen lotion. Remember, the darker you are, the longer you need to be exposed. Don't expose yourself to the point of getting burned though. Vitamin D is absolutely essential to not only preventing cancer, but other chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS,) Alzheimer's and many others.
If you live in a part of the country where adequate sun exposure is not possible -- supplement. Eat vitamin D rich foods such as liver, egg yolks, and fatty fish like salmon and cod.
You need to eat more rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. The best source is krill oil. Stop using vegetable oils and cook with organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. Eat grass-fed, free-ranged organic meat and wild salmon. You can also supplement. Avoid at all costs factory-farmed meat.
You also need to eat minimally processed, natural foods. These foods should be organic and as close to nature as possible.
Exercise is a MUST to defeat or prevent cancer; resistance or strength training is good. You can also incorporate interval training. Leading a sedentary life is just inviting cancer to gain a foothold.
Eat locally-grown or organic fresh fruits and vegetables.
Seek alternative cancer therapy if you have or develop cancer. These therapies are used with the objective of curing the disease. If I ever developed cancer, I will avoid AT ALL COSTS conventional treatment (chemo, surgery, and radiation.) They are useless in and of themselves.
Keep your weight in a normal and healthy range; if you are currently overweight, develop an exercise program and change your eating habits.
Joseph Elijah Barrett, Webmaster
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