Printing showing cancer prevention

Cancer Prevention

Cancer is much easier to prevent than to treat.  If you have a strong family history of any type of cancer, you may want to take a proactive approach to preventing it. In order to figure out how to prevent cancer, we need to take a look at what may cause cancer.

What Causes Cancer?

An excellent question and one for which no one has a definitive answer.  Taking a holistic approach, there appears to be a number of factors involved in the development and progression of cancer:

  1. Initially there is DNA damage/genetic mutation – this in and of itself doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer.  Genetic mutations occur regularly in the body, a healthy body is able to self-repair these before they get out of hand. Cells in your body also have a mechanism for the cell to die, cancer cells lack this programming and resist dying when they should.
  2. Cancer initiators – these are factors that can contribute to genetic mutation such as radiation or carcinogens
  3. Cancer promoters – these are factors that once there are cancer cells, can cause them to proliferate and allow cancer to thrive
  4. Cancer progressors – these can allow cancer to become more aggressive and spread or metastasize.

How Can We Prevent Cancer?

  1. Identify and remove exposure to carcinogens like pesticides, radiation, herbicides, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, lead, arsenic and chemicals from plastic.
  2. Enable healthy liver function to breakdown and excrete chemicals and heavy metals.
  3. Cancer prevention means addressing risk factors like smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, tanning and poor diet.
  4. Treat chronic health conditions that are strongly associated with cancer such as ulcerative colitis.
  5. Balance the immune system so that it works well to identify and remove cancer cells and to reduce chronic inflammation.
  6. Address viral infections that are linked to certain types of cancer such as HPV virus and cervical cancer, Epstein Barr virus and lymphoma, hepatitis B and C virus that are linked to liver cancer.
  7. Balance hormones so that they are not causing excessive proliferation of hormone sensitive tissues as in breast, prostate or endometrial cancer.

As a naturopathic doctor, my job is to guide you through these options and how to most effectively address each for lifelong cancer prevention.