Cancer prevention is easier than cancer treatment. If you have a strong family history of any type of cancer, you may want to take a proactive approach to prevent 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:
- 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 life expectancy and a mechanism for the cell to die. Cancer cells lack this programmed cell death and resist dying when they should.
- Cancer initiators – these are factors that can contribute to genetic mutation such as radiation exposure or carcinogen exposure
- Cancer promoters – these are factors that once there are cancer cells, can cause them to proliferate and allow cancer to thrive
- Cancer progressors – these can allow cancer cells to become more aggressive and spread or metastasize.
How Can We Prevent Cancer?
- Identify and reduce or remove exposure to carcinogens like pesticides, radiation, herbicides, cigarette smoke, car exhaust, lead, arsenic and chemicals from plastic.
- Enable healthy liver function to break down and excrete chemicals and heavy metals.
- Cancer prevention means addressing risk factors like smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, tanning and poor diet.
- Treat chronic health conditions that are strongly associated with increased cancer risk such as ulcerative colitis.
- Balance the immune system so that it works well to identify and remove cancer cells and to reduce chronic inflammation.
- 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 viruses that are linked to liver cancer.
- 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.
Book an appointment here or call the office for more information at 416-481-0222.
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