How to beat cancer- Principle 1 (of 4): Don’t get cancer

Disclaimer- you can do all the things outlined below to drastically lower the risk of getting cancer. There will unfortunately still be those who have really bad luck.

95% of cancer is not inherited. Some are due to chance but majority are related to things that are within our control. In fact, half of all cases of cancer are related to lifestyle choices. Cancer is a disease of aging. Why is it affecting so many younger people? It comes down to the concept of chronological aging vs biologic aging. There former represents the number of years on this planet, while the later represents your age on a cellular level. Biological aging is impacted by lifestyle factors that change DNA expression.

What we do, what we eat, and who we interact with literally changes who we are.  Recent research shows that accelerated aging is linked to cancer risk in younger adults. What causes accelerated aging? Our daily choices have a direct and measurable impact on the development of cancer and other chronic disease. Every decision tilts toward health or disease. That’s a good thing! That means the next thing you do can be good for you, and the next, and the one after that.

Here are a few key things you can do to dramatically decrease your risk:

Have a strong support system: strong positive relationships and a supportive social network serve as the backbone for all other interventions. It has been said that you are the average of the 5 people you surround with. However, it is way bigger than that. You’re the average of all the people who surround you. For example, a study of breast cancer patients followed for 20 years demonstrated that those with more social connections had decreased cancer recurrence and related death, as well as an improved quality of life.

 

 

Optimize mental and emotional health: Chronic stress negatively impacts the body’s immune system and can contribute to cancer progression. Not only is it vital to develop methods to manage stress, we also need to unpack maladaptive behaviors and beliefs that hinder the development of our full character and productivity.

 

 

 

Get quality sleep: Contrary to popular belief, sleep is a very active time. When we sleep we repair, consolidate and reset. Sleep affects hormone levels, immune function, and cellular repair. Establishing a good pre-sleep routine, regular sleep patterns and ensuring a healthy sleep environment can enhance the body’s natural defenses and make you poised to engage in the remaining tactics.

 

 

 

Prioritize Fitness: Exercise is most potent longevity drug and the most potent medicine we have in our arsenal. Regular exercise helps control weight, reduce inflammation, improve mental health, maintain insulin sensitivity and improve hormone levels, all of which can decrease cancer risk.

 

 

 

 

Consume a balanced and nourishing diet: Nutrition is not only energy; it is information and it is medicine. A plant-based diet rich in whole foods, colorful fruits and vegetables rich in phytonutrients, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help reduce the risk of cancer. Minimizing processed foods, processed meats, and added sugars is also crucial. This can help prevent spikes in blood sugar level, which raises insulin. Insulin is a growth factor, and most cancers are sensitive to insulin. Caloric restriction can impact cellular pathways implicated in cancer, specifically those involved with growth, repair and clean up. We did not evolve to have continuous access to nutrition, especially the caloric rich nutrient poor food we commonly consume.

 

 

Minimize environmental toxins: Limiting exposure to carcinogens and endocrine disruptors found in food, household products, cosmetics, and pollutants is an important preventive measure. Being mindful of product choices and environmental quality can reduce the burden of harmful substances on the body. Consider an air purifier if you are in a particular space for a prolonged period, such as an office or a bedroom. A good rule of thumb to avoid toxins- if it doesn’t sound like something that should go in your body, it probably isn’t.

 

 

By taking action in these six domains, you take control over epigenetic gene expression and minimize the risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases. Don’t just take my word for it. A study of men with prostate cancer on active surveillance were randomized to receive interventions in these domains. Compared to those who did not, these men had changes in the expression of 501 genes! This resulted in a decrease in their blood markers (PSA) and only 5% required treatment at two years compared to 27% who needed treatment in the control arm.

Make your body as in hospital to cancer as possible. Minimize your risk factors, fortify your defenses and build resiliency. Treat your body, mind and spirit like a high performing racehorse. Do this for a lifetime and reap the rewards.

Change isn’t easy. Making these changes sounds like a lot of work, and it is in the beginning. At Blue Wellth, we are experts in strategy creation and execution using science based strategies and interventions. Schedule your discovery call to learn more about longevity medicine, what you can do to minimize your risk of disease and how we can help you achieve your full potential.

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