[Warning: this is for information purposes only. Do NOT make changes to your diet, lifestyle, therapies, and participation in any treatments until you carefully consult with your doctor. If you already have been diagnosed with cancer, be sure to follow the protocols recommended by your doctor and especially your oncologist. This information is NOT a substitute for any prescribed treatment.]
Cancer has to be the most frightening disease. Often the treatment is as bad as the disease. But there is hope of preventing the disease before it has a foothold in you.
Research is slowly emerging to refocus attention on the factors of prevention . This most recent study gives doctors and you plenty of hope that many cancers can be prevented. This study teaches us, AGAIN, that lifestyle is important in the fight against diseases. This is, an extensive sampling and may just be the most definitive study of its kind, that is, of studies proving that lifestyle can impact and prevent many cancers.
In this case, “Lifestyle” See End Note 1 is defined as: no smoking, less than 1 or 2 alcoholic beverages daily, a BMI [body mass index] of at least 18.5 but lower than 27.5, and weekly vigorous aerobic physical activity of at least 75 minutes. [Notice the missing element: nutrition, that is, the type of food you eat. If food builds your body, it will also feed cancers. Why is nutrition not part of this study?]
Nonetheless, this study has a significant contribution to medical science. It proves, yet again, but definitively so, that lifestyle impacts the probability of contracting chronic diseases. It proves that by modifying the factors that these researchers have selectively chosen, somewhere between 20% and 70% of cancer cases can be preventable. Why the big spread? Age, gender, discipline and other factors of lifestyle not included in this study also have an influence on outcomes of morbidity and mortality. The younger you are and the earlier you start your prevention program, the more likely the outcomes will be positive. Unfortunately some cancers can not be detected in time for successful treatment.
For example, Dr. John McDougall traces the death, at age 56, of Steve Jobs, of Apple Company fame, to cancer that started in Job’s teens while handling toxic chemicals and not because he refused a transplant during late-stage cancer detection in favor of 9 additional months of a vegan diet. At that late stage, cancer had metastasized to other organs and it simply was too late for Steve Jobs. Not all cancers can be preventable, especially if environmental factors are overly taxing for too prolonged a period of time. The body can only defend itself so much before being defeated from external factors.
But many of the external factors you or I are exposed to, “typically”, need not always result in cancer.
The above study also points out that the press has popularized the notion that cancer is a result of “the bad luck hypothesis” including the “influence of cancer development through promotion of DNA damage”. Now this new study highlights that too little attention has, until now, been paid to prevention. Indeed, lifestyle can be a powerful tool in prevention.
This is certainly not the first study of its kind to point to lifestyle, nor to the role of the environmental factors or even genetics.
Regarding DNA damage from the influence of external factors from the environment and even genetics, there are other studies out there that clearly establish the power of lifestyle as a tool of prevention. A major work well worth noting, in my opinion, comes from T. Colin Campbell, PhD. His research resulted in two landmark publications comprehensible to the lay person, that EVERYONE especially doctors, ought to read: THE CHINA STUDY and more recently WHOLE.
Regarding the prevention of cancers, let me excerpt parts of his comments from a letter of his that he sent to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition See End Note 2 . If you wish to read the letter in its entirety to review his citations, you can do so by clicking the link in my end note See End Note 2 :
“We showed that tumor growth in rats was greatly enhanced by diets containing >10% animal protein (casein) and was completely repressed with either 5% animal protein or >20% plant protein. This protein effect depressed the activity of the major enzyme complex responsible for carcinogen activation and for the subsequent and dominant promotion of preneoplastic clones and their sequelae, the life-long development of full-blown tumors. This effect also existed both for chemically and virally induced cancers and was explained, in 1972…We could turn on and off tumor development, both in its early and late stages of development…” See End Note 2
In T. Colin Campbell’s experiments, tumor growth…”was completely repressed with either 5% animal protein or >20% plant protein.”
It is my opinion that the notion of lifestyle must include the TYPES OF FOODS we eat. Dr. Campbell, PhD., suggests through his publications that people ought to also develop a firm resolve to reduce or eliminate the quantity of proteins derived from any animal sources. Since Campbell proves there can be a significant impact to cells from the types of foods consumed, it is only COMMON SENSE that choosing less-than-optimal foods for nutrition will feed and fuel bad cells that can grow into cancer cells.
YOU CAN HAVE a powerful impact on PREVENTING many forms of cancer by adopting a LIFESTYLE approach that incorporates the findings of the above research, particularly the research of T. Colin Campbell, Phd.
- “Preventable Incidence and Mortality of Carcinoma Associated With Lifestyle Factors Among White Adults in the United States”, by Mingyang Song, MD, ScD; Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD. JAMA Oncol. Published online May 19, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.0843. http://oncology.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2522371
- “Dietary protein, growth factors, and cancer”, by T Colin Campbell. Am J Clin Nutr June 2007. Vol. 85 no. 6 1667. [ To read his entire comments, click here: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/6/1667.full ]
- Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Phd. – Center for Nutrition Studies: For more than forty years, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, The China Study, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. He is professor Emeritus at Cornell University. Author, scientific researcher, Cornell professor, founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in partnership with Cornell. His expertise and scientific interests encompass relationships between diet and diseases, particularly the causation of cancer. Campbell started his life on a dairy farm, but is now widely-known for researching links between animal-based protein diets and disease. He has conducted original research in laboratory experiments and in large-scale human studies; received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding (mostly with NIH), has served on several grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, and has authored over 300 research papers. Served on many national and international expert committees with mandates to develop food and health policy positions. Trained at Cornell University (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology. Presently holds his Endowed Chair as the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.