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Sun exposure lowers cancer risk

2012 May 14 by

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A study that correlated exposure to sunlight with cancer risk found that people exposed to more sunlight had a significantly lower risk of many types of cancer (Lin, 2012). This study followed more than 450,000 white, non-Hispanic subjects aged 50-71 years from diverse geographic areas in the US. Researchers correlated the calculated ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure in these different areas with the incidence of a variety of cancers. The diverse sites included six states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina), and the metropolitan areas of Atlanta and Detroit. They followed these subjects over a period of nine years in the study and eliminated other known risk factors for cancer such as smoking, body mass index, and physical activity. This was the first prospective study (participants were actively observed for the duration of the study) to look at the relationship of sunlight to cancer.

Less sun more cancer

A total of 75,000 participants in the study contracted cancer. The study found that 12 types of cancer were reduced in those subjects exposed to more sunlight. These included cancers of the lungs, prostate, pancreas, colon, thyroid and many other types. As expected, melanoma and other skin cancers occurred more often in the participants exposed to more sunlight. The incidence of cancers of female organs including the ovaries, breast, and uterus were not reduced in this study, possibly because men spend more time outdoors than women. This confirmed a previous study that showed a decreased incidence of cancer in men but not women in relation to sun exposure (Grant, 2012).

Cancer prevention formula: sunlight, vitamin D, and antioxidants

This research confirms the protective effect of Vitamin D for many types of cancer. No other known factors in sun exposure would account for these findings. This provides more evidence that sun exposure is protective and that the routine use of sunscreens is counterproductive. Sunscreen should be used to prevent sunburn during prolonged exposure to bright sun at midday. And only zinc oxide sunscreens are safe. Eating organic fresh fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants will also help prevent sunburn and protect you from skin cancer. Sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation promote health and prevent cancer. Similarly, in parts of the world and times of the year with limited sun exposure taking a vitamin D supplement in adequate amounts is beneficial to the immune system, promotes bone growth, prevents cardiovascular disease, and reduces the incidence of cancer.

References

Grant WB. An ecological study of cancer mortality rates in California, 1950–64, with respect to solar UVB and smoking indices. Dermatoendocrinol., epub April 2012

Lin SW, Wheeler DC, Park Y, Cahoon EK, Hollenbeck AR, Michal Freedman D, Abnet CC. Prospective study of ultraviolet radiation exposure and risk of cancer in the U.S. Int J Cancer. 2012 Apr 26. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27619.

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How the Mighty (Cancer Screening Tests) Have Fallen

2011 November 17 by

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Three of the most widely used screening tests in medicine have taken a hit lately and been cast into disfavor or abandoned.

Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Specific  Antigen (PSA) test has been condemned as useless in saving lives and accused of leading to unnecessary surgical interventions. This test, which had previously been popular as a screening tool for prostate cancer in men over 50, is now reviled. It not only does not reveal cancers that lead to loss of life, but it leads to unnecessary biopsies and surgeries that can result in impotence and incontinence. It is no longer recommended.

Breast Cancer

Mammograms have also run aground amidst accusations that they cause the very problem they are intended to prevent – breast cancer. The radiation risk from repeated mammograms puts women at a higher risk of getting breast cancer, not a very good trade-off when alternatives are available. And mammograms too lead to aggressive treatment which may not be necessary in many cases. A better testing tool is breast thermography, which detects heat changes from abnormal tissue growth. Thermography does not involve any exposure to radiation.

Colon Cancer

And now colonoscopies have been questioned as well. An editorial in the Nov. 9, 2011 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that colonoscopy as a screening tool has not been adequately investigated for benefits and harms. Colonoscopy is expensive and prone to overdiagnosis and overtreatment as well. The primary result of colonoscopies is the removal of benign polyps, which are not cancerous. A better strategy, these authors suggest, may be to screen for blood in the stool with a simple test and perhaps perform limited flexible sigmoidoscopy before recommending a full colonoscopy. The strategy of screening for blood and performing a sigmoidoscopy has been shown in controlled studies to reduce mortality from colorectal cancer, but no additional benefit has been shown from performing an additional colonoscopy.

True Prevention

Perhaps our focus should shift from unproven, expensive, and invasive screening tests to a strategy of prevention with supportive measures. Certainly limiting alcohol and tobacco use are proven methods of reducing cancer risk. Avoiding known carcinogens in the form of petrochemicals in household products, pesticides in foods, and skin care products (soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, deodorants) makes sense. Eating a primarily whole foods diet with minimal amounts of processed food products will provide essential vitamins and minerals. A diet focusing on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with clean, preferably organic protein sources is ideal. A program of regular exercise is also essential for maintaining a resilient immune system.

Supplements

Vitamin D supplementation is probably the most important single measure for preventing these cancers. A sensible strategy is to take 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day and then testing 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels to make sure this an adequate dose. Levels should be in the range of 40-100.

Taking antioxidant supplements is another preventive measure that can help avoid abnormal tissue growth and the deleterious effects of aging on cells. A potent antioxidant program could include resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid (or r-lipoic acid), astaxanthin, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and n-acetyl-cysteine (a precursor of the body’s own antioxidant glutathione).  Taking a high quality multi-vitamin supplement can also supply the cofactors necessary for detoxification and prevention of oxidation in the body’s tissues, supporting healthy organ function.

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Your Personal Cancer Prevention Program

2011 October 13 by

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Do you have relatives or friends who have received a diagnosis of cancer, and now you are really worried? Or have you or your loved ones gone through cancer treatment and personally seen the dire effects of conventional treatment?

It is time to develop a cancer prevention plan for yourself and your family.

This is not a difficult task. It involves attention to diet and lifestyle, elimination of toxins in your life, and a simple nutritional supplement program.

Diet.

First, your diet should be as clean as possible. Eat whole foods, the way they come from nature, and limit processed foods. Read ingredient labels on packaged foods and avoid preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. Eat organic foods when possible, especially fruits, that tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides, and animal products.

Chemicals.

Avoid exposure to petrochemicals. Many household products and personal care products contain synthetic chemicals made from petroleum. These chemicals are hormone disruptors and carcinogens. The list includes laundry detergents, household cleaners, dishwasher and dish soaps, air fresheners, shampoos, skin moisturizers, toothpaste, perfumes, and cosmetics. The list goes on. My advice is to buy organic personal care products and environmentally friendly household cleaners. And never use pesticides in your home or yard. If you smoke cigarettes, figure out a way to stop right now. Don’t wait. Cigarette smoking will cause cancer, no matter how much you deny it. Drink alcohol in moderation, as little as possible. Alcohol in any form will increase your risk of many types of cancer.

Exercise.

Make sure that an exercise program is part of your weekly regimen. Schedule exercise on your calendar and stick to your program. You will feel more alert, experience better moods, and enjoy more refreshing sleep. You will remain more fit and keep off unwanted fat.

Relaxation.

Make sure that you do activities that are enjoyable and fun. You need personal rejuvenation and relaxation to counter the inevitable stress that accompanies pursuing your goals and projects and occupation.

Supplements.

Finally, your supplement program needs to contains adequate antioxidants. The strongest, state of the art antioxidants are astaxanthin, resveratrol, alpha lipoc acid (or r-lipoic acid), reduced liposomal glutathione (or its precursor n-acetyl-cysteine). Make a list of these and seek them out at your health food store or online. You can add immune activators like medicinal mushroom formulas, or modified citrus pectin, that have been shown to prevent and treat cancer. As we age our bodies inevitably undergo cellular damage. This damage needs to be repaired and abnormal cell growth kept in check. At the same time our bodies produce less natural antioxidants as we age.

And don’t forget vitamin D3 for healthy immune function.

Following this program is your best protection from cancer. Don’t worry about cancer, take action to prevent it. If you have had cancer in the past, then this program is even more important for you to live a long and happy life.

 

 

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