January 20, 2017

7 Ways To Prevent Cancer

by Sarah Stanley


The mere word strikes fear in most people. And with justified reason. Who wants to be diagnosed with this terrible disease? But, what many people don’t realize is that cancer is 90%-95% preventable, making just 5%-10% of cancer diagnosis, genetic.[1]

Through the right lifestyle this disease is preventable and here are 7 ways to prevent cancer.

7 ways to prevent cancer
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1) By Knowing What’s In Your Food

Are you eating food…or disease? Click to Tweet.

You probably know by now that our food system is pretty toxic. From GMOs to coloring dyes, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 4, Yellow 5 to name a few, plus BHT, artificial sugars, white flour and refined white sugars, we are no longer eating food, but food-like products.

And the consequences of the Standard American Diet (SAD) are taking a toll on our health. It’s called SAD for a reason!

Food coloring dyes, in particular, have been linked to tumors and cancer[2].  From bread to cookies, to gum, to mints, to crackers, artificial dyes are in many products. And these coloring dyes are in many food-like products produced by Big Food (i.e. ConAgra, Campbell, Hershey, General Mills, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Kellogg, M&M Mars and Tyson are some Big Food companies).

BHT is another preservative found in Big Food products. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) stabilizes fats and is used to retain food smell, color and flavor. It’s interesting to note that England bans this perseverative because of the health dangers of it. In animal studies, BHT was found to be toxic in the liver, kidneys and thyroid[3]. It’s also attributed to damaging heart cells.

Diet (as in the food you eat) is so very important in preventing cancer. By eating real, organic, whole foods in their natural state, you can prevent cancer! God knew what he was doing when he made fruits, vegetables and other plants to help prevent disease and cancer. Eat your organic kale!

2) By How Active You Are

Believe it or not, fitness plays a major part in preventing cancer. A sedentary life leads to many health problems. So, if you need yet another reason to get up from your desk chair or couch, here it is!

Exercise boosts your immune system, which is critical for good health. A weak immune system is the gateway for sickness and disease. Sweating actually increases your immune cells so you can fight off cancer and disease!

It’s also important to note that different types of exercise are important: aerobic and anaerobic.

  • With aerobic exercise, oxygen is carried through your breath to the muscles giving them the energy needed to sustain the effort. Common types of aerobic exercise include running at a comfortable pace (you should be able to talk without breathing too hard), swimming, and biking.
  • Anaerobic exercise is very high intensity or at your maximum level of exertion. Examples include sprinting and weight-lifting.

This means aerobic exercise cardio (running, cycling, swimming, brisk walking) and anaerobic strength training (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) is a fantastic way to get your heart rate up quickly and then recover quickly. Those who are obese have a greater chance of being diagnosed with cancer, so get up and get moving!

daily breast cancer risk
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3) By What You Put In Your Mouth

As you probably know, what you put in your mouth does matter.  And it’s not just food. It’s also things like gum, mints, cigarettes, cigars, prescription drugs (Rx) and over the counter (OTC) drugs.

  • Daily use of Tylenol over a 5-year period showed breast cancer increased by 81% and daily ibuprofen use increased your breast cancer risk by 51%![4] Other things like gum, mints, Altoids and TicTacs contain artificial ingredients, including those risky coloring dyes that we already talked about.
  • Smoking, of course, is a major cancer risk.  Use of tobacco products increases the risk of 14 different cancers!

Building healthy habits will help prevent disease and cancer. Always get in the healthy habit of reading the label before you put anything in your mouth and know what those ingredients do to your health. Even though that FDA has “approved” over 3,000 additives, does not mean they are safe. In fact, many countries ban what the US approves. Know you put in and on your body and it will be the link to good health and disease prevention. The FDA has approved more than 3,000 additives, most of which you’ve never heard of. But the truth is, you don’t have to know them all. You just need to be able to sort out the bad stuff. Do that and you’ll have a pretty good idea how your future will shape up—whether you’ll end up overweight and unhealthy or turn out to be fit, happy, and energized.

It all comes back to what you put in your mouth
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4) By What You Slather On Your Skin

Some people are great about eating real, organic food, but don’t stop to think about other toxic category of products: beauty care, including deodorant, sunscreen, baby products, soap, cosmetics, face & body lotion, to name a few. These products are notoriously filled with cancer-causing products. One such ingredient is FD&C Color and Pigments.

Besides being used in almost all Big Food food-like products such as gum and Altoids, FD&C color and pigments are also used in commercial skin care products. These artificial colors are derived from coal tar and contain heavy metal salts that absorb directly into the skin, causing skin sensitivity/irritation. Absorbing these toxins can cause depletion of oxygen and even death. Various studies have connected the use of permanent hair-dyes, in particular the darker shades that contain chemical FD&C color, to an increased risk of cancer. Almost all animal studies show that they are carcinogenic.

Avobenzone, benzophenone, octyl methoxycinnamate and PABA are known as free radical carriers. They are the most common ingredients used in sunscreens. These chemicals are reported to damage DNA and lead to cancers.

Another major additive to watch out for is triclosan. This synthetic antibacterial ingredient is found in commercial toothpaste, antibacterial and beauty products. The EPA registers it as a pesticide as it poses health risks to humans and the environment. It’s classified as a chlorophenol and suspected to cause cancer in humans.

Phthalates are generally not listed on labels because it’s classified as proprietary. They are used as an ingredient to enhance fragrance and/or make it last longer. They are primarily found in perfumes, fragrance, hair products, deodorants, body lotions and nail polish.

Health concerns from phthalates include damage to liver & kidneys, birth defects, decreased sperm counts and early breast development in boys & girls, DNA disruption and cancer. Avoid buying products with ingredients labeled fragrance or perfume.[5]

Few beauty products are worthy of your money. A few that I do approve include are SKINourishment (including sunscreen), Nourish Organic, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, and For Pits Sake Deodorant. Raw, cold-pressed coconut oil is also a fantastic face & body moisturizer as well as for your hair too!

5) By Not Consuming A Lot Of Fed Meat

Another reason plant-based diets rock? It naturally prevents cancer! A diet heavy in red meat leads to gastrointestinal, colorectal, prostate, bladder, breast, gastric, pancreatic and oral cancers.

Did you know that charcoal cooking and smoke curing of meat produces carbon compounds that are carcinogens? So what can we learn here? Eat little to less meat, avoid grilling meat and make sure your plate is filled with fresh, organic veggies!

Instead of grilling a burger, why not make a quinoa salad? Or a purple kale salad with hemp seeds? When it comes down to it, preventing cancer is a lot easier than we think. And cheaper, too!

6) By Watching What You Drink

Alcohol is inflammation and inflammation is the catalyst for disease. Click to Tweet.

When drinking alcohol, it’s like pouring gasoline on a bonfire! Not only is alcohol inflammation, but also chronic drinking is a risk factor for the following cancers: liver, pancreas, breast, mouth, upper aerodigestive tract, oral cavity, pharynx, hypopharynx, larynx, and esophagus.[6]

Is happy hour not looking so good anymore? Instead of traditional alcohol happy hours, why not opt for a truly healthy happy hour? Have organic, cold-pressed juice “shots” or kombucha (a probiotic drink). Or, snack on some raw rosemary crackers or raw nut truffles. (Ever had Two Moms In The Raw?! Yum!)

And, of course, drinking plenty of filtered water in a glass bottle is a great healthy habit to get into if you aren’t already.

7) By Reducing Stress

You may not think this as preventing cancer, but reducing stress is another way to prevent cancer. Psychological stress (mental, physical, or emotional pressure) can take a toll on our bodies. Chronic stress has many adverse side effects not limited to digestive problems, urinary problems, digestive issues, headaches, depression, anxiety, more susceptible to the flu or colds, and a weakened immune system.

As mentioned above, a weakened immune system can be a gateway for cancer.  For one, psychological stress accelerates tumor growth rates. Plus, when people are under stress they turn to unhealthy behaviors (smoking, fast food, sitting, drinking alcohol), which all increase the cancer risk.

If you have chronic stress in your life, then start by coping with healthy habits. Life is too short to drown stress with negative behaviors! You may need to overhaul your entire lifestyle. Move to a quiet countryside where you can see trees instead of skyscrapers. Reducing stress can be your gateway to health, happiness and disease prevention!

In Conclusion

So there you have it: 7 simple ways to prevent cancer. What a relief it should be to learn that prevention strategies not only exist, but also are remarkably effective at lowering your risk of most types of cancer.

Preventing cancer really comes down to lifestyle. What you put in your mouth, what you eat, drink and think all play a part in either giving you health or disease. In the world today, it’s so important to be educated with what we put in our bodies. Build healthy, preventable disease habits!

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Sarah Stanley is a wellness educator, endurance athlete, speaker, author, and founder of #wellnesschat & {wellprint}. Passionate about healthy living Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in & on their body so they can live healthy, disease-free and happy life. She’s been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies’ Home Journal and Washingtonian. Find Sarah on Twitter (@SarahStanley)G+ (+SarahStanley) and visit SarahStanleyInspired.com to start your wellness journey today


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