October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But it’s hardly any reason to celebrate. The fact that this cancer has earned its own “awareness month” worldwide is reason enough for everyone, including the healthy ones, to pay closer attention to a disease that, according to the World Health Organization, killed 458,503 people worldwide in 2008 alone.
The public can help minimize their risk of contracting cancer by following these five cancer “dodgers” from medical experts:
1Eliminate dairy, meat products from your diet. “Undoubtedly, the best anti-cancer diet would be to go completely vegan (no meat, poultry or dairy products),” says British scientist and cancer survivor Jane A. Plant, PhD, in her book “The No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program.”
“I was living on a completely vegan diet at the time my cancer disappeared, and for about eight months afterward. If you can become a vegan, you must ensure that you don’t become deficient in essential nutrients, nor confuse being vegan with becoming vegetarian,” she adds.
2. Lessen environmental risks, such as exposure to household chemicals in the home and workplace, or pollution from nearby chemical plants and hazardous waste sites. Workplace exposure to a wide range of carcinogens are two of the 12 common risks for breast cancer, as cited in the “The Breast Cancer Prevention Program” by Samuel S. Epstein, MD, and David Steinman and Suzanne LeVert.
3. Diets high in animal fat contaminated with undisclosed carcinogens and estrogenic chemicals must also be avoided. As such, with the sources of animal food products always in doubt, it may be best to eliminate beef, pork, veal, poultry, lamb and other cuts of meat from the daily diet. Epstein’s book also cited hormones in beef could have serious estrogenic and carcinogenic effects. Pork, veal lamb, poultry and other cuts of meat, although uncontaminated by sex hormones, contain pesticides and a wide range of veterinary drugs.
4. Minimize artificial light. Epstein also listed reports in the American Journal of Epidemilogy, the American Journal of Public Healtth, and elsewhere suggesting that exposure to near-constant bright artificial light at night (LAN) may increase risk of breast cancer by inhibiting the pineal gland’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that, in turn, inhibits estrogen production.
5. Color your plate. “Fresh vegetables and fruits are full of antioxidants that fight all the carcinogens we encounter every day. These are also high in fiber, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. There is also some evidence that high-fiber diets decrease chances of cancer,” says Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, a former health secretary.
Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, author of “Anticancer (A New Way of Life),” listed his anti-cancer diet composed of cruciform vegetables (brussels sprouts, bok choy, etc.) and legumes accompanied by olives and olive oil, green tea, turmeric and curry (the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory substance identified today), ginger, garlic, onions, leeks, shallots and chives. He added his three red flags that seem to trigger cancer:
• Overconsumption of refined sugar and white flour, which stimulate inflammation and cell growth through insulin and IGF (insulin-like growth factor);
• Overconsumption of omega-6s in margarine, vegetable oils (including trans fats) and animal fats (meat, dairy products, eggs) stemming from farming methods that have been out of balance since the World War II; and
• Exposure to chemical contaminants that have entered the environment since 1940, which accumulate in animal fats, and—though studies are not yet definitive—exposure to the electromagnetic fields of cell phones.