If you ask most people what they could do to help prevent themselves getting cancer, they would agree that, apart from the obvious (giving up smoking being a perfect example), there was nothing much they could do. I shared this belief until I was diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago. While receiving a gruelling regime of chemotherapy, I decided to research my disease further and find out if there was anything I could do for myself. To my surprise there is a wealth of knowledge out there in the form of articles, books and even anti-cancer recipe books.
The book that stood out above all for me was the number one international bestseller “Anti Cancer a New Way of Life” by Dr David
Servan-Schreiber. This is the first non-fiction book I have read which is a true page turner and had me quoting chunks to my husband every night. When I had finished the book I couldn’t help wonder why the contents were not common knowledge. Surely if they were we could help turn around the statistics and reduce the growing number of cancer victims every year. Dr Servan-Schreiber proposes that it is a myth that cancer is primarily linked to our genetic make-up (and therefore inevitable) but that our lifestyle is the major determining factor. As such we can take control of our own destiny by adjusting our environments and boosting our immune system with antioxidant rich foods.
DietThere are no fad foods, just simple, toxin free, everyday healthy foods. You do not need to go searching for some berry only found in the deepest Amazonian jungle. Most of the foods which can help us are found in your local supermarkets. You just need to know which ones and eat more of them! In short you should adopt a diet which is low in saturated fats, sugar and processed foods and high in fruit, vegetables, pulses, beans, fish and soya. Dairy and meat should be organic and should only make up about thirty percent of your daily food intake. Hydrogenated fats should be eliminated and replaced with good fats such as olive oil or organic butter. Fruit and vegetables should be organic where possible or washed and peeled if not. And not to forget, green tea as much as you can drink! Ultimately, this is a healthy lifestyle from which you cannot loose. It promotes general good health, a sense of well-being and being in control and you will probably loose weight (without counting calories!).
One fact that has been proven is that exercise reduces your risk of all types of cancer significantly. Again, you cannot loose. Most of us exercise to loose weight or get in shape for the beach. Instead of thinking of how the exercise will affect your appearance, think of how it will affect your health and indoctrinate a regime that is maintainable. That way you are less likely to quit after a few weeks or months.
De-tox your Environment
Following an anti-cancer lifestyle is not just about diet and exercise. Open the door to your cleaning store and read the labels. Marketing and a hectic lifestyles has sucked us in to buying cleaning products for just about everything which require little or no effort. Unfortunately this is because the ingredients in these products are so toxic that they carry hazard warnings on the label. Had this article been written five or ten years ago I would be urging you to return to soap and water. However, there is now a raft of eco-friendly cleaning products on the market to help you fight the daily grime without the toxins.
De-stress your life
Stress is thought to be a possible contributor to cancer and it is important that you find ways to recognise and deal with the signs of stress before they become a problem. When work gets stressful, I take time to put things in perspective. It may sound dramatic (but maybe facing cancer has that effect!) but I ask myself whether I would care about these things if I only had six months to live. The answer is invariably, no. I then try to find ways to correct the situation and re-balance my life.
Spending time with loved ones is a big de-stresser for me but I think I always underestimated how important it is to spend time with yourself (until now that is). Running or walking on a crisp autumn day is a good way to clear your mind and feel good about yourself. Even walking in the rain has its benefits and can make you feel really alive if you just let it!Ultimately, how much of this way of life an individual adopts is down to them. Its is a shame though that the majority of people considering this way of life are those who have already been effected by cancer. Just remember it is never too early to start (my children eat what I eat but are unaware of following any kind of diet!) and certainly never too late. Make small changes to your life now and reap the benefits later.