Good Health Naturally, PLLC

Defeating Cancer with “An Ounce of Prevention”

Defeating Cancer with “An Ounce of Prevention”
Dr. Mark J. Blessley, N.T.S., B.S., D.C., C.P.E.P

Unless you or someone you know has had "cancer," the risks and methods of prevention of this dreaded disease might be far from your mind and your reality. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure;" everybody has heard this axiom, but what does it really mean and is it appropriate here? Taking steps to reduce the risk of cancer may be one of the most important things you ever do for yourself and your family.

It makes sense to consider and address our individual situations, as well as our local community and even national and international issues to lessen cancer risks. "Think locally, act globally." I have been researching cancer prevention strategies extensively over the last 10 years, and have established the following basic topics to help everyone evaluate and minimize the chances of contracting this dreaded and debilitating disease. Three very good resource books on cancer prevention are “Eat to Beat Cancer” by J. Robert Hatherill, Ph. D., “Power Foods” by Stephanie Beling, MD, and a brand new book, “The Pharmaceutical Myth” by Gerald Roliz, CNC. Another interesting perspective is “The Politics of Cancer Revisited” by Samual S. Epstein, M.D.

We need a starting point, so working from the inside out - lifestyle and habits are at the top of the list. If you smoke, stop, and avoid second-hand smoke. Smoking and tobacco use in general is a major risk factor for cancer of the mouth, throat and lungs. It also increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, emphysema and other respiratory diseases. Second-hand smoke can also cause cancer in the ones you love. In addition, practice moderation in the use of alcohol, especially hard liquor; alcohol carries many identified risks.

Make intelligent and educated food choices; read labels and avoid food additives, food colorings and preservatives, and GMO foods (genetically modified organisms). Increase your intake of fresh foods, especially vegetables and fruits. Dr. Hatherill has identified eight Food Groups which are scientifically linked to reducing cancer risk, these are: Onion (onion, garlic, and asparagus), Cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower), Nuts and Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, and walnuts), Grass (corn, oats, and rice), Legumes (green and wax beans, peas, and other dried beans), Fruits (citrus and berries), Solance (tomatoes, potatoes), and Umbelliferous (carrots, celery, parsnips). Some of these foods may be contraindicated in your case, if you have allergies, but a well-rounded approach is best for cancer prevention. Other considerations: buy local if possible, preferably foods which have not been sprayed with pesticides and/or weed control chemicals. Buy organic foods whenever possible. They taste better, are certified pesticide and herbicide free, encourage and support sustainable land management, and are less likely to be genetically modified, another whole topic of concern.

Remember that the human skin is the largest organ of the body. It is designed to be a barrier to keep toxins out of the body. Many chemicals can enter the body directly through the skin; a good example is the nicotine patch. Try to avoid putting chemicals on the skin which have not been proven to be safe. Also avoid breathing these chemicals whenever possible and make sure windows are open and air is moving to ventilate the space. Use gloves with cleaning supplies and when handling oil, grease, and other chemicals. Use natural make up, or get makeup products with the least amount of solvents or chemical additives. Ask your supplier to help you choose the right ones for you, so you will be educating him or her about risks too.

Take an anti-oxidant supplement daily, especially when under increased stress. If you eat a diet of fresh vegetables and fruits, you already are getting some of the necessary anti-oxidants which help fight unwanted chemical reactions in the body; but under increased stress, your body needs more of these vitamins and minerals. Even a good diet may not supply enough. Taking a vitamin supplement which includes vitamins: A, C, D, E, and Beta-carotene is a good insurance policy, but it cannot be overemphasized that a healthy, varied diet is preferred over supplementation. There are other supplements which can help strengthen the body’s immune system and correct for any deficiencies found. Ask a doctor or nutritionist who specializes in natural healthcare for advice on what is right for you.

Sun and tanning - moderation is the key here; prevent sunburns by using proper sun block for your area, skin type and exposure level. The incidence of skin cancer is increasing, and melanoma (an especially bad form of skin cancer) not caught early has a poor prognosis. Early detection and treatment for any cancer is important to recovery and even survival. Preventing cancer or recurrence of the disease is the ultimate goal. Part of prevention is awareness. Early detection of suspicious moles and skin lesions, as well as lumps or bumps which seem to be growing are indications to get to a specialist without delay. It could be a matter of life or death. Examine yourself and your partner (and kids) for any change in mole or skin patch activity using ABCDE which stands for Asymmetry, Borders, Color, Diameter/size, and Elevation. A note here; Vitamin D is produced when skin is exposed to sunlight. There is some evidence that Vitamin D can help reduce cancer risk. This theory needs to be proven, but what we do know is that Vitamin D helps the body in many ways and a certain amount of sun exposure and Vitamin D supplementation is recommended – just use common sense. Again, ask your doctor.

Look at the place you live and work. Is it toxic? If you work around industrial chemicals, find out if they are toxic or cancer causing and take precautions. Even seemingly innocent products like plywood and household carpets can have toxic fumes. Think of your children playing on new plastic toys and carpets; they get direct exposure and no one really knows what the long-term risks are. It is better to be safe than sorry. Always check a product's safety before using it. Some excellent resources on environmental and building toxins are: “This is your Child's World” by Doris Rapp, “Tired or Toxic” by Sherry Rogers, and “Your Home, Your Health, and Well Being” by David Rouseau.

Another consideration is our mental state The mind/body connection has more to do with health than most people know. What you think about, you become. If you are constantly stressed, your body is unable to regenerate tissues as effectively as when you are relaxed. Many physiological conditions are directly affected by mood and emotional states such as anger, frustration, jealousy, and even lack of sleep can interfere with healing and the ability to ward off diseases, even cancer. Emotional states such as love, gratitude, joy, and laughter can improve your ability to stay healthy and avoid getting sick. Creative positive visualization and relaxation can be helpful both in prevention and in fighting disease when it occurs.

You can influence your own health and that of your family by being informed and making good choices in diet and your local living conditions, but what about the state and country where you live? Wouldn't it also make sense to find out who makes decisions in your town, county, state and even your country? With the internet, local library resources and national and international environmental and consumer advocate groups, it is possible to search out and compare which politicians and which companies are supporting good choices on micro/local and macro/global scales. Many public interest groups are working locally and globally to influence decision makers to pressure corporations and government agencies to decrease and eliminate toxic substances in our environments. Sierra Club (www.sierraclub.org) and Audubon (www.audubon.org) are some that have sensible and practical agendas. They can be found online and welcome both monetary and human voluntary assistance. Talk to your neighbors and friends; find out what they have been thinking and doing to help avoid the risks of cancer for their families. Another source for information and discussion is the “CDC Healthy Community Guide.” http://www.cdc.gov/healthycommunitiesprogram/pdf/sustainability_guide.pdf

In summary, seek information on cancer risks and the strategies to avoid them. Eat, Move and Think Healthfully (Good Health Naturally), get fresh air, sun, chiropractic care and exercise. Regular chiropractic care helps keep your nervous system functioning at its highest level and can help you get and stay healthy. Avoid toxins in your home, workplace and environment. Find out what choices you have locally and on the state and national levels to help influence decisions to decrease or eliminate toxins. Even better, get involved in a local environmental group or start one if none are available in your area.

Remember, the first step is to control your body/mind and what you put in to it. The second step is to control what is immediately around you and keep active, and the third step is to create a local environment, state and nation where we can identify potential problems and find practical solutions to reduce the risks of cancer striking ourselves, our families or our friends.

Thank you for becoming aware!

Dr. Mark J. Blessley, N.T.S., B.S., D.C., C.P.E.P
Natural Therapeutics Specialist since 1989
Bachelor of Science in Human Biology
Doctor of Chiropractic
Certified Postural Exercise Professional

Mark J. Blessley trained at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque NM graduating in January of 1989. He practiced as a sports massage and craniosacral therapist for 3 years in a large Chiropractic clinic before deciding to become a Chiropractor. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Human Biology in 1995 and then his Doctor of Chiropractic in 1997. Dr. Blessley opened Good Health Naturally, PLLC in 2006. GHN is located at 3606 Main Street, Suite 205, Vancouver, WA, 99663.