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Proven Cancer Prevention

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2007 | Health

It's no mystery why cancer rates and other chronic illnesses are increasing. By our food choices and by ingesting chemical toxins we are literally impairing our body's ability to regulate cell function. If we can cause harm by our choices, and we know this to be epidemic in our culture, we can alternatively make choices that nurture and strengthen our DNA to create a healthy future.

The research on breast cancer prevention is identical to the strategies in preventing all cancers. Incorporating even just a few of these tactics decreases the risk. Using many more decreases the risk dramatically as the effects are cumulative.

There are four key areas to be considered: food and drink that are to be consumed; food, drink, household and personal products to be avoided; adequate activity and exercise; and nurturing mental health.

Healthy food and drink contain all the nutrients that our minds and bodies need to function well. Basically the best ones are those that are less processed and handled. We have heard the mantra of consuming five fruit and vegetables servings daily. Most experts now recommend 10.

Anti-oxidant rich foods and drink are to be consumed daily as they delay the aging process, fight off disease and protect DNA. Darker colored fruits and veggies and green tea all rank at the top of the list. Organic foods have fewer toxic residues and higher vitamin and mineral concentrations. They are preferred.

Foods to be avoided include trans fats and processed meats as they contain carcinogenic chemicals. Nitrates are always on the label. Other carcinogens that the government does not require to be listed include benzene hexachloride, dieldrin, DDT, hexachlorobenzene, lindane and heptachlor. They're all in processed meats and other processed food.

Toxic carcinogens are also contained in most of the personal care products that we use including make up, toothpaste and hair dyes. Most cleaning products include carcinogens.

Exercise is recommended for good health generally. This is a no-brainer. What is encouraging is that those who pursue health and fitness for the daily routine hear and now are also protected from cancer in later years. This is being proven in research that measures people's health over many years.

Finally, effective stress reduction and coping skills assist us by lowering the stress hormones including cortisol. Emotional intimacy, loving relationships and an active expression of one's spirituality all are protective against cancer and the other chronic health conditions that are costing us billions in treatment: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis. Prevention will be the only way to save the public health system. If only the key players were up to it.