Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the developed world. Actually, it’s the #2 killer of Canadians second only to heart disease at #1. The fact that heart disease claims most of its victims past the age of 85 makes cancer the #1 killer of Canadians under the age of 85, and a leader in causes of life-years lost. It is truly “humanity’s greatest threat.” Right now, the lifetime probabilities of developing cancer at any site in the body are 1 in 2 for men, and 1 in 3 for women. That means that out of every two guys, one of them will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in his life.
However – making just three simple changes to your lifestyle can cut your cancer risk by 60%. Yes, you read that correctly! In a minute I’ll get to them, but doing these three things can greatly increase your chance of being the other 1 of 2 men (or 2 of 3 women) who does NOT develop cancer.
Before we get to it, and just to scare you a little more… Did you know that we all have cancer cells in our bodies right now? Read the following:
-there are approximately 100,000,000,000 cells in your body
-you make about 2,000,000,000 new cells every day
-it is estimated that somewhere between 5,000 – 1,000,000 of these new cells every day are potential cancer cells
-bottom line: we all have cancer
So if we all have potential cancer cells in our bodies every day, why is it that only 1/2 men or 1/3 women will ever be formally diagnosed with cancer? Because of the magnificence of the human body, of course! Cancer cells are abnormal cells in the body – they reproduce like wildfire and can’t be shut off like the rest of your ‘normal’ cells. Our bodies are equipped with a highly capable mechanism of detecting and stopping things in the body that should not be there – it’s called the immune system. When functioning properly, the immune system is able to identify and halt the reproduction of these potential cancer cells just like it halts and destroys other things (like bacteria) that shouldn’t be present in the system.
Thus, the three lifestyle changes I’m going to tell you about have a huge supportive influence on the immune system. By pumping up this natural cancer-killing system, we can allow the body to do what it’s supposed to do: fight off cancer itself.
Without further ado..
How To: Cut Your Cancer Risk By 60%
1. Exercise for 6 hours every week. And I don’t mean 100m sprints or MMA fighting – simple movement is all that you need. This could be walking your dog for 25 minutes twice a day. Or taking a 1 hour stroll after dinner 6 nights a week. The key is that it doesn’t need to be intense! Just get up off that tush and move your body every day.
2. Eat 9 different coloured fruits and veggies every day. I know – the food guide says 5 is all you need. But that’s only because they polled people about it, and most Canadians thought that 9 was unrealistic. I’m here to tell you it’s more than realistic, and it could save your life! Take today for example – it’s 2pm and I’ve already eaten more than 9 different coloured fruits and veggies. I had three different fruits and a greens powder in my smoothie, a big salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado for lunch, and I still have dinner to get even more goodness in. The key to this point is that you have to include many different colours. Different colours of fruits and veggies contain different antioxidants and other immune boosting constituents (like oranges have a ton of terpenes, and broccoli has a ton of indoles). Getting 9 different colours a day provides you with the full spectrum to promote good health.
3. Quit smoking. You already knew this one, right? Smoking has been linked in scientific literature to causing over 16 different types of cancer, and is likely causative for many more that just haven’t been studied yet. Cigarettes contain 250 cancer-causing ingredients, and even just the act of smoking itself can cause cancer of the mouth, tongue, throat, and lungs. Second hand smoke is actually more harmful than first hand – given that the person smoking is exposed to both first and second hand smoke makes it an even more dangerous practice. Just don’t do it, ok? There are a ton of great resources to help you quit once you are ready, and an ND can certainly help guide you and work with cravings.
Seem simple? That’s because it is! Your body is a truly incredible operation – and your immune system deserves a gold star for fighting off all those nasty potential cancer cells every day. So say thank you to your body. And do these three things every day to help it function in all its magnificence!