I know people who died of cancer or presently suffering from the disease, I know you probably do too. So you see, cancer is no longer just a disease you hear of from the media, it is among us. As the prevalence rate increases without any definite cure yet, we are left with a myriad of dos and donts to help us fight the numerous types of cancer besieging human race.

Yesterday was world cancer day and I was wondering how much you and I know about cancer and how we can fight against it. It was announced yesterday that cancer is currently the number one cause of death in China! Other statistics will show also that cancer is spreading like wild fire. Information/knowledge is power and that is the best way to wage this war since scientists tell us that cancer is caused mainly by lifestyle, environment and genes.
We need to be aware of its causes and how to protect ourselves because whom God is protecting need to protect himself too.

Going through the long list of cancer causing agents (carcinogens), it seems to me that everything on the face of the earth that is not in its natural form is capable of causing cancer (even some in their natural forms!).

Did you know that these agents can cause cancer over time?

i. Chemicals found in certain foods, especially processed and charred foods and other daily consumer products like anti antiperspirants, cosmetics, flame retardants, stain removers, etcetera.

ii. Exhaust fumes, tobacco/cigarette smoking;

iii. Chemical emissions from sun, gamma/x-rays, asbestos, base stations, towers, etc

iv. Dietary imbalances which can result in obesity (reports say that obesity has overtaken tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer in America) and such.

v. Chronic infections like hepatitis B and C, HIV, resulting in chronic inflammation.

vi. Genetic dispositions inherited from family members.

Those who know tell us to avoid eating this, to stay away from that, desist from using this and that and one cannot but wonder how one can avoid all that and still survive, don’t you? But we must try as much as we can.
Here are some dos and donts to stay healthy and beat cancer

i. Take control of your life style. Avoid junk/processed foods, charred foods and food with saturated and trans fats like red meat, whole milk dairy products, butter, eggs, alcohol and so on. This is because such foods have among other things, high sugar content and sugar raises the risk of cancer.
We are therefore advised to eat more of vegetables and fruits with enough water. So instead of munching on that meat pie as you work, eat an apple, rather than gulp down that bottle of beer or soft drink during lunch, drink water or naturally prepared fruit juice. Reduce the intake of barbecued meat also. Substitute fish for meat and if you must eat meat, go for chicken and turkey and remove the skin too. Then of course, whole grains are very good too because of their fiber content.

ii. Avoid electromagnetic fields emanating from cell phones, towers and base stations. If you must be exposed to radiation, maybe due to your job, be sure to be well kitted, you know, the health and safety stuffs, to reduce the amount of these rays that go into your body.

iii. Replace/reduce the use of most of these daily consumer products like antiperspirants, diapers, dry cleaning agents, hair spray, and so on. These products contain parabens and aluminium chloride which are carcinogens. Check the contents of what you want to buy, if you can do without or make a switch to save your life, better.

iv. Ladies, you are advised to go for bras that do not have underwire and if you must use diapers, change them as often as possible and go for bright coloured underwears too.

v. Exercise, exercise, exercise!!!, your life might depend on it.

I cannot possibly exhaust the list of what and what to avoid so as fight this dreaded disease. Some of us will say, eh, our fore fathers ate everything yet they did not even know about cancer. Brother, sister, let us tell ourselves the truth, what you and I eat now is not what our fore fathers ate. The kind of sedentary lifestyle we live is direct opposite of theirs. Therefore, be mindful of what you eat and what you feed your children with. Their lunch boxes should contain enough vegetables and fruits rather than noodles and sugar laden juices.

The way we prepare and eat these diets play important roles too. Do not overcook your vegetables. Fruits should be properly washed, preferably with soft fruit brushes. Vegetables and fruits are better eaten raw to maximize their nutrient contents. Avoid foods that have molds and the ones that are charred, especially meat.

Sugar – Cancer Connection
Cancer cells require glucose to thrive. What this entails for us is that one can starve the cancer cells or prevent them from forming in the first place by eliminating its main food source which includes sugar and all other non-vegetable carbohydrates.

Here is a list of known foods that help fight cancer:
i. Apple
ii. Cherry
iii. Grapefruit
iv. Legumes (dry beans, peas too)
v. Whole grains like wheat, corn
vi. Walnut
vii. Soy
viii. Grape
ix. Guava
x. Water melon
xi. Tomatoes
xii. Carrot
xiii. Dark green leafy vegetables
xiv. Spinach
xv. Garlic
xvi. Water

Don’t you think it is time to switch from unhealthy processed foods to healthy diet of whole unprocessed foods?
Health is wealth! If cancer can conquer renowned scientists, doctors, pharmacists, including our own Dora Akunyili, what are you waiting for to change your lifestyle?
Early detection saves life too, therefore monitor your body for any changes always, go for medical checkups once in a while. A stitch in time saves millions