Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cancer Prevention

"I am opposed to heart attacks and cancer like I am opposed to sin."  
--Mary Lasker, quoted in The Emperor of Maladies

I crossed over into 2011 engrossed in reading the above referenced book.  It is a sobering, comprehensive, thought-provoking, brilliantly written book.  It is easily one of the better non-fiction books I've ever read on any subject.  It is basically a history of cancer and cancer treatment, but deeper than that it invites one into reflection on the nature of health and the spiritual/emotional/physical battles that are happening daily across the board -- patient, doctor, researcher, fund raiser-organizer, congress person, parent. loved one, child.  One in four of us will experience cancer at some time in our lives.  There is still no cure.  The fact is, we have made better progress in defeating HIV/AIDS. 

I continue to believe that the best defense against cancer (and disease in general) is adopting a lifestyle that is a proactive offense in preventing the occurrence of illnesses.  To this end, here are ten suggestions to begin incorporating into your life in this new year.  If you are already doing them, do more of the same.

  1. Include more fiber -- 20-40 gm a day.
  2. Drink water -- 1/3 of your body weight in fluid ounces every day
  3. Eat more vegetables than fruit, but eat more of both than anything else.  Organic is best, but just do it.
  4. Exercise - don't lay down if you can sit, don't sit if you can stand, don't stand it you can walk.  EVERY day do something active.  Interval training is appearing to be far more effective than most other types of exercise.  This is doing short rapid bursts of intense exercise interspersed with slow-downs.  Pedometers that measure steps will keep you honest: 7,000 steps plus a day.
  5. Incorporate the following anti-cancer supplements/foods/spices into your daily routine: turmeric, green tea, fish oil, and Vitamin D, 
  6. Delete from your diet: SUGAR in every form, food dyes, food preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG.
  7. Sleep -- get enough for you to feel rested -- each person's need for it varies.  The majority need 6-8 hours.  Some need less, some more.  Sleep in the DARK - as dark as possible.
  8. Check in with and connect with your spirit in some way multiple times a day.
  9. Be positive and look at the half-FULL glass, don't dwell on the empty parts.  Help others do the same and if there are chronically "toxic" people in your life who can't or won't change their attitudes look for ways to minimize their presence in your life.
  10. Learn to say no to stress.  Most of the stress we have in our lives we have introduced ourselves.  If you are consciously stressed due to factors outside your control, then it is all the more important to be taking care of yourself and not agreeing to add more activity and more "velocity" to your already packed schedule or daily agenda.  Find down time and make it a priority to do the things that feed and nourish your peace and energy.  Rather nasty illnesses are stalking those who don't heed these words.
I hope your new year has gotten off to a good start and pray blessings on all who read these words!


Patti Fredericksen Colt said...

Thank you for the timely reminders about how to manage better health...what better time to post this than in a new year when we're all making resolutions. This year, instead of just coping with the extreme stress in my life, I'm going to fight it hard. It affects my eating habits, my sleep, and my attitude. Thanks for reinforcing that decisions, Mark.

Tiffany Aller said...

Mark, I have actually read articles lately that say that with the diagnosis of cancer rising, and with more people living long with various types of the disease, some doctors and researchers are starting to look at it as a chronic versus terminal illness. How odd? But that thought is in line with living a healthier life all the way around and then dealing with cancer as you would any other ailment.

Having a tumor inside of my arm that is a probable malignancy absolutely makes my head want to explode. But putting it in the framework that it has a less than 5% chance of ever progressing to the point of killing me (I have about the same liklihood of being stomped to death by a donkey) makes it easier to wrap my head around.

I'm with Patti...this is definitly the year to fight hard against the stressors and ensure that I'm doing the right things to be a healthy me instead of a "what went wrong this time" me.

Great post. Thanks!