Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world despite new medical breakthroughs in treatment and prevention. Cancer-related deaths have decreased by about 2 percent in the past years but cancer still remains to be one of the biggest health threats with no definite and significant economic, gender or age discrepancy. The risk level may vary depending on a person’s hereditary predisposal, gender, age and overall lifestyle but virtually can be struck with cancer without further notice.

The pathological root-cause of cancer is well on the light but medical experts and even oncologists who are dedicated to the treatment, diagnosis and study of cancer, are limited to the general description of the  disease as the uncontrolled growth, invasion and metastasis of malignant cells; current knowledge of the disease can be summarized as such. In the attempt to discover the cause of cancer in order to really battle the disease, researchers have found the significance of specific genetic markers to the onset of cancer.

A genetic abnormality called oncogenes results to the activation of cancer cells and gives them the ability to hyperactively grow and divide, protect against predetermined cell death and the capability to adapt to different tissue environments. Despite that, the most significant factors that researchers have found to be causing cancer are primarily the person’s lifestyle and his general environment; this accounts to 90 to 95 percent of all cancer cases with only 5 to 10 percent due to genetic markers. The environmental factors that promote the development of cancer can be listed as such;

  • environmental pollutants
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • lack of exercise
  • stress
  • exposure to radiation
  • infection
  • improper diet
  • obesity
  • use of tobacco

A surprising fact about cancer is its absence in ancient civilizations or the lack of cancer traces in ancient human remains which suggests that cancer is a man-made disease and had only developed during the Industry Age due to environmental and dietary changes.

Natural Means for Cancer Prevention

Natural methods are being used in order to reduce the risk of developing and as well as treat different types of cancer. Lifestyle intervention, for one, has been found to significantly influence a person’s risk of developing the disease, mainly due to the fact that diet and lifestyle are the factors that primarily cause cancer, as researchers have found. Numerous naturally occurring compounds that can be acquired by eating specific types of foods or by taking processed dietary supplements have also been found to suppress the development of any malignancies in the body.

Medical science is limited to the treatment of the disease, and the risk of cancer having to grow back after successful treatment is still a big threat. This makes prevention a suitable approach in order to effectively fight cancer. There is no better preventive method but to get the right amount of exercise and eat the right kinds of foods. On the list of cancer-fighting foods are raspberries. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that the raspberries can prevent the development of colorectal tumors.

Raspberries against Colorectal Tumor

A study by a team of researchers from the University of Illinois in Chicago has revealed that the supplementation of raspberries in mice inhibited the growth of colorectal tumors. The study was published in the Cancer Prevention Research November issue. In the US, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer according to the National Cancer Institute. Previous research had already established that black raspberries have anti-neurodegenerative, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The new study is dedicated to finding a link between colon cancer prevention and raspberries. The UIC College of Medicine’s Assistant Professor of Pathology, Dr Wancai Yang, said that they saw that black raspberries are very easy to find and very powerful in fighting colon and intestinal cancer.

In their efforts to discover preventive properties from food against colon cancer, the researchers used two genetically modified mice which are vulnerable in developing intestinal and tumors. The first mouse had intestinal tumors while the other had inflammation of the intestines that contributes to the development of colorectal cancer. The two mice were subjected to randomized testing to either receive supplementation of black raspberries or be fed with a high-fat, low in calcium and vitamin D diet to encourage the growth of colorectal cancer cells. The study lasted for 12 weeks. The researchers found that the supplementation of raspberries into the mice’s diet gave it numerous protective benefits against the formation of intestinal, rectal and colon tumors. The first strain of mice which received raspberry supplementation experienced a 45 percent reduced tumor incidence and 60 percent reduction in tumors while the second strain of mice in the same conditions had a reduction in tumor incidence by 60 percent.

Foods against Cancer

Knowing which foods to eat in order to reduce a person’s risk of developing cancer needs to start by knowing what causes the disease. The modification in the cells’ genetic makeup resulting to this abnormality is what researchers are targeting to avoid. In the treatment of cancer, the approach is to kill as much cancer cells, inhibit growth and division, and at the same time fix the cells genetic abnormalities. In the prevention of cancer, on the other hand, the best approach is to combat the processes that cause the cellular abnormalities, and maintain healthy cell function. The formation of free radicals, which are thought to be the cause of cancer, is produced by the introduction of carcinogens into the body. The most common and most potent carcinogens are radiation such as UV rays, X-rays, gamma rays, arsenic, asbestos and tobacco.

In order to prevent cancer, a person needs to avoid exposure to carcinogens and at the same time consume foods that are potent in fighting free radicals that causes the cells to malfunction.

  • Antioxidants are one of the most powerful naturally-occurring compounds that combat the formation of free radicals in the body and stop it from affecting the normal function of cells. Antioxidants come in many forms and names but their common function is to fight free radicals and repair damages cells. The most powerful sources of antioxidants are berries, broccoli, tomatoes, red grapes, garlic, spinach, tea, carrots soy and whole grain products.
  • Resveratrol, found in red wine and grapes, are known to prevent damage to cells, even before the damage has began.
  • Green tea contains flavonoids, which have been known to help prevent and slow down the progression of different cancer types such as prostate, breast, liver and colon.
  • Flax seeds contain lignans, and the fatty acid omega-3 which can also help prevent cancer.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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