Cancer Prevention: Things I think about before I eat

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I read whatever I can about cancer because of a high incidence of the disease in my family. A document, titled “Useful Information on One of the Deadliest Diseases of Our Time: Cancer,” circulated in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council earlier this year, made me pay greater attention to what I eat. The information contained in the document, the Council said, is based on scientific studies conducted in China and by major international cancer research centers. By no means is it intended as medical advice. Readers should consult their own health care provider for such advice. The document makes the following points: 

Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cells do not show up in standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When the immune system is strong, the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors. Cancer is an indication of multiple nutritional deficiencies that could be attributed to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors. Changing your diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding them the foods they need:

a. Sugar is a cancer feeder. Cutting off sugar cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Certain honeys, like manuka honey from New Zealand, and molasses, are natural substitutes, but should be used only in very small amounts. Aspartame, an ingredient in some artificial sweeteners, is harmful to the body. Studies on the long-term effect of Splenda, a natural sugar derivative, have not yet been done.

b. Dairy milk causes the body to produce mucous, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucous. Substituting milk with unsweetened soy milk helps starve cancer cells. 

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic. Fish and a little free-range chicken are preferable to beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones, parasites, etc., which are harmful to cancer patients. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic build up. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. Refraining from or eating less meat frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, bitterness and bearing grudges put the body into a stressful and acidic environment.

d. A diet comprising 80 percent fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruit helps put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20 percent can be from cooked food, including beans. Fresh vegetable juices and raw vegetables provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance the growth of healthy cells. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees Celsius).

e. Among beverages, green tea has cancer-fighting properties. It is best to drink purified or filtered water to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic; avoid it.

f. Some supplements (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs, for example) build up the immune system to enable the body’s own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements (those made from the maitake mushroom, for example) are known to cause apoptosis of cancer cells: that is, they induce cancer cells to commit suicide.

Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.   

Cristina Lee is a former reporter for The Journal of Commerce and The Los Angeles Times. She lives in California.