Will I get cancer?


[email protected]


What are the causes of cancer?

In a past column, we defined what cancer was and discussed its etiologies (causes) and other specific questions on cancer. The most striking information we revealed then was that more than 75 percent (3 out of 4) of all cancers in humans were caused by only three things: diet, tobacco, and alcohol. That is still true today. Therefore, one does not have to be a physician, much less a rocket scientist, to know that majority of cancers are preventable, and that it is within our power to prevent this deadly malady. The genetic factor could also be positively influenced and changed by a healthy lifestyle to one’s advantage.

So why the “epidemic” of cancer?
The problem is the lack of discipline on our part. We continue to eat red meat and a lot of high cholesterol or fatty foods knowing these are bad for our heart and also increase our chances of having cancer of the colon, breast and uterus, etc. This is especially true with eating charred (burned) barbequed meats and other food items. Smokers know tobacco cause cancer of the throat, lungs, kidney, urinary bladder, pancreas, among others, and still fume away with gusto. Moderate to heavy alcohol drinkers are aware that ethanol causes not only liver cirrhosis but cancer of the digestive tract, liver and breast, and are not scared to bend their elbow and say “cheers!” unabated. It is no longer the lack of awareness or knowledge that is leading many of us to self-destruct. It is the lack of wisdom and discipline, the lack of inner strength and resolve.

Is it, therefore, hopeless?
No. We, humans, have a mind that controls us, but at the same time, it is a mind that we can also control, either by ourselves (supra-tentorial brain control), or by friendly external support and persuasion, or even by peer pressure. We must utilize everything within our power to “reason out” with our own selves, motivate ourselves, or even scare ourselves, until we see the truth and the light. Cancer is debilitating and deadly. And the process and stages of a protracted illness, intractable pains, hopelessness, helplessness, mounting expenses, the prospect of leaving our loved ones, and dying should be convincing and motivating enough for us to be obsessed with preventing any serious health problems, especially cancer.

Do tomatoes prevent cancer?
Yes, they help. According to a Harvard study of 47,000 men, those who had 10 or more servings of tomato-based products per week, were 45% less likely to develop prostate cancer. There are also compelling evidences, considered statistically significant, that suggest links between tomatoes and lower risks in the development of cancer of the colon, rectum, esophagus, pancreas, mouth, breast and cervix, besides prostate. The amazing antioxidant in tomatoes is called lycopene, which is more abundant in cooked or processed tomatoes (like ketchup) than in raw tomatoes. Spices (garlic, onion, pepper curry, tumeric, etc.), are all good for boosting our immune system.

Any other natural foods which prevent cancer?
Fruits and vegetables in general have powerful antioxidants in them that reduce the risk of cancer. Broccoli, beans, lettuce, bokchoy, strawberry, oranges, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, langka, and all the other leafy vegetables and fruits (high-fiber diet) are anti-cancer to a great extent. But unless we eat them daily, they won’t work. Looking at them or even smelling and touching them in the fruit stores won’t do it. We must eat them every day. Soft drinks are all toxic to the body. Of course, strict moderation for carbohydrates (rice, bread, sweets) and animal fats, tobacco, and alcohol are essential. And so with avoidance of chemical pollutants, radiation exposure and UV rays from sunlight.

Does exercise reduce cancer risk?
Yes. Physical exercises does not only control body weight and lower cholesterol but also reduces the risk of cancer. One does not have to jog for half an hour a day to get the benefit. Walking 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes after dinner are vigorous enough to do the job. Brisk walking for those who can tolerate it is even better.

How about those “anti-cancer” pills and juices?
Pills and juices being marketed as anti-cancer are as effective as tap water from your faucet. And tap water is even safer…and free! The manufacturer’s claims have no scientific basis whatsoever. Those being items marketed as “anti-cancer” are fraudulent and dangerous.

What is a sound anti-cancer strategy?
There are several behavioral and lifestyle changes we can do to lower or prevent cancer, and at the same time lower our risks for other major diseases as well. Many of these changes are common sense and practical measures. But, as I stated earlier, first, we must have the discipline, determination and resolve. Then, we must religiously implement our strategy.

One incentive to stay healthy and well are our loved ones. If our self-gratifying bad habits and lifestyle should kill us, it will be a tragedy for us, but it will be an even greater tragedy for our family and loved ones. The emotional, psychological, social and financial devastation that will befall our loved ones when we die is horrendous, to say the least. So, we cannot afford to be so selfish and so self-centered as to allow this to happen. Let us take good care of our body and mind. Let us grow old and happy with our loved ones.

A safe and sound cancer prevention strategy, which we discussed in our book, Let’s Stop “Killing” our Children (www.philipSchua.com), includes all of the following regimen: (1) abstinence from tobacco (2) eating fish and a high-fiber, low fat, diet (with a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, bran, etc.) instead of red meat; (3) taking multivitamins (optional if you eat well); (4) doing regular physical exercises for an hour at least four times a week; (5) avoidance of exposure to too much sunlight, polluted air, agents like asbestos, household chemicals in our home environment or workplace; and, (6) limiting alcohol ingestion to one or two drinks a day. In short, stay away from carcinogens and live a healthy life-style through self-discipline.

So, if you are serious about reducing your risk for cancer, do not look for a miracle pill or juice, lotion or potion. Starting today, make some simple changes in your lifestyle as we have suggested above. You’ll be amazed how this could change your life and those of your loved ones, for the better. You may even live to appreciate the benefits from your sacrifices of today on your 108th birthday.

The answer to the question is in your hands. For more data, please visit philipSchua.com Email: [email protected]