Eating to cure cancer is a large part of many successful cancer treatments. Identifying and removing and carcinogens is an important first step. Eliminating sugar is fundamental to an anti-cancer diet to stop fueling the cancer cells who rely on sugar for energy . Removing endocrine disruptors and mimics is important especially in horn driven cancers like breast, ovarian, prostate and lung (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928145/).
Identifying & Removing Carcinogens
Pesticides and herbicides are used on crops, lawns, gardens and golf courses (2). They can be found on food, in the air, at home and in our drinking water (3). The use of glyphostate, the active ingredient in Roundup, a herbicide produced by Monsanto, is up 100-fold, since it was first sold on the market in the 1970’s (4). Glyphosate is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world. It is sprayed on corn, soy and wheat crops. It was found that 90% of soy crops have glyphosate residues. As a potent endocrine disruptor, even at sub-agricultral doses, glyphosate has been shown to cause cancer (5). Its carcinogenicity is related to its estrogenic effects; its ability to bind estrogen receptors and stimulate the growth of cancer.
- Organochlorine pesticides: DDT, DDE, Chlordane, Heptachlor, Dieldrin, Methoxane
- Organophosphate pesticides: Diazinon, Chlorpyrifos
- Triazine herbicides: Atrazine, Simazine, Cyanazine
- Chlorophenoxy herbicides: 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, Agent Orange
- Glyphosate (RoundUp)
Nitrosamines are used in processed meat products as a preservative in the form of nitrates and nitrites. They are also generated through the incomplete combustion of meats during cooking. Some of the largest nitrosamine offenders are: hot dogs, bacon and deli meat. Nitrosamines have been used for decades to preserve the red color of meat. Studies have now confirmed their ability to cause cancer. Red meat has also been shown to cause cancer. Most notably colorectal and stomach cancers. (8,9,10).
The most common airborn carcinogens today are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs enter the body through contaminated food, drinking water, cigarette smoke, vehicle exhausts, and contaminated air from occupational settings. PAHs damage DNA leading to the development of cancer. Most of our environmental intake of PAHs happens through the contamination of food during: food processing techniques (smoking, cooking, charcoal broiling, grilling) and methods used for analysis and in unprocessed foods through soil and due to the bio-accumulation found in animal sources of food. Fish and shellfish contain PAHs due to contamination of coastal waters. (11,12)
- Refined white sugar
- Granulated brown or cane sugar
- Maple syrup
- Coconut sugar
Stevia is a sweetener alternative that only resembles a sugar molecule according to taste receptors, it does not act like a sugar in the body.
Removing Endocrine Disruptors
- Plastics: food storage containers, plastic wrap, water bottles, straws.
- Conventional toothpaste: Triclosan, BHT, Flouride, PEG -12, DEA, FD& C Blue, Sodium hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Polyethylene
- Body lotion + conditioners: parabens (6,7)
Diet & Life Style Plan: 6 Principles
Local farmer’s markets in your community ensure that your food is pesticide/herbicide-free and grown with care. Organic grocery stores are found in all large and small cities in North America. Consciously grown food is more expensive than agro-business only when the cost to the environment and medical system is not taken into consideration. Disease is not only financially expensive but also emotionally draining. Eating well is best prevention of long term disease.
Use only natural products on your skin and in your home
There are lots of effective natural cleaning products. Essential oils are anti-microbial and can be used in natural cleaners as a disinfectant. Clothing detergent can be a source of carcinogens and should be switched for a natural alternative. Avoiding dryer sheets and fabric softeners is an easy way to reduce toxin load. Natural body products are essential. Make sure your creams, make-up, cleansers and toothpaste are toxin free. Avoiding products with alkylphenols, parabens, phthalates triclosan, polyethylene glycols (PE-G), Aluminum and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) will reduce your exposure to carcinogens. Mineral based make-up is widely available now as well as natural, toxin-free deodorant, toothpaste, creams and shaving products (13) (14).
Dental Love Toothpaste
Effective and easy to use
90 grams per jar
Shelf stable for ~ 6 months
Lasts 3-4 months
Handmade Natural Deodorant
Made with natural ingredients and lots of love
Effective and easy to use
50 g per jar
Shelf stable for ~ 1 year+
Lasts 3-4 months with daily use
Herbal Healing Salve
Only a few left!
Skin Healing salve for Mama and baby. For use on sore or painful nipples, skin irritations, diaper rash, cradle cap, eczema + dryness.
Make the effort to spend time in nature
Clean air and exercise are important to reducing the risk of cancer and the cancer itself. Taking the time each week to leave the city will help to reduce exposure to environmental pollution. Exercise increases the number of natural killer cells, helping to protect us from cancer and other illnesses. (14,15,16).
Add anti-cancer foods into your diet
Brassica- these are a family of foods known to support liver detoxification: broccoli, mustard greens, kale, brussel sprouts & cabbage
Tumeric- raw or dried has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It can be eaten in curries or made into Golden Milk. Tumeric can be added to many dishes to improve its taste and prevent cancer, reduce inflammation & pain. Click HERE for a recipe for Golden Milk.
Green Tea- contains a powerful cancer fighting compound called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. It’s a power antioxidant that acts to protect the cardiovascular system too.
Mushrooms- specifically reishi, mitake, shitake and turkey tail contain beta glucans which boost our immune system to recognize and kill cancer and prevent its spread.
Astragalus membranaceus- is a root mostly sold dried. It has antitumor capabilities related to its abilty to restore T-cell function which is repressed in cancer patients.
Reduce Meat intake
Colon cancer was shown to have a 30-40% reduction in risk with higher intake of vegetable. There is a two-fold increased risk of ovarian cancer for a dietary pattern high in meat and fat. Meats contribute to cancer risk through provision of fat as well as a vehicle for carcinogenic products from cooking: heterocyclic amines & nitroso compounds. Smoked meats have recently been shown to be carcinogenic due to the incomplete combustion of meat from barbequing or smoking being highly mutagenic.
Fish are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids which possess anti-carcinogenic properties. A pescatarian diet (mostly vegetables and fish) has been shown to have a lower risk of ovarian cancer due to an inverse association between the intake of omega 3 fatty acids from fish and the development of ovarian cancer.
Avoid excessive interaction with estrogen-like compounds
There are many substances in nature and man-made which mimic estrogen activity in the body, like the herbicide Roundup discussed earlier. For plant-based estrogens, this effect is weak and can actually be cancer preventative. But for the man-made sources of exogenous estrogen, as well as excessive doses of a natural source, the outcome is harmful. Soy contains compounds called isoflavones which are weakly estrogenic. BPA is found in soft plastics and shown to be estrogenic. Eliminating BPA from your life in the form of plastic water bottles and certain canned goods, as well as limiting your intake of organic soy and soy-products can decrease the exposure to estrogenic substances.
For a complete list of carcinogens you can visit the National Toxicology Program at the Department of US Health and Human Services. They publish an ever-updated list of substances to be known carcinogens (23).
6) Darbre PD, Aljarrah A, Miller WR, Coldham NG, Sauer MJ, Pope GS. Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours. J Appl Toxicol. 2004;24(1):5-13.
7) Pugazhendhi D, Sadler AJ, Darbe PD. Comparison of the global gene expression profiles produced by methylparaben, butylparaben and 17beta-estradiol in MCF7 human breast cancer cells. J Appl Toxicol. 2007;27(1):67-77.
17) Chu DT, Wong WL, Mavligit GM. Immunotherapy with Chinese
medicinal herbs. II. Reversal of cyclophosphamide-induced immune
suppression by administration of fractionated Astragalus membranaceus
in vivo. J Clin Lab Immunol. 1988;25:125–129.
18) Shao BM, Xu W, Dai H, Tu P, Li Z, Gao XM. A study on the immune
receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus,
a Chinese medicinal herb. Biochem Biophys Res Commun.
19) Sun Y, Hersh EM, Lee SL, McLaughlin M, Loo TL, Mavligit GM. Preliminary observations on the effects of the Chinese medicinal herbs
Astragalus membranaceus and Ligustrum lucidum on lymphocyte
blastogenic responses. J Biol Response Mod. 1983;2:227–237.
20) Chu DT, Lepe-Zuniga J, Wong WL, LaPushin R, Mavligit GM. Fractionated
extract of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal
herb, potentiates LAK cell cytotoxicity generated by a low dose of
recombinant interleukin-2. J Clin Lab Immunol. 1988;26:183–187.
21) Kolahdooz F, Ibiebele TI, van der Pols JC, Webb PM. Dietary patterns
and ovarian cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:297–304.
22)Meat, fish, and ovarian cancer risk: results from 2 Australian case-control studies, a systematic review, and meta-analysis1–3
Fariba Kolahdooz, Jolieke C van der Pols, Christopher J Bain, Geoffrey C Marks, Maria Celia Hughes, David C Whiteman,
and Penelope M