Thursday, September 18, 2014

Exposing the Secret Killer: Eradicating the Roots of Cancer and Chronic Disease

When I was in medical school at Columbia University in the late 1960’s, I marveled at the extraordinary genius behind the creation and functioning of the human body. I became convinced that the complexity and integration of the extraordinary number of physiological functions with each of the body’s organ systems was the work of Divine Intelligence.

How then, I asked myself, how and why do we get sick? This question caused a shift from a planned career in eye surgery to that of integrative healthcare with the emphasis on community health and reducing the risk of serious disease.

Today, in the most expensive healthcare system in the world, we are facing epidemics of preventable disease.

Breast cancer is a growing problem: A woman’s risk has jumped from 1 in 20 in the 1960’s to 1 in 8 today.

Prostate cancer is also a growing problem: One man in six will get prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men other than skin cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, only behind lung cancer. 

Almost all of our resources regarding cancer have been focused on  early detection and treatment. Public debate regarding cancer in the United States has not focused on the issue of causation but has revolved primarily around the best means of early detection.

When I took my 96 year-old father to his HMO for an x-ray of a swollen wrist, while waiting in the radiology department, I saw a prominent poster addressing the ‘prevention’ of breast cancer. nThe poster stated: ‘Passionately Pink For Cure. Remember, early detection is the best protection.’

But is this really true?
When the medical  field talks about prevention they are almost always referring to what they call ‘secondary prevention’ which means early detection. While it is vitally important, if one is going to get cancer, to detect it as early as possible. But early detection is not true prevention (referred to as primary prevention) which is the state of health sufficient to prevent the onset and development of disease.

Primary prevention, that is true prevention, requires an understanding of the causes and a way to resolve those causes and risk factors before they manifest as a diagnosable cancer.

Effective solutions and true prevention, therefore, require a correct understanding of the cause.

We hear a lot about genetics factors and cancer. Inherited BRCA gene mutations are estimated to be responsible for less than 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers and about 5 to 10 percent of all prostate cancers diagnosed are hereditary, meaning that an increased risk for the disease runs in the family.

This means that potentially 90-95 percent of breast and prostate cancers are associated with non-genetic lifestyle and environmental factors which are much more under our control!

The new science of epigenetics reveals how the choices you make can change the expression of your genes- and those of your children.

Cellular health is the basis for the health of the body. The metabolic interplay of genetics, environment and lifestyle can lead to damaged metabolic function on the cellular level triggering inflammation and the development of cancer.

In future articles, we’ll discuss the sources of injury at the cellular level, the resulting inflammation and the most effective ways to address the ‘inflammatory fire within.’

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