Reducing Cancer Risk

We can reduce cancer deaths right now without spending another dollar on cancer research! 

Reduce Cancer Deaths

“You have cancer.” Those three words are enough to send a chill through almost anyone. That’s because cancer is the number two cause of death in the United States, and takes half a million lives per year. Estimates are that one in three Americans will have cancer sometime in their lifetime.

What if I told you there is a way to prevent one third of all cancer cases without costly high tech interventions, and without spending billions of dollars on research? Would you be interested? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that with existing knowledge at least one third of cancer cases throughout the world could be prevented.

Evidence is quickly mounting that diet and inactivity account for one third of cancer cases and deaths.  The risk of cancer from obesity is almost the same as using tobacco according to the American Cancer Society, and the WHO.

The good news is that scientific evidence is pointing the way to how diet can be used to protect the body from cancer. First, we know that the standard American diet, which is high in fat, refined flour and sugar, promotes cancer when compared to unrefined and natural diets.  Second, evidence is mounting that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables offer protective benefits against cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and chances are pretty good that you may come across articles or news reports urging women to be checked for breast cancer. Routine checks are emphasized, because early detection and treatment of cancer helps improve survival rates for many types of cancer. 

Advances in treatment have improved survival rates for many types of cancer such as breast and colon. However, cure rates for some types of cancer, such as lung and pancreatic cancer are essentially unchanged since 1950.

Even if a cancer is treatable, treatments are often uncomfortable, and sometimes require life-threatening procedures that cost well into the six figures. If the disease doesn’t kill you, the treatment may, and the high cost of treatment can be devastating.

Rather than taking preventive measures, it seems like our approach to cancer is to wait until the disease shows up, and then mount a costly and heroic offensive to save our lives right at the two-minute warning signal. 

Reducing Your Cancer Risk with Fruits and Vegetables

The colorful array of fruits and vegetables that occur in nature offers a rainbow of protection against cancer. Pigments that give plants their brilliant colors appear to be powerful weapons that help the body reduce damage from inflammation and free radicals, which damage our tissues and promote cancer.

For example, deep green plants like kale, bok choy, and beet greens, contain chlorophyll, which aids the body in detoxifying and improving immune function.

Orange, red and yellow foods contain carotenoids which are antioxidants and anti cancer agents. Carotenes also protect our cells from damage caused by the sun’s ultra violet light.  People who eat diets that incorporate large amounts of these colored fruits and vegetables have lower amounts of lung, colon rectal, breast, uterine, and prostate cancers.

One of the most powerful vegetable groups to eat several times a week is the Crucifer family. The Crucifers are broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, radishes and turnips. These vegetables contain sulfur compounds that bind cancer-producing chemicals and activate detoxification enzymes in your gastrointestinal tract, and protect you from intestinal cancers.

Garlic and onion, noted for their strong odors are also powerful immune system stimulators. They promote the synthesis of white blood cells and natural killer cells that help the body rid itself of cancer. Several animal studies have shown that garlic and onion prevent and inhibit cancer cells in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.

Whole Grains and Beans 

Fiber, one of the nutritional elements absent in the standard American diet, can be obtained from whole grains and beans. Fiber may reduce cancer risk by binding cancer-producing chemicals in the intestine and promoting regular elimination. The fiber also seems to promote growth of more beneficial gut bacteria as well.

Quenching Internal Fire With Spices

Your spice rack also has a number of antioxidants that can quell the ravages of chronic inflammation and cellular damage. Cayenne pepper, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric are loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti cancer, and immune system stimulating characteristics.

You may have noticed that nowhere have I suggested that the anti-cancer effects of foods can be obtained by supplements. That’s because, food actually contains a balance of synergistic chemicals that promote health better than concentrated nutrients. Mother nature has and always will be the ultimate pharmacist. 

Our best medicine for preventing cancer lies in our own choices. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating the recommended nine servings of different fruits and vegetables daily can reduce cancer deaths by a third. Lets make it happen!

Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, Internal Health Specialist, Founder of the Digestion Relief Center, in Chico California, specializes in effective, natural relief for IBS, food sensitivities and digestive problems. Learn more at

Published in the Inside Out Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 10, 2009.

2009, © Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC. All Rights Reserved.

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