Unfortunate reality of rise in Cancer incidence

Half a century ago a person was far more likely to die from heart disease. Now cancer is on the verge of overtaking it as the No. 1 cause of death.

I am frequently asked why so many people these days are being diagnosed with cancer?

So …what could account for the rise in cancer cases? While human genes haven’t changed drastically over recent years, conditions in and around them have shifted. Lifestyle factors like diet and bad habits certainly play a role in our cellular health, as our life expectancy and the job we do. The rates of many chronic diseases have fallen in the past decades, but cancer is not behaving in the same fashion for a few reasons. When coming to cancer, one fact is very clear the older we get the higher is our risk; the longer we live, the more time we have for errors to build up. And so, as time passes, our risk of developing cancer goes up as we accumulate more of these faults in our genes. While tools for cancer diagnosis and treatment have improved, lifestyle has gone in the other direction. Poor lifestyle and sedentary habits have become the norm, which makes people overweight or obese increasing the risk of cancer. It has been estimated that over half a million cancers worldwide can be directly linked to obesity and inactivity every year. Obesity is tied to number of cancers including Breast, Colon, Oesophagus, Pancreatic, Endometrial, Kidney and Thyroid. In fact obesity threatens to overtake smoking as a number one risk factor for cancer. Other lifestyles like a diet that is high in red meats (such as beef, pork, lamb, or liver) and processed meats (such as hot dogs and some luncheon meats) can raise our risk of colorectal cancer .Drinking more alcohol, more regularly ups our risk for Breast, mouth, oesophageal and colon cancer. Sun bathing increases risk of skin cancer. On the other hand changing reproductive habits could explain why rates of breast ovarian and some other reproductive cancer haven’t fallen much despite introduction of HPV vaccine and more conscientious screening. How we choose to feed and protect our body can go far to reducing our risk of invasive cancer, most notably skin and colon cancer.

Cancer is currently more common in men than women, but due to changes in lifestyle women are catching up fast. It’s clear that unless progress is made in tackling obesity and other preventable causes of cancer, more people of both sexes will be diagnosed with the disease every year. We can all take the initiative in reducing our chance of getting cancer by eating more healthily, drinking less and doing more exercise.

Facing cancer was never easy, but you can take some comfort in that, prognosis has never been better than it is today. Like many life threatening medical conditions, early diagnosis can increase your likely hood of beating the disease and living a long life.

Thankfully in this day and age, receiving a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.

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PREVENTION OF OVARIAN CANCER

In India, cancer of the Ovary constitutes nearly 7 percent of all female-cancers. A large part of the Ovarian Cancer can be prevented, no doubt. So let us discuss how to protect ourselves from this silent cancer.

 

Types of Ovarian Cancers:

 

1) Epithelial Tumours- about 90 percent

 

2) Stromal Tumours- about 7 percent

 

3) Germ cell Tumours- very little

 

It is important to note that we can prevent only the ovarian cancers of epithelial origin.

 

Signs and Symptoms:

 

1) Pain in the abdomen and pelvis.

2) Bloating and pressure in the abdomen.

3) Urination frequently.

4) Abdominal fullness after eating even small quantity of foods.

5) Swelling of abdomen

6) Abnormal bleeding per vagina.

 

Other symptoms are:

1) Indigestion

2) Heartburn

3) Fatigue

4) Pain in the back

5) Irregularities in menstruation

6) Constipation

7) Pain during intercourse

 

These symptoms may occur in some other diseases also. So, if the symptoms persist, you are to contact with your house-physicians.

 

Risks of having Ovarian Cancer:

If you be aware of the risks of getting Ovarian Cancer, then you can take decisions of what to do and how you and your family members can protect yourselves from Cancer of Ovary. The risks are as follows:

1) A family history of Cancer of Ovary or Breast.

2) A personal history of Breast, Uterus and Colon Cancer.

3) If you have mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (in this case the risk of Ovarian Cancer is 6 times more than that of general population).

4) Obesity.

5) Use of fertility drugs.

6) Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

7) Endometriosis

8) No history of pregnancy.

9) Using talcum powder between the thighs and genitalia.

10) Diabetes

11) Older Age

 

How to lower your Risk of Ovarian Cancer:

 

1) Giving birth to a baby will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer.

2) If you have gone for tubal ligation, then you have lowered the risk of developing Ovarian Cancer.

3) Longer a woman is taking the birth control pills, more she is protected against the Cancer of Ovary almost upto 30-60 percent. Nevertheless it should be kept in mind the other side also that birth control pills may slightly increase the risk of Breast Cancer.

4) Breast feeding to baby lowers the risk.

5) If a woman is genetically in high risk of getting Ovarian Cancer, then preventive surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes may be considered. This surgery is known as salpingo-oophorectomy. If the woman is post-menopausal, then this surgery will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 85-90 percent.

Other modes of Prevention:

A) Exercise:
Exercise in the forms of walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, cycling, domestic works etc. will reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer.

B) Foods which can prevent Ovarian Cancer:

1) Endive: It can reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by about 75 percent, it contains anticancer agent known as Kaempferol (also found in Spinach, Kale, Broccoli). Kaemferol is also an anti-angiogenic agent.

2) Onion: Contains anticancer agent like apigenin, anthocyanin, myricetin, quercetin. Red onions are 60 percent more anti-cancerous than yellow or white onions. Take raw onions, because boiling will reduce the anticancer property by 30 percent.

3) Tomato: Contains anticancer agent Lycopene which can reduce the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 60 percent.

4) Fish: Contains anticancer agent Omega-3 fatty acids which can lower the risk of Ovarian Cancer by 30 percent.

5) Low fat consumption.

6) High fibre diet.

7) Reduce meat and alcohol consumption.

8) Other fruits and vegetables having antioxidants.

 

Ovarian Cancer is usually a cancer of the older women and is more common in women of Western Countries than Indian women. Still Ovarian Cancer is slightly on the rise in India. So, we should follow all the preventive measures immediately to combat this cancer.

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Cancer Causing Foods We Probably Eat Every Day

We know that foods can be both poison & medicine if we intake in proper quantity & in proper manner. There are several foods that we consume regular without knowing that may cause cancer.

 

In summer season, most consumed food product is soda. Loaded with sugar, that cause weight gain and contribute to the nationwide epidemic of obesity. Sodas contain artificial colorings and food chemicals like derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI); no wonder soda pop has been shown to cause cancer.

 

Processed & smoked meats are also our favorite food item, which cause cancer. Processed meats contain numerous chemicals and preservatives, including sodium nitrates, which make them, look appealing and fresh but are well known carcinogens. Smoking meats seem to be particularly bad as the meat picks up tar from the smoking process. Yes, tar, the same deadly ingredient that cigarette smoke contains.

 

Now let’s talk about our favorite snack. Yes, we know, potato chips are cheap, great tasting, quick snack, however, the negative effects they have on your body may not be worth the little bit of pleasure you derive from these crispy snacks.Potato chips have artificial flavors, numerous preservatives, and colors as well, which is something else your body doesn’t need.Potato chips are fried in high temperatures to make them crispy but this also causes them to make a material called acrylamide, a known carcinogen that is also found in cigarettes.

 

Another well-known food item is hydrogenated oils. These are used to preserve processed foods and keep them looking appealing for a long as possible. Hydrogenated oils influence our cell membranes’ structure and flexibility, which is linked to cancer.

 

Foods that are highly salted, pickled, or smoked are very much carcinogenic.There is overwhelming evidence that eating these types of foods greatly increases the risk of colorectal cancer and higher rates of stomach cancer. The rates of stomach cancer are much greater in places such as Japan where a traditional diet contains many foods that are highly salted, and/or smoked.

 

Food which tastes sweet, looks sweet are always not sweet for us. Refined sugars are not only known to spike insulin levels, but also to be the most preferable food for cancer cells, thus promoting their growth.And since cakes, pies, cookies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other extremely popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with refined sugars, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days. Even with artificial sweeteners there is mounting evidence that the chemicals that make up these sweeteners, especially aspartame, break down in the body into a deadly toxin called DKP. When your stomach processes this chemical, it in turn produces chemicals that can cause cancer, especially brain tumors.

 

Alcohol use is the second leading cause of cancer, right behind tobacco use.

 

Last but not the least, Fruits that are non-organic are contaminated with some very dangerous pesticides such as atrazine, thiodicarb, and organophosphates, as well as high nitrogen fertilizers cause cancer. Washing fruit does not remove 100 per cent of the residue. Pesticides are toxic chemicals to insects as well as human beings.

 

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Harmony through Ayurveda

The healing methods of Ayurveda teaches how to maintain our health and wellbeing. Health cannot only be absence of sickness .This includes “Prassanna Atma Manah & Indriya” i.e. A Happy or Content state of our Soul, Mind & Senses.

 

Ayurveda recommends a variety of practical techniques for keeping a Healthy state of body, soul & senses if we can incorporate following few of the steps:

 

Meditate on a regular basis: Studies are increasingly confirming the genetic changes that occur with regular meditation, which can help restore the body’s homeostasis, including the processes controlling digestion. To achieve maximum benefit, meditate for 20 to 30 minutes, twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening

Do some form of yoga every morning, or a daily walk

Don’t overeat: Ayurveda recommends that we leave one-third to one-quarter of our stomach empty to allow space for our body to easily digest our meal. If we eat food more than our stomach can accommodate, then adequate breakdown of food is not possible leading to indigestion.

Eat your largest meal at lunchtime: Ayurveda says that our Agni i.e. digestive fire or power is strongest at noon between 12p.m. to 2p.m., so we must have a heavy meal in between this duration. Studies have shown that digestive juices are in high amount during noon.

Focus on releasing negative emotions: Our emotions influence your digestion. You may get heartburn when you are under stress, loss of appetite when sad, feel nausea before a big exam or presentation. Research show that stress associated with negative emotions can inhibit the normal digestion process and lead to chronic digestive issues.

Helping respiratory distress: If Respiratory system or cardiovascular system has to be maintained in healthy state one must solve condition of chronic Constipation. Ayurveda states that both are interrelated through Vata dosha.

 

“Applying a paste prepared of Ghee & Rock salt over chest & back will help to ease respiratory distress.”

“Helping Cough bouts: If a person suffers cough bouts wrapping a cotton scarf, sipping Luke warm water also helps.”

 

The outcome of recommended method of Ayurveda harmonizes Mental & Physical balance, resulting in regularization of Physiological & Metabolic activity in body.

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SUPERGREENS

Health Benefits of Shalgam patte (Turnip Greens)

• Improves digestive health

• High in antioxidant

• Anti-inflammatory

• Improves heart health

• Improves bone health

• Rich source of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate , fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin B6

• Rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus

• Reduces bad cholesterol

• Increases haemoglobin levels

Health Benefits of Colocassia leaves (arbi ke patte)

• Best eaten when cooked

• Rich in antioxidant

• High in fibre and boost digestive health

• Improves eye sight (rich in beta carotene)

• Lowers cholesterol (fibre & methionione)

• Rich in iron (increases haemoglobin levels)

• Rich in Folate (good for pregnant women)

• Boost heart health (Potassium, fibre, reduces homocysteine level)

• Rich in Vitamin C & Threonine (slows aging)

Health Benefits of Amaranth (Chauli leaves)

• High in iron –increases haemoglobin

• Rich in antioxidant

• Rich in calcium- strengthens bones

• Boost digestive health

• Rich in vitamin K

• Boost eye health (rich in beta carotene)

• Lowers cholesterol levels

• Presence of lysine (an essential amino acid) along with vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and vitamin C helps to fight against formation of malignant cells.

Health Benefits of Radish Leaves (Muli ke patte)

• Reduces constipation

• Rich in Iron (increases haemoglobin levels )

• Rich in calcium, folic acid, vitamin C

• Controls blood sugar levels

• Helps in flushing out toxins from the body- antibacterial

• Boost immune system

Health Benefits of Curry leaves – kadi patta

• Rich in antioxidant

• Lowers cholesterol levels

• Helps to cure indigestion (gas, acidity)

• Controls blood sugar levels

• Cancer fighting properties

• Rich in Beta carotene – strengthens eye sight and good for hair growth

• Protects liver and helps in detoxification

Health Benefits of Dill leaves/Shepu/Sowa/Suvani bhaji

• Chemo protective

• Boost immunity

• Reduces inflammation

• Contains potent antioxidant enzyme

• Good source of calcium thereby making bones stronger

• Prevents bacterial overgrowth

• Improves digestive health- releases digestive juices and relives from constipation

• Good source of Vitamin A & C

• Rich in iron thus maintains haemoglobin levels

• Maintains proper menstrual cycle

• Has calming properties and can aid insomnia

Health Benefits of Cauliflower greens

• Richest source of iron- increases haemoglobin

• Rich source of calcium- strengthens bones

• High in fibre

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Why Me…?

I have never smoked doctor… I don’t drink… I follow a healthy life style, healthy diet and I exercise regularly… Still Why Me?

 

Dark Clouds of silence and a pause of sad air has always taken control over environment of a cabin and the feelings of a doctor when his patient sitting across the table asks “Why Me?”.

The patient is suffering from Cancer and he knows, he is about to die, may be sooner than the time his doctor is giving. He has accepted this truth, long ago, on the day he was declared a patient of this cruel disease.

Avoiding risk factors is very important. But avoiding the risk factors are not sufficient. We need to be aware about the danger signs of cancer. These are the signals given by cancer before its too late. Most common danger signs are:

• Unexplained Lump or swelling anywhere in the body

• Unexplained remarkable weight loss, without any effort

• Unexplained dry cough present for more than 3 weeks

• Unexplained Chronic pain of more than 4 weeks

• Unexplained Vaginal Bleeding between periods, post sex and post menopause Unexplained presence of blood in stool, Urine, sputum and vomitus

• Unusual breathlessness for longer duration or unusual frequency

• Difficulty in Swallowing persists beyond 3 weeks

• Any mouth ulcer that is present for more than 3 weeks

• A wound that persists for more than 3 weeks

• If Acidity and heartburn is present for longer duration and is unusually more painful

• Constipation and loose motion if present alternatively and for more than 4 weeks

• A lump in breast and certain changes like skin discoloration Nipple discharge

• Hoarseness of Voice

• Difficulty in micturition

These symptoms should never be ignored and consulted with a doctor. These can be minor symptoms and nothing to be worried about but even if it turns out to be cancer, it is diagnosed at an earlier stage of spread and can be treated effectively. Regular check up and screening are one of the most important tool to diagnose cancer at early stage.

Early detection is the best Protection!

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EFFECTIVE CANCER MANAGEMENT

“Cancer” – Since years this disease has threatened mankind and it’s increasing evidence in population has further added to the fear about this disease in people’s mind.

During our seminars we come across patients who have been taking conventional treatments for Cancer from renowned hospitals since years but when it is asked to them that what do they know about the disease, the answer is – “ I have Cancer and it leads to death…”.

This is the only definition of Cancer most of the people have. Unfortunately the scenario remains same even for the urban population. This fear of death is inseparably associated with cancer and hence most of the people when they come to know that they are having cancer, just give up instead of fighting against it. Fear comes from ignorance & knowledge is the only tool to overcome it. It is very essential to have correct knowledge of the disease you are suffering as only then you can win over it.

Cancer is curable now and it doesn’t necessarily lead to death is the truth we all should propagate amongst the masses. Patients should be thoroughly educated about disease pathology, its risk factors, correct line of treatment to be adopted, diet to be followed, hygiene to be maintained, precautions to be taken during and after the treatment, etc. Treated patients must know about the lifestyle modifications they should adopt to avoid recurrence of disease.

Moreover there are various myths in people’s mind about Cancer like; cancer is a communicable disease, it is caused by virus or bacteria and it produces germs in patient’s body, cancer and tumor are the same entities, there is no treatment available for last stage cancer etc. All these are false beliefs and it’s a high time we should eradicate such myths right away from the society.

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8 Magical Indian Spices that prevent Cancer

The goodness of Indian spices with cancer-fighting properties and the necessity of their inclusion to our eating habits.

Turmeric/Curcumin: This is the king of spices Turmeric contains the powerful polyphenol Curcumin that has been clinically proven to retard the growth of cancer cells causing prostate cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, brain tumour, pancreatic cancer and leukemia amongst a host of others. Curcumin promotes ‘Apoptosis’- (programmed cell death/cell suicide) that safely eliminates cancer breeding cells without posing a threat to the development of other healthy cells.

Fennel: Loaded with phyto-nutrients and antioxidants, cancer cells have nothing but to accept defeat when the spice is fennel. ‘Anethole’, a major constituent of fennel resists and restricts the invasive activities of cancer cells. It suppresses the enzymatic regulated activities behind cancer cell multiplication. A tomato-fennel soup with garlic make for an ideal entry prior to course meal.

Saffron: A natural carotenoid compound called ‘Crocetin’ is the primary cancer-fighting element that saffron contains. It not only inhibits the progression of the disease but also decreases the size of the tumour by half, a complete goodbye to cancer. Though it is the most expensive spice in the world a few saffron threads come loaded with benefits you won’t regret paying for. Saffron threads can be used in milk, soups, and porridges.

Cumin: Yes, it aids digestion and that is why we like chewing a handful of cumin seeds at the end of every meal. However, its health benefits go beyond. A portent herb with anti-oxidant characteristics, cumin seeds contains a compound called ‘Thymoquinone’ that checks proliferation of cells responsible for prostate cancer. So, instead of loading your usual snack options with calories and oil, add this seasoning to your bread, fried beans or sauce, tadka dal and make the dish rich in flavour and high on health.

Cinnamon: It takes not more than a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder every day to keep cancer risk away. A natural food preservative, cinnamon is a source of iron and calcium. Useful in reducing tumour growth, it blocks the formation of new vessels in the human body. Some of the effective ways of including cinnamon in your diet are:

-Start your day with a cup of cinnamon tea

-Make your breakfast meal a super healthy one by adding this spice to your
morning oatmeal!

-Honey and cinnamon in your glass of milk before going to bed.

Capsaicin (Chilli/Bell peppers): A promising spice with anti-cancer properties. Capsaicin induces the process of apoptosis that destroys potential cancer cells and reduces the size of leukemia tumour cells considerably. It can be concluded that apart from setting our tongues on fire, bell peppers can scare cancer pathogens off too.

Ginger: This humble spice boasts of medicinal qualities that help lowering cholesterol, boost metabolism and kill cancer cells. Easily added to vegetable dishes, fish preparations and salads, ginger enhances the flavour in cooking.

Garlic: The most powerful anti-cancer spice. It lowers the risk of developing all types of cancers especially colon, stomach, intestinal, and prostate cancer. It has strong antibacterial properties as well as the ability to block formation and halt activation of cancer-causing substances. It stops cancer growth and kills cancer cells. Recommended adult dosage of fresh garlic approximately one clove per day.

Others: Cloves, anise, basil, fenugreek, mustard, mint leaves, rosemary, Limonin (fresh lemon), virgin olive, vinegar and avocado are other cancer-fighting diet components.

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ORAL CANCER and its prevention

Cancers of the mouth are among the most preventable cancers,
if caught early.

Oral cancer is the most common cancer in India; as 4 in 10 of all cancers are oral cancers. Annually 130,000 people succumb to oral cancer in India The reason for high prevalence of oral cancer in India is primarily because tobacco is consumed in the form of gutkha, quid, snuff or misri. Oral cancer belongs to a larger group of cancers called head and neck cancers. Most develop in the squamous cells found in the tissues that line the mouth and lips. They are most often discovered after they have spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Early detection is key to surviving oral cancer.

One of the biggest risk factors of oral cancers are related to tobacco and alcohol use, especially when both products are used on a regular basis. Other risk factors include HPV infection (a sexually transmitted virus),chronic facial sun exposure, a previous diagnosis of oral cancer, a family history of oral or other types of cancer.

Symptoms of oral cancer include a sore on the lips or mouth that won’t heal,a mass or growth anywhere in the mouth, bleeding from the mouth, loose teeth, pain or difficulty with swallowing, trouble wearing dentures, lump in neck, ear-ache that won’t go away, dramatic weight loss; lower lip, face, neck, or chin numbness, white, red patches in mouth or lip . Many times people will notice a sore mouth but usually will not take it too seriously and just wait for it to go away. During this period of waiting, the cancer may be metastasizing or spreading. Regular dental or doctor examinations usually discover many oral cancers. Some of the tests used to confirm the diagnosis include a biopsy along with X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or PET scans to determine if the cancer has spread. Cancers of the mouth are among the most preventable cancers. One of the most important things you can do is visit a doctor once a year for a complete oral examination.

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Prevent Cancer naturally with Minerals

A variety of different nutrients are crucial for our body to prevent cancer. The best way to beat cancer naturally is to adopt a life-style to prevent it. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is an essential part of any anti-cancer plan. Here are my picks for the top 5 minerals that help protect against cancer

 

1. Calcium: A proven protector against colon cancer, this mineral is integral for maintaining the health of bones and teeth, blood clotting, and cellular metabolism. Excellent sources include: nuts and seeds, carrot juice, dark green vegetables, salmon and sardines, sea fish.

2. Iodine: This mineral is found in sea salt. It helps protect the body from breast cancer and is required for energy and the growth and repair of healthy tissues. Salt fortified with high amount of Iodine is always better.

3. Magnesium: This mineral protects against cancer in general, maintains the pH balance of the blood, as well as aids the formation of your body’s genetic material–RNA and DNA. While damaged genetic material can put you at risk for cancer, magnesium helps with the repair work. It is found in many foods, including: nuts, fish, brown rice, whole grains, and green vegetables.

4. Selenium: This mineral help proper detoxification of the body. Because toxins/toxics build- up in the body is linked to cancer, hence assisting your body with its natural, ongoing detoxification processes helps lessen your risk of cancer. In research, low dietary levels of selenium have been correlated with higher cancer incidence. Supplementation with selenium is a valuable cancer prevention tool.

5. Zinc: A powerful protective agent against prostate cancer, this mineral is also necessary for the formation of RNA and DNA and a healthy immune system. And, you guessed it: a healthy immune system is better able to kill cancer cells. Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, seafood, whole grains, soybeans, and onions.

It’s important to get a wide range of nutrients to fight off cancer, let’s start with some !!!

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