The United States has been fighting a high-profile battle against cancer since President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act in 1971. Since then, the $100 million that Nixon initially allocated to find cancer’s cure has transformed into a billion dollar industry marked by hundreds of annual fundraisers, stockpiles of pink merchandise and a nationally publicized awareness month.
Yet cancer rages on with rates of diagnosis higher than ever. This terrible disease takes almost 600,000 lives each year, 50 percent more than in 1971 when our war on cancer began. How?
Most Cancers Aren’t Hereditary
Only about 5 percent of all cancers are “strongly hereditary,” according to the American Cancer Society’s 2012 Cancer Facts and Figures pamphlet. “Most cancers do not result from inherited genes but from damage to genes occurring during one’s lifetime.” Everyday lifestyle factors are the primary causes.
Regular exercise slows the progression of prostate cancer in men over 65, and men who are the most physically active—in any way—can reduce their risk of colon cancer by as much as 40 percent. Certain foods (like carrot, flaxseed, broccoli and leafy greens like kale and romaine lettuce) have also been shown to fight the development of prostate cancer.
Nutrition & Exercise is Not Enough
Despite these findings, poor diet and exercise are not the only factors related to cancer risk.
We hear stories of high-profile athletes who have been diagnosed with cancer, so it is clear that being in premier physical shape does not prevent cancer.
Professional cyclist Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had metastasized to his lungs and brain. In 2008, current New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich was diagnosed with the rare bone cancer Ewing’s sarcoma. Herzlich’s diagnosis came shortly after he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year (he played for Boston College at the time).
And, in 2003, former NFL player Merril Hoge was diagnosed with stage 2 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after doctors discovered a tumor behind his stomach.
These men were all professional athletes who receive the highest quality nutritional advice and have access to the most cutting edge fitness facilities. Though these advantages likely improved their abilities to recover from the disease, they were still diagnosed in the first place.
There’s no simple answer, but we know that common environmental toxins play a large role in cancer’s development.
Believe it or not, everyday items in your home contribute to your health. Household items can affect your ability to stay healthy and fight off serious diseases like cancer. Even your toothpaste makes a difference.
Eliminate These Top 5 Cancer Causes From Your Home
Check out this list of the top five toxins to eliminate immediately so we all can become cancer-fighting machines. Of course – in addition to these tips – people everywhere need to make sure they are exercising, eating healthy and strengthening mindset on a daily basis.
1. Food Additives
Stay away from foods containing food additives, dyes, colorings, flavorings, stabilizers, fake fats, artificial sugars and preservatives. The average person ingests 140 to 150 pounds of additives a year.
Alcohol has been linked to a number of different cancers including mouth and throat, voice box, esophagus, colon and rectum, liver and breast cancer.
Food wrapped in plastic, plastic take-out food containers and water sold in plastic bottles expose you to very high levels of phthalates and other chemicals. Plastics damage hormone receptors, cause fatigue, harm brain chemistry, accumulate in organs and lead to illness. They’ve been specifically linked to cancers of the prostate, lung and thyroid.
Monitor the quality of the water you drink, bathe in and use to clean and prepare foods. Tap water is full of chlorine, heavy metals, contaminants, and other toxins. Chlorine is a big red flag. If it is strong enough to kill all bacteria and other dangerous compounds in our water, do you really think it’s a good idea to pass it through our systems?
5. Personal Care Products
These toxins are hiding in plain sight on the shelves and in the drawers of your bathroom. The list of toxic substances includes sunscreens, soaps, shampoos, detergents and—as previously mentioned—toothpastes. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common degreaser used in practically every soap, shampoo and toothpaste on the market today. The compound has been used in studies to induce mutation in bacteria and irritate skin. It has also shown to enter the heart, liver, lungs and brain from skin contact and has been proven to maintain residual levels once inside these organs.
Switch to organic and plant-based products to avoid the long-term toxic buildup caused by these dangerous chemicals. Prolonged toxicity is known to foster the development of cancer.
Featured photo by e-MagineArt.com.