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Preventing Cancer

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   The first record of cancer dates back to 1600 B.C. however doctors had no knowledge or prepared course of treatment until the late 19th century. Cancer is in a class all on its own when it comes to diseases. Its characteristics are unheard of for any other disease. Uncontrolled growth, invasion and metastasis are unique to cancer alone. There is still now solid basis on where cancer comes from or how it develops and the same goes for how to treat cancer. This infamous disease is not only unstoppable and fatal at times, it is one of the most researched diseases on the planet do to its iniquity.

    Cancer is caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of cells. There are several ways that these abnormalities can be formed, through carcinogens, i.e. Tobacco smoke, radiation, chemicals, or infectious agents, or genetic abnormalities through heredity. Once an abnormality occurs, the process duplicates and multiplies therefore causing a progression of abnormal cells that act contrary to function of the organism. Cancer normally causes a tumor, or growth within the body, which houses the replicating cancer cells.  When cancerous tumors were first discovered doctors first reactions were to remove the tumors through surgery. However in cases where the cancer metastasizes surgery is unlikely to help.

    Besides surgery the first effective treatment for cancer, radiation was discovered at the end of the 19th century. Radiation is normally used in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy. Radiation can be used in two manners, from outside the body via radiation beams or x-rays or from inside the body from radioactive substances placed into or around the tumors. Radiation is used to shrink or even kill cancerous cells.  As opposed to chemotherapy that only has one form of treatment, which introduces drugs into the body that can destroy cancer cells by impeding their growth and reproduction.

    Although, we have come along way with cancer treatments the best treatments out there require that we invade our bodies with toxic chemicals to eradicate the cancerous cells. However, these forms of drugs or chemicals that we introduce to our bodies do not just effect the cancer tissues, they can cause irreparable damage to all the other healthy tissues and organs in our bodies. Therefore causing the patient painful side effects and the unknown question of whether the treatment will actually work.
    Due to the increase in known causes, types and cases of cancer, research is continually being done to determine cancer preventative steps. Our bodies were created with an inherent system to protect the vital cells, organs and membranes throughout. Our immune system is designed to search out and destroy toxins, infections and unknown dangers that become present throughout our body over time. However, like everything else in our bodies, our immune system needs to be maintained through proper upkeep. The average person knowingly endangers his or her own body on a daily basis through smoking, drinking, eating fast food, and not exercising. So how can we maintain our immune system? That is easy. The body works in a perfect rhythm when we are healthy.

    So to build up our immune system and prevent cancer we need to be healthy. Avoiding risk factors that can cause cancer is another step. Stop smoking or avoid areas where people smoke, this includes areas where there are high levels of air pollution.  Start exercising. Obesity is a risk factor that can lead to cancer. Exercise is free, you don’t have to join a gym or get a trainer. Start by walking for 30 minutes or walking up and down sets of stairs. This promotes a healthy, and active immune system.  Don’t over think it, doing something is always better than doing nothing.

    Pursue a healthier diet. Fast foods and high calorie foods promote obesity, which can lead to cancer. Increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables and water.  You don’t have to become a vegetarian, or only buy organic products (although these are options you can definitely explore).  Start adding healthier options to your daily food intake. Instead of eating out prepare a homemade meal. Think about it even though it’s easier for you to stop and pick something up at a fast food restaurant, it could cause your body harm in the long run. So you are sacrificing your health by saving a little bit of time on dinner. Is it worth it?

    Another way to prevent cancer is to reduce your daily stress. Especially now, life is definitely a stressor. Whether it’s your job, bills, spouse, kids, car, or health, stress can creep into your life. Stress is definitely a strain on your immune system and can cause you to get sick. Its important to recognize the areas of stress in your life and learn ways to reduce them.  Everyone has their own way to reduce their stress, whether its going for a run, or writing in a journal, gardening, sewing, or playing with your kids. It should be something that is fun and makes you happy. One option is to meditate.

    Meditation allows the mind to visualize yourself in perfect health. It focuses on breathing slowly in and out, which decreases heart rate and blood pressure.  When meditating you want to sit in a comfortable position in a quiet area. This allows you to better focus on visualizing. It may take sometime to meditate without allowing your mind to stray, but you should feel refreshed and better after you meditate.
    Addition preventative measures are being researched such as genetic testing, vaccination or chemoprevention. However, simple non-monetary means of preventions are the first steps that you should take. Start simple and make it part of your daily routine and soon it will come natural. Not only will you be changing your life but you will be living a happy and healthier lifestyle.