When it comes to risk factors for cancer, large or small, they can be extremely complex. Likely, no one risk factor causes cancer on its own. As such, it seems like the odds of cancer risk are stacked against even the healthiest of people. This may be true, partly due to our western cultural choices, focus on industrialization, and living expectations, which have all but completely interfered with all aspects of our lives in one way or another. Unfortunately, many risk factors associated with environments we live in, do likely contribute to cancer risk, however will be decades (if that) before connections to such factors are considered or proven. If you’ve read my previous article on the hidden risks of cancer, you’ve come to realize that effort and diligence is required to stay healthy and avoid simply leaving your fate to chance. So what can you do to reduce your hidden risks of cancer? Here are some of the leading initiatives you can take today.
Get screened regularly
As recommended in one of my previous articles (discussing some of the top risk factors associated with cancer), getting screened for cancer is key. Depending on age, health history, and sexual practices, regular colonoscopies, PAP smears, mammograms, viral load tests, and urogenital exams are critical. In addition, getting regular blood work done at least every 2-5 years by your naturopathic doctor or medical doctor is crucial. When it comes to blood work, specific blood tests will help identify a multitude of parameters involved in the overall health, and also hidden risks of cancer status.
Determine your Individual Variability
In a lab setting, specific variables (such as SNP’s) relating to genetics and cancer (as described in the previous article Hidden Risks of Cancer) can be tested. Specific genetic variability which has been reproducibly identified as being linked to cancer, can be tested and assessed. Unfortunately, in real life and in medical practice, this type of testing isn’t as practical of an option. Thus, in lieu of knowing your exact genetic variability, we can often make a presumption there is a likelihood you may have one or more of these identified variables. As such, the most accurate and effective way to address this is to initiate support using specific nutrients which are directed at remedying these variabilities, and are both safe and effective.
Treat To Prevent
Based on all of your cancer risk factors (large and small), your overall cancer risk can easily be determined. Once identified, it’s critical to create the most effective support strategy to minimize such risks. Specific foods in your diet, lifestyle factors, proven nutrients and natural supports have all shown beneficial and effective in reducing your hidden risks of cancer. Those who have the lowest cancer risk profile often opt to begin ‘targeting a non existent disease’ before it ever has the potential to grow to fruition.
Target Your Previous Cancer Risk Exposures
We’ve all been exposed to some level of carcinogenic risk. Most of us continue to be exposed, even at low levels throughout our daily lives. Chemicals, pollutants, sun, and viruses are all examples of exposures that, once exposed, one can not become initially unexposed. Given that past exposures may play some level of future cancer risk, it’s important to address their potential in the big picture. Often times, providing specific nutrients or integrating short term naturopathic treatments can eliminate the potential risk from exposure altogether. For example, if you have a history of sun burns, providing specific antioxidant nutrients targeting previous damage will actually lower your hidden risk of cancer in the future.
Due to ongoing exposures within our environment, all people, even the most healthy, carry a level of low grade chronic inflammation. Long term inflammation in the body is never productive for health, and has been directly linked to hidden risks of cancer. By reliably and realistically modulating ongoing inflammation in the body (usually through simple diet and nutrient support) you can hugely impact this hidden risk of cancer.
Maximize your immune system
The connection between the immune system and cancer is robust. There are very specific immune cells and parameters intimately connected to the control of cancer in your body, however an optimally functioning immune system is an absolute key to cancer risk reduction. And just like you can’t simply hope to never catch a virus or cold (because we all do at some point or another), you also can’t assume or leave a healthy immune system to chance. Active nutrition guideline, specific lifestyle parameters, and calculated immune system support is ultimately the only plan that will work.
In addition to the above, it’s vital to reverse the impact of any hidden risks of cancer you may have spawned over years past. At Cornerstone Naturopathic Inc., through simple lifestyle management, combined with the addition of nutrition focused anti cancer foods, even the unhealthiest of people can actually reverse years of low grade, cancer promoting health damage. Overall, reducing your hidden cancer risks are actually quite simple, but it’s imperative that the approach taken is evidence based, reliable, and specifically effective for you.