Cancer is a dreadful but preventable disease by Prof. Oladapo Ashiru
February 4th, 2019 was World Cancer Day. I have, therefore, chosen to write a feature on cancer. The readers of this article should henceforth know the factors that trigger cancer and the ways and means to prevent its development.
The truth is that while you cannot prevent deaths, which occur through automobile accidents and plane crash, cancer is preventable.
Cancer is by no means a disease of civilisation or a mere consequence of modern life. Indeed, it is an old affliction with a long and rather interesting history that began in ancient Egypt.
The American Cancer Society tells us that about eight cases of breast cancer were found documented on ancient papyrus that dates as far back as 3000 B.C. Even then, cancer mystified the surgeons of the day and by 1600 B.C. surgical manuscripts recorded that cancer had no cure.
Over the following centuries, different theories were proposed, regarding the cause of cancer. As researchers sought to understand the mysterious affliction and find a cure, the Greek physician Hippocrates, also known as the ‘Father of Medicine’, theorised that cancer was caused by an ‘imbalance of the four humours’ (humors = bodily fluids namely black and yellow bile, blood, and phlegm). He named it carcinos and carcinomas, the Greek word for crabs, after the crab-like appearance of the swellings in the patients he saw.
Carcinogens are substances, which significantly increase the risk of developing any form of cancer, especially in the susceptible individual. They can be found in the following:
Processed meats such as sausages, bacon, hot dogs, salami, suya
Tobacco smoke/ passive smoking
Refined white flour
Refined sugar, e.g. high fructose corn syrup, ‘soft drinks’ and soda, including ‘diet’ soda
Genetically Modified Products (GMOs)
Rice, contaminated with inorganic arsenic.
Household and beauty care products
Pesticides and fumigants used to kill household pests like cockroaches, mosquitoes, and rats.
Solvents, i.e., cleaning products that contain benzene
Plastics containing phthalates and PVC
Lipstick and other makeup products containing heavy metals like lead
Skin bleaching or toning creams and soaps
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Causes of cancer
Over time, scientific knowledge about cancer, built on the fundamentals established during the lifetime of Hippocrates, Galen and Newton, has significantly evolved. We now know that apart from genetic vulnerability, there are other primary causes of cancer. They include:
Environmental toxins: Many chemicals in the environment are known to cause or contribute to cancer development. Exposure to these may come from the workplace, in individual households and in several public places where people congregate. These toxins include heavy metals, pesticides, asbestos, tobacco, and products of crude oil.
Diet: Poor or improper nutrition can contribute to cancer development, especially cancers of the digestive system. Obese people and those who do not exercise regularly, stand a higher risk of developing cancers of the prostate, colon, breast, ovary, etc.
Hormone: Hormone replacement therapy prescribed for certain conditions, including menopause, can increase the risk of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer development.
Radiation: Over-exposure to X-rays and ultraviolet radiation from the sun can also increase the chances of skin and other cancer development.
How cancer develops
Whatever its cause, cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide without any regulatory control ordinarily present in the human body. These growths soon exceed normal boundaries and begin to invade and destroy nearby normal body tissues.
Cancer has the potential to spread to other parts of the body that are distant from the original growth. It can occur when cancerous cells are carried by blood and the lymphatic vessels to other parts of the body. We call this a metastasis. It is in contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread to other parts of the body and are not usually life-threatening.
The availability of better and more sophisticated diagnostic tools in today’s world now mean that more cancer is being diagnosed nowadays than ever. The incidence of melanoma has risen globally, with many studies concluding that cancer is the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases and that it would affect one in every three people in their lifetime. In the developed countries, this is partly because life expectancy has increased generally, such that people now live long enough to develop cancer. It is not necessarily the case in developing countries, such as Nigeria.
Treatment of cancer
The treatment of cancer has, thankfully, seen a lot of development over the years as scientific knowledge increased. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immune therapy are the mainstays of treatment for most cancers today. The survival rate, determined as the ability of the cancer survivor to stay cancer-free for five years after treatment, has seen a global rise in developed nations in the past 50 years. The figures are not as encouraging in developing countries, such as Nigeria.
Cancer treatment is aimed at poisoning and killing the cancerous cells, but the procedure often takes a toll on the healthy cells of the body as well. These effects can be ravaging and quite draining on the patient, often leading to the development of other health complications.
Mayr detoxification therapy
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. For cancer, prevention is not only better, it is also wiser and less expensive in the long run than seeking treatment once the disease commences.
Mayr detoxification therapy at Mart-Life Detox Clinic is designed to help identify risks and potential for cancer development. Once a threat has been established, preventive protocols are put in place, beginning with a bioenergetics test, dietary restrictions, personalised exercise regimen and various therapies that reduce the environmental toxin load of the individual and optimise the body’s excretory functions.
In cases where a cancer diagnosis has already been made (usually at advanced stages in Nigeria), it is advisable to undergo a Mayr detoxification programme following cancer treatment, to help the body regain normal physiology and improve the immune system, which naturally protects the human body.