General: Causes &
Prevention Specific Cancers
I normally don’t offer comments on standard medical treatments;
however, I thought it worth noting that, according to HSI e-alert (11/09/05),
chemotherapy is only considered highly effective (life prolongation as opposed
to short-term tumor shrinkage) against a few cancers only one of which (a form
of testicular cancer) is common.
I’m unsure of the reliability of that information.
- DIET obviously plays a role in
cause and prevention. Since I have no information on a dietary cause
of cancers in general, all dietary causes are listed under specific
- PESTICIDES can be carcinogenic as
can a variety of chemicals in
Cancer Prevention (general)
- Antioxidants and phytochemicals
are important, but antioxidants protect cancer
cells and hence could be bad when cancer is present (SN 4/29/95 p.271; SN 4/21/01 p.248). A diet
high in fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of colon, lung,
mouth, stomach and throat cancers (NAH 5/01 p.9). Lycopene may be particularly useful (Alt. suppl. WAN2).
(alt. 3/05 p.161).
- Chlorine compounds can be
carcinogenic. Chlorinated swimming pools are bad, particularly when
heated and when the water is less clean; e.g., heated public pools (SN
4/13/02 p.238). Chlorine from tap water is absorbed through the skin
- Conjugated linoleic acid
(CLA) is found in the milk and meat of ruminants. One form of this
fat has strong anticancer properties another reduces the size of fat
cells. Normal meat and dairy fats contain inadequate amounts,
but additions such as sunflower oil to cattle diets increase production
significantly. Enhanced butter and other products may appear on
the market soon. (SN 12/11/99).
- Cruciferous vegetables
(broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi,
rutabaga, turnip, etc.) are excellent ways to prevent cancer; e.g., eat
cabbage once per week (Alt. 3/05 p.164).
- Curcumin (found in the spice
turmeric) appears to reduce incidence of some cancers (SN 5/18/02 p.317).
- Extracts of certain mushrooms
are used for prevention and treatment in Japan (Alt. 9/95).
- Folic acid is critical
in DNA repair, so deficiencies may increase cancer risk (SN 11/6/99
levels of insulin, triggered by high levels of blood sugar, cause
alterations in body chemistry which favor cancer (Alt. 3/05 p.166).
- Selenium rich diets
offer protection against several cancers.
- BREAST Isoflavones, lignans, and saponins may
help. Obesity increases
post-menopausal risk (SN 11/8/97 p.294). Fish oil lowers risk (SN 2/15/97
p.101). Fruits and vegetables apparently do not alter risk (NAH 5/01
p.9 per JAMA 285 (2001) pp.769&799). Women drinking at
least 3 glasses of any milk per day had about half the risk of those
drinking none (SN 9/1/01 p.135).
- CERVICAL Associated with low beta-carotene
Associated with low folic acid (folate) levels: multivitamin
with folic acid reduced risk 50% in women with family history (Harvard
study cited in USA Weekend 11/21/03 p.6). Isoflavones, saponins, and fiber
(whole grains, many vegetables) may help. Selenium helps (SN 1/4/97
p.6). Lithocholic acid (a bile acid) appears to be a reason high fat
diets increase cancer risk and why Vitamin D reduces risk
(SN 5/18/02 p.309).
- LUNG Isoflavones may
helps (SN 1/4/97 p.6).
- PROSTATE Lycopene (a
carotenoid in tomatoes) and saponins
may help. Selenium
helps (SN 1/4/97 p.6). Isoflavones and lignans help (SN
- RECTAL Isoflavones may
- SKIN It
is well known that sun exposure increases chance of skin
cancer. Using tanning salons doubles chances (J. Natl. Cancer
Inst. 2/02). Tea is
protective. A cream containing A, C & E appears to reduce risk and
wrinkles. Here is a recipe
(Alt. 11/05 p.35)
2 oz. skin cream; 1.5 grams zinc sulfate; 60,000-IU A (as retinyl
palmitate) 4,000-IU vitamin E; 14 grams (a rounded tablespoon) C.
I’ve read that C can cause irritation because of acidity, so perhaps
one should substitute an equivalent amount of ester C.
- STOMACH Isoflavones may