Although it's not possible at this time to predict with complete certainty who will get cancer, it is possible, by using certain guiding principles and medical facts, to predict who in society is most susceptible to the disease. In some cases, we can even narrow it down to specific groups of people.
Why Is It Important to Engage in This Type of Predictive Analysis?
Some people would say that it's preferable to not engage in guesses that will only make some of us depressed (perhaps unnecessarily). After all, why worry about something until or unless it happens?
Trying to determine who is most susceptible to cancer isn't just about playing a potentially-depressing guessing game. It's about looking at trends, patterns and significant connections. By closely studying such, we can narrow down and better focus research programs and initiatives meant to find a cure.
Secondly, it's also possible, once you know what is likely to make you more susceptible, for us to formulate comprehensive strategies for preventing and, in some cases, even altogether avoiding the disease.
True, there are some people who are highly skeptical about whether cancer can be prevented. Notwithstanding such attitudes, it's in our best interest to be as proactive as we can, regardless of the disease in question.
In other words, assuming a passive, defeatist attitude doesn't leave much (if any) room for hope. Beyond that, much science has been proposed which does indeed advance the idea that cancer is not beyond our capacity to defeat or to, at the very least, ameliorate the circumstances of.
With that in mind, here are 15 things that may be used as lodestars in ascertaining who in society is mostly likely to get cancer:
1. Genetic predisposition . . . faulty genes. Apparently, some people are born with genes that may pre-dispose them to get the disease. The bad news is that none of us can do much about the genes that we're born with; the good news, however, is that, by identifying which of these genes are triggering cancerous growths, we may some day be able to shut down such disease pathways with genetic-manipulation technology.
2. Excessive exposure to sunlight, tanning salon lamps & other integumentary system stressors. In the past people were told to stay away from the sun because it could potentially inflict skin cancer. Well, we now acknowledge more readily that exposure to sunlight is mostly a good thing--in fact, it is necessary for good health, especially in regards to getting enough doses of vitamin D.
Having said that, we also know that if we stay in the same position for too long while the sun is shining bright and powerful above us, we may undergo skin damage. This actually makes sense. If we were outside engaging in physical activity--i.e., moving around--the sun's rays would not linger in one spot long enough to over-expose our skin to solar radiation.
By sunbathing, though, we may unnecessarily expose ourselves to cellular damage that can easily be explained by using a magnifying glass as a teaching tool. If we point a magnifying glass at one point for an extended period of time, we can inflict enough heat to start a fire; when we move the same magnifying glass around, though, no such damage or effect is inflicted.
3. What you eat or fail to eat . . . dietary habits. Although the medical community doesn't yet, in general, accept the notion that there is a strong link between cancer and diet, experts who believe otherwise provide cogent arguments for their position. They point out, for example, that since the immune system is capable of suppressing any form of cancer (under optimal conditions), diet is a key factor if it can help the immune system stay efficient and strong.
In other words, a good diet can provide the essential nutrients a healthy body needs to defend itself most effectively against cancer; by the same token, a bad diet, by denying the body said nutrients, may help set the stage for cancer.
We know, for example, that a good diet can help our gut flora stay vibrant and well-prepared for life's stressors. This includes avoiding (something not easy to do these days, considering how prevalent these products are) harmful, antibiotic-ridden meats from Big Meat's factory farms, excessive use of antibiotics by physicians too busy to rule out viral infections, and foods too heavily-laden with gut-flora-hurting chemicals (i.e., glyphosate, atrazine, chloramines, etc.--which are now being found in much of our water & food) and additives.
4. The health of your gut flora. Unfortunately, the medical community has only recently become concerned with this in-need-of-further-studies integral part of the human anatomy. Doctors have known that we have huge amounts of microorganisms in our body (mostly within our intestinal tract) with which we share a symbiotic relationship but, beyond a digestive and anti-microbial role, other roles these microbes may play are not completely recognized/understood.
In fact, it's mostly alternative and holistic medicine specialists who have closely focused on the indispensable importance of these microbes. These more comprehensive and inclusive areas of medicine, furthermore, posit that conventional medicine mostly ignores and underestimates gut flora health (or the lack thereof).
When the delicate balance between the high variety of different microbes in the gut is offset (such as by the excessive use of agricultural toxic pesticides, which may later end up in our food and water), for example, serious medical problems can ensue, including compromise of the immune system. If candida, other types of fungi, and protozoans begin to multiply into unusually high numbers (such as because of the misuse and overuse of antibiotics), microbes that help us digest food and absorb key nutrients can't do their job properly, possibly by having to spend more of their resources fighting off these now-more-powerful, naturally-occurring intestinal contenders.
In other wods, bacteria (such as E. coli) help keep fungi, protozoans and a rich cornucopia of parasites in check, and vice versa; when we ingest harmful chemicals and antibiotics (sometimes in the food and water we consume everyday--for which there is no excuse!), however, normal bacterial counts suffer, thus letting other opportunistic microbes (which can then help trigger disease, including cancer) play destructive roles that are generally suppressed by a generally well-balanced intestinal flora.
5. Level, duration and severity of exposure to carcinogenic substances. Unfortunately, there are many substances in our food, water and air which were simply not there, say, 100 years ago; at the very least, these substances are forcing our bodies to undergo processes and stresses (including chromosomal damage) for which our bodies are ill-prepared or not able to adapt to.
We know that inflammation plays a key role in the development of cancer; we also know that many of these chemicals in question induce dangerous amounts of inflammation in the body, thus setting the stage for cancerous growths. Of course, inflammation is only one of several pathways that may lead to cancer.
6. Exposure to ionic radiation. Many experts correctly point out that we can't possibly escape completely from ionic radiation exposure, unless we walked around all day in a lead suit--which would inflict disease by itself, such as by denying access to vitamin D-rich sunlight. We are naturally bombarded by this type of radiation from outer space and from the ground under our feet. The former is exacerbated the higher you go on the planet (something people who like to fly a lot should keep in mind); the latter emanates from radon gas (often found in homes, especially basements) and other natural landscape sources.
We are also exposed to man-induced sources--i.e., medical imaging, irradiated foods, radioactive pollution, etc.--but these we do have some control over. You should, for example, insist on ultrasound imaging and MRIs, instead of X-rays and CT scans, when possible.
Ionic radiation is a well-known carcinogen. It is capable of disrupting cellular health and processes, sometimes irreversibly. As far as we know, there is no "safe" level of ionic radiation--even small amounts of exposure, in theory, can trigger the cellular damage/mutations that can lead to cancer.
7. Exercise or the lack thereof. Exercise is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the impetus to help body processes and systems work at peak capacity. Good health, in fact, one might say, is all about keeping things running smoothly in the body at all times.
Think about it. Every time things (especially fluids) stagnate or stop moving with alacrity within your body, it usually translates into negative health consequences. Low blood flow, for example, means organs and cells don't quickly enough get the nutrients, pathogen-suppressing substances and oxygen they need to function at peak capacity; not being able move digested food well enough may lead to constipation or, worse yet, compaction.
Well, in general, exercise helps to keep all those muscles and sphincter organs (necessary to keep things moving) in good, peak-capacity health. It also helps to control body weight and the unhealthy, excessive accumulation of things like fat and cholesterol, both of which are suspected risk factors for cancer.
8. How much inflammation you may experience. Imagine what happens when you rub too objects together until abrasion is imposed or potentially-damaging heat builds up. This is a crude model for what inflammation is and what it can bring about, if allowed to go on unchecked.
Of course, in reality, medical inflammation (such as is induced during infections) is much more complex than the "rubbing objects" example, but the general idea applies.
The inflammation (possibly leading to cellular damage/stress) that is imparted by things like tobacco, alcohol, acidic foods/substances, toxic chemicals or food additives, physiologically-abrasive medications (especially if taken inappropriately or in excess), etc., may cause or exacerbate cancer growths. The idea, then, is to identify those things that inflame so that you can then develop strategies for reducing or avoiding these pathological stressors.
9. How much oxidation you're exposed to. Yet another physiological process that we know can bring about disease (including cancer) is oxidative stress. In fact, we know or strongly suspect that one effective way to prevent cancer is by consuming a rich variety of anti-oxidants. Although we may not completely understand how these substances prevent cancer (or possibly help treat/cure it), we have strong reasons for attesting to their efficacy.
Unpaired oxigen "free radicals," often produced or unleashed by our own bodies during infection (in order to destroy whatever triggered the infection), can roam around (when left unchallenged by anti-oxidants), thus potentially inflicting damage to otherwise healthy cells. The inflammation that ensues (or is naturally initiated by the body) may then inflict carcinogenesis.
Your best bet for reducing the damage inflicted by oxidative stress is by making sure your body has on hand an ample supply of anti-oxidants. Some well known anti-oxidants (found mostly in fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts) you should seriously consider imbibing include:
10. Your age. Most experts agree cancer is a mostly a disease of old age--that is, your chances of succumbing to cancer greatly increase as you age. This is not to say, however, that young people can't get cancer (for, in fact, cancer can strike people of all ages), that older persons cannot take measures to effectively prevent cancer, or that some people (most notably indigenous people in certain remote parts of the world) seem to be less susceptible (when compared to people in most developed countries) to the disease, in spite of achieving advanced age.
11. Lifestyle choices. There are many practices (including things they perhaps unwittingly avoid doing) which people engage in which may precipitate the development of cancer. Exposure to carcinogens in the air, water and foods that we eat are great examples; of course, you may not be able to avoid all these carcinogens (the list and quantity of which gets worse with each passing year), but you can certainly greatly reduce exposure simply by getting to know what these carcinogens are, then working assiduously to avoid being exposed to or using them.
You can also exercise great care regarding what type of work you do, what hobbies you select, and what places you allow youself to spend time in. If you are a radiologist or work at a nuclear power plant facility or work with nuclear weapons, for example, you run a higher risk than the general public when it comes to developing cancer.
Bad lifestyle choices you may consider refraining from include using illegal drugs, smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alocoholic beverages, engaging in promiscuous sex with multiple partners (which increases chances of picking up cancer-inducing viruses, such as HPV), excessive sun and/or salon tanning machine bathing, swimming in heavily polluted bodies of water, consuming seafood from radiation-polluted sources, taking too many airplane flights (ther fewer, the better), receiving excessive numbers of X-rays and CT-scans (again, the fewer, the better), etc.
12. Health of your immune system. It theory, the human body is capable of suppressing, without the aid of medications, any form of malignant growths. If this were not true, every human being would likely succumb to cancer; obviously, some people seem to be able to fight off cancer.
We know this because, according to some experts, everyone develops potentially-cancerous growths; in most, cases, the body successfully suppresses these growths, assuming that their immune system is working right. Why, then, do some benign neoplasms (which are always developing, even in supposedly "healthy" people) turn malignant?
There are many theories but, one of the reasons we officially still don't have a cure is because we don't yet fully understand cancer. We do hypothesize, though, that if the immune system is working the way it's supposed to work, cancer can be suppressed by the body; we can further attest, according to many experts, that cancer develops if and when the immune system doesn't get the nutrients (most notably vitamin D and a suitable number of antioxidants) it needs to function at peak capacity.
Most cancer patients show nutritional deficiencies (usually contributing to cachexia). It is usually assumed that this is a result of the cancer or yet another of the many nasty side-effects of radiation and chemo therapy (and, indeed, conventional cancer treatments do induce anemia), but what if these nutritional deficiencies are as much a causative agent as a side-effect?
13. Whether you take anti-carcinogens, what type, how much, for how long and how often. There are many substances that you can take that seem to help the human body fight off cancer. While each may use a different mechanism or affect/retard a different pathway, all of them may work synergistically in order to help the body suppress cancer. Some well-established anti-carcinogens include:
14. Where you have lived and where you reside now. If you lived or presently reside near hot zones like Fukushima, Chernobyl or Three Mile Island (which, contrary to what the authorities have told the public through the mainstream press, are all still spewing radioactive pollution), then you and your family are in great danger of developing cancer. Then again, the rest of the world lives under a false sense of security, if it believes that the pollution from these still-destructive sources can't possibly affect them.
Unfortunately for those of us who don't live near a nuclear power plant facility, a uranium mine, nuclear weapons storing/manufacturing sites, etc., we are still being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation from things such as irradiated foods, X-ray equipment imaging, radiation-polluted water and air, etc. As if this were not depressing enough, you may also be more susceptible to cancer if you live or lived near electric power plants/lines, cell phone signal relay towers, toxic materials dumping sites, and places where they manufacture carcinogenic chemicals.
15. The quality of healthcare you have received and are exposed to right now. Unfortunately, most doctors today won't advice you to, for example, greatly reduce or stop consuming canned, packaged, processed or fast foods, if you want to reduce your chances of getting cancer. They will also fail to tell you to greatly reduce your consumption of artificial and partially hydrogenated fats (still found in most margarines and so-called "vegetable oils"), bleached flour, fluoridated water, refined sugar, most artificial sweeteners, HFCS, carbonated drinks, BVO, MSG, etc.--all of which are suspected of causing cancer or preventing your body from fighting off the disease.
Most egregious of all is the fact that modern healthcare in developed countries is more obsessed with treating disease rather than preventing it. Yet, prevention is clearly our best weapon against cancer, considering how ineffective and ridiculously-expensive conventional cancer treatments are in most, if not all, cases.
Finally, there is the fact that some experts believe, backed by strong scientific evidence, that alternative and holistic medicine can do a much better job treating (and perhaps curing) cancer, if only the medical establishment (which is controlled by the profit-motivated pharmaceutical companies) didn't spend so much time, effort and political maneuvering trying to discredit the natural-substances-based (which are mostly unpatentable and, therefore, not as profitable to Big Pharma) treatments of the holistic medicine community.
If the conventional medicine cartels really believed that their lab-created magic potions really work better than the natural, Mother Nature-provided medicines, why don't they prove their case with verifiable, supervised (by professionals not financially-conflicted) scientific studies, instead of fighting their battles through political channels, paid-for (and, therefore, not objective) news agencies and whore-like journalists, and government agencies too busy taking bribes to do their jobs?
Clearly, your chances of getting cancer increase (or fail to be properly addressed) because of the poor quality of medical care you are receiving; said care is "poor" if it continues to deny the importance of preventive healthcare, to suppress naturally-based treatments and cures simply because they aren't as profitable as "patentable lab-magic concoctions," and to fail to warn people about the many carcinogens (many of which are found in highly profitable food and personal hygiene products--which may explain why your doctor can't warn you about them!).
By knowing what things help determine what causes/exacerbates cancer, we can then formulate plans and strategies that may help prevent, if not treat and cure, the disease. Yes, there is still much that we don't know about cancer and, yes, some of the things we think we know may not include all the details we need to conclusively prevent and cure cancer.
We know enough, however, to develop strategies that could make life-and-death differences in the long run. What we most need is a cure. Until such a cure is discovered or recognized (a good example being B-17 or laetrile, which some experts believe is such a "cure"--an assertion which hasn't, contrary to what the public has been told, been disproven with verifiable, clearly-established scientific evidence), we must take proactive steps to protect ourselves.
Cancer, in other words, isn't an inescapable force of random fate but, rather, a medical problem which, in theory, our own bodies can overcome . . . given the right circumstances and tools.
Copyright, 2016. Fred Fletcher. All rights reserved.
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