We can stop the cancer epidemic
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: August 2nd, 2011
There is an epidemic of cancer today. One in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, often before the age of 65. Since 1940, we have seen in Western societies a marked and rapid increase in common types of cancer. In fact, cancer in children and adolescents has been rising by 1 to 1.5 percent a year since the 1960's. And these are cancers for which there is no screening. For most common cancers - prostate, breast, colon, lung - rates are much higher in the West than in Asian countries. Yet Asians who emigrate to the United States catch up with the rates of Americans within one or two generations. While in Asia, Asians are protected not by their genes, but by their lifestyle. We continue to invest 97 percent of our cancer research funds in better treatments and early detection. Only 3 percent is invested in tackling causes. The World Cancer Research Fund published a report in 2007 concluding that a majority of cancer cases in Western societies could be avoided with life-style measures: 40 percent from changes in diet and physical activity (more vegetables and fruits, less sugar, less red meat, regular walking or the equivalent activity 30 minutes six times per week), 30 percent from smoking cessation, and about 10 percent from reduced alcohol consumption. We now even have data about how specific foods such as broccoli and cabbages, garlic and onions, green tea or the spice turmeric directly help kill cancer cells and reduce the growth of new blood vessels they need to develop into tumors.
Note: The author of this article, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and a founding board member of Doctors Without Borders, USA, and author of Anticancer - A new way of life. For an excellent, inspiring 10-minute video interview with this doctor, click here.