|PREVENTION OF CANCER RECURRENCE : INTEGRATED APPROACH |
How to prevent and control cancer?
“Irony of Life"
Those who cannot afford will have imbalance in the diet due to under-nutrition and those who can afford will have imbalance in the diet due selected over-nutritious substances. In both, diet lacks balanced essential nutrients.
. General FAQ's
To understand the importance of cause and effects of the above factors a rough time scale can be charted out. The usual lifespan of genes, is about 80 to 100 years. Considering an average genetic strength, habit of use of tobacco may reduce the life span by 20 to 30 years. If diet is imbalanced, life may be reduced by 10 - 20 years; lack of exercise - may reduce by another 10 - 20 years; alcoholism – may further reduce by 10 – 20 years; for attitude problems another 10-20 years may be subtracted, out of a life span. Adding the possible genetic weakness to these makes the life really unpredictable. So here are some of the ways of preventing cancer.
From this list one can either choose or omit habits and lead a life as desired. Also, one can understand the reasons for onset of problems very early in life in some people. It is the complex combination of the above factors and the genetic profile. Any style in life that aggravates the wear and tear of the gene is bound to cause diseases much before the lifespan of the gene.
Some of the fundamental rules for the prevention of cancer and other life style diseases:
- The first one – There is enough time for prevention, considering the time taken for the cancer to appear. The time to realize it is now, and earlier the better. For example if one has taken up smoking, there are changes, described above, at the level of cells already. But if the smoking is stopped now, whatever changes that have happened until now will start reverting towards normalcy. Also, the reversal will be faster, if a couple of recommended good habits to the life style are added simultaneously.
- The second vital rule can be termed in one word, i.e. moderation. Moderation in habits is the essence of life. Just review the activities of the day. List out a typical day’s actions. Especially look closely at the activities one loves to do. It is likely that they are done in excess. Any habit done excessively, compared to the others could be a source of problem
- The third one is, to evolve a strategy to avoid basically any persistent and prolonged “irritation”, physical and emotional. It is better to think of the alternatives or if absolutely necessary to change the environment and attitude.
Here are some recommendations for prevention and control.
The first one is strengthening the Mind: Suggestions to help control one’s mind:
- Acceptance of the reality
- Stress is not bad, but inability to cope with it is the challenge.
- Relaxation techniques – meditation, yoga, music therapy.
- When in depression trying to come out at the earliest.
- Thoughts cannot be stopped, but irritating thoughts can be “replaced” by pleasant thoughts (replacement technique).
- Overcome the insecure unbounded and limitless thought process of “what might happen”, with “what must happen” which gives security and stability to the mind.
- “Observe” the self as a spectator when emotionally charged
- Living in “now” rather than in past or in future.
- Imagery/vision technique-imagine oneself as a healthy person doing normal desirable activities and in situations where one wants to be. This technique is invaluable in strengthening the subconscious mind.
- Developing intense sense of purpose for the remaining years of life.
- Returning to the childhood attitude of enjoying “small things” of life.
- Sense of purpose and direction, effective strategies for coping with challenge, perceived outcome over life outcomes and expressions of positive emotion (see the end of chapter).
Each one of the above is a subject by itself with abundant literature, and one can choose techniques that are most comfortable and suitable.
“Small things” of life
“a new appreciation of things I once took for granted – eating lunch with a friend, scratching my cat Muffet’s ears and listening for his purrs, the company of my wife, reading a book or magazine in the quite of my bed lamp at night, raiding the refrigerator for a glass of orange juice or a slice of toast. For the first time, I think I actually am savouring life” – Senetor R L Neuberger after the diagnosis of cancer.
The second one is the Diet:
- Consumption at least two servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables daily per person in the family is mandatory
- But beware of a) pesticide food contamination and follow the precautions of decontaminating them; b) protect the teeth after consumption of fruits with mouth wash to prevent acidic effect and cavity formation.
- Once the habit is inculcated, especially in children, health for the future is ensured. Studies have shown that the inculcation of good habits in children and teenagers, will not only help directly in the development of good health, but will also keep them out of bad habits in future too. Therefore, development of good habits becomes a protective factor, a shield.
- Further Reading:
Twelve Good Eating Habits | Four health changes can prolong life 14 years
How can the process of cancer be reversed
The third one is Exercise
- A minimum of twenty minutes of relaxed brisk walk every day, at least 4 days a week.
- Exercise induced immunity is of short duration. Walking briskly twice a day half an hour each may be superior to walking one to two hours at a stretch
- Further, live in non- polluted surroundings as much as possible.
Fourth : Avoid Bad habits
- use of tobacco,
- consumption of spicy & junk foods: for a momentary pleasure of eating the junk food, body may have to put up with long-term consequences for years to come.
Further Reading: Tobbaco Use
The fifth one A good nights 6-8 hours of Sleep
Further Reading: Conclusion
Edited by Dr. Kumara Swamy
“Among the psychosocial factors that have been linked to protection in adults are an optimistic outlook on life with a sense of purpose and direction, effective strategies for coping with challenge, perceived outcome over life outcomes and expressions of positive emotion. Studies have shown reduced suffering and delayed death among people who are socially integrated. The quality of social relationships in the home (spouse ties and parent-child) and the workplace (employer-employee relations and co-worker connections) are now recognized as key influences on physical and mental health. A growing literature underscores the protective health benefits associated with persistently positive and emotionally rewarding social relationships. Positive health behaviours (e.g. proper diet and adequate exercise, and avoiding cigarettes, drugs, excessive alcohol and risky sexual practices) are also influenced by psychosocial factors. Adolescence is a critical life stage when lifestyle choices are established, including health related behaviours with impacts throughout life. Protective factors promote positive behaviours and inhibit risk behaviours.” - WHO report book about Reducing Risk And Promoting Health, 2002.
Dr. Kumara Swamy
Consultant Radiation Oncologist
HealthCare Global Hospital