February is National Cancer Prevention Month. In the U.S. our cancer death rate peaked in 1991. It has a declined by nearly one third since then until 2018, the latest year for which there are numbers. Nobody knows if it has risen again as a result of Covid-19, which has disrupted screenings and cancer care. There will probably be an informative study once the pandemic is under control.
Second Biggest Killer
Even though the cancer death rate is on the decline, there is still plenty of the disease around. The National Cancer Society expects (PDF) 608,570 cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2021. For years now, cancer has been the second biggest killer after heart disease. That could change with the advent of Covid-19. But we will presumably come out on the other side of the Covid-19 mess at some point, and cancer will still be killing us.
Cancer is a genetic disorder. It starts with a change in a cell’s DNA: a mutation. It takes hold when something inhibits the work of the human tumor suppression gene. There is a theory of cancer that says we all have mutated cells — cancer cells — somewhere in our body, but most of the time, our immune system keeps them in check. According to this theory, it is when your immune system is compromised that you develop cancer. Most often, your immune system is damaged by chronic infections, nutritional deficiencies, or toxins in the environment — the heavy metals, chemicals, fungus, and parasites that we encounter virtually every moment of every day. Any of these things can act as a carcinogen, which is to say it can act to weaken your immune system. But I suspect that most cancer results from all of them working together.
Simple Steps to Prevent Cancer
You can keep your immune system healthy if you avoid taxing it with unhealthy behaviors. That’s probably why the Cancer Prevention Foundation promotes these seven steps to prevent cancer:
- Avoid tobacco.
- Protect your skin from direct sunlight.
- Eat healthy.
- Be physically active and stay at a healthy weight.
- Practice safe sex.
- Get vaccinated for HPV and hepatitis.
- Get regular cancer screenings, especially if your family has a history of cancer.
If you’re familiar with the seven steps already, it’s thanks to organizations like the Cancer Prevention Foundation. The decline in the cancer death rate is testimony not only to advances in both treatment and screenings. It’s also the result of increased awareness.
National Cancer Prevention Month
At Peak Recovery & Health Center, we can help with your cancer prevention efforts by helping you recover from intense physical activities. Take away pain with cryotherapy. Repair tissues and inflammation with photobiomodulation. Sweat toxins away with infrared sauna. Relax and recharge mentally with float therapy. Soothe cramping muscles with compression therapy or massage. My reasoning is that if you have a means of effective recovery, you will be more inclined to engage in physical activity to begin with.
Physical activity isn’t the only thing we can help you with. If you want a more healthy diet, we can help you with that as well. We can help you find a diet that is not only healthy, but one that’s enjoyable, too. Furthermore, we can show you a diet designed for your personal metabolism
During Cancer Prevention Month, why not take the opportunity to assess your lifestyle and habits? Compare your everyday life to the seven steps that prevent cancer and resolve to do your part to keep the cancer death rate declining by staying cancer-free.