American Cancer Society downplays diet’s role in cancer prevention
(NaturalHealth365) Cancer patients and their loved ones are often in a state of shock immediately following a new diagnosis. But soon after, they will be searching for answers about treatment options and ways to improve their chances of survival. As they seek out this critical information, many will turn to the American Cancer Society (ACS) for guidance.
Unfortunately, the organization many believe to be a ‘trusted resource’ is misleading cancer patients by downplaying the benefits of fruits and vegetables and other aspects of a healthy diet – asserting that food choices play ‘a role’ in reducing and preventing cancer symptoms.
ACS declares that ‘diet is an unclear factor’ in preventing cancer
On its website, the American Cancer Society lists a number of breast cancer risk factors. When it comes to diet and vitamin intake, however, the ACS labels evidence regarding these factors as unclear. Yet, the result is clear: breast cancer patients are not being empowered with the scientific evidence linking nutrition to avoiding breast cancer.
In discussing the role that diet and vitamin intake may play in treating or preventing breast cancer, the ACS goes on to state, “This is not to say that there is no point in eating a healthy diet. A diet low in fat, red meat, and processed meat and high in fruits and vegetables can have many health benefits, including lowering the risk of some other types of cancer.”
In other words, while the ACS admits there could be ‘other advantages’ to a healthy diet, it is implying that breast cancer patients will NOT be helped by eating a healthy diet. It even goes so far as to say some vitamins and other aspects of a healthy diet may actually cause cancer (truly a twisted perspective).
Rather than citing some of the many relevant studies showing correlations between diet and cancer, the ACS has instead focused its attention on risk factors beyond normal patient control. Rather than feeling armed with information, breast cancer sufferers are left to feel helpless and unable to contribute to their own treatment and well-being.
Good science completely disagrees with the American Cancer Society
Despite the assertions of the ACS to the contrary, there are numerous well-done scientific studies on diet as a factor in preventing and reducing the negative effects of cancer. Providing cancer patients with this information would help them learn how to use food choices as a way to boost immunity and reduce the risk of cancer symptoms.
One such study, believed to be the first to look at metastatic-blocking foods and supplements, was led by pharmacology professor Gary Meadows, Weill Cornell Medical College. Researchers there found that many plant-based foods contain what they refer to as “anti-cancer agents.”
These agents work together to block the ability of cancer cells to migrate. Published in the journal Nature, researchers say their findings show these anti-cancer agents can be found in more than 40 plant-based compounds and are likely responsible in large part for the cancer-fighting benefits of fruits and vegetables.
Meadows notes that these findings prove there is not just one, but many, magic bullets when it comes to addressing the threat of cancer.
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Among the many foods and substances identified by Meadows and his team as impacting gene expression found in breast, lung, colorectal, skin, and other cancers were pomegranate juice, citrus fruits, leafy greens, mushrooms, peppers, squash, onions, and ginseng extract, as well as a number of herbs and spices – including cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, chive, curry, garlic, and basil.
Supporting the need for an overall healthy diet and not just the occasional supplement, Meadows pointed out that many of these substances work together to set up a roadblock preventing the development of metastasis genes.
In addition to making it on Meadows’ list, other studies have also shown that dozens of edible medicinal mushrooms have the ability to prevent cancer, including the popular shitake and maitake mushrooms. Many have been prized for their cancer-fighting abilities for centuries. These mushrooms work by ramping the body’s immune system up or down as necessary.
Discover the real connection between diet and cancer
Cancers share many common elements, such as the ability to thrive in a hostile environment, the ability to invade tissue, and the unlimited potential to grow and multiply while developing blood vessels to continually feed nutrients to the tumor. Researchers say the anti-cancer agents found in many plant foods have the ability to either slow or stop each of these cancer cell attributes.
All foods identified as cancer-fighting are also known to be low glycemic and to produce an alkaline state. Cancer cells proliferate when there are elevated glucose levels and even the slightest increase in acidic pH – which also helps to explain the effectiveness of these foods.
Despite the ACS’s contention that supplements may play a role in causing cancer, researchers from the University of Arizona and their counterparts in Saudi Arabia found a greater risk of breast cancer among women lacking adequate levels of serum vitamin D. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In addition, many studies have identified the ability of nutrients like vitamin C and selenium to prevent a majority of cancers while also improving the survivability of pancreatic, stomach, prostate, and other cancer patients.
Vitamins are not the only focus, however. Researchers from the University of California San Francisco, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, published findings in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, showing a link between plant-based fat intake and prostate cancer survival.
The ease at which the American Cancer Society seems willing to overlook the mountains of scientific evidence linking a healthy diet with cancer prevention appears (at best) to be reckless and some might suggest downright criminal to deny cancer patients a real education about diet and disease.
While its motives remain unclear, the organization does a grave disservice to cancer patients and their families, who would do well to avoid the ACS as a source of reliable information.
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