Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yes, the whole world causes cancer. Sorry.

I read about cancer and conduct research towards a cure nearly everyday of my life. Little disheartens me more than the constant barrage of attacks (usually instigated by companies trying to make a profit) aimed at products which have served us valiantly for decades, now accused of being carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).

Look folks, the truth is EVERYTHING causes cancer. I can design an experiment that demonstrates any entity you can think of induces cancer in cells growing on plastic. Even water. The fact is, environmental stressors promote tumorigenesis. Yet, cancer itself is a set a complex genetic diseases – none of which can be attributed to a solitary cause. A series of unfortunate genetic events generally precedes the unchecked cell division that typically initiates tumor development. Thankfully, your body is pretty good at protecting itself from singular perturbations; nevertheless, accumulating events can overwhelm the body’s defenses, thereby causing the petrifying disease. To my dismay, people tend to focus on avoiding particular disease-causing agents, instead of taking a more beneficial holistic approach to health.

So does this mean microwaves and cell phones don’t cause cancer? If I’m perfectly honest, I have to give you an answer you probably don’t want to hear – I don’t know. In fact, the jury is still out in the cancer research community on many environmental agents purported to be cancer causing. But the axiom of consequence has previously been stated - EVERYTHING causes cancer. Hence, the best advice anyone can give you when it comes to lowering your risk for tumor development is simple: “all things in moderation.”

I know you didn’t want to hear that. You wanted me to provide a list of things you could consume or avoid to lower your cancer risks. How’s this for a list: eat right, exercise, keep away from bad things, take in more good things, place limits on everything. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help to reduce your risks for cancer, and ALL diseases. It really is just that simple folks… and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or should I say a cancer biologist) to figure it out.