How To Turn Off The Cancer Switch

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How Nutrition Can Thwart Three Steps of Cancer Development

In the world of medical fears, few things rank as high as cancer. For many people, a cancer diagnosis challenges their view of themselves as a "healthy person." Fortunately, many cancers are curable. Individuals can survive cancer and be healthy.

According to Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, internationally recognized expert in nutrition, chronic disease, cancer, health and wellness as well as the Executive Editor of Nutrition Intelligence Report, "A basic understanding of how cancer develops can help you take advantage of what nutrition has to offer. Food can and should be a part of your plan for reducing the risk of cancer, and the risk of getting cancer again if you've already had it."

She adds, "There are three basic steps to cancer development. Obviously, the process is very complicated at the cellular level. But the three-step model explains the most important changes that lead to cancer. These three steps represent some of the best opportunities for preventing cancer from developing at all."

The first step in cancer development is called "initiation." One of the most common causes of initiation is free radical damage. Dixon adds, "This is where nutrition comes in. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds - plant foods - are loaded with antioxidants. And not just the common antioxidants we all know and love. Beyond vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene are hundreds, even thousands of antioxidants in plant foods."

The second step of the cancer development process, called promotion, doesn't happen to just any cell. It happens to cells that already are initiated.

The third step in cancer development is progression. In progression, damaged cells take the communication problem one step further. These cells not only ignore messages. They begin to create their own messages. They try to influence the cells around them. It's like negative peer pressure.

Says Dixon, "Knowing that plants contain nutrients that can slow down and impede the cancer process is pretty motivating. Every time you put a healthy plant food on your plate, you'll feel good knowing you're giving your body the tools to keep cancer at bay."

She concludes, "And it doesn't hurt that these same foods help prevent other diseases as well. For preventing heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, you name it … plants in the diet are nothing but helpful."

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Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, is an internationally recognized expert in nutrition, chronic disease, cancer, and health and wellness as well as the Executive Editor of Nutrition Intelligence Report, a free natural health and nutrition newsletter. For more information, article archives, or to sign up for a free subscription, please visit http://www.appleboost.com/

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