As highlighted by Kenneth Bock, MD, in the foreword of The Unhealthy Truth, "The landscape of children's health has changed. No longer can we assume that our children will have a healthy childhood -- certainly not in the face of the current epidemics of autism, ADHD, asthma and allergies, childhood cancers, childhood obesity and diabetes.
"There is a growing body of evidence that supports the belief that the increased incidence of these childhood disorders arises from a genetic predisposition coupled with environmental triggers or insults. Environmental insults to which our children are increasingly being exposed include common chemicals (such as PCBs, flame retardants, plasticizers and pesticides), heavy metals (including mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium and aluminum), countless types of food additives, and an ever increasing number of genetically modified foods. These environmental toxicants can increase oxidative stress, wreaking havoc on cellular functions at all levels."
According to the Breast Cancer Fund, one in eight women now has breast cancer. But only 10% of those cases can be linked to genetics. In other words, 90% of breast cancers being diagnosed today are being triggered by factors in our environment.
The American Cancer Society recognizes the tremendous impact that this is having on our families -- physically, emotionally and financially -- and developed this simple "C.A.U.T.I.O.N." reminder to help identify symptoms of the disease so that you can protect the health of your family:
C: Change in bowel or bladder habits
A: A sore that does not heal
U: Unusual bleeding or discharge
T: Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere
I: Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
O: Obvious change in a wart or mole
N: Nagging cough or hoarseness
As highlighted in Premium Health, the 10 commandments of cancer prevention are:
1. Avoid tobacco in all its forms, including exposure to secondhand smoke.
2. Eat properly and try to reduce your consumption of saturated fat and red meat, which appears to increase the risk of colon and prostate cancers, while increasing your consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
3. Exercise regularly.
4. Stay lean. Obesity increases the risk of many forms of cancer.
5. Limit alcohol to one to two drinks a day.
6. Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation.
7. Avoid exposure to industrial and environmental toxins such as asbestos fibers, benzene, aromatic amines and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
8. Avoid infections that contribute to cancer, including hepatitis viruses, HIV, and the human papillomavirus.
9. Consider taking low-dose aspirin (men at the highest risk of prostate and colon cancer tend to reap the greatest benefits).
10. Get enough vitamin D. Although protection is far from proven, evidence suggests that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and other malignancies.
As always, prevention is the best medicine.
Robyn O'Brien is the founder of AllergyKids, which is working to help people protect the health of their families.
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