We know much more today about the causes of cancer although these are as hard to figure out as the disease. Work is being carried out on how genes and the environment act together to cause cancer but one thing we do know is that half of all cancers are as a result of lifestyle choices. Smoking, alcohol and poor diet are all factors, but should we be looking in to this in more detail?
For example, what is a “good diet”? A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine in March (7 March) stated that people who ate fish had a 43% reduced risk of colon cancer, compared to those who ate other types of meat, and vegetarians had a much lower risk at 22%. This research is vital to finding out why different diets offer a reduction in cancer risk as it could reduce the rise in cancer that is expected in several years time.
Together with the increase in cancer cases comes a huge price tag to our already overstretched NHS. It is expected that in the U.S. alone the cost is due to rise from $100 billion to $150 billion in the next five years. Staggering figures, and worldwide it is thought that as much as $1.6 trillion could be spent on treatment associated costs.
Therefore, preventing cancer should be a worldwide priority but only a small amount of cancer research funds are spent on prevention, the majority is spent on developing cancer treatments.
It is thought that diet and other environmental factors can play a big part in CRC, together with the immune system and the different gut microbes that are important to digestion and immune health. Therefore there is a lot of work to be done looking at how different components work together to influence CRC, and use these findings to produce practical and affordable ways to help prevent the disease.
As well as preventative measures, the aim is to use new and improved screening processes to help stop this disease early on as it is a slow growing cancer. Colonoscopies are still brilliant at detecting cancer as are the Cologuard test which screens DNA and proteins in a stool sample but this is not as good at finding precancerous cells.
Preventative measures were another thing that Potts discovered. He advised chimney sweeps’ to change their clothing when they had finished work and where this advice was followed, scrotal cancer reduced among chimney sweeps’.
We already know that a number of cancers can be prevented by not smoking, eating well, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting alcohol consumption, but it is vital that more work is done to prevent more cancers.
From an NLP point of view knowing the effect of emotions and thoughts on our genes and therefore health. I believe it is important we also tackle stress and hidden limiting beliefs and emotions that may have a negative effect on our genes. For more information on NLP http://www.mind-bodywellness.co.uk/nlp-neurolinguistic-programming.html