January 9, 2020
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Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is reaching epidemic proportions, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Yet many cancers are actually preventable.
Many cancers are preventable
In fact, about 40% of all forms of cancer can be prevented by eating a well-balanced diet, maintaining a normal body weight and engaging in a moderate amount of exercise.
These were findings described in the report “Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective”, which was commissioned by the World Cancer Research Fund and published in 2007. This represents the most extensive and systematic report on the subject, involving 286 specialists. The panels of experts went through 500,000 scientific articles concerning 17 different types of cancer.
In order to reduce overall incidence of this debilitating disease, increased focus on prevention is absolutely paramount.
The overwhelming focus of cancer research today is on pharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer. Less than 5% of all funding is dedicated to primary prevention and the determination of environmental links to the disease. It is universally acknowledged that funding and research for the prevention of cancer falls far short of where it should be.
The OICC is committed to addressing these gaps in research. We are committed to researching the underlying causes of cancer and the factors that contribute to its recurrence, and to bringing evidence-informed, reliable information to patients and their families.
Common risk factors
There is no single cause of cancer but many factors are known to increase risk:
- Nutritional imbalances: resulting from dietary excess or undernutrition
- Psychological influences: stress and mental outlook
- Insufficient exercise
- Environmental influences:
- Air and water pollution
- Occupational exposures
- Chemicals in building materials
- Sunlight and radiation
- Consumer products
- Food chemicals
- Radon exposure
- Cigarette smoking
- Some pharmaceutical medications
- Lifetime hormonal exposure
- Family history
Our whole-person approach to primary prevention
Perhaps someone has a family history of cancer, or they may simply be interested in reducing their chances of developing the disease. In either case, the OICC is here to guide our patients through a preventative lifestyle.
Our naturopathic doctors and therapists emphasize prevention of illness through education and promotion of healthy lifestyle habits. The focus is on the whole person, not just a single condition or illness. To maintain and restore health, we strive to create a healthy environment both inside and outside the body, using safe, natural therapies to strengthen the body's immune system and inherent ability to heal itself.
Naturopathic medicine incorporates therapies which support whole-body wellness including the immune system, digestion, sleep and energy levels.
We emphasize key strategies for prevention:
- Balanced lifestyle
- Healthy dietary habits
- Daily exercise
- Environmental awareness
- Emotional support
- Non-denominational spirituality
Voices of Support
“Integrative cancer care enhances conventional therapies and bolsters the prevention of recurrence. In addition, integrative oncology provides systematic strategies to prevent cancer through lifestyle modification, such as nutrition and exercise. Recognizing synergy from a whole systems approach, integrative oncology provides new models for dealing with the epidemic of cancer..”
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