Can nutrition ‘cure cancer’ and help us live forever? Here’s what your clients need to know

Think about the following statements… are they TRUE or FALSE?

“Eating arugula daily detoxes your body, preventing cancer…”

“Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a proven cancer treatment (as it allegedly alkalises your blood)…”

“Wearing a bra daily increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer…”

“Eating sugar causes cancer to grow…”

“If you “believe” that you will not ever get cancer, you never will…”

“Cancer can be contagious so it’s best if you don’t spend time near anyone with cancer…”

“Being on a plant-based vegan diet can prevent cancer…”

If you picked TRUE for one or more of the above, we can understand why you would think so, but what if we told you they are actually all FALSE?

Some of these statements mentioned above may have originated from assumptions made, or are based on some underlying rationale with disputable merit, which is why they have all become popular topics of discussion and writing online.

Indeed, everyone seems to be talking and writing about cancer prevention tips. “Eat this”; “Don’t eat that”; “STOP: this will give you cancer!”.

To this end, some of your clients will come looking to you for answers. If you can’t help them, they may look to ‘less’ credible sources for solutions. This is why at The Health Sciences Academy, we developed the Nutrition for Cancer Prevention and Longevity™ Certification to teach you what you need to know about cancer and the ageing process from a molecular perspective, so you are better able to articulate information surrounding these sensitive topics.

To help you get started, in this article, we would go over the following:

  • Common misconceptions about cancer
  • Why you should study cancer biology and important cancer stats you and your clients must know
  • Modifiable factors that increase cancer risk and shorten our lifespan

Common misconceptions about cancer

There are just too many fallacies out there that can cost us our health… especially if we make the mistake of following harmful advice.

Internet searches alone on anti-cancer and anti-ageing solutions just aren’t enough (nor safe) and should not even be where we go to for answers in the first place.

Imagine someone following a so-called “cure for cancer” regimen such as some “Miracle Mineral Solution”, and instead of it supposedly curing their cancer, it ends up causing life-threatening adverse effects. This happened so often that in 2019 the FDA in the US had to put out a warning statement about it.

Having accurate, science-based information can help YOU make a difference when speaking with family, friends, or clients about cancer.

Your clients may come to you with questions like:

“Can cancer be prevented?”

“Does this thing/food CAUSE cancer?”

“Will I get cancer if it’s in my GENES? Do I need treatment now?”

“I want to help, but HOW do I avoid it myself if it runs in the family?”


What can you answer?

This is why we need to equip ourselves with evidence-based knowledge from the fields of cancer biology, epigenetics, nutrition biochemistry, and nutrigenomics. This way, you can be in the best position to help clients who come looking to you for answers.

Why study cancer biology?

Gaining an education on advanced cancer biology is critical if we want to help reduce its risk, the right way. Once you acquire this fundamental knowledge that we teach at The Health Sciences Academy through our Nutrition for Cancer Prevention and Longevity™ Certification, you’ll understand:

  • how cancer comes about (it’s not just bad luck)
  • the differences between some of the main cancer types (there are over 200 different cancer types)
  • different medical therapies
  • what individuals diagnosed may go through
  • some strategies which may help reduce side-effects
  • the risk factors which may contribute to it

While heart disease is the number one cause of premature death worldwide, cancer is close behind at number 2.

It’s been estimated that at least 1 in 3 of us alive today will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our life.

However…

Up to 95% of all cancers have at least been partially attributed to dietary and lifestyle factors.

This means that, while we can’t prevent cancer, specific changes in our lifestyle CAN decrease our risk.


What really causes cancer?

Cancer is initially brought about by molecular changes in our cells. This could be mutations in specific genes (like the BRCA genes in the case of breast and ovarian cancers) or undesirable epigenetic changes (like an increase in DNA methylation), among others.

Some of these changes may be passed on from parent to offspring; however, many of these changes occur during our lifetime.

Indeed, our body experiences up to 37,000,000,000,000,000,000 DNA breaks per day!

But, not all of these genetic lesions lead to the formation of a cancer cell.

This is because our body has repair mechanisms in place to fix molecular changes; or when they can’t be fixed, for the cells to undergo the process of cell death.

When the changes are too many, or if the damage is too great, or if these repair mechanisms are not working at their best, this is when cancer cells may be formed.

What are some modifiable factors that influence cancer risk?

We can’t prevent all molecular changes within our cells from occurring, but we CAN decrease our risk for unwanted or excessive changes as well as support the functioning of the repair mechanisms within our cells.

How, you ask?

To find out, let’s look at a few of the more common modifiable risk factors for cancer.


UV exposure

We all know that UV radiation damages the skin; the effects can be directly seen and felt after being out in the sun for too long.

The darkening of the skin and the burn is actually because of molecular changes in our cells. If these cells do not die (think about how your skin peels after a bad burn) or if those changes are not being repaired, then our risk for skin cancers (such as melanoma) could increase.


Exposure to toxins such as tobacco smoke

Tobacco products are considered a group 1 carcinogen, meaning that they are carcinogenic to humans – whether this is from smoking or from second-hand exposure. And the more exposure that we have, the greater the risk for unwanted cellular changes. Fortunately, decreasing exposure equals reducing that risk.

Additionally chronic exposure to other pollutants like diesel exhaust or outdoor pollution can also increase cancer risk.


Carrying excess body fat

Individuals who are overweight or obese are at risk for a number of different cancers such as breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, kidney, oesophagus, stomach, and pancreatic cancers.

One of the main reasons for this is due to the increased expression of Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in overweight people.

IFG-1 not only plays a role in cancer progression, but also in accelerated ageing. So, helping a client lose excess body fat may also decrease their cancer risk, alongside decreasing their risk of premature ageing.


Nutritional deficiencies

Nutrients in the foodswe eat such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals can help keep our cellular repair mechanisms working as they should. This means that if we are missing specific nutrients, then our cells may not be able to fix any unwanted changes in our DNA. We cover this and more in the Nutrition for Cancer Prevention and Longevity™ Certification.

But it’s not just nutrient deficiencies that we need to think about. Consuming high amounts of processed meat regularly, having a diet that keeps our blood sugar constantly elevated, or the chronic consumption of alcoholic beverages can also increase cancer risk.


Sexual activity

Is cancer contagious? Not really, but certain viruses like HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) can be transmitted from one person to another during unprotected intercourse. This means that individuals with more sexual partners have a higher chance of contracting this virus (and passing it on to others). HPV is thought to contribute to most cervical cancers, and anal cancer and even oropharyngeal cancers.


Chronic stress

Chronic stress can keep levels of the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine persistently elevated. And when these hormones are dysregulated, it can lead to increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, higher blood sugar levels, and elevated markers of inflammation in the body. And these factors have been found to increase cancer risk.


Poor sleep

When we sleep, our body cells are actually hard at work. This is a time when our repair mechanisms may actually be working over-time to repair DNA breaks or molecular changes that occurred during our waking hours. Which means that when we do not get enough sleep, our cells may not have had the time to make these key repairs. Additionally, poor sleep quality, aberrant sleep patterns, and sleep debt have all been shown to impair immunity – but adequate immune function is an important defence layer against cancerous cells.

How can you acquire the knowledge behind mitigating cancer risk and accelerated ageing?

Clients need practitioners who have a profound, evidence-based insight into cancer biology and longevity.

While we can’t prevent cancer or stop the ageing process, there are ways in which we can support our body cells to decrease cancer risk and limit accelerated ageing. This and more are what you’d learn when you complete the Nutrition for Cancer Prevention and Longevity™ Certification – our combined know-how in cancer biology, epigenetics, nutrition biochemistry, and nutrigenomics.

It would help you gain a profound, science-based insight into the dietary and lifestyle modifications that have the biggest impact on mitigating cancer risk and supporting healthier longevity. This scientific insight includes understanding the effects of different diets and foods on cancer risk and ageing.

Want to start exploring this certification and others without paying immediately? We have made this possible via the Academic Tour, brought to you by The Health Sciences Academy!

The Academic tour affords you a smarter and more efficient way of navigating the world of nutrition science, giving you all that you need to launch or grow your nutrition career in one place!

Enjoy FREE access to a couple of modules in all our evidence-based certifications when you take the Academic Tour, PLUS... access to complete available free courses, take a Career Strategy Assessment, book a FREE Nutrition Career Review, claim an optional CPD certificate for 5 CPD hours, and much more!

Go here to start the Academic Tour now!


Also, do you want to learn more about mitigating our cancer risk and eating for a healthier, longer life?

Join UCL Doctoral Researcher and Chief Science Educator at The Health Sciences Academy, Alex Ruani, for a special live CPD certified webinar this Friday, 6 August 2021, at 4:00 PM (UK time) as she discusses the Principles of Cancer Risk and Longevity for Your Nutrition Practice.

Go here to secure you spot now.


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[CPD Certified Webinar] Fertility Nutrition Strategies to Support Your Clients

“How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant?”

“Why does it seem like people get pregnant right away, but I don’t?”

“I’m 40, did I miss my chance to conceive naturally?”

“I’m going through IVF, but want to know what else I can do...”

Actively trying for a baby for over a year or failed IVF rounds do not necessarily mean that fertility chances are zero! So how might you help a client improve his or her fertility odds?

Completing this CPD-certified training will equip you with vital knowledge underpinning fertility, conception, and fecundity – alongside insights about adequately personalising fertility nutrition programs so that you can support a woman and her partner in improving their chances of getting pregnant.

Here’s what you will discover in this CPD Certified Webinar:

  • Why nutrition and health practitioners should gain a deep insight into fertility nutrition research when supporting clients in their fertility journey
  • Importance of using the correct terminology in your client communications when it comes to fertility, conception, implantation, and fecundity
  • How personalising fertility nutrition programs could help improve fertility odds in couples planning a pregnancy or clients seeking to conceive through IVF
  • Advantages of becoming an Advanced Fertility Nutritional Advisor™ and integrating fertility nutrition strategies into your work with our Level 5 Certification
  • Personalisation methods and planning tools to use for enhancing your female and male clients’ fertility chances when trying for a baby

Remember you have the option of claiming your smart CPD certificate when you complete this webinar!

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