Global Resilience Solutions > Category:Cancer

Ground-Breaking CANCER Documentary (Plus 10 Tips to Minimize Your Risk)


Every minute, more than 15 people will die of cancer.  That’s why we’d like to take a minute to introduce you to the trailer for Ty Bollinger’s documentary The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest.  Inspired by the loss of his dad to cancer, Ty travels the world in search of the real answers about cancer and its treatment.

What are the real risk factors for cancer? What can you do to decrease your risk and improve your chances of survival? There is so much disinformation out there that people often don’t know what to do or where to turn. Worst of all, it’s in the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry to focus your attention on their new drugs, rather than anything that might help you avoid them, so you really have to dig to find the research that we need to see, the research that can help us avoid this modern epidemic.

Five Risk Factors

The body can keep cancer at bay. One of the great myths is that the immune system can’t fight cancer. The body can repair the DNA of cells that were damaged by chemical or radioactive agents. The immune system can fight cancer. It happens all the time. The trick is to find out what’s preventing the body from doing its job. Here are a few of the culprits.

  1. Chemical: The first big set of risk factors are chemical in origin, from the aluminum salts in your deodorant to the chemicals you may have sprayed on your lawn. Many of these chemicals are free radicals, molecules that chemically damage your cells. It is important to know that many commercial chemicals introduced to our food chain, household products and ecosystem undergo no rigorous testing for carcinogenic properties. You can find more information about these chemicals from the National Cancer Prevention Coalition.
  2. Nutritional: Nutrition has a multiple impact on our chances of developing cancer. First, by eating unhealthily, we can seriously damage our immune systems, which matter very much in cancer prevention. Second, by eating processed and non-organic foods, we take in carcinogenic pesticides and carcinogenic food additives. Artificial sweeteners are one food additive business that has been working hard to keep the carcinogenic effects of their products under wraps.
  3. Electromagnetic: Multiple studies have shown high correlation between cancer and exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields, including those from power lines and electronic devices, and, unfortunately, medical imaging technologies based on X-rays where the dosage is not tightly controlled. When the US Environmental Protection Agency was ready to declare electromagnetic pollution a risk factor for cancer, it seems that certain special interest groups, notably the military, stepped in to prevent it.
  4. Emotional: Many studies have found that a person’s emotional life highly correlates with their cancer risk. We’ve written before about the link between the emotions, the brain, the hormonal signalling system and the immune system. In this case, one particular trait, emotional repression, correlates highly with cancer. One longitudinal study of a population found that among those who ultimately died of lung cancer, although all those who died were smokers, all of the smokers who died were the ones who had this trait.
  5. Hormonal: Cancer is highly dependent on the hormonal balance of the body for growth. By ingesting or coming into contact with artificial hormones, you destroy your own hormonal balance and create a cancer-friendly environment. These include, most obviously, the growth hormones your meat and dairy products may contain. There is also a class of molecules that simulates estrogen in the body, which can be found in such pervasive food additives as soy as well as parabens and heavy metals found in cosmetics and personal care products.

Five Steps for Risk Mitigation

  1. Nutrition: By adjusting your diet to strengthen your immune system, alkalise your body and avoid harmful substances, you can give your body a boost. Many fruits, vegetables and spices contain effective antioxidants to help your body deal with those free radical chemicals. Some foods have also been shown to have a significant impact on cancer.
  2. Detoxification: Clearing the accumulated toxins out of your system is a good first step in boosting your immune system. This can also help to reset the biochemical environment in your body, leading to better hormonal balance and stronger immune system.
  3. Emotional Health: The effect of prolonged negative emotions, like anger or frustration, on our biochemistry is pernicious. But by transforming that negative emotion into a positive one, rapid and palpable physiological and chemical changes take place, on the order of 1400 distinct reactions. There are numerous methods for improving your emotional life and dealing with emotional baggage. Getting yourself out of ‘Survival Mode’ will help to balance your hormone and neurotransmitter levels, improving the health of your immune system.
  4. Exercise: Daily exercise has been shown to have a dramatic effect on cancer survival rates. Anaerobic exercise in particular stimulates the release of Human Growth Hormone, helping to strengthen the immune system.
  5. Research: Learning about your risk factors and how to adjust your lifestyle can give you an early edge in preventing or diminishing cancer.

To learn more, check out the trailer for Ty Bollinger’s upcoming documentary The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest.

Want to Slash Your Cancer Risk? Then Reevaluate Your Attitudes to Sun Exposure…

The birds are singing, the weather’s changing… spring is here! And with that comes the sun. That great big ball of fire in the sky holds the key to the surprisingly simple way to improve your health and happiness – sun exposure! That’s right – the sun. Though often touted by the media as the Number One way to get cancer, the sunshine is not as black as it’s painted. As winter begins to wind down, now is the time to re-evaluate your attitudes about “catching some rays”!

What can the sun do for you?

Quite a number of things!

➯ Regulates melatonin in the body. When you’re outside in the sun, the body produces melatonin, which is what makes you feel tired. You’ll find it easier to go to bed earlier, with a deeper sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and energized!

➯ Promotes bone health and mineral homeostasis.

➯ Fights illness.  According to Dr. Joseph Mercola’s book, Dark Deception (published in 2008), simple sunshine can be your ally in combating all kinds of mental and physical diseases, including: 16 types of internal cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, ricketts, schizophrenia, tuberculosis and myopathy.  Here’s what Dr. Mercola has to say about healthy sun exposure (the part about insect repellent is an extra bonus!):

➯ Improves mood. Have you ever heard of SAD? Seasonal affective disorder affects us all in degrees – a lack of sun can manifest itself though the symptoms of depression. The lift in spirits we feel in the springtime is tied with the increased exposure we get to UV rays. The more you get out into the sunshine, the better you’ll feel – exposure to the sun is tied with production of seratonin.

➯ Recent findings have shown that vitamin D affects a wider spectrum of cells than we first thought. The findings suggest that there are many more positive effects of vitamin D just waiting to be found!  One thing the latest research does suggest, however, is that 1/3 of all cancer deaths could likely be prevented simply by appropriate sun exposure and the vitamin-D levels resulting from it.


This is where the “sneaky” comes in – because getting the sun you need is as simple as skipping the sunscreen. Don’t apply until you’ve gotten at least twenty minutes of hot sun. So walk or bike to work. Read in your backyard. Go on a picnic with the ones you love! Plan a beach day! Or simply take a stroll. All of these are easy ways to get a better night’s sleep, lower your cancer risk and prevent illness for years to come. And adding a little healthy colour to your skin can’t hurt either!

How much?

If you’re fair, ten minutes a day of sun at its peak (between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm) should do the trick, and if you have a warm/medium skin tone, the recommended 20 minutes a day. If you’re more darkly pigmented, you may need up to three times that. And remember, exposure just on your face and hands often isn’t enough. Shorts and t-shirts are your friend!

What about skin damage?

While the negative effects of the sun on your body are grossly exaggerated by the media, a sunburn should undoubtedly be avoided! After you’ve had a bit of sun exposure, protect yourself from a sun overdose with a hat, a light shirt or a shawl. Or simply stay in the shade! While sunscreen is another way to protect from the sun, it’s far from the best way. First, who knows the effects of all the chemicals that are put into it? We slather on so much of this stuff, and it’s going right through our skin into our bloodstream. I’ve known many people that have had allergic reactions to the stuff, which doesn’t bode well. Wouldn’t it be far healthier, and easier, simply to wear a hat and hang out in the shade? And I for one have never been a fan of the pale-shiny faced look that arises when you’ve glopped all of the stuff on. But perhaps that’s just my vanity speaking.

The worst has happened! You’ve gotten a sunburn!

Don’t panic! Just apply aloe vera (raw if you have it) as often as you can until it heals. Aloe is above and beyond the best way to quickly and effectively treat and soothe sun-damaged skin. Cover the affected area when you’re  in the sun to avoid exacerbating the injury, and try to get your daily recommended sun exposure on another part of the body, if possible.

Wishing you and your family lots of fun in the sun!

~Dr. Symeon Rodger

Avoiding Cancer

This week we’re talking about cancer – arguably the biggest health crisis that we face today. According to WHO, cancer has more than doubled around the globe. And it is predicted to be on the rise – health officials predict that by 2030, 17 million people worldwide will die annually of cancer (vs. 7.6 million in 2008), and 75 million will be living with cancer and will require treatment and follow-up care. Cancer claims more lives than AIDS, TB and malaria combined. According to Peter Boyle, director of IARC, “it is a crisis for public health and health systems worldwide.”

Many people have been propagandized into believing that there is nothing they can do about cancer.   They think it strikes rather like lightning – suddenly, and without warning and that all they can do is go regularly to the doctor so they can catch it as early as possible.

But why should cancer be one of the only diseases that doesn’t have a cause? The debate about the cancer cause is raging, and every year there are thousands of studies that point fingers at everything from low-fibre diets to left-handedness. Whom are you to believe?  What can you do to lessen your and your family’s chances of getting cancer?

The fact is, as Mr. Boyle says, that “although cancer is a great, growing and devastating disease, it is largely preventable.”  

Pesticide Levels

The first way that you can prevent cancer is through what goes into your body. I’m talking about chemicals – chemicals that are dangerous to your health. It’s important to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution. I know it’s hard to even picture a green lawn in this kind of weather, but remember when spring comes to avoid pesticide use! Lawn pesticides have been proven to cause cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and soft-tissue cancers. In addition, there are no studies taken by the government to assess the safety of lawn-care chemicals in combination, the way most are sold. Lawn chemicals simply don’t go through the rigorous testing that foods do, and even then we know that the pesticides on food aren’t safe. (Buy organic! But I think you know that by now 🙂

Not Exactly the “Clean” Clothes You Had in Mind…

Also, avoid getting your clothes dry-cleaned. The chemical perchloroethylene, found to cause kidney and liver damage, as well as cancer in animals, is still used in the majority of dry cleaners today. As you wear clothes treated with this chemical cocktail, you increase your exposure due to inhalation. Instead, handwash your clothing or at least air out your dry-cleaned garments before you wear them.

22% of Cancer Deaths are From…

Of course, one of the top reasons cancer is on the rise worldwide is cigarettes, and the toxins within. In China, there is an average of ten cigarettes consumed per person per day. That’s the number of cigarettes the United States consumed at the peak of cigarette-smoking in the fifties. We will continue to face the consequences of that smoking, and China will in the future. If you’re still smoking, reading articles like this won’t help you much until you stop!

The Role of Thoughts and Emotions

Another factor that’s important to keep in mind is the role that negative emotion plays in causing disease and stress. According to Professor Ben-Eliyahu, “Psychological stressors … deal a blow to the immune system, but this is hardly discussed in the medical community.”

Let’s go back to the basics and think of the real evolutionary purpose of stress. In the jungle, seeing a carnivorous jungle cat would prompt the “fight or flight” reaction, including the flooding of cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline into the blood stream. This hormone cocktail would help you think fast, moves fast and remain alive. Nowadays, this fight-or-flight reaction occurs during situations such as a confrontation with your boss – when neither fighting or fleeing are acceptable behaviors. And so stress floats around the system, not serving any sort of productive function and doing the body harm. It’s best to dispel it as soon as possible – but how?

Meditation does a number on stress by creating the perfect antidote to the “flight or flight” reaction: the “relaxation response”. This response can be achieved through diligent practice with breathing exercises or the repetition of a word, sound or phrase. When the optimal “relaxation response” has been reached, the body will enter into a state of deep relaxation that actually slows the heartbeat – in addition to lowering blood pressure and metabolism and enhancing your mood.

Stay Connected

Another way is through contact with friends and family. A study performed at the State University of New York found that men who had limited contact with friends and family members had higher levels of stress and were more likely to have high levels or prostate-specific antigen in the blood – a marker for the development of prostate cancer. You’re also more likely to laugh when spending time with family and friends, and laughter is one of the best ways to bust stress and feel good.

Keep Moving!

But one of the best ways to reduce stress is to exercise – this is shown to promote feelings of well-being, drive down cortisol levels and increase serotonin. Molecular biologists and neurologists are also finding that exercise is actually more effective than most antidepressants – if exercise can prevent and control mental disease, why not physical disease? Exercise actually drives down your insulin levels, and lowering levels of insulin in the body is one of the best things you can do to decrease your cancer risk.

This is Huge…

The last, and arguably the most effective way to stave off cancer is through healthy eating. According to Dr. William Li, “foods hold their own, and in some cases are more potent than drugs!” Neglecting your nutrition comes with all sorts of ill-effects related to cancer, from the unchecked spread of free-radicals to uncontrolled angiogenesis – a cancer-causing phenomenon involving the spread of blood to cancerous tumours. Being careful to consume a balanced diet full of whole, organic, nutritious foods is key. However, there are some consumption habits that can particularly help your body prevent cancer.

First off, garlic contains sulfur compounds that actually stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies show that garlic may reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by as much as twelve times.

Second, drink plenty of water! Water purifies the system and many studies have shown that drinking over six cups of water a day reduces the chance of multiple kinds of cancers in both men and women.

Thirdly, try tea! Green tea, to be precise. The healing powers of green tea have been manifesting themselves in Asia for centuries. Research analyzing just what makes green tea so powerful has discovered that EGCG, a chemical in green, tea, could be one of the most powerful anti-cancer compounds ever discovered.

And make sure you get your 20 minutes of sun a day – Vitamin D is essential to preventing cancer, and too little has been linked to a host of various cancers.

To sum it all up, if you can decrease chemical exposure and stress, and increase your intake of vital vitamins and nutrients through food and sun, you stand a good chance of avoiding cancer.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger