Cancer is a man-made disease fuelled by the excesses of modern life, a study of ancient remains has found. Tumors were rare until recent times when pollution and poor diet became issues, the review of mummies, fossils and classical literature found.
“The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer-causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization,” researchers said. Despite slivers of tissue from hundreds of Egyptian mummies being rehydrated and placed under the microscope, only one case of cancer has been confirmed. This is despite experiments showing that tumours should be even better preserved by mummification than healthy tissues.Dismissing the argument that the ancient Egyptians didn’t live long enough to develop cancer, the researchers pointed out that other age-related disease such as hardening of the arteries and brittle bones did occur.
12 Tips for Reducing Your Cancer Risk
1. Don’t use tobacco
Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney — and chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas.
Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it may help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
- Limit fat. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and may increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which can, in turn, increase cancer risk.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and include physical activity in your daily routine
Maintaining a healthy weight may lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney. Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own may lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better. Try a fitness class, rediscover a favorite sport or meet a friend for daily brisk walks.
4. Use x-rays and other radiation sparingly and keep a record of all x-rays.
The excessive use of x-rays in infants and children may be one of the reasons more young people (those under 40 years of age) are getting cancer and can also contribute to cancer in adults
5. Use hormones sparingly.
Lifetime use of hormones affects cancer risk. Consider alternatives to chemical contraception such as IUDs and condoms (which also protect against sexually transmitted disease). Avoid long term use of medications that contain hormones, including hormone replacement therapy.
6. Test your basement for radon and if you live in an area with uncertain water quality, use a simple filter.
An invisible gas, radon can seep into homes from the ground and increase the risk of lung cancer. It can easily and inexpensively be remedied.
7. Do not consume food and beverages that contain aspartame.
Sweeten your food with good old-fashioned sugar or honey, or stevia instead. Despite having FDA approval, aspartame, the sugar substitute, was never given a green light by scientists—many are concerned about its potential to cause cancer. New independent studies raise further concerns about its long term safety.
8. Use cell phones with an earpiece and speakerphone so the phone itself is not held up against your head.
Children should not use cell phones. Studies claiming that there is no link between cell phone use and brain cancer were not conducted on people who used cell phones as much as the average person today. Cell phones emit low doses of microwave radiation that destroy rat brain cells and memory and reach one inch into the human brain.
9. Buy local foods in season from farmers who use fewer pesticides.
Use omega-3-fatty acid supplements free of pollutants and eat a diverse diet, rich in vitamin D, calcium and fiber.
10. Don’t put anything on your baby’s skin that you can’t eat.
The materials that create “no more tears” in baby shampoo are banned in several countries, because they cause cancer in animals. The FDA has no authority to regulate any of these harmful compounds in personal care products.
11. Look under your sink and read the labels on your cleaning products—in general, the fewer ingredients they have, the better for you they are.
Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and toothpaste can be used to clean most things around the home. Some room deodorizers and mothballs contain carcinogens.
12. Don’t microwave anything in plastic, no matter what the directions say.
Some plastic chemicals can leach into food.