Cancer and a greener life…


This is not meant to be a depressing article in any way and I am by no means a scientist (nor is this article based on anything but my personal thoughts) but I can’t help but question what on earth is going on!? Why is everyone getting cancer? A few years back I didn’t know anyone with cancer, then I had friends of friends who had been diagnosed with cancer, then a friend developed cancer and now I have relatives with cancer and have even now lost relatives to cancer. The circle has been closing in dramatically over the last decade. My partner would say that’s because we are getting older and so more people have a tendency to get ill as they get older but I don’t think it’s just that.

My Dad is currently fighting his own battle with cancer. He developed oesophageal cancer a few years ago and was so incredibly lucky to have caught it early, have a successful operation and chemotherapy which all but cleared everything up. He has enjoyed two years cancer-free but now it has come back, this time in his stomach and unfortunately it is inoperable due to having a third of his stomach removed with the previous cancer operation. So his only options are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. At first we were all devastated and your mind tends to wander to think the worst but then my Dad is so incredibly positive that we are all taking one day at a time and he is an inspiration to us all.

However, this raises the question in my mind, why does my Dad have cancer?  Admittedly he did used to smoke when he was younger but hasn’t smoked now for well over thirty years so whether or not that would still have an effect I don’t know. He has never been a drinker – I could literally count the times I have seen him drink alcohol in my lifetime (and that’s a forty year span!), he hardly eats meat now (ever since his first bout of cancer when he religiously followed a macrobiotic diet) and he leads a very healthy active lifestyle: he goes to yoga twice a week, tai chi three times at a local club and dance classes once a week too all with my mum. So you can’t help but question what MORE could he have done to avoid getting cancer or it returning!? My mum and I discuss this at length and all we can come up with – not necessarily just relating to my Dad but for people in general – is people’s lifestyles. Compared to previous generations, we all lead very different lifestyles now. We are so busy, often stressed, we overload ourselves, because we are busy maybe we opt for processed foods as a quick fix option and then we drink alcohol to relax.

cancer causes

So I found this table above and it’s clear that what we put into our body is the largest factor influencing our odds of getting cancer – with diet and smoking representing 65% of the main cancer causing factors. Other factors including alcohol, genetics, viruses, environment and pollution. So what can we do? My partner says (and I know this is true) that we all have cancer cells in our body, they just lie dormant for most of us and then something comes along and activates the cancer cells in some people. A very simplistic approach – as I said I am no scientist!! But how can we prevent our cancer cells becoming active? Straight off the mark, it seems obvious not to smoke and that we should eat healthy foods. Every article I have read about cancer and using food to “cure” cancer talks about opting for organic food. So I think it’s not just healthy food, but going organic that will help. I am most certainly an advocate of choosing organic and have previously written articles about this – particularly in terms of meat – just think about the farmers adding pesticides to the vegetables which then end up in your body and all the chemicals that end up in animals in non-organic meat that then end up in your body too. These all could have an effect on the chemical make-up of your body and cells. Not to mention all the products we put onto our skin: shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, toothpaste, literally any product that comes into contact with our bodies if not organic or non-toxic could have a detrimental effect on our health. I have been using organic eco-friendly products for years now precisely for this reason and this stretches to washing powders, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, household cleaners too- all of which ends up in contact with us or even inside our bodies or that we breathe in through our home environment. Think about it- if your clothes are washed in toxic chemicals this then comes into contact with your and your children’s skin, the dishes we wash we then eat from again and thus if washed in toxic chemicals this comes back into our bodies when we reuse the dishes! It’s scary when you start to look deeper into everyday “possible” causes.

In terms of the bigger picture and environmental pollution we can all do our little bit to be a little more environmentally aware and eco-conscious by recycling, turning off electricity when not in use, only using the car if necessary, walking more, making eco-friendly choices whenever possible, etc. etc. Our “little bit” is not to be underestimated – add it all together and it all adds up to a lot! But the bottom line regarding what we can do to help ourselves is to be mindful of what we put into and onto our bodies. There are no guarantees of course but it’s nice to feel we can do “something”!

Also working on stress levels, keeping them down using outlets such as yoga and meditation (I am biased of course as I teach yoga :-)) but I see how many people have been recommended to me by GPs and from hospitals on account of stress, depression, anxiety. Negative emotions can make the body a toxic environment to live in, low emotions can lower your immune system and make you more prone to “dis-ease” and stress in particular can lead to all sorts of illnesses. So we have to start taking back ownership of our bodies and our minds and try to keep cancer at bay in this way too.

For my Dad he is staying positive with his daily exercises, he meditates daily to keep a positive frame of mind, my mum has him on a strict healthy diet, I am doing Reiki healing for him once a week and my brother in Ireland is doing distant healing for him a few times a week too so with all these efforts combined hopefully he will be restored to good health.

I know there are no foul-proof answers when it comes to cancer prevention but I just wanted to bring a little awareness to the little things we can all do to help ourselves. A little can go a long way! Wishing you all good health.

healthy cycle


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