The Herald Bulletin

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Letters

July 9, 2013

Viewpoint: Reports cite concerns about environmental carcinogens

Published reports cite concerns about environmental carcinogens, lifestyles

It is more effective to prevent disease than to treat it. As an oncology nurse I see the terrible suffering and heartache that cancer can bring to individuals and families and so I have put together some information that spells out what we can do now to prevent these devastating diseases. The recommendations for preventing cancer were taken from the President’s Cancer Panel 2008-2009 annual report: Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk and from the 2012 book “A World Without Cancer” by Margaret Cuomo, MD.

The President’s Cancer Panel found that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. There are nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market today and most have not been studied and the majority are unregulated. Exposure to environmental carcinogens is widespread and increases the national cancer burden. Toxins in our food, water and air increase health care costs, devastates lives and cripples our nation’s productivity. Approximately 41 percent of all Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and 21 percent will die as a result. Childhood cancers have increased by 0.5 percent annually since 1975. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children.

Recommendations:

◆ Filter home tap or well water to decrease exposure to chemicals. Carcinogenic agricultural fertilizers and pesticides have entered the water supply.

◆ Store water and food in BPA and phthalate-free containers. Microwave food in ceramic or glass only (never plastic).

◆ Choose foods that are grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers (when possible). Wash the residue off all commercially grown produce. If you eat meat choose free-range meat raised without antibiotics and growth hormones. Avoid processed, charred,smoked, cured and well done meats. Eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains; a plant-based diet decreases cancer risk. Eat more fish. Drink green tea. Flavor food with turmeric (an Indian spice). Limit alcohol consumption; alcohol is a risk factor for cancer. Reduce sugar intake. Avoid foods high in trans fats.

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