Cancer Prevention:

Exercising True Prevention

By Dr. Ben Kim

In 1986 McGill Cancer Center scientists surveyed 188 oncologists who specialized in the treatment of lung cancer. Asked what they would do if they developed the disease, 75% said that they would not participate in any chemotherapy treatments. What were their reasons? "The ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity." In 1989, approximately 150 cancer specialists around the world were surveyed about the cancer treatment choices they would make for themselves. The survey showed that "the personal views of many cancer specialists seem to be in striking contrast to communications intended for the public." Poll after poll have shown similar results: With consistent regularity, cancer specialists say that they would not allow chemotherapy to be given either to themselves or to their families. What can we learn from this?

Today's health care system focuses on identifying and labeling diseases for the purpose of prescribing treatment in the form of toxic drugs and invasive surgery. In actuality, we don't have a "health care system". Rather, we have a "disease care system", because doctors are trained to spend the majority of their time labeling people with diseases so that drugs and surgery can be prescribed rather than teaching people how to live to obtain optimal health. These drugs and surgical procedures are not meant to remove the causes of disease. Rather, they are meant to numb people to the discomforts of disease, often times allowing the disease process to continue without the patient's awareness.

People have been taught to believe that receiving regular medical exams like physical check-ups, blood tests, urine tests, and other advanced diagnostic tests is a way of ensuring good health. It is tragic that once people are labeled with a named disease like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or cancer, the treatment options that are presented to them by many conventional health professionals are highly toxic and/or invasive and do not address removing the ultimate causes of their diseases. If most cancer specialists are not willing to expose themselves or their own family members to the toxic treatments that they regularly prescribe to their patients, then is it wise to depend on regular medical exams and tests to label us with diseases so that we may go on to receive conventional treatments?

For example, consider the following: for years, the medical profession has recommended that women over the age of 40 receive annual mammograms for early detection of breast cancer. It is sad to think about women who wait for a mammogram to tell them that they have breast cancer and then go on to suffer through chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments without being made aware by their doctors of the lifestyle factors that caused the cancer. Even if chemotherapy is successful at getting rid of the cancer, if the person doesn't seek to learn more about the relationship between her lifestyle factors and the development of her disease, what assurance and peace of mind can she have about it not reappearing again? Instead of waiting for a test to tell us that something is wrong and then going on to suffer through toxic treatments to numb our pain, would it not be wise to learn about principles of healthy living and regularly apply them to our lives as soon as possible?

Instead of waiting to be labeled with various diseases and prescribed toxic drugs and invasive surgery, what can we do to have peace of mind that we are doing all that we can to be as healthy as possible? We can eat a whole food, unprocessed diet. We can reduce or eliminate consumption of factory farmed animal products, sugar, salt, and caffeine. We can acquire restful sleep, exercise, plenty of fresh air, and appropriate exposure to sunlight. We can live in a way that is personally meaningful and provides us with a sense of purpose and contribution, thereby giving us powerful motivation to be as healthy as possible.

Instead of leaving our health in the hands of diagnostic tests and conventional treatments that don't address the root causes of disease, does it not make more sense to exercise true prevention by optimizing our lifestyle habits?

Dr. Ben KimImprove Your Health With Our Free E-mail Newsletter

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