Prevention is better than cure
Some of you might be familiar with a different version of the heading as, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Whichever version you prefer, most people will opt for “prevention” rather than the “cure,” when it comes to diseases, especially cancer.
The title of a review on cancer prevention by Anand, et al., starts with, “Cancer is a preventable disease…”(source). The second part of the title is “…that requires major lifestyle changes.” They succinctly summarize that 90 – 95% of the cancer can be attributed to environmental and lifestyle factors, while the remaining are caused by genetic factors. Among the environmental/lifestyle factors, diet constitutes about 30% of the risk factors. If we add cancers attributable to tobacco and obesity, about 65% of the cancers will be covered. Thus, the justification for the title, that cancer is a preventable disease. Any one who has any interest in nutrition, and can read a scientific paper, might find review by Anand, et al. highly informative and compelling. The authors thoughtfully provide a listing (with colorful pictures, page 2105) of various fruits, vegetables, and spices that are helpful for the prevention of cancer.
If you visit the website of the premier cancer research organization in the US, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), you will be able to click through to reach a page called, “Risk Factors.” In this page, 10 major risk factors for cancer are identified. Surprisingly, “Poor diet, lack of physical activity, or being overweight,” is last on the list. Though there is no mention that the list is made on a hierarchal order of importance, one is left to wonder how much attention the NCI is paying to cancer “prevention” vs. cancer “cure.” For some reason, they have also trademarked the line, “What You Need To Know About™ Cancer.” Strange?
I am sure that readers of A Short Course in Culinary Experiments will not need any additional motivation to incorporate more vegetables in their diet. However, I suspect that many of you might not be familiar with the word, “angiogenesis,” or the connection between angiogenesis and growth of cancer in the body. Here to explain all that is Dr. William Li, in a TED talk entitled, “Can we eat to starve cancer?” The following link has that talk, and this will probably be the best 20 minutes information packet you will ever receive, for the prevention of cancer: http://www.ted.com/talks/william_li.html
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