Prevention: Beyond Cigarettes and Sunscreen - By Laura BondA baby born today has a 40 per cent chance of developing cancer in his or her lifetime, according to the latest figures from the National Cancer Institute. One hundred years ago, the lifetime risk of developing cancer was less than one percent according to research from Dr. Thomas Lodi, an integrative oncologist in America. So what’s changed in that time? Junk food, soaring stress levels, coupled with increased pollution and radiation, are all contributing factors. Indeed, one recent study found that women exposed to high levels of radiation were more likely to develop breast cancer than those who carried the BRCA1 mutation. We’ve been told that the best way to prevent cancer is vigilant screening, staying out of the sun and ditching cigarettes but this is far from the whole story and indeed elements of the advice require serious revision. The latest research suggests that both the radiation from diagnostic tests (mammograms and CT scans) and vitamin D deficiency can actually increase our risk of cancer. So what’s the answer? Holistic physicians have long hailed the immune system as our best defense against the disease and conventional medicine is catching up. In a report released last year, heralded as a ‘milestone of cancer research’ scientists from Germany revealed that the immune system is the best cancer ‘fighter.’ Researchers from the Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen showed that the immune system has the ability to drive tumours and cancerous cells into a state of permanent dormancy. With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some quick tips to boost your immune system this season – it starts with enjoying the sunshine! Your Summer Immune Upgrade Get off the phone and Get Outside: Too often we’re glued to our computer screens or strapped to our mobiles rather than getting outdoors – to what affect? In 2011, the World Health Organization released a report showing a 40 per cent greater risk of gliomas (a deadly form of brain cancer) among ‘heavy’ mobile phone users; defined as 30 minutes per day over a ten-year period. You can offset the electrosmog by kicking off your shoes and plugging your feet into the bare earth. The ground is alive with powerful healing electrons, which help neutralize free radicals and keep us healthy according to research. And be sure to get some sunshine while you’re out there – the aim is not too burn, but to expose your skin to natural sunlight - without sunscreen - for half an hour most days. A UK study covering 1.1 million men and women concluded that higher levels of blood vitamin D meant fewer deaths from cancer. Spice up your meals: In recent years turmeric has emerged as an anti-cancer superstar. ‘So far, nobody has found a cancer, at least in the test tube, that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) cannot stop,’ says Professor Bharat Aggarwal from the revered MD Anderson Cancer Centre. Add an extra teaspoon to your next curry or try Natasha’s turmeric and courgette omelette for a nutritious summer meal. Swim in the Ocean: It’s good for the soul – and gives you a dose of magnesium. Thanks to modern farming our food supply is now deficient in this vital trace mineral, which is involved in over 300 biological processes in the body. ‘I am a world authority on magnesium and nobody that is reading this has levels of magnesium where they need to be,’ says Dr. Garry Gordon co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). One Swedish study found that women with the highest magnesium intake had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing colon cancer. Head to your local Nursery: And invest in a Peace Lily. NASA scientists say that just one peace lily can remove pollutants like formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) from the air around it. It’s also one of the best plants for oxygenating the room, according to Elle Macpherson’s nutritional doctor, Dr Simone Laubscher. Alkalize your next inhalation: When you slow your breathing down you not only relax your mind but you also help oxygenate and alkalize your system. Cancer thrives in an acidic, low oxygen environment, so by changing your breathing you’re helping to change the terrain of your body. Read more articles here from our Honestly Healthy Hero Laura Bond on cancer and other health related subjects. Check out our COOK page for lots of highly alkalising recipes.