Ovarian cancer is labeled “the silent killer” because its symptoms are often silent (gas, bloating, for example, which many of us often contend with.) When it’s finally detected, it’s usually in the latter stages. Vaginal ultrasounds can detect ovarian cancers sooner than later, and doctors and public policy makers are now studying the relative value of adding them to the screening list.
You don’t have to wait for the experts to decide if the costs to society are worth it. The test is quick and easy. You go, girl, right to your doctor, and ask her to have a good look inside–before it’s too late.
Once solid tumors grow to about the size of a pin head, they need to generate blood vessels to keep them alive. The blood vessel and tumor cells then begin feeding off each other and hence promote growth. Anti-angiogenic treatments aim to stop this spiral by targeting the blood vessel cells. Several such drugs–Avastin, for example– are now on the market.
Many nutrients have also shown anti-angiogenic properties in published research studies. Here are some plant foods that contain these promising nutrients:
Dietary Strategies for Fighting Cancer: The Theories
The science of nutrigenomics—how nutrients interact with genes to affect health—is all the rage now, and we’re seeing more and more evidence that phytonutrients—nutrients from plant foods—can directly impact cancer genes. How do these nutrients work? Here are the various theories.
● boost the immune system
● stop the cancer cells’ growth cycle and interfere with chemicals and processes, such as elevations in blood glucose, that promote growth
● encourage cancer cells to mature into healthy tissue (differentiation) or to commit suicide (apoptosis)
● stop them from producing blood vessels that allow them to grow and spread (anti-angiogenesis)
● reduce the effects of hormones, including estrogen, that fuel growth
● control inflammation in the body (the theory being that inflammatory chemicals suppress the immune system and encourage tumors to grow and spread).
Controlling the inflammatory process by eating fish or fish oils high in Omega-3 fatty acids and maintaining even blood sugar levels are among the many dietary strategies for improving our health.
Beans are not just good for your heart, as the saying goes. Their high-fiber content helps control your blood sugar and moves foods through your gut. That makes them good for preventing other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cancer.