The causes of cancer can include a collection of lifestyle and environmental factors which accumulate over the years. These include toxic overload, stress, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

If we look at toxic overload, we know that there are 5 million registered chemicals in the world and we personally come into contact with 70,000 of them. Of those 70,000 we know that 20,000 are carcinogenic. Looking at American numbers, annually 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are sprayed on food crops.

The average adult has 1 cancer cell appear every day and usually our DNA repair mechanism and immune system are able to keep this attack under control. Toxins attack the DNA and weaken the immune system to allow cancer to freely take control, especially in times of stress. Stress includes both physical stress and psychological stress.

Physical stress is chronic inflammation from allergies or food sensitivities, overtraining syndrome (OTS), obesity and disease. Psychological stress may come from work/school, friends or family.

Our stress hormone cortisol is elevated regardless of the stress type and the effects of elevated cortisol are a weakening of the immune system, weight gain and osteoporosis. It counteracts your insulin causing hyperglycemia and can damage a part of your brain that impairs memory.

Factors to decease cortisol include taking magnesium glycinate, phosphatidylserine (amino acid), adaptogenic herbs, mediation and yoga, laughing (releases endorphins) and massage therapy.

Nutrition. The body depends on nutrition for fuel, repair and building cells. The phrase “we are what we eat” was meant to be taken literally. The Canadian food guide says that more than a quarter of your daily food intake should be from grains. Grains and dairy are highly inflammatory.  More plant-based foods (non- grains) need to be incorporated into your meals.

Carbohydrates breakdown into sugar and is important to understand that cancer cells use carbohydrates as their primary source of fuel. In other words, sugar feeds cancer. Supplements that assist in blood glucose uptake are magnesium glycinate, chromium, Omega  3 and 6, Vitamin D (have  you had your levels checked?), multivitamins that are rich in the B complex vitamins.

Other supplements to be considered are alpha lipoic acid (ALA), cinnamon and L-carnitine. Eat an alkaline diet (covered in my inflammation, eliminating toxins article).

Get to know the Glycemic Index chart. If you eat a high GI food then pair it with a low GI food. Be mindful. Exercise is necessary for oxygenation of blood and organs. Just 1.5 to 2.5 hours of weekly brisk walking reduced breast cancer risk by almost  20% according to a study by the WHI (Women’s Health Initiative).

Exercise stabilizes blood glucose which can restrict the amount of fuel cancer cells get. Inactivity is an abnormal state of being, as is cancer. Keeping your immune system at its peak and decreasing immune system depressants like chronic inflammation, allergies, toxic metals, sugar and negative emotions will allow your body to defend and repair itself from the causes of cancer.


Maria Musitano, B.Sc.Pharm,

Compounding Pharmacist

Concession Medical Pharmacy

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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