If it had to come down to numbers, the magical combination would be 0-5-10-30-150 according to Dr. Moshe Frenkel, an integrative oncology expert. He presents a brilliant combination of tips to improve our health, and reduce our chances of getting cancer.
Special to The Daily News
Published January 17, 2012
The guest lecturer, Dr. Moshe Frenkel, was from Israel. A former UTMB Family Medicine faculty, he had moved on to become a leader in integrative oncology.
His sky blue eyes looked out at the audience as he showed a picture of a safe.
“Here’s the combination, whether you are trying to prevent cancer or are one of the 12 million survivors here in the U.S.: 0 — 5 — 10 — 30 — 150.”
The most common types of cancers are breast, lung, colon, cervical and prostate.
An estimated 70 percent of cancers are related to or modifiable by lifestyle choices. Our genes related to cancer and other diseases can be switched on and off by our diet, exercise and stress management. Of the 70 percent of cancers, 30 percent could be eliminated just by getting rid of smoking. Obesity increases the risk of cancer and cancer recurrence.
Our team recently prepared a grant designed to reduce the rate of mortality of African-American women in Galveston County. We did this when we learned their mortality rate was at least one-third higher than Hispanic or Caucasian women in the county. Some of this is genetic, some related to screening, access to care, insurance and health beliefs. We hope to help these women fix as many of those factors and lifestyle choices as possible during the project period and beyond.
So what is the combination?
Zero — stands for zero smoking. Even passive smoking like in restaurants and bars is a major health hazard. When Pueblo, Colo. initiated a smoking ban, the heart attack rate was reduced by nearly 50 percent in the first six months in nonsmokers!
Similarly, passive second or third hand smoke (like the tar and other carcinogens that settle on your cloths and the rug that your kids crawl around on) is a known risk factor for certain cancers such as cervical cancer in women.
Bottom line: Don’t smoke, don’t even start this highly addictive habit, and stay away from those who do.
5 — stands for the minimum number of daily servings of fruits and vegetables we ought take in daily. High in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, anti-inflammatory chemicals, and nutrition, fruits and vegetables are core “superfoods” that ought make up a substantial portion of our diet. For an amazing read, get Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” or any of his other books.
10 —stands for 10 minutes of relaxation, meditation, prayer or other stress management techniques daily. Stress creates chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine that feed tumor growth and metastasis, weaken our immunity, and increase risk. Don’t wait for a vacation. Invest some dedicated precious time daily in your preferred relaxation mode.
It could be listening to music, doing yoga, jogging, or being social.
30 — stands for Body Mass Index (BMI) under 30. Over 30 is categorized as obese, which is a major risk factor for multiple cancers.
150 — is the number of minutes of exercise you ought accumulate in a week. Some daily exercise is far and away the most effective form of “medicine” to reduce all cause morbidity and mortality, not just from heart problems but cancer as well.
So unlock your genetic code to promote your health by following these five simple steps.
Dr. Victor S. Sierpina is the W.D. and Laura Nell Nicholson Family Professor of Integrative Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
These 5 steps stand for the minimum recommended, ideally our ingestion of fruits and vegetables should be more than 5, and I would add to this the fact that most of them should be fresh raw dark-colored ones.
To these 5 steps to get cancer out of our lives I would also add drinking water. Hydration is key to good health. Did you know that 70% of us are regularly dehydrated?
These guidelines are not hard to follow at all, and could have a tremendous positive impact in your health today and in the future. They fall right in place with our alkaline lifestyle, let’s review them. Getting rid of the most acidifying habit we have, smoking. Eating alkaline fruits and vegetables. Relaxing, which also helps bring oxygen to our blood and alkalize our entire body. Controlling our body mass, again, an alkaline body is a lean body. Exercising, the best way to get that oxygen flowing and maintaining our body in balance. And lastly, drinking water, the easiest, most effective way to help our body stay in that ideal pH range.