Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What I Learned in the Oncology Office

So what is it like to visit an oncology advisor? She or he asks questions, lots and lots of them.

  • First and foremost what your family tree looks like cancer wise. They look at the different lines.
  • What country of origin is your family lines from? Different countries tend toward different types of cancer.
  • At what age did the cancer occur. Those in their 50's and younger are of greatest interest. The earlier onsets are more compelling towards a genetic connection. 
  • Location is critical. Cancer in the same place in the body over and over in the family tree. 
Our family has several people with melanoma skin cancer but since all of them had it in places exposed to the sun most and all spent extensive time outdoors; it was ruled out as a family connection between the cases.
  • The cancer has to be of the same type in the same organ.There are four kinds of thyroid cancer but if a family has 2 or more different kinds like ours does then it is not likely genetic related.
  • They look to see if the cancer is related to a dominant gene. If dominant then it will pass on with only one parent having it. Other types take both the mother and father with the cancer gene. In the case of the Cowden's Disease, a rare genetic disorder, it passes on to 50 % percent of the offspring. So that is a clue also.
 Since I have a daughter with breast cancer. I qualify for genetic testing. Her genetic testing did not come back as a genetic cause for cancer so I have very little chance of having a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Still, insurance will pay if you are a direct relative; mother, father, child, or brother or sister. I choice not to be tested.

Even though it does not look like anything genetic is the cause of our daughter's extremely early onset of her type of breast cancer - (14 years difference between her and the next youngest case at the Tulsa Cancer Center of America). Her four daughters are advised  to start screening 10 years younger than their mother's onset of cancer.  That is the counsel for all who are directly related.

With any genetic relation cleared away, my thoughts turned to why someone gets cancer. The oncology councelor said most are random cases, meaning one here and there.

  • Factors leading to it are environment. Living in an air polluted city or water contamination.
  • Diet (  An alkaline diet is super important along with high levels of vitamins in the foods we eat, and lack of chemicals). Surprisingly protein is super important also as there are several amino acids you can not find anywhere else except meat. The meat needs to be grass fed etc. and not in large portions.
  • Products used. (Shampoos, deodorants, lotion, after shave, laundry detergent, etc. ) 
  • Work exposure like welding with aluminum or a farmer with fertilizers and pesticides to name just a couple that elevate your toxin levels.
  • Level of stress as it changes the body from alkaline to acid which is a welcoming environment for cancer. 
My first question posed to the advisor was why does the risk of cancer go up so much after you are 57 years of age. Her answer was that it is an accumulation of toxins that builds up in the body and the immune system becomes impaired. Consider the fact that over 5000 preservatives are used in our foods. They rarely reach the label. During the 1980's  and early 1990's they were saying that the average child ate 45lbs. of preservatives a year. You know it is far greater now. Since much of the toxins we ingest are stored in our fat, then imagine the amount that compiles over a lifetime. The amount of  garbage we eat, the polluted environment we live in, and the hazardous things like cigarettes we purposely choose to bombard ourselves with and it is a miracle any of us are alive.

There are two types of toxins, water soluble and fat soluble.
  • Water soluble toxins are flushed out easily by the kidneys and blood.
  • Fat Soluble must be converted by the liver to water soluble. These include pesticides, preservatives, food additives, heavy metals, pollutants, plastics, and other environmental chemicals. 
 Overwhelm the bodies system and toxins begin to be stored in fat cells.This clogging of the lymph nodes, digestive system, liver, blood, and kidneys and cancer surfaces.

One thing I learned the hard way is that toxins going in damage the body and coming out too. I've had some detox done for dangerous heavy metals done by a doctor under the guidance of a leading toxicologist. It had to be done very, very slowly to not cause too much damage to my kidneys and liver. It was super rough. Mine was a combination of things blocking my natural detox system. Does my body work up to par, no. So Kirk and I are working on a daily program to help flush our bodies of imperatives.

But back to genetics. The geneticist our daughter and I spoke briefly with said cancer is hitting up to 20 years younger each generation. So if grandmother had breast cancer at age 60 then her daughter will probably have it at 40 or 50 and her daughter much younger than that. Which tells us of the levels of toxins that is going up with each generation. A large number of toxins pass through the umbilical cord and there are now babies born with cancer. A year or two ago there was a nine year old girl in Utah diagnosed with breast cancer. She would not even have breasts at that age. 

1 in 3 people have diabetes or are prediabetes.  1 in 3 women will get cancer and 1 in 2 men. Nearly half or our population has heart disease. Those numbers alarm me. The saddest thing of all is that we are asking for it. We can not pass the blame on as it is in the genes because it only give us the predisposition toward it. It does not determine whether we get it or not. We do that. And yes, the advisor said much of the damaging behaviors are taught by parents whether it is smoking, eating heavily processed foods, or not getting enough sleep. Sleep is the most effective tool in lowering cortisol numbers which if high turn the body to acid.

Rather than feed ourselves or stand up for ourselves, we are willing to destroy ourselves. I hear it all the time. I don't want work that hard. I'll just buy this inferior product that is killing me and play Russian Roulette and hope my number does not come up. Seems harsh, well, the truth is harsh.

We fill our lives with stress.  One area we are working especially hard on right now as stress is not going to go away so we will have to change how we deal with it.

This has my husband and I thinking -- really thinking. We have made plans to change what we eat and how we live. It will be a long process as a change of habits and thought patterns does not come quickly. It has motivated Kirk to get the greenhouse up. We will make changes though. We can see clearly that our lives depend on it.

As an interesting note and motivation, there are societies that have never heard of cancer or Dementia and Alzheimer disease. Why? They eat a healthy diet of garden to the table and they detox. There diet has lots of natural foods cultured like kimchi which is awesome for the digestive tract. One group gathers and drinks tea each evening from a plant that is a known detox. Antioxidants are naturally in their diets and foods are eaten the way they are meant to be. They live in a cleaner environment with clean habits. And they exercise.

Simply put, they earn their good health. We could do well to learn from them before we kill off the human race.

This is not to say that we should not have great compassion for those who are suffering for there goes everyone of us. We all make mistakes. It is through those mistakes that we learn if we do not put the blame upon others for our misfortunes. 

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