The Connection Between Diet And Cancer Essay
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The Connection Between Diet And Cancer Essay, Research Paper Cancer is a disease that can affect many different body parts. But no matter which body part is affected, cancer always involves cells that, due to various causes, go through genetic changes such that they start to proliferate wildly. In most forms of cancer the expanding masses of cells form tumors that eventually push against and invade neighboring tissue, disrupting body systems. In the course of time they may metastasize, travel via the blood or lymph to another part of the body where they set up new colonies that in turn grow and invade tissue. Even though terminal diseases such as cancer rely on genetic factors, a healthy diet can be designed specifically for preventing disease and effectively implemented into a person’s lifestyle and should therefore be utilized by everyone who wishes to decrease his or her odds of promoting cancer. The food that a person ingests often determines whether or not that person is at risk to have or develop cancer. Certain foods promote different cancers in different parts of the body. Diets high in animal protein especially promote cancers of the liver, large intestine, kidney and breast. Diets high in total fat (animal as well as plant – based) are particularly linked to cancers of the large intestine, prostate, breast and pancreas. Inadequate intakes of plant antioxidant vitamins (beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and many other similar substances) are implicated in many cancers. Food components can prevent cancer by mopping up highly reactive chemicals (free radicals) that act throughout the cancer process inhibiting cell division and enhancing the immune system, especially the so-called “natural killer cells”. Food components also reduce the enzyme conversion of chemical carcinogens to active forms, boost the ability of cells to repair any genetic damage and inhibit any ability of cancer cells to break away and invade other tissues. Fruits, vegetables, and grains in general are anti-cancer champions. Virtually all of them are rich in antioxidants and other substances that block cancer at many stages of its development. The plant foods listed below are a few that appear to be great allies in our fight against cancer. Green tea inhibits tumors of the esophagus, breast, skin, colon and liver in rodents. Soybeans are rich in genistein, a phytochemical that appears to prevent small tumors from growing. Genistein apparently interferes with cancer at many points, from controlling cell proliferation to inhibiting angiogenesis, the building of blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors. Studies have shown it particularly to protect against breast cancer. Broccoli and the cabbage family are full of phytochemicals that fight cancer. One of them, sulforaphane, protects lab animals from breast cancer. It appears to help cancer-fighting enzymes force carcinogens out of cells. And another, phenmethyl isothiocyanate, apparently disarms carcinogens and prevents DNA from damage. Tomatoes are associated with lower rates of several cancers, most particularly lung and prostate cancer. Flavonoids, phytochemicals that give color to fruits and vegetables, may block the ability of cancer-causing hormones to attach to cells. Garlic and onions contain phytochemicals that activate enzymes that neutralize carcinogens. Flax seeds contain lignans that may block cancerous changes. In addition, their oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may be helpful against a variety of cancers. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral that, in population studies, is associated with decreased incidence of cancer. Just one of these crunchy nuts a day is plenty. They are so rich in selenium that eating too many could give you an overdose. Selenium may block both tumor initiation and promotion. In order to consume most of the above listed foods, a simple and sensible diet must be followed. P.