Many studies have suggested that cancer is overwhelmingly a result of environmental factors and not down to bad luck or genes. Even if you have a higher predisposition to cancer because of your genes, this might be reversed and here is where the study of epigenetics comes in.
Epigenetics is the changes in the genetic material which alters the genetic code without changing the DNA sequence. There are millions of cells in our body which are similar, but in every cell the way the genes are used within the DNA changes. Epigenetic processes either turns on or off genes which will initiate different functions in your body and these are said to be influenced by your environment and lifestyle habits. The malfunctioning of epigenetic processes will lead to many types of chronic illness including cancer.
The DNA in the cells gets damaged and these cells either die or get repaired but in some cases when these cells are deprived of nutrients and oxygen, the cells mutates to become cancerous. The life span of every cell is defined, however cancer cells multiply and don’t have a life span. A strong immune system will prevent the occurrence and the development of cancer but a suppressed immune system fails to do this.
The Big Misconception Behind Genes and Cancer
There is common misconception that family history of cancer is the major cause of cancer. It’s said that less than 5% of cancer cases are genetic and 95% of cases are due to lifestyle and stress.
It’s been a norm all over the world to go through conventional therapies like chemo, radiation and surgery for cancer, even though the patient suffers extreme side-effects and the possibility of a relapse of the cancer. The doctor fails to make the cancer patient understand the importance of lifestyle changes and strengthening immunity, which are actually the key factors needed to be fixed to keep the cancer at bay.
Here’s a fact: According to a study, Japanese women have 6% lower risk of getting cancer but if these women migrate to the US and follow a western diet, their risks increase. This risk factor decreases by including fruits and vegetables that adds vitamins and enzymes that strengthen our immunity system, along with being involved in various types of exercise.
- So what if you do have a family history of cancer?
- What if every other family member of yours has suffered from a particular cancer?
- Now what if it’s on it’s way to you?
There are options and answers. You can go for genetic testing followed by genetic counselling to prevent cancer occurrence in case you have a family history of cancer. During genetic counselling, the genetic counsellor will examine the family history and would suggest a simple blood test which will determine the risk of genetic cancer and map out a plan ahead, in regards to the results.
But remember this: whether it is in your genes or not, conventional treatments are just a quick fix to stop cancer metastasis to other parts of the body. Building a new body by reducing stress, toxic load and lifestyle modifications is of utmost importance before, during and after cancer treatment. Blaming your genes is not going to get you anywhere but instead make you a victim of conventional treatment and severe side effects of these treatments. Today we now know that through the science of epigenetics, gene expressions can be influenced by your environment and lifestyle.
Prevention is key and it can be 100% controlled by you, so stop blaming the genes, educate yourself and treat your body and mind as your temple.