Inside you body at this moment could be the beginnings of cancer. In a few days – or a few weeks, it will be gone. This could have happened to you many times. Cancer is not an abnormal abnormality – it happens all the time. In my opinion (worthless as it is) everyone reading this has probably had cancer – and in 99% of these cases it disappears on it’s own accord.
This isn’t the way we think about cancer, but though it’s origins are different, it is not much different than a simple infection. While the vast majority – everyone, in fact – has had an infection at one time, only a much smaller subset of the population have been unfortunate enough to get an infection so severe it became life-threatening.
Comparing the two, maybe my comparison is not all that odd:
Infections contracted in hospitals are the fourth largest killer in America. Every year in this country, two million patients’ contract infections in hospitals, and an estimated 103,000 die as a result, as many deaths as from AIDS, breast cancer, and auto accidents combined. (http://www.hospitalinfection.org/essentialfacts.shtml)
And this doesn’t even include infections not contracted during a hospital stay.
We don’t even talk about eliminating infections, we just do our best to avoid situations where we might increase our risk, though a few of us – either immune-compromised or just germophobic, go to extremes to avoid any contact whatsoever. Our defense strategy is to take reasonable precautions and try to keep our immune system prepared for the infections that inevitably come.
We have a totally different mindset toward cancer. There is a thought that any potential contact with a cancer-causing substance should be eliminated, though this is a completely impossible task in a world with so many chemicals in the substances around us – and so many chemicals fed to rats in such large quantities that they cause cancers in these poor creatures
The connection to low carb in all this is that a low carb diet is thought to increase cancer risk. This is made through a series of assumptions. Populations that eat a lot of red meats tend to have higher cancer rates. Populations that eat a lot of fruits and grains tend to have a lower cancer rate.
Since low carb increases red meat intake and decreases fruits and grains, it’s easy to see how one can conclude that low carb increases your cancer risk.
It has also been said that a conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
Let’s think about it a little more. One important point hasn’t been made. Populations living on ‘low carb’ as we now know it have not been studied – and both the studied groups have other factors that could impact their tendency to get cancer.
The average population eating red meat might also smoke, drink alcohol immoderately, and eat a lot of bad carbs and trans fats.
The lower cancer group might have an opposite spectrum of behaviors that lead to less cancer.
Low carb, when done right, borrows from both and the fact is: know one knows if low carb increases your risk of cancer. It just seems logical.
Maybe the same way it seems logical that eating lots of fat can’t possibly make you thin.
So going back to my original point that we all get cancer all the time, what can we do about it?
Well, I don’t think it’s’ possible to completely avoid cancer-causing agents – even organic peanut putter contains aflatoxins that are known to be cancer-causing.
I think instead of trying to reduce these situations to zero, since it is impossible, we need to do everything possible to strengthen our bodies so that it can fight off that cancers that come our way – and show them the door.
How do you do that? Damned if I know – but I’ll try to answer that in part 2.