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Does your heredity dictate whether you get cancer?

I saw my friend Glenn at the gym yesterday, hadn’t seen him in a long time. He’s a former BYU Marriott School of Management colleague (he’s still there–I’M former). His daughter has been Tennyson’s girlfriend since first grade even though they broke up for a few months in fourth grade when he decided she was “bossy.” Their only kiss was once when my kids and I were at Glenn and Angela’s house: Anna wrestled Tennyson to the ground and managed to fire one off on the top of his head.

I stopped to chat with him about Ten at the biggest game in Marriott Center history the night before–when Jimmer Fredette scored 43 points to help BYU beat #4 ranked San Diego State. I’d asked Ten, “What do you think it feels like to hear a sold-out crowd chanting, ‘YOU GOT JIMMERED!’” And Ten shrugged and nonchalantly said, “I dunno. I’ll tell you in a few years.”

(LOL! Maybe some “bossy” could do the kid some good!)

So Glenn said to me, “Hey, I’ve got a bone to pick with you! My wife went to your class last week and now I’m eating all this weird stuff! Green drinks! Seriously?!”

I said, “It’ll do you some good! Now you’re tenured, life is good–stick around for a while to meet all your grandkids and travel the world!” Glenn shook his head and said, no, my family is LOADED for cancer. All his grandfathers dead in their 50′s. (Interpretation: I’m screwed.)

I hear this a lot. It’s defeatist. I believe the China Study documents for us that risk factors we can do nothing about are only a small piece of the puzzle. Cancer is far from a foregone conclusion, even if your family, like mine and Glenn’s, has a lot of cancer. That is, it’s not foregone if you’re willing to change your diet and lifestyle.

My dad didn’t even wear a mask, spraying MALATHION in his grandfather’s cherry orchards as a teen and young adult. Sometimes he got accidentally sprayed full in the face, by his brother, with that deadly pesticide banned long ago in the U.S.! Why does my nearly-70 father still run 4 miles a day and has no cancer or any other health problem? (And his brother DOES have cancer.) I theorize it’s his long history of a 95% plant-based diet. My parents do kefir, alkaline water, grow their own produce, and eat very little sugar/white flour.

Campbell’s team injected groups of mice and rats with aflatoxin, a well known carcinogen. Only those who ate 20% animal protein got cancer. Those who ate 5% animal protein didn’t. (Remember, those eating 5% were injected with the deadly mold, too!)

Then his human study in China, tracking 6,500 people, showed very similar results. Those who ate 20% animal protein (like the average American) gained weight and acquired the modern diseases. The usual suspects: cancer, heart disease, auto-immune diseases. Those eating meat “sparingly” (5%) were lean even if they ate 200 calories per day MORE than meat eaters–and they didn’t get diseases.

In the rodent studies, the researchers switched the diets and watched fat, cancerous mice switched to a low-animal-protein diet get lean and TUMORS SHRUNK AND OFTEN DISAPPEARED.

My point? There’s always hope. Starting now, you can radically change your health. (I love repentance. Don’t you?)

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