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Does your heredity dictate whether you get cancer?

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Dec 28, 2010

Ayna posted this on my blog, and my response follows:

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: “I have been a vegetarian for so many years I can’t count them. But

my family women have a breast cancer gene. You can’t beat that, it does not matter what you do, it’s in the blood. I have lived through 2 breast tumors which had not spread. That was perhaps God ´s gift to me. I don’t know. We can’t eat healthily anymore unless the food is being grown under anti-chemtrail situations and being watered with pure water without any fluoride.

I wish you would address these issues and tell your “followers” where you get the perfect clean wonderful veg you use for your smoothies. I do not mean to be rude, I just would like to know how you do it.”

Answer: Organically gardened vegetables are “perfect” and I teach about that in Ch. 5 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods. However, I eat both organic and conventional fruits and vegetables that I buy in the store, year-round. I buy organic produce when it’s not more than 50% more expensive than conventional, when it’s available, and when it’s a “dirty dozen” item.

I wash my conventional produce using a good organic soap. (I use Shaklee Basic H, and others are at your local health food store.) Keep in mind that in the hundreds of studies proving a link between raw plant foods and disease prevention, the vast majority of those disease-preventing foods were grown conventionally. (That is, with pesticides.)

I’m not saying this to suggest that eating herbicides isn’t harmful. I’m saying that your alternatives, animal products, are MUCH higher in pesticides/herbicides than conventional fruits and veggies are. (That makes sense since animals’ tissues and organs build up those same chemicals they’ve been eating on sprayed produce.) And I’m saying that if we have to eat conventional produce, we can still reap the benefits and avoid living a fear-based life. Not all budgets can bear 100% organics. If yours can, by all means, buy organic!

I don’t agree with being defeatist about our heredity. True enough that you can’t change your DNA. But read The China Study for a much more detailed understanding of why heredity is a much smaller piece of the puzzle than lifestyle, and why we have far more control than you have been led to believe, Ayna.

All the animals in Campbell’s studies were injected with a known carcinogen, aflatoxin. Only the animals who indulged in a high animal-protein diet actually got cancerous tumors. Those who ate a plant-based diet did not.

When you don’t have time on your side and cancer has taken control of body systems, that disease is hard to root out. But you have the option to avoid risk in the first place with a highly oxygenated, mostly-raw, plant-based lifestyle.

Or you can eat lots of processed food, and lots of animal products, and put yourself at high risk for cancer, heart disease, auto-immune diseases and all the other modern maladies. With lots of dead foods going in your mouth every day, combined with your hereditary factors, you give your body the optimal climate to grow cancer. Fortunately, you have a choice about the bigger of those two risk factors.

Posted in: Nutrition, Research

6 thoughts on “Does your heredity dictate whether you get cancer?”

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  1. so true! it’s funny. my husband just told me about some study a professor or someone did. he ate junk food for a short period of time… but something like 1200 calories of it per day to see if he could lose weight. and he did. and a bunch of his “numbers” came back better than they were before the 30 days. a bunch of crap. way to convince the american people that they can eat whatever they want and lose weight and “get healthier.” so ridiculous. as if eating that way over time wouldn’t take a toll on your body. a serious toll! and cause major issues. it made me sick to my stomach that now people are going to think it’s okay and possible. and really… to eat 1200 calories worth of that stuff, you’d feel like crap and your body would be starving for something of worth. ew. it made me mad. what you put into your body MATTERS!!! it will catch up to you one day.

  2. My understanding is this:

    OLD THOUGHT: Grandma had diabetes, Mom has diabetes, I will get diabetes.

    NEW THOUGHT: Grandma had diabetes, Mom has diabetes, I had better change how I eat.

    These are theoretical, since diabetes does not “run” in my family!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t anya say she was vegetarian though? A totally vegetarian diet is not always the best for long-term eating, right? A good cleansing regimen, yes, but unsustainable in the long-run (body gets depleted). From my research, good fats are needed (eggs, coconut oil, etc) – as well as a small amt. of animal-protein occasionally (fish and organ meats seem to be the best…) I do know that the term vegetarian is misleading as well. I have a vegetarian friend who eats a lot of processed food that uses soy-substitute ‘meats’, etc., and is NOT the picture of health…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve wondering about this for a while.

    Were the animals in the study given animal protein in the form of milk, eggs, and meat? Or was the only animal protein they were given whey isolate powder with high amounts of casein? Were any studies done using another type of animal protein?

  5. Some vegetarians eat very little raw veggies and lots of soy. Perfect acidic condition for cancer

  6. Great response Robyn! We have so much power over cancer in our lifestyle choices. Coming from a family that has multiple generations of cancer, I write from experience. Fortunately, I have been able to assist family members and my patients by teaching the components of a healthy lifestyle. Greensmoothiegirl.com is now an important resource for all of my patients.

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