As we enter and progress in the 21st century, more and more of us will be affected by the plague of modern civilization: cancer. If you or someone close to you has been attacked by this deteriorating disease, you realize the severity of malignant cells growing in your body. What most people don’t realize is these cells inhabit our bodies every day of our life. What is commonly known as cancer cells, exist in abundance in even the healthiest of individuals as a natural by-product of the body’s processes. Its just how nature operates. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you will get cancer, 42% of Americans do.
The great news however, is that you have full control over your body. If you choose life, life is what you shall receive. Using breast cancer as an example, let’s take a look at how you can choose life.
Like most of us, I have had people close to me in my life
affected by cancer. In early October, my family lost a very close friend.
My brother’s God Mother, Colleen, was overcome by a fatal occurrence
of pancreatic cancer that spread to her liver. She was a strong spirit
and beat her doctor’s prediction by months, but the disease had
spread to many of her vital organs.
I didn’t fully realize the damaging potential of
the disease until the second hit close to home. John, 23 year-old bass
player for the band Addison Groove Project, was recently diagnosed with
rectal cancer. Energy had been mounting for months in preparation for
national tour when John was diagnosed. The waiting explosion of joy, turned
into a hollow roar of sorrow.
I knew cancer was a problem in the nation, but John is
only 23! This really is serious. Two occurrences in the first half of
2003 were the catalyst that drove me to investigate this epidemic. What
I found on that search however, is that the solution is simpler than you
may think. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my findings
with you, so we may all do our best to avoid the plague of the 21st century.
During my search for answers, I ran into Brian Haas, the
esteemed piano player in the provocative jazz trio, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.
Our paths crossed at the foot of Butternut Ski Basin among scorching sun
and green grass at the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival in August of
2003. While most of the inhabitants of the festival were wrapped up in
conversation about the previous day’s musical lineup, Brian was
deep into in a discussion on life and death.
Recently, Brian’s mom became one of 1.4 million people
in the United States to be newly diagnosed with cancer. Fearing for her
life, Mrs. Haas did what nearly everyone does, and enrolled in a regimen
of chemotherapy and radiation treatment to counter the breast cancer.
Her doctors emphasized that this was the best, most effective means of
treatment, even though they gave her only a five percent chance of surviving
the ordeal, with the “therapy”. A five percent chance
of survival with the most cutting edge advances in western medicine! No
wonder subconsciously she knew the MDs were wrong. “There was a
ring of dishonesty in what the doctors were saying,” explained Brian
During this treatment, her body underwent high doses of
chemicals and radiation that poisoned the cancer cells—along with
her healthy cells. She became weaker and more emotionally destitute. There
were no signs of regaining the vitality that once flowed through her body
in abundance. Then she turned to Brian. After a few months of listening
to his advice, she was on her way to full recovery. She had literally
found the cure; it took her from deathbed, to full recovery. And that
cure is available for everybody.
How diet can increase your chances
In the case of breast cancer, cell mutation
begins in the epithelial cells lining the ducts where milk is produced
and delivered to the nipple. It is a case of the natural process going
out of control. Estrogen causes the epithelial cells to replicate—as
nature intended. But when outside factors influence the production and
elimination of estrogen, cell reproduction can get out of control going
into hyperplasia, an excessive multiplication of the cells. At this point,
the cancer is contained within the duct and is controllable and reversible.
However, as the cells propagate rapidly, feeding on the estrogen and sugars
in the body, they quickly go into the irreversible state of ductal
carcinoma in situ. Reaching the most advanced state, the replicating
mutant cells burst through the duct wall, releasing themselves into the
surrounding tissue resulting in infiltrating ductal carcinoma.
Western medicine currently has about four main (and expensive)
treatments to counter mutating cells spreading throughout the body. The
first step in slowing reproduction of malignant cells, is to slow the
hormone that commands them to replicate, estrogen. The most common drugs
used for this include tamoxifen and raloxifene. Unfortunately the artificial
reduction of estrogen brings with it a host of side effects such as hot
flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, vomiting, and diarrhea all the way
up to more sever reactions such as the weakening of the bones, blood clots
in the blood vessels, and increased risk of uterine cancer. This slows
the growth of the cancer, to kill the cells that already exist, we have
a few options.
Chemotherapy is the most common cancer treatment. Chemicals
are introduced to the system to kill the cancer cells. Unfortunately,
instead of mimicking a “smart bomb” and killing only the malignant
cells, the chemicals kill thousands of healthy cells in the process. These
chemicals are so harmful to the body, the New England Journal of Medicine
reported that increased chance of leukemia and ovarian cancer offset the
benefits with greater risks. Chemotherapy also tends to reduce the number
of blood platelets in the patient, called thrombocytopenia. Theoretically
it’s similar to killing Saddam Hussein by nuking all of Iraq.
Speaking of, radiation treatment is also a very common
therapy where the tumor is bombarded with high energy X-rays or radioactive
isotopes in order to disable the replicating mechanism in the cancer cells,
the chromosomes. As most of us know from getting X-rays at the dentist,
radiation is not good for the body. How can the body fight off degeneration
when it’s own immune system is being weakened by the treatment?
The final, and most drastic treatment is a radical mastectomy
where the breast, lymph nodes, and chest muscles are completely removed
from the patient in a surgical operation. The severity of this treatment
speaks for itself.
The best way to avoid being in a place where you need to
consider these severe treatments of course is to avoid cancer all together.
Western medicine however, is focused on curing illness rather than preventing
A great place to begin your prevention regimen, is a vegetarian
diet. Fill your body with vibrant vegetables, that collect vitality straight
from the sun. You’ll also remove the most unhealthy ingredients
in your diet and instantly upgrade your chances of not becoming one of
the 42% that gets cancer. “Its so simple,” Haas emphasizes.
When Brian’s mom finally decided she had enough of
the western method of poison and radiation, she began listening to what
Brian was saying. She began to follow not only his advice, but also her
instincts. She immediately stopped taking the chemotherapy drugs and going
to radiation therapy. She began to pay careful attention to what she put
into her body, but more importantly, what not to put into her body.
To begin the healing process, the first thing she did was
take the following four items out of her diet completely: sugar, alcohol,
dairy, and factory (non-organically raised) meat. She replaced these with
regular doses of juiced wheat grass, and her recovery began. It is as
simple as that.
with my burger?
What’s to worry about, you may ask? There are four
major groups of toxins found in factory meat that you should be aware
of: pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, and saturated fat.
The advent of pesticide use in large-scale farming was
introduced just after World War II to increase productivity and drive
profits. Unfortunately, no long-term studies have been conducted to determine
the ramifications of such use. And unfortunately we are still using such
One such chemical present in our food chain today is dioxin.
You may have heard of this chemical. It is the contaminant in Agent Orange,
the defoliant used in the Vietnam War that was found to cause birth defects
in children of exposed parents. As far back as 1974, a representative
of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testified before congress
that dioxin is “...by far the most toxic chemical known to mankind.”
But this has not stopped its use even today. On October 17, 2003, the
Boston Globe reported that the EPA, under the Bush administration, refused
to enforce a new limit to the use of dioxin-laced sludge as a fertilizer
on farms, forests, parks, and golf courses. Dioxin has been shown to cause
cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and in the worst cases, death.
This has been accumulating in your chicken wings and its
only the beginning.
In a 1999 study on the impact of agricultural antibiotics,
analysts linked a rise, from 1 percent to 10 percent, in antibiotic resistance
in bacteria, to the 1995 approval of antibiotics used in poultry—antibiotics
in the same class as Cipro. (Cipro, used to treat anthrax, would be a
bad thing to be resistant to.) Researchers at UCS estimate that roughly
24 million pounds, or 70 percent of the antibiotics in the United States
are fed to healthy livestock. “‘Although the 3 million pounds
[prescribed to humans] are thought to be responsible for the greater contribution
to antibiotic-resistant disease, the 24 million pounds cannot be ignored,’
for reasons of sheer volume, USC’s Margaret Mellon said.”
While this, according to my research, is not tied directly
to cancer, it compromises our ability to fight off bacterial infections.
Such an infection only compromises the body’s immune system when
it needs it most—to combat malignant cells. And malignant cells
are what you’ll get from the next popular additive to your Thanksgiving
In the United States it is legal to give cattle hormones
such as estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, and others. Do you remember
how we talked about how breast cancer cells are fueled by estrogen? Giving
hormones directly to the animals is like adding fuel to the fire. One
reason why the European Union hasn’t bought meat produced in the
U.S. for over 14 years, is the twenty-fold increase in estrogen levels.
The final element contained in meat that increases your
risks of cancer is saturated fat. There are no shortage of scientific
studies that connect animal fat with cancers of the lung, colon, rectum,
breast, endometrium, and prostate. One such study done in Britain over
12 years found vegetarians to have cancer rates 40 percent lower than
non-vegetarians. The study tested 6,000 vegetarians against a group of
meat-eaters similar in body weight, social class, and smoking patterns.
Another study done over eleven years in Germany concluded that cancer
rates were less than half among vegetarians. For those that avoided meat
for over 20 years, their cancer rates were the lowest of all.
How do you treat your Temple?
“Jesus said your body is a temple. If you treat your
body like a temple, it spreads into the rest of your life. Every aspect
of your life becomes holy; everything you do is holy.”
As Haas explains this, he puts his dinner of chicken and
french fries to the side after barely nibbling one of the legs and touching
nothing else. Despite the free meal, provided as part of his contract
to perform that night, he opts for the tub of organic stew from his car.
The club manager walks by with a puzzled look and asks Brian what he’s
eating. “Organic stew, beans; simple,” he replies.
“The mind, body and soul are connected,” Haas
continues. “If you don’t allow your body to operate at its
full potential, how do we even know what our minds are capable of? I’m
all about living like a real human and realizing my full potential. I’m
back here [on the earth] for some reason so I want to be the best human
I can be. All of this is so simple.”
After hearing him behind the grand piano that night, I
know why he’s here. But its even larger than spreading his consciousness
expanding jazz. There is a larger purpose: All is One.
“The reason we’re here right now is to help
in the healing process of the earth. So, we have to turn ourselves into
superheroes, we have to turn ourselves into ultra-humans. We have to find
our true potential. Jesus said ‘Don’t you understand that
you’re all Gods?’ Simple; we’re all Gods, we’re
all creators. We create the world around us. And if we’re toxic,
if we’re poisoning ourselves, we’re going to create an awful
world. Look around, we made this. The way I look at it, if you only feed
yourself goodness and love, you only create goodness and love.”
A vegetarian diet is one way of ensuring only goodness
gets into your body, by minimizing the toxic chemicals entering body.
However, now beyond the industrial revolution, we live a poisonous lifestyle
and no matter how much we try and avoid it, toxins still wind up in the
body through the air we breathe and the water we drink. Because of this,
it is a good idea to consider cleaning house once and a while to allow
your body’s natural processes to combat enemy free radicals and
malignant cells in the body. (Remember, cancer cells are present everyday,
its just a matter of controlling them before they run rampant in the system.)
One of the best ways to allow your body to clean house,
is by fasting. By abstaining from food for significant periods of time,
your body has a chance to turn its immune attention towards breaking down
toxins in the system that, if left unattended to, could manifest into
any number of cancers. We’ll talk more about fasting in part II
of this piece, in the spring issue of Meniscus Magazine.
The American lifestyle has become one that is filled with
health enemies. Just take a look at the ingredients on the back of Cheetos
or another snack you enjoy frequently. What is disodium phosphate and
why is it in my food? How many other items are in there that I don’t
know what they are? What about the harmful chemicals that I do
know about but still consume?
Think of it this way: what if every morning, instead of
having a cup of coffee, I banged my head against a brick wall to wake
up. I would quickly begin to experience splitting headaches, scratches
on my head, and soreness in my neck. If I went to my western doctor for
a solution, he would listen to my symptoms, and probably prescribe Aspirin
or a stronger pain killer to deal with the pain. After the pain did not
go away, I would get X-rays, maybe a MRI scan and perhaps some stitches
to deal with the laceration caused by my forehead smacking against the
brick each day. If I went to my eastern medicine doctor, he would tell
me to stop hitting my head on the wall.
This may sound ridiculous, but when you consider what we,
as Americans, put into our body, it may not be that far-fetched. Consider
that each year 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are sprayed on American
crops, and we feed 24 million pounds of antibiotics to farm animals to
aid in meat production. Where do you think that goes? We are constantly
bombarding our body with unnatural chemicals that can trigger DNA breakage,
cell deterioration, and immune system suppression.
Luckily, you have a choice. You can begin reading the labels
on your food and eliminating chemical-laden flesh from your diet. In part
II of this article, in the spring issue, we’ll explore ways to give
your Temple a spring cleaning to give your immune system a fresh start—before
its too late. By doing a cleansing fast, we may boost our vital energy
and bring ourselves closer to the full potential that we were born with.
Why haven’t I heard about this? We’ll also explore that.
Until then, remember, the choice is yours.
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