In 1930, the cancer rates in the US were one in 30. Today, the rates have increased to one in every two men and one in every three women. Years ago, the American Cancer Society blamed genetics, but today they know better. Research clearly shows that lifestyle is the major player with genetics contributing only 10-15 percent. And so it is with many diseases today. February is Cancer Prevention Month. With cancer rates this high, it’s wise to put a prevention plan in place.
Prevention starts with securing a primary doctor who will schedule all your needed screenings. These important screenings, however, don’t prevent cancer. They only detect it it early. It’s lifestyle changes that prevent cancer—changes such as proper hydration, exercise, adequate sleep and nutrient dense foods. The following are four excuses that many people use preventing them from implementing a plan:
I’m exempt as a Christian and a pastor.
No one is exempt from the cancer beast. Those in professions that bear the burdens of others have an increased risk for cancer and many other diseases. As a counselor for 32 years, my burden load was extremely high. Those of us in caring professions must determine health a priority.
I’m too busy as a pastor.
None of us is too busy to care or our health. Cancer took five years of my life with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, and hormone therapies. Prevention saves you time battling health issues. Time is costly especially when cancer or a disease takes you home early.
I can’t afford a prevention plan.
You can’t afford not to! My cancer treatments cost nearly $600,000. A cancer journey can bankrupt even those with insurance due to many copays and out of pocket expenses. Many prevention strategies such as proper hydration, exercise, adequate sleep and a nutrient-rich diet are a matter of discipline not cost. And most preventative screenings are covered by your insurance.
I can’t live without my comfort foods.
Comfort foods are usually high in calories and low in nutrients and should be eaten only occasionally. In order for our bodies to work as God intended, we must eat the foods God created in the beginning. These nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. contain phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function properly. All of these plants contain cancer-fighting chemicals and are low in calories and high in nutrients.
Most comfort foods increase obesity. The research clearly shows that obesity increases our risk for all cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and contracting and developing complications from Covid-19.
Implementing a cancer prevention plan benefits your body and enables it to work as God intended. It also prevents many other diseases. The scientific evidence is clear that the more plants we eat the fewer diseases we will have. Daniel fared better when he refused to eat the king’s food and instead ate plants and drank water. When we hydrate properly and eat whole foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories, we can boost our health and manage our weight. Doing so also arms our immune system preparing us for battle.
There’s no better gift to demonstrate love for your loved ones in this month of Valentines Day and cancer prevention. What a wonderful gift of love when we implement a new focus on health, wellness and prevention for your congregation, family, and you.
Ginny Dent Brant is a counselor, educator, speaker, and wellness advocate. Her recent book, “Unleash Your God-given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer,” was written with an oncologist, won a Golden Scrolls Award, and was featured on CBN. Cancer prevention blog at www.ginnybrant.com.