Amy and Simon Blog

The Natural and Healthy Lifestyle we Discovered Along the Way…

Cancer Article April 16, 2009

An worthy article forwarded from our friend Caty who has her own organic skin care product line.  The link to her products is on this blog if you are interested; look for Lazuli Organics.


—— Forwarded Message
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 22:03:06 -0400
Subject: Cancer Article

I found this article the other day and think that though its brief, its very

I think it’ll help people understand a little more of why we have changed our
eating habits and why I’ve created my organic cosmetic care line…..



All of us have cancer cells in our bodies. But not all of us will develop
cancer.” So says Dr David Servan-Schreiber, author of Anti Cancer: A New Way
of Life. This fascinating book explains the scientific facts behind cancer
in clear and convincing tones. 

Is there a cancer epidemic?

Servan-Schreiber describes a cancer epidemic affecting the wealthiest
countries in the world. Since 1940 the number of cancers has increased in
all industrialised countries. This trend has picked up since 1975 and is
particularly striking in the young. In some European countries, such as
France, the cancer rate has increased by 60 per cent in the last twenty
years. The incidence of prostate cancer has risen by 200 per cent in some
European countries between 1978 and 2000, by 258 per cent in the USA over
the same period. The argument that the increase is due to early screening
leading to more diagnoses does not hold water. The increase in cancers that
are not routinely screened for is equally striking if not more so, than
those that are.

What’s behind the increase in cancer?

According to the general director of the World Health Organisation (WHO),
“Up to 80 per cent of cancers may be influenced by external factors, such as
lifestyle and the environment.” In particular, three major factors have
changed in our environment since World War Two:

  1. The addition of large quantities of highly refined sugar to our diet
  2. Changes in methods of farming and raising animals, and as a result, in our food
  3. Exposure to a large number of chemical products that didn’t exist before 1940

The anti-cancer diet

Dr Servan-Schreiber recommends a diet balanced in Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils,
low in animal protein and dairy, and high in fresh (preferably organic)
fruits and vegetables. The book comes with a handy shopping guide which
recommends a range of foods which fight the growth of cancer in the body.

Chemicals and cancer

Of course, what interests me most is the influence of the chemicals in our
environment on the increase in cancer. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer keeps a list of
carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances in the environment. In the past
thirty years, it has tested 900 potential culprits (a tiny proportion of
over 100,000 molecules released by industry since 1940, at a rate of several
million tonnes a year). “Among these 900 products submitted to the
International Agency for Research on Cancer… only one has been recognised
as non-carcinogenic.

Ninety-five have been identified as a ‘known carcinogen’ (i.e. there have
been enough epidemiological studies and animal research to establish cause
and effect). “Three hundred and seven are ‘probable’ or ‘possible’
carcinogens. Four hundred and ninety-seven remain ‘unclassified’, which
means they have not been sufficiently studied.” In many cases, these
substances continue to be widely used. Of course, industrialists argue that
consumers are exposed to very low levels of such chemicals. However a trial
of 400 chemicals (a representative sample of 75,000 on the market at the
time) found that 5-10 per cent of these chemicals were carcinogenic for
humans. Five to ten per cent of 75,000 means we are regularly exposed to
3,750 – 7,500 carcinogens, which makes it less reassuring that each one may
be less than a toxic dose, given that the total toxicity then comes to 37 to
to 75 times the toxic dose in animals!

So what can we do to protect ourselves?

Rethink dry cleaning – Servan-Schreiber recommends avoiding
perchloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene in dry cleaning by airing out your
dry cleaned garments in fresh air for several hours before wearing, or going
for wet cleaning, liquid CO2 or silicon.

Avoid aluminium – He tells us to avoid deodorants and antiperspirants
containing aluminium, especially for women who shave their armpits as this
facilitates the penetration of aluminium.

Avoid Phthalates by using natural cosmetics According to Servan-Schreiber,
we should avoid cosmetics, shampoo, lotions, gels, hair dye, nail polish and
sunscreen containing oestrogens, parabens or phthalates, and perfumes
containing phthalates (nearly all of them do).

Use green household cleaners – He further warns against chemical household
pesticides and insecticides, heating plastic containers made with PVCs,
preparing food in scratched Teflon pans and common cleaning products such as
liquid detergents, disinfectants and toilet-bowl sanitisers.

Beat the chemical overload

To me, it is blindingly obvious that the wide range of chemicals we plaster
on ourselves and liberally use around our homes, together with the countless
pesticides we are ingesting, contribute to the epidemic of cancer. It makes
sense to make different choices. Green, natural and organic skin care and
beauty products and household products are effective and benefit our health
and that of the world around us. Servan-Schreiber himself suffered from
cancer which disappeared after surgery and then reappeared. By changing his
lifestyle dramatically, he managed to beat it. This book is fascinating
reading not only because of the clear, balanced and well-argued way the
evidence is presented (as you would expect from an eminent scientist and
doctor). It is also riveting because of the personal experience the author
refers to throughout. I highly recommend it. You can pick up a copy at all
major book stores in Australia.

—— End of Forwarded Message

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