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Childhood cancer is a phrase that shouldn’t exist. It is not something that children or even their parents should have to go through. It is not spoken about often, but that needs to change. Cancer is the leading cause of death in children under 15. Every year, about 16,000 kids will be diagnosed with cancer, and this number has not changed in the last 20 years! 1 out of 8 children will not survive cancer and its treatments. (source)
The most common form of childhood cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (accounts for 25% of all children’s cancers). Leukemia is cancer of the blood that starts in the bone marrow. Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph and immune systems. Liver cancer, eye cancer (retinoblastoma), brain tumors, and thyroid cancer are among the other common diagnoses that children see.
Nearly every major cancer foundation’s website seems to sing the same tune about the causes of cancer. “We don’t know what causes cancer, and research isn’t giving us answers. Oh, and it can’t be prevented.” While this may be true in some cases, it is an outright lie for the majority of cases. It is time for us as a society to wake up and realize that we have been lied to about cancer.
**ONLY 4% of the cancer research budget goes into childhood cancer research! This is terrible! How can they say they don’t know what causes cancer or that it can’t be prevented if they aren’t even looking into it?!**
Known Causes of Cancer
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; and the National Institute of Environment published a 46 page booklet to talk about the environmental causes of cancer. The booklet says that a LARGE number of cancers are in fact preventable, and *at least* two-thirds of all cancers can be linked to environmental issues. Whatever toxins we are exposed to in our lives have the potential to be passed on to our children too. Our goal should be to do as much as we can to limit our exposure to toxins.
Common causes of cancer from this booklet (in general, not just for kids) include:
- Inactivity/lack of exercise
- Tobacco and its second hand smoke
- UV Radiation (no tanning beds!!)
- Viral infections (Think EBV and other herpes viruses, which are link to lymphoma)
- Bacterial infections (think h. pylori, linked to stomach cancer)
- Radiation (especially Radon, which is extremely common in the US. Testing your home for Radon is essential if you are in a high radon area. Check your state’s environmental site for info.)
- PESTICIDES: Likely one of the most common causes since we are exposed to these daily. Think food, grass, pest control, etc. This is why organic food is so important! It might not be perfect, but it helps to lessen the amount of toxins we are exposed to.
- Herbicides: Another huge cause because of GLYPHOSATE use in the US (which has been declared a probable carcinogen by the WHO). While some countries have banned glyphosate because of its toxic effects, the US just rose the acceptable limits of it.
- Medical drugs
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Solvents that are used mostly in paint.
- Heavy metals like cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury and more
Cancer causes not listed in the booklet:
- Nutritional Deficiencies (especially copper and vitamin A, and iodine with breast cancer)
- Iron overload (tumors LOVE iron!)
- Common beauty products (makeup, shampoo, deodorant; there are about 82,000 ingredients used in these products, many of them known carcinogens)
- Household cleaners (bleach, windex, etc)
- BPA (and other plastics)
- Furniture! Most furniture companies still use toxic chemicals as a flame retardant. The furniture off-gasses, and it gets worse the older it gets. Mattresses tend to be the worst!
- Genetically Modified Organisms (mostly because of the increase in use of Round-Up.)
- Our water supply: Fluoride, heavy metals, parasites, and even traces of pharmaceutical drugs can be found in tap water. Learn how to get clean water here.
So what can we do to prevent and treat cancers?
First of all: if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, please get as many doctors on board as you can. Firstly, you want to make sure it is really cancer (because yes, some doctors do unfortunately pretend to diagnosis cancer!) and secondly, no *one* doctor will have all of the answers. Hopefully you can find doctors that are more naturally minded when it comes to treatment, or at least that they will be willing to work with you on combining treatments.
Secondly: Start implementing ways to eliminate the amount of toxins in your life, especially those mentioned above that are known cancer causes. Eliminate processed foods (especially sugar), get a great water filter for your home, check for heavy metals and nutritional imbalances, test for parasites, and do a whole overhaul on the products you use in your home. Eat as clean and organically as you can as well, especially avoiding GMOs.
And lastly, check out this site for awesome information on where to get started:
Kick Cancer Movement has a ton of great information on their website and FaceBook page. They use real food nutrition and many natural treatments (including essential oils) to support kids’ bodies during and after cancer treatments. You can apply for a free Kick Start kit on their site too as an idea of what products and foods are good ideas for this purpose. They also have a blog for many other ideas. Like most health organizations, they started Kick Cancer after a young family member was diagnosed with cancer so they have been through the process and have a ton of invaluable information.
Cancer is a devastating illness, and no one ever wants to hear that word when it comes to a family member, especially a child. There are many ways for us to clean up our environment for our children, and it is absolutely imperative that we do so now. If over 2/3 of cancers are environmental and preventable don’t you think we have a responsibility to change that? We need to clean this world up now for our future generations.