A couple of weeks ago I received an email from someone asking to confirm details before she decided to “forward it to everyone you love.” The email touted the cancer curing benefits of asparagus. I’m talking of some pretty remarkable cases of cancer curing a 16 year bladder cancer patient cured, “hopeless” Hodgkin’s disease cured, lung cancer and skin cancer – cured! Of course, the “establishment” prevents all the other cases from being revealed. Of course.
I was asked my opinion about the email. When I am asked to give my opinion, I am known for not mincing words, so I gave my opinion, as a health professional.
As of now, nothing cures cancer, not even chemo (chemo kills cells, both cancer and healthy cells). Cancer is an overarching name for over 100 diseases and they are treated differently depending on what kind and type you have. Generally, you are treated for the cancer you have. Research repeatedly shows that if people ate a high fruit and vegetable diet, including asparagus, throughout life, before they are diagnosed with cancer, then their risk of cancer greatly reduced. This includes lung and skin cancer. Unfortunately, I meet many people who are willing to start doing the fruit and vegetables after the diagnosis.
If this whole “asparagus cures cancer” was true then I would do the following:
- I wouldn’t bother wearing icky, sticky sunscreen every time I went on long bike rides.
- I would probably still complain about smokers, but not have much of a leg to stand on…
- I might not exercise as much.
- I would probably eat less broccoli. A lot less.
- I would likely eat more red meat . I love a good steak.
- I would probably skip the mammogram (ouch).
- I would maybe skip the pap-tests. No, not maybe. I would skip it.
- Never have a colonoscopy.
- I wouldn’t bother contributing my money and walking the Relay for Life every year. We could just have a cookout at my house.
- I wouldn’t bother with the Making Strides against Breast Cancer every year. I’ll sleep in and skip the traffic!
Obviously, this is ridiculous – I do these things: wear sunscreen, get my preventive screenings, eat a healthy diet, exercise and give to cancer related initiatives. I also educate others on how to eat healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle to REDUCE their RISK of getting cancer. Everyone should wear sunscreen, get their preventive screenings, and eat broccoli (even George H.W. Bush).
Nothing I can say or recommend will guarantee that you will never get cancer. While I have not been diagnosed with cancer, I have a high risk for it (2 parents, 3 grandparents) and I live to fight that. Don’t be misled into believing that anything as “simple” as eating asparagus will cure your cancer.
Disclaimer: I am not making light of cancer (yet, at the same time I am – you still need humor in your life). I take this very seriously, and am disturbed when I receive emails that simplify the treatments for cancer. If you read the post in its entirety, you see that I am neither a cancer patient nor a survivor, yet. I have many family and friends who have been affected by cancer and fight to not be one of those affected.