Many studies show lifestyle causes of cancer that can be prevented and treated.
Approximately 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime (and higher rates in some other countries).
-National Cancer Institute
About one-third of cancer deaths will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.
-American Cancer Society
More than 30% of cancer could be prevented, mainly by not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active and moderating the use of alcohol. In developing countries up to 20% of cancer deaths could be prevented by immunization against the infection of HBV and HPV.
-World Health Organization
Only 5% to 10% of all cancers are caused by inheritance of mutated genes and somatic mutations. The remaining 90% to 95% has been linked to lifestyle factors and environment1. According to some studies, almost 30% of all cancers have been attributed to tobacco smoke1, 35% to diet2, 14% to 20% to obesity3, 18% to infections4, and 7% to radiation and environmental pollutants5. 6
Many studies show integrative cancer therapies improve quality of life and cancer survival in cancer patients.
Comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle interventions reduce progression of prostate cancer and impact prostate and breast cancer gene expression.7-9
-Dean Ornish, MD
People with metastatic breast cancer and prostate cancer who received intensive integrative oncology treatments and approaches lived twice as long as patients getting standard treatments alone.10
-Keith I. Block, MD
Pan-Asian medicine plus vitamins provided a substantial, statistically significant survival advantage in stages IIIA, IIIB, and IV lung cancer patients.11
-Michael McCulloch, LAc, MPH, PhD
Chronic inflammation has been linked with most chronic illnesses, including cancer.12
– Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center
The most common measure of the systemic inflammatory response in cancer patients has been an elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein associated with poor survival, quality of life such as cachexia, as well as poor response to treatments.13
-Donald McMillan, University of Glasgow
Study results link higher intake of omega 3 fatty acids with decreased inflammation measured through C-reactive protein plus decreased physical aspects of fatigue.14
-Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Institutes of Health
Additional published research suggest benefits such as improved quality of life and survival from integrative cancer care are referenced in other articles on this website JeannineWalston.com.
These cancer studies and other research combines conventional through integrative cancer care for the following purposes.
- Strengthens the body, including the immune system, before, during, and after conventional cancer treatments
- Enhances the power of conventional therapies to kill cancer cells
- Helps protect noncancerous cells
- Reduces side effects from conventional cancer treatments
- Stimulates the body’s natural anti-cancer defenses
- Reduces inflammation, angiogenesis, and other factors that may contribute to a cancer friendly environment in the body
- Supports the mind and spirit before, during, and after conventional cancer treatments
Studies show that cancer patients increasingly utilize integrative cancer care frequently and for various reasons.
Approximately 83% of people with cancer use at least one complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modality.15
Other cancer studies explain perspectives of understanding about why some cancer patients use integrative cancer care.16-24
- Improve therapeutic efficacy and survival of cancer treatments
- Enhance quality of life
- Reduce side effects from conventional cancer treatments
- Utilizing integrative cancer care without conventional treatments, some people have exhausted conventional cancer treatments.
- In some cases, there are no conventional cancer treatments that offer a therapeutic benefit and/or the known risks are greater than the known benefits of available therapies.
- Belief in benefits of integrative cancer treatments addressing the whole person
- Access a wide range of therapies
- Develop healing relationships with providers
- Prevent further cancers and recurrences
- Strengthen well-being
- Protect and stimulate the immune system
- Ameliorate pain
- Feel empowerment
- Find hope
- Provide a sense of control
- Lower stress and anxiety
- Promote coping strategies
- Recognizing that absence of disease does not necessarily translate to health, some people seek integrative cancer care to provide comprehensive care to the whole person addressing both sickness and wellness.
Learn more to improve quality of life and survival in Body, Mind, Spirit, Social, and Environmental sections, as well as help from a Cancer Coach.
1. Anand P, Kunnumakara AB, Sundaram C, et al. Cancer is a Preventable Disease that Requires Major Lifestyle Changes. Pharm Res 2008.
2. Doll R, Peto R. The causes of cancer: quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer in the United States today. J Natl Cancer Inst 1981;66:1191-308.
3. Calle EE, Rodriguez C,Walker-Thurmond K,Thun MJ. Overweight, obesity, and mortality from cancer in a prospectively studied cohort of U S. adults. N Engl J Med 2003;348:1625-38.
4. Parkin DM. The global health burden of infection- associated cancers in the year 2002. Int J Cancer 2006;118:3030-44.
5. Belpomme D, Irigaray P, Hardell L, et al. The multitude and diversity of environmental carcinogens. Environ Res 2007;105:414-29.
6. Aggarwal BB, Vijayalekshmi RV, Sung B. Targeting inflammatory pathways for prevention and therapy of cancer: short-term friend, long-term foe. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Jan 15;15(2):425-30. Review. PubMed PMID: 19147746.
7. Ornish D, Lin J, Daubenmier J, Weidner G, Epel E, Kemp C, Magbanua MJ, Marlin R, Yglecias L, Carroll PR, Blackburn EH. Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study. Lancet Oncol. 2008 Nov;9(11):1048-57. Epub 2008 Sep 15. Erratum in: Lancet Oncol. 2008 Dec;9(12):1124. PubMed PMID: 18799354.
8. Ornish, D., M. J. Magbanua, G. Weidner, V. Weinberg, C. Kemp, C. Green, M.D. Mattie, R. Marlin, J. Simko, K. Shinohara, C. M. Haqq, and P. R. Carroll. 2008a. Changes in prostate gene expression in men undergoing an intensive nutrition and lifestyle intervention. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105 (24):8369-74.
9. Frattaroli J, Weidner G, Dnistrian AM, Kemp C, Daubenmier JJ, Marlin RO, Crutchfield L, Yglecias L, Carroll PR, Ornish D. Clinical events in prostate cancer lifestyle trial: results from two years of follow-up. Urology. 2008 Dec;72(6):1319-23. Epub 2008 Jul 7. PubMed PMID: 18602144.
10. Block KI, Gyllenhaal C, Tripathy D, Freels S, Mead MN, Block PB, Steinmann WC, Newman RA, Shoham J. Survival Impact of Integrative Cancer Care in Advanced Metastatic Breast Cancer. Breast J. 2009 May 12. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 19470134
11. McCulloch M, Broffman M, van der Laan M, Hubbard A, Kushi L, Kramer A, Gao J, Colford JM Jr. Lung cancer survival with herbal medicine and vitamins in a whole-systems approach: ten-year follow-up data analyzed with marginal structural models and propensity score methods. Integr Cancer Ther. 2011 Sep;10(3):260-79. doi: 10.1177/1534735411406439. Epub 2011 Aug 8. PubMed PMID: 21824893.
12. Aggarwal BB, Shishodia S, Sandur SK, Pandey MK, Sethi G. Inflammation and cancer: how hot is the link? Biochem Pharmacol 2006;72:1605-21.
13. McMillan DC. Systemic inflammation, nutritional status and survival in patients with cancer. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 May;12(3):223-6. Review. PubMed PMID: 19318937.
14. Alfano CM, Imayama I, Neuhouser ML, Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Smith AW, Meeske K, McTiernan A, Bernstein L, Baumgartner KB, Ulrich CM, Ballard-Barbash R. Fatigue, inflammation, and ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acid intake among breast cancer survivors. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Apr 20;30(12):1280-7. Epub 2012 Mar 12. PubMed PMID: 22412148; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3341143.
15. Richardson MA, Mâsse LC, Nanny K, Sanders C. Discrepant views of oncologists and cancer patients on complementary/alternative medicine. Support Care Cancer. 2004 Nov;12(11):797-804. PMID: 15378417
16. Frattaroli J, Weidner G, Dnistrian AM, Kemp C, Daubenmier JJ, Marlin RO, Crutchfield L, Yglecias L, Carroll PR, Ornish D. Clinical events in prostate cancer lifestyle trial: results from two years of follow-up. Urology. 2008 Dec;72(6):1319-23. Epub 2008 Jul 7. PubMed PMID: 18602144.
17. Molassiotis A, Fernadez-Ortega P, Pud D, Ozden G, Scott JA, Panteli V, Margulies A, Browall M, Magri M, Selvekerova S, Madsen E, Milovics L, Bruyns I, Gudmundsdottir G, Hummerston S, Ahmad AM, Platin N, Kearney N, Patiraki E. Use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer patients: a European survey. Ann Oncol. 2005 Apr;16(4):655-63. Epub 2005 Feb 2. PubMed PMID: 15699021.
18. Mulkins AL, Verhoef MJ. Supporting the transformative process: experiences of cancer patients receiving integrative care. Integr Cancer Ther. 2004 Sep;3(3):230-7. PubMed PMID: 15312264.
19. Nahleh Z, Tabbara IA. Complementary and alternative medicine in breast cancer patients. Palliat Support Care. 2003 Sep;1(3):267-73. Review. PubMed PMID: 16594427.
20. Ornish D, Lin J, Daubenmier J, Weidner G, Epel E, Kemp C, Magbanua MJ, Marlin R, Yglecias L, Carroll PR, Blackburn EH. Increased telomerase activity and comprehensive lifestyle changes: a pilot study. Lancet Oncol. 2008 Nov;9(11):1048-57. Epub 2008 Sep 15. Erratum in: Lancet Oncol. 2008 Dec;9(12):1124. PubMed PMID: 18799354.
21. Ornish, D., M. J. Magbanua, G. Weidner, V. Weinberg, C. Kemp, C. Green, M.D. Mattie, R. Marlin, J. Simko, K. Shinohara, C. M. Haqq, and P. R. Carroll. 2008a. Changes in prostate gene expression in men undergoing an intensive nutrition and lifestyle intervention. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105 (24):8369-74.
22. Pud D, Kaner E, Morag A, Ben-Ami S, Yaffe A. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among cancer patients in Israel. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2005 Jun;9(2):124-30. PubMed PMID: 15944105.
23. Verhoef MJ, Balneaves LG, Boon HS, Vroegindewey A. Reasons for and characteristics associated with complementary and alternative medicine use among adult cancer patients: a systematic review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2005 Dec;4(4):274-86. Review. PubMed PMID: 16282504.
24. Verhoef MJ, Mulkins A, Boon H. Integrative health care: how can we determine whether patients benefit? J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11 Suppl 1:S57-65. PubMed PMID: 163321