Cancer Prevention with Functional Medicine Specialist, Miles Price
Cancer prevention is an important pillar of living a long and healthy life. Functional Medicine Specialist, Miles Price, discusses the lifestyle modifications proven to help prevent the development of cancer. He also dives into testing and how functional medicine tests can identify risk factors early on and detect cancerous cells far before conventional screening methods.
To stop getting cancer we need the following LIFESTYLE in place:
- Diet: following a low carb, anti-inflammatory diet, with lots of nutrient-dense foods is critical. Low carb is important as this keeps the insulin levels low and keeps immune functioning. Anti-inflammatory means eating oily fish, having a variety of vegetables, anti-inflammatory oils in the diet.
- Sleep is essential to recovery: we need at least 7 hrs of sleep a night for optimal rejuvenation and regeneration of the body. The immune system functions optimally when we have good sleep.
- Exercise: Exercise has many benefits, improving oxygenation in the body, stimulating the immune function, reducing inflammation and stress. However the right amount of exercise according to your age and stress levels is key. Over-exercising or exercising when in an adrenally fatigued state is not recommended.
- Relationships: Happy fulfilling relationships with loved ones, family and work colleagues is critical to creating a healthy state of mind which supports a healthy body. Negative emotions like anger, bitterness, fear or jealousy create stresses in the body which turn off the immune system which makes one more vulnerable.
In functional medicine we try to get to the root cause of disease and with cancer this means understanding the changes which happen earlier on the metabolism of the cell before it becomes cancerous. There are many signs that changes are taking place.
- Hormones: measuring your insulin, thyroid, cortisol (24hr), and sex hormones is critical in understanding your cancer risk. High insulin is linked to inflammation and weakened immunity. Low thyroid function means poor metabolic energy output. High estrogen and low progesterone indicates a greater risk of cell proliferation and abnormal cell growth.
- Nutrient Status: Understanding your nutrient deficiencies is important for immunity. Vitamins A, C, D3 and minerals Zinc, Iodine, Magnesium, Iron, Selenium are critical for optimal immunity. There is a strong connection between vitamin D3 deficiency and breast and colon cancer. Testing and optimising your nutrients either through a change in diet or taking supplementation is key.
- Toxicity: we live in a toxic world, with many sources of toxins coming from heavy metals and environmental petro-chemical pollutants causing widespread disruption to our metabolisms increasing the oxidative stresses and inflammation in the body. There are many clinical papers linking toxicity of these compounds to cancer development. Understanding your toxicity status through heavy metals testing or environmental pollutants testing then following an appropriate detoxification protocol is key to reducing your cancer risk.
- Gut Health: Our gut is home to millions of bacteria both good and bad. the good bacteria of Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium influence our immune system direction by activating our white blood cells. Conversely, bad bacteria can dampen down our immune response. Understanding your gut microbiome health is best done through a comprehensive digestive stool analysis.
- Genetics: You genes can express an increased risk of cancer development across a variety of markers. By identifying if you’re at increased risk of inflammation or oxidative stress, or if you’re a poor detoxifier means you can take specific lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. Genetics testing helps customise a diet and supplement plan which is specific to your needs.
Written by Miles Price, Functional Medicine Practitioner & Clinical Nutritionist
Miles did his initial training at Hawthorn University with an M.Sc. Holistic Nutrition. He followed this up with a professional accreditation to practice with BANT (UK) the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine in 2017 and subsequently obtained a Functional Medicine Diploma with Functional Medicine University in 2017. This was shortly followed by enrolling with the Institute of Functional Medicine on their practitioner program.