In email 152 we talked about the initial formation of cancer cells. It takes about 6 years for the cancerous growth to become the size of a period on a page and that’s about a million cells. Wow! It’s amazing to think how small cells are and how necessary it is for us to protect and nourish each one of them.
While the growth is still microscopic (about a millimeter in size) and difficult to detect, pieces of this tumor can break off and move to other parts of the body through the blood vessels. Oh, no! That is really not good and it happens about 90% of the time. Yikes! This is bad news because some of these cells can establish themselves in normal tissue and start new tumors!!! When cancerous cells spread like this it is called metastisis and they continue to double in size every 100 days.
After about 10 years the first tumor reaches a size that can be detected. It is about the size of a small marble and contains one billion cells. So when doctors talk about early detection they are talking about a 10 year old cancer. Hmmm… when the cancer is discovered do you think you have to immediately DO something about it or… do you think you might have time to consider all the possibilities available to treat this condition? It doesn’t appear that you have to rush into any treatment right away.
Dr. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study describes his experiments with laboratory animals and carcinogens (cancer causing substances). We’ll talk about his work in the next email but he determined that consuming protein (particularly casein, a diary protein) resulted in the growth of cancer cells. It seems that nutrients from animal foods increase tumor growth and nutrients from plant foods decrease tumor growth. Wow! Plus, it is really interesting that plant protein (even at higher levels) does NOT have this effect on cancer cells. That is very good to know.
So… what will be the best choice that we can make for our meals today and everyday? Here are some ideas: choose whole foods, make them mostly plants, and keep the protein below 10% (particularly animal protein). To do this it would be easiest to reduce the amount of animal foods consumed (keep to 2 – 3 times per week) and eliminate the use of free oils to insure that you have the lowest possible fat intake. Remember that we need fat but we can get everything we need from whole plant foods.