The Connection between Diet and Cancer Essay

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The Connection between Diet and Cancer

Cancer is a disease that can affect many different body parts. But no matter which body part is affected, cancer always involves cells that, due to various causes, go through genetic changes such that they start to proliferate wildly. In most forms of cancer the expanding masses of cells form tumors that eventually push against and invade neighboring tissue, disrupting body systems. In the course of time they may metastasize, travel via the blood or lymph to another part of the body where they set up new colonies that in turn grow and invade tissue. Even though terminal diseases such as cancer rely on genetic factors, a healthy diet can be designed specifically for preventing disease and
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Fruits, vegetables, and grains in general are anti-cancer champions. Virtually all of them are rich in antioxidants and other substances that block cancer at many stages of its development. The plant foods listed below are a few that appear to be great allies in our fight against cancer. Green tea inhibits tumors of the esophagus, breast, skin, colon and liver in rodents. Soybeans are rich in genistein, a phytochemical that appears to prevent small tumors from growing. Genistein apparently interferes with cancer at many points, from controlling cell proliferation to inhibiting angiogenesis, the building of blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors. Studies have shown it particularly to protect against breast cancer. Broccoli and the cabbage family are full of phytochemicals that fight cancer. One of them, sulforaphane, protects lab animals from breast cancer. It appears to help cancer-fighting enzymes force carcinogens out of cells. And another, phenmethyl isothiocyanate, apparently disarms carcinogens and prevents DNA from damage. Tomatoes are associated with lower rates of several cancers, most particularly lung and prostate cancer. Flavonoids, phytochemicals that give color to fruits and vegetables, may block the ability of cancer-causing hormones to attach to cells. Garlic and onions contain phytochemicals that activate enzymes that neutralize carcinogens.
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