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Reasons For Cancer: The World Speaks For Itself

Rates of cancer are vastly different across the globe

Dr Padma Garvey/Plant-Based Doctor Mom

Reasons For Cancer: The World Speaks For Itself

I remember spending hours and hours in lectures during medical school, learning about all sorts of cancers.  At the end of many of those classes, the professor would say the same statement,  missed by many of the students collecting their materials.  The professor would say "of course, we know that a high fat, Western diet plays a large part in this problem....but oh well not much we can do about that."

I forgot about this parting statement until a few years ago when my cousin was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer at the age of 44.  Up until her diagnosis, no one had ever been diagnosed with breast cancer in my family.  I felt helpless.  But as I reeducated myself on diet, lifestyle, and medical problems, I realized that I did not need to feel so helpless.  There were things I could do to PREVENT breast cancer. 

Our focus in this country is all about early detection and treatment.  This is all well and good but there is no harm in taking steps to PREVENT cancer in the first place.  At the bottom of this post is a link that shows you the varying rates of different cancers across the world.  It is illuminating for both patients and clinicians to see how drastically different the rates of various cancers are across the globe. 

Countries with higher gross domestic products eat more meat, dairy, and processed foods.  Countries that consume more of these foods have higher rates of breast, colon, pancreatic, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.  Countries that consume more plant-based diets have lower rates of these problems.  People who emigrate from a country with low rates of cancer to a country with high rates of cancer see their cancer risk go up.  Within each specific country, the higher the socioeconomic status of the individual citizen, the higher the consumption of meat, and/or dairy, and processed foods, the higher the rates of the above cancers.  This is exactly what we are seeing in countries like India, where there have been tremendous increases in the standard of living in the middle class. 

I immigrated to the United States when I was five years old.  I have been back to India in 1976, 1990, and 2008.  The changes I saw in India over those visits are astonishing.  People are consuming more fast food, more meat and dairy, and more processed foods.  Below is a picture of a neighborhood vegetable market in 1990 where my relatives got their produce daily.

Below is a picture of my son at one of many McDonald's we saw in Hyderbad in 2008.


After my cousin's diagnosis, I adopted a strict plant-based diet.   It was my best bet at preventing breast cancer.

Check out my latest interview with the DeDonato's who are 87 and 97.  Mrs. Dedonato talks about what she does that makes her so healthy.

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