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Holten: The great, sweet killer

For some reason, I suddenly know a lot of people with cancer. That's not good.Maybe it's because I am getting older. Or maybe it's because cancer incidence rates in North Dakota are getting higher. According to the National Cancer Institute, 590,...

2176543+1202 Holten Cartoon.jpg

For some reason, I suddenly know a lot of people with cancer. That’s not good.Maybe it’s because I am getting older. Or maybe it’s because cancer incidence rates in North Dakota are getting higher. According to the National Cancer Institute, 590,000 people will die of cancer in America this year. That’s about eight average NFL football stadiums full of people. Plus, the NCI says that 40 percent of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lifetime. That’s almost half.
If it was anything else, we’d be more up in arms. For example, if it was Hitler, Mussolini or ISIS, we’d declare a war. But since it’s cancer, we tend to avoid the topic and hope we don’t get it.Oh sure, we have fundraisers that stack up piles of money for the medical industry to beat cancer. But for the most part, that money goes to support a cost-inflated industry that, in conjunction with insurance companies and with the help of special-interest gunslingers and politicians, has been enabled to legally commit highway robbery with minimal results. Cancer rates will increase by 57 percent in the next two decades, according to a CNN report on Feb. 4, 2014. That’s not what I’d call a great return on investment in medical research. If that rate continues for 20 years beyond that, 120 percent of us will be faced with battling cancer. So, at 120 percent, cancer will have to kill some of us twice and that’ll be quite a feat. I think you could say that this cancer thing is “out of control.”But here’s the real shocking part of all of it: Some of it is avoidable. What? It’s avoidable? How can that be?Once again, it comes down to the immune system and boosting it before you get cancer, not after.Here’s another little tidbit. If you want to help yourself avoid getting cancer you can eliminate one big cancer causing thing from your diet: sugar.Sugar curbs the activity of immune cells for several hours after consumption. For example, an elevated blood sugar level of 120 or above reduces the ability of immune cells to combat bacteria by 75 percent.So, just like we use fertilizer in North Dakota to greatly enhance our crop yields, cancer uses sugar as a fertilizer to greatly enhance its radical cell crops. Sugar also interferes with Vitamin C absorption and that’s bad because Vitamin C is one of your immune system’s biggest heroes. White bloods cells need a lot of Vitamin C in order to function properly. White blood cells flow through your bloodstream to battle viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders that threaten your health. They are your army.So when you feed your kids that big bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, you are putting a big smile on cancer’s face. And for those you guzzling those high-octane energy drinks, cancer loves those even more. Plus, in addition to debilitating your immune system, sugar also causes systemic inflammation in your body, which, as I talked about last week, leads to a myriad of health problems. Of my four grandparents, only one died of cancer. Out of 12 uncles and aunts on my mother’s side, only one of them died of cancer. That might be because during the course of their lifetimes, they had little opportunity to eat sugar - at least early on - whereas now, most of what we eat has had some sugar added.Maybe David Agus, a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of California said it best when he said, “We may never understand illnesses such as cancer. In fact, we may never cure it. But an ounce of prevention is worth more than a million pounds of cure.”Holten is the executive director of the North Dakota Cowboy Association and writes a weekly column for The Press.For some reason, I suddenly know a lot of people with cancer. That’s not good.Maybe it’s because I am getting older. Or maybe it’s because cancer incidence rates in North Dakota are getting higher. According to the National Cancer Institute, 590,000 people will die of cancer in America this year. That’s about eight average NFL football stadiums full of people. Plus, the NCI says that 40 percent of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lifetime. That’s almost half.
If it was anything else, we’d be more up in arms. For example, if it was Hitler, Mussolini or ISIS, we’d declare a war. But since it’s cancer, we tend to avoid the topic and hope we don’t get it.Oh sure, we have fundraisers that stack up piles of money for the medical industry to beat cancer. But for the most part, that money goes to support a cost-inflated industry that, in conjunction with insurance companies and with the help of special-interest gunslingers and politicians, has been enabled to legally commit highway robbery with minimal results. Cancer rates will increase by 57 percent in the next two decades, according to a CNN report on Feb. 4, 2014. That’s not what I’d call a great return on investment in medical research. If that rate continues for 20 years beyond that, 120 percent of us will be faced with battling cancer. So, at 120 percent, cancer will have to kill some of us twice and that’ll be quite a feat. I think you could say that this cancer thing is “out of control.”But here’s the real shocking part of all of it: Some of it is avoidable. What? It’s avoidable? How can that be?Once again, it comes down to the immune system and boosting it before you get cancer, not after.Here’s another little tidbit. If you want to help yourself avoid getting cancer you can eliminate one big cancer causing thing from your diet: sugar.Sugar curbs the activity of immune cells for several hours after consumption. For example, an elevated blood sugar level of 120 or above reduces the ability of immune cells to combat bacteria by 75 percent.So, just like we use fertilizer in North Dakota to greatly enhance our crop yields, cancer uses sugar as a fertilizer to greatly enhance its radical cell crops. Sugar also interferes with Vitamin C absorption and that’s bad because Vitamin C is one of your immune system’s biggest heroes. White bloods cells need a lot of Vitamin C in order to function properly. White blood cells flow through your bloodstream to battle viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders that threaten your health. They are your army.So when you feed your kids that big bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, you are putting a big smile on cancer’s face. And for those you guzzling those high-octane energy drinks, cancer loves those even more. Plus, in addition to debilitating your immune system, sugar also causes systemic inflammation in your body, which, as I talked about last week, leads to a myriad of health problems. Of my four grandparents, only one died of cancer. Out of 12 uncles and aunts on my mother’s side, only one of them died of cancer. That might be because during the course of their lifetimes, they had little opportunity to eat sugar - at least early on - whereas now, most of what we eat has had some sugar added.Maybe David Agus, a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of California said it best when he said, “We may never understand illnesses such as cancer. In fact, we may never cure it. But an ounce of prevention is worth more than a million pounds of cure.”Holten is the executive director of the North Dakota Cowboy Association and writes a weekly column for The Press.

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