Brain Cancer

March 29th, 2017

Brain Cancer: Can Prevention Help?

Brain cancer refers to a variety of cancers that affect millions of people across the globe each year. It consists of tumors which originate within the brain and brain metastases which originate in other locations such as the breasts or lungs and are eventually spread to the brain.

What makes brain cancer so tricky is the fact that its underlying cause is yet to be identified, thus, makin
g early diagnosis and treatment key in it’s cure. So far, there aren’t any conclusive developments in the identification of preventive methods that inhibit its development.

However, extensive research efforts in the field have indicated a number of risk factors that are believed to
contribute to the development of the various forms of brain cancers. The interesting thing to note here is that these factors can easily be managed by simple lifestyle choices and changes.

Risk Factors:
Let’s start by having a look at the major factors that have been found to increase a person’s risk of developing brain cancer:

1. Age:
Brain cancer can inflict people belonging to any age group. But they are most common in children and older adults.

2. Gender:

Most types of brain cancers are known to affect men more than women. However, selective brain tumors such as meningioma are more common among females.

3. Family History:
Certain forms of brain cancer are found to have familial as well as genetic causes. Around 5% of brain tumors are associated with hereditary causes such as neurofibromatosis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, von Hippel-Lindau diseaseand Turcot syndrome.
Scientists have also found clusters of brain tumors existing in families who do not have a genetic cause behind them.

4. Over Exposure To Chemicals:
Scientists associate the development of brain cancer with over exposure to pesticides, rubber, solvents, vinyl chloride and oil products.

5. Exposure to Viruses:
Exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) increases the risk of CNS lymphoma, whereas, cytomegalovirus (CMV) has been located within tissues of brain tumor.

6. Exposure To Electromagnetic Fields:
According to the World Health Organization, electromagnetic fields like those emitted from mobile phones and power cables are thought to increase the level of risk especially in children.

8. Ionizing Radiation:

People who have been previously treated with ionizing radiation such as x-rays are at a higher risk of developing brain tumors.

9. Head Injury:
Head injuries are associated with certain types of brain tumors like meningioma.

10. N-nitroso Compounds:
N-nitroso compounds are thought to increase the risk of brain cancer and are found primarily in cigarettes, processed meats and cosmetics.

Brain Cancer Prevention Techniques:

A colossal amount of research is being carried out worldwide that indicates simple lifestyle choices that can both help prevent as well as cure brain cancer. Let’s have a look at these simple but life saving prevention techniques.

1. Avoid Exposure To Harmful Agents:
As mentioned above, there are several harmful agents including chemicals, electromagnetic fields, radiation and environmental agents that increase the level of risk associated with brain cancers, and should be avoided. Children should specially be kept at a safe distance as their young bodies are more prone to developing such diseases.

According to the American Cancer Society, children should be safeguarded from low dose radiation in their early years. It is for this reason that we also see that radiation treatment for minor ailments are no longer recommended by physicians.

According to the “Interphone Study”, mobile phones emit electromagnetic fields that increase risk of brain cancer and are of particular threat to adolescents as their brains are still developing. The research has found that usage of cellphones prior to twenty years of age and their continuous use for 10 years and above is frequently associated with diagnosis of brain cancer.

2. Maintain A Healthy Dietary Intake:
Several food items are thought to help in preventing brain cancer by maintaining a healthy body. Certain types of fruits, vegetables and herbs are rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the brain and shut down communication channels of brain tumors. These items include spinach, broccoli, beans, turmeric, oregano, basil, ginger, thyme, green tea, pineapple, apples and oranges. Moreover, foods that have high levels of Omega-3 such as fish are also beneficial.

Ketogenic Diet:
Ketones provide an excellent source of energy for neurons and are generated within the human body in conditions of low glucose. Brain tumors have been found to be incapable of metabolizing ketones that are produced in the body. Therefore, consuming a ketonic diet helps prevent brain cancer by preventing nutrient supply to tumors, alleviating oxidative stress and inflammation. A ketonic diet includes food items that are high in healthy fats, proteins and low on carbohydrates. An important part of this diet is to restrict your calorie consumption.

3. Limit Smoking and Alcohol Intake:
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, excessive smoking leads to diseases like lung cancer which may spread to the brain via metastatic tumors. Moreover, consuming high amounts of alcohol leads to liver diseases which can spread to the brain. It is therefore advisable to change these habits for healthier living.

4. Regular Check-Ups:
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, early intervention and treatment is extremely helpful in curing brain cancer. This can be facilitated via regular physical check ups. These checkups must be done at least once a year as a preemptive measure.

5. Inhale Frankincense Essential Oil:
A leading cause of death in patients of brain tumor is inflammation in the brain. Inhaling Frankincense essential oil while meditating or conducting breathing exercises helps to reduce any such inflammation owning to the presence of boswellic acid. Frankincense essential oil also prevents damage to the hippocampus which is associated with memory and learning functions and improves circulation within the brain.

7. Ensure Adequate Sleep:
Adequate sleep is essential in maintaining brain health. The reason for this is that the glymphatic system or the detoxification pathway of the brain is particularly active at night when it enables the mitochondria to remove toxins that tend to accumulate throughout the day.

Diseases like brain cancer originate and propagate due to faulty bodily functions and thus by taking the above mentioned preventive measures you can safeguard yourself from not just brain cancer but countless other aliments as well. If you feel that your memory is foggy, or that a loved one seems affected – take this test to get results about how well your brain is functioning.