World cancer survivors day 2020- let’s reduce your risk
Who am I?
If you don’t know me my name is Bond, Dr. James Bond, I am a health and fitness expert. I work with people who want to improve their quality of life- particularly those who want to lose weight. What makes my service different is that I am the only personal fitness trainer in the North of England who is a qualified medical doctor. Therefore I can take on super high-risk cases that other fitness professionals will not dare. This week I lost my Dad to cancer- don’t lose yours. Please read this and see how to avoid the commonest cancers.
The general formula to avoid cancer
So you may be asking yourself why is an obesity expert talking about cancer? Depending on your geographical location between one in 8 and one in three people will die of cancer or cancer related disease. Cancer can very often be without symptoms.
The other reason why an obesity expert is talking about cancer is that obesity puts you at risk of certain cancers for example cancer of the uterus but here’s the worst thing. If you are obese and you might need surgery to remove your cancer here is a horrifying thought. Your obesity may put you at risk of anaesthetic death because basically if you are obese the anaesthetist will find it pretty damn difficult to put you under anaesthetic. Technically to perform the surgery it can be somewhat more difficult. So pleased don’t get yourself overweight. I’ll talk about that in a minute.
If you want to avoid cancer I am going to go through a few things you need to do to avoid cancer, yes a lot of it is what I do. Firstly all I don’t drink. A lot of cancers are amenable to alcohol or at least alcohol puts you at higher risk of certain cancers. I don’t smoke. Practically every cancer you can imagine is made worse by smoking. Don’t take drugs. Illegal drugs do put you at higher risk of cancer.
Tea or coffee. I am not sure about tea but don’t take decaffeinated coffee. Do you know how they remove caffeine from coffee? They rinse it out with benzene which is the most carcinogenic compound known to man! So don’t take decaffeinated coffee and try to have a vegetarian diet or at least a very high fibre diet. A lot of common cancers are less common among vegetarians. When I was a medical student I used to have a little moment of sadness to myself and a patient would come in and would be diagnosed with a disease that vegetarians rarely get. I used to get a private moment of sadness.
Let’s go through the common cancers and see what we can do about them.
In fact, let’s go back one step. When I was a 3rd-year medical student. I did an attachment in chest medicine at the Northern General hospital and although I didn’t particularly like this consultant I did admire him for one thing he did. A lady came in and she had obvious symptoms of a certain kind of cancer and she actually did say “Doctor Do you think its cancer?” and he blatantly came straight out and said, “Yes I think it is cancer.”
The reason he did that is that he felt that the patient must know their diagnosis. Now I admire him for that because when I used to work in a hospital you’d be amazed at how many people did not know their diagnosis which goes against every ethical principle of medicine that there is but that is what happens!
The Common cancers
OK so let’s go through the common cancers.
Skin cancer is largely caused by excessive exposure to sunlight- exposure to excess sunlight. We all like to sunbathe- I included but don’t sunbathe between 11 am and 2 pm when the sun rays are the strongest. The Australians have this wonderful thing called the Slip Slap and Slop which is basically slip on a hat, slop on some sun cream and wear a shirt. The other thing is to try to limit your exposure to sunbeds for the same reason. The other thing I’d recommend you do to avoid skin cancer is basically to use the maximum strength sun cream you can get. Forget this SPF 5, SPF 10 find the strongest strength you can find and use that. That’s the best way to do it.
Oral cancer or mouth cancer is largely limited to people who have a lot of spices, and smokers, people who expose themselves to tobacco. Also if you have sepsis (infection) and syphilis in the mouth you are at risk too. Unfortunately, I have a relative who has developed oral cancer because he’s been chewing tobacco or a certain thing called parn which you get in India. Don’t expose yourself to that and don’t chew tobacco. You are going to find that a lot of the cancers I talk about are linked to smoking.
Throat cancer is devastating and it’s practically exclusively to smokers and once you get it, it’s a long slow painful death.
Cancer on the pinna of your ear
Before I forget I am going back to skin cancer. If you get skin cancer on the pinna of your ear and that spreads into your brain then forget it mate, you’ve only got weeks because a long slow painful death is certain. It’s as simple as that so if you do go out sunbathing cover your ears up, it’s really, really important.
Lung cancer is practically exclusively among smokers. There are some rare forms of lung cancer which are among people who have been exposed to asbestos called mesothelioma and certain types of radiation or petroleum products. They are comparatively rare. Lung cancer is almost exclusively among smokers. I do remember and the funny thing is that I did train under a chest physician when I was a final year medical student who was a smoker. I couldn’t understand that!
Cancers of the oesophagus
Smokers and drinkers are the commonest groups of people who get this and trust me if there is one cancer you don’t want to get its cancer of the oesophagus because once you get it, it spreads and it’s a nightmare.
I’m not saying that if you are a non-smoker and non-drinker you won’t get these cancers- you could do but the risk is a lot less.
Bowel cancer is largely a disease of people who have low fibre intakes and family history and exposure to certain types of radiation. The thing is that it’s a lot less common among vegetarians or at least people who have high fibre diets. We don’t know if the extra fibre or vegetables are acting as a protectant or that a high fibre diet means that anything carcinogenic is passed out a lot quicker, we don’t know but do massively increase your intake of vegetables.
This is the one I really hate because it’s almost exclusively among smokers and if you get it you’ve got 6 months. It’s almost exclusively among smokers. Yes, the stupidity was when I was a medical student I trained under a gut surgeon who was a smoker. I couldn’t understand that for the life of me but that’s a different story altogether.
Pancreatic cancer is deadly and once you’ve got it you’ve got six months and it’s almost exclusively among smokers.
That’s almost exclusively among people who have been exposed to aromatic dyes, part curly those in the rubber industry. So, unfortunately, there is not much we can do about that.
Ladies take note please do a breast self-examination every month- watch this video.
Please note that men can get breast cancer.
Things that put you at risk are a family history, cancer in the other breast, not having any kids and early menopause. However, there is evidence that excessive alcohol puts you at risk too.
Another thing is ladies once a month you need to check yourself go to the NHS website and get some good websites where you can see how to check yourself. If you find anything that concerns you then please make a routine appointment with your family doctor who can help you. It’s really important. My Dad’s a former family doctor, now retired he’d make sure that once a month my mum and all our female relatives checked themselves once a month and guess what happened if they didn’t do it? They got grounded! Literally!
Cancer of the inner lining of the uterus
Late menopause, not having any kids, being obese. It is largely preventable by having a couple of kids or taking the combined pill and keeping your weight down.
Now, this is a silent epidemic ladies. Ovarian cancer is less common among women who have had fewer monthly cycles so basically women who have been on the pill for a couple of years or who have had a couple of kids. So ladies, please don’t take this offensively so if you want to protect yourself from having breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer be on the pill for a couple of years and have a couple of kids. That said I do appreciate if you have a history of breast cancer you can’t have the combined pill so seek medical advice on that.
Cervical cancer- please watch this video.
We have a wonderful vaccine against it great but until its universal please make sure you get your cervical screenings in the UK it's once every 3 years in Germany it's every year.
Let me tell you a funny story when I was a 4th-year medical student we had this wonderful lecture on the cervical cancer screening programme and this lecturer said that the only benefit to having a yearly screening as opposed to every 3 years is a 1% improvement in mortality and I thought to myself “Mate have you got a wife or a female relative? Have you thought of saying that to the person involved? I just could not understand that. Yes cervical cancer screening, it's very important you go for them. It's linked to a virus called the human papillomavirus. Ladies please don’t take this offensively but reduce your number of partners. Women who have the highest number of partners are at the highest risk of cervical cancer. Conversely, celibate nuns have practically no risk of it. That’s a different story altogether.
Men- take note! Check your balls every month!
How I lost my best friend-testicular cancer
That brings me to the next point for the guys.
I actually lost my best friend to testicular cancer the commonest cause of this is undescended testicles at birth. However once a month every gentleman needs to check himself for any lumps or anything abnormal. If you find anything that concerns you please make a routine appointment with your family doctor who will get it checked out. That’s the best way to do it.
In David’s case he went to see his doctor who threw him out of his office and told him not to waste his time. He came to visit us socially and Dad noticed how unwell he was and admitted him to hospital. I asked what it was. He told me of the lump. I was a medical student at the time. I asked why he didn’t phone me. He said he was embarrassed.
I was furious and upset. We watched football together, we played football together. We did everything together. Why could he not tell me?
Again when I was a kid if you didn’t do it my dad grounded us.
This is the commonest cancer that affects middle aged men. It’s so common it’s going to be considered normal! Its less common among people who have a low fat intake. A lot less common among vegetarians as well.
Those are the commonest cancers that affect us.
The things that put you at risk are alcohol, cigarettes, decaffeinated coffee, a poor lifestyle and basically being obese.
If you find anything that concerns you please make a routine appointment with your family doctor who can help you.
To stop smoking
If you want help to give up smoking go to http://www.hypnotherapyormskirk.com/offers/Now I work with Judith Sharpe hypnotherapist. She’s got 35 years experience as a nurse so she knows what she is talking about.
To turn vegetarian
Many cancers are far less common among vegetarians so please go to the following.
- Pro Veg challenge https://proveg.com/veggie-challenge/
- The vegetarian society https://www.vegsoc.org/
- The vegan society https://www.vegansociety.com/
- 5 things you can do to help the Amazon Rainforest https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/5-ways-help-amazon-rainforest
- Going Meatless Cut back on meat while still getting the nutrients you need
- James Bond health and fitness online recipes http://jamesbondhealthandfitness.fitpromag.com/8/1/2019/Recipes/Vegetarian
To lose fat
You can start by going to http://www.james-bond.org.uk and get my guide 100 or so ways to lose weight without going to the gym. However even better-get on our flagship programme Operation Mums in Mind http://www.operationmumsinmind.co.uk for £1.33-£2 per day.
- How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam presented by City of Hope & The Pink Patch Project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkPR4ar1EQ4
- What is a cervical screening test? | Cancer Research UK (2019) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjuEYqQvb0E
- Testicular exam — How to & top tips | Dr Claudia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24aXN8ZLQOU