Ovarian Cancer – how can you protect yourself from this deadly disease?

Last week I gave a short presentation with Dr Jim Coward on Ovarian Cancer in an attempt to raise money for further research and awareness. The day raised $10,000 for Ovarian Cancer research.

Having been a nurse who has looked after many women with the disease, both in initial stages of diagnosis, during treatment and recovery, I know second hand the impact and stress this has on the woman and her family.

From 1999-2001 I was a pharmaceutical rep selling Taxol, the main chemotherapy at that time for Ovarian Cancer. Now I sit more on the side lines as a naturopath inspiring women to be the healthiest they can be to avoid this deadly disease.

We (medicine) doesn’t really know what causes it nor is there a “cure”but with most cancers there are some positive steps you can do to help protect yourself from this disease.

Unfortunately the wide pelvic space we are given as women to accommodate our pregnancies, also means a tumour can grow quite happily and unobstructed and unnoticed. It is not until quite late in the disease, when the tumour is quite large, that it is usually detected. Unfortunately for many this means the disease has spread to other organs and is quite in control of their bodies.

Ovarian cancer may cause grumbling symptoms such as bowel irregularities, vague discomfort or pain, weight gain or weight loss. Some women notice their tummies bulge, but most do not.

Typically the disease is picked up at stage 3 & 4 which has a poor prognosis which means many die from it. Unlike breast cancer where survival rates are now well into the 85% mark after 5 years, ovarian cancer is nearly reverse statistically.

So the real line of action women need to take is prevention (and of course seek out professional help if you feel something isn’t right)!

I am not saying I have a “cure” for this disease – but we do understand, as with all cancers, there are certain preventative strategies to avoid risking it and that will help you lead a healthy life.

These are my top 5 ways to stay healthy and help you avoid ovarian cancer

1. Eat well. REALLY well.

Eat organic where you can, hormone free meats and grow your own vegetables. I have managed in the last six months to become nearly fully self sustained on the vegetable front just by being committed and wanting to give my family the best nutrient rich food I know possible – organic vegetables. I have turned a large portion of my back yard into an organic farm! It feels good and inspires me daily. The kids are even eating more veggies!

Our organic veggie garden

2. Lose toxic matter

This includes body care products that are laced with toxins and chemicals, extra fat and negative relationships! Many things are known to contain harmful chemicals, take control of this your self and starting buying cleaner products. They may be more expensive but are worth the extra investment.

On the food side I have a 12 week Hormone Cleanse Diet coming out in a few weeks but until then start shedding things you know are bad.

3. Vitamin D levels

Vitamin D acts like a hormone and a vitamin. It plays a crucial role in the body by sitting on every cell watching the DNA form. If it your DNA mutates during cell division it blows the cell up. That is, Vitamin D is your first line defence the body has in destroying cancer cells.

Find out your levels today and if you want to know more, this is a previous blog I have written on it.

4. Immune protection

Keep your immunity high. There are many ways to do this but rest well, take sick days if you are sick and don’t “push through”. Your body needs time to rest and recoup. Permit your Natural Killer Cells (NK) to grow and do their job, which is kill malignant cells and other nasty things like viruses and bacteria.

5. Hormone status

Most female reproductive cancers (if not all) are stimulated by excessive estrogen production. High estrogen, low progesterone are nearly always present when I conduct saliva tests on my patients. Saliva testing for sex hormones is more accurate than blood testing and is endorsed by WHO (World Health Organisation) as the blue chip method for testing hormones.

I do saliva testing in my clinic and the beauty is, you don’t need to come into the clinic- I can send the test kit to you, which you do from home and POST back to the fully accredited Lab. Once the results are in, we discuss via skype or phone your results.

Ovarian Cancer is a deadly disease, help others protect themselves by spreading the word 🙂

Sam x