In 1971, then President Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer. After 50 years and billions of dollars later, that war is far from won.
Only in the last 10 years have we begun to grasp the nature of this disease. Cancer is not an isolated group of errant cells waiting passively to be annihilated by a wonder drug. Instead, it is caused by a cascade of glitches in the body. That’s why cancer does not present a single target for a magic bullet; a tumor is merely the most obvious symptom of an altered, unbalanced system. Let me explain…. because the better we understand this disease….the better we can out-smart it and prevent it or heal from it.
You may be surprised to learn that we are all forming microscopic cancers in our bodies all the time. Keeping them from ramping up into out of control hyper-growth is attributed to several factors. One of those factors is the process of angiogenesis (angie-o-gen-e-sis). With 1 in 2 American adults expected to get cancer in their lifetime, as coaches and educators it is important that we understand the latest findings concerning angiogenesis and it’s role in cancer development.
I know angiogenesis may at first sound like an intimidating mouthful, but fear not. Let me simplify it for us. Angiogenesis is the process of new capillaries forming out of pre-existing blood vessels in the body. The network of blood vessels nurtures all the tissues by supplying nutrients and oxygen, as well as providing gateways for the immune system. Tightly controlled, a healthy angiogenesis system regulates when and where blood vessels grow.
AS LONG AS OUR ANGIOGENESIS SYSTEM OPERATES PROPERLY, BLOOD VESSELS GROW IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, KEEPING THEIR PERFECT BALANCE IN THE CIRULATORY SYSTEM.
CANCER IS A SYSTEMIC DISRUPTION AND PERVERSION OF THE BODY’S RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS
Angiogenesis is of interest in cancer because, to set up camp and replicate in the body, cancer requires the formation of new blood vessels to grow and metastasize. For cancer cells to grow, invade neighboring tissue, set up a new home somewhere beyond their origin site, they need to trip the ‘angiogenic switch’ to provide then with what they need. In essence, cancer cells need to de-regulate this once tightly regulated system in the body. Sneaky, crafty cancer cells secrete chemical substances that stimulate angiogenesis, allowing them to hijack blood vessels for their own use. In this way they can ramp-up growth and replicate out of control.
WHAT HOLDS THEM IN CHECK, AND WHAT ALLOWS THEN TO GO HELTER-SKELTER, IS VERY MUCH IN OUR COMMAND
So, if angiogenesis is a tipping point between a harmless cancer and a harmful one, how can we affect this system? This is one of the most exciting discoveries in the field of ‘Using Food As Medicine as a Healing Tool’. The work of pioneering Dr William Li, internationally renowned Harvard trained medical doctor, researcher and president and founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, is a game changer. His ground breaking research has impacted and expanded our understanding of how cancer cells operate. The most exciting findings are directly helpful for us as Holistic Cancer Coaches. His discoveries of actual cell receptors for specific food-derived molecules has uncovered a plethora of foods that are naturally anti-angiogenic: foods that can block vessel growth because they contain natural cancer-starving molecules that prevent tumors from acquiring blood vessels. (Want to go deeper? Check out Dr Li’s book “Eat To Beat Disease/The New Science Of How Your Body Can Heal Itself” is a must read.) Dr Li empowers readers by showing them the evidence behind two hundred health-boosting foods that can help stave off cancer.
Repeated tests have shown an abundance of organic foods like the ones listed below inhibit angiogensis by 60%:
> berries of all kinds
> red grapes
This begins to explain why many cultures around the world that eat copious amounts of fruits and veggies are not experiencing the cancer epidemic the West is struggling with by eating our man-made diet of pre-packaged depleted foods.
Our bodies are designed to fight disease and as a culture we have radically underestimated how foods can be used to amplify this hidden power.
As coaches and educators understanding angiogenesis and the crucial foods that maintain homeostasis allow us to better recognize how we can help ourselves, our families and communities stay healthy and disease-free.
#angiogenesis #DrWilliamLi #immunesystem