Could Taking Omega 3 Fats Help Reduce Your Cancer Risk?
The Cancer Scare
Cancer is on the rise. Most all of us know someone that has had cancer. It can be the most dreadful thing to hear from a doctor. “You have cancer.” Those three words invoke more fear than almost anything else. The very thought of the reality of those words sends chills up your spine. And if it is you that hears it, all you can think about are all the precious aspects of your life that you may no longer be able to experience or may soon lose. Cancer is without question a scary situation, regardless the type and stage.
Why Are we not Winning the War on Cancer
Cancer is becoming a mainstay word in our society. It comes up more frequently in the healthcare arena than it should. There has long been a war on cancer. In fact, Richard Nixon even signed the National Cancer Act of 1971 to more or less document the initiation of this initiative. In the 40 plus years since that time, little has been done to decrease the incidence of cancer. We are seeing new improvements and better management of the condition. Yet with such advancement, we are failing to address the underlying causes of cancer. This is no different than most other conditions. Traditional medicine ignores the dysfunction that leads to the disease. Why do we wait when we can be proactive? We know the risks, so why not act on them?
The Statistical Paradox
Add to this conundrum the paradox that some say we are winning the battle on cancer. To understand this comment, one must understand the definition of success. Success is defined in some circles as reducing the death rate associated with cancer. This is a noteworthy achievement and one that is appreciated by nearly all that have been diagnosed. However, what we do not see in these number is the case of newly diagnosed cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2011/2012 Update, there were roughly 474 new cases of cancer per 100,000 individuals. In a population of almost 314 million people, that equates to 1,488,360 newly diagnosed cases of cancer in one year. I ask you. Are we winning?
Can Anything Be Done?
With such daunting numbers, it may seem like almost nothing can be done. However, the advantage of having medical science on our side is that researchers have been able to define many contributing factors. This means that we do not have to proceed blindly, but rather can use the information of numerous creditable studies to know where to best support and protect ourselves. One of the least controversial and most well accepted risk reduction techniques is omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3’s Provide Hope
The American Journal of Epidemiology states, “These results suggest that intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may reduce risk of total and cancer-specific mortality.” (Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Feb 3). This furthers the point that risk of death associated with cancer can be reduced. Moreover, there is equal evidence stating that there may be a protective role associated with the consumption of omega 3’s with various types of cancer.
How Omega 3’s Benefit
Omegas 3’s have clearly established themselves as having a role in protection against cancer as well as other aspects of this life-threatening condition. Even in light of the occasional controversial media piece, omega 3’s are one of the most well accepted intervention strategies to protect not only against the ailments of cancer, but multiple other conditions as well. With their well-known role as an anti-inflammatory and immune system modulator, and their difficulty in obtaining adequate levels in most individuals diets, you will be hard pressed to find a better start to your cancer prevention strategy than the incorporation of omega 3’s.