Blood cancer awareness is being given at Intelligent Health Group clinics this month.

In Canada, blood cancers represent about 10% of all cancer diagnoses. In 2019, an estimated 21,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with a blood cancer and 7,450 people will die.

Blood cancers affect the production and function of your blood cells. Most of these cancers start in your bone marrow where blood is produced. Stem cells in your bone marrow mature and develop into three types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. In most blood cancers, the normal blood cell development process is interrupted by uncontrolled growth of an abnormal type of blood cell. These abnormal blood cells, or cancerous cells, prevent your blood from performing many of its functions, like fighting off infections or preventing serious bleeding.

There are three main types of blood cancers:

Leukemia, a type of cancer found in your blood and bone marrow, is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells. The high number of abnormal white blood cells are not able to fight infection, and they impair the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which removes excess fluids from your body and produces immune cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that fight infection. Abnormal lymphocytes become lymphoma cells, which multiply and collect in your lymph nodes and other tissues. Over time, these cancerous cells impair your immune system.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce disease fighting antibodies in your body. Myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies, leaving your body’s immune system weakened and susceptible to infection.

Like other cancers, it is important to know that lifestyle modification can help minimize cancer risk. We need to be ready to inspire and instill hope in cancer patients. Many things can be done through alternative therapies that may not be known or thought of. It is well understood that prevention is the best medicine. Your ability to manage stress in your life dictates your health status. Stress caused by physical, chemical or emotional stressors increase cortisol levels in your body which causes acidity and inflammation in the body. This internal environment is a breeding ground for disease including cancer. Therefore, anything that decreases stress levels in your body should be adopted as part of a preventative or therapeutic lifestyle.

One such wellness practice is Chiropractic care. Chiropractors are specially trained to detect and remove spinal misalignments that result from a stress response. The result of these spinal misalignments is known as the vertebral subluxation complex. Restrictions in spinal joint function change our proprioception, our sense of where we are in space, which increases the level of cortisol and inflammation in our body. Through Chiropractic treatment, known as an adjustment, a Chiropractor removes these areas of spinal misalignment, which creates an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing cortisol levels, balancing our hormonal system and improving our sense of well-being. While creating such neurological and physiological effects, those under chiropractic care also report less pain, more energy and improved function overall. Everyone should adopt Chiropractic as a preventative and/or therapeutic health care service into their life.

Changing your diet and eating a more plant-based diet has also shown to decrease your cancer risk. The American Institute for Cancer Research’s Third Expert Report declared that healthy diet and lifestyle behaviour could prevent up to 40% of all cancer cases. Data from 51 million people was analyzed to create a blueprint for cancer prevention worldwide. The evidence was clear: consumption of red and processed meat increase cancer risk. Basing our diets around foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and beans will ensure adequate intake of fiber and other nutrients. A nutritious diet also boosts immunity, making it easier for our bodies to fight off disease.

Studies show exercise decreases stress hormone levels, improving circulation, and boosting immunity. Blood cancers such as multiple myeloma and myeloid leukemia have also shown a decreased incidence rate in those that adopt moderate exercise in their lifestyle.

Prevention is always better than cure. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Come into our Intelligent Health Group clinics this month for a complimentary consultation on how you can live a healthier life.

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