Nutrition & Cancer Part I: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Nutrition and its association to cancer remains, to this day, a very controversial topic. 

90-95% of all cancers are a result of lifestyle factors, dietary eating patterns, environmental toxicants, and infections, while the remainder 5-10% are due to true genetic defects (Davoodi, Esmaeili, & Mortazavian, 2013). In other words, the environment you live in, the food you eat and drink (plus all the contaminants it contains), and your lifestyle are the biggest determinants of your cancer risk and quality of your lifespan.

The food you eat, break down, and absorb ultimately directs physiologic processes within and among cells. Lifestyle factors that predispose one to duplicating cancer cells can be thought of similarly, since day-to-day inputs often send the wrong message to our cells. An inadequate cell that cannot overcome the insult becomes collateral damage. One cancer cell goes unnoticed to us, but not to our body. 

For example, excess alcohol, animal protein, and caffeine use in an already susceptible individual can signal inflammatory pathways that hinder the body’s ability to function normally. Physical inactivity, insufficient daily sleep, and emotional unrest can create a constant state of stress which trigger the same inflammatory pathways as toxic environmental toxicants derived from many food and recreational sources.  When one’s diet is nutrient-poor and loaded with GMO crops (i.e., wheat, corn, soy), saturated fats (derived primarily from animal protein and nuts), processed food and sugar, it directly contributes to mental, physical, and emotional sluggishness. The cells begin to starve and remain in a constant state of terror. Cells receive the worst sources of information for maintaining normal cell functions.  

It is estimated that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by diet alone (Davoodi, Esmaeili, & Mortazavian, 2013). Realistically, people are not receiving this information in regards to cancer prevention and when diagnosed with cancer. There are valid reasons for this, with marketing taking the prize of misinformation.

Once approved in 1993, rBGH has been injected in 1 in 6 U.S. female cows causing an increase in milk production by 20%.  The USDA, whose board members consist primarily of representatives from agriculture and industry, needed to now create a high demand for dairy products domestically and internationally.  The USDA created a highly coordinated national campaign and research programs to build just this demand. 

There are several books that describe, in great detail, the link between milk consumption and cancer. Some of my favorites are The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II, and Your Life in Your Hands by Jane A. Plant.  The 20+ year research studies have clearly demonstrated the carcinogenic effects of milk amongst many others associated health problems. 

When the Federal Trade Commission finally asked the USDA to investigate its scientific basis of their claims made by the milk moustache ads, the USDA had to admit they had “no proof”.  In 1999 the United Nations ruled to not endorse rBGT milk and has since placed an international ban on US milk. Despite all of the research which has clearly shown there is no nutritional benefit and actually more health risk associated with milk consumption, the FDA, World Health Organization, and National Institute of Health continuously state milk products are safe for humans exclusively because of economic reasons. 

Cancer doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long-term process that can go years unnoticed.  When we focus on one specific component and look for a relationship, we are entirely disregarding the hundreds of other components that increase one’s cancer risk.  


Check back next week for my review of other commonly consumed items that are associated with cancer. You DON’T want to miss it!

If you or a loved one is facing the diagnosis of cancer, please CONTACT US

Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is the lead integrative functional medical physician at SF Advanced Health. She specializes in cell function and how to confront the root cause of illness.  Let SF Advanced Health help you get back to thriving and guide you on the path to lifelong wellness.

Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to

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