We’ve previously established that chiropractic (and probably most forms of non-invasive treatment approaches) cannot “cure” cancer. However, we have found that some cancer treatment centers utilize chiropractic care as part of the treatment process. But what about cancer prevention? Is that possible?
Up front, we need to acknowledge that there is no one cause of cancer. For example, environmental causes exist that are sometimes controllable, such as smoking. However, lung cancer can occur in non-smokers, and risk factors include: 1) Age: About two out of three cases occur in people over 65 years old (average age is 71), and most are >45. 2) Genetics plays a role with certain people, such as those who have had an immediate family member that developed lung cancer but had never smoked. 3) Lifestyle factors: This includes secondhand smoke, asbestos, and/or other pollutant exposure, and radon exposure—an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is found in some houses is a leading cause of lung cancer. There are many other cancer causes including (but not limited to) certain foods (acrylamide, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and high temperature cooked meat); hormones (pregnancy, contraceptives, and menopausal hormone use); diethylstilbestrol (DES); infectious agents (HIV infection, HPV, and helicobacter pylori); radiation (magnetic fields, nuclear power plant accidents, radioactive l-131 from fallout, radon, pediatric/children CT scans, and interventional fluoroscopy); sunlight (skin cancer, melanoma); and psychological stress.
Obviously, chiropractors promote a healthy lifestyle that includes tips on cancer prevention. There are many programs or methods for smoking cessation (SC) which include (but are not limited to) prescription drugs (primary care referral), nicotine OTC products, insurance SC programs, and telephone quit lines. In the United States (US), there are currently 44.5 million smokers and <50% even make an attempt to quit annually. Of those who try to quit on their own without following an evidenced based program (which is about 70% of smokers), 90% will relapse. Surprisingly, national quit line networks have shown a higher smoking abstinence rate by as much as 30-50% more than the rate achieved under control conditions. They can potentially reach an additional 5 million quitters/year, saving 3 million lives within two decades! There are quit smoking lines in all 50 states in the US, of which all either directly or indirectly, have partnered with the national number (1-800-QUIT-NOW).
We have previously discussed how the chiropractic adjustment enhances the immune system and, by offering our treatments, disseminating “good” evidence based information, and by offering sound dietary strategies, such as the anti-inflammatory, paleo, and/or gluten-free diets for weight management, there is indeed A LOT we chiropractic can do to help!