An Interview with Dana F. Flavin.
Dana F. Flavin, MD, President and Founder of the Foundation for Collaborative Medicine and Research, recently spoke with APCaP about causes of cancer and prostate cancer prevention.
APCaP: What causes cancer?
DR. FLAVIN: Genetics, the environment, diet, electromagnetic fields, lifestyle, and high stress levels are all causes of cancer. However, each person has the potential to regulate many of these areas. The development of a cancerous environment, and the process of tumor growth, occurs over time. The disease develops in most people from multifaceted activity that goes through years of change ultimately affecting the body’s balance.
APCaP: What are some initial steps men can take to prevent prostate cancer?
DR. FLAVIN: Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think about prevention if the disease hasn’t affected them. However, everyone should be aware of the possibility of cancer and take better care of their body, mind, and environment. The conversation about cancer prevention begins with asking people if they are able to relax, take time for themselves, stop everything, and have faith in themselves. From there, diet and nutrition should be evaluated, as well as frequency and types of exercise. From these basic but critically important forms of self-care, there can be a shift in the body’s response to carcinogens and pathogens. As a physician, my first form of assessment involves looking at the patient, including their skin, presentation, and behavior, as well as getting to know their habits and lifestyle. That tells me a lot about their state of health.
APCaP: What are other ways men can monitor their health and take preventive measures against prostate cancer?
DR. FLAVIN: Men, and women, can monitor their state of health, including their immune function, by noticing how often they pick up viruses, infections, colds, coughs, flus, rashes, herpes, and intestinal problems. A healthy immune system should be able to prevent most of those ailments. In addition, research shows that bacteria, fungi, viruses, infections, and parasites can support the growth of cancer. Even though science demonstrates this association, most people with cancer and those concerned about cancer prevention are not being tested for these conditions and prescribed effective therapies. Also, regular blood work is useful to provide a general overview of what is going on in the body, but the results don’t always reflect disease. In addition, people should be tested for heavy metal toxicity and treated with detoxification protocols through diet modifications and supplements as a preventive measure.
APCaP: Would you elaborate on dietary and nutritional recommendations related to prostate cancer prevention?
DR. FLAVIN: A person’s diet is critical because the foods we eat create the internal chemistry of the body. Our internal environment can support the growth of or fight against disease. The ph of our body is regulated by diet. The ph is an important measurement referring to the level of acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Many cancer patients have a more acidic environment, which is conducive to an environment favoring bacteria, fungi, and viruses around tumors releasing cancer promoting growth factors. The predominant American diet of meat, white flour and sugar, refined carbohydrates, and few vegetables increases acidity and inflammation in the body. Instead, I recommend an alkaline diet with a high amount of vegetables, fruits, seeds, and lentils. A prostate cancer prevention diet should also include tomatoes or tomato sauce, garlic, shitake and maitake mushrooms, fiber, fish, pumpkin seeds, and green tea. Also, eating organic foods is better in the long run. Non-organic foods contain many different pesticides that have a cumulative effect in the body causing neurological damage and other harmful conditions.
APCaP: You’ve emphasized the importance of a healthy, balanced body and mind in relation to the prevention of prostate and other types of cancer. What else can men, and women, do in their home environments to prevent cancer?
DR. FLAVIN: Cancer prevention should be addressed on so many levels. For one, the closeness and support of the family unit plays a bigger role than we realize. Supportive relationships impact our health. Families should be aware of other forms of potential toxicity in their home environment and only use household products for cleaning and hygiene without chemicals. Also, electromagnetic fields from televisions, computers, and other electronics should not be located close to beds and overall exposure should be limited.
APCaP: What about the environment outside of our homes?
DR. FLAVIN: There are huge amounts of toxins contaminating our water, soil, and air. One example includes phthalates, a widely used industrial compound in plastics, perfumes, hairsprays, lubricants, wood finishers, and other materials. Phthalates have been associated with cancer, adult infertility, male reproductive development, and other devastating conditions. Unfortunately, today’s water supply contains an elevated level of phthalates that impacts our drinking water, not to mention fish and other animals in our lakes and streams. As a result, only mineral or filtered water should be consumed, and in glass, not plastic. Water with fluoride should not be used since fluoride competes with selenium, an important mineral associated with the prevention of prostate and other types of cancer. Again, cancer prevention involves many factors. Although we can decrease our risk and the chances of getting the disease earlier by taking every precaution possible, it isn’t total prevention. We are still fighting our environment.