According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, with an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Naturopathic physician Michelle Hamilton cited the data when she discussed the topic of cancer prevention on day three of the Inter-American Division (IAD) Health Summit in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. About one in six deaths is caused by cancer around the world.
Hamilton, who is also managing director of Hope Lifestyle Center in Kingston, Jamaica, believes the statistics could have been lower if we would focus not only on exercise and food but also on other factors that affect our bodies.
Hamilton said that most people focus on exercise and food and fail to see the connection in terms of our environment, our families, our emotions, our organs, and our minds. She posited that life that we have is very complicated as most people failed to understand the connections between the mind and the body.
Hamilton stressed that one has to understand that we need to be whole to prevent cancer.
She explained that we need to be whole in spirit, body, and mind. To do so, we need balance in our lives. Things are connected. Our emotions to others, our friendships that we have, and among others have a consequence. If someone has hurt you, you will feel or produce an adverse reaction, but our bodies also have a memory of that, affecting how we live our lives daily and how we process the things in our environment and even the things that we take into our bodies.
WHO data reveals that a third of deaths from cancer are due to high body mass index (overweight), low vegetable and fruit intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use.
Hamilton said that we have to understand cancer from a wholistic standpoint to prevent it. We need to realize that each organ function is essential, and our relationship, our emotions, our very thoughts, all play a role in our body function.
There are a hundred types of cancers known today, with around 70 percent of deaths in cancer happening in low-and middle-income countries.
Hamilton said that cancer in itself requires an environment, which is one of chronic inflammation. The inflammation comes about through multiple different pathways. It comes about through the thought process. If you are sad and lonely, if you are always angry, if you feel emotions, you aren’t able to express, all of that affects your immune system in some way, she added. It also affects your hormones and digestive system, but people don’t put a lot of importance on that because they don’t make connections.
Hamilton argued that we need to understand how certain foods produce inflammation or cancer that, in turn, may make the environment that cancer thrives in, as well as other lifestyle diseases.
Hamilton concluded that a healthy mind would provide you a healthy body. So, she hopes that people can make the connections to realize that it’s all connected, and nothing is separate.