Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eat Right And Prevent Cancer

By Meluse Kapatamoyo
Though the human body is susceptible to over 200 different types of cancer, diet alone is said to be responsible for causing one to two thirds of all cancers.
The human body has four main cancer fighting systems in place, and these also help prevent a recurrence.
Professor Parham
 Professor Groesbeck Parham MD, of the African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer Control says "the human body can help prevent a lot of these cancers if we would change our diets."

The liver which is the detoxifying organ in the body, is responsible for removing all toxins from the blood stream. The liver also makes bile, a substance that modifies fat so it can be absorbed and turned into secondary bile acids that promote cancer by bacteria.
“What determines the type of bacteria in your intestines is what you eat. If you eat, grains, fruits, beans, legumes, you will have healthy bacteria. If you eat a lot of red meat, you have harmful bacteria,” says Professor Parham.
One of the food components that help the waste disposal system is fibre.  It increases the speed at which food that is eaten exits the body. It also ushers out the toxins and transform bacteria from harmful to a healthy ones.
Fibre is found in grains, oatmeal, fruits, beans and legumes.
Professor Parham explains that "fibre is not in any animal product (as can be seen from above examples). It is in products that grow in the ground.  And if you want to keep your intestine healthy and keep your waste disposal working well, you have to put a lot of fibre in your body everyday.”
It goes without saying much that animal products such as chicken, beef, pork, cheese all harm the waste disposal system because they have no fibre. However, dark, lean leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants that help prevent cancer. Examples of such vegetables are tomatoes, guava, watermelons, carrots, mangoes, papaya, sweet potatoes, oranges, tangerines, lemons, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, broccoli, lime.
“Zambia has some of the greatest green leafy vegetables. You eat the roots plus you eat the top. You can eat the green tops of beans, pumpkins, sweet potatoes. That is the smartest thing I have ever seen in a diet,” notes Professor Parham.
Cooked animal productions, especially meats, harm the antioxidants in the human body. Present in all meats are amino acids called Creatine. This is present in all meats including fish, when grilled, fried or boiled at high temperatures; it makes Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA), a cancer causing agent. HCA increases the risk of breast and colon cancer.
The longer the meat is cooked, the higher the levels of HCA. If meat is boiled or grilled over hot flame, it produces another toxic agent called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). The more intense the heat, the higher the level of PAH which increases the risk of stomach cancers.
Fortunately, foods such as squash, kale, spinach, turmeric, garlic and onions all stimulate the immune system which is responsible for destroying foreign invaders such as viruses, cancer cells and carcigeons.

Turmeric is said to be one of the world’s most powerful stimulants known to man.

Most harmful to the immune system is fat. While there are two kinds of fat, vegetable and animal fats, neither one is good, but vegetable fat which has Omega3 found in Canola, Olive and Flax seed oil is said to be better. The worst fat comes from meat, which has Omega 6 (like butter), it slows down the immune system and does not respond just as fast.

The detoxification system consists of the liver, the colon, the skin and the lungs. The liver has a system of enzymes that detoxify cancer causing substances and make it more water soluble and are excreted through urination, sweating, breathing, and defecation.
Enzymes can be stimulated to work better by eating foods such as Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussel sprours, Oranges, Tangerines, and Turmeric.
Professor Parham advises that "the bottom line is eat intelligently, when you go to the stores, buy something yellow, green, red, orange, pink, and not something brown. Eat like your grandparents used to eat in the village. And try and eliminate animal products.
“If you are going to drink milk, try and drink soy milk. Cow’s milk has a protein in it called whey, one of the worst proteins you can put in your body," concluded Pro. Parham.PYM

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stay clean 'down there'

By Meluse Kapatamoyo

Away from the blog, we have had debates on the right and healthy way of ensuring cleanliness of our privates parts, especially how to keep one’s vagina clean.  

To get expert advice, i put this question to Dr Sharon Kapambwe, Head of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme in Zambia on how best this practice can be done.

Dr Kapambwe says the best way to keep one’s reproductive system clean is to thoroughly wash the vagina regularly but “DO NOT”
douche or clean the inside with fingers because, “when you do this you remove the protective cervical mucus and disturb the good germs in the vagina. You also risk damaging the surface area of the vagina”.

Dr Sharon Kapambwe
This increases the risk of easily contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

She says a healthy vagina has good bacteria that produce acid which stops the growth of,
HIV, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and other sexually transmitted germs. The same bacterium is found in fermented products such as sour milk and yogurt.

Cervical mucus cleans the vagina, traps and kills germs, provides lubrication and also helps transport the sperm to the egg during the fertilization process.

Acid conditions in the vagina create an inhospitable environment for bad bacteria or viruses such that they are less able to survive in the female reproductive tract.

This led to asking Dr Kapambwe on the use of tampons.

“A tampon is different. It is medically tested and is not going to bring in infections. It’s sterile, unless you open it and expose it to air, only then can it gather bacteria. People do get infection from tampons every now and then because of exposure to air but on its own it’s a very sterile product and it’s meant to fit in the cervix for a certain time, “ she explained.

“But when it comes to your fingers, you would have touched so many things and you do not know what you are carrying around that is why we worry when you start putting fingers down there. The vagina itself is much cleaner than your mouth as it cleans itself.”

There are other ways of keeping your reproductive system healthy. This can be done by maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and using condoms. In addition visit a screening clinic regularly as routine check-ups can prevent severe infections in the genital area. PYM

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

CIDRZ Cervical Cancer screening sites

By Meluse Kapatamoyo

Zambia has the second highest rate of cervical cancer in the world after Guinea.

According to Dr Sharon Kapambwe, Head of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme in Zambia, more than 99, 000 women have been screened and of these 14, 000 were treated with pre-cancer lesions.

“Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Zambia regardless of gender and causes more deaths in women than any other cancer. Most cases that we get are advanced and we are seeing younger women with pre-cancer lesions,” she said.

Below is a list of CIDRZ Cervical Cancer screening sites dotted around the country.

1.    Bauleni Clinic

A woman undergoing screening

2.    Chawama Clinic
3.    Chelston Clinic
4.    George Clinic
5.    Chilenje Clinic
6.    Kanyama Clinic
7.    Matero Clinic
8.    Kalingalinga Clinic
9.    M’tendere Clinic
10. Ngombe Clinic
11. University Teaching Hospital (UTH)
12. Chongwe Clinic
13. Kafue Clinic
14. Monze Mission Hospital
15. Chipata General Hospital
16. Katete Mission
17. Kabwe  General Hospital
18. Ndola Central Hospital
19. Kitwe General Hospital