It’s been a tough week, Wealthwokers. I was completely shocked to hear on Tuesday about the passing of well-known entrepreneur, Matthew Buckland, of cancer. My heart goes out to his wife, two beautiful daughters and others whose lives he touched for the good.
While I didn’t know Matthew extremely well, I always enjoyed being in his company and had a lot of respect for the way he went about his life both socially and professionally.
We also had a lot in common, with our careers following quite similar trajectories. We both were in and around the media industry for several years, successfully founding and selling marketing agencies at roughly the same time. Knowing what he went through to achieve all this, the timing of his death seems so unfair – he had done all the hard work – now was his time to enjoy it.
He was also pretty fit and healthy, regularly posting about his epic rides on Strava.
So his passing at such a relatively young age from cancer really hit home. It got me thinking how little most of us know about cancer, which is crazy given that almost 40% of us will be diagnosed with some form of it during our lives.
As such, I did what most of us do these days when we want to know more about something – watch a documentary. In this case I watched “The C Word” on Netflix, which challenges the status quo on how we view this disease.
The documentary focuses on the lifestyle and societal changes we can make to prevent and beat cancer.
According to the documentary, the four basic steps we can take are:
Improving our nutrition
We can do this mainly by cutting out the shit that food companies are trying so hard to get into our bodies. Since adopting a Western diet about 25 years ago, incidents of colon cancer in Japan have gone from one of the lowest in the world to one of the highest. Instead, we need to be eating more plants (i.e. fruit and veggies), which produce phytochemicals, many of which have anti-cancer properties.
Even moderate exercise has been shown to reduce incidents of cancer dramatically by helping control weight, reducing sex hormones or insulin, and strengthening the immune system.
Removing toxins from our daily lives.
Do you even know what’s in the hair products, body sprays, cleaning detergents, air fresheners, etc that we use every day? Many of these products are known carcinogens, so check the labels and do your research.
While there is still some scientific debate around this one, it is generally accepted that chronic stress can contribute to getting cancer.
I know from personal experience the physical effects that stress can have on the body. I have felt the intense pain in various parts of my body that just happen to coincide with times of chronic stress. Much of my stress came from work, especially running my own business, which was one of the key reasons I decided to sell it a few years ago.
According to Anil K. Sood, M.D., professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at MD Anderson; “Chronic stress can help cancer grow and spread in a number of ways. Stress hormones can inhibit a process called anoikis, which kills diseased cells and prevents them from spreading. Chronic stress also increases the production of certain growth factors that increase your blood supply. This can speed the development of cancerous tumors.”
He suggests finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, practicing yoga, getting enough sleep and talking to a psychiatrist or psychologist if necessary.
It’s crazy how much time and energy we spend building up the various facets of our lives – let’s spend a little more on doing what we can to prevent this cruel disease from tearing it all apart.