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  • Doctor’s Health Advice
  • Yuzo Endo, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Masahito Hitosugi, M.D., Ph.D.
  • John E. Lewis, Ph.D.

Doctor’s Health Advice

Doctor’s Health Advice

Pathologist’s advice on how to combat cancer



Cancer is not a horrifying disease

“Isn’t cancer inherited?” “I’m worried because we have a family history of cancer.” “Is cancer a lifestyle-related disease?” “Can we prevent cancer by changing our lifestyle?” These are questions that I as a physician, M.D. and Ph.D., commonly encounter. The first two beliefs have little supporting evidence and are not considered to be true for adult cancer. The latter two can be answered in the affirmative. This comment will change your “common sense” with a great surprise, won’t you?

Generally speaking, cancer is commonly considered a horrifying disease. However, this is not necessarily true; many adult cancers can be prevented. If it can be detected early, complete recovery is possible through early treatment by conventional modern medicine in the almost all cancers with exceptions of lung cancer as well as pancreas cancer.

The length of the latency period of cancer is closely associated with diet and lifestyle

In many cases, adult cancers grow to a visible size after a long latency period of 10 or more years. Believe it or not, the length of the latency period may be made shorter or longer, and this is closely associated with the individual’s lifestyle, such as diet and lifestyle habits, as well as with the physical characteristics of the individual. This means that in the extreme case, the latency period may be extended semi-permanently over your expected life long by self discipline.

Once cancer becomes a visible size, its growth apparently becomes sharply accelerated. The cancer then spreads to other areas of the body, causing a troublesome state known as metastasis, so-called advanced cancer. Compared to its long latency period, it only takes a couple of years for the cancer to reach its terminal stage. This situation itself makes us cancer as a horrifying disease.

The association between latency period and diet/lifestyle has become evident through medical research in the past ten years. So, if you are mature-aged and currently cancer-free, thinking that your cancer is in its latency period would make you cherish your body forever, and you would take care of yourself to seek ways to prevent cancer if it is possible at all. Being just over 60 years old myself, I am right in the midst of the cancer-prone age, but I am eager to practice better lifestyle and cooking better recipe and habits, and I am actively trying to recognize how to prevent cancer.

Strategies against cancer that emphasize the relationship between the mind and body

Certain constituents of food, especially plant nutrients (fruit and vegetables), will be discussed in details later. They have extremely potent protective effects against cancer. The primary objective of this column is to raise your awareness of these foods.

There aren’t many foods that you need to abstain from, as long as you eat them in moderation. Almost all foods or habits are “dos”. Unfortunately, refraining from “cigarette” smoking is “not-dos” and is of the foremost importance. Difference of the term between cigarette and tobacco will be discussed in the later chapter.

In unfortunate cases where cancer is found in progressed stages, new treatment options can be considered in addition to the conventional options, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The possibilities of cancer immunotherapy and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are currently being studied extensively. I believe that strategies against cancer should be directed at the individual as a whole, and at the individual’s entire lifestyle, with an emphasis on the relationship between the mind and body. Medical professionals must supply evidence-based and neutral information available at the level of state of art to every patient or client Also, they must provide various healing ways with a motto of never-give-up fit for each individual as much as possible, so-called tailor-made medicine. To do this, the second objective of this column is to discuss the concepts and clinical applications of supplementing modern medicine and creating an integrated form of medicine.

Doubts about modern medicine during 29 years of hospital work experience and over 700 cases of clinical autopsy

Looking back to a couple of decades ago, I used to believe that it was common sense to treat for cancer using surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. That was when I was completely immersed in conventional modern medicine, and working as a pathologist as well as a clinical immunologist at a general hospital in Tokyo.

During the 29 years of my work at the hospital where I experienced over 700 cases of clinical autopsy of patients who passed away despite undergoing treatments, I often pondered over whether or not the cancer treatments provided for these patients were in fact effective.

Also, at that time, I was ignorantly unaware of the deeper meaning of words such as “cancer-prone age,” “lifestyle-related disease,” and “adult disease.” Embedded within all these words is the concept of a latency period. Recently, some have suggested the use of the concept of “Mi-Byou” or “expecting-disease” used in Chinese medicine in place of latency period.

Collecting scientifically accurate information from varied sources, conducting comparative analysis, and providing clear explanations

People are easily manipulated by information that surrounds them. Even physicians are no exception; we easily find ourselves buried within medicine, our area of specialization. It is a painstaking task even for physicians to break free from the barrier of our specialization by recognizing that a doctor is first and foremost one individual, and to collect accurate scientific information from a broad range of sources.

It is a most difficult task to find universal ideas in the modern media that have been hiding among overflowing information. There seems to be little available information on strategies against cancer that is gathered with a sense of purpose, that extends beyond one’s field of expertise, and that is compared, analyzed, and explained in comprehensive language.

I hope that this column will serve as a source of disseminating such information. Using my experience in pathology and immunology based upon modern medicine and physiology, I will be analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of modern medicine, and thinking of ways to choose supplement and/or conventional modern medicine. I then hope to effectively translate this information into detailed guidance for cancer prevention not only for non-professionals but also for the medical professionals. I would very much appreciate it if you could provide comments and criticisms on my health advice so that I would be able to incorporate them into the upcoming articles.


Yuzo Endo, M.D., Ph.D.

Yuzo Endo, M.D., Ph.D.
Hamamatsu University School of Medicine

1969.9: Graduated from Medical School, University of Tokyo Consultant pathologist in Hamamatsu University, Medical School, and Fujimoto General Hospital. Medical Consultant in conventional and integrative medicine.

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