Numerous studies are revealing a direct correlation between chronic inflammation and certain cancers. Cancer development appears to be linked to elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is produced when inflammation occurs. While acute inflammation (lasting no more than a few days) is our body’s normal response to an injury or infection, chronic inflammation may lurk in our cells and tissues for an extended period of time. This fuels cancer growth in our bodies by:
- Promoting angiogenesis (blood vessel formation) and metastasis (spread of cancer)
- Nurturing cancer stem cells
- Stimulating production of cancer-fueling chemicals, known as cytokines
The relationship between CRP and cancer
A recent paper in PLOS One looked at the relationship between CRP and cancer prognosis, recurrence, and response to treatment. To confirm this, the Cleveland Clinic identified 271 scientific studies that examined how well CRP predicted cancer outcomes. Each study measured CRP in cancer patients, and determined whether there was, in fact, a correlation with rates of recurrence, treatment response, and mortality.
Researchers found that CRP predicted cancer mortality in 90 percent of the 271 studies, and was also strongly correlated with tumor recurrence and lowered response to treatment. CRP was most strongly linked to pancreatic, liver and lung cancer. Though not as strongly linked to breast and prostate cancers, a correlation with CRP was still present.
Fighting chronic inflammation
With the strong correlation between CRP and cancer, it’s important to have your inflammation levels regularly checked. Here are a few things you can do to fight chronic inflammation:
- Consume foods rich in omega-3 fats
- Make sure your carbohydrate sources include whole grains, legumes, and lower-glycemic vegetables
- Consume foods rich in flavonoids, including apples, onions, berries and cherries
- Incorporate moderate daily exercise
- Take anti-inflammatory supplements like fish oil, curcumin, scutellaria, boswellia, and cherry extract
- Avoid over-consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates or foods high in omega-6 oils
- Utilize daily, 20-minute practices that produce relaxation responses
- Get an average of 7 hours of sleep each night
- Practice cognitive behavioral techniques to enhance sleep efficiency
- Avoid high-heat cooking methods, as it can alter food molecules into inflammatory glycotoxin and hydrocarbons
- Take a low-dose aspirin
- Shed excess weight
- Stop using tobacco products
- Limit or eliminate alcohol consumption
- Be careful with “weekend warrior” exercise habits
How the Block Center can help
At the Block Center, our biological terrain test assesses patients for inflammation by monitoring levels of CRP as well as fibrinogen and IL-6, which are other inflammatory markers. With a carefully designed program of diet, supplements, appropriate physical activity, and biobehavioral strategies, our patients regularly see large drops in their elevated CRP levels. Because each patient is unique, some cases may also require additional methods, such as medication.
If you’re concerned about your inflammation levels and how it’s affecting your cancer prognosis, the team of experienced physicians at the Block Center can help. We build individualized plans to lower elevated inflammation levels, making your body less hospitable to cancer, and more hospitable to long-term health. Call (877) 412-5625 to schedule your appointment today.