Too often we hear the words, “I’ve been diagnosed with cancer.” We increasingly hear about new research, new clinical trials and different types of chemotherapy or radiation. These words are heard more and more today than just 30 years ago. Some statistics show that in the 1960s, cancer rates were one in 80. Today, those numbers have increased dramatically. Oncologists will tell you statistics are likely two in three men and one in three women. 

I cannot express how important it is to get screened. Even if you think you are healthy, young and vibrant, your body’s cells can tell a much different story. We live in a world of toxins – from our environment to poisonous chemicals added to our food supply, EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) and heavy metals in our water and air. Excess sugar, trans fats, alcohol, soda pops and fast food are the standard American diet (aptly referred to as SAD) and are pushed to accommodate our rushed lifestyles. 

We always notice folks taking great care of their possessions, ensuring everything is clean and in top condition, for example, our “muscle cars” or Harley-Davidson motorcycles. When you see some of these on the road, we know the owner put a lot of time, money and care into them — often for a show. It has to sound good and perform even better. 

Compare these machines to the super complex human vessel in which your spirit temporarily rides while on this planet. Are we less important than the car or motorcycle? Without the health of our bodies and minds, the car wouldn’t make it to the show. 

When we have aches and pains, we often pass them off as, “I’m getting old” or “It’s just my arthritis.” We may ignore digestive issues, thinking it will “pass.” Yet, these issues often persist and worsen over time, leading us to reach for a pill to fix it, and another pill to fix the damage from the first pill, and so on. We end up with a platter of medications. 

So often this scenario can be avoided with functional lab testing. Many tests are available – some tests use blood and others use urine, saliva or stool to help you and your practitioner pinpoint the root cause of aches, pains, digestion, hormonal imbalance, brain fog, nutritional deficiencies and more. 

The reasoning behind this article’s title, “Cancer: the Sneaky Disease,” is because most patients say they didn’t feel the cancer. We don’t always know that a tumor is present. We can be strong, feeling healthy and vibrant, assuming it will never happen to us. Unfortunately, no one is exempt, highlighting the importance of regular screenings and awareness of the foods we are ingesting. 

When we “listen” to our bodies, we can better see the signs it gives us. Prevention is the key to living a life free of this sneaky disease.

Bryan Paul Blackwell, co-owner of Barefoot Balance Holistic Health, is a certified health coach specializing in integrative nutrition, digestive and hormone health, and also a cancer thriver. He can be reached at (760) 895.8233 or through

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