Cancer is a life-threatening disease where certain cells in the body begin to grow quicker, multiply faster, die-off slower, and accumulate. These mutated cells only function to replicate themselves and do not serve any other useful purpose in the body. Cancerous cells crowd out healthy cells, cause tissue damage, induce organ failure, shut down organ systems, and results in premature death when it is left untreated. Cancer occurs when specific parts of cellular DNA become damaged. Many mechanisms that can result in carcinogenesis are associated with an individual's diet. The consumption of several unhealthy foods has been proven to raise the risk of cancer development. There are no foods an individual can consume that will completely protect them from getting cancer. However, increasing intake of certain cancer-fighting foods can lower an individual's chance of developing cancer.
Fatty fish and fish oil are foods proven to provide the body with rich sources of nutrients that help boost its defense against cancerous and precancerous cells. Fatty fish are a rich source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Women are affected by the cancer-fighting effects of fatty fish more than men are. This is due to the observation that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids increases the quantity of omega-3 fatty acids in breast tissue. Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in breast tissue are proven to be associated with a decreased risk of developing breast cancer. The exact mechanism behind this correlation between fatty fish and cancer is not clear, but it is known to be involved with the way omega-3 fatty acids activate the natural painkillers in the body. The immune system is thought to be involved because individuals who eat a diet higher in omega-3 fatty acids have an increased amount of T-cells in their bodies. A diet with abundant sources of fish oil has also proven to curb the metastasis of cancer to other tissues in the body. A diet rich in fatty fish includes herring, mackerel, salmon, and sardines.