In Part I of this series, we looked at what inflammation is and how it contributes to cancer development and progression. In Part II, we examine how to discern if inflammation is an issue for you, some valuable assessments to consider to measure it, and the very specific actions you can take to lower inflammation levels that are elevated.
Assessing Your Status
Other than some obvious signs―puffy gums, sore joints, chronic stuffiness―how can you tell if your inflammation levels are higher than they should be? Several tests can be useful here.
C-Reactive Protein is a simple blood test that measures levels of C-reactive protein(CRP), a powerful inflammatory marker. The production of C-reactive protein is an essential part of the inflammatory process, and the measurement of this substance reflects the level of inflammatory activity deep within the body. We believe measuring inflammation with a high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein test is one of the most important steps you can take if you have had cancer. If the results are elevated, above 1.0, then it’s time to take action to bring levels down. You might want to keep running that test on a three-month interval. If you don’t have cancer but have risk factors, you may want to run the test on an annual basis as part of your regular physical exam.
An important contributor to blood clotting, fibrinogen levels rise in reaction to inflammation. For this reason, if inflammation levels are high, it may be wise to check fibrinogen levels as well. The Life Extension Foundation (www.lef.org) advises that optimal fibrinogen levels should range between 215 and 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood. Bringing levels into normal range has the added benefit of keeping the blood flowing more smoothly, making it more difficult for metastases to develop.