We all know by now that certain foods can help prevent cancer. The chemical make-up of fruits and vegetables are designed to nourish, sustain, and heal us. As time goes on, scientists delve deeper into this realm, discovering the causes at the molecular level as to why this is true.
Sometimes the therapy is worse than the disease.
Expanding research into natural foods’ abilities is limited only by imagination and funding. A study published in 2013 focused on the flavonoids apigenin and luteolin and their effects in arresting pancreatic cancer cells when used in tandem with chemotherapeutic drugs.
The problem with chemotherapy is that the drugs used are toxic, killing not only cancerous cells but healthy ones as well, and their reach is systemic; sometimes the therapy is worse than the disease. When cells were treated with the flavonoids prior to exposure to chemotherapy, the drug worked better at killing the cancerous cells:
“Apigenin alone induced cell death in two aggressive human pancreatic cancer cell lines. But we received the best results when we pre-treated cancer cells with apigenin for 24 hours, then applied the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine for 36 hours.” 
The caveat, researchers found, is in taking chemotherapy on the same day as the flavonoid supplements; they work at cross-purposes. Flavonoids are strong antioxidants that rid the body of rogue electrons looking to cause trouble. Antithetically, chemotherapeutic drugs are pro-oxidant. When taken together, they cancel each other.
In addition to its antioxidant quality, apigenin–found in foods like celery, artichokes, broccoli, chamomile, and parsley–binds to many different proteins in the body, compounding its efficacy in promoting cellular health. It has been found to cause apoptosis (cell death) of breast cancer cells, in addition to those of the pancreas.
Luteolin–found in corn, carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, peppers, zucchini, and other colorful vegetables–has been found effective in promoting eye health and reducing inflammation in the brain, with implications for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Flavonoids are effective in preventing many types of cancer.
Apigenin (as well as other flavonoids) has been found in several studies to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including those of the breast and prostate:
“Since apigenin is one of the most bioactive plant flavone and is widely distributed in common fruits, beverages and vegetables, its consumption through diet is highly recommended. Based on the studies provided apigenin affects several critical pathways and/or targets which are associated with several health disorders including cancer.”
Celery and artichokes are rich in apigenin and luteolin.
Celery can help lower blood pressure and ease systemic inflammation. Artichokes promote liver health and counter high cholesterol. Other health benefits of these vegetables are they are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Cancer of the pancreas moves fast and is very painful. It is often undetectable, producing no symptoms until it has proliferated to a critical point. It is the fourth most-deadly cancer and incidence has been increasing over the last twenty years. While difficult to cure, eating a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits can prevent this insidious cancer from ever developing.