So you just found out you have cancer. What do you do?
First take several deep breaths and relax. Now take a few more deep breaths. Cancer can be terrifying and the thought of radiation burns, losing your hair from chemo, and surgery are scary, You’ll feel like you are helpless, but you can do far more than any oncologist will tell you (because he wasn’t taught either). Read on and I’ll try to put cancer into perspective and how it can be managed and even possibly prevented.
First, how did you get cancer. Simple we all get cancer during or lifetimes, probably 10-20 times. But your own immune system can efficiently deal with cancer. Your immune system can recognize cancer cells when they are just a small cluster of cells, or maybe even just one or two. Your immune system goes into action, moves in, and dispatches the errant cancer cells.
If your immune system is compromised then the young cancerous cells may take hold and start growing and poof, you have cancer, but it might be ten to twenty years before it is detectable. Now there are some very rapidly growing cancers, but many take years to become detectable.
So there is a two pronged attack you can take, and for all of us without a “Cancer” diagnoses these are the things we can do to reduce the chance of developing cancer and slow its growth. If you have the diagnosis these steps will help manage it and slow its grown and in some cases can even turn back the tumor and it will shrink.
Like any battle you want to weaken your opponent and build your strength – Your immune system is your strength.
To Weaken Cancer:
- Starve It – Cancer cells love sugar, tumors will take in all the sugar they can get and sugar to cancer is like spinach to Popeye The Sailor. Sugar comes from multiple sources. It isn’t just the sugar in sodas and candy bars, but highly refined foods that are quickly broken down into sugars. Immediately eliminate these from your diet: All sweetened drinks, sodas, fruit juice, anything made with flour or wheat flour, processed foods, potatoes, white rice, etc.
- Learn the glycemic index. This is a rating all foods have that indicates how quickly a food will raise your blood sugar. You want to stick to low glycemic index foods like vegetables, many fruits, meats, beans, dairy, etc. Here is one source, but you can do a Google search and find others http://nutritiondata.self.com/topics/glycemic-index . Try to keep the bulk of your diet to foods under 55 on the glycemic index.
- Cripple Cancer – Cancer cells have some sneaky tricks to hijack your body for its benefit. For example tumors release a chemical which will stimulate the surrounding blood vesicles to grow towards the tumors to bring it more blood, which means more sugar. Turmeric, the yellow spice in Indian curry can block this signal. So if the tumor can’t get more blood, then it can’t grow, or its growth will be slowed. Other foods which help fight cancer are broccoli, Brussels sprints, dark colored berries, green tea, turmeric, and many more.
Boost your immune system.
Numerous studies have shown that your own immune system can be very effective against cancer when it is just starting. In fact there is one strain of mice that are immune to cancer. So the stronger your immune system is, the better if can fight.
- Eliminate Stress. Back to my first suggestion – Take several deep breathes. you need to totally destress. So practice any method of distressing (except alcohol and drugs) meditation, focused deep breathing, yoga, running, fishing. Doesn’t matter what it is, do it. When you are stressed your immune system shuts down. Think back to our ancestors – Stress is good at times, especially when a lion is staring you down. Your body shits into fight or flight mode, adrenaline pours into your veins and you’re ready to run as fast as you can (now you can’t outrun a lion, but you can try and outrun they guy next to you) At this point your body sounds the alarm and shuts down non essential systems, like your immune system and puts all its resources to keep you alive for another day. If you’re constantly stressed, you’re immune system will suffer.
Fortunately we don’t live with the risk of being a lions dinner that often today, but our body doesn’t know that. Job, family, and money stress cause the same reaction. So you need to learn to relax and let your immune system be as strong as it can be. If someone cuts you off on the freeway you’ll go into flight or flight mode, hit the breaks and swerve to avoid an accident. But after that be thankful you weren’t in and accident and forget it. Don’t dwell on that jerk for the next hour.
- Sleep – You must get a good nights sleep every night.
- Exercise is also necessary for several reasons. It will help you relax and it will boost your immune system’s strength.
- Probiotics – 70% of your immune system comes from the good bacteria in your gut. Good probiotics can keep these strong. You can eat fermented foods like sauerkraut or yogurt (not the store bought type which is full of sugar) If you can’t eat sauerkraut daily, then take a probiotic supplement.
- Vitamin D – get out in the sun in summer and supplement throughout the year.
- Immunity boosting foods – Garlic, gensing, medicinal mushrooms like shiitake and miatake
Fuel your body
I talked about starving cancer, but you need to fuel your body. This is basic healthy eating 101, so I’ll be brief:
- Drink lots of pure water – Reverse osmosis water is best. avoid tap water and vitamin water type drinks or sugared sports drinks. Just water with a little lemon if you like.
- No GMO foods. Genetically modified foods are in many packaged foods. Assume that if it has corn or soy that it is GMO unless it says Non-GMO or Organic.
- Organic – eat organic as much as you can. If you can’t find everything organic, then google the Dirty Dozen list of the most heavily contaminated produce.
- Get high quality protein, Grass fed beef, pasture raised chickens and eggs that feed off the ground and no grains.
- Only wild caught seafood.
- Good fats. Avocados, wild caught salmon, nuts, coconut oil, etc.
- Fruits and veggies – Like your mother said, eat lots of different fruits and vegetables. Look at the glycemic index of fruits though, some, like bananas can be too high on the glycemic index.
- Stop Smoking
Here are some extra special foods that you need several times a day to keep cancer at bay, or to fight it back.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green tea
- Dark colored berries
- Other anti-oxidant rich foods.
With today’s depleted soils foods no longer have the nutrients they did a century ago. So you must supplement. You need an top rated and very pure multivitamin then optimizers to add more of the cancer fighting compounds like curcumin (Tumeric), garlic, antioxidants, etc.
To learn more I highly recommend the book “Anti-Cancer and new way of life” by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber. He is a MD who found he had an aggressive brain tumor an after the course of his initial treatment he felt there was more that could be done that his oncologist wasn’t aware of. so he dug into the published medical research database at www.pubmed.gov and was amazed at all the research there was regarding foods and cancer. It is an easy read. It can get technical at times, but he brings it back up to common language. He has some good charts of which foods work best against various types of cancer. For example tomatoes can actually fuel breast cancer.
Disclaimer – I’m not proposing that any of the above can treat or cure cancer as per the FDA only FDA approved drugs, chemo, surgery, and radiation can treat or cure cancer. The recommendations above are primarily foods and foods are naturally occurring compounds and can not be patented so no pharmaceutical company will spend the money to gain FDA approval to use, for example, turmeric or garlic as an FDA approved treatment for cancer. There is though a large volume of published medical research which shows many foods can have a positive impact on cancer.