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Guest Post: Understanding Nutrition & Cancer

Posted Jun 30 2012 3:34pm

Hey, friends and readers! I’m not back permanently–still super busy–but today, I’m here to share a guest post written by Jillian McKee , a blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. As many of you are aware, my mother suffered and died from severe metastasized breast cancer, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially when I have an opportunity to spread the word about powerful plant-based nutrition. Thanks, Jillian, for your contribution!


Getting diagnosed with cancer can be a very scary and dark time for many people and their loved ones. While a positive diagnosis of a cancerous growth can be stressful and emotionally challenging, there are a number of very easy changes one can follow to improve his or her chance of a healthy return to normal life. This article explores how proper nutrition can impact survival rates and metastasis times for different types of cancer. In addition, this guide explores how one can combat the side effects of mesothelioma and other cancers through proper nutrition.

It’s very important to have an understanding of how cancer can spread inside the human body. Most cancerous growths are caused by improper replication of cells inside the normal human body. Under normal conditions, cells split and divide through the process of mitosis. However, the replication machinery inside some cells will malfunction. This can be a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, genetic factors, environmental toxins, and UV exposure.

When a cell’s replication machinery malfunctions, the cell will usually die. All cells in the body contain a specialized self-destruct sequence that will eliminate the cell if it isn’t working correctly. However, this doesn’t always work. When it doesn’t, a malignant tumor or growth can spread inside the body, forming cancer.

Most modern chemotherapy treatment plans use radiation or pharmaceutical drugs to eliminate cancerous cells in the body. While drug discovery has yielded improved methods for targeting cancerous cells, many chemotherapy drugs can have a variety of negative side effects. This can include lethargy, depression, anxiety, sadness, muscle atrophy, weight loss, and more.

While these symptoms can be challenging for many people, there are many supplements and foods that can have a beneficial impact on one’s recovery. For example, it’s a good idea to eat a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. While lean cuts of meat can be a good choice for a healthy person, they should be avoided in people with cancer. Instead of lean meats, it’s a good idea to consume a natural protein source. This includes eggs, nuts, soy protein, and some types of legumes.

There are a variety of supplements that have been shown to reduce symptoms of cancer. For example, fish oil contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation and systemic pain inside the body. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to be effective at improving mood.

In addition, it’s important to have a support network when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. A friend or family member can provide valuable mental and emotional support during one’s time of need and really help you on the road to recovery.

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