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5 Questions For Cancer Survivors

Answer To Prevent Recurrence

Please don’t walk out the door after treatment with the belief that you are cancer free and you don’t have to worry about it ever again. If you believe that, you won’t change anything you are doing. And cancer control at the cellular level is where it’s at. Up to 30% of cancers return, depending on the stage of the first diagnosis. I’m NOT saying this to scare you, this is like being a parent and warning your kid about looking both ways before crossing the street. Yes – look to the future as someone who had a cancer journey and is healing, but also look at the past and ask yourself WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT A REPEAT DIAGNOSIS? No one wants to go through cancer treatment again. So, to move forward, you need to know WHY cancer grows in the first place and WHAT you can do to keep it from coming back.  Because knowledge provides power for prevention. And this knowledge is NOT given to most cancer patients or thrivers.

One of my mentors told me, you can cut, burn, or poison cancer, but none of that will keep cancer from coming back. You must address the growing environment. Ask yourself, WHY DID MY BODY ALLOW CANCER TO GROW INSIDE OF ME? And this is less about knowing the exact cause of cancer because there are many factors, but it’s more about the idea that if cancer grows in the first place, why wouldn’t it grow again if your growing conditions remain the same? As T. Colin Campbell, author of the China Study writes We have evidence to suggest that we can reverse the beginning stages of cancer by changing the growing environment – something we know we can do with nutrition. Food, nutrients inside the food, CHANGES your body’s physiology, food changes your growing environment. And that’s where the magic starts.

The next question to ask is: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CHANGE MY GROWING ENVIRONMENT? Sure we know….nutrition. But what does that mean—a vegan diet? A keto diet? Staying away from pesticides? Well, here’s what I do know. A “general” anti-cancer is not enough. It’s like trying to landscape your own yard. You can read all about it, get some generally good ideas online, and maybe even make something look halfway decent in front of your home. But look around the neighborhood – you can easily tell whose yards have been professionally landscaped. It’s not just aesthetics, the yards drain better and the plants thrive because the landscaper has extensive knowledge about what grows best where. Now, you are not your yard – and cancer is more complicated than growing a plant. That is precisely why a personalized plan to prevent recurrence that is specific to cancer type is critical. For example, survivors of prostate or breast cancer should know dairy is not the best choice; but survivors of melanoma and colon cancer should know that dairy helps prevent a recurrence. You won’t get this kind of cell-specific advice and to effectively change the growing environment, you need to know all the factors that do, and don’t, impact that growing environment. The other key thing to know is that changing your growing environment starts with a common sense foundational nutrition. I remember working at a cancer center and people would come in with bags of dietary supplements thinking that would negate the fact that they didn’t eat right or at least didn’t eat foods based on their cancer type.

Now ask:  WHAT IS COMMON SENSE FOUNDATIONAL NUTRITION? Any expert in nutrition, any scientist that focuses on food-based research, and any health agency will tell you the same thing: the number one dietary change that will impact your health – or your growing environment – is eating enough fruits and vegetables. There are special compounds in plants that you can’t get anywhere else in your diet and they create dramatic shifts in your physiology, –your growing environment. Now, It can be easy to get caught up in the exciting complexity of “gut health” or “functional medicine” or anything that seems a little more sexy than commonplace fruits and veggies – and all of that is important – but you know to build a house that lasts, you need a solid foundation. That is exactly what fruits and vegetables offer you. And yet, eating enough fruits and veggies every day is the number #1 nutrition problem we face. And we need lots of plants. “More Matters” is a public health initiative that encourages a consistent intake of 7-13 servings of plants per day, in a wide variety and rainbow of colors. (AICR/WCRF, 2017) More really does matter. Low fruit and vegetable consumption (defined as 3 servings a day) is linked to an increase in death from heart disease and cancer. One study followed healthy subjects on a diet of antioxidant-rich plants for 8 weeks, they had 20% less DNA breakage and 40% more DNA repair going on in their bodies. (Cell Biochem Func, 2011) Ok, we want to prevent our DNA from breaking down, we want our DNA repaired – this improves your genetic makeup and over time, preserves your physiology. Your growing environment is now able to more fiercely fight chronic diseases like cancer.

So as you continue to  make incremental changes in your diet and lifestyle to change your physiology, ask Yourself this last question: WHAT IS THE FASTEST WAY I CAN CHANGE MY GROWING ENVIRONMENT RIGHT NOW? I hope this question creates a sense of urgency for you. You are not going to feel when a microscopic cancer cell starts to divide. Yet we know we all have cancer cells in our body – it is critical that you take action NOW to make your body fight off any cancer cells that might crop up. The dietitians at My Nutrition IQ recommend the most science-based plant powders available – they are proven to raise the blood levels of plant chemicals in your bloodstream within hours. In 8 weeks, you could have better lung function, in 80 days, you can experience significant decreases in DNA damage, in 8 months your immune system could function on a whole new level.

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