Why Breast Cancer??
What caused my breast cancer, or was it “caused” at all. Was it the fact that I was chemistry major in college, mixing up all kinds of chemical “soups” in the lab? Was it the fact that I lunched on convenient micro waved meals in plastic containers all the years I taught. Was it the fact that I “loved” sugar….I would often skipping meals in favor of eating a muffin or cookies? Was it the years in England, we lived near the railway tracks…was it pollution? Was it my love of wine?
And finally, was it just, well, nothing!
I had no control over getting breast cancer, but I do admit I could have made better lifestyle choices. I may have no control now, but I feel empowered to have the choice to make lifestyle changes based on research. I can’t be sure this will help….I only know these changes have been documented as making a difference.
Science is funny…some things cannot be proven. Unless you could feed people with exactly the same cancer, exactly the same diet, drink exactly the same water with the exact same chemical composition, you can’t say it works. What you can do is collect data on what long term survivors have in common and compare. Current data concludes that the most successful healing occurs when a holistic approach is used that combines conventional medicine with complementary healing practices.
The information I am providing here is not a cure, or a guarantee my cancer won’t come back. I only know that it makes me feel “in control”. Remember I am NOT a doctor, just a fellow patient. When you review my supplement section, you should check with your oncologist before using any of the suggestions. I checked all my supplements with my pharmacist at Dana Farber. Your doctor will probably tell you they are unnecessary, but do what you think are right. My plan is simply that, a plan to keep my body in anti-cancer mode. I hope it will help you too.
Cancer Fighting Foods
There are many cancer preventing vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in food. The key is buy fresh and don’t eat processed foods. If there is a long list of ingredients on the label – stay away. Here are some suggestions for goods foods to include in your diet.
Probably one of the most important ways to good health is drinking freshly pressed organic fruit and vegetable juice. The best juicer I have found is the Champion juicer - in terms of ease of use, amount of juice extracted and durability of the machine. If you can’t afford a Champion, any juicer is better than none. Less expensive juicers just don’t get all the juice out of the produce you are juicing.
I juice carrots, kale, celery and spinach. Since juicing takes time and is a bit messy, I do all my juicing when I come from the grocery store with my fresh produce. I then freeze the various juices separately in ice cube trays while fresh. Then I have fresh cubes available each morning for my juice. I add the cubes to apple juice and coconut water and blend. It really saves time and makes daily juice intake so much easier. You can also add chunks of fresh ginger (I keep some frozen in and add pieces into the juicing machine, great taste and full of good things for you). Beets give the juice a sweetness and color.
Oils and fats
Use lots of organic, cold pressed olive oil (good anti- breast cancer)
I also use Coconut oil which is a very healthy monosaturated oil and is excellent in baked goods.
Use margarine or cook with sunflower oil - margarine is full of fatty acids which have been implicated in cancer - and which are not made in the body, but are commonly found in the membranes of cancer cells. Sunflower oil when cooked and heated also creates similar fatty acids. Avoid hydrogenated oils at all costs.
Chock a block with minerals and vitamins, especially iron and iodine - very useful for the immune system. Add to salads and soups and stir fries.
Nature has published Swedish cancer research, proving that green tea contains a substance that prevents cancer
Eat raw - in salads and add to teas
Thyme - antioxidant and anti-cancer
Rosemary - anti stress and calming
Sage - may also help prevent Alzheimer's
Turmeric - very important anti-oxidant, can also be bought raw in the root form from grocery stores - grate or chop finely into salads and dishes
Eating a diet rich in beans and nuts could help to prevent and fight cancer because these foods contain a natural compound that inhibits the growth of tumors. Beans contain a number of phytochemicals, which have been shown to prevent or slow genetic damage to cells. While this makes beans beneficial for helping to reduce your risk of many types of cancer, specific research has suggested they are especially potent in preventing prostate cancer. As an added bonus, the high fiber content of beans has been connected with a lower risk of digestive cancers.
Nuts in general contain an exceptional amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that have been linked to combating cancer, particularly breast and colorectal cancer. Nuts contain the following vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, among others:
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Eat lots of oily fish - salmon, tuna. Avoid farm-raised fish since they are often raised with antibiotics and fed soy products.
Vegetables and Fruits
In 1991, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation launched a campaign to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to 5 to 9 servings a day for every American. “There is no specific fruit or vegetable responsible for reducing cancer risk,” says the 5 A Day for Better Health Program website. “Research shows that it is the regular consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables that reduces risk.” Five servings is considered the minimum. For men, the recommendation is nine servings per day; for women, it is seven.
To help people gauge their intake, the 5 A Day website defines a serving size as the amount of fruit or vegetable that can fit in the palm of your hand. The following portions are examples of single serving sizes:
· A small (3/4 cup or 6 oz) glass of 100% fruit or vegetable juice
· A medium-size piece of fruit (an orange, small banana, medium-size apple)
· One cup of raw salad greens
· 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables
· 1/2 cup of cut-up fruit or vegetables
· 1/4 cup of dried fruit
· 1/2 cup of cooked beans or peas
Although the portions sizes are simple to understand, fitting them into a busy lifestyle is another matter. The Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation and the 5 A Day program offer the following tips for meeting 7–9 fruit and vegetable servings per day:
· Have a glass of 100% juice in the morning. Add fruit to your breakfast cereal.
· Snack on fresh fruit throughout the day. Grab an apple or banana on your way out the door.
· Eat a big salad at lunch. Always order lettuce and tomato on your sandwich.
· Snack on raw veggies with low-fat dip instead of chips or candy.
· Keep trail mix made with dried fruit on hand for a quick snack.
· Use the salad bar at your supermarket for precut fruits and vegetables.
· Enjoy your favorite beans and peas. Add them to salads. Try black bean and corn salsa for snacking.
· Replace creamy pasta sauces, with sautéed vegetables or tomato sauce made with healthy olive oil.
· Top a baked potato with broccoli.
· Add fresh or frozen veggies to your favorite pasta sauce or rice dish.
· Eat at least two vegetables with dinner.
· Choose fruit instead of a richer dessert.
· Eat lots of raw tomatoes - for men, helps not to get prostate cancer, tomatoes have lycopene in them and function much like Tamoxifen; thus they are not only good for men who want to avoid prostate cancer; they are excellent anti-cancer foods for women wanting to avoid cervical, uterine, and breast cancers.
An Alkaline Body Fights Cancer
Very alkalizing foods: Avocado, broccoli, beet greens, carrots, celery stalks, chives, cucumber, edible gourds, fennel, garlic, grasses (wheatgrass), green beans, green cabbage, leeks, peas, peppers, potato, radish, red beets, red cabbage, rhubarb, salad greens, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, watercress, zucchini. Navy beans, soy beans, soy nuts, soy sprouts, white beans. Buckwheat. Acidophilus milk, banana smoothie, fresh butter, fresh buttermilk, fresh cheese, fresh whey, raw whole milk. Apple cider vinegar, cold pressed vegetable oils, green herbs, sea salt, table salt. Stevia sweetener. Almond milk, fresh lemonade, fresh vegetable juice, green tea, mint tea, soy milk, tomato juice.
Slightly alkalizing foods: Artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, peas, sour pickles, tomatoes. Dried fruits such as apricots, bananas, dates, raisins. Tofu, dried peas, lentils, kidney beans, mung beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), red beans. Coconut, sour cherries, watermelon, bananas (the riper they get, the more acidifying they become). Grapefruit, lemons, limes. Brie, drained cheese, fresh yogurt, fruit smoothie, pasteurized milk, provolone, slightly aged whey, Swiss cheese, yogurt drinks.
Slightly acidifying Foods: Apples, figs, mangos, peaches, pears, pineapples, prunes, dates. Blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, gooseberries, grapes, kiwis, melons, mulberries, nectarines, oranges, papayas, plums, raspberries, red currants, strawberries, sweet cherries, tangerines. Barley, brown rice, granola, millet, oatmeal, oats, quinoa, rye, spelt, whole-grain crackers, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread without yeast, whole-grain cereals. Brown rice syrup, fructose, heat pressed vegetable oils, honey, maple syrup, pickles, raw cane sugar, vinegar. Bass, flounder, liver, oysters, pike, salmon, sole, trout, walleye.
Acidifying foods: Cakes, cookies, couscous, dark bread, commercial cereals, crackers white flour, pasta white flour, pies, semolina, sweetened granola, wheat, white bread, white rice, yeast bread. Aged brie, aged buttermilk, aged cheese, aged whey, aged yogurt, chocolate milk, cooked butter, cream, dextrogyre yogurt, ultra pasteurized milk, kefir, parmesan cheese, sweetened yogurt with fruit. Chicken, catfish, egg yolk, halibut, mahi mahi, mussels, organ meats, tuna, turkey Artificial sweeteners, brown sugar, processed foods, canned foods, capers, heated oils, hydrogenated oils, ketchup, lard, margarines, mayonnaises, molasses, mushrooms, mustard, pickles, pimentos, white sugar. Beer, black tea, soda pop all kinds, cocoa, commercial juices, commercial lemonade, hot chocolate, liquor, sodas, wine.
Very acidifying foods: Beef, carp, cold cuts, crab, herring, lamb, lobster, mackerel, pork, shrimp, veal, whole eggs, coffee (worst). Acidity of drinks: One expert says all soda pop soft drinks are bad for your health. Beer is very bad because it has yeast and likely fungi from grain. Coffee is twice as bad as soft drinks and coffee with sugar is three times as bad. All alcoholic drinks are acidic. If you feel you must have coffee, you should know that it makes your body much more acidic. The coffee lobby states coffee is not detrimental to your health. You have to make your own decisions on that. Your body does not want or need any of the above. When you drink these beverages, you are mainly doing so to satisfy your taste buds. Water is best for your body. Herbal teas or green teas are a good second choice and have medicinal benefits as well.