Hi, I am Rachna and I am a certified cancer and cancer metastasis expert from Johns Hopkins University and have authored the book You Can Beat Cancer which has clinical case studies on prevention and recovery. I see cancer patients every day and understand the triggers for cancer. We all have cancer cells. We carry them with us since the day we are born, and yet we fear this disease. Today, on World Cancer Day, I’m going to help you understand how to avoid the triggers, so you can avoid getting cancer or recover faster from it.
Fix the stress.
One of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation, which is a trigger for cancer, is to change your response to stress. Stress does not go away, but when we start reducing our reactivity to our external and internal circumstances and feelings, inflammation reduces, the gut gets healthier since the acid release in your digestive system reduces. This leads to a healthier immune system. And we all know that a healthy immune system will prevent cancer
or aid faster recovery.
Nurture daily anti-cancer habits.
I cannot emphasise this more. Don’t get into bursts of exercise and then no exercise, bursts of eating right and then bingeing. That does more harm to your body. A consistently healthy lifestyle means 50% of your meals are vegetables, moderate exercise is five days a week, and mind-body interventions like calming pranayamas are every single day. Your breath is the key to reducing inflammation, so be conscious of your breathing. These habits will keep cancer cells dormant, inflammation levels in control and will also prevent you from getting lifestyle diseases or sudden hospitalisation.
Don’t focus on only one treatment.
Cancer is multidimensional. The cells in your body are everywhere and not at the spot alone. When the doctor says you have cancer in a particular area, it means that the cells of those areas have multiplied much more than the rest of the body. It does not mean that the other parts of your body do not have cancer cells. And that is why treatment for cancer needs to be multidimensional and holistic rather than focused on one part of your body.
Get integrative for faster recovery.
In all patients I have treated for late stage cancers, the ones that recover really fast are the ones who follow the integrative approach. Those who follow a linear approach of only chemotherapy or radiation or any other medical treatment and don’t support it with nutrition to release the side-effects of these treatments, have slower recovery and sometimes traumatic outcomes. Integrative oncology is a patient-centered, evidence-informed field of comprehensive cancer care that uses specific lifestyle modifications, mind-body practices, and natural products from different traditions alongside conventional cancer treatments. Specifically, stress management, sleep, diet, exercise, mind- body interventions are all important for faster recovery. Leading cancer centres such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have been building clinical models of integrative oncology for almost 20 years to meet patients’ unmet needs and develop rigorous research to further develop the field. In India, we are slow to catch on but with this information and knowledge available, you can integrate a holistic program instead of only following your doctor’s orders if he/she does not include integrative oncology. As someone who is trained in specific lifestyle modifications, I can vouch for better clinical outcomes of recovery in cancer patients with these modifications.
On World Cancer Day today, pledge to lead a healthier life and spread this message to help other cancer patients to eat there faster recovery. Let’s beat cancer.
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