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Cancer Basics: What is Cancer?

Welcome to the Bedside Manners series on Cancer Basics. Our mission is to empower cancer patients and survivors through education.  What is cancer? In Latin, cancer means crab. It makes sense if you look closely at cancer cells under a microscope with what looks like “arms” and “claws”. Cancer is the malignant (bad) growth of the cell. These cells were once normal healthy cells that have gone rogue. These normal cells start to grow uncontrollably, non-stop, and unchecked by the body’s immune system. Cancer cells are like a child that gets away with a lot of bad behavior. Soon enough, these bad cells surround and affect the function of healthy tissue. Primary cancer is the original site where the cancer tumor originated. As these cancerous cells continue to...

3 Superfoods for Cancer Patients

You’ve got to love a superfood. These vitamin-rich foods have been shown to help with improving overall health. The ones below are superfoods that support cancer patients on chemotherapy. We’ve curated these based on proven science so you don't have to go "data diving" yourself. Spirulina - The Super Algae Let’s start with spirulina. It’s a living organism known as a blue-green algae. It’s been used by indigenous people in Central Africa and Mexico for thousands of years. A dietary supplement that is considered a food in and of itself, it is easily digested and absorbed and has loads of vitamins and minerals. It’s been shown to support cancer patients in the following ways: boosting the immune system and removing environmental and drug toxins from the body. A recent study gave a...

3 Cancer Fighting Fruits You Need to Eat Every Day

A few months ago we gave a long list of 10 cancer fighting vegetables you need to eat every day to reduce your risk of cancer. In our holistic cancer care plan clients start eating these vegetables right away. Well, since lots of people prefer fruit over vegetables, we thought we’d put together a list of cancer-fighting fruits. And it’s very easy to get these 3 cancer-fighting fruits you need to eat every day, as well as veggies, in one cup. If you’re struggling to eat more fruits and vegetables, why not drink them? Get all these natural cancer-fighting foods in a smoothie by signing up for the 5-day cancer-fighting smoothie challenge right here. Ok, so here are our top 3 cancer-fighting fruits, with science-based facts...

Have Breast Cancer? Start Taking Vitamin D

Vitamin D can help you beat breast cancer.  A bold statement but one that's backed by science. Vitamin D is made by our bodies from direct sunlight exposure, as well as from eating certain fish and supplementation. There is growing scientific evidence that higher levels of vitamin D prevent colon cancer, breast cancer, and several other cancers. How does this cancer fighting vitamin work? The exact ways vitamin D prevents cancer is not fully known but there are a few theories that might explain why. How Does Vitamin D Prevent Breast Cancer (both new and recurrent)? It boosts the immune system, which is key to keeping breast cancer at bay [1] It stops cancer cells from growing uncontrollably (this is called ‘anti-proliferation,’ and may help breast...

Berries, Cancer Fighting Fruits You Should Eat

When it comes to cancer-fighting fruit we all should eat, berries are at the top of the list, with science-based evidence to back this up.  Those of us in the United States are can easily find these berries any time of the year: strawberries blueberries blackberries red raspberries cranberries However, globally, people are known to eat chokeberries, lingonberries, black currants and bilberries in addition to the above berries. These fruits are packed with natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, folic acid, phenols such as flavonols (anthocyanidins) and ellagitannins, and carotenes (alpha, beta, and lutein).  While you may not be able to pronounce all these words, just know that these compounds are good for you. Berry The Amazing Superfruit We all love berries because...

3 Questions You Need to Ask Your Doctor When You Have Cancer

Note: The companion ebook for this blog post, 7 Action Steps to Take After a Cancer Diagnosis, can be downloaded here A client recently told me that whenever she thought back to her doctor delivering her cancer diagnosis, saying the words “I’m sorry Ms. ____, you have cancer,” she felt as if someone kicked her in the stomach. It took several weeks for her to begin to come back to normal. She admitted to being in this weird space between day-to-day reality and horrible visualization of dying a long slow death. Asking her doctor questions was the last thing on her mind. Yes, it's hard to gather your thoughts after receiving a cancer diagnosis. However, there are important questions to ask your doctor when you have cancer and...

10 Cancer Fighting Vegetables You Need to Eat Every Day

NOTE: Our instant download "7 Natural Cancer Fighting Tips" is a great companion to this article. Everywhere I go I hear genuine concern from people about what appears to be an increasing rate of cancer. Most of the concern centers around why younger people and African American women seem to have higher rates of cancers. In the end, I'm always asked what can be done to combat this. So many factors go into cancer development but growing scientific evidence shows more fruits and vegetables, especially cancer fighting vegetables, are key to preventing cancer. What Are the 10 Cancer-Fighting Vegetables? So what exactly are these vegetables? The 10 vegetables listed below are in the cruciferous vegetable family (pronounced crew-sif-er-us) also known as Brassicaceae, and they cause changes in the body that...

Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer and Cruciferous Vegetables

Can We Trust the Reports on Cancer Prevention? I just came back from a relaxing and enjoyable weekend in suburban Boston getting trained on yoga for breast cancer patients and survivors. The focus was on reducing the side effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation with gentle yoga. Our breast cancer yogini was Camille of exclusive yoga, and she did a fantastic job of not only demonstrating the movements, but also on the science behind benefits of yoga. The added bonus of this training was learning about how to read the statistics of scientific studies. Camille expertly explained that reports of the latest drugs for treating breast cancer may overly state the benefits. Could that be true for healthy eating studies focused on cancer patients? I went back...

Forget cancer awareness, focus on this instead

What exactly does “cancer awareness” mean? After years of being conditioned into thinking that it has to do with finding a cure for cancer, we can now say the exact opposite to be true. Based on recent statistics, 14 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2012 resulting in 8.2 million cancer-related deaths (National Cancer Institute (NCI); available at: www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/statistics. Accessed February 23, 2016). Despite the millions of dollars raised during various cancer awareness months, it seems that this does not translate into cancer prevention. And with February being cancer prevention month, it's a good idea to highlight ways the public can prevent certain cancers. We all know someone who's been affected by cancer. And for those with a family history, there may be a heightened...