Facts About Cancer Causing Foods: "While it is generally accepted that if YOU STAY LOW in red meats, processed foods, and alcohol it can greatly reduce the risk of developing cancer, many other foods also play a role in cancer development."
I created this comprehensive guide with the following in mind...
- Help individuals better understand what are the cancer causing foods.
- Why these foods can trigger cancer.
- How much of it can promote cancer development.
- How you can still eat these foods and decrease the risk of cancer.
And best of all...
At the end part of this blog post I've come up with a list of 8 diet suggestions for cancer patient when experiencing side effects during cancer treatment.
But before that, let's deal with realistic and more serious facts about cancer first...
Here's Why I think Creating This Guide Will Benefit You The Most!
It is estimated that 1,685,210 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and another 595,690 will succumb to the disease.
Even more troubling, cancer in kids is becoming a global problem.
According to the World Health Organization, 14 million people will develop cancer this year, with the number of annual cases expected to reach 22 million by 2036. Clearly, the changing environment of our world is playing a large part in the increasing prevalence of cancer cells.
Factors such as:
- cigarette smoking
- environmental pollution
- chemicals in household cleaners
- ozone depletion
... and lack of physical activity all contribute to the development of cancer.
However, one particular factor has played the most obvious and well-established role in the rise of cancer; diet.
An infamous study, published in a 1978 edition of Preventive Medicine, examined the changing diets of the Japanese population between 1950 and 1975. During this period, Japanese intake of dairy increased 15-fold, meat, poultry, and egg consumption increased 7.5-fold, and fat intake increased 6-fold.
Consequently, the Japanese population increased in weight and height during this period, and diagnoses of breast, lung, and colorectal cancers increased 2-3 fold.
Many of the world’s most common cancers are linked to diet, making healthy food choices a primary means of prevention. The most common cancer diagnoses include:
- prostate; and
- stomach cancers
All of which may be prevented with the consumption of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and unsaturated fats (such as olive and sunflower oils).
But, it is also important to understand which foods pose the greatest risk for cancer development.
Diet For Cancer Patients: 8 Diet Suggestions To Ensure Proper Nutrition When Experiencing Side Effects During Cancer Treatment
Though dietary changes are an effective means of cancer prevention, as mentioned earlier, 14 million people will be treated for cancer this year alone.
The good news:
Proper nutrition and good eating habits promote healing while preventing infection and treatment-related side effects.
Depending on a patient’s cancer type, tumor location, current nutrition status, age, treatment type, and side effects, nutrition guidelines vary. As each person’s needs and cancer diagnosis is different, it is impossible to create a one-size-fits-all list of dietary guidelines for cancer nutrition.
Furthermore, certain tumors can negatively affect the way a body utilizes proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (Check out this cancer care overview from cancer.gov for more details). Therefore, it is imperative that every patient consult with a Registered Dietician upon diagnosis, as well as during and after treatments, to ensure their individual dietary needs are being met.
The primary goal of nutrition during cancer treatment
… should be the maintenance of body weight and the prevention of malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies.
Cancer patients require more energy (calories), as tumors may alter energy metabolism.
The average adult requires 20-25 calories/kilogram of body weight daily, while a cancer patient may require upwards of 25-35 calories/kilogram of body weight per day.
Unfortunately, the side effects of cancer and its treatment typically leave patients with a poor appetite, making weight loss and malnutrition likely.
The best way to ensure proper nutrition for cancer patients is to examine ways to promote appetite and healthy eating while undergoing treatment.
Here is the list of suggestions:
But many cancer patients have questions regarding which supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc.) may be useful during treatment and recovery.
It is important to understand that each patient’s cancer and health status is different, making generalized recommendations regarding specific nutrients unfeasible and potentially harmful.
It is also important to note that supplements can interfere with certain cancer treatments and medications, making it critical that patients inform their doctors of any supplements they are using.
Though many patients have found success with vitamin, mineral, and herb therapies, it is imperative that they seek the advice of a Registered Dietician who is part of a comprehensive cancer care team.
Though the aforementioned statistics may seem grim, there is hope on the horizon...
While the rate of cancer diagnoses has increased, statistics collected by the American Cancer Society demonstrate that cancer mortality has declined 23% over the last 20 years, for a total of 1.7 million lives saved due to improved cancer treatments and an increased emphasis on preventative measures (such as frequent breast exams, colonoscopies, and mammograms).
Furthermore, awareness regarding the importance of lifestyle habits (such as smoking cessation, increased physical activity, and proper diet) has caused a decrease in the diagnosis and mortality rates of lung and colon cancer; two of the most frequently diagnosed cancers, worldwide.
Medical innovations are also providing hope for cancer patients. Genomic testing allows doctors to understand a patient’s individual DNA and create a treatment plan based on the genetic composition of their tumor.
Consequently, as scientists learn to identify the individual characteristics of tumors, immunotherapy drugs that teach the body how to fight cancer are being created. One of the most commonly-diagnosed cancers, breast cancer, is also benefitting from medical advances.
A treatment known as intra-operative radiation therapy is proving just as effective as comprehensive courses of radiation. This targeted treatment provides a single-shot of radiation immediately following a mastectomy or lumpectomy, making it much less taxing on the body.
Those at risk for lung cancer may benefit from three-dimensional CT scans of the lungs, which are able to detect and treat small nodules before they become dangerous.
While there is certainly much progress to be made in the field of cancer research, scientific innovations are offering great hope for the future. Foundations such as the National Foundation for Cancer Research, the Cancer Research Institute, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation are working hard to provide medical breakthroughs and information to those suffering from this affliction.
Until a cure for this awful disease is found, it is imperative that a continued emphasis be placed on the importance of good nutrition in the prevention of cancer. Lives depend on it.
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