Not many words are more heart stopping than those three that we all worry our doctor will say:
"You Have Cancer".
What happens after that? At first, the world comes crashing down. Then you regroup—you make decisions. One of the most important of which is, “How am I going to fight this.”
When I heard those three words, the first decision I made was to change my diet. I did a lot of research and sought references that addressed all sources of information regarding nutrition and foods that combat cancer.
A wonderful book that was recommended to me addressing many ailments is, “Juicing for Life”, by Cherie Callbom, M.S. and Maureen Keane, M.S., C.N. According to the authors, this book is “a guide to the health benefits of fresh fruit and vegetable juicing.”
“Juicing for Life” has all sorts of recipes for almost every ailment. Part One covers “The Basics” including what nutrients are in which fruits/vegetables, and what everyone should know about juicing. Part Two covers illnesses, beginning with Acne and ending with Varicose Veins and Water Retention. I went straight for the Cancer chapter. It began:
“Cancer refers to any of the various types of malignant growths and to the illnesses caused by them…..Factors such as diet, stress, chemical carcinogens, ionizing radiation, viruses, hormones, heredity, and chronic irritation have all been shown to play a part in causing cancer.”
This book does not claim to be an end-all solution. However, it contains a wealth of knowledge and only pledges to present very basic guidelines for dietary modifications and suggested therapeutic nutrients. Not only do the authors suggest other more in-depth books regarding diet, including “A Cancer Therapy ,” by Max Gerson, M.D. and “The Famous Bristol Detox Diet,” by Alex Forbes, M.D. (and many more) but they also suggest multiple dietary modifications and dedicate four pages to an Immune Support Diet.
Nutrients That Help Combat Cancer
Beta-Carotene (inhibits rapid production of cells) - Carrots, Collard Greens, Kale, Parsley, Spinach
Vitamin C (converts free radicals to harmless waste) - Kale, parsley, green pepper, broccoli
Vitamin E (inhibits tumor growth and enhances the effects of cytotoxic drugs) - Spinach, asparagus, carrot
Selenium - (protects cell membranes); Red Swiss chard, turnip, garlic, orange
Calcium - Collard greens, turnip greens, kale, parsley, dandelion greens, watercress, beet greens
Potassium - Parsley, Swiss Chard, Garlic, Spinach
Chromium - Potato, Green Pepper, Apple, Spinach
Following my diagnosis of adenoid cystic carcinoma from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, I followed many of the diets suggested in “Juicing for Life” for the four months preceding surgery to remove my right parotid gland where a tumor had grown and wrapped itself around the buccal nerve on the right side of my face. At the time of diagnosis, the tumor was attached to the wall of my parotid gland and was the size of an almond. After juicing for the four months prior to surgery, the tumor had detached from the wall of the gland and was half the size it had been at the time of diagnosis.
First and foremost, the authors suggest, “The Immune Support Diet”, also explained in the book. It eliminates all sweets from your everyday diet and encourages fruit and vegetable juices, whole grain cereals, crackers, toast, green and/or herbal tea, salads and raw or steamed vegetables, and baked or broiled cold-water fish.