Preventing Cancer and Living Well During Chemo and Radiation Treatment
February is National Cancer Prevention Month, an important reminder with cancer rates continuing to climb globally. According to the American Cancer Society, by 2030 the number of newly diagnosed cases (21.6 million) will be comparable to every single person in Australia getting cancer every year!
Although cancer treatment has come a long way in the past few decades, it is still a debilitating experience for many patients, and the remission rates depend greatly on what type and stage of cancer with which a patient has been diagnosed. Even with all of the technological and pharmaceutical advancements, prevention is key. Instead of starting at the point of diagnosing and treating disease, reducing the risk of developing chronic or terminal conditions in the first place provides the tool for saving money, time, and most importantly, lives. Healthy nutrition has long been recognized as effective at preventing cancer (and many other diseases). Guidelines include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Limiting added sugars and fats (high-calorie, low-nutrient processed foods)
- Making healthy food choices (eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains)
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Eating lean protein (fish, chicken) and avoiding red meat, especially corn-fed meats
Many patients are becoming more savvy and are open to integrating Eastern medicine with their Western medical treatments. This integrative and holistic tactic provides more of a “big picture” approach. Western treatments are typically narrowly focused on treating symptoms instead of preventing the disease. Ironically, when it comes to cancer, because the medications and techniques used are so harsh and often kill “good” cells as well as cancer cells, patients commonly suffer incapacitating side effects. Traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture, massage and herbal medicine, can reduce these toxic side effects, supporting the patient’s mental and physical strength and ability to recover and maintain well-being.
It is critically important for patients to work with an experienced Chinese medicine practitioner with an advanced level of training and understanding of how best to integrate the appropriate practices of Eastern and Western medicine.
Would you like to know more about cancer prevention and the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in conjunction with western oncology treatments? Call the Riobe Institute of Integrative Medicine for more information! 772.266.4258
Click here for a look at the American Cancer Society cancer rates infographic.