Navigating the world of cancer can feel like walking through a house of mirrors. Trick corners, dead ends…and the overwhelming feeling that you just don’t recognize yourself any more. Ever looked into multiple squiggly mirrors at once? Image source: www.pinterest.com Yeah, something like that. Continue reading →
Navigating the world of cancer can feel like walking through a house of mirrors. Trick corners, dead ends…and the overwhelming feeling that you just don’t recognize yourself any more.
Ever looked into multiple squiggly mirrors at once?
Image source: www.pinterest.com
Yeah, something like that.
Through my time as a clinical dietitian, I’ve heard countless questions asked by patients. Some reasonably close to fact, some soout therethat you do a double take and think “What?? Where’d you hearthat?”…but all coming from a place of genuine concern, and sometimes, fear.
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To continue ourAmazin’Fightthis month, here are 5 of the most common questions that usually come up – and their answers!
So many of my family members have cancer – will I get it too?
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Not necessarily!Although genetics do influence cancer risk, about 90-95% of cancers are caused by natural mutations that happen due to aging and environmental damage. This means that you have the power to reduce your risk,independent of your inherited genes.
In the same manner, just because nobody in your family has cancer doesn’t mean that you automatically have a low risk. Since such a large percentage of cancer is not related to genetics,everyone is at riskand should take prevention seriously.
My friend lived a really healthy lifestyle, but still got cancer. Does prevention really work?
It can sometimes be difficult to convince people to take the necessary precautions against cancer. Some people live unhealthy lifestyles but never get cancer. And others do their best to live healthy lives, but still find themselves in the doctor’s office receiving bad news.
That being said, it’simpossible to predict the future. And there’s no point speculating what might have happened if things had been done differently.
Research has shown that certain lifestyle changes have been effective inreducing the risk of cancer, and they’re usually healthy practices to ward off other diseases too. Even if cancer does develop, it is these same lifestyle changes that are recommended toincrease the chances of treatment success.
So, if these are changes that are generally good for you, and may reduce the risk of developing cancer (or may make it more treatable if it happens anyway) – the real question is,why not?
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I already have cancer – isn’t it too late to change my lifestyle now?
Not true!Adopting a healthy lifestyle during and after treatment can be of significant benefit. Cancer and its treatments can result in a rapid loss of lean muscle mass, making treatment more difficult and leaving patients feeling very weak.Eating well and exercisingcan help tomaintain this precious muscle mass, whichimproves treatment outcomesandspeeds recovery after treatment.
Other lifestyle changes likeavoiding cigarette smokeandexcessive alcohol intakecan also significantly improve chances of treatment success. And of course,managing stressand looking for ways to maintain a positive outlook are important for mental wellbeing throughout the treatment process.
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Can eating sugar cause cancer or make it worse?
No!Cancer cells do prefer glucose (a kind of sugar) as their main fuel source. However,so do the cells in the rest of your body. The cells throughout your body rely on glucose for energy, and get this glucose from the foods you eat, including grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and so on -notjust from sugar.
So no, eating sugar willnotcause cancer or make it worse. However, eatingexcess sugarcan result inunwanted weight gain– and obesity is one of therisk factors for cancer. Being overweight can alsomake treatment more difficult. So, there’s no need to completely avoid sugar for fear of cancer – but be careful not to go overboard!
Are there any herbs that can cure cancer?
Unfortunately,no.Research has yet to identify herbs or herbal products that can effectively cure cancer. However, some evidence shows thatherbs can be used to help with the side effects of treatment, such as nausea (ginger), fatigue (ginseng), and skin damage caused by radiotherapy (aloe).
That being said, you shouldcheck with your doctorbefore taking any herbal products if you are undergoing treatment for cancer. This is because herbal products can interact with the medications in your treatment plan and reduce their effectiveness, or even cause you harm. So do invest the time to research any alternative therapies that have been recommended to you by others before jumping on the bandwagon!
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With the right information, motivation, and steps to action, cancer won’t stand a chance in this fight! Don’t forget to do your part by joining us in theAmazin’ Fight– click the link to learn more!