Developing Cancer is the number 1 fear for most people¹ – it is estimated that more than 1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.
Hence Cancer touches a huge number of people either directly through developing cancer or through knowing someone who has had the disease.
Huge amounts of research effort are being invested to better understand how cancer develops, what are the triggers and developing effective treatment options. Whilst some cancers are now on the decrease eg lung and ovarian cancer the overall incidence of cancer continues to increase².
The central feature of cancer is the development of abnormal cells that grow beyond their normal environment with the ability to spread to other tissues. In order for a cell to transform into a cancer cell, the genetic material controlling cell growth and differentiation are altered.
Normal cells have multiple control mechanisms to ensure cell growth is carefully regulated and any abnormal cells that develop are identified by the body’s immune system and removed. In a healthy state these control processes maintain this state of vigilance which effectively keeps cancer development at bay. Cancer may develop when genetic changes occur and when these monitoring systems break down.
It is clear that many environmental factors affect our risks of developing cancer. Bacteria, viruses, pollution, sun exposure, radiation, carcinogenic materials as well as lifestyle and diet can all play a role in affecting the risk of developing cancer. Research from the World Cancer research fund indicates that over 30% of all cancers are potentially preventable through making adjustments to our environmental factors which include lifestyle and diet modifications³.
Nutrition therefore plays an important role in preventing cancer development alongside other important lifestyle modifications each as exercise and stress management.
Nutrition in Cancer Care
There are a number of nutritional strategies that you can implement and take control of as you manage your cancer.
Staying nutritionally fortified is one positive way to take control. Achieving optimal nutrition allows your body to function at its best and can provide many benefits for people living with cancer:
- Support immune function
- Preserve lean body cell mass
- Rebuild body tissue
- Decrease your risk of infection
- Improve strength and increase energy
- Improve your tolerance to treatment
- Help you recuperate faster after treatment
- Improve quality of life
Nutrition is not a treatment or cure for cancer and does not replace or substitute for care you will receive from your Oncology or other specialist provider. Rather, nutritional therapy aims to provide support for core physiological processes as the body deals with both the cancer and treatment being received. The nutrition support is designed to work safely alongside your specialist conventional programme and to complement this programme. It is therefore essential that your Gp/ Oncologist / Consultant provider are consulted with and fully informed about any nutritional programme developed for you.
Our nuritionist has experience providing Nutrional Therapy to cancer patients having worked at the Olive Tree Cancer support centre based in Crawley Hospital.
To discuss your individual nutritional needs please contact our CHNC registered Nutritionist and Nutritional Therapist based in Macclesfield by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cancer research UK (2010).
Available @ Cancer Research Press Releases
- Cancer research UK (2009).
Available @ Cancer Incidence Stats
- World Cancer research Fund.
Available @ World Cancer Research Fund
Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre, Crawley
"Can we eat to cure cancer" Ted Talk by Dr William Li
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