Integrative Colon Cancer Pathway

Part 2: Taking an Inventory

 

  • Diet Diary

  • Eating out Record

  • Water Source 

  • Cooking Methods

  • Personal Care Product Log

  • Chemical Exposures

  • Support Network

  • Gratitude Inventory

Facilitated Healing

 

Many factors come into play when we try to determine what allows cancer to grow. Genetics plays a role, as does environmental triggers, food choices, physical activity, quality sleep, and stress reduction. In order to optimize healing an inventory can be quite helpful to identify areas where simple changes could make all the difference. The goal is to remove harmful chemicals, remove poor food choices, change poor habits, and promote overall lifestyle adjusted health. It’s not enough to simply remove the cancer. We want to reverse the conditions that contributed to the development of cancer in the first place.

Diet Diary & Eating Out Record

 

Think about your eating patterns and what and how you consume the nutrients that sustain the metabolic processes of the body. What do you typically have for breakfast most of the time? Lunch? Dinner? Do you cook at home or eat out? How often do you eat out? There is tremendous benefit to recording your daily food intake for a few days and then analyze your choices. If you are unsure if your diet is healthy, please ask for a nutrition consultation, or simply follow these guidelines:

 

  • Consume pure filtered water

  • Consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables

  • Discontinue eating any type of red meat

  • Do not consume commercially processed foods

  • When eating out choose whole foods, salads, and vegetables

 

 

Water Source

 

The human body is 70% water, and drinking pure water is important. To calculate your daily water needs divide your weight in pounds by 2 and that is the amount of water in ounces you need daily. For example if you weigh 150 pounds you need about 75 ounces of water daily. Most municipal water sources have been purified with chemical compounds, like chorine, to ensure safe drinking water. This is important; however, chlorine consumption is not good for the healthy bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract, and can be harmful to that delicate balance. Many bottled water sources contain tap water and offer no additional benefit other than being portable.  We recommend a water source that utilizes reverse osmosis and carbon filters. Research bottled water and determine what process is used to remove harmful chemicals. 

 

 

Cooking Methods

 

The healthiest cooking methods include baking, steaming, and broiling.  Raw fruits and vegetables are also healthy and should make up a significant portion of the daily diet. Fried foods are high in fat and oils containing trans-fats that increase the risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and cancer. Deep-fried foods also may contain chemicals, like acrylamide, that are considered carcinogens. Grilling also presents problems. Grilling at high temperatures produces heterocyclic amines, which is what happens to the combination of creatine and sugars found naturally in meats. Heterocyclic amines are considered a carcinogen and are thought to be why red meat consumption is associated with colon cancer. Grilling is a popular way to cook, and the least cooked meat, like rare or medium, is safer than well-done meat. Another trick is to marinate meat in teriyaki, oregano, or turmeric-garlic sauce. These marinades reduce heterocyclic amines by 50-60%. Homemade marinades with basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, and thyme contain natural antioxidants (carnosic acid, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid) that reduce heterocyclic amines. 

 

Personal Care Products

 

Beware of the chemicals found in personal care products. Deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, make-up and even sunscreens frequently contain hazardous chemicals that are readily absorbed through the skin. The most dangerous of these chemicals include:

 

  • 1,4-Dioxane

  • Parabens

  • Phthalates

  • Methylisothiazolinone

  • Toluene

  • Triclosan

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

  • Propylene Glycol

 

A good resource for determining the safety of common personal care products is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG has an app called Skin Deep that scores products based on a hazard ratio. Find out more by visiting EWG.org.

Chemical Exposures

 

Limiting exposure to harmful chemicals assists the body in detoxification and healing. If you have received chemotherapy, which is a toxic burden, then you want to limit any other chemical exposures the body is required to handle. Most household chemicals are found in the kitchen, laundry room, or garage in the form of cleaners, paints, pesticides, and flame-retardants. Other sources of exposure include lead and asbestos. Even artificial air-fresheners present a problem. Try to make your home as safe and chemical free as possible. Also avoid using these products if at all possible. There are many organic cleaning supplies available. 

 

Support Network

 

Research focused on social support’s influences on health show that patients who have a social and emotional support from others is protective to health. Patients with supportive networks have a decreased all cause mortality. In fact, social isolation was identified as an independent risk factor for increased mortality. The physiological aspects of support seem to affect anxiety levels and perceived quality of life, which affects overall outcomes of disease processes. It is important to identify and reach out to those individuals who can provide support int eh following areas:

 

  • Structural support (transportation, housework, lawn care)

  • Emotional support (best friends, family members)

  • Spiritual support (religious community, spiritual community)

 

 

Gratitude Inventory

 

It is well documented that people with an optimistic outlook tend to fare better during a major illness. A daily gratitude inventory can be an important step to achieving personal goals and maintaining a positive attitude. People who focus on what they are thankful for experience fewer symptoms of stress, and experience greater levels of happiness. Every day think of what inspires you, what has brought you happiness, and what has brought you comfort and deep peace. Challenge yourself daily to find beauty in this life, in nature, in a loving gesture, or even a healthy meal. Focus on your blessings, and more blessing will be revealed to you.