“Cancer…it seems as if everyone is affected by it. Whether you know a friend, loved one or yourself, no one is immune to it. It’s becoming a common, chronic condition in our nation and around the world. Did you know that one in two people in the US will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime? Of those who develop cancer, 75% will develop a recurrence. It’s a stunning statistic and one we should not take lightly.
I’ve had very close friends (in their 30s and 40s) diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Last month, we discovered my mother has stage 3A peritoneal cancer with metastases to her lower bowel. WOW, those words literally took my breath away. She’s already undergone surgery and in the midst of chemotherapy. As I’m passionate about treating her root cause of disease, we’re also implementing a lot of functional medicine practices, like diet modifications and smart supplementation. On my quest to learn more and do more for her, I came across a new book hot off the press…. “The Metabolic Approach to Cancer”. Authors Dr. Nasha Winters, and Jess Higgins Kelly have succinctly summarized an incredibly challenging topic with lots of action steps. They’ve identified ten “physiological and emotional human elements that require balance and optimization” – called “The Terrain Ten”, the many things we can control which affect cancer.
- Genetic/epigenetic/nutrigenomic modifications
- Blood sugar balance
- Toxic burden management
- Repopulating and balancing the microbiome
- Immune system maximization
- Modulating inflammation and oxidative stress
- Enhancing blood circulation while inhibiting antiogenesis and metastasis
- Establishing hormone balance
- Recalibrating stress levels and biorhythms
- Enhancing mental and emotional well being
Each one of these topics has it’s own dedicated chapter in the book. It’s packed with data, practical tips and recommendations. Some things that I learned:
- Mistletoe is a potent ant-iinflammatory agent and a viable treatment option in cancer
- High dose melatonin (20-40mg) is an also under-utilized option, but since it is a hormone, should be used under direct supervision of a physician
- Targeting the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anticachechix, metabolic, pain managment, antiseizure and sleep promoting effects. It might be it’s own “Terrain” by the 2nd edition of this book!
- Get tested! There are many suggested tests noted in the book, which can easily be done by an oncologist or family pratitioner, including circulation (fibrinogen, VEGF, serum copper and ferritin)
- “Our genes are screaming at us to stop eating sugar”. Implemeting a ketogenic diet, starves off cancer cells. It’s not only what you DON’T eat, but what you EAT (i.e. superfoods), that can help too
- Take care of your emotions. Determine if you have a “Type C” personality and keep a “mood-food” journal of how you feel after eating certain foods
Favorite quote of the book: “We’ll say it again: Cancer is a metabolic, environmental and emotional disease.”
My goal is for everyone to read this book and realize that there is HOPE. This book is for both those being treated for cancer and those who want to prevent it. Outside of genetics and “bad luck”, you have the power to change your destiny based on epigenetics and lifestyle factors!
WINTERS, N and HIGGins Kelly, J. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies. 2017