Life Over Cancer

A new book made its way to my mailbox the other day, and here it sits on my kitchen counter, full of good stuff for treating and beating cancer. Since it might be just the book you need for your library, here’s a little rundown of what you’ll find on its 594 pages.

Life Over Cancer is all about integrative cancer treatment, and the guy who wrote the book — Dr. Keith I. Block (Director of Integrative Medical Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago) — has treated thousands of patients who have lived long, full lives beyond their original prognoses.

Dr. Block is an expert at understanding how the mind and body work, he believes that lifestyle plays a major role in combating cancer, and he uses his wisdom to help folks meet the demands of their treatment and recovery. His book features the following:

  • Innovative approaches to conventional treatments, such as “chronotherapy” — chemotherapy timed to patients’ unique circadian rhythms for enhanced effectiveness and reduced toxicity.
  • Dietary choices that make the biochemical environment hostile to cancer growth and recurrence, and strengthen the immune system’s ability to attack remaining cancer cells.
  • Precise supplement protocols to tame treatment side effects, relieve disease-related symptoms, and modify processes like inflammation and glycemia that can fuel cancer if left untreated.
  • A new paradigm for exercise and stress reduction that restores your strength, reduces anxiety and depression, and supports the body’s own ability to heal.
  • A complete program for remission maintenance — a proactive plan to make sure the cancer never returns.

Ready to buy the book? Place your order here. And to dive a little deeper into what Dr. Block has to offer, take a look at the following exclusive article he is sharing with us (breast cancer people: see purple).

Avoiding Refined Sugar Helps Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence
By Keith I. Block, M.D.,
Author of Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment

Several years ago, we saw tremendous growth in the consumption of fat-free and low-fat products. Believing we now had “healthier” versions of everything from salad dressings to our favorite desserts, these products began flying off the shelves, and formerly “forbidden” foods for those watching their diets became acceptable in their reduced fat versions. While perhaps reducing their fat intake, most consumers were unknowingly increasing their sugar intake, as refined sugar was the ingredient most often used in place of fat. The increased consumption of refined sugar can have serious health consequences, including a greater vulnerability to cancer, and possibly, even a worse outcome. Let me explain what happens when too much refined sugar and other food products are consumed.

If you ingest whole foods, insulin will be secreted slowly and the body will manage this well. Insulin is needed to carry glucose into your tissues and is essential for providing much needed fuel. However, ingest a candy bar, your favorite brand of cookies, or 12 ounces of soda pop — what I like to refer to as carbonated belly wash — and the cells in your pancreas will respond with a surge of insulin.

In recent years, researchers found that women with early stage breast cancer who had the highest insulin levels were twice as likely to have their tumor metastasize, and three times as likely to die of breast cancer, as women with the lowest insulin levels. For this reason, I believe any patient combating breast cancer or trying to avoid a recurrence would be wise to have their doctor routinely monitor their insulin and blood sugar levels, as well as their insulin growth factor (IGF-1). Choosing a whole foods diet and staying fit can reduce the deleterious effect that elevated sugar and insulin levels can have on both the risk of recurrence and risk of death. In addition, following a nutritional, fitness and therapeutic supplement program can help achieve or maintain improved levels.

Even though all therapeutic interventions should be individualized to match the needs of each patient, I’m convinced that certain dietary recommendations are fundamental to achieving improved health.

These include:

  • Eat a diet lower in fat, and make it a better quality fat. Ideally, fat should represent no more than 18% of your daily caloric intake. “Good” fats include monounsaturated and Omega 3 fats.
  • Examples of monounsaturated fats include olive oil, almond oil and walnut oil. Omega 3 fats include flax seed, canola, and, of course fats contained in cold water fish.
  • Eat abundant cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, kale and brussel sprouts — which contain plant phytochemicals that result in lower blood levels of estrogen by increasing the estrogen detoxification and dumping capacity of the liver.
  • Eat a diet high in fiber, with plant-based sources of protein. Consuming more fiber in the form of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, and beans can reduce harmful circulating estrogen levels.

Ghost Whisperer Stands Up to Cancer

The folks at the TV show “Ghost Whisperer” are teaming with the organization Stand Up To Cancer in the hopes of bringing together the best and the brightest in the cancer community. Throughout the seasons, “Ghost Whisperer” has created promotional materials they’d love for you to check out. They’ve got an interactive game. And The Constellation. And information on teaming up yourself. And if you want to be inspired, check out these touching and moving videos:

“Ghost Whisperer” is standing up to cancer — how about you?