It's 6am and my eyes pop open. I just remembered something I read last night right before bed:
Dark chocolate will cause my cancer cells to commit suicide.
Anyway. Committing suicide, yeah. Ok, it wasn't necessarily written like that exactly, but pretty darn close. Here is what David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD actually said:
Blueberries contain anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins, molecules that are capable of forcing cancer cells to commit suicide (apoptosis). Other rich sources of proanthocyanidins are cranberries, cinnamon, and dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate. YES! Die suckers!
All this is from Dr. Servan-Schrieber's book Anticancer: A New Way of Life. In the book he asks us to imagine our bodies like a fresh garden bed. You know, soil. And the cancer is a weed. Our goal is to create healthy soil that does not purposefully -- or accidentally -- fertilize weeds.
What makes the weeds grow? Let's call them tumors for a sec. Tumors need an environment rich in inflammatory factors for growth. Remove the inflammation and they cannot spread. Major dietary "fertilizers" for "weeds" are refined sugars, excess omega-6s, and growth hormones.
A few posts back I wrote that it is my job now to create an environment in my body that is inhospitable for cancer... and suddenly the textbook for how to do this falls in my lap!
But it isn't a book only for cancer survivors. Really, everyone should read this. As Dr. Servan-Schrieber puts it: All of us have cancer cells in our bodies. But not all of us will develop cancer.
Cancer flourishes when there are more promoters [dietary factors that feed cancer growth] than anti-promoters. Cancer growth slows or stops when the anti-promoters prevail. It's a push-pull process. Promotion is reversible, depending on whether the early cancer growth is given the right conditions in which to grow. [p. 109]
This last quote is included in the book and comes from T. Colin Campbell, PhD, a professor at Cornell University, and the author of "the most far-ranging study ever carried out on the link between cancer and dietary habits."
So what will I eat now? Here's a short list of the highlights:
Various kinds of cabbage
As Dr. Richard Beliveau, a researcher in biochemistry and professor at the University of Montreal, puts it: Cancer is like diabetes. You must look after it every day.
I have never heard anything like that. Cancer is like diabetes... Every. Single. Day....
So that's what I'll do. I'll give my Herceptin a little boost by consuming olive oil every day*. I'll avoid refined sugars, white flour especially.
I'll feed all the cells of my body with green tea.
And I'll figure out how to consume Turmeric.
*At the Catalan Oncology Institute in Spain, researchers "demonstrated that polyphenols and oleic acid [olive oil] can inhibit expression of the HER2 gene. It is possible that the consumption of olive oil by women taking Herceptin may increase the efficacy of the medication." [p 112]
Photo credit here.