Plant-based diet best for cancer prevention and treatment

Plant-based diet to treat Cancer

Plant-based diet for Cancer Prevention

A plant-based diet may be an important factor in reducing your chances of developing cancer.  Cancer is becoming more and more common, and most of us knows someone who has suffered from this disease.  We know that environmental factors may play a role in both causing and treatment of cancer. Diet, lack of exercise and smoking have been outlined by both the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (2009) as causes of cancer. Previous reports by the two bodies take considerations about factors that are relevant to the prevention of cancer, including lifestyle choices and diet. Recommendations include switching to a plant-based diet high in fruit, vegetables and pulses.

While prevention by itself is paramount, studies are showing that a plant-based diet may also be an important part of a cancer treatment plan.

Common Prevention and Treatment Methods

Cancer diagnosis is one of the most devastating things anyone can experience. This is especially the case when it is in the later stages and options going forward are limited. Medical cancer treatment is a grueling experience. It takes great personal strength to stay strong and positive during the process. Some treatments include: radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery.

These treatments often have severe side effects including hair loss, loss of appetite and nausea. What if a plant-based diet could help?

Cancer and Plant-Based Diets

Reports continue to show that there are strong links between unhealthy eating and cancer.  From a numbers perspective, obesity may be related to 30-35% of cancer deaths. Lack of exercise or physical activity accounts for roughly another 7%. A healthy diet helps manage weight and boosts the immune system.

Healthy DietPlant-Based Diets

These are diets that consist of foods with plant origin like vegetables, fruits, pulses, and whole grains. Many studies state that avoiding meat and other animal products is the healthier option. Plant-based diets are widely regarded by health care professionals as having immense health benefits, not only in cancer prevention and treatment but also for other chronic illnesses. Healthy weight and good BMI are as important as a lifestyle choice as quitting smoking.

Plant-based diets have been shown to boost survival against colon, prostate and breast cancer, as well as melanoma. This dietary approach helps the human body activate its self-healing. There are several diet-related changes that significantly inhibit cancer:

Weight loss: Obesity is strongly linked to premature deaths for cancer patients and an increase in the risk of getting it in the first place.

Avoiding animal products: Meat and dairy contain properties such as growth factors that cause cancer progression.

Avoiding vegetable oils: such oils encourage tumor growth.

The Research

A study by the American Cancer Society, Practical Clinical Interventions for Diet, Physical Activity, and Weight Control in Cancer Survivors recommended that cancer survivors should have plant-based diets high in fruits, whole grains, and vegetables with little or no red meats. Statistics by the society showed that in the last 40 years, there have been no significant improvements in the survival rate through the use of conventional cancer treatments. Tantamango-Bartley et al., (2013) conducted a study of over 70,000 individuals. Their diet patterns were analyzed and the suggestion was that vegan diets provided a lower relative risk for all types of cancer, especially those that are female-specific. The Cornell-Oxford study, done between the 70s and 80s found links between diet and cancer. In the 65 Chinese counties involves, it was reported that many diseases were directly linked to intake of animal products, while plant-based diets had a preventive element to them.

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Campbell, T. (2016). CANCER: It’s What’s For Dinner – T. Colin Campbell PhD.

Available at: [Accessed 28 Nov. 2018].

Tantamango-Bartley, Y., Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Fan, J., & Fraser, G. (2013). Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers22(2), 286-294.