Last week I came across this nutrition resource for patients who are fighting a rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma. When reading through it, I thought of the importance that food has when preparing the body to fight a disease as serious as cancer.
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare but serious form of cancer that affects the mesothelium, or lining of various organs. The primary risk factor for developing mesothelioma cancer is asbestos exposure. There is a 20-40 year latency between exposure and cancer development. Every year, there are approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma in the United States.
This form of cancer is very aggressive, and without treatment, the average life expectancy is only a few months. That's why food is so important when going through mesothelioma treatment: A body fighting cancer needs support to increase the chances of a good outcome, strength to cope with the treatment's side effects, and help with healing.
There were 2 things that made a good impression on me and prompted me to share this resource. First, the clarification that nutritious food is not a cure for cancer but rather a key point that supports medical treatment. The right meal plan is part of any medical treatment, and people should be aware that food is one of the many elements for successful cancer treatment but it's by no means a cure. There are no miracle foods that cure cancer, but there is no health without good food.
The second point I found interesting is the inclusion of supplements. I'm a big believer in supplementation as we often don't get enough vitamins and minerals from our food. But I often need to clarify to my clients that the supplement industry is not regulated and quality standards vary widely. It's of absolute importance to get high-quality supplements from a reputable source in order to be sure of what we are putting in our bodies. It's also key to talk to a health professional before starting any supplementation plan because (as the article points out) some supplements might interact and interfere with certain medications.
My personal recommendations when preparing to undergo cancer treatment are:
Consult a nutritionist to get the right meal plan according to your medical and personal needs. You'll be surprised how much easier it is to sick to a nutrition treatment when you have a personalized plan.
Talk to your doctor before starting any supplementation plan. The interaction between supplements (including herbal supplements) and medicines are complex, and some nutrients might become toxic when exceeding the recommended doses.
Get only high-quality, professional-grade supplements and certified organic herbs and teas. If your doctor approves of any herbs as part of your treatment, you have to be very careful about quality. You have no idea how much trash there is in some teas and herbs available in the market. I's a good idea to consult a professional to help you chose a reputable brand and decipher the ingredients label.
You can read the nutrition guide here: https://www.lanierlawfirm.com/mesothelioma/diet-and-nutrition/
Hopefully, neither you nor your loved ones would have to go through this. But it's always better to have the right information at and when looking at treatments.
May you always be healthy.