5 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Cancer Prevention (because they don’t have a clue)

When I presented my oncologist with reports from Sloan Kettering New York Hospital that said mushrooms had cancer fighting properties, and I told her I was going to include dried mushroom capsules in my daily regimen, she rolled her eyes. Excuse me…I didn’t roll my eyes when you said you were going to pump toxic chemicals into my body for 6 months!

That started me on a mission to find out what else my doctor wasn’t telling me…

Here are the top 5 things I would tell my cancer patients that your doctor isn’t telling you:

no milk1.  Eliminate dairy.   Can you imagine your doctor telling you “Don’t drink your milk”?  Not having milk with your dinner is…well…downright un-American.  If the dairy council had their way, anyone caught not sporting a milk mustache would be shot on site. But dairy contains lactose (dairy sugar), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and casein (dairy protein), which have all been linked to various forms of cancer.  Populations who have diets high in casein, also have high cancer rates and in the lab, cancer growth can be turned on and off by increasing and decreasing the amount of casein in the diet.  But don’t count on your doctor to clue you in on this fact.  They still buy into the multi-billion dollar a year campaign by the National Dairy Council that milk is healthy.  US schools do not get federal funding unless they serve milk in the cafeterias and encourage its consumption. (*see below)

2. Exercise 3-4 hours/week .   Most doctors make the mistake of using the American Heart Association recommendations to mean overall “health” recommendations for all illnesses .  The AHA states that “75 minutes a week” of vigorous exercise, with your heart rate in your target zone for your age, is suggested for cardiac health.  Really? That’s 11 minutes/day. (Seriously, I can do that just by staring at John Stamos on a daily basis.)  But for cancer prevention, you’ll have to up the ante.  Studies indicate that women who exercise for over 3 hours per week reduced their risk of breast cancer by 40%. Even those who broke up their 3 weekly hours into 15-30 minute segments throughout the day showed risk reduction benefits.

3. Keep Vitamin D blood levels hovering at 55. Most doctors are using an outdated blood level range for healthy levels of vitamin D.  Technically, if your blood levels are above 30 ng/dl you are in the “normal range” and your doctor probably won’t treat this normal level with vitamin D supplementation. However, with the explosion of research on Vitamin D and the role it plays in cancer as well as numerous other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, MS, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s, a level of 30 ng/dl is far from “normal”. A blood level hovering at 55 ng/dl. (some say 65-90(6)) is desirable and supplementation should be given to achieve this level and maintain it.   It should be noted that everyone absorbs and produces vitamin D at different levels depending on many factors like the health of your gut and your age, so the only way to know how much you need, is by checking your blood levels.

4.  Drink de-chlorinated lemon water throughout the day.  Sure, your doctor will tell you to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.  But what he/she doesn’t know is that the quality of that water has a major impact on your cancer risk.   Chlorine is a by-product of all processed water.  Even bottled water that has been filtered can contain chlorine.  (Because 25% of all bottled water comes from the tap) When chlorine mixes with other impurities in the water it forms harmful THM’s or trihalomethanes, which have been linked to cancer.  Filtering your water with a simple activated charcoal filter solves the problem.  Pitcher type charcoal filters are easy to find, can be mounted to your tap, attached to fridge dispensers, or even attached right to your water bottle.   Plus, adding fresh lemon juice  to the water helps neutralize the acid pH that comes from pollutants and impurities we eat like meat, artificial preservatives and alcohol, and increases immunity helping to resist diseases like cancer.

At Stanford Medical School, the brains of Bhuddist monks are studied.  it is noted that the amygdala of those who practice mindful meditation grows.  That's the area responsible for compassion and peacefulness

At Stanford Medical School, the brains of Buddhist monks are studied. It is noted that the amygdala of those who practice mindful meditation grows. That’s the area responsible for compassion and peacefulness. A peaceful mind speeds healing and resists illness.

5.  Meditate to increase the power of your immunity.  There’s something taboo about western physicians telling their patients to meditate.  Suggesting to their patients that they start practicing mindful breathing or guided imagery would be like breaking out a big ole jar of leeches.  It’s too ambiguous.  They can’t choose “mindfulness” from the drug sample closet and they can’t do a blood test to see if they are being successful in their instructions.  Be that as it may, meditation has been proven to have measurable positive effects not only on the mind, but also on the physical, aspects of your health. Mindful meditation can alter the specific cells in your body that fight disease thereby improving your immunity helping to reduce risk of cancer and other illnesses.  And there are no unpleasant side effects!

So stop being a patient patient and start realizing that when it comes to reducing your risk of cancer, (and many other chronic diseases) you are the CEO of your own health.  Get informed and think outside of the doc-in-the-box.  You’ll learn how to get yourself healthy, and in the process, you may be able to teach your doctor a thing or two!


*Section 215.6 of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Act states ” Federal funds made available under the Program shall be used to encourage the consumption of milk through reimbursement payments to schools and child-care institutions in connection with the purchase and service of milk to children in accordance with the provisions of this part.”

T. Colin Campbell Whole, 2013 BenBella Books, Dallas, TX

Inger Thune, M.D., Tormod Brenn, M.Sc., Eiliv Lund, M.D., Ph.D., and Maria Gaard, M.D. “Physical Activity and the Risk of Breast Cancer” N Engl J Med 1997; 336:1269-1275May 1, 1997DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199705013361801

American Society of Clinical Oncology, accessed July 31, 2013, http://www.cancer.net/all-about-cancer/risk-factors-and-prevention/physical-activity/physical-activity-and-cancer-risk

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, “Cancer Survival: Time to get moving? Data accumulate Suggesting a Link between Physical Activity and Cancer Survival” JCO August 1, 2006 vol. 24 no. 22 3517-3518.

Cedric F. Garland, Christine B. French, Leo L. Baggerly, Robert P. Heaney. Vitamin D Supplement Doses and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in the Range Associated with Cancer Prevention. Anticancer Research, 2011; 31: 607-612 [link]

Categories: breast cancer, cancer, cancer prevention, health, health and wellness, healthy living

Tags: , , , ,

30 replies

  1. Great tips and your writing is SOOO engaging! I hope this finds it way to many others that need this information delivered in such a fun but clear way! I will surely tweet this! Thanks for all you do!

  2. Great post and I agree with Kellie. All my kids don’t drink milk, but now I don’t mind it. 🙂 I find working out very important. I don’t do a rigorous work out, but I work out to sweat and that helps me balance my mind.

  3. Since my last bout with cancer (2010) I have been taking AHCC religiously and I feel and have felt fantastic!

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I agree!!! Prevention wasn’t taught ….. it’s now maybe starting!!

  5. Reblogged this on Lori Leigh Wilson and commented:
    This is an awesome post courtesy of The Savvy Sister. Her blog is definitely one worth following – she’s a nurse certified in plant-based nutrition, an author and a cancer survivor. Check out her latest offering: “5 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Cancer Prevention”

  6. I just came across your blog. It is so full of awesome information! I am a certified yoga instructor and have dealt with so many cancer patients who are given no guidance regarding diet or alternative therapies whatsoever! Thank you for putting this together.

    MarieG LifeSimplyBalanced.com

    • I LOVE yoga instructors! Thanks for checking out my site! Luckily more and more cancer patients are finding their way to alternative and complimentary therapies. Thanks for what you are doing to help them (us) as well!! Yoga changed my life!

  7. Great article Susan! Thanks for empowering people.

  8. Thank you for spreading your knowledge. I love the holistic, complimentary & alternative, preventative approach. We are in control of a major part of our health. I love to inform people that sugar makes cancer cells grow. A very important factor. This, I would love to be common knowledge so people can make healthy food choices. 🍎🍏🍋🍇🍉🍓🍌🍐🌽. Namaste Marion

  9. Thank you for this excellent information!

  10. I wish I’d known about you before I was diagnosed. Thanks for all you do to keep us healthy!

  11. I agree with all of this! We do not need milk to get our vitamins and calcium…dairy is bad for us! Someone told my daughter that she neeed to drink milk for strong bones and I told her that who ever told her that was wrong! I said fruits and veges make you healthy and strong!

    • I actually can say I have proof of that. I had a hysterectomy in 2009 and have been on estrogen blockers for my cancer for 8 years. My doctors told me I would need to go on drugs for bone building and there was no way I could avoid it based on my bone density study. In 2009 I totally eliminated dairy, switched to plant-based calcium pills and increased my exercise. I just had another bone density study. While it wasn’t great, it certainly should have been worse! I get to keep going with no drugs for another couple of years….Yay!!

  12. WOW! As usual…REALLY great stuff!! Thanks Savvy Sis. I am always learning from your great posts…keep ’em coming!

  13. Love your succinct, sassy and very true points. It may be worth reiterating the importance of minding one’s alcohol units too, but I understand the US is perhaps less fond of the grape and grain than us Brits ;D On a different note, luckily the UK is not as in thrall of the dairy pushers, and we don’t allow growth hormones etc to worsen the profile of dairy further. Once I have had some shut-eye (it’s been a very long day…) I shall tweet the you-know-what out of this. Great piece, lovely Susan. Like your style, muchly.

    • I get a little flutter in my heart when I see that you liked one of my posts. (Can’t help it…I respect you and your opinion) I totally agree about the alcohol. Funny thing happened the last time Flo and I hosted a seminar. The speaker right before us was a surgeon. After we spoke, he got back up to the podium…after we just finished quoting the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for cancer prevention which is one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men…and he said “No amount of alcohol is healthy!” Thanks again for your much appreciated comment!

    • I had to smile when I read your first sentence about doctors “rolling their eyes” about different alternative healing methods. It reminded me of my doctor´s reaction during my chemo when I supported this “therapy” with homeopathic injections and other products. He reacted in such a negative way that I also gave him a piece of my mind! I think they are just frightened and feel threatened about the increasing awareness that people have in seeking alternative and better ways in healing instead of supporting the enormous pharma industries.

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