The Cancer Continuum: Finding Your Own Way

Take a moment and expand on what constitutes a cancer-promoting or anticancer lifestyle; think beyond that black-and-white dichotomy.

CC0 James Wheeler

It is helpful when the choices are clear-cut, such as when you consider that smoking causes lung cancer or broccoli sprouts are anti-cancer. Yet there is a lot of gray area in between. What happens when something contributes to cancer formation in one individual but prevents it in another? What if that thing does both in the same person dependent on degree?

This latter notion is encapsulated in the concept of hormesis, often discussed in reference to medications for which a proper dose is medicinal while an overdose is deadly. Many features of a healthy lifestyle can be placed on such a bell-shaped curve. Being active builds resilience in the body, while being sedentary or working out to exhaustion are each damaging in their own unique way.

An example of biochemical individuality is observed with the consumption of animal protein. For patients with some cancer subtypes, periods of adherence to a vegetarian diet might be an appropriate anti-cancer strategy. Other individuals will find bone broth to be an anticancer powerhouse for their unique constitutions.

Rather than obsess and disagree on strategies that fall in this gray area, it is far more productive to focus on simplicity: What makes you stronger, and what makes you weaker?

For someone achieving success on a ketogenic diet, a banana might not be the best choice. For another individual with colon cancer, that same banana might retard cancer growth.

What makes you stronger, and what makes you weaker?

Do you feel lethargic from running but energized from swimming? Do you feel satisfied with salad, or does salmon make you swoon? Will greeting the sunrise brighten your day or settling in with the sunset calm your nerves? Maybe you enjoy both.

What makes you stronger is anti-cancer. What makes you weaker promotes cancer growth, irrespective of whether that thing is a textbook carcinogen. In the end, it is not only about treating the cancer but about treating the individual to build resilience and optimize internal terrain.

What (and who) makes you stronger? What (and who) makes you weaker?

July 25, 2019

Categories: Cancer, Categories: Philosophy

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