By Christina Rich
We’ve made a lot of changes to the diets in our household over the last few years, most of them in the last year after my husband was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
That moment, when we received his diagnosis, changed our lives. Instead of taking the doctors’ advice and allowing them to cut into portions of my husband’s eye, possibly causing him to lose his eye as well as using chemo/radiation which kills everything, we researched and researched and researched. One thing we found is that our diets may have contributed to the cancer and it wasn’t a huge surprise since we already knew the side effects of certain foods. A few years earlier I quit eating gluten and received a new lease on life.
According to the Mayo clinic these are the top ten symptoms.
- Anemia, usually resulting from iron deficiency
- Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) or softening of bone (osteomalacia)
- Itchy, blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
- Damage to dental enamel
- Headaches and fatigue
- Nervous system injury, including numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, and possible problems with balance
- Joint pain
- Reduced functioning of the spleen (hyposplenism)
- Acid reflux and heartburn
And yes, I suffered from many of these. I also had IBS symptoms, had suffered severe muscle dystrophy and many other things. Fortunately, I’d discovered, on my own, that gluten was the cause.
After hubs was diagnosed we immediately looked into our diets. If you google cancer causing foods you’ll find the list varies, but one thing seems to be certain: processed meats, dirty fruits, sugar and GMOs (genetically modified organism) are at the top of the list.
Processed meats: Most processed meats are treated with sodium nitrates, which some believe to be a carcinogenic. There are studies out there that prove this and others that disprove this. The concern I have with the studies is, especially where hot dogs are concerned, are they taking in consideration other ingredients? Mainly GMOs that may be in the meats and high fructose corn syrup.
Dirty fruits: Have you ever wondered why home grown tomatoes taste a hundred times better than store bought tomatoes? A few years back the kids and I participated in an homeschool field trip to a locally owned grocery store. The one thing that stuck out to me was the fact that fruits and vegetables are picked way before they’re ready, of course we already knew that. What I didn’t know, and that shocked me was the fact that not only are our fruits and vegetables sprayed with all sorts for pesticides, but they’re kept in a cooled warehouse to keep them from ripening, and then sprayed again with another chemical so they can ripen before delivering them to the store. Of course, you probably know this and you’re thinking you’ll just buy organic, right? Uh, yeah, just watch this video by fourth grader.
Sugar: I’m going to state up front that I believe sugars from fruits and vegetables are not harmful if eaten in moderation. Now, I wanted to see what the ‘experts’ were saying so I looked at the Mayo Clinic’s Cancer causes: Popular myths about the causes of cancers.
Myth: People with cancer shouldn’t eat sugar, since it can cause cancer to grow faster.
Fact: Sugar doesn’t make cancer grow faster. All cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn’t speed their growth. Likewise, depriving cancer cells of sugar doesn’t slow their growth.
This misconception may be based in part on a misunderstanding of positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which use a small amount of radioactive tracer — typically a form of glucose. All tissues in your body absorb some of this tracer, but tissues that are using more energy — including cancer cells — absorb greater amounts. For this reason, some people have concluded that cancer cells grow faster on sugar. But this isn’t true.
I’m not real sure what to think of this. There aren’t any resources listed to back their observations. Now let me share with you an excerpt from The Juice Lady’s Guide To Juicing For Health by Cherie Calbom, M.S.
Sugars have been shown to feed cancer cells, and possibly to contribute to the formation of the protective coating that envelops these cells. Research from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that people who drink soft drinks or add sugar to their coffee increase their risk of developing pancreatic cancer. And in a case-controlled study of 1,866 women in Mexico, those who derived at least 57 percent of their calories from carbohydrates incurred a risk of breast cancer 2.2 times higher than women with more-balanced diets. These are just two of many studies that link sugar and high-carb foods with increased risk of cancer. If you have cancer, you definitely need to avoid all sweets and refined carbs.
I’ll admit right now, this has been one hard habit to break as hubs likes cookies, sugar in his coffee and I like my Throwback Pepsi. However, I’m thinking the sugar in the Throwback has got to be much better than those filled with high fructose corn syrup.
GMOs: Goodness, doesn’t the name just give you the heebie jeebies: Genetically modified organism. *shivers* When I went off the gluten, Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance was unheard of, and now gluten free items are all over the place. There is some debate as to whether we’re really gluten intolerant or if our systems can’t handle the genetically modified wheat, rye and barley. In my case, and my girls, I think it’s both.
Again, there are many studies for and against this theory. I have to wonder if our DNA is capable of digesting something that’s genetically modified. I’m just not real sure.
What’s the real deal?
I’ve given you a lot to digest and you’re probably just as confused as I am. Do processed meats cause cancer? Do dirty fruits? Does sugar? GMOs? Or has the food market jumped on the ‘healthy’ bandwagon and using words like nitrate free, gluten-free, organic, and no GMOs as marketing gimmicks?
I really can’t answer those questions for you, but what I do know is that the more natural I eat, the better I feel, and the better my family feels. It’s also kind of strange that eating healthier has caused our disease symptoms to disappear. Two weeks after going gluten free I was able to get up out of bed without extreme pain. I still had the occasional IBS symptoms and migraines, but strangely they disappeared when I removed the high-fructose corn syrup from my diet. And they disappeared from my daughters’.
As for my husband, everyone keeps asking how he is. As far as we can tell, he’s doing great. We don’t have the financial means for doctors right now, but we did use something called black salve to remove his tumor. It’s 99.9% gone. We also used something called B-17, which is also naturally found in fruits, and it caused the lump in a lymph node to disappear.
We are trying to continue to be pro-active with our health by eating healthy, and to us that means eating as few processed foods as possible. It also means filling our diets with whole, natural foods.