Introduction

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Now is the best time in history to get cancer.

OK, that sounds stupid. “Never” will always be the best time to get cancer.

But we’ve learned a lot since the days when surgeons hacked off breast cancer tumors without anesthesia.

Although cancer and its treatment had proven to be much more complicated, detailed and challenging than President Richard Nixon foresaw when he signed the bill declaring war on it back in 1971, we have learned a lot.

And there’s light at the end of the tunnel even though conventional oncologists will be the last to admit it, and Big Pharma will attempt to sell us overcomplicated and expensive pharmaceutical “solutions” with a long list of dreary side effects.

Dr. Dean Ornish, famous for finding the way to reverse heart disease, has figured out a way to reverse cancer as well:1

Of course, cancer patients modifying their lifestyle is not what the medical industry and Big Pharma want to hear.

This book is about fighting cancer with nutrition.

Not too long ago, almost everybody considered the idea whacko. Only quack doctors would claim it was possible. Only health food “faddists” take the claim seriously.

Today, thanks to medical research, and some doctors (some as respected as Dean Ornish).

And many people have used nutrition to help them fight cancer and won.

Some have lost the final fight, but not until months or years after conventional oncologists condemned them to death.

And, if we do not have cancer now, but we’re afraid of it, this is an even better time because the same data to fight cancer with nutrition works to prevent cancer as well.

It’s easier to prevent than to beat a disease.

And, if we have it, it’s simpler to beat it at an early stage than in a later stage.

Remember, many tumors take years to grow. We could have one right now, but it’s still too small to be detected.

Changing the diet is the best way to slow down its growth, stop its growth or direct the immune system to destroy it before it can ever show up as a lump or during a scan.

Funny enough, much of the advice in this book was first given by “quacks” and health food nuts decades ago.

Now it’s backed by scientific studies.

Within the lifetime of current centenarians, medical science has gone from having a suspicion that “something” was in food that we needed. And if we didn’t get it, that caused such deficiency diseases as scurvy (lack of Vitamin C), beriberi (lack of Vitamin B1/thiamine) and pellagra (Vitamin B3/niacin).

To discovering how food contains vitamins, minerals and a wide array of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can have an enormous impact on our health.

They can even allow our bodies to regain lost health.

As long as we’re still alive to read these words, our body can fight back.

Whether or not one decides to undergo conventional treatments, using nutrition can fortify their body against the stress of any treatment and the stress of the tumor. It can also make other treatments more effective by weakening the tumor.

And, if one continues to eat a healthy diet, it can reduce their chances of experiencing a recurrence of cancer.

Notes on this book’s vocabulary:

Whole Plant-Based Diet

Those four words sum up the most beneficial way to prevent and beat cancer (and a lot of other diseases).

This book goes into detail, but it does mean unrefined plant foods form the “base” of one’s diet.

Animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products are minimized or eliminated.

This book is looking at diet strictly from a health point of view.

If one is a vegetarian or vegan for ethical reasons, to stop the suffering of farm animals, that’s laudable, but not the point here.

And neither is abstaining from eating animals for religious reasons.

Vegetarian

A vegetarian diet is defined by not eating meat. Some vegetarians eat fish. Some won’t eat any flesh, meat or fish because an animal had to die. But they will eat eggs and dairy because no animal died to produce that food.

Vegetarians are much less prominent than they used to be. The momentum of the debate has switched to the vegans.

Vegan

Vegans refuse to eat anything that came from an animal, whether for ethical reasons or health reasons.

Some vegans don’t want to participate in the economic exploitation of animals. And refusing to eat animal products is part of that.

However, a person can live on beer and pretzels, and still call themselves a vegan.

And many vegans and vegetarians eat processed foods made to imitate meat products or just serve as easy, convenient animal-free foods.

Vegetarians and vegans define themselves by what they won’t eat.

The goal of a whole plant-based diet is optimal health.

We may have heard of the Blue Zones — areas of the world where many people live over one hundred years old. They include Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece and Sardinia, Italy.

Author Dan Buettner visited all 7 Blue Zones to learn why people in them lived so long. There are many factors, but all of them eat a whole plant-based diet, but only a few individuals are total vegans. Most do eat meat or fish, but not every day. Most of them are agricultural, and people live mostly on what they grow. They do raise animals for food but aren’t wealthy enough to butcher an animal every day. They eat meat mainly on holidays.

An article in National Geographic explores how modern hunter-gatherers enjoy meat but live mostly on plant foods.2

Eat what’s healthy. Avoid what’s not.


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