Monday, July 29, 2013

The Cancer Blog: Week 27


This blog within a blog will discuss cancer and all of my fears, hopes and expectations for a positive outcome—full and complete recovery. In addition, I plan to throw in some latest medical research. All cancer patients are interested, to some degree, in research and the latest medical findings; I am no exception. 

Today is Day 224 living with cancer. 





Body, Heal Thyself 


Healthy Red Raspberries: “Recent studies suggest that the anti-cancer benefits of raspberries
may extend beyond their basic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory aspects. Phytonutrients in
raspberries may also be able to change the signals that are sent to potential or existing cancer cells.
In the case of existing cancer cells, phytonutrients like ellagitannins in raspberries may be able to
decrease cancer cell numbers by sending signals that encourage the cancer cells to being a cycle 

of programmed cell death (apoptosis). This signaling is likely to involve activity of the p53 protein
that is typically classified as a tumor suppressor protein,” says WH Foods.
Photo Credit & Source: Wikipedia

One of the side-effects from chemotherapy, particularly from the chemo drug oxaliplatin, is chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, or CIPN; this is essentially nerve damage. Some of my symptoms include tingling of fingers and toes, increased sensitivity to temperature, loss of feeling, or numbness, difficulty picking up small objects, and loss of sensitivity in my mouth, which includes loss of taste. I often have a constant numbness and intermittent buzzing sensation on the soles of my feet and my fingertips. Needless to say, it’s not pleasant. I have had it since my last chemo treatment three weeks ago.

Although there is current research being done, there is not much that the medical community can offer in terms of immediate help. So, now I am looking to investigate alternative ways to help my body repair itself. Much of these deal with eating certain foods rich in anti-oxidants and taking vitamin supplements that help repair the body.

As one site says: 
Deeply Pigmented Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Anti-Oxidants The deep rich colors present in plant foods signals the presence of anti-oxidants. Some examples of anti-oxidant rich foods include blueberries, raspberries, kale, broccoli, spinach, carrots, yams, pomegranates, tomatoes, and tumeric to name a few. By including 8-12 servings of a rainbow of richly colored fruits and vegetables in your diet daily you will be increasing anti-oxidant protection for your cells. Diabetic patients should limit fruits and focus on vegetables. All cancer patients should limit concentrated sweets and sugars in the diet as cancer cells preferentially use sugars for growth. 
One of my favourite fruits are raspberries, which has many health benefits:
Anti-cancer benefits of raspberries have long been attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. In animal studies involving breast, cervical, colon, esophageal, and prostate cancers, raspberry phytonutrients have been shown to play an important role in lowering oxidative stress, reducing inflammation, and thereby altering the development or reproduction of cancer cells. But new research in this area has shown that the anti-cancer benefits of raspberries may extend beyond their basic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory aspects. Phytonutrients in raspberries may also be able to change the signals that are sent to potential or existing cancer cells. In the case of existing cancer cells, phytonutrients like ellagitannins in raspberries may be able to decrease cancer cell numbers by sending signals that encourage the cancer cells to being a cycle of programmed cell death (apoptosis). In the case of potentially but not yet cancerous cells, phytonutrients in raspberries may be able to trigger signals that encourage the non-cancerous cells to remain non-cancerous.
There is no doubt that eating well, which includes having a diet of plenty of fruits and vegetables, is good for the body. All the more so when you are recovering from a disease like cancer. I have started on this program two weeks ago when the symptoms became more pronounced. Now, it is time to repair my body from the necessary toxins that have become part of my life since my first chemo treatment on February 12th—almost six months ago.

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Today marks my first day of entering the next phase of my cancer journey; Phase 2 will be devoted to complete recovery and wellness. This also means that The Cancer Blog, which has appeared weekly on Mondays will now appear monthly on the first Monday of the month. The first installment will post next Monday August 5th.

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