In our last +1, we talked about just how important it is to have a sense of Empowerment when we approach life — especially if we’re dealing with something like cancer.
Let’s talk a bit more about cancer and how to fight it. I’ve been obsessed with this since my brother’s diagnosis and, unfortunately, I know our family isn’t alone so I’m excited to share what I’m learning.
David Servan-Schreiber was an MD/Ph.D. who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 31. He wrote a GREAT book called Anticancer in which he documents the scientifically-proven lifestyle changes we KNOW work to help fight cancer. (If you’re looking for a book to read, start with that one.)
What did he tell us works? What levers can we pull to deal with cancer?
Well, first we need to know that we can do a LOT to combat cancer beyond the traditional Western approaches of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
He tells us we need to make “The Terrain” inhospitable to cancer. We need to cut off cancer’s supply lines and quit fueling its growth. We start with that Anticancer, empowered mindset as per our last +1. Then he says we need to focus on 4 primary things:
1. Our Environment: Removing all the toxic stuff in our houses — from the cleaning supplies to the cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, etc. Any one dose of one item by itself might not be toxic (which is why it isn’t regulated) BUT when you aggregate and compound all those little toxins into a non-stop “toxic cocktail,” the effects can be disastrous. So, eliminate that stuff. Replace.
2. Our Nutrition. Nutrition is HUGE. 2 key things we want to do: 1. Reduce inflammation (which cancer loves) by eliminating sugar and flour while Optimizing our Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio by eliminating vegetable oils and factory-farmed animals; and, 2. Reduce our mTOR response (which cancer loves) by reducing our protein consumption (particularly red meat). (We’ll talk more details in one of our next +1s.)
3. Our Minds. We’ve gotta learn how to manage our stress response — which goes back to the whole “Challenge vs. Threat” conversation we’ve been having. Optimizing our breathing and practicing meditation are scientifically proven ways to exit the fight-or-flight state and enter the calm state required for our body to heal itself. (Note: “Coherent breathing” at a rate of ~5 breaths per minute (3.5 if you’re over 6 feet tall) is huge. Practice!)
4. Our Bodies. In addition to the nutrition, we’ve gotta move and exercise and sleep. Don’t be sedentary for longer than 30 minutes and get out and walk and train to the extent you can. And, of course, get a good night of sleep and remember that our #1 culprit there will always be the late night bright lights from smartphones and TVs and computers.
There’s the quick look.
Today’s +1. What’s the little lever you can (and will) pull today?