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Unhappy woman sitting on the couch

What a shock… such a horrible feeling… you’re scared to death!

What do you do?

First off, don’t panic. Your cancer has taken years to develop. Your doctor may tell you it is imperative to have surgery and to start chemo and/or radiation immediately, but you need time to sort things out. You can always get a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Begin to eat a healthy diet, as your immune system will need all the help it can get.

Do some research on your treatment options. Ask your doctor how many people out of 100 benefit from this treatment. Then ask what the benefit is. Will you live extra days or months if you survive the treatment?

Dr. Jeffrey Tobias has said that sometimes oncologists use chemotherapy with no justification other than the physician’s desire to “do something,” because there is a slim hope that it might work.

Colorectal cancer ranks among the most commonly diagnosed of all cancers and, if caught early, it is one of the most treatable. Even though it is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, in some parts of the world, it’s practically unheard of.

The highest rates of colorectal cancer have been recorded in Connecticut and the lowest rates in Uganda.

Women in the U.S. have ten times more colorectal cancer than women in India.

Why is there such a discrepancy?

The low cancer rate in India may be due in part to the spices they use in their daily cooking, like turmeric, but it may also be the foods they eat. India is one of the world’s largest producers of fruits and vegetables. Most of the population eats legumes, such as beans, split peas, chickpeas and lentils, along with dark-green, leafy vegetables. Only about 7 percent of the adult population eats meat on a daily basis.

Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States. In a study of twenty-three populations across a dozen countries, it was found that the incidence of colon cancer increased significantly as the average daily stool weight dropped. So the bigger and more frequent your bowel movements are, the better.

Constipation is considered to be a nutrient-deficiency disease, and that nutrient is fiber. Just like you get scurvy if you don’t eat enough citrus fruit, you can get constipation if you don’t get enough fiber. Fiber is found only in plant foods, so the more plants you eat, the less likely you are to be constipated. Foods such as beans, leafy vegetables and whole grains are all high in fiber.

The EPIC study of over half a million Europeans showed that eating more fiber reduced the risk of developing colon cancer. It also found that the more red and processed meat people ate, the more they increased their risk of colon cancer.

A six-year study of about thirty thousand Californians found that higher meat consumption was associated with higher risk of colon cancer. Unexpectedly, white meat appeared to be worse. Those who ate chicken or fish at least once a week had triple the risk of developing colon cancer than those who didn’t eat meat. And those who ate red meat at least once each week had about double the risk of developing colon cancer.

A study of 48,000 men found a significant risk of colon cancer specifically linked to animal protein (meat and dairy) consumption. In other words, animal protein all by itself increased colon cancer in middle-aged American men.

A study out of Uruguay found a definite association between meat consumption and colon cancer. In this study, the participants ate meat from animals which were grass fed and hormone free, just like the Paleo people recommend, yet the cancer risk was still strong.

Even though you may have been eating meat and not enough fiber, this is a great time to change and to build up your immune system so that you can take on the challenges of this new fight – whether you decide on conventional treatments or no treatments.

I will leave you with this message from Dr. Bernie Siegel.

“The potential to be cured is always there through healing your life, rather than fighting a war. You should love your life and your body unconditionally, sending your body the unmistakable message that you want to LIVE.”

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© 2010-2016 Melinda Coker

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Melinda Coker, health coach and author of the book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection?, teaches men and women around the world how to develop a healthy lifestyle.”

Categories : Blog, Cancer
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Kidney Cancer

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Kidney Cancer

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), or kidney cancer, is a disease in which kidney cells become malignant, grow out of control and form a tumor.

The kidneys’ main job is to filter the blood to remove excess water, salt, and waste products from the body by producing urine.

Most people with kidney cancer are older. The average age of people diagnosed with kidney cancer is 64, and it is very uncommon in people younger than age 45.

There are no recommended screening tests for kidney cancer in people who are not at increased risk. This is because no test has been shown to lower the overall risk of dying from kidney cancer.  Kidney cancers are often found by accident during imaging tests for some other illness such as gallbladder disease.

Early kidney cancers do not usually cause any signs or symptoms, but larger ones might.  The American Cancer Society lists some possible signs and symptoms of kidney cancer:

Blood in the urine
Low back pain on one side (not caused by injury)
A lump on the side or lower back
Loss of appetite
Weight loss not caused by dieting
Fever that is not caused by an infection and that doesn’t go away
Anemia (low red blood cell counts)

Well-established risk factors for kidney cancer include cigarette smoking, obesity, hypertension and high sodium intake. Evidence is also accumulating to implicate lack of physical activity, alcohol consumption, occupational exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) used commercially as industrial degreasers, spot removers and in dry cleaning, and nitrosamines in meat products.

Nitrosamines are one of the most potent carcinogens in cigarette smoke. In fact, in the Cancer Prevention Research Journal, published online May 7, 2014, Dr. Stephen S. Hecht wrote, “Carcinogens of this strength in any other consumer product designed for human consumption would be banned immediately.”

But, what else has nitrosamines? One hot dog has as many nitrosamines as five cigarettes according to an article in the 2001 edition of the Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry. These carcinogens are also found in fresh meat, including beef, chicken and pork.

Even though fresh meat contains nitrosamines, processed meat contains even more. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that you simply “avoid processed meat such as ham, bacon, salami, hot dogs and sausages.”

Results of dietary studies published in the British Journal of Cancer, (Jan 2013) state, “Our findings suggest that nitrite from animal sources may increase the risk of kidney cancer (RCC), particularly clear cell adenocarcinomas.”

Cruciferous vegetable consumption like kale, arugula and collard greens has been related with a decreased risk of RCC according to a meta-analysis published in Nutrition and Cancer (2013).

Plant-based diets decrease the risk of kidney cancer (RCC) both directly and indirectly.

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© 2010-2016 Melinda Coker

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Melinda Coker, health coach and author of the book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection?, teaches men and women around the world how to develop a healthy lifestyle.”

Categories : Blog, Cancer
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Pancreatic Cancer

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Closeup of thinking man leaning on railing outdoor

You’ve been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Never give up hope.

Even though fewer than 3% of pancreatic cancer patients survive for five years, you could be in that 3%.

Hopelessness only compounds your suffering. Many times, even with advanced cancer, there is sometimes recovery, called “spontaneous regression.”

Dr. T. Colin Campbell described his experiments in the laboratory and concluded in studies of various cancers, including pancreatic cancer, that a consistent pattern emerged. Nutrients from animal-based foods increased tumor development while nutrients from plant-based foods decreased tumor development.

The only approved drugs for pancreatic cancer are gemcitabine and erlotinib and they help fewer than 10% of patients and cause severe side effects, according to Michael Greger, M.D.

One treatment that is in Phase I of drug trials (meaning that it is safe) is the spice curcumin. It is safe in quantities of up to 8 grams/day with no side effects.

In Phase II trials it actually helped reduce the size of the tumor in two of twenty patients with the advanced cancer.

A 2009 study published in the National Journal of Cancer concluded that dietary fat of animal origin was associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risk.

Another study published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2013 found that “poultry consumption tended to be associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risk.” The white meat was found to be even worse than the dark meat, possibly because of the way it is often cooked – smoked, grilled, barbecued, fried, or baked.

A large population-based study in the San Francisco Bay Area published in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal  found that a “Western dietary pattern, characterized by higher intake of red and processed meats, potato chips, sugary beverages, sweets, high fat dairy, eggs, and refined grains, was associated with a 2.4-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer among men.”

A study out of Italy published in the Annals of Epidemiology concluded, “A diet characterized by a high consumption of meat and other animal products, as well as of (refined) cereals and sugars, is positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk, whereas a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is inversely associated.”

In a study of Seventh Day Adventists published in the journal Cancer it was found that those who ate veggie burgers, lentils and dried fruit rather than meat, poultry or fish, 3 or more times a week had a 40% lower risk of pancreatic cancer.

A study of 30,000 poultry workers published in October 2011 found that those workers who had an occupational exposure to poultry had a 9% higher rate of death from liver cancer and pancreatic cancer. Twenty-year smokers double their risk of pancreatic cancer, but poultry workers had 9 times the odds of pancreatic cancer.

Factors that cause cancer are also believed to encourage its growth. By changing from the rich Western diet that promotes cancer to a diet that supports good health, further growth of cancer could be slowed and a patient’s life could be prolonged.

Cancer does not suddenly appear.  It grows at a steady rate. Early growth is invisible because the cancer is microscopic in size. The cancer remains undetectable for about 6 years until it reaches a size of 1 mm (period-size). After 10 years of growth, the tumor is 1 cm in diameter (eraser-size) and contains one billion cells. Most cancer is undetectable by the patient and his physician for the first two-thirds of its natural history.

Most animal studies show that fats and oils promote the growth of tumors and that animals receiving diets higher in cholesterol show more frequent tumors and metastases. A cholesterol-free, fat-free diet retards the growth of tumors in animals and prolongs their survival time. There is a dose relationship here also: the lower the fat in the animals’ diets the slower the growth of the cancer (J Natl Ca Inst 87:1456, 1993).

Even though it is much easier to prevent cancer than to reverse it, you can still help your immune system fight like crazy. That can buy you some time – maybe just a few more weeks of feeling good to a complete reversal.

Eat starches, like beans, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice with some green and yellow vegetables and fruits. No vegetable oils. No supplements. Drink 3 cups of green tea a day and take up to 8 gm of curcumin supplements.

Best of luck as you help your immune system fight off this disease.

Categories : Blog, Cancer Diagnosis
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Keep Your Children Slim and Trim

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Child Worried About Her Weight

Children getting sick is something no one wants to see. We know that there are starving children living in poverty all over the world and they need to be given assistance and food.

But I want to talk to you about your children or grandchildren.

In this country where people are “overfed” we have too many children who are overweight. Anyone with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 24 is considered overweight.

Overweight children and teens are likely to be obese adults and, unfortunately, they are more prone to develop a serious disease. High cholesterol levels (caused by fat in the blood) in children can be a predictor of glucose intolerance and diabetes. In large populations of children with total cholesterol levels above 170 there are far more incidences of brain tumors and leukemias than are found in populations of adolescents with cholesterol levels below 100.

Young people who are obese are more likely to have elevated blood pressure, sleep apnea and a variety of bone problems.

Helping your children stay slim is so very important, but it has to start with you.

If you would like help in getting your whole family on the slim and trim health track, check out the “90-Days to a Slimmer, Healthier You!” coaching program.

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© 2010-2015 Melinda Coker

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Melinda Coker, health coach and author of the book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection?, teaches men and women around the world how to develop a healthy lifestyle.”

Categories : Blog, Cancer in Children
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A Test to Predict Cancer?

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Doctor Prepares to do Diagnostic Tests on Patient

Do you think it’s possible to predict your chance of getting cancer by a blood test, or is that just science fiction?

Many studies have found a correlation between obesity and cancer.  Additional studies have found a correlation between high IGF-1 levels and cancer.  Other studies have reported positive correlations between total body fat and IGF-1 concentrations.

Current recommendations from the World Cancer Research Fund suggest that the median adult BMI (Body Mass Index) should be maintained between 21 and 23.  The chart below gives average BMI scores for people eating certain diets.



Raw vegans 21.3
Vegans 23.6
Vegetarians 25.7
Flexitarians 27.3
Meat-eaters 28.8

In rodents, long-term severe caloric restriction (CR) reduced BMI and IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) levels.  But in research comparing human vegans and long-term endurance runners (ran an average of 48 miles/wk) they found that only the vegans had significantly lower levels of IGF-1.

In other words, just getting slim through exercise without reducing your IGF-1 level could leave you open to higher cancer risks.



Vegans 139
Long-distance Runners 177
Meat Eaters 201

To find out your IGF-1 score, you can take a blood test for $129.  Scores are not “cut and dried” like they are on the BMI chart for adults.  The chart below will give you normal ranges for different age groups.  To protect yourself from cancer, you will want to be sure your IGF-1 is toward the low end for your age group in the chart below.



16-24 182-780
25-39 114-492
40-54 90-360


“Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Relation to Body Mass Index (BMI) in the Million Women Study: Cohort Study”
“A Twenty-First Century Cancer Epidemic Caused by Obesity: The Involvement of Insulin, Diabetes, and Insulin-Like Growth Factors”
“Relationships Between IGF-1 and IGFBP-1 and Adiposity in Obese African-American and Latino Adolescents”
“Long-term Low Protein, Low-caloric Diet and Endurance Exercise Modulate Metabolic Factors Associated with Cancer Risk.”

Categories : Blog, Prevent Cancer
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Are We Responsible for Getting Sick?

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When people hear of the diet I eat many of them comment, “Why would you give up all the “good” things to eat just to have more years of old-age misery?”

How many people do you know who are in their 90s and are still energetic and fully engaged in life? We probably all know a few.

By contrast, how many people do you know who are in their 70s and 80s (if they have lived that long) and are sick? They may have osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, diabetes or cancer. Some are even bedridden after having a stroke. I think we all know plenty of people in this group.

I’m hedging my bets and planning to get to my 90s in good health.

It seems that the word of the day in my community is “responsibility.” When we hear that a family is having a hard time and going on welfare or can’t afford health care, the loudest voices accuse them of not taking “responsibility” for themselves or their families.

I hear people say, “That group works well with the homeless because they hold them accountable for getting back to an independent life,” or, “People having babies out-of-wedlock, just aren’t responsible.”

In other words, most of us think that other people just need to be more “responsible.” I wonder why that word doesn’t apply to the way we take care of our bodies?

What if we used that word on our own lives? Is it responsible of us to eat foods that make us too heavy (a BMI of 25+)? Is it responsible of us to eat foods that can cause diseases like osteoporosis, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or stroke? Is it responsible of us to continue to smoke because it makes us happy? Is it responsible of us to continue to eat animal products because we like them?

I’ve heard the rationale that if you can afford to drive a gas-guzzler or if you can afford to smoke cigars and drink brandy or if you can afford to eat meat at every meal, that’s your right.

I realize that those individual freedoms are important to many of us. After all, it is your body to do with as you wish. But, other people are definitely impacted. Your spouse or your children may have to step into a caregiver role. You may not be able to afford all of the medical care needed, so the taxpayers have to step in. Because health insurance companies have to pay for more care, they will raise the premium rates for other people.

If you think you are just hurting yourself with your lifestyle choices, think again. What about the husband of the wife diagnosed with cancer? He suffers emotionally almost as much as the patient. What about the kids of the man who suddenly dies of a heart attack? Or the parents of a 50-year-old who has diabetes and has to have his foot amputated?

We take responsibility for keeping our belongings clean and neat. We take responsibility for teaching our children about morals and ethics. We take responsibility for making sure our children go to the best schools and get the best education.

But, are we responsible for making sure our children are always happy and get whatever they want? I doubt if any parent or grandparent would agree to that.

Should we let our kids stay up late at night so they are too tired to pay attention in school so we just hire them a tutor?

Should we let them get tired so their immune systems break down and then we just pay a doctor to give them an antibiotic to get them well?

Do we think we can feed them junk food and then have them pop a few vitamins to keep them healthy?

Do we think we can reward our children with candy and sugary drinks and then just pay a dentist to fix their teeth?

Do we let them eat hamburgers and macaroni and cheese and have ice cream for dessert because that keeps them happy? What do we do when they get fat and are teased and taunted by their classmates?

Being responsible seems to be a matter of degree and personal bias.

If we eat meat and cheese at every meal, but then we bike and run like George W. Bush, shouldn’t that keep us from having a heart stent?

Having responsibility for our own health and that of our children seems to be one of the most important “responsibilities” we can carry out.

What about responsibility for our planet? Is it enough to recycle our cans? Is it enough to keep our thermostat on 78 in the summer? Is it enough to wash clothes with cold water?

One of the most helpful (and responsible) things we can do to help our environment is to stop eating meat. Did you know that raising animals for food uses more water, more land and creates more methane gas than anything else?

Are we responsible for the way animals are treated to provide us with food? We think of those “animals” like we do “slaves” or “muslims.” They are “different” from us. We don’t “know” them.  If we think of those animals and fish in this way, we don’t have to worry about our responsibility for taking care of them.

I’ve got a great idea. Let’s start taking responsibility for the health of our bodies and for the health of our planet!

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© 2010-2013 Melinda Coker

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Melinda Coker, health coach and author of the book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection?, teaches women around the world how to develop a healthy lifestyle.”

Categories : Blog, Prevent Cancer
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The Cattle Baron’s Gala

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Chicken Strips

The menu at this week-end’s Cattle Baron’s Gala featured smoked brisket, baby back ribs, chicken fajitas, grilled steaks, fried chicken strips, jumbo shrimp filled with cheddar cheese and crisp bacon. An avocado bar loaded with toppings including sour cream, chicken and chile con queso (cheese sauce) was available. There were also sliced sweet potatoes deep-fried and served with garlic mayonnaise and thick-sliced green tomatoes deep-fried until golden brown.

It seems that most of us are hard wired with a “helping” gene. We love to think that we are doing good things for other people and this week-end’s event showcased the effort of over 100 volunteers. They worked hard for a year to make sure the 1,800 guests had a great time because it was for a “good” cause. The hefty proceeds benefitted the American Cancer Society.

Unfortunately, after doing the research for my 2010 book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection, I no longer hold the ACS in such high regard. Experimental research and even population studies have shown that a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet can prevent 95 percent of all cancers, including those “caused” by environmental toxins.(1)  Yet the American Cancer Society promotes surgical, pharmaceutical and radiological approaches to cancer treatment and prevention because it’s main source of funding comes from the pharmaceutical and medical industries.

The ACS also receives funds from the food industry so they do not take a hard stand on well-studied nutritional recommendations. When they tell people to limit certain foods rather than avoid them, that’s the equivalent of telling junkies to “limit your intake of cocaine.”  It is not a serious warning and doesn’t make an impact on anyone.  Nor does the American Cancer Society mention avoiding or reducing consumption of dairy products including milk and cheese in its recommendations.

If we know that a whole-foods, low fat, plant-based diet can prevent (and even reverse) many cancers, why doesn’t the Cattle Baron’s Gala serve foods based on that science?

Instead of spending so much time and money promoting what author Samuel Epstein has called “the world’s wealthiest non-profit,” wouldn’t we want to use our helping genes in a much healthier way by learning how to feed our families a healthy, whole-foods, low fat, plant-based diet? For more information read Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection or The China Study. Both books are available on Amazon.


(1) T. Colin Campbell, Howard Jacobson, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (Dallas, TX, BenBella Books, Inc., 2013), 8

Categories : Blog, Events for Cancer
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Is There Any Hope?

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If you’ve been diagnosed with a late stage cancer or if you have already completed all the surgery, chemo and radiation that you can endure, what’s next?  Do you just sit in your rocking chair full of anxiety and fear and wait to die?

No, of course not!  You start looking for ways to heal your body and strengthen your immune system.  You might even want to look at going to a healing spa such as the Gerson Institute or the Living Foods Institute.

If that’s not an option, you can plan your own “do-it-yourself” spa experience.

1.) Meet with a pallative care specialist to help you with any pain, emotional, practical or spiritual issues.

2.) Get out in the sunshine for at least 10 minutes every day.

3.) Take a walk, do yoga or move in any way you can.

4.) Stay involved with life.  Invite friends over for a bowl of soup or to go shopping with you.

5.) Change the Way You Eat

  • Eliminate all animal products from your diet. That includes meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk and cheese.
  • Eat as many greens as you can.
  • Always eat “whole” foods – whole wheat pastas, whole wheat breads, sprouted wheat, organic rolled oats, etc.
  • Eat deep, colorful vegetables.
  • Eat organic as much as possible.
  • Eat at least half of your food raw (uncooked).
  • Eliminate all alcohol.
  • Eliminate processed junk foods.
  • Put a teaspoon of ground flaxseed on your food every day.  Keep it in the freezer so it won’t get rancid.
  • Drink water or unsweetened decaffeinated green tea for your beverage.  Don’t drink sweet beverages or beverages with caffeine.
  • Do not eat oils, including olive oil.
  • Don’t eat in restaurants very often because you cannot control the ingredients they use.
  • Juice or blend vegetables or fruits for snacks or supplementation.

You will know if you are making progress within a few weeks if your appetite returns, your pain diminishes, your sleep improves and/or your tumor recedes or vanishes.

Don’t be discouraged if you have a down day with low energy.  Just stay on course as the healing process has its ups and downs.

An Easy Sample Menu

  • Breakfast Ideas
    • Whole-wheat toast with no added oil
    • Fruit spread with no added sugar
    • A bowl of oatmeal (regular, not quick cooking) with unsweetened almond milk and fresh fruit.
    • A bowl of Grapenuts or Shredded Wheat with unsweetened almond milk and fresh fruit. 
    • Black beans with salsa on whole-wheat toast or in a corn tortilla.
  • Snack Ideas
    • Whole-wheat toast
    • Green juice with carrots, celery, apple and cabbage
  • Lunch Idea
    • Black bean and corn salad with lime dressing
  • Snack Ideas
    • Baked corn chips and salsa
    • Green smoothie with kale, spinach, flaxseed, apple and lemon juice
  • Dinner Ideas
    • Spinach salad topped with mandarin oranges and vinegar and fresh-squeezed orange juice
    • Wild rice salad with dried apricots, green onions and walnuts
    • Cream of cauliflower soup made with cauliflower, celery, onion, and vegetable broth
    • Buckwheat pasta with mushrooms, vegetable broth and soy sauce.

For more menu ideas and recipes purchase a vegan cook-book, such as Coco’s Healthy Cooking and find recipes which fit the above criteria.

Categories : Blog, Cancer Diagnosis
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Oh, Dear God

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Oh, Dear God… It’s Cancer… Now What?

Oh, Dear God

If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, fear may cloud your thinking and you may make some hasty and possibly regrettable decisions. Even though the cancer has taken years to develop, your doctors may be telling you that treatment must be started immediately.

Cancer is cured by your immune system. The average American has five or six bouts with cancer in a lifetime. Your body may have already cured cancer once or twice and you were not even aware of it. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery don’t cure cancer.

Cancer is a serious disease and not everyone gets well, no matter what treatments they get or what program they follow. But if you play the odds and follow a strict program of diet and lifestyle changes, your chances of beating cancer will be much greater than if you do not.

My advice is to change your diet and lifestyle immediately. Give your immune system a chance to tackle the cancer. Then I would recommend that you get a second opinion or even a second diagnosis.

If you decide to undergo conventional treatments, your change of diet will be less successful as you are trying to rebuild your immune system and conventional treatments devastate the immune system. It takes years for your immune system to recover from chemotherapy so it is all the more important to follow the dietary guidelines.

In a review of the literature, reported in Clinical Oncology, December 2004, chemotherapy contributed only 2% to the 5-year survival rates for people with cancer. A few studies comparing conventional treatments with doing nothing found that cancer patients who did nothing actually lived as long, if not longer, than those who underwent treatments.

Be an activist about your own health. Read, study and learn about your options.

Ask your doctor how many people out of 100 who get the same treatment recommended will actually benefit? Then ask what that benefit is. Will you survive an extra few days or a few years? What are the side effects of the proposed treatments? What are the risks?

Surgery, chemo and radiation will not prevent the spread of cancer. Conventional treatments attack the localized tumors. Those tumors don’t usually kill people. The spread of cancer cells to the liver, lungs, brain, bones and other vital areas is what kills patients.

That’s why it is so important to build up your immune system through nutrition and lifestyle changes. Go slow in making decisions about conventional cancer treatments.

If nutritional treatments are started while cancer is still undetected, there is nearly a 100 percent chance of reversing the disease. Once the tumor is diagnosed, the odds become longer. However, even if it’s too late to reverse the disease, good nutrition has extended patient’s lives from months to years. In worst cases, it has minimized the pain patients endured in their final days.

What are some risk factors for developing (or growing) cancer?


You must cut your dietary fat consumption to 10% of your total calories. Most Americans consume 30-40% of their calories in fat. In every population around the world that eats a high-fat diet, cardiovascular disease and cancer are the biggest killers.

Any kind of fat will compromise your immune system – even “good” fats like olive oil or fish oil capsules.

Adding any oil to your food will also raise your cholesterol level even more than eating cholesterol itself.


Cancer cells can flourish in a highly acidic environment. Animal foods are the biggest contributors to acidity in our diet. The vast majority of plant foods are alkaline. Other contributors to acidity include grains, sugar, spicy foods, fried foods, salt, sodas, coffee, tea, alcohol, drugs, medications and tobacco.


Poor circulation and low oxygen allow cancer cells to thrive. Acidic (pH 7.3) blood has 69% less oxygen than an alkaline (7.45 pH) blood. If you have clogged blood vessels from eating a high fat diet, your oxygen levels will be lower. This lack of oxygen does not necessarily cause cancer, but does creates an environment that cancer cells can thrive in.


When you have high blood sugar levels, you are feeding cancer cells. Once blood sugar levels (glucose) rise to over 110 mg/dl, cancer incidence rises. Cancer cells consume 18 times more sugar than normal cells. Trying to beat cancer on a diet that raises blood sugar is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

Refined foods raise the blood sugar level. They are simple carbohydrates such as white flour, wheat flour, refined sugar, pastries, white pasta, white bread, white rice, French fries, all chips, cakes, soft drinks and other junk foods.

Drinking alcohol is the same thing as drinking sugar right out of the bag.


The only source of dietary cholesterol comes from animal foods. Cancer cells have higher demands for cholesterol (and sugar).


High fat foods are the main culprits for raising sex hormones. Milk is full of bovine estrogen from cows. Body fat also stimulates the production of estrogen. This is the reason that overweight women have higher cancer risks.

Pesticides and other chemical toxins raise estrogen levels. Since 95 percent of the pesticides Americans consume come from meat and dairy products, they’re getting a double-boost of hormones when they eat animal foods.

Eating a high-fiber diet removes excessive sex hormones from the body and lowers estrogen levels.

Many studies have linked high testosterone levels to prostate cancer. Eating animal foods stimulates the production of testosterone. Eating any farm animal today adds to your hormone overdose because large corporate farms use hormones to increase animal growth and output.


Prescription drugs are highly concentrated and synthetic so they are very hard on your liver.

How To Be Successful

Your diet must be totally plant-based. No animal products are allowed. You must totally switch. You cannot get good results by only making a few changes.

You must be strict with yourself. If you want a chance at reversing cancer, you will have to be the demanding Queen of nutrition. You don’t have to restrict food portions if you are eating the correct foods.

The only soy food allowed on this diet is the whole soybean (edamame). The only rice product allowed is whole brown rice.

Use whole-wheat pastas or whole-wheat breads. Make sure the label on grain products says whole-wheat, sprouted wheat or organic rolled oats. Don’t buy breads or pastas that list multigrain or stoned wheat as the main ingredient as those are not whole grains.

A low-fat plant based diet is about eating natural, whole plant foods. All animal products are excluded because they promote cancer. Even though refined (packaged) foods are technically plant-based, they should not be included as they will diminish your benefits.

Some people think they can defeat cancer by drinking organic milk or eating organic eggs and meats. Saying organic animal products are better for you is like saying organic tobacco is better for smokers. Organic animal foods will plug up your arteries and promote cancer just as fast as non-organic animal foods.

Fish is not a health food. A survey of a large number of postmenopausal women showed that the group who ate fish had higher rates of breast cancer.

The Power of the Mind

As a practical matter, attitude is important. Positive thinking can enhance your life while anger, stress and depression can suppress the immune system. If you had two groups of people and one group relied on the mind (or spirit), while the other group relied on a good cancer-fighting diet, the nutritional group would win easily. The mind can be a healer for some people, but proper nutrition is the key to consistent success.


Exercise is an essential part of this nutritional plan. Active Americans get a fraction of the cancers that sedentary Americans get. Cancer hates oxygen and exercise oxygenates tissues.

Walking is probably the best exercise for us. It’s easy, cheap and gets you outdoors. Always get at least half an hour of exercise a day.

Get out in the sun occasionally. It’s the best way to get vitamin D.

Vitamin D

During the summer, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., fair-skinned people should get 10 minutes of sun exposure, while very dark-skinned people should get 30 minutes several times a week. Never allow yourself to get sunburned.

Vitamin Supplements

Cancer is not a deficiency disease of a single nutrient. Synthetic supplements can cause more problems than they can help. If you want to supplement, do it with greens and other vegetables in your juicer or blender. Juicing or blending can be life saving for seriously ill patients who are unable to eat much.

How Do You Get Started?

Drastically changing your diet is hard.  You have been on your current diet for many years so you don’t even have to think about it. The easiest way to start is to get a cook book with low-fat, plant-based recipes to give you ideas and inspiration.

If you want more information on the “why” of eating this way, you will want to purchase my book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection? If you have all the information you need right now and just want to get started, order my cook book, Coco’s Healthy Cooking. In the cook book you will be able to find a number of recipes which fit the cancer-fighting criteria that is listed here.  Both books are available on Amazon.

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© 2010-2013 Melinda Coker

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Melinda Coker, health coach and author of the book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection?, teaches women around the world how to develop a healthy lifestyle.”

Categories : Blog, Cancer Diagnosis
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A Cure for Cancer

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With the recent uproar around the Susan G. Komen for the Cure decision to stop funding mammograms and medical exams for poor women through Planned Parenthood and then the reverse decision to continue the funding has made many people begin to question the organization.

Maybe it’s time that we quit thinking that buying pink cosmetics and pink balloons and pink wrapped hams is going to save us from cancer.  It is an organization of people started by a woman with a good heart that has spent more time and effort on marketing in the past few years than on getting the word out that you can actually prevent or even stop/reverse some cancers through lifestyle choices.  We don’t have to wait for a drug company to come up with a potent drug that will make us sicker than we’ve ever been, in the hope that it will eventually heal us.

I’ve seen statistics that indicate as many as 80% of cancers can actually be prevented or reversed.  That may seem like too much “pie in the sky” for most of you, but in the latest report by Cancer Research UK Statistics it states that 45% of cancers can be prevented through lifestyle choices.  Tobacco use, overuse of alcohol, obesity, eating meat, eating a low fiber diet, a lack of fruits and vegetables and a lack of exercise were all cited as causes of cancer.

Let’s stop thinking that if we just give more money to these large organizations we won’t have to worry about our lifestyle because a CURE is just around the corner.  We already have a CURE for nearly half of all cancers.  Why don’t we start researching for ourselves and then living the way we know we should?

To get you started on eating a healthy low-fat diet with fruits and vegetables, here is a recipe for a simple, tasty soup that even your kids will eat.


1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
6 cups vegetable broth (divided use)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups fresh or frozen corn

In a covered soup pot, simmer onions, garlic, chile and salt in 1 cup vegetable broth for about 10 minutes until onions are soft.
In a small bowl, make a paste with cumin and 1 tablespoon broth, stir it into the pot, and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sweet potato and 4 cups broth and simmer for 10 minutes, until sweet potato softens. Add bell pepper and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
At this point, puree’ soup in blender. If you prefer to have some chunks, only puree’ half of the soup.
Pour soup back in pot and add last cup of broth with the corn.
Gently reheat on low heat.
If desired, top with a garnish of chopped cilantro or diced avocado.

Makes 4 servings.

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© 2010-2011 Melinda Coker

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: “Melinda Coker, health coach and author of the book, Diet and Cancer: Is There a Connection?, teaches women around the world how to develop a healthy lifestyle.” 

Categories : Blog, Events for Cancer
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