Friday, May 22, 2009

what can I do personally?

Hello everyone

We are on our way home from Eugene, having completed 4 external beam radiation treatments. Monday being a holiday, I start back on Tuesday.

My feelings tend to go up and down a lot (just ask Ken), but for right now I am feeling quite positive about my ...future. I am being treated for a cancer that at my stage a few years ago, had a 50% 3 year survival rate.  They have however in the past few years started treating this "situation" with both chemo AND radiation, which prior to that ..they had only used one or the other, on stage 3 endometrial cancer. I am now told that the success rate of treatments are much better. Being young and not obese also improve my chances as does the fact that my cancer is "well differentiated" which means that under a microscope it does not appear as aggressive as do others.

I am basically getting all the therapy that is potentially utilized in endometrial cancer pretty much at its maximum "dose"

To add to this I have started to pursue what I can do personally to "improve my odds"

From the reading I have done over the past few months I have determined that there are many other things a person can do to improve their chances of surviving a cancer, in addition to the chemo and radiation. There is medical evidence of all these things, but they have not really reached mainstream medicine. (probably because they are not expensive)

Most of this  info I obtained from the book "anticancer a new way of life", and I am satisfied as a physician by the research that is used to back up the use of the following "modalities"

1) Maintain a normal weight ( best a BMI less that 25, definately under 30) (just google BMI and calculate to find out how to find yours). The rise of obesity  has paralleled the rise of cancer in the past 60 years in the North America.

2) Exercise regularly, It has been shown that the risk of recurrence  of several cancers is significantly less in those who exercise regularly. For instance with breast cancer recurrence is much less in those who walk  a total of 3 hours a week or more. With colon cancer, those who walk more than 5 hours a week have less recurrences. Aerobic exercise showed even more benefits.

3) Meditate   There is much talk in the literature about stress and cancer and that often when asked about stress at the time of diagnosis, people will admit to having been through an extremely stressful time recently. So to turn your life around and rid yourself of your stressors, or at least learn new ways to deal with stress has been shown to be beneficial in outcomes. There is evidence that people who practice yoga regularly do better,  as do people who meditate.  This must have reached mainstream medicine because at the clinic I go to for radiation treatments they have a yoga class and a meditation class. (I have been to 3 of Yemaya's yoga classes, and Ken and I are going to our first meditation class next Tuesday)

4) Anticancer foods. This is an extensive topic, but from what i have gleaned from the extensive reading I have done, the foods that I am going to try to eat more of are: Green tea, turmeric (which has to be mixed with olive oil and pepper to be "effective"), GARLIC, cooked asparagus, ginger, cooked tomatoes.......If you eat the suggested tablespoon of turmeric a day you start to smell like turmeric.

The list is long, but these are at the top. With regards to the meat and dairy products, it is important to find out whether or not each product comes from  grass fed animals, vs grain fed.

This is a whole topic in itself, but  meat, cheese milk and eggs from animals fed grain are much higher in omega 6 fatty acids,  whereas those fed grass, are higher in omega 3 fatty acids.  Diets high in omega 6 fatty acids are associated with higher risks of heart disease and cancer, whereas the reverse is true with diets high in omega 3 fatty acids. Finding cheese that comes from grass fed cows, is the hard part for us right now.

So these are all things that Ken and I are pursuing to decrease my risk of recurrence and to decrease the risk new cancers for either of us.

How to go from a type A obsessed personality to a calm, cool copasetic type. Kind of a catch 22, I am stressed because I have cancer and I am supposed to be calm to make it go away.

Well I am doing better than I was. Will see how meditation works

Love and peace

Janet Bates

jankenb @

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