Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Post - Jillian McKee

Hello friends!  Today I have a special treat for you. Jillian McKee is a cancer activist and asked if she could share a little bit about cancer and the foods we eat. I thought this was something I could learn a little more about myself and wanted to share her article with you.

Jillian McKee works as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Good Nutrition Strengthens the Body During Cancer Treatment and Recovery
Cancer is a disease characterized by cells that undergo rapid multiplication. It happens when certain cells loose basic control functions that regulate cell division. As cancer cells divide, they begin to absorb more nutrients otherwise needed by healthy cells. Eventually cancer cells develop a mass called a tumor. Medical science has developed treatments that are proving more successful in slowing and even reversing cancer. However, to improve potential success, the patient must play an important role by maintaining a positive attitude and keeping the body strong by supplying basic nutritional needs. Good nutrition helps maintain healthy cells and tissue during and after treatment.
The body requires a mix of nutritious foods to aid the battle against cancer. Carbohydrates supply the energy requirements of the body. Proteins supply important raw materials for maintaining muscles. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, are important for removing cell waste called free radicals, a byproduct of normal and cancer cell function. However, eating properly is not always easy for people with cancer. For example, mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the lining around the lungs, heart and abdomen. Peritoneal mesothelioma side effects include nausea and loss of appetite. Any forms of cancer that affect the abdominal region, intestines and stomach similarly inhibit the desire to eat. The resulting loss of appetite is called anorexia. The extensive multiplication of cancer cells steals important nutrients away from healthy cells. Therefore it is important to consume enough nutrition even when it is difficult.
The National Cancer Center provides valuable information about nutrition before, during and after cancer treatment at.
The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. A common rule is to eat 5 servings each day incorporating different colors. Different types of antioxidants are often associated with color. Fruits not only supply antioxidants, they are also a good source of carbohydrate supplying sugars. Proteins are found in foods like milk, cheese and eggs. Ice cream is also a dairy product and a source protein. Pasta, bread and rice provide a good source of carbohydrates and relatively easy on the digestive system. In cases where nausea is associated with constipation, cereals add fiber to aid digestion.
The National Cancer Center summarizes the important of eating sufficiently to maintain health and strength when undergoing cancer treatment and throughout recovery. However, some forms of cancer reduce appetite. In patients who find eating difficult, it is recommended to consume foods relatively bland such as grains, fruits and dairy products. Eating less more often could help reduce feeling nauseous.
Cancer treatments are becoming more successful particularly when diagnosed early. Good nutrition is not a cure. However, eating properly provides the necessary ingredients that help the body fight during treatment. Good diet not only helps in cancer treatment, it also helps with prevention and improves quality of life.


Hope you enjoy!