14 Oct 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Dr. Timothy Moore
Not long before, I had received another call. My mother telephoned to share that she had breast cancer. It was hard for me to accept the news. My mother…c’mon now. It only took a millisecond for my world to crash. The dread and tremble in her voice almost sounded far off yet close enough for me to feel her pain. I was devastated, knowing that cancer cells were sucking the life out of my mother.
I managed to utter a few words. I wanted to know how my mother felt about the diagnoses. She explained when and what the doctor told her and that she went alone not really expecting the outcome. I asked if there were any warning signs that would indicate that something was wrong? She told me she’d felt a lump or knot under her breasts and figured it would go away. It didn’t, resulting in the removal of her left breast.
The statistics are jumping off the charts. According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths per year. That number continues to grow at an alarming rate. I can’t help but wonder what causes this dreaded disease, which affects one in three individuals every day?
My friend with cervical cancer knew something was wrong with her body and assumed the pain would just go away. She didn’t visit a doctor because she didn’t want to hear a negative report. I remembered my mother feeling the same way, assuming that no news is good news. When both women did decide to see a doctor, it was too late.
I was mortified hearing my mother’s quivering voice change to absolute fear after laying the bad news on me. “What if I’d listened to my body at the first signs of discomfort?” she asked rhetorically. That was when I asked about her state of mind. “It’s okay,” she said, but then added, “But why me? I don’t want to die.”
The thought of death scared my mother. It was the unknown, being away from her family, not being able to see her grandchildren grow up, and just missing the latter part of her life. This was a young woman in her 40s who chose not to listen to her body or seek proper care from a healthcare provider. I’m sure she would have lived longer than she did.
There is good news, however. One third of all cancer is preventable, according to the WHO. Prevention offers the most cost-effective, long-term strategy in controlling cancer, with dietary changes being a key component in cancer prevention. Diets high in fruit and vegetables may have a protective effect against many forms of cancers.
Obesity, overweight, tobacco use, physical inactivity and alcohol use have been linked to many forms of cancer, along with excessive consumption of red meat and processed meat. Regular physical activity and maintaining regular body weight along with a healthy diet will considerably reduce the cancer risk.
There are four lifestyle changes that can ward off cancer: (1) eat less inflammation causing fats; (2) limit your consumption of sugars and alcohol; (3) get plenty of sunshine, which produces Vitamin D that helps to ward off cancer; and (4) eat vegetables. Eating vegetables can save your life.
Cancer can be cured with the proper nutrients. Think about water as a cure for heat stroke. Every year around 30 to 45 young men die on the gridiron due to heat exhaustion and dehydration. Nothing else but water can help these young men. The same goes for cancer patients. When nutrients are added to the diet, it is amazing how well the body will defend and recover from cancer.