I was shocked when my doctor told me, “You have breast cancer.”
What was even worse was feeling powerless over cancer. That it can come back at any time and that it can kill you eventually. If you believe the cancer community, there’s just nothing you can do about it.
While I was still undergoing cancer treatment and feeling sick, I watched a lot of cancer documentaries to try and make some sense of what to do once treatment ended.
Kris Carr’s “Crazy Sexy Cancer” was the first time I’d heard that food, specifically a whole food vegan diet could help my body starve and kill cancer cells. Next, I watched “Food Matters” which taught me this diet can play a key role in treating and reversing many diseases, including cancer.
I thought it was odd my oncologist had never brought up nutrition so I asked during my next appointment, “What should I be eating? What shouldn’t I be eating?”
I was shocked when she simply replied, “Eat whatever you want to eat. Eat whatever you can eat to keep your strength up, especially during cancer treatment.”
They actually serve cupcakes and cheesy cracker snacks in the chemo room.
I didn’t believe there was nothing I could do nutritionally to help my body fight cancer, so I went on a quest searching for more nutritional guidance, as it relates to cancer patients and cancer survivors.
That’s when I found the documentary, “Forks Over Knives.” I listened to T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and author of “The China Study,” explain how eating animal protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and all dairy products) was shown in many different types of reliable, significant scientific studies to “turn-on” or activate cancer cells and a lightbulb went off in my head. I decided right then and there to stop eating all animal protein because I was terrified by the idea of activating any cancer cells that could still be lurking in my lymph nodes or chest wall after all the surgeries, chemo and radiation.
The next day I ordered the “Forks Over Knives Cookbook” to help me learn how to cook whole food, vegan meals.
Next, I read, “Radical Remission” by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D., which further solidified my decision to adopt a whole-food vegan diet to keep cancer away. Radically changing your diet in this exact way was one of the nine common factors found to make a difference in cancer remission (out of 75 factors tested in her research on over 1,000 cases of medically documented remission of a terminal cancer diagnosis). She provided even more evidence, beyond just her own findings, for whole-food vegan diets and cancer reversal in her book.
Once my cancer treatment ended, I found an integrative oncologist to help me overcome my fears of cancer coming back by implementing some of those factors Kelly Turner talked about in her book. On my first visit, Heather Barrett, M.D., asked me about my diet and when I told her I was a whole-food vegan she said, “That’s the first thing I usually have to discuss with all my breast cancer patients because that’s the number one, evidence-based thing you can do to help your body prevent cancer recurrence and you’re already doing it.”
Now, the average cancer survivor has not heard this information. There’s a big, wide web of deceit between the financial muscle of the meat and dairy industry (our disease-causing lifestyle) and the pharmaceutical industry (cancer treatment). Whole food vegan diets are not an approved protocol for fighting cancer according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which sets the guidelines for cancer treatment in this country. That’s why most traditional oncologists will not advise you on the benefits of a vegan diet for preventing cancer and fighting cancer recurrence, even though the scientific evidence exists.
Recently doctors have gotten brave in the name of helping everyone fight for their own health and written large tomes outlining the medical benefits of a plant-based diet. The recently released “How Not to Die” by Michael Greger, M.D., contains many chapters on different types of cancer and how eating different animal proteins play a role in their development. He also explains how to eat to fight cancer and other diseases.
Going vegan helped me feel like I was doing something concrete to keep cancer away. Like I had some power over cancer. And, as a vegan lifestyle coach, I want to spread the message that you can take back your health. Pass on this empowering message by giving someone you know who is a cancer patient or cancer survivor one of these books or movies.
Naomi Green, VLCE and breast cancer survivor, has been a health and personal finance journalist (under her married name, Naomi Mannino) for over 20 years, always looking for the evidence and the sources. So, when faced with the overwhelming evidence on whole-food vegan diets and cancer prevention she just had to face it and adopt it in her own life by going vegan at the end of her cancer treatment in December 2014. Finding that power over her cancer fears led her to want to spread that message and help everyone, especially cancer patients and cancer survivors, take back their health by going vegan. Telling the real stories of people who go vegan and the health benefits they experience on her website has been a true joy, while still using her journalistic skills. You can follow her personally on Facebook and her coaching Facebook page and you can see what she’s cooking by following her on Instagram.