You probably picked this book up because you or someone you love has heard those dreaded words: “You have cancer.” Remember, you may have been given a diagnosis of a condition called cancer, but it doesn't have you! This book is all about facing this challenge by mobilizing your body into fighting mode.
Cancer describes up to 250 different conditions with a similar origin. Each cell of your body has instructions that direct the lifespan and function of the cell and its environment. For example, a skin cell has a different function than a cell in your bone; however, they share the same DNA. If some damage should disrupt these instructions encoded in DNA (DeoxyriboNu-cleic Acid), and if this damage isn't stopped in its tracks, cancer may result. Every moment of your life, millions of cellular events are successfully prevented from progressing into a disease. As you age, some of these changes that don't cause cancer have become incorporated into your DNA and some may make your defenses less effective, which is why cancer is a disease more common in those over sixty years old. An exception to this is inheriting one or two copies of a defective gene like BRCA1 or 2 or p53. You have two copies of all of your genes, but if one copy is already compromised at birth there is a higher chance the other one will be altered by the random changes that occur throughout life than someone who has two copies that are both fully operational. These genes code for proteins important in protecting your cells from cancer. If one of these genes malfunctions, you have a higher risk of developing cancer.
Another aspect of risk involves lifestyle. If you are exposed to carcinogens or chemicals likely to cause mutations or deleterious changes in DNA, you are more likely to develop cancer as you age. Smoking is an example of this, as tobacco products contain many carcinogens. No amount of healthy eating will defend your body from the harm tobacco can cause — don't smoke!
There are some general guidelines for healthy eating that apply once you begin the fight against cancer, and there are some that are specific to you based on where your cancer has been discovered and how you are to receive your treatment. In this book, you will find recipes and eating suggestions to help you personalize your approach.
Many people are concerned about weight loss during treatment; however, weight gain may sometimes occur, especially with longer-term adjuvant therapies such as hormone-modulating medications like tamoxifen. Balancing your food intake with your calorie output isn't always easy when your energy is low yet you crave comfort foods. To help with this, there are some delicious options to help you modify your favorite recipes.
Fighting cancer with your fork will empower you. Let's get started!