Plus, how to overcome a dreaded diagnosis
And the one factor that reduces cancer recurrence risk up to 40 percent!
If there’s any diagnosis we all hope to avoid, it’s cancer.
But the truth is, nearly 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with some form of the big “C” during their lifetime.1 And the conventional “cut, poison, and burn” treatment options often leave patients sicker, weaker, and more frightened than before about their diagnosis.
That’s where I come in—to help replace that fear with action. Because you CAN safeguard yourself against cancer.
In fact, I’ll outline nine effective steps you can take to AVOID ever developing this dreaded disease. Then, I’ll disclose five additional steps you can take, should you ever hear the words, “it’s cancer,” in your doctor’s office.
I’ll even share details about one factor that reduces your cancer recurrence risk by a staggering 40 percent!
Here’s everything you need to know…
Start with a good foundation
Warding off cancer might seem impossible. But it all relates to understanding the different phases of the big “C”… and addressing each appropriately.
The biggest, overarching stage is considered cancer prevention… where you take steps to keep your body and immune system healthy and strong.
Then, there are three recognized stages of the cancer-development process: initiation, promotion, and progression.2
The initiation stage is when cell mutation begins. Promotion is where the mutated cells grow and survive. And progression is when affected cells spread.
But—incorporating these nine steps into your life can be quite protective, no matter which stage you’re battling:
- Get serious about your diet. Start by taking a hard look at your diet. After all, a good diet is the foundation of good health. And it’s crucial for warding off disease.
Following a balanced diet will also help keep your weight under control—which is key for cancer prevention. In fact, fat cells release inflammatory proteins called adipokines, which damage DNA and cause tumors. The more fat cells you have, the higher your levels of these harmful proteins.3
Plus, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says that excess weight and obesity are two MAJOR risk factors for developing most types of cancer. This includes breast, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, kidney, liver, ovarian, pancreatic, stomach, and thyroid cancers… as well as multiple myeloma and meningiomas.4
But guess what? Your weight is a controllable risk factor, influenced heavily by your diet!
And, in my view, the absolute best diet for managing a healthy weight and preventing cancer—or ANY type of chronic disease—is the healthy, time-tested Mediterranean-style diet.
When following this kind of eating pattern, you’ll enjoy lean sources of protein (such as organic poultry, grass-fed and -finished beef, wild-caught fish and seafood), organic produce (including plenty of veggies), and healthy fats (like from macadamia nut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds).
(I go into far more detail about the components of this healthy diet in my book, The A-List Diet. You can order yourself a copy from the “books” tab of my website, www.DrPescatore.com.)
- Avoid ALL added sugar. Many people give themselves a lot more room to load up on cookies, eggnog, and other sweet treats around the holidays. But remember… #sugarkills. In fact, this anti-nutrient not only leads to obesity, it also FUELS cancer cells almost exclusively. (Cancer cells use about 200 TIMES MORE SUGAR than normal cells.)
Now, some may argue that our body needs sugar (glucose) to survive. But—it’s far more complex than that. Believe it or not, your body can make all the glucose it needs by breaking down food molecules found in proteins and fats.
So, take extra care to BAN all the usual sugar suspects—from processed, packaged foods and beverages. And stock up on fresh, nutritional foods (without a label) instead.
- Limit alcohol use. Research strongly links alcohol consumption with an increased risk of esophageal,throat, and breast cancer.5,6 Plus, people who drink a lot of beer also have an increased risk of rectal cancer. So, when it comes to cancer prevention, it’s best to limit imbibing to the occasional treat. And when you do drink, stick with clear spirits and sugar-free mixers (like club soda).
- Watch the salt. As you probably already know, I’m not as salt-phobic as most physicians. There’s a lot more to the salt narrative than the mainstream would like you to know. But please don’t overdo it—especially with the cured and smoked foods (see step 8). That’s because people who consume large amounts of these products tend to have higher incidences of stomach and esophageal cancers.7
- Take a “sunshine” pill every day. Most people in the U.S. don’t get enough vitamin D—also known as the “sunshine” vitamin. And that’s very worrisome, especially when it comes to cancer. In fact, research strongly links low blood levels of vitamin D to a much higher risk of breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer.8
I should also mention that taking vitamin D can help thwart cancer recurrence following an initial diagnosis. In fact, in one recent study, patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who took just 200 mcg (8,000 IU) of vitamin D for two weeks, followed by 100 mcg (4,000 IU) per day after that were 36 percent less likely to die or see their disease progress over the next two years of follow-up.9
Of course, I find most people benefit from taking 250 mcg (10,000 IU) of vitamin D3 each day as a supplement to achieve—and maintain—vitamin D blood levels in the optimal range of 80 to 100 ng/mL. So, ask your doctor to check your levels every six months.
These first five steps cover all your bases for cancer prevention. Now, let’s move on to how we can fight the first stage of the cancer development process: initiation.
- Invest in a good multivitamin. A lack of certain nutrients—including too little folate, B3, B6, B12, vitamins C and D, magnesium, selenium, or zinc—can basically “trigger” the initiation phase that leads to cancerous DNA mutations.
These are simple nutrients that we all should be taking, as a lack of any can promote the cancer process.
The good news is, with the exception of vitamins C and D (which you should take as standalone supplements), you can get most of them from a good, high-quality multivitamin. Look specifically for one that contains at least 800 mcg of folate, 75 mg of B3 (niacin), 25 mg of B6, and 500 mcg of B12.
- Be wary of contaminated grains. Watch out for foods that contain aflatoxins—toxic compounds produced by certain fungi and molds—as these may play a role in the initiation phase of cancer. Some of the crops commonly contaminated by aflatoxins include: corn, millet, rice, wheat, sunflower seeds, or peanuts.
Most of the items on that list are grains, which turn into sugar in the body. So, here again—it’s best to keep them out of, or limited in, your kitchen.
- Limit the “ballpark” meats. Nitrites and nitrates are two more dietary substances involved in cancer’s initiation phase. Of course, the ones naturally present in foods DON’T cause cancer. Mainly because they don’t produce carcinogenic byproducts called nitrosamines.
However, when manufacturers artificially add nitrites and nitrates to processed or cured meats—such as hot dogs and sausages—you DO get harmful nitrosamine production. So, it’s best to avoid them.
- Don’t overcook your meat. You should also know that cooking any type of meat, poultry, or fish over high heat or an open flame can lead to the formation of carcinogenic substances called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). (Smoked fish and meats also contain high levels of these substances.) And research shows these substances can cause changes in DNA that may promote cancer.10
Fortunately, you can offset this process by marinating your meat, poultry, and fish in an acidic solution (such as vinegar, lime juice, hot sauce, or buttermilk). You can also:
- Season the meat, poultry, and fish before grilling with herbs and spices, like pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, clove, fennel, star anise, and more.
- Cook meat, poultry, and fish at low temperatures.
- Flip meat, poultry, and fish often when cooking them over an open flame.
- Remove charred portions of meat, poultry, or fish before eating.
- Eat meat, poultry, or fish together with a large amount of vegetables, especially those from the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnip, brussels sprouts, mustard).
Now let’s move on to what you can do if you’re ever diagnosed with cancer…
What to do AFTER a cancer diagnosis
We know that most cancers relate in one way or another to hidden, systemic inflammation in the body. And lots of things increase inflammation—including, stress, excess weight, lack of sleep, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood sugar, vitamin D deficiencies, and, of course, a poor diet.
Therefore, it’s imperative you figure out what’s causing inflammation in your body. Then, take steps to curtail it following ANY type of cancer diagnosis, to help limit progression.
Specifically, you should look for ways to…
- Build your village. Studies show that people with cancer who have the most social support have a better quality of life and even LIVE LONGER than those with less support.11 So, reach out to family and friends. And try to hook up with a support group at your local hospital or community center. Some treatment centers also have the ability to pair you with a survivor who’s been through a similar experience.
Try to manage stress on your own as well with yoga, guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, and prayer. Strive to practice some kind of stress-relieving practice for at least 20 minutes a day. It will make a big difference on your outlook… and energy levels!
- Get the right amount of sleep. When it comes to sleep, studies show too little or too much of it can harm your survival rate following a cancer diagnosis.12 So, try to get just about seven to nine hours per night. This amount should help you recover from any type of cancer treatment you may have received, boost your mood and ability to cope with your diagnosis, and even help manage your weight.
- Load up on the fishy stuff. Make sure to eat plenty of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids alongside your balanced diet. These anti-inflammatory agents are so powerful against cancer, doctors often give them to cancer patients in conjunction with mainstream treatments.
In fact, in a recent study, women diagnosed with breast cancer took either a placebo or fish oil supplement two to four weeks before undergoing a lumpectomy or mastectomy.13
Biopsy results revealed that the women who took fish oil exhibited an increase in Lactobacillus—a type of bacteria that reduces breast cancer tumor growth—in the normal tissue surrounding a tumor. This finding suggests that the omega-3s in fish oil may actually protect healthy breast tissue… and ultimately reduce breast cancer risk in the long run.
I suggest eating fish at least twice a week and taking a daily, high-quality fish oil supplement that contains 3,000 mg of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. In addition, make sure to add other anti-inflammatory foods to your diet—such as broccoli, ginger, green tea, and turmeric.
- Beware of toxins around you. You’ll also want to take special care to avoid environmental toxins, as more and more research links them to harmful inflammation that “enables” tumor development and growth.14 Specifics chemicals to avoid include:
- Bisphenol A (BPA)—found in plastic containers and water bottles
- Phthalates—found in soaps, cosmetics, and hair care products
- Styrene—found in Styrofoam®
- Halocarbons—found in some “non-stick” cookware
- Benzene—found in synthetic fibers, dyes, and detergents
- Tetrachloroethylene—found in dry cleaning fluids
- Glyphosate—found on many conventionally grown vegetables and in the pesticide RoundUp®
- Get serious about moving your body. Last but certainly not least, make sure to get at least 150 minutes of physical exercise each week, even DURING cancer treatment. This is especially important when it comes to slowing cancer progression… and supporting proper immune function.
Moreover, research suggests that exercising following a cancer diagnosis may be the No. 1 thing you can do, starting IMMEDIATELY, to dramatically improve your survival rate.
In fact, it IMPROVES your risk of recurrence from some common cancers—including breast, colon, and prostate—by as much as 40 percent!15
Exercises that combine cardio and resistance training—such as cycling—appear to offer the most benefits to cancer patients. And, as always, consistency is key—as moving every day will reduce fatigue, prevent weight gain, and build strength following a diagnosis.
So, there you have it. When it comes to cancer prevention, all it takes are some easy additions to your diet, supplement routine, and lifestyle to stay healthier, longer.
Of course, you can find dozens more cancer-fighting techniques in my online learning program, my Essential Cancer Protocol. To learn more about this educational tool, or to enroll today, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3YC00.
SIDEBAR: Don’t OVERCOOK this cancer-fighting powerhouse
Eating broccoli and other vegetables with lots of sulforaphane (such as cabbage, kale, turnip, brussels sprouts, mustard) help the body eliminate carcinogenic substances like HCAs and PAHs. But it also increases glutathione, the body’s most important antioxidant.
No wonder people who eat broccoli regularly (but not daily) have higher expressions of “tumor suppressor genes” than their peers.16 It even appears to directly prevent the formation of primary cancer tumors… as well as potentially fatal secondary tumors.
However, you should know that overcooking broccoli (and other vegetables) reduces the sulforaphane content.17 Additionally, frozen broccoli lacks the ability to form sulforaphane.
So, always opt for fresh broccoli. And whenever possible, try to eat it raw or very lightly (two to three minutes) steamed. (Alternatively, sprinkling your broccoli with mustard seeds, mustard powder, or wasabi can help maximize sulforaphane production.)
Lastly, if you can find them, pick up some young broccoli sprouts on your next shopping trip. Research shows they contain up to 100 times more sulforaphane—and are 20 to 50 times more effective in chemoprevention—than mature heads of broccoli.
- “The Risk of Cancer Might be Lower Than We Think. Alternatives to Lifetime Risk Estimates.” Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2018 Jan 29;9(1):e0002. doi.org/: 10.5041/RMMJ.10321.
- “Nutrients and Exercise Affect Tumor Development.” Medscape, 5/27/22. (medscape.com/viewarticle/974751)
- “Cancer and Sugar: Is There a Link?” WebMD, 2/12/19. (webmd.com/cancer/features/cancer-sugar-link)
- “Does Body Weight Affect Cancer Risk?” American Cancer Society, accessed 11/1/22. (cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/body-weight-and-cancer-risk/effects.html)
- “Alcohol Intake and Breast Cancer Risk: Weighing the Overall Evidence.” Curr Breast Cancer Rep. 2013 Sep;5(3):10.1007/s12609-013-0114-z. doi.org/ 10.1007/s12609-013-0114-z.
- “Alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer: a meta-analysis.” Alcohol Res Health. 2001;25(4):263-70. PMID: 11910703; PMCID: PMC6705703.
- “Meat consumption and risk of esophageal and gastric cancer in a large prospective study.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar;106(3):432-42. doi.org/ 10.1038/ajg.2010.415.
- “Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention.” National Cancer Institute, accessed 11/1/22. (cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/vitamin-d-fact-sheet)
- “Vitamin D may slow progression of metastatic colorectal cancer.” The Harvard Gazette, 4/2/19. (news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/04/high-dose-vitamin-d-shows-benefit-in-patients-with-advanced-colorectal-cancer/)
- “Do grilled foods cause cancer?” Columbia University Irving Medical Center, 6/8/22. (.cuimc.columbia.edu/news/do-grilled-foods-cause-cancer#:~:text=Grilling%20can%20create%20cancer%2Dcausing%20chemicals&text=Studies%20show%20HCAs%20and%20PAHs,is%20exposed%20to%20the%20heat.)
- “6 Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Cancer Care.” Cancer.net, 9/13/18. (cancer.net/blog/2018-09/6-lifestyle-changes-improve-your-cancer-care)
- “Sleep duration is associated with survival in advanced cancer patients.” Sleep Med. 2017 Apr;32:208-212. doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2016.06.041.
- “Diet Alters Entero-Mammary Signaling to Regulate the Breast Microbiome and Tumorigenesis.” Cancer Res15 July 2021; 81 (14): 3890–3904. doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2983
- “Environmental immune disruptors, inflammation and cancer risk.” Carcinogenesis. 2015 Jun;36 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S232-53. doi.org/ 10.1093/carcin/bgv038.
- “Physical Activity and Cancer Care—A Review.” Cancers, 2022; 14(4154): 1-14. doi.org/10.3390/cancers14174154
- “Sulforaphane in broccoli: The green chemoprevention!! Role in cancer prevention and therapy.” J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2020 May-Aug;24(2):405. doi.org/10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_126_19.
- “How to Cook Broccoli.” Nutrition Facts.org, 6/4/17. (nutritionfacts.org/2016/02/09/how-to-cook-broccoli/)