This blog is contributed by Jillian McKee.

Some cases of cancer have specific causes that are beyond an individual’s control, such as heredity and environment. However, health care professionals who specialize in cancer diagnosis and treatment attribute causes that an individual has control over and are a matter of lifestyle choices. These choices include smoking, stress, over exposure to the sun, exercise and proper diet and nutrition.

Of these lifestyle choices, one of the most important changes an individual can make is that of proper diet. There are several benefits to anyone who eats quality food and they include increasing antioxidants in their system, a higher energy level, and a stronger immune system. Eating healthy may affect the treatment of cancer at the primary and secondary level, including a healthier mind set. The primary level is what the diet itself does in a direct assault to invading cancerous growth, such as foods that contain antioxidants. The secondary level is the affect that the diet has on the improvement of the individual immune system and the reduction of stress to other systems, primarily the digestive.

A healthier diet that is rich in nutrients and causes less stress to the digestive tract and other systems is more significant in types of cancers that are not otherwise affected directly. Such cancers, including mesothelioma, require treatments that are more radical, like surgery to remove a lung or body part. In addition, treatment may include radiation and chemotherapy.

A healthier diet will assist the individual’s immune system as these aggressive forms of treatment may adversely affect one’s ability to fight secondary illnesses. In addition, the individual may be better able to handle the stress of these invasive procedures because they have improved their overall health.

One area that the individual should make changes in is their source of protein. Red meats are difficult for the human body to digest, creating stress on the digestive system. Healthier sources of protein include soybean products, black beans, kidney beans, almonds, yogurt, and fish.

Perhaps most important when considering diet with regards to preventing and the treatment of cancer is to begin and maintain a healthy diet before a diagnosis. The earlier in life to start making healthy choices the better. Drastically changing one’s diet when discovering he or she has cancer is one less thing to be concerned with at a difficult time in life.

While there may not be any direct claims that proper nutrition can cure cancer or even help in every case, the more positive changes that a person makes may certainly make a difference in their overall treatment plan.

Jillian McKee is an advocate of complimentary medicine. She maintains a blog called The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. Feel free to read her blog for more information.

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