That’s why complete remission does not mean the end of treatment. Instead, it means the start of the containment phase, when we focus on stopping or slowing further growth.
This post-treatment period, with a focus on monitoring biomarkers and nutritional intervention, is often particularly aggressive. It can also last for years. In the integrative realm, a cancer patient isn’t sent home for watchful waiting — only to be told of the alarming emergence of a malignancy on a body scan after months or years of growth. Instead, the patient in remission continues to pursue a treatment strategy focused on containing inflammation, mitigating stress and promoting overall health.
Here are just some of the little changes that make a big difference when it comes to cancer prevention.
- Decrease consumption of sugars, starches and refined carbohydrates.
- Reduce intake of vegetable oils, which are high in inflammatory omega-6s.
- Consume more anticancer foods, such as turmeric, cruciferous veggies, dark leafy greens, garlic, onions and green tea.
- Replace nonorganic animal products, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, with grass-fed organic animal products. Limit your intake of red meat.
- Up your omega-3 intake by consuming fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel; grass-fed animal products; and flaxseeds.
- Drink filtered tap water, mineral water or spring water.
- Limit your alcohol consumption to one glass of red wine with a meal.
- Avoid industrial chemicals, such as parabens in personal-care products; household pesticides and insecticides; aluminum found in deodorants and antiperspirants; and inorganic phosphate additives found in many sodas, processed meats and commercial baked goods.
- Exercise 20 to 30 minutes daily.
- Quit smoking.
- Get 20 minutes of sunshine daily to amplify your vitamin-D levels.
- Manage stress through yoga, meditation or any relaxation technique that works for you.
- Acknowledge and accept your emotions, including despair, anger, fear and sadness.
- Keep in touch with a circle of close friends with whom you can share your feelings and experiences.