Stress may feed cancer. / Nadya Lukic/Getty Images
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Naturopathic doctor Lise Alschuler and medical journalist Karolyn Gazella, both cancer survivors themselves, look to integrative medicine to help others stay cancer-free.
Although cancer prevention is still an unproven science, in Five to Thrive the authors identify pathways they believe reduce the risk of developing cancer.
The body contains myriad immune system cells that can help protect you from cancerous cells. “Once cancer develops, it creates ways to evade immune responsiveness,” Gazella says. She and Alschuler advise meditation to help keep your immune system strong.
Cancer thrives in an inflamed environment, she says. One way to ease “internal inflammation” is to follow a diet of fruits and vegetables.
Stress hormones may make it easier for cancer to grow. “When people are doing something creative or feel joy,” Gazella says, “they reduce the amount of stress hormones.”
Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is key, because excess insulin can stimulate growth of some cancers. A balanced diet, strong exercise habits and a good night’s rest help keep sugar levels normal.
The liver is the body’s detoxifier. To keep it working, use alcohol in moderation.