Cancel Out Cancer Comorbidities

Cancer survivors need exercise, better nutritional support to ward against other illnesses and disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Cancer survivors die of non-cancer related causes at much higher rates than the rest of the population, which has prompted a reexamination of nutritional recommendations for these patients.

The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, launched a study to better assess guidelines designed to help former cancer patients avoid complications that lead to death in the four percent of the American population who have survived the diseases.

Data suggests nutritional interventions may help cancer outcomes and can play a role in preventing and managing certain chronic health conditions that can occur during cancer remission. Some of these conditions that can be mitigated with nutrition include, but are not limited to, cardiovascular diseases and disorders, weight gain, diabetes and other endocrine disorders, functional impairment, osteopenia (lower than normal bone mineral density) and osteoporosis.

"It is no surprise to anyone that cancer treatments take a huge toll on many aspects of the body and anyone who has successfully beaten cancer has been through alot in order to do so," said Dr. Mark Bans, a chiropractic physician who is also schooled in alternative mind-body-emotions-energy techniques. "As a result, these bodies need a lot of care in helping to rebuild the systems that were damaged by the cancer and/or the cancer treatment."

Researchers suggest 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical exercise every day along with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limited in red and processed meats and alcohol for cancer survivors.

The researchers also emphasize cancer survivors get their vitamins and nutrients from their diets as opposed to supplementation since supplements have been linked to cancer-specific and all-cause mortality among this population.

"Nature provided us the building blocks and genuine replacement parts in the natural foods that are available to eat. These building blocks and whole food replacement parts can't be found in processed foods, fast food, sugar and sugar products, alcohol, etc.," said Bans. " Therefore, the cancer survivor should put special emphasis on learning healthier, natural ways of eating with a special emphasis on organic and natural whole food products."

In 2008, U.S. cancer-related expenses totaled more than $228 billion, only 41 percent of which involved direct cancer care.

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Review Date: 
February 18, 2011
Last Updated:
February 21, 2011