Whether you’ve had cancer (like me) and don’t want it to ever come back or you haven’t had it and want to do your best to never get it, there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chances of keeping the beast at bay. In my book WTF?! I Have Cancer, I call this “creating the most inhospitable environment for cancer.” Here are some easy lifestyle changes you can make that will make a big difference (which happen to be course topics in my upcoming online course, The Permanent Remission Project)!
1. Boost Your Immune System
While there is definitely some randomness to cancer given the fact that we are all exposed to potentially cancer causing chemicals on a daily basis, your body does have a built in defense and that is your immune system. So anything that you can do to boost the function of your cancer fighting immune cells is going to help. Here are a few top ways to boost your immune system:
- Don’t Smoke.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Take a probiotic for a happy gut.
2. Reduce Chemical Exposure
As I mentioned, we are exposed to over 1,000 chemicals on a daily basis (more for women with our hair and make up products). Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens or have been linked to cancer. Read labels on your skincare products (read my blog post about that here) and convert all plastic containers to glass or stainless steel. Stop using non-stick (i.e. Teflon) pans and PLEASE do not eat those bags of microwave popcorn—the bag is lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) that has been linked to cancer.
3. Cut Way Back on Sugar
The less the better but it is virtually impossible to avoid sugar all together since it is in everything these days. Read labels and try to limit yourself to 24 grams of added sugar a day (4 grams is a teaspoon). The reason? Not only is sugar highly inflammatory and cancer thrives in an inflamed environment, cancer also feeds off of sugar so let’s starve those cancer cells and not give them any extra fuel. Read more in my past blog post about sugar.
4. Get Vitamin D
Among its many benefits, Vitamin D turns on the cancer fighting T-cells in your immune system so it is super important. It is best to get vitamin D directly from short sessions in the sun as it is better absorbed through your skin than through your digestive system when you take a supplement. But if you live in northern climates where the sun isn’t very strong or is frequently overcast (hello Seattle!), you probably need a supplement.
5. Connect With Other Humans
A recently published 75 year Harvard Study shows that more important than taking care of your body or even the genes you inherited in fending off diseases, is how happy you are in your relationships. Connection with other people on a deep level is a form of self-care as well and is not to be overlooked. “Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism,” says Robert Waldinger, director of the study.
These ways for avoiding serious disease, and many others will be taught at greater length in my upcoming online course The Permanent Remission Project. If you’ve had cancer and would like a supportive learning environment to do all you can to make sure cancer never recurs, sign up for the online course wait list today (no obligation) to be the first to know when the classes are available.
And as always, let me know in the comments below which of these tips is missing for you and how you will incorporate it into your life.