In my last health alert, I showed you how blueberries can reduce your risk of colon cancer by 57%. But what if you've had colon cancer - or any other type of cancer - and it's in remission? Is there any way to prevent the disease from recurring? The answer is yes!

Researchers have found that your diet plays a major role in limiting the disease's ability to come back. In a recent study, they followed 1,009 patients with stage-3 colon cancer. All of the participants had surgical resection plus one of two types of chemotherapy.

The purpose of the study was to look at the chemo, but the researchers also evaluated the affect of diet on cancer reoccurrence. They did not make an attempt to change the diet of the patients. Rather, the researchers simply kept tabs on the diets of the patients. They used questionnaires during the chemotherapy and at six months after treatment.

The authors of the study "identified two major dietary patterns - prudent and Western pattern." The prudent diet included a high intake of fruits and vegetables, poultry, and fish. The Western pattern included red meat, high-carbohydrates, processed foods, and sugar.

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They found that the participants who were in the lowest 20% of Western-style diet had the longest disease-free intervals. Specifically, their freedom from cancer was 3.25 times as long as those eating the typical Western diet of red meat, fries, and processed foods.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to agree that if diet affects cancer recurrence, that it will affect your risk of getting it to begin with. In my first month of medical school, the dogmatic teachings were that diet had nothing to do with cancer. I remember the lecture to this day. How wrong they were.

Again, my strong encouragement is to eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible. Nuts are great too. I always recommend eliminating or at least reducing all animal protein. But if you're going to eat it, please limit your red meat to grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free (all of which are becoming much more readily available now), your fish to wild, cold-water fish (such as Alaskan salmon), and your poultry to organic, free-range. Doing so will greatly reduce your risk of cancer, even the reoccurrence of cancer.

Ref: Journal of the American Medical Association, August 17, 2007.

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