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Can a Good Diet Help Ward Off Cancer?


Americans who were newly diagnosed with some form of cancer last year had their lives forever changed, no doubt forced to reckon with overwhelming feelings of uncertainty, helplessness and fear. It’s estimated the disease cost more than 600,000 Americans their lives in 2016, and it remains one of the most serious medical threats a person can confront in his or her lifetime. For this reason, oncologists continue to create a barrage of treatments in their fight against the Big C ranging from the dramatic, like blasting the body with radiation, to the mundane, like telling their patients to eat well.“While perhaps a third of all cancers are related to dietary factors, only a few people in contemporary American medicine realize that a well-structured, nutritional regimen may be useful in the treatment of cancer as well as essential in cancer prevention,” writes Dr. Keith Block, co-founder of the Block Center Integrative Cancer Treatment, in the newsletter Nutrition Digest. The field is not unanimous in its endorsement, however, and while treatment through diet is causing excitement for some, it’s eliciting cries of quackery from others.  Try Newsweek for only $1.25 per week A healthy diet is the first line of defense for cancer prevention. A 2014 study in The Lancet revealed a connection between a gain of 34 pounds and a 10 percent increase in the risk of colon cancer. DAXIAO PRODUCTIONS/STOCKSY The vast majority of medical professionals remain skeptical of claims that proper nutrition alone can drive cancer into remission—citing the dearth of evidence backing up such assertions—but mainstream science has by-and-large come to a consensus that what patients eat and drink affects how they react to treatments.

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