NOTE: From time to time, we receive outside articles to consider for posting on our site. This is a terrific article. We hope you enjoy it. We would like to thank Richard Moyle, National Awareness Coordinator at the Mesothelioma Center for this informative article.

Good Nutrition Vital in Fighting Mesothelioma Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, at least 35 percent of all cancer cases are related to poor nutrition. Though mesothelioma is not a cancer that is related to poor nutrition, improving nutritional intake can help mesothelioma cancer patients fight the progressive disease.

The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to a naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos. The cancer develops in the mesothelial cells that make up the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. The symptoms of mesothelioma can take 20 to 50 years to become noticeable and it is typically diagnosed in its later stages. By this time, treatment options often become limited. But there are a number of beneficial foods that mesothelioma patients can use to enable their body to better fight the cancer.

Berries contain a whole host of important nutrients, including plenty of fiber and vitamin C. In fact, just one cup of strawberries has the same amount of vitamin C as one cup of orange juice, and all berries are great sources of this anti-oxidant and immune-strengthening vitamin. In addition to essential vitamins, berries are packed with several different types of cancer-fighting nutrients. In one study, extracts of six types of berries were tested for their ability to prevent the growth and spread of different types of cancer cells. Amazingly, each different type of berry was found to have an entirely unique combination of phytonutrients, and all six varieties of berry extract were able to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.

Dark green leafy vegetables are bursting with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that provide important cancer-fighting benefits. Beta-carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against all forms of cancer by destroying free radicals. These free radicals are highly reactive oxygen compounds that can damage and destroy the body’s cells. Cells that are damaged are more likely to become cancerous, and antioxidants play an extremely important role in ridding the body of these cancer-causing free radicals.

Flaxseed also contains a number of compounds that are believed to be of use in fighting cancer and other diseases including alpha-linolenic acid and lignans. Most of the evidence regarding the ability of flaxseed to fight cancer has been obtained via laboratory research, as well as some small patient trials. Laboratory-grown breast cancer cells that are treated with flaxseed lignans become less ‘sticky’ and mobile. This ‘stickiness’ is an important property of cancer cells that allow them to metastasize and spread within the body. Other laboratory studies have involved adding flaxseed supplements to the diets of rats with skin, breast, or prostate cancer. In some rats, flaxseed supplements have been able to reduce the rate of growth and spread of these cancers.

These are just a few of the many types of foods that are beneficial to those suffering from mesothelioma and many other types of cancer. Be sure to talk to your doctor to learn about more ways to decrease the risk of developing cancer. Positive changes in your diet and other areas of your life (such as your physical activity) will help prevent cancer. If you do develop this medical condition, at the very least, these changes will allow you to fight the cancer more readily.

Contributed by:
Richard Moyle
National Awareness Coordinator
Mesothelioma Center