The UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine Treats and Prevents Cancer By Helping Your Body to Heal Itself
You may think of cancer as a discrete mass of cells with a life of its own. Every kind of cancer is labeled with the part of the body it first targeted. Yet your whole body is key to preventing and healing cancer, regardless of the type. To a great extent, all cancers begin in your mind, when you tell yourself to eat risky foods and spend the evening stressing out while sitting on the sofa. With the right knowledge and motivation, you can just as easily make healing lifestyle choices.
The University of California San Diego (UCSD) Center for Integrative Medicine weaves together open-minded conventional medicine with evidence-based approaches that go beyond drugs and surgery. I was privileged to attend the Center's April 2013 Conference on Integrative Oncology, which brought together a range of perspectives on taming cancer using a whole body approach to strengthen self-healing.
The China Study's brilliant author, T Colin Campbell, PhD, was a keynote speaker. Dr. Campbell reviewed the highlights of research over decades that develops compelling evidence for the relationship between diet and cancer. Nutrition controls genetic expression to a huge extent. This is especially true for the action of animal protein. Dr. Campbell found that casein, the main protein in dairy foods, had the effect of turning tumor growth on and off as the amount of casein in the diet was manipulated up and down. Plant proteins, even in similarly high concentrations, did not -in contrast - incite cancer progression.
The more Dr. Campbell researched the process by which casein made tumors grow, the more ways he found. He discovered a "tsunami of mechanisms" by which animal protein underlies cancer progression, and stated "casein is the most relevant carcinogen ever identified."
Dr. Campbell concluded with a description of the powerful effects of a whole foods, plant-based diet. This ideal nutrition prevents and cures most chronic disease, and does it quickly, in days to weeks. All this with no harmful side effects. So nutrition therapy trumps drug therapy. Whole foods optimize the functioning of your whole body.
Two of the other Conference speakers pointed out the role of stress and other mental factors in making the body vulnerable to genetic damage, while effective mind/body healing mechanisms are protective.