Review by Yeong Sek Yee & Khadijah Shaari

In the book, BEAT CANCER, (released May 2014), Professor Jane Plant and Professor Mustafa Djamgoz present a 10-Step programme to help cancer patients overcome cancer. Of all the 10 Steps presented, we feel that Step 5—Eat to beat Cancer is the most important as this was the main factor that helped Prof Jane Plant survive breast cancer since 1987.

In this chapter, the authors advocate 10 essential Food Factors—these are: to eat real food, eat organic, to balance the diet, reduce intakes of acid generating foods, know good carbs and bad carbs, know the right fats, cut down on salt and sweeteners, know what to drink and lastly, to eat nutritious foods rather than supplements.

Below are the some salient points from Step 5:

  • More recently, the distinguished nutritional biochemist Professor T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University has shown that the right diet prevents many common cancers, and that diet may also be the key to turning on–and turning off—existing cancers.
  • What we eat can directly or indirectly, creates conditions in which cancer can flourish, or alternatively provide protection so that cancer does not take hold.
  • While the genes we are born with are there for life, “bad” genes such as cancer genes do not cause problems if they are not turned on or “expressed.” There is increasing evidence that diet is important in determining whether cancer genes are expressed.
  • If we consume too many acid generating foods for too long so that our bodies become acidic, it provides an ideal environment in which cancer can flourish…acidic conditions help maintain the acid envelope around cancer which in turn helps it to invade other tissues and to metastasize.
  • Popular high-protein/low-carb diets which rely on your body using protein rather than carbohydrate for energy effectively attacks the fabric of your body as it tries to create energy from the wrong fuel. This acidifies the body and creates toxic chemicals. It is like burning your furniture to warm your house instead of switching on the central-heating boiler.
  • What are acid generating foods? These are:
  • All animal protein, including eggs, meat, and dairy is strongly or very strongly acid producing or acid generating.
  • Many cereals and pulses such as lentils and peas are moderately acid generating.
  • Fizzy drinks and colas high in phosphorus are acid generating
  • What are alkali generating foods? These are:
  • Most fruits and vegetables, even tomatoes and citrus fruits such as lemons, are alkali generating.
  • Herbs and spices, such as ginger and garlic, and dried herbs, such as parsley and coriander, are strongly alkali-generating.
  • Tea, including many herbal teas, many mineral waters and soya milk, are moderately alkali generating or nearly neutral.
  • Animal proteins are often high in messenger molecules such as growth factors and hormones that are chemically identical to our own. Oestrogen is a good example. It can promote breast and ovarian cancers as consuming an animal-based diet increases circulating levels of oestrogen. (NB: Oestrogen is considered a Category 1 carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Cancer).
  • The animal protein considered most risky for cancer patients is casein, the main protein found in cow’s milk and dairy products. Dairy foods contain a cocktail of highly biochemically active substances, especially hormones and growth factors which are increasingly strongly linked to cancer.
  • Cow’s milk has been shown to contain 35 different hormones and 11 growth factors, and one recent study identified 20 pharmacologically active substances in cow’s and goat’s milk which included many pharmaceutical residues as well as oestrogens.
  • Most edible plant foods provide adequate amounts of proteins…especially if combined with nuts or seeds or grains which will provide you with the complete protein you need.
  • Eat whole unrefined grains which help regulate blood sugar, lower insulin levels and provide cancer-protective fibre and nutrients.
  • Focus on eating poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats and aim to eat more foods rich in omega-3 fats and fewer of those rich in omega-6 fats.
  • Avoid refined sugars and cut down on sodium as well…sodium plays an important role in cancer cells’ growth, signaling and metastasis so it makes sense to keep your salt intake as low as possible.
  • Eat organically as far as possible to avoid pesticide residues and environmental contaminants which may increase cancer risk.

The following are some shocking comments by the 2 authors:

  • Vested interests in the food industry manipulate politicians and others in the establishment. This confuses the public about the real causes of cancer.
  • Evidence is clear that it is the Western diet, full of animal based foods such as meat and dairy and refined and processed food that is a large part of the problem.
  • Most of us take it for granted that health professionals are experts on everything to do with health. That is simply unrealistic.
  • While many—particularly those cancer specialists who are research active—provide excellent advice on the orthodox management of cancer, few are experts in nutrition.
  • The biochemistry of how our bodies process the food we eat is complex, yet medical training contains little, if any, nutritional biochemistry. With such limited knowledge of expert science, perhaps it is not surprising that many doctors and dietitians continue to reject the role of diet as part of cancer treatment.
  • Worse, they (doctors and dietitians) may even recommend foods that have been shown to promote cancer by leading researchers in the best universities in the world.

We strongly urge you to read more on the subject of nutrition and cancer. In all probability your doctor/oncologist would have advised you that “you can eat anything you like.” Is this sound and truthful advice? To find the truth, read the following:

  • FOOD AND CANCER by Dr Chris Teo….everything about nutrition and cancer explained in simple terms.
  • HEALTHY COOKING by Dr Chris Teo and Mrs Teo….lots of delicious recipes.

If you are hard working enough, read the following:

  • ANTI-CANCER A NEW WAY OF LIFE by Dr David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD who was a clinical professor of psychiatry and co-founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine. He passed away in 2011 – after 19 years with brain tumour. (Read Chapter 8: The Anti-Cancer Foods…in fact, we recommend that you read the whole book)
  • LIFE OVER CANCER by Dr Keith I. Block, MD, Director of Integrative Medical Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and Medical Director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Evanston, Illinois. (Read Chapter 4: The Anti-Cancer Diet and Chapter 5: The Life Over Cancer Core Diet Plan).
  • NATURAL STRATEGIES FOR CANCER PATIENTS by Dr Russell Blaylock, MD and a board-certified neurosurgeon and formerly the Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi. (Read the whole book–it is all about nutrition and cancer and also valuable information on how chemotherapy is poisoning you and how radiotherapy is burning you–to death).
  • THE CHINA STUDY by Dr T. Colin Campbell, PhD, who was the Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. (Read the whole book to understand why nutrients from animal-based foods increase tumor development while nutrients from plant-based foods decrease tumor development.)
  • YOU CAN CONQUER CANCER, A NEW WAY OF LIVING by Dr Ian Gawler, a veterinarian and decathlon athlete before his diagnosis, is Australia’s most “notorious” cancer patient and long term survivor. (Read Chapters 11-14 to find out that “although diet may not be the total answer to cancer, but without a good diet, there is no answer”).

There are lots of other such books written by oncologists/doctors/cancer researchers/survivors, etc. However, if you choose to follow the advice of our Malaysia boleh oncologists/doctors, you can only dream of the possibility of a remission.

The choice is yours.