According to the American Cancer Society, almost 40 percent of cancer patients will experience a recurrence. Number one on the list of ways to reduce your risk for cancer recurrence is to keep an eye on your weight. Maintaining a healthy diet and being physically active are critical components of cancer prevention.
Anyone who has had cancer is concerned about recurrence and for good reason. But you don’t have to be one of them. There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of cancer recurrence and improve your chances of long-term survival. Read on to learn more.
When it comes to avoiding recurrence people naturally think about food and stress. Both of those are extremely important but most people miss other areas that need just as much attention. When I work with people, it’s definitive that we focus on food and how to lower stress in its many forms. However, there are other neglected areas.
One of the major areas is taking off excess weight. Having weight gain and carrying too much weight is a big risk for cancer recurrence. It’s important to understand how to have a healthy weight for your frame. This is the number one most modifiable risk factor to prevent a recurrence. Modifiable, meaning what we have control of (even if we feel that sometimes we don’t!).
It’s not just about eating better and exercising, although that’s a given. You need to fix the problems with your body before you can start to lose weight or stop gaining weight. I get frustrated when I hear practice members say that their oncologist said their GI tract would heal once treatment was over. I also hear them say that their bone marrow and liver will go back to normal.
I’m here to say that that is just not true. Even if you don’t see any problems in an area that has been damaged by drugs and surgery, that doesn’t mean the body has fully recovered. Often it isn’t until months or years later when we develop food sensitivities, constipation, fatty liver disease, unexplained weight gain, allergies or God forbid, another cancer then we see the impact of that damage.
When it comes to weight, what is a healthy weight for your frame?
Most people have an idea of what weight they’d like to be, although that’s a number. I’ve worked with people who don’t feel they have any weight to lose, they think they’re doing great. Then they go through a program that is focused on wellness, cleansing, and getting rid of tissues that don’t serve them. Unhealthy tissue and excess visceral fat (the fat that surrounds our organs) does not serve us and need to leave.
Once people shed that unhealthy tissue- they can’t believe how much better they feel. That’s why I don’t like to put a number on it. Let’s say you need to lose 30 pounds and stay between 19 and 22 BMI, that’s not addressing the type of tissue that you have, though. Do you have more muscle than fat? Do you have more fat than muscle? Most people don’t know what a healthy weight means.
That being said, you want to stay in a healthy range of weight and if you are obese or morbidly obese on a BMI scale, there is more going on than just too much weight. Most likely, hormonal dysregulation with insulin and maybe cortisol as well are those that need to be addressed. That is when you need a physician who understands the underlying issues to help you. Otherwise, you end up spinning your wheels, wasting money, and losing hope and self-esteem in the process.
A lot of us feel that once we hit a certain age, everything goes downhill or once we go through cancer treatment our body can’t have a healthy metabolism, but that’s not true. I have helped many people get to a healthy weight.
There’s no reason you can’t be back in your tuxedo or your wedding dress from when you were married because that’s probably the correct weight for your frame. That will never change, you can always get there.
While there are many things you can’t control when it comes to cancer, your weight is one factor that you have the power to change. By making healthy choices and being mindful of your diet and physical activity, you can reduce your risk for cancer recurrence and improve your long-term prognosis. If you’re ready to make some changes in your life to reduce your cancer risk, we’d love to help. Schedule a discovery call with us today so we can discuss how we can work together to create a plan that meets your unique needs.
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