Dr. Block explains why cancer patients need to eat healthy and exercise.
Cancer is not a wind sprint. It’s a marathon. And so anybody, whether diagnosed early and trying to avoid a recurrence or with a full blown more advanced cancer, needs to really focus on their physical fitness and maintain optimal health and wellness. I tell patients, I mean really try to turn them into an Olympic athlete, not the intensity of an Olympic athlete but the intensity of a, the intensity of the commitment of an Olympic athlete.
And thus, if you maintain optimal fitness, both physically but also nutritional fitness, emotional fitness, immunological fitness, this is all fundamental to fighting a disease no matter what. One has to really lay down the right foundation first and then you can superimpose optimal treatment on top of it. But without that foundation it’s a little bit like building a skyscraper on top of quicksand.
One of the things that we know is, is that we have always focused on just the cancer cell and we didn’t focus on the terrain that’s surrounding that cell. And that terrain, just like soil for a seed, has everything to do with what happens to that cancer. Certainly there are molecular fingerprints within the cell itself. But there’s also a biology surrounding that cell that can either make a cancer grow or make it, help create an inhibitory environment to that cancer.
So, one of the things that can be done is to test the biochemical environment of a patient. And through careful laboratory assessments it’s possible to get a better idea of if there’s disruptions in that environment. If the environment is disrupted, every challenge a cancer patient faces becomes a steeper hill to climb.
So whether it’s life-threatening complications and the risk of sticky blood increasing a possibility for an embolism, or a thrombus or just the sticky blood itself because of the wrong dietary choices or not knowing that you have more sticky blood, can actually help drive a cancer to disseminate, spread, dock in some other location and actually now create a metastatic site. And that’s true for inflammation. That’s true for growth factors and glycemia and it’s true for oxidative stress.
And even something as simple as chronic unrelieved emotional stress that’s not addressed plays havoc in terms of this biochemical environment. And so, correcting the biochemical environment as well as those factors about lifestyle in terms of diet, fitness, mind-spirit issues, all become relevant to placing a patient in a better situation to gain better odds to really gather a survivor’s edge in their battle against malignancy.
About Dr. Block, M.D.:
Dr. Keith I. Block, M.D., along with his wife Penny Block, M.A., Ph.D., founded the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in 1980, with a focus on treating the patient as a whole person rather than simply treating the diagnosis. They developed a unique and truly integrative approach to cancer treatment which encompasses traditional and complementary medicine delivered in a caring environment.