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Having got over my rant about unhelpful ‘advice’ on diet and cancer, I need some quality information to help me make sensible choices.

Here are two reliable sources:

First is from the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology – where we find confirmation that diet does affect cancer risk.

The second is the UK World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) where we find a lot of specific guidance. I took the quiz to assess how healthy my diet is and was reassured not to worry as I am (and have always been) eating my way to health 🙂  I also took the quiz to assess my risk of breast cancer – and I am reassured about that too!

Joking aside, the advice is evidence based and should be followed. Here is a summary:

WCRF UK’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight

2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day

3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fibre, or high in fat)

4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and pulses such as beans

5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats

6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day 7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium) 8. Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer

Special Population Recommendations

9. It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods

10. After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

And, always remember – do not smoke or chew tobacco

Have a look at the WCRF website to get a lot more detail about how to put this advice into practice.

And about God and cancer? . . .  we have lots more to explore . . .

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How did I get cancer? Was it something I ate?

All sorts of questions bounce round my mind as I come to terms with what has happened to me.

Was it something I did that caused the cancer?

If what I was doing caused it to happen once, then might I cause it to happen again.

Is it my fault in some way?

A vague sense of guilt floats around in the background of my mind. I feel vulnerable.

Before this happened to me I ate well, exercised regularly, am not overweight – I was a healthy specimen!

Last week I picked up a magazine at the specialist clinic with the heading “Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer”

. . . but instead of being helpful, reading it leaves me feeling confused, overwhelmed, depressed and angry!

It is full of aggressive talk – fight it, beat it, win the battle.

I feel exhausted at the thought of the effort involved.

And it is full of advice about what is and is not a risk for cancer – what I should and should not eat. I knew none of this before now.

Here is a sample of the headlines

  • 20 natural compounds that help fight cancerno mention of how much they help or how much to take
  • Dietary supplements – kill or cure.  Well, it clearly matters to get that one right!
  • Imperfectly natural – how natural products damage our health
  • Stress does cause cancer
  • Can cancer drugs spread breast cancer?
  • Mushrooms help fight breast, prostate and bladder cancer (even button mushrooms!)
  • Vitamin D – are you getting enough?
  • “Beetroot cured my cancer”
  • CT scans increase cancer risk
  • Mammograms endanger women at high risk
  • Walnuts help fight breast cancer
  • Women can pass cancer to their babies
  • 515 chemicals used on a woman’s face every day – some are known toxins

However nowhere in the magazine is there a suggestion that I have cancer as a punishment for something I did.

And yet those who have cancer very commonly believe that God gives us cancer as a punishment for something we did.

They believe in a God who is angry and who judges and punishes openly.

Do you think they are right – does God cause cancer and disease?


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