Beneficial Foods for Mesothelioma Patients

October 8, 2009


Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. This type of cancer develops in the mesothelial cells that make up the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. Mesothelioma symptoms can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to become noticeable and by that time, the cancer is typically in advanced stages and is much more difficult to treat effectively.

Good nutrition is essential in preventing and fighting cancer and there are a number of foods that can be very helpful for mesothelioma patients to enable their bodies to better fight the disease, as well as alleviate symptoms of the disease and side effects of treatment.

Dark green leafy vegetables are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that provide important cancer-fighting benefits. Beta-carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against all forms of cancer by destroying free radicals. Dark leafy green vegetables also contain folate which is essential for the proper repair and replication of DNA. Without folate, damaged cells would be unable to repair their own DNA. Cells with damaged DNA are more likely to become malignant. Powerful anti-cancer enzymes called phytochemicals are also present in dark green cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy and kale. Some phytochemicals boost levels of enzymes that help cleanse the body of carcinogens and block the activity of enzymes that are known to activate carcinogens.

Berries contain a whole host of important nutrients, including plenty of fiber and vitamin C. In fact, just one cup of strawberries has the same amount of vitamin C as one cup of orange juice, and all berries are great sources of this anti-oxidant and immune-strengthening vitamin. In addition to essential vitamins, berries are packed with several different types of cancer-fighting nutrients. They also contain anthocyanins which are phytonutrients that give red berries their luscious color. Laboratory studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent the growth of lung cancer cell. Berries also contain other cancer fighting phytonutrients like ellagic acid, pterostilbene and resveratrol.

One of the most common side effects of cancer and cancer treatment is nausea. There are a number of dietary changes you can make to help this problem. Dry grain products like crackers and toast can help calm an upset stomach. Bland foods will also help with nausea, as well as acid reflux problems.

Another common characteristic found in cancer patients is low white blood cell count, which increases the chance of contracting an infection. To avoid this side effect, a number of changes can be made in the foods you ingest. It is most important to avoid bacteria, which is common in foods that are damaged or not prepared well. Avoid buffets when eating out, wash your hands before preparing meals, avoid raw meats and fish (like sushi), and throw away any foods that are bruised or damaged.

Be sure to talk to your doctor to learn about more ways to decrease the risk of developing cancer. Positive changes in your diet and other areas of your life (such as your physical activity) will help prevent cancer. If you do develop this medical condition, at the very least, these changes will allow you to fight the cancer more readily.


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