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How Cancer Doctors Prevent Cancer in Their Own Bodies

Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No. 66

with Dr. James Meschino


Research Topic: How Cancer Doctors Prevent Cancer in Their Own Bodies

Source: Medscape August 30, 2017


In this week’s update, I wanted to bring your attention to a recent interview that was conducted with cancer doctors to see how they go about protecting themselves from cancer development. This report was published on Medscape on August 30, 2017, which highlighted a feature that appeared in Men’s Health magazine. Doctors who deal with cancer, such as oncologists, urologists, and dermatologists, are reminded daily of the ravages of this disease and the many cases for which they are unable to provide a cure. The daily reminder of how devastating this disease can prompt many physicians to be proactive in their own diet and lifestyle efforts to reduce their own risk of cancer. These proactive lifestyle strategies are based on the emerging research showing that many cancers are preventable via diet and lifestyle practices.

So, here is a sample of what some cancer doctors put into practice in their own lives:

Dr. Philippe Spiess, MD, a genitourinary oncologist in Tampa, Florida, emphasizes diet, particularly eating vegetables and fiber.

Dr. Matthew Yurgelun, MD, a medical oncologist in Boston recommends eating nuts as a snack.  “It’s a great way to quell hunger and keeps me from snacking on fatty or sugary foods that can contribute to weight gain and obesity-related diseases, such as cancer,” he says.

Dr. Christopher Saigal, MD, a urologist in Los Angeles, recommends eating fish and not meat. “I tell patients that ‘heart healthy’ foods have been associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer and a lower risk of progression of prostate cancer after diagnosis,” he says. In addition, red and processed meats have been linked with colorectal cancer.

Dr. Joseph Sobanko, MD, a dermatologist in Philadelphia, uses a generic broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen with zinc or titanium dioxide every morning; he shuts his eyes and sprays an even coat on his face after he brushes his teeth and combs his hair.

Dr. Anthony Rossi, MD, a dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, takes a vitamin B3 supplement (nicotinamide). (Highlighting a recent study from Australia showed that oral nicotinamide reduced nonmelanoma skin cancer).

Dr. Keith McCrae, MD, an oncologist with Cleveland Clinic Cancer Institute, Ohio, emphasizes exercise — he cycles 25 to 30 miles most weekdays and more on weekends.

Dr. Alan Wan a medical oncologist at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in Illinois, starts each day with green tea, which contains antioxidants.

Dr. Nelson Bennett, MD, a urologist from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago recommends reducing stress by taking time out to sit still and calm down. He describes how he sits with the door closed, phone silenced, inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling through the mouth 10 times, with eyes closed. “Close your eyes and notice the sounds around you — even the hum of fluorescent lights. Then bring your thoughts to your breath. Don’t worry if your mind wanders.

You’ll notice that many of the strategies used by these doctors are ones I have highlighted in my weekly video newsletters, as the studies have unfolded.  It’s encouraging to see doctors picking up on these research findings and implementing them into their own lives. Cancer societies are continually urging the general public to minimize their risk for cancer by making lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight, and by taking simple precautions, such as using sunscreen. There is good reason for it, as studies suggest that between 70-90 percent of all cancer cases are preventable through dietary and lifestyle factors. We don’t have all the dietary and lifestyle answers yet, but there is good scientific support for a significant number of dietary and lifestyle practices. These cancer doctors seem pretty tuned and are setting quite a good example for their patients and other members of society.

I have included a link to the Medscape publication below.



Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

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