Speaking of good nutrition, my oncologist has encouraged me to avoid taking vitamin and mineral supplements during chemotherapy, while my naturopath has encouraged me to continue, even increase, my supplementation. The oncologist's rationale is that there is no empirical evidence that antioxidant supplementation can help someone on chemotherapy, while there is a theoretical contraindication between the two. Many chemotherapy drugs, including some that I am on, are oxidants (they are free radicals, which attack cancer cells). Antioxidants, like vitamins A, C, E, zinc, or selenium (all of which I take) attack free radicals. In most people this is a good thing, but it could reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy. The naturopath's rationale is that there are reports in peer-reviewed publications indicating that antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy is beneficial. To wit, I found this article, about a meta-analysis which showed that antioxidant supplementation during chemo can decrease negative side effects, increasing the likelihood that the patient will complete the treatment, thereby increasing their chances of survival. Considering that I am aggressively supplementing with antioxidants outside of the active phase of chemo, and that I am tolerating the side effects quite well, I am perhaps the poster-boy for antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy.
So, Doc Bob's prescription for everyone is: Eat healthy, sleep well, and exercise. Imagine what would happen to our health care system, or our society, if everyone did just this?
Watching CNN today, I saw a clip that said, "85% of women would chose to live 10 years less if they could do it at their ideal body weight!" Here's an idea, how about eat healthy, sleep well, and exercise? You'll be at your ideal weight and you'll probably live 10 years longer! It's true what they say: "People will do anything to be thin, except eat well and exercise."
For me, a healthy lifestyle has been a work in progress over the last two years (predating my cancer diagnosis). It's not easy. I have to choose each day to pursue health. The best advice I can give is take single steps. Don't try to change everything all at once. Change one thing. Do that one thing (whether that is cutting out sugar, or ignoring fad-diets, or walking to work) until it is a habit, then decide what the next step will be. You won't, "lose 20 lbs. in 20 days!" but a year from now you will be a new person. Every person reading this has the power to take the first step, and the next step, too!