Closing the Door on Cancer

Cancer walked all over my father, in large part because he opened the door, turned on the porch light, and invited it in heartily.

Dave Eggers

The US National Cancer Institute estimates that cancer will enter the homes of 50% of our male population and 30% of the female population. Now the better news, the American Institute for Cancer Research concludes up to 60% of cancer is preventable.

What are You doing to Close the Door on Cancer?

Our daily choices, which impact movement and lean body mass, affects the risks of being diagnosed with cancer; breast, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, kidney, pancreatic, liver, prostate, stomach, ovarian, cervical and non-hodgkin lymphoma. There is emerging testimony that physical activity and a high nutrient based diet may help prevent cancer recurrence.

According to the American Cancer Society, excess body fat increases cancer risk because of the following triggers:

-Decreased immunity
-Increased inflammation
-Imbalance of hormones (insulin and estrogen)
-Factors that regulate cell division

Steps towards Shutting the Door on Cancer:

  • Increase Movement
  • Aim for 30-60 minutes of daily exercise
  • Say yes to stairs
  • Stand during meetings
  • Walk away from the TV and Computer and around the block
  • Cultivate an outdoor hobby
  • Increase Consumption of Nutrient Dense Foods
  • Say no to sugary foods and beverages
  • Add more vegetables, fruits and whole foods
  • Reduce refined products and preservatives
  • Eat appropriate portion sizes
  • Turn towards self, family or friends when bored, sad or happy, rather than food

Pam Woll-Hunter, a 65 year old thyroid cancer and stage 3 breast cancer survivor, gives her doctor credit for “shaking me out of complacency and setting me on a path of commitment to change my life and become healthier. “ Before treatment, her medical community shared scientific studies which explained improving her health and increasing physical activity would help reduce the impact of both chemo and radiation treatments to her body, and improve Pam’s long term prognosis, as a breast cancer survivor.

“I have lost 73 lbs since January 15th, 2013 (the last day of my radiation treatments). I walk 2.5 miles 2-3 times each week and am now adding in weight bearing exercise to help increase my muscle strength and bone density. I am no longer eating processed foods which has definitely helped with my weight loss, but, has also helped me just feel better overall. I’m learning more about good nutrition, and incorporating it into my daily lifestyle.”

We can work together to shut out cancer. If you need more support, contact a registered dietitian, wellness coach or personal trainer. Join us at our Weekly Cancer Education Series,  or another support group that will encourage healthier lifestyle choices.  Contact me, at and unfold ways to make a difference in your health and cancer prevention.

Additional Resources:

Mary Van Heukelom
Program Director

Mary Van Heukelom is a Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer who trains, educates and coaches cancer survivors to reduce the chance of relapse, through holistic personal wellness programs addressing all aspects of healthy living.

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