Cancer wouldn’t be as fatal or as tragic if it didn’t spread. If cancer was a cluster of diseased cells, it would be more easily treatable. But, it’s the spread of cancer, also known as metastasis, that makes it so volatile, so difficult to stop. A study recently published in Cancer and Metastasis Reviews looks at how a plant-based diet can stop this spread, working to halt cancer in its tracks.
“Most research focuses on the prevention of cancer or the treatment of the original cancer tumor, but it’s usually the cancer’s spread to nearby organs that kills you. So rather than attack the tumor, Meadows said,” according to ScienceDaily, “let’s control its spread, or metastasis.”
Gary Meadows, a Washington State University researcher and associate dean for graduate education and scholarship in the College of Pharmacy, says his findings are encouraging, that more than 40 plant-based compounds can “turn on” genes that suppress metastasis.
Meadows and his colleagues poured over countless studies on metastasis, and the work was tedious. “People for the most part did not set out in their research goals to study metastasis suppressor genes,” he said. Traditional cancer researchers didn’t look at how foods, or the compounds in foods, could trigger genes to stop cancer from spreading. So, it was up to Meadows and his colleagues to find these connections themselves.
What they found was that things like amino acids, ginseng extract, vitamin D, curcumin (found in turmeric), and pomegranate juice all affected metastasis suppressor genes in one way or another.
Meadows said their findings only represent a review of studies already out there and that a closer look at these compounds and their role in turning off the spread of cancer is needed. This is a statement I think we can all agree with.
“We’ve kind of focused on the cancer for a long time,” he said. “More recently we’ve started to focus on the cancer in its environment. And the environment, your whole body as an environment, is really important in whether or not that cancer will spread.”
As with every living thing, cancer cells need an environment conducive to growth in order to spread and even survive. When you take away the things that feed cancer and replace them with things that feed whole-body health, you create an environment where such a disease cannot thrive.
Just a few examples of how foods can beat cancer, we’ve seen:
- Turmeric can halt the spread of cancer in breast cancer patients.
- A mushroom known as the turkey tail mushroom has been researched and used in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
- Dr. Sean McAllister conducted a study and found that a compound found in marijuana, cannabidiol, inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and tumor growth.
- Whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by 56% in mice.
- A Chinese plant known as the ‘thunder god vine’ contains cancer-fighting compounds, helps wipe out cancer in 40 days.