by Kristine Blanche, RPA-C, M.D., Ph.D.
In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of mortality. The cumulative lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer for both men and women is 6 percent. Despite advances in the management of this disease, the five-year survival rate is only 62 percent. This is partly because only 38 percent of patients are diagnosed early, when the cancers are localized to the bowel wall, and it is likely that widespread implementation of screening could significantly improve the outcomes of patients like my dad.
March is colon cancer awareness month, but for me, it is my dad’s birthday month. My dad would have been 69 years old this March, but he died five years ago, on April 8, 2014. For anyone that has lost a friend or loved one, both the anniversary of the day they died and their birthday are tough days, and those hard days inspired me to write this article. My father was diagnosed at 55 years old with stage three colon cancer. At that time, this came as a shock to my entire family. My father had never gone for the recommended colonoscopy at 50 years old, as my family has had many bad medical experiences. It is likely that the cancer would have been caught earlier if he had followed through with a colonoscopy. Instead, he experienced a series of dangerous situations and almost lost his life multiple times—a story I will dive deeper into in my book. The cancer was removed by a very talented surgeon named Dr. John Procaccino, and then treated by world-renowned integrative physician Dr. Stanley Burzynski, in Texas. My dad recovered from his cancer and I gained a very healthy outlook on the preciousness of life. Unfortunately, he did not completely change his lifestyle as a result of this cancer experience. He did not heal all the factors that led to the development of his cancer, and, honestly, most patients do not realize how helpful it is to make these lifestyle changes.
How can we reduce cancer risk for you? Reduce carbohydrates and sugar, boost vitamin D levels, heal the emotional baggage, and detoxify the body. It is well researched that toxins contribute to cancer development, and the digestive system, kidney, liver, thyroid and prostate are especially susceptible to being damaged by toxins. A colonoscopy is a simple, routine procedure that could have saved my father a lot of pain and suffering. If my father had changed his diet, taken the best supplements, and detoxified his body, I believe it would have improved his quality of life and could have extended his life by years.
I hope my story empowers you to take initiative in your own health journey, by doing the following:
- Book a colonoscopy when it is recommended, and do not delay
- Eat tons of leafy greens to boost folate levels
- Take vitamin D3 (be sure your doctor checks your level of vitamin D 25OH and vitamin D 125, and keep the levels between 80 to 90)
- Reduce carbohydrates and sugar consumption
- Exercise at least four days per week
- Reduce stress
- Heal emotional wounds
- Practice gratitude
- Detox, detox, detox!
- We are all exposed to toxins each day. You can reduce the amount you are exposed to by:
- Buying organic food
- Eating grass-fed and grass-finished meat
- Using natural cleaning and skin care products
- Getting in a sauna and sweating whenever you can
These are simple action points everyone can follow to reduce cancer risk, improve quality of life, and live longer!
Kristine Blanche, RPA-C, Ph.D., M.D., is the owner of Integrative Healing Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-676-0200 or visit GetIntegrativeHealth.com.