Fighting Cancer with Food
In March, PCRM's nutrition department debuted its series of cooking classes for cancer survivors. The course is based on the growing scientific evidence that supports diet's important role not only in preventing the disease, but in improving survival.
Each session includes a nutrition lecture exploring how specific nutrients protect the body, followed by a cooking demonstration to help participants put their newfound knowledge to work.
Led by Amy Lanou, Ph.D., Jen Keller, R.D., and Neal Barnard, M.D., discussions addressed protective antioxidants, the diet-hormone connection, harmful effects of dairy products, essential fatty acids, healthy plant proteins, and many other topics.
Friends and relatives who came along to offer support felt they gained a real advantage in understanding what good nutrition is all about. Cancer survivors were relieved to get some straight answers to their questions about the best diet to fight recurrence. Too often, health care teams engulfed in fighting the disease overlook the essential role of nutrition in restoring and maintaining health. The classes aim to fill this gap.
Cooking and taste-testing helped lighten the burden of their illnesses and made dietary changes enjoyable and easy. "This class was so much fun and, at the same time, it was very educational," said Vivienne, diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1999.