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The existing paradigm for cancer prevention and screening incorporates general avoidance practices like smoking and chemical exposures. These are coupled with targeted laboratory or radiographic testing at the age range of highest prevalence.
The testing strives to identify developed cancers at an earlier, more favorable stage to enable a tremendously successful treatment intervention. The most initial screening is now in the 35-year age range for cervix cancer and some breast cancer protocols.
This strategy failed Thomas, who has recently been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at the age of 27.
An Unexpected Diagnosis
Thomas is an energetic, health-minded young man working and living with his family in Florida’s Fort Lauderdale area.
One ordinary day he suddenly had a seizure and woke up in the local hospital. He was told the brain scan showed a tumor mass and imaging of the lung suggested stage IV lung cancer. Wow, not something you expect to see in a non-smoking fitness-minded young man in the third decade of life.
Thomas rallied and underwent focal radiation to the brain, then chemotherapy and lung radiation. Then he started on targeted therapy for his non-smoking-related adenocarcinoma of the lung.
During his inquiry, he stumbled upon Care Oncology and initiated the four-drug metabolic protocol and nutritional strategies to shut down tumor growth. Thomas has risen above his unfortunate predicament and becomes a voice for thought living in one’s 20s. He lives each day vigorously and is thriving despite his initial impairments. Also, he’s committed to bringing this vital message to his fellow youth.
Cancer prevention is the best cancer treatment
Cancer prevention in the decades before the ultimate manifestation of cancer growth is by far the best cancer treatment. Like most things, getting the fundamentals right early on can significantly favor a cancer-free life. We all know there are no guarantees.
Frequently, we hear of these unexplained outliers. However, cutting-edge science is starting to understand better the conditions that disrupt our body’s inborn surveillance systems. These might enable someone in their 20s or 30s to manifest cancer.
Understanding the fundamentals
First, understand that our production of new DNA and proteins can frequently have errors or flaws identified and removed by healthy immune systems as we age. This necessary immune process’s sanctity deteriorates with age, and more so if stressors are present in the system.
Something as simple as significantly disrupted sleep, intense emotional stress, a toxic solvent, or mold exposure can temporarily cripple our essential function. This may lead to the failure of T cell-mediated immune cellular monitoring for foreign cells, DNA duplication, or protein production.
Thomas is thriving at 17 months since his scary day presenting with a seizure from brain involvement. He is on excellent immune and low dose chemotherapy, and recent scans show no visible cancer evidence. However, he is not your typical cancer patient. Thomas appears virtually normal as he works full time and exercises six days a week.
Ironically, many of the things he’s doing now to treat his disease would work in our routine life for cancer prevention.
Although every case is unique, simple lifestyle steps can diminish one’s risk of this challenging disease.
Learning the Fundamentals
Thomas started by getting the fundamentals correct. Through his reading, it became clear that adequate sleep is a critical practice to restore the body (deep sleep). It also restores mental and emotional health (REM sleep). (Mathew Walker, Why We Sleep).
The second touchstone was to incorporate various types of daily exercise. After brain surgery and radiation, he realized body signals or cytokines such as BDNF released during exercise help his body and emotional state. They were also the best things to heal and maintain the brain. This is possibly one reason Thomas feels healthier now than he did in the years before his diagnosis.
The third tenant to Thomas’s treatment is changing the metabolic inputs that create new cells and produce energy. His reading quickly identified the American diet’s flawed drift toward frequent eating patterns and carbohydrate dominant macronutrient choice. It also has inflammatory human-made oils, with a myriad of other contaminants such as antibiotics, steroids, glyphosate, and more.
Thomas currently uses a low carbohydrate diet emphasizing clean fish and meat sources, with tight eating windows to enable long periods (12-16 hours) of modified fasting. During fasting, no insulin stimulation occurs. This lifestyle has liberated him from frequent eating patterns. It also significantly down-regulates drivers favoring the more sugar-dependent cancer cell metabolism.
Lifestyle changes: sympathetic vs parasympathetic
Thomas further understood that to continue living with joy and peace; he needed to turn down or off the noise that triggers anxiety and frustration. This change meant diminishing or eliminating specific news channels, social media platforms, and even relationships that led to stress and poor decision-making.
He dove into the science of our autonomic nervous system and how our wiring enables two default systems. Ideally, we deploy our sympathetic nervous system dominance when we need extreme energy deployment. Doing so puts the proverbial “run from the lion” in full throttle gear. This high cortisol state successfully enables a short-term burst of high-level physical activity but is designed for only rare utilization.
Putting “Run From the Lion” At Ease
All long-term and intermediate beneficial functions get deferred in this life-preserving five-alarm state. Unfortunately, the modern-day “run from the lion” triggers are commonly the scary headlines, social media bullying, impossible work environments, or even computer games authentically designed to foster fear. High cortisol levels have their price long-term as the T cell-mediated immunity becomes impaired and unavailable. Problems can creep in.
Thomas now understands the need to foster parasympathetic balance in his default setting. This sets the environment for “rest, digest, relax, and regeneration,” which is specifically better for long-term immune function. The parasympathetic mode is aided by nostril breathing, which, of course, is the foundation of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices.
It’s incredible how something simple and available can be so underutilized in our daily toolbox of health-promoting options.
Intention setting practices
To further enhance his capacity to take the long view toward a positive future, he now uses an intention-setting practice. Coupled with his strong faith and religious background, he has created a mental movie of him thriving in the future.
He pulls this movie into his heart and abdomen space from his mind’s eye routinely. This helps him “vaccinate” himself from the potential negative encounters on medical visits and with friends. Intention setting is also an underused tool in the toolbox, and one shouldn’t wait to get sick to deploy it. Napoleon Hill and his remarkable book “Think and Grow Rich” talked about the power of the mind. If you’ve read this book, you know he wasn’t speaking of financial wealth but more so individual health.
In addition to aggressive morning hydration and dietary strategies, Thomas enhances his immune function with some additional lifestyle modifications. He understands that vitamin D levels are critical. In addition to taking an oral supplement, he spends time worshiping the great big multivitamin in the sky.
Thomas gets safe sun exposure to activate and enhance vitamin D levels while averting sunburn. He realizes our modern diet is low in magnesium, a magical mineral essential in many energy production pathway reactions. Besides taking adequate supplementation and eating nuts and seeds rich in magnesium, he occasionally jumps in that giant “Epson salt bath” called the ocean. There, magnesium is the third most common mineral after sodium chloride. Thomas is on some other supplements that are more specific to his condition as well.
In addition to avoiding emotional stress, nutrition-generated dietary pressure, and other environmental toxins, Thomas is more careful about the rapidly emerging invisible and the nearly omnificent threat of EMF. There is a reason many countries in Europe forbid their grade and high schools from having Wi-Fi on-site. And it’s not just to keep kids from getting distracted by using their phones during class.
Thomas understands this is a practice in compromise. He now puts his phone in airplane mode when not in use, rarely holds his phone to his head, uses speaker mode, and no longer puts his laptop on his lap. Mitigation tools are popping up, such as the company Defender Shield for phone and computer cases. Faraday Fabric EMF blocking platforms make blockers for computers and clothing companies such as Lambs that make shirts and underwear.
Part of Thomas’s futures intention is to be healthy and robust for a mission bigger than himself. And part of that is to help his fellow Millennials avoid his detour with cancer. Please help him fulfill his goal, listen to his advice, and make changes as needed and spread the word.
As always, Stay Strong and Curious,
Thomas and Dr. Chuck
Skip to Actionable Steps
Diagnosed with Cancer?
Care Oncology is a telehealth oncology service delivering metabolically acting medications to enhance outcomes of Standard Care.
Healthy habits for cancer prevention
Remember to include the critical personal maintenance of exercise, mental health needs, and work in your daily activities.
Do your research
Read the books and resources mentioned in the article to further your understanding and determine which strategies are best for you.
Put wellness to practice
Now more than ever…be your own best doctor!
About the Author
Dr. Charles Meakin III, MD, MHA
Charles (Chuck) is a 60-year-old cancer doctor who spent the last 40 years passionately studying healthcare, eastern philosophies, and fitness predictors of longevity and happiness. As someone who lives in two worlds, the traditional healthcare western model and new integrative strategies and personal biohacking, he hopes to present the best of both worlds for rational decision making on difficult personal health issues.
Full Bio | LinkedIn
*Article is re-posted with permission from the author, Dr. Charles J. Meakin III, at Coach It Forward Chuck.
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