The C word.
Since time immemorial, being diagnosed with cancer has been a pivotal life-changing moment.
And it used to be considered a death sentence.
Fortunately, that is no longer the case, as treatment has become much more effective and recovery rates continue to rise.
In fact, the survival rate from cancer increases each year.
In the U.S. alone, 14.5 million people either beat cancer or are currently living with it, while that number is a whopping 32 million worldwide.
Why are we talking about cancer?
Because the first Sunday of June each year is National Cancer Survivors Day!
What Is National Cancer Survivors Day?
The objective of this holiday is to honor those who have survived cancer, to inspire those who have been recently diagnosed, and to give support to all the families who are touched by the disease.
The tradition of National Cancer Survivors Day dates back almost 30 years and is a way to show the world that there can be a happy, rewarding life after a cancer diagnosis.
Each year people celebrate by raising funds and awareness for cancer research, treatments, and legislation that can help improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.
What Is Cancer Exactly?
Cancer is a name assigned to more than 100 diseases.
It is the result of out of control multiplying and spreading of abnormal cells in the body.
Most interesting of all, it now appears that genetic mutations play a major role in only 5-10 percent of cancers.
And evidence suggests that at least HALF of all cancers and cancer-related deaths can be prevented through the adoption of positive lifestyle changes.
Why Your Diet Matters
Diet is at the top of the list of lifestyle changes that can help prevent cancer.
Foods possibly linked to cancer initiation and/or promotion include dairy products, cured meats, refined carbohydrates, refined oils, and sugary drinks.
On the other hand, several foods may help fight cancer:
- Berries: Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries.
- Orange-Colored Fruits and Veggies: Citrus fruits, squash, and sweet potatoes.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
- Herbs and Spices: Turmeric, ginger, raw garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, basil, and parsley.
- Leafy Green Vegetables: Spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula, and watercress.
- Nuts and Seeds: Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds.
How to Celebrate National Cancer Survivor Day
Here are some of the ways to observe this special day.
For cancer survivors:
- Today is a perfect time to say ‘thank you’ to all who stood by you when you were battling the disease. Throw a little party for friends and family who were by your side or write a note to the doctors and nurses who helped you heal.
- Share your story on social media. Talking about your cancer experience and sharing ‘lessons learned’ could give hope and encouragement to others who have been recently diagnosed with the disease.
For everyone else:
- Check out what is happening nearby. Many towns, cities, and hospitals host events and celebrations such as parades and art exhibits.
- Help raise funds or awareness about how to prevent cancer.
And finally, since diet is so important to cancer prevention and treatment, try Chef Stefen Janke’s recipe for Vegetable Lasagna Rolls. It is filled with delicious cancer-fighting nutrition from ingredients such as spinach, garlic, basil, and cooked tomatoes.
The perfect way to celebrate National Cancer Survivor Day!