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A Functional Medicine Approach To Cancer Treatment Protocol By Dr. Nas

Cancer is a disease in which some of the body's cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. It occurs due to a dysregulation of your immune system. Therefore, when choosing a treatment approach, doctors try to modulate the immune system. Doctor Nas will explain how this treatment approach works and benefits cancer patients.

Given that 90 to 95% of all cancer cases are caused by lifestyle, the cornerstone of the treatment will be addressing lifestyle and making significant changes. Let’s start with nutrition. The idea is to move away from an inflammatory westernized diet and shifting more into a more balanced diet such as the Meditteranean diet. The aim here is to consume 10 servings of different types of vegetables a day, and similarly following the same general guideline, 50 unique plant-based foods in a week because the key to immunity is not just ensuring the intake of plant-based foods, but actually getting a diverse blend of plant compounds such as Polyphenols and Flavonoids. These have an immune regulating activity. What is interesting about this is that the most immune regulating compounds are spices, herbs, cocoa, tea extract. Most importantly for breast cancer, soya beans, and Cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard plant, and similar green leaf vegetables) are great at preventing or fighting breast cancer adjunct therapy. 

At the same time, Dr. Nas recommends consuming or increasing your intake of dietary fiber roughly 30 grams per day as part of a healthy eating pattern to lower cancer risk. It’s also recommending to decrease consumption of immune offenders such as added sugars, salt, high glycemic foods such as carbohydrates, and excessive saturated fats. 

Another consideration is pesticides which we know have an impact on immune function so where feasible eating organic is also preferred. 

What about stress? We know that acute stress weakened the immune system, we now have the ability to monitor stress through biofeedback markers such as Heart Rate Variability or HRV. They are great little devices that tell you whether your body is stressed. They help us monitor our approaches and therapies also. Many pieces of literature encourage the practice of mind over body and incorporating said practices into daily life for full effects.

What about sleep? Sleep has been known for its restorative and regulatory effects. Getting good quality and good quantity adequate sleep is key in maintaining immune function in particular in times of disease. It’s advised that people practice good sleep hygiene and maintain good sleep hours. By doing things such as turning off screens, ensuring the room is cool and dark, and setting reminders sometimes to get to bed on time. There is a significant amount of data that suggests that sleep insomnia or lack of quality sleep - even just one night of reduced sleep - is associated with disturbance for the immune system.

Leading on now to social factors and connections, “I encourage patients to reduce connections they see as hostile and non-supportive, and at the same time emphasizing on spending time with people who are positive and affirming” says Dr. Nas. “For those people who are lonely and isolated or those at risk to be compromised, I recommend regular social connection as a routine. And this could be anything from a virtual meet-up or participating in religious or spiritual groups or even hobbies that may be group-based. It is well documented to have a positive impact on people’s outcomes.”

Moreover, exercise and regular bodily activity help the immune system function by raising the levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. It is best to personalize your workout because no size fits all when it comes to exercise. And if you’re sedentary, it is best not to overdo it because research suggests that if you’re unaccustomed to strenuous or prolonged exercise, you might reduce the function of your immune system. So it needs to be tailored to the individual with the help of your physician.

We hope that these few tips prove to be helpful in your or a loved one’s fight against cancer.

We, Mint Basil Market, have partnered up with Inspire Yoga and will be hosting an event on October 30th with a panel discussion featuring several health experts, including Dr. Nas. 

The event will include discussions not only of breast cancer risks and preventable causes but also sexual health, impact on intimacy, relationships, emotional distress, nutritional supplements, and more, followed by a healing dance movement on Saturday, 30 October from 5 pm, Gate Avenue, DIFC.

We would be honored to have you with us as a guest. Details of the event are as follows:

- LOCATION: Gate Avenue DIFC 

- DATE: 30 OCT

- TIME: 5.30 pm to 7:15 pm

- AGENDA: Panel talk followed by a healing dance movement class

- THEME: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

We’d love to see you there!

October 18, 2021 — Mint Basil Team

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