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Training To Beat Cancer

Just like with boxers or any other athletes, cancer patients need to exercise and eat right to win this fight.

Can you imagine having cancer? What would you imagine is the first thing you would want to do after cancer surgery or treatment?

Sure, I feel tired for a few days after my monthly Octreotide shot to combat the carcinoid cancer that would love to rage unchecked through my body. That seems to be one of the side effects. Usually about the only thing I want to do after a shot is to have a light lunch and maybe watch a movie or take a nap.

But then it's time to get back on my feet and start exercising again. I have to get into fighting trim if I'm going to go the distance with cancer. That means healthy food and plenty of exercise.

A good place to start with the food (before heading to the grocery aisle) is the Center for Integrated Health & Wellness, where certified nutritionist Sharon Meyer presents "Food as Medicine" at the Marin Cancer Institute on Thursday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Oh, and check out the nice new offices for the Center, which offers nutritional counseling, therapy, accupuncture, massage therapy and more FREE services to patients at the Marin Cancer Institute.

Meyer and registered dietician Jeannine Vitali-Schulz offer cooking demonstrations and nutrition advice on a fairly regular basis. Thanks to them, I've learned a lot about the power of herbs, spices and other super foods in the fight against cancer.

During Thursday's demonstration, learn why a colorful plate is also a healthy plate. Think of your plate as a canvas, with red and yellow (peppers), green (spinach) and other colors. There is no naturally blue food, is there, except maybe blueberries?

The next step in fitness is exercise. The American Cancer Society wants us all to get more active. And it looks like there's good reason for that.

According to an article by Doreen Gentzler that appeared on NECN.com, "One Canadian study found that breast cancer patients who got at least four hours of moderate exercise each week reduced their risk of death by 34-percent... Their chance of recurrence also decreased, down 24 percent."

I count myself as very lucky to have moved into a downtown Larkspur neighborhood, just a short walk from the Marin Cancer Institute. It's a beautiful walk along Corte Madera Creek, with ducks and geese, flowers and butterflies. It's a good reminder of all the things I treasure in this world. A better reminder is when I come home to my wife.

So, keep training for the fight. And the next time you're tempted to say "I don't know how much longer I'll be around," remind yourself that you don't have to quit. You can win.

For more information on cancer and carcinoid cancer, consider these sites:

Carcinoid Cancer Foundation

Caring for Carcinoid Foundation

Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network

Carcinoid.com

Stanford Medicine Cancer Institute

Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles

Marin Cancer Institute

University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland

Jimmy V Foundation

American Cancer Society

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