As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While this might be OK as a general principle for some diseases, it doesn’t go far enough for others. When it comes to cancer, great progress has been made in treating some cancers but not all, and glioma, a form of brain cancer, is one of them. In this case an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. It’s more like a ton. There is usually no early detection for glioma and by the time the disease is detected it’s likely to already be at an advanced stage. The 5-year survival rate is only 5%.
While doctors are working hard to find effective treatments for glioma, they have already discovered ways to reduce the risk of getting it. It turns out that, just as with several other forms of cancer, a plant-based diet is powerful medicine when it comes to preventing glioma. Studies show that following a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of glioma by 71%. That’s pretty good for any disease, but for a cancer with only a 5% survival rate that’s saying quite a lot.
What is it about a plant-based diet that gives it this power to reduce the risk of glioma? Besides not containing animal foods, which can bioconcentrate carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals such as some pesticides and industrial pollutants, plant foods contain biological super-heroes. These super-heroes, technically called phytonutrients, have many health-promoting properties. There’s more to nutrition than just vitamins and minerals. Phytonutrients can helps cells from becoming malignant in the first place. For cells already cancerous they inhibit their growth and spread. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect. This is important since glioma usually entails quite a bit of inflammation.
While these benefits of reduced carcinogens, phytonutrients and reduced inflammation help prevent several other cancers as well, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer, the lack of effective treatment for glioma makes it all the more imperative to switch to a plant-based diet at the earliest possible time, preferably from birth!
A professional level article about glioma which we have recently written, has just been published in a medical journal.