April is Cancer Control Month.
Cancer Control Month is a time to raise awareness about the prevention of cancer. It’s a great time to foster encouragement and hope, and focus on what you can do to effectively reduce cancer risk, both for yourself and for your patients.
Cancer is a leading cause of death, second only to heart disease. While not all cancers are preventable, prevention is still the best cure. As TCM practitioners, we do not directly treat cancer, but we should know what cancer is, what we can do to prevent it; and if we can’t prevent it, how we can support the process.
We are in a prime spot to educate people about healthy lifestyle choices. There is a lot we can do to raise awareness and increase health in the world.
So take some time this month to learn:
- what the early warning signs of cancer are, so we can see the red flags and refer someone out to be checked.
- the most common allopathic cancer treatments and how to mitigate their side effects. TCM can help treat the side-effects of radiation, and can treat nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.
- how to communicate effectively with patients about cancer. If you can understand and recognize the emotions that a person goes through, you can better understand the process of their disease and help them achieve a higher quality of life. You can avoid common communication mistakes and communicate in constructive verbal and non-verbal ways.
- And last but not least, assist and advise on making lifestyle changes and adopting good nutrition habits. Chronic inflammation plays a role in cancer initiation and progression. Inflammation is a cancer enabling mechanism, and decreasing inflammation can improve responses to treatment and increase the death of cancer cells. By treating the hallmarks of cancer with nutrition, it may be possible to lower the risk of cancer, slow it’s progression and strengthen the body to support positive outcomes with conventional treatments. Lifestyle choices can change the way our genes express. Adequate sleep, rest, exercise, meditation and stress control are all positive influencers on gene expression.
So take some time out this month and educate yourself and your patients on what to look for, what to do, and how we can best support someone going through this disease.