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Study confirms diet has impact on mesothelioma survival

North Carolinians would likely be interested in a new mesothelioma study. The study, conducted by Johns Hopkins and Drexel University, reveals that survivors of mesothelioma and other cancers may not be following appropriate dietary guidelines to increase their survivability. Participants in the study -- 53 survivors of breast, prostate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma -- were asked to track their diets over three days.

The participants' diet journals were referenced during discussions regarding dietary behaviors and the importance of healthy eating in cancer prevention and survivorship. Researchers discovered that most of the participants had not received adequate nutrition counseling as part of their cancer care.

The study found that cancer survivors, following the most healthful diets, were non-smoking women of normal weight with access to more socioeconomic resources. In addition, cancer survivors who had the support of family members that also made dietary changes fared better than those who did not.

Those suffering from mesothelioma and other types of cancer benefited significantly from eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, which contain antioxidants and phytochemicals. These foods protect cells from harmful compounds in the environment that can cause damage and mutations. Sugars and carbohydrates should generally be avoided to prevent cancer cells from multiplying and growing.

Many studies have shown the benefits of a healthful diet as a method of cancer prevention or support during aggressive cancer treatment. One man, a 20-year survivor of peritoneal mesothelioma, meditates and exercises regularly in addition to consuming large quantities of produce and supplements every day.

Malignant mesotheliomas affect up to 2,500 people in the United States each year, mostly due to asbestos exposure in the workplace or the environment. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma should be receiving nutrition counseling that emphasizes the importance of a holistic diet to increase their survivability.

Source: Surviving Mesothelioma, "Mesothelioma Survivors May Not Have Enough Knowledge of Nutrition," Alex Strauss, Oct. 4, 2017

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