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LMU 66 – Empowering Cancer Doctors: Leading by Example in the Fight Against Cancer


LMU 66 – Empowering Cancer Doctors: Leading by Example in the Fight Against Cancer

Source: Medscape August 30, 2017

Lifestyle Medicine Update


In the battle against cancer, medical practitioners bear witness to the devastating impact of this disease day in and day out. With many cases defying complete cure, doctors who specialize in oncology, urology, and dermatology are faced with the stark reality of cancer’s wrath. This professional exposure, coupled with the mounting evidence that lifestyle and dietary practices can play a pivotal role in cancer prevention, impels these healthcare providers to adopt proactive strategies in their personal lives. A recent interview conducted with cancer doctors sheds light on how these specialists endeavor to safeguard themselves against the very disease they combat. Published on Medscape on August 30, 2017, and originally featured in Men’s Health magazine, this insightful report underscores the growing recognition among cancer physicians that the fight against cancer begins with preventive lifestyle choices.

A Glimpse into Cancer Doctors’ Personal Strategies

The interview provides a glimpse into the personal practices of cancer specialists who have chosen to actively incorporate preventive measures into their daily lives. Here is a snapshot of their strategies:

  1. Dr. Philippe Spiess, MD: A genitourinary oncologist in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Spiess places emphasis on incorporating vegetables and fiber-rich foods into his diet. This choice resonates with emerging research that underscores the cancer-fighting potential of a plant-based diet.
  2. Dr. Matthew Yurgelun, MD: A medical oncologist in Boston, Dr. Yurgelun advocates for the consumption of nuts as a snack. This practice not only curbs unhealthy snacking but also aligns with a wholesome dietary approach to combat obesity-related diseases, including cancer.
  3. Dr. Christopher Saigal, MD: Dr. Saigal, a urologist in Los Angeles, endorses the preference for fish over red meat. His guidance echoes research linking heart-healthy foods with reduced prostate cancer risk and progression. Additionally, he underscores the adverse association between red and processed meats and colorectal cancer.
  4. Dr. Joseph Sobanko, MD: A dermatologist in Philadelphia, Dr. Sobanko practices what he preaches by diligently using broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen with zinc or titanium dioxide every morning. This proactive measure aligns with his commitment to skin health.
  5. Dr. Anthony Rossi, MD: At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Dr. Rossi supplements with vitamin B3 (nicotinamide). His choice finds resonance in recent Australian research demonstrating nicotinamide’s potential in reducing nonmelanoma skin cancer.
  6. Dr. Keith McCrae, MD: An oncologist at Cleveland Clinic Cancer Institute, Dr. McCrae exemplifies the power of exercise by cycling 25 to 30 miles on most weekdays, augmenting his physical fitness and well-being.
  7. Dr. Alan Wan: A medical oncologist at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in Illinois, Dr. Wan kick-starts his day with green tea, a practice rich in antioxidants that contribute to his overall health.
  8. Dr. Nelson Bennett, MD: Dr. Bennett, a urologist from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, advocates for stress reduction through mindfulness. His daily ritual involves focused deep breathing, an exercise that calms the mind and reduces stress.

Embracing Research-Informed Lifestyle Practices

It is heartening to observe that many of the strategies embraced by these cancer doctors mirror those highlighted in ongoing research and wellness updates. These medical professionals are tapping into a growing body of knowledge that underscores the significant impact of lifestyle and dietary choices on cancer risk. By embodying these practices, they not only cultivate their own well-being but also set an inspiring example for their patients and society at large.

A Powerful Reminder of Cancer’s Preventability

Cancer societies around the world consistently emphasize the importance of lifestyle changes, advocating for measures such as smoking cessation, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and employing sun protection. The urgency behind these recommendations stems from studies suggesting that a staggering 70-90 percent of all cancer cases are preventable through targeted lifestyle and dietary interventions. While comprehensive answers are still unfolding, robust scientific evidence supports the efficacy of several dietary and lifestyle practices.

Conclusion: Pioneering Prevention Through Personal Choices

The interview with cancer doctors offers a window into a realm where healthcare providers are not only healers but also proactive advocates of prevention. As these specialists seamlessly integrate research-informed strategies into their personal lives, they amplify the message that proactive measures can indeed tilt the balance in the fight against cancer. Their dedication stands as a beacon, reminding us that the journey towards a cancer-free world begins with the choices we make every day.


Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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