This article is shared with permission from our friends at The Hearty Soul.
In today’s age, it’s hard to find someone who has not been affected by some form of cancer. Whether you have experienced it yourself, or have a loved one who’s suffered from it, the battle against cancer is emotionally tolling. That’s why this mother-of-two chose to forgo her grueling cancer treatment in favor of a diet change, and the result has doctors astonished.
The Incredible Cancer Survival Story of Kathy Bero
In 2005, Kathy Bero was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and given 21 months to live. At the time, Kathy was a 41-year-old mother of two girls and she chose to fight the disease using surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. But, sadly, just eleven months later cancer had spread.
“My kidneys were failing; my liver was failing,” Bero said. “My lungs were damaged. My heart was damaged. I told my oncologist that I’m done with that protocol because one way or another, I’m going to die. And I don’t want to go that way.”
That was when Bero chose to take a big leap of faith: to go off the chemotherapy and learn about anti-angiogenic foods. And that leap of faith paid off because Bero has now been cancer-free for 12 years, and researchers at Harvard are conducting studies to find out exactly how she did it.
What is Angiogenesis and How is it Linked to Cancer?
In order to understand the anti-angiogenic diet, we need to first find out what exactly angiogenesis is.
Angiogenesis is essentially the growth of blood vessels in the body. It occurs throughout our entire life, from the second we are conceived to the moment that we die. The body controls angiogenesis by producing a precise balance of growth and inhibitory factors in healthy tissues.
Angiogenesis is completely natural within our body, and we need it in order to survive, but with a disease like cancer where cancer cells are spread throughout the body, angiogenesis can actually increase the likelihood of the disease spreading.
In order for a tumor to grow beyond a few millimeters in size, it needs a blood supply. Tumors can actually create this blood supply by giving off chemical signals that stimulate angiogenesis. These new blood cells give oxygen and nutrients to the tumor, helping it to grow and move through the body.
In order to stop this process, scientists have developed drugs that inhibit angiogenesis, the goal of which is to stop the tumor from growing by starving it of its blood supply.
However, research is beginning to show that these drugs are not the only way to stop cancer from spreading, but that certain foods are able to do the same thing. This is called an anti-angiogenesis diet.
Anti-Angiogenic Diet: The Diet that Kicks Cancer to the Curb
So, what foods do you need to start adding to your diet in order to fight cancer?
“It isn’t really about eating healthy. It’s about eating specific foods that fight disease.” Bero claims. That being said, a lot of the foods on Bero’s list are very healthy for you, and you may be surprised to find some of your favorites listed below!
Click here for a more detailed list of Bero’s suggested cancer-fighting foods.
“Leeks are at the top of the cancer-fighting list,” Bero said.
“When a recipe calls for two cloves, I’m probably going to put in six because garlic is a really strong cancer fighter,” Bero said.
Bero compliments her cancer-fighting diet with energy-healing reiki, meditation, and visualization, and now works as a cancer coach to teach others how to use food to fight their disease.
“It’s exciting,” Bero said. “I’m now validated. I’m no longer the ‘crazy cancer patient.’ There’s a real science that is going to be there.”
Researchers at Harvard to Study Anti-Angiogenesis Diet
Researchers at Harvard are studying Bero and others like her that have experienced exception outcomes.
“They’re looking at our genetics and the genetics of the tumor,” Bero said. “What the outliers did; their attitude, environment, faith, social support. What they’re trying to do is create a database of all these different things and look for the commonalities between these people.”
While an anti-angiogenesis diet is not yet a proven cure, doctors and scientists are doing their best to investigate its potential as a cancer-fighting agent. Kathy Bero’s story is a case study, and we do not know 100% why her cancer was cured. So, before changing your diet, or foregoing treatment, be sure to speak with your doctor to ensure that you make the best choice for yourself personally.
Joice Garbaciak. Using Food as Medicine: Woman’s Battle Against Cancer Being Studied by Researchers. (May 18, 2018). http://www.wisn.com/article/using-food-as-medicine-womans-battle-against-cancer-being-studied-by-researchers/20750546
Adair TH, Montani JP. San Rafael. Overview of Angiogenesis. (2010).
The Angiogenesis Foundation. What is Angiogenesis? https://angio.org/about-angiogenesis/
National Cancer Institute. Angiogenesis Inhibitors. (Ap. 2, 2018). https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/immunotherapy/angiogenesis-inhibitors-fact-sheet