Mesothelioma is an extremely rare type of cancer that results from exposure to asbestos. Just 14,000 people globally will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and it is often misdiagnosed by medical professionals and thus mistreated. The website Mesothelioma.net has helped more than 1,000 patients suffering from the rare cancer since it launched more than 15 years ago. It specifically works with a large population of veterans with mesothelioma.

And now, the website is recommending people suffering from the disease may benefit from a shift to a plant-based vegan diet.

One of the most compelling findings from modern research is that a diet without or with minimal animal products can prevent cancer and may even promote healing in cancer patients,” the website noted. “If you are living with mesothelioma, a vegetarian or vegan diet may be able to improve your quality of living.”

The site continues: “A review of multiple studies that looked at the health outcomes of vegetarians and people who eat meat reported a very important finding: vegetarians have significantly lower rates of cancer. This includes cancers of all types. A smaller, single study found that vegans fare even better. Even after controlling for other factors, like family history of cancer and smoking, the study found that women following a vegan diet had 34 percent lower rates of cancer than women who ate a healthful diet that included meat.”

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And the article notes the diet isn’t just beneficial as a preventative but may reduce some of the symptoms of cancer treatment.

A healthier diet with more plant-based foods, less meat, and fewer animal products promotes overall good health and can help cancer patients feel better, be better able to fight cancer, and to bet better able to tolerate cancer treatments. There are also some specific reasons these diets are useful for cancer patients, as evidenced in studies.

For example, in addition to showing that eating animal fats can increase cancer risk, studies have shown that animal fat in the diet can negatively impact cancer survival rates. If you already have cancer, cutting back on animal fats could boost your survival time and life expectancy.

Studies have found that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than meat eaters. One study found nearly doubled immune cell activity in vegetarians as compared to people who ate meat. A stronger immune system can help cancer patients better fight off cancer cells and tumors. Another study used the blood of cancer patients, some who ate a standard diet and the rest who were vegan, to see which could better suppress the growth of cancer cells in the laboratory. The blood from began patients was eight times better at suppressing cancer cell growth.

The recommendations mirror other experts in the medical community that suggest a predominantly plant-based diet plays a key role in the prevention of cancer.

Of course, if you are suffering from mesothelioma or any type of life-limiting illness, always be sure to consult with your physician before making changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Photo by Mariana Medvedeva on Unsplash