Soaps are known for handling delicate topics, and in many instances, are praised for raising awareness of issues such as drug addiction, knife crime, homophobia, and many more contemporary social justice and health-related issues. Currently, on ITV’s “Coronation Street” – the longest-running soap opera in the UK – pregnant Sinead Tinker, played by actress Katie McGlynn, is facing a battle with cervical cancer – a battle that many across the UK are facing every day.
Fearing that chemotherapy may harm her unborn child, Tinker has currently opted to stop treatment – and in true soap fashion, has lied about it to husband Daniel Osbourne. The decision to end chemotherapy has led the character to seek out other methods of combatting the disease, including experimenting with homeopathic medicine and adopting a vegan diet.
Can a Vegan Diet Cure Cancer?
There is no proof that a vegan diet can cure cancer, and it is currently unknown in which direction the “Coronation Street” writers and producers will take this storyline. However, there is some evidence that following a plant-based diet – filled with antioxidants – can help the body to recover from the disease.
One study published in 2005 examined the effects of lifestyle changes in place of traditional medical cancer therapies. It showed that the growth of cancer cells slowed more effectively for those who were following a vegan diet. A subsequent study revealed that the defenses of breast cancer patients showed improvement just two weeks after switching to a plant-based diet and taking up light, frequent exercise.
Whilst more long-term research is required to back up the notion that a vegan diet can help an individual to beat cancer. There is an existing bulk of evidence that shows following a vegan diet can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
In September, Bowel Cancer Australia asked consumers to ditch meat for one week, aiming to show people how easy it is to reduce meat consumption. According to the charity, for every 100 grams of red meat eaten a day, the bowel cancer risk increases by 12 percent.
Leading breast cancer surgeon Kristi Funk also believes in the power of diet to reduce the risk of cancer. Speaking to LIVEKINDLY, Funk recently revealed her belief that following a whole foods, plant-based diet can help to avoid developing 50 to 80 percent of all breast cancers. “The body’s cellular response to consuming animal protein and animal fat is everything that feeds and fuels illness,” she said.
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