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John Bradshaw - Combating Cancer


John Bradshaw - Combating Cancer
John Bradshaw - Combating Cancer
TOPICS: Take Charge of Your Health, Health, Cancer

Welcome to Take Charge of Your Health, brought to you by It Is Written. We're already up to night 3 of this 7-part series. Already we've heard from many people telling us how helpful and how hopeful Take Charge of Your Health has been. It's time that we knew that we can take charge of our health. Tonight we deal with a difficult subject. You're gonna find that there is a way forward, even when things look tough. So welcome to Take Charge of Your Health.

This is Take Charge of Your Health. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me. Tonight, "the big C". More than 11,000 people die every week in the United States from cancer. Just the word "cancer" strikes fear into the hearts of a lot of people. So how do you take charge of your health when it comes to cancer? Well, we're gonna find out tonight that there is a lot that you can do. We'll talk with the medical experts, who'll provide us with information that will enable us to make good decisions, give ourselves the best possible chance. We all know someone who has or has had cancer. A lot of people watching right now know much about this subject from personal experience. So as well as learning how to eat well and how to benefit from exercise, we'll talk to people whose experience will encourage us, Chef Ani will stop by, and we'll answer frequently asked questions.

John Bradshaw: I'm glad to be able to welcome a panel of physicians, who will discuss various aspects of cancer with me. Dr. Glen Papaioannou is a medical oncologist based in Kettering, Ohio, and he's with the Kettering Health Network. Dr. John Chung is a board-certified dermatologist and a Mohs micrographic surgeon. He's based in both Tennessee and Georgia. Dr. Bob Hunsaker is a cardiac anesthesiologist. He's at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. Gentlemen, welcome. Thank you very much for being here. I want to start with you, Dr. Papaioannou. We'll start right at the beginning. What is cancer?

Dr. Glen Papaioannou: Well, the best way to explain it is our bodies are made of trillions of cells, and just about any cell can become malignant, can become cancerous. And that usually happens because some changes happen in the cell, what we call mutations, and make the cell cancerous. And when that happens, the cell starts dividing, and from one cell you get two cells, and then four cells, and eight cells, and it keeps dividing again and again and again. And over time you get millions and billions of cancer cells. And then what happens, that's how you have a tumor growing. And the problem with cancer cells is that they have the ability to invade cells around them and kill them. And in addition to that, they have the ability to get into the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body. So, we have all heard about cancer spreading. You know, let's say somebody has lung cancer, and it spread to the liver. How did it do that? Well, those cancer cells went into the bloodstream and traveled to the liver, and, thus, then they started growing over there. So basically, cancers are a result of mutations or changes that happen in a single cell in our body, which make it malignant, and then it starts growing and growing and growing over time and becoming a tumor and then spreading.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Chung, let me ask you this question. I guess this is the question everybody wants to know the answer to. Why do people get cancer? I mean, we now understand the process. Why does it happen? How do you get this disease?

Dr. John Chung: Simply speaking, your cancer cells overwhelm your immune system. Because every single day your body forms cancer cells, but if you have a healthy immune system, you can usually overcome it.

John Bradshaw: Okay. In some cases, evidently, you can, in some cases you cannot, and so, let me ask you, Dr. Hunsaker, why is it that some people get cancer and some don't? My mother smoked religiously for more than 60 years of her adult life. She quit smoking at the age of 85. She was fine. Others get cancer very young. So why is it that some do and some don't?

Dr. Bob Hunsaker: Yeah, John, that's a great question, and I think the challenge we have in processing that is that this is a multifactorial sort of disease. So, there's lots of different causes, things like environmental factors, like radiation, asbestos, as John knows, sunshine. Um, there's other factors, like lifestyle factors, how we eat, what we exercise. There's medications we could have taken in the past that could have caused things. So it's, because it's a multifactorial, problem, we may have a lot of one factor and, and not much of another. So it's all sort of playing into averages. Um, I can't affect directly exactly if I get something or not; all I can do is affect my averages and doing the best I can with all the factors that cause it or prevent it to improve my averages to the best. But it's, it's, it's really a shotgun. There's a lot of things that cause it, so it's hard to know when one individual will get it or not.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Papaioannou, so somebody fears they have cancer or finds out they have cancer. What do they do? I mean, you, you, you contract this disease somehow. What steps should you take immediately to go about combating cancer?

Dr. Glen Papaioannou: So the first step will be that the patient will be referred to a doctor like myself, you know, a medical oncologist. And the process is usually, the first step is to obtain a biopsy so we know exactly what type of cancer we are dealing with. And after that, the next step is we have to do some, what you call a staging workup, which refers to how far has that cancer spread. You know, that's what we need to know. Because as most people have heard the term stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4 cancer, what does that mean? Usually when the cancer is small and in, you know, one location, usually stage 1. If the cancer is big or it has gone through a couple of lymph nodes, it may be stage 2. If it has gone to, you know, to several lymph nodes, it may be stage 3. And if it has spread to other parts of the body, then it's stage 4. So the first step is to determine what type of cancer it is and how far has it spread. And from then, we're gonna determine what the best treatment is. You know, is it surgery? You know, is it chemotherapy? Is it radiation? Is it a combination of all of these?

John Bradshaw: Dr. Chung, you deal a lot with skin cancer as a dermatologist. What are the most common forms of skin cancer that you see, that you treat?

Dr. John Chung: The most common cancers are, three: um, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. There are more skin cancers than all the cancers combined, all other cancers combined. About, 3 million Americans will develop a skin cancer. And almost around 5 million skin cancers will be, discovered in these, 3 million people.

John Bradshaw: So let me ask you, as a, as a dermatologist, what are you telling people to do or not to do when it comes to, skin cancer?

Dr. John Chung: If they see something that is new or something that is, symptomatic; bleeding, itching, or, painful, you know, they should go see a dermatologist when it comes to skin issues.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Hunsaker, what we know is that cancer is just not a simple thing, but what we would like to know is what are the sorts of things that people can start to do to give themselves the best, the best chance of avoiding cancer? What are some of those things, and why are they helpful?

Dr. Bob Hunsaker: Yeah, that's another great question, um, John. And I think, again, because there's lots of things that can contribute to cancer, there's a lot of things we can do that, that hopefully will and may help modify our cancer risks, although none of them is a guarantee. So some of the most important things are, the common things we know for almost any of the diseases we encounter, are dietary factors. Um, the American, uh, Cancer Society recommends avoiding red meat, if at all possible, for some kinds of cancer. So, less red meat, a higher plant-based diet. Um, there's a lot of factors in different plants, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains, that potentially can have a good impact on your outcomes, both in preventing cancer and if you get it, hopefully in modifying the course of it. Another important factor is exercise. Um, a lot of good studies in breast cancer and exercise, but those sort of lifestyle factors, are very, very important in, in helping us hopefully modify these things. Again, it doesn't guarantee you won't get it or won't be able to stop the progression, but it's a factor that could be an influence in the right direction.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Papaioannou, when it comes to treatment options, you mentioned, chemo and, and radiation. Um, a lot of people face those things with real trepidation because they can be tough treatments. What do you advise people to do when they're considering or looking at entering into treatments of this kind? How should they approach them? What should they do?

Dr. Glen Papaioannou: Well, this is a kind of a complicated question because what the patient needs, you know, it varies from patient to patient pretty much. Sometimes the treatment is pretty simple and a minor surgical procedure is all that's needed. And then sometimes we have the other extreme where the cancer is widespread, and we know that the person's life expectancy is gonna be very short without treatment, and that's why we need to do some of the more aggressive treatments. Em, for the patients to know is, first of all, to talk with their, their doctor, their oncologist, talk about their concerns, talk about, you know, the stresses they have and how we can best help them. And that's something we focus on. And, em, and then the other best thing they can do is, uh, number one, to try to live as healthy as they can, even though they have cancer now, to eat right, avoid sugar, avoid processed meats, you know, eat the plant-based diet as much as possible, exercise, very, very important. And by exercise, I don't mean, you know, heavy exercise, but something as simple as going for a brisk walk every day for 30, 40 minutes. Sleep right. Exercise. What we have also found is that people, you know, how much social support we have is important, so people that can come to your support are important. And faith in God is also very important. You know, when you have faith in God, everything becomes easier to manage.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Chung, when it comes to dermatology or dermatologically-related cancers, what role does lifestyle have in, preventing and combating that? What sort of changes can somebody make in their life to improve their odds?

Dr. John Chung: The most dangerous part about the, sun exposure is a sunburn. And, most of your sun exposure you get before age 18. So you try to avoid sunburns when you're young. One sunburn can significantly increase, melanoma, for example, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer. But, you can do several things. Wear sunscreen that is 30, with broad spectrum and water-resistant. And also, avoid tanning beds at all costs. And, there are some studies that shows some dietary, benefits, like antioxidants that contains a lot of, like beta-carotene, which is orange-colored vegetables, carrots, squash, yam, and something called lycopenes, that's like tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruits. Vitamin D, you can find, through the sun, you know, ironically. Those things, as well as, something called Mediterranean diet, which is, uh, rich in, plants, and that contains many antioxidants. There was one study that followed 600 people in, in Italy, and they found that, this Mediterranean diet cut their risk of melanoma by 50 percent.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, if you can get a 50-percent reduction in something, you'd be mad not to go after it. Dr. Hunsaker, talk to me about epigenetics. What's epigenetics, and how does an understanding of this, how does this work to bring positive and even negative results? Speak to me about this, because this could significantly alter the way that we relate to cancer in our daily lives.

Dr. Bob Hunsaker: Yeah, that's another great question, John, and I think that links together what the three of us have been talking about, about lifestyle changes, what we eat, whether we exercise, those kinds of things, and the outcomes. So, I think most of us are familiar with our genetics. It's our DNA; it's, it's what our parents give to us from, childhood, from infancy. Epigenetics are the control mechanisms that control the turning on and off of genes in our DNA. Our DNA produces proteins; those proteins are the things that work in our body to, to do different work. So the epigenome is like the conductor of the orchestra. He tells different parts of the orchestra when to, when to play their music and when not to play, those kinds of things. This epigenome is, is felt to be the linkage between environment, i.e., what we eat, whether we exercise, environmental toxins we encounter, radiation, all those kinds of things, the link between those things and what happens in our DNA, what gets turned on and gets off. So that epigenome is very, very important, because we can't change our DNA, we can't change our genes, but we can probably influence our epigenome. We can have an influence on turning the right genes on and turning the, the, wrong genes off. Um, so, that's why that epigenome is so important; it's the connecting link between our environments, and our, our nature, our, our genes.

John Bradshaw: So what are the things that science is telling us turns the good things on and turns the bad things off? What this means, then, is that those little choices that we make day to day really aren't so little, and they could have some major impacts, both presumably for good and for bad. So what are some of those things that have been demonstrated that flip on the good things and flip off the bad things?

Dr. Bob Hunsaker: Yeah, I think that's the things we've been alluding to here, the kind of things we eat. Um, I think both John and Dr. Papaioannou and Dr. Chung all listed those kinds of good fruits and vegetables. A plant-based diet, fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, water intake, exercise, avoiding things in the environment that can trigger bad things, like too much sunlight without sunscreen, Dr. Chung was mentioning. Um, those are the kinds of things that really are sort of the common sense things. Um, they may not be our routine habits, but those are the kind of things you want to be establishing habits regarding that will minimize our risk of getting cancer, and if we do get it, hopefully help us, uh, to fight it and come out, victorious against it.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Papaioannou, as an oncologist you've worked with a lot of people. You've seen a good number of people come through cancer successfully. You've seen people who haven't had that kind of success, because cancer is a brutal, it's a very, very tough thing. So, we know some of the things that we can do to increase our odds of having a successful outcome. We certainly know a number of the things that stack the deck against us. As someone's going through this and they're facing the uncertainty, you know the, the medical things to tell them, you need this course of treatment; that course of treatment might do the best. But how does somebody deal with the uncertainty and maybe the fear of, of approaching something as, as scary as cancer?

Dr. Glen Papaioannou: This is probably the toughest, you know, part of the job and the toughest part of, you know, for a patient dealing with cancer to be a certainty. And sometimes there is unfavorable certainty, meaning that you almost certainly know that the patient is not gonna survive. And this is a very, you know, very difficult and very personal situation. The biggest, I think, the most important thing when we talk about the non-medical aspects of going through cancer treatments, eh, is faith in God and social support, I would say. Eh, I have clearly seen that in patients who live alone, who have no social support; they tend to do worse, and they tend to have a harder time getting to treatment. They have more complications when compared to people that have loved ones, you know, who stand by them, support them, help them. Of course, hope, you know, is very, very important, and the good thing is that, as, as time goes by, we are able to give more and more hope to patients. We have new treatments being approved just about every week. They're small steps in the right direction, but we are able to give more and more hope. So keeping a positive attitude makes a big difference in how people go through treatment.

John Bradshaw: I want to ask the dermatologist one more question. Uh, when facing cancer, smokers should quit; drinkers shouldn't drink. There's too little said about the fact that alcohol is carcinogenic. So when it comes to skin cancers, Dr. Chung, does that mean that people should just keep out of the sun altogether? Or how do we relate to that?

Dr. John Chung: Well, this is a, kind of complicated question because you have so much benefit of the sun, as well as harmful effects. Sun is like food. If you don't have food, you're gonna die. If you have too much food, you can also die. I never say to people, completely avoid the sun. But sun has so many benefits, and, um, without getting sunburn, blistering sunburns, you're going to get much more benefit than completely avoiding the sun.

John Bradshaw: Gentlemen, thank you very much. We'll be back with more soon from all of you because we're gonna be asking some frequently asked questions. But in the meantime, thank you. We certainly appreciate you taking your time.

Dr. Glen Papaioannou: It's been a pleasure.

Dr. Bob Hunsaker: Appreciate it.

John Bradshaw: I'm joined now by Wes Peppers, who's based in Lansing, Michigan, who's had quite a journey with cancer. Wes Peppers, thanks for joining me.

Wes Peppers: Glad to be here with you, John, thank you.

John Bradshaw: Hey, so take me back to the time you discovered you had cancer. Tell me what that was like and what happened next.

Wes Peppers: Sure. You know, I was 28 years old, and that's the last word you expect to hear, is the "cancer" word at 28 or even 30. And it was quite a fright for me, and we had to go to the doctor and get a round of tests. And it was determined that I had to have surgery and chemotherapy to follow, so I was gonna have five rounds of chemotherapy. And so all this was just a real rush.

John Bradshaw: Cancer treatment can be pretty tough stuff. Along the way were there ever moments where you thought, "Ooh, this, this is looking not nearly as good as it should"? Or was it, was it plain sailing?

Wes Peppers: Sure, there was a specific, time when I actually developed a septic infection after one of my chemo treatments, which most of the time doesn't happen, but it's, it, it just happened to me. And, I was in ICU for over 10 days. It was a huge struggle. And they really thought that I wasn't going to make it. Uh, but there were thousands of people around the world that actually were praying for me, which I was very grateful. And, you know, I believe that the combination of prayer and modern medicine really was a factor in me getting well, because as the people prayed, they, they didn't know how to find it, but as they prayed around the world, the infection that was in my system began to develop into a pocket, and they were able to do an emergency surgery and remove that infection and begin to give me the right antibiotics, which allowed me to start to get well. So between the prayer of God's people and, I'd hope to say, my trust in God, and the team of wonderful doctors that I had, God really worked a miracle for me. I'm very thankful for it.

John Bradshaw: Cancer's a scary thing. It's a worrying thing, and it would not be at all surprising if somebody battling with cancer came to the place where they lost hope. So, along the way, did you ever lose hope? If you didn't, how did you keep hope alive?

Wes Peppers: You know, John, certainly there are times when we have those up-and-down moments, and I had those. You know, there were days I was very discouraged. There were days I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. Um, there were days when my wife was discouraged. But we just, day by day, moment by moment, kept putting our lives in God's hands. I remember there was a very crucial time. It, it was about 3 o'clock in the morning. I was in the bed, and I said, "God, if You don't intervene here, I'm going to, I'm probably going to die". And it was that next morning when they found that. But I just said a prayer on the bed and I said, "God, I'm just gonna surrender myself completely to You. I trust You". And, John, I began to learn to ask the question, not "Why is this happening"? but "God, how can You bring glory to Yourself through this? How can You teach me a valuable lesson"? And, you know, I looked to the Word of God. The Bible is full of wonderful promises that gave me hope and encouragement. And just this day-by-day surrender to the Lord really, the Lord would speak in every little moment, to us, and, you know, He just carried us through. It wasn't just this great moment where everything seemed like it was gonna be okay, but it had to be a day-by-day, moment-by-moment trust. And that's what we did.

John Bradshaw: So let me ask you this. You and I both know that there are many people who have prayed the same prayer that you prayed, with the same heart as you had, with the same amount of trust in God as you had, and yet that prayer has been answered with a funeral. So what do you say to that person? What do you say to that family, to that wife who lost a husband, or that husband who lost a wife, or the parents who lost kids? What do you say to them? How do they make sense of that?

Wes Peppers: Absolutely. You know, I've lost several family members to cancer, some of my grandparents. I've had some aunts and uncles, I've had some close friends, some people my age, that I've lost to cancer, and it's a real struggle, and it's sometimes difficult to understand. We don't know why God would allow that to happen when we prayed with all of our hearts that they would be healed, but the answer is this: that we live in a broken, sinful world. And it doesn't mean that that person's sin, that's what caused their death, but it certainly means that we're in a battle between good and evil. And in every war innocent people die. And sometimes, you know, I've had close friends that have, that have, that have prayed for healing, and God didn't see fit to bring healing at that time, but there were other ways in which their lives were a blessing. I remember one lady I worked with, she passed away from her cancer, but through her death, her entire family came to Christ. The Bible promises us that "all things work together for [our] good". But it doesn't say that everything is good, but "all things work together for [our] good". And, you know, if we ask that question "How God...?", instead of "Why"?, uh, our attitude will, can change, and our mindset can change. And God does promise healing to every single person who puts their faith in Him, but the timing is in His hands. Sometimes God heals people instantly, sometimes over time, and some people will be healed at the Second Coming when He comes again.

John Bradshaw: How long have you been cancer-free? And, how are you doing these days?

Wes Peppers: You know, it's been over 10 years now that I've been cancer-free, which I'm very thankful for. And I remember that 10-year anniversary, just last year actually we had that, and it was a very solemn thing to just sit and, and, and thank God and just reflect upon how much He's brought me through, not just in the cancer situation, but many other situations. And there's one thing that I can be sure of, is that God is faithful through the darkest trials of our lives. Through the worst situations we can experience, God's hand is always there reaching out to us. We may not always see it, but when we reach out by faith, we will sense His presence in our hearts. We will sense Him close to us, and He will draw close in the times that we need it the most.

John Bradshaw: Fantastic. We so really appreciate you sharing. Thank you very much for joining me.

Wes Peppers: All right, God bless you, John, thank you.

John Bradshaw: Well, you know, no success story would ever take place if people didn't learn how to take charge of their health. Tonight, I want to introduce you to a good friend of It Is Written. You may have seen her cooking program, Chef Ani, on It Is Written TV or on YouTube. I am thrilled Ani Perry has agreed to share with us a few recipes over the next couple of nights. Chef Ani, welcome to Take Charge of Your Health.

Chef Ani: Thank you, John, it is great to be joining you.

John Bradshaw: Ani, tonight we're dealing with the topic of getting more greens into our diet. I'm hopeful that you'll have a recipe that will help us to do exactly that.

Chef Ani: Well, John, the best way to get greens into our diet is in a salad. So tonight I'm going to show you how to make a simple salad. Anyone can make a salad, and you can be so creative. The more color the better for you. Let's start with our greens. Now, a good one to start with, especially if you haven't had a lot of salad, is iceberg lettuce because it has a very mild flavor. The next thing we're going to add is green leafy vegetables, which are very high in antioxidants. So we're going to add some spinach. Another green leafy vegetable to add is kale. Kale is incredibly good for us. Now, the best part of the kale is the leaves and not so much the stalk, 'cause that can be kind of tough to chew. So, a good way to take it off is just to hold the stalk with one hand and then rip off the leaves with the other, like that, and then you can just add those. Break them up and add them into your salad. Another one of my favorite leafy greens is romaine. And I love this because it's like, has a crispy texture and very good flavor. Now that we have the leafy green base to our salad, we're going to add in some color. By adding more color we add more nutrients and more antioxidants. One of my favorite vegetables to add to my salads is cherry tomatoes. They add such a pop of color and a pop of flavor, and they're also really good for you. You can either throw them in whole, or you can cut them in half like I'm doing today.

Another thing I love to add is pepper. Pepper is such a good thing to add to salads. And I love to use a variety of colors, like this one is yellow. They also come in orange, green, and red. I love to add radishes, especially when I slice them really thin, because they have this pink color, which is, first of all, beautiful to look at, plus they have this kind of peppery flavor to them, so they add quite a nice bite to your salad. Now, the nice thing about making your own salad is if there is something here you don't like, like, let's say you don't like radishes, just don't put them in. Maybe you love cucumber, and then you can put a whole bunch of cucumber in the salad. Just fill your salad with things you love. And then you can start adding different vegetables as you feel comfortable with it. What really makes a nice salad is different textures, shapes, and colors. You really wanna have a variety. If you would like to add some protein to your salad, you could add some cooked garbanzo beans or some edamame. Those are really good things, and they add a bit of protein to your salad.

So we have quite a variety of vegetables here just to show you what you could do, and be creative. Maybe you'll see some of your favorites here. We have lime, ginger, garlic, red onion. Avocado is such a nice thing to add to a salad. I often add avocado. Of course we have pepper, lemon, asparagus. My dad loves asparagus. Beets are such a beautiful thing to add. We have some beet greens, tomatoes, sweet onion. I have some olives here. Seeds, of course, add a lot of fiber. Cauliflower, corn, kale, cabbage, and red cabbage, and, of course, we have some spring mix here, which is really handy to buy, because they've already kind of mixed it up for you. So you have some spinach in here and different kinds of things. So I will often just get spring mix, and that's really helpful. Another nice thing to add is microgreens or spouts. Everything here has value and nutrition. Tonight I have a couple of different options for dressings. I have a sesame ginger dressing and a creamy Italian dressing, which you can find those recipes on the website. So there you have it, simple and easy, something you can incorporate into everyday life.

John Bradshaw: Ani, again, incredible. I'm really impressed. You know, that's something that's simple, something that, something that even I could make at home and take to work with me.

Chef Ani: Eating healthy doesn't take a lot of work. It just takes a little creativity and a desire to eat healthier.

John Bradshaw: Ani, one last thing: How can people watch more of your program and get more of these recipes for themselves?

Chef Ani: That's simple, John. All they have to do is go to chefani.com, or they can watch them on It Is Written TV.

John Bradshaw: When you were young like me, you heard people telling you, "Eat your greens". If you are young, then you ought to be hearing that, and you ought to be doing that. Not everybody thinks about leafy green vegetables with a whole lot of excitement. But here, to put the excitement back in leafy greens, well, I'm sorry, after a buildup like that... Dr. Fay Kazzi is a nutritionist. She is an author. She is a health professional. Thank you, welcome to Take Charge of Your Health. Dr. Kazzi, tell me, leafy greens, what's so good about them?

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Um, so there is definitely a relationship between the proper intake of good amounts of green leafy vegetables and the risk of cancer. In men alone, right now we have such high rates of, prostate cancer. And in women, we're seeing very high rates of breast cancer. And actually, cancer right now is the number two killer in America, with the first one being cardiovascular disease. So, right now we really want to be able to combat, diseases like cancer with good amounts of green leafy vegetables. And you can get your green leafy vegetables in a spectrum of ways. And here are a couple that I think are going to be really beneficial for you. Obviously, we know the best way to get your green leafy vegetable is in the form of a salad, and there's wonderful ways you can prepare salads, and you can prepare wonderful dressings to go with it, like nut-based dressings and dressings that are, made even without oil. It can be that good. Um, and then also you can throw your greens into smoothies and kind of mask it with the sweetness of fruits. And in addition to that, you can always make your homemade pizzas and then throw different types of greens like spinach or arugula right on top, fresh, on your hot pizza. It tastes amazing. And I think one of the best ways to hide a good amount of greens is to put them in your soups. Yes, you heard that right. So, for example, you've heard of cream of broccoli, which is a green, but even stronger than the broccoli would be different types of, green leafy vegetables such as spinach. You could make cream of spinach. It's basically blending all those good ingredients and eating it warm, and it's very, very delicious, and you can hide quite a good amount of greens in the small amounts of soup.

John Bradshaw: I'm sure there are things about the properties of leafy green vegetables that would blow your mind if only you knew. So do you have something that you could say, "Hey, this is really worth knowing"? What's something about leafy greens that might change the way we view them?

Dr. Fay Kazzi: So, what is the most obvious part of this green leafy vegetable? Well, it's the green color, and this is a really cool concept. Did you know that you could actually look at greens and understand that that's from a pigment called chlorophyll? Chlorophyll is not just the pigment or the color, though. It has a wonderful attribute. It can actually attach itself to toxins and carcinogens that can go on and cause havoc and even lead to cancer. It attaches to them, and it prevents them from being absorbed into the bloodstream, and then it takes those carcinogens and harmful substances and helps you pass them right along into your stool. So, if you think about chlorophyll as just being a color, it's so much more than that. Um, it has amazing properties to protect the body against the harmful effects of free radicals and toxins.

John Bradshaw: They are so good for us. They're not boring. They do taste great. They ought to be a really major part of our diet. I want to encourage you, if, if your diet is lacking leafy greens, do something about it. If you're thinking to yourself, "Okay, I heard what she said, but", here's what you do. You get Dr. Fay's book. Tell me about your book and where people can get it.

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Yes, thank you, so my cookbook is called "The Earthy Canvas Vegan Cookbook". It has over 100 plant-based recipes. A big chunk of that is going to be the salad section, really great, wonderful salads, and also the smoothie section as well. I do have a lot of examples of how you can incorporate beautiful greens in a way that tastes amazing and is really good for you. So, I mean, I love my book, obviously, but I also think it's a wonderful way to learn how to cook in a healthy way that's also gonna taste really good.

John Bradshaw: Search for it online: Dr. Fay Kazzi, "The Earthy Canvas Vegan Cookbook," or you can stop at itiswritten.shop. Dr. Kazzi, really appreciate it, thank you so much for joining me.

Dr. Fay Kazzi: Thank you for having me.

John Bradshaw: It's time for frequently asked questions on the subject of cancer, important questions. What are the questions our physicians hear a lot? Let me start with you, Dr. Glen Papaioannou. What is a question you hear a lot? As a medical oncologist, how do you respond?

Dr. Glen Papaioannou: So, when it comes to, not from my patients, but from the family, probably the most common question I get asked is, "What can I do to minimize the chances of getting, you know, cancer"? And the question is not difficult to answer. Eh, the answer is, number one, most important, don't smoke. About anywhere between 20 and 30 percent of all cancers are caused by smoking. And, so just by not smoking, you avoid, you decrease your chance of getting cancer significantly. Not only it's associated with many cancers, but the cancers that smoking causes tend to be some of the more deadly cancers. So, number one, don't smoke. Eh, a second thing that's important is avoid alcohol, avoid alcohol in general, because alcohol is associated with several line of cancers, too. Eh, avoid the sun, like Dr. Chung said. You know, when I talk about the sun, I should say, avoid sunburns, you know. Avoid obesity. You know, staying at a healthy weight reduces the risk of getting cancer. Exercise regularly. That also helps decrease the chance of cancer.

There are carcinogens; you know, there are chemicals we should avoid. And, there's often warnings for those. Finally, the things that most people don't think about, some cancers are transmitted and caused by viruses. Eh, cervical cancer is mostly caused by a sexually-transmitted virus, caused, called HPV, human papillomavirus. And even living a moral life actually helps reduce the risk. The same virus causes other cancers. So, all these things are, you know, eating right, exercising, living healthy, avoiding smoking, you know, avoiding, you know, alcohol consumption, are all ways to do it. And I will finally say that even though we can minimize the chances of getting cancer, we can never be 100-percent safe, you know, from cancer. You know, somebody can lead, lead a healthy life and still end up, you know, getting cancer.

So the other thing that is very, very important for people to know is that, don't ignore signs of cancer. And that's very, very important. One of the most sad situations I see is, you know, having a patient that was referred to me, he went to the emergency room a couple of years previously with abdominal pain that was getting worse for a month or two, and they did a CAT scan, and there were tumors everywhere. They did a biopsy, and it was colon cancer that was stage 4. It had spread everywhere. So the patient came to me, and I was asking questions. I asked, "Have you had any blood in the stool"? He will say, "Yes, I've had blood in the stool for two years, but I assumed it was hemorrhoids". So, eh, there are warning signs for cancer, and the problem is that the signs and symptoms of cancer can mimic just about any other. So things like if you have any bleeding that's inexplicable, like blood in the stool or the urine, persistent cough, persistent abdominal pain, persistent hoarseness, eh, persistent nausea, you know, difficulty swallowing or sometimes hoarseness, a, a skin lesion that is changing, any lump that's getting bigger, all of those things are important to go talk to your doctor right away. It doesn't always mean it is cancer, but it needs to be evaluated, because it can be a matter of life and death.

John Bradshaw: Dr. John Chung, a board-certified dermatologist, what is a frequently asked question you get, and how do you respond?

Dr. John Chung: Um, there are many, but, "Is it okay if I go to tanning beds"? The answer is absolutely no. Because it can, you know, there are some studies that shows that, it can contribute up to 400,000 non-melanoma and melanoma cancers every year.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Bob Hunsaker, cardiac anesthesiologist, you're at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts. What is a question you hear a lot of, and how do you answer?

Dr. Bob Hunsaker: Well, I, I wouldn't say it quite that way, but one of the things that comes up in the operating room a lot is we get patients that come, and they have cancer because they were smoking, and as Dr. Papaioannou mentioned, that's a, a significant risk factor, um, for lots of different kinds of cancers, so, one of the things that we try and do, um, even just in that little period of time we have before someone has surgery, is encourage them to stop smoking. And the data is actually quite impressive. Just that brief encounter when someone's in that crisis moment, they're coming for surgery, and they're particularly susceptible to advice, and in that context, if you just tell them, "Listen, it's very, very important you quit smoking, and you can start that today. You're gonna be in the hospital for several days. You won't be able to smoke here. This is the time". And just that little bit of counseling in those couple days in the hospital without smoking, there's a significant percentage, about 10-15 percent of people who quit smoking just in that brief period.

John Bradshaw: Fantastic. Dr. Chung, is there another frequently asked question you receive, and if there is, what do you respond with?

Dr. John Chung: Well, "How can I avoid skin cancer"? So I gave you some answers previously, but American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone be checked, full-body check, from head to toe, at least once a year. So, if they do that, um, you can catch even the most deadly cancers early. Melanoma caught early is completely curable. So, that is the main thing, is regular checks of the skin.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Glen Papaioannou, medical oncologist, Kettering Health Network, Kettering, Ohio, thank you, appreciate you joining me.

Dr. Glen Papaioannou: It's been a pleasure.

John Bradshaw: Dr. John Chung, board-certified dermatologist, based in Tennessee and Georgia. Thank you, Dr. Chung, I appreciate you taking your time.

Dr. John Chung: Thank you.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Bob Hunsaker, who is a cardiac anesthesiologist at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts. Thank you, Dr. Hunsaker, appreciate it very much.

Dr. Bob Hunsaker: John, thank you. We appreciate the ministry It Is Written has. It's been a huge blessing to me and my family.

John Bradshaw: Many people have an experience with cancer, and most of them wish they didn't. It's quite the journey, and someone who's about to share his journey with us or a little of that journey, is Alvin Kibble. Alvin, thank you so much for joining me.

Alvin Kibble: My pleasure.

John Bradshaw: So you found out you had cancer. What were the thoughts that ran through your mind at the time?

Alvin Kibble: Well, I'd like to, I'd like to go at it this way. Uh, I wouldn't have wished my cancer on my worst enemy. But I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

John Bradshaw: Now, that's a really, that's a very interesting angle. What causes you to say that? Uh, what was it about that experience that, that it allows you to say that at a time like this?

Alvin Kibble: I thought that I knew God before I experienced my cancer. I have to honestly say I knew about God, but having gone through my cancer experience, I got to know Him for myself.

John Bradshaw: What was that journey like going through treatment? There had to have been times when you said, "This is low. I'm, I'm, I'm struggling". Or maybe you didn't have that experience. What was it like?

Alvin Kibble: Well, the first thing that comes into your mind is, "Why me"? And, since my cancer was several years ago, I was still in that era when people did not, did not, announce they had cancer. Um, they would come up to you and whisper, "Did you know that so-and-so has cancer"? Because so many times, we, like the disciples of old, want to ask the question, "Well, what did you do to get cancer"? Um, and, because of our lifestyle, and I've been a vegetarian most of my entire life, and at the time when I received the cancer, I was walking about 18 miles a week. You kind of think that that's not something that's going to be your lot. Um, but you, you do go through the experience of asking, "Why me"?

John Bradshaw: You're looking back on this now. You've been cancer-free for a little while. How long, as you look back, what do you take away from this experience? Maybe something that can give, that can give hope to someone who right now may be facing something like this.

Alvin Kibble: Well, the fact is I, I knew God could heal me if He wanted to. We know who God is. And we, we know what He has the power to do. I just didn't know whether or not He had that in, in His plan for me. Um, and when you go back in your mind, you think about the, the things that God has done for you. I had an accident, a terrible accident, when I was in college. And the Lord spared me, that accident. I can also remember a near-drowning experience as a child, when I was in about five or sixth grade, at the YMCA. And the Lord had delivered me from that. So you, you, you look at that, and then you wonder, well, you know, "Lord, are You... is this it"? You really come to that point when you know the only person that I could depend on was God. And I, I settled it, that whatever He decided to do is gonna be all right with me.

John Bradshaw: Looks like it's worked out all right. We're so thankful for you, grateful for your sharing, thankful for your experience, looking forward to many more healthy years. Alvin Kibble, thank you, God bless you, appreciate your time. You know that tonight on Take Charge of Your Health we're talking about cancer. And here's what the experts will tell you: One of the best ways to protect yourself from disease of any kind, illness of any kind, is exercise. It can be easy, and it can be a whole lot of fun. To tell us more about exercise, here's Dr. Steve Lee. Dr. Lee, thanks for joining us.

Dr. Steve Lee: Thanks, John. Let's talk about swimming. Now, swimming does require that you find a lake or a river or a pool to swim in. And you can get all kinds of fancy equipment like goggles, fins, paddles, but all you really need is the ability to swim and a body of water. Now, if you don't know how to swim, I think it's a very important safety measure to learn how to swim. And you can usually find swimming lessons at your local pool, YMCA, or college. Swimming is a great whole-body, low-impact form of exercise. And for people with arthritis or weight issues that make other forms of exercise difficult or painful, swimming is a great way to get exercise. Also, the breathing and breath control that you need for swimming leads to improved lung capacity and lung function. In the summer, when it's so hot that other forms of exercise are less appealing, swimming is a great way to cool off. So if you don't know how to swim, find a lesson and learn. And if you do know how to swim, find a pool and enjoy one of the best forms of whole-body exercise in existence.

John Bradshaw: Now, let's be sure we're thinking about our spiritual health. I want to review with you lesson number 3 of the CREATION Life Study Guides, produced by It Is Written in association with AdventHealth. They are terrific. At the end tonight, I'm going to tell you where you can download this study that we're looking at and others just like it. So, let's look at CREATION Life study guide number 3, "Environment". And when you open the first page and look on the inside, it says, "The value of environment". So let's consider this environment and think about the impact on humanity and on our physical and spiritual well-being.

Question number 1, it's a fundamental question: "How did humans come into existence"? Well, let's go all the way back to the beginning, to the very first verse of the Bible, where it says in Genesis 1 in verse 1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". That's the teaching of the Word of God, and that is that there is a God in heaven who cares about you. You're not an accident. You didn't sort of stumble into existence. You are not here as the result of random processes, but you were intentionally made, carefully designed by a loving God who brought you into being for a real, good, eternal, divine purpose. God wants you to live forever.

That's why we want to take charge of our health, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually so we can connect to the One who made us and wants us to be around in the long term. Interesting book of the Bible that is too frequently ignored, it's the book of Nehemiah. And in Nehemiah, chapter 9 in verse 6, it says this: "You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You". It's a theme consistent throughout the Bible, that in the beginning God created. Therefore, ultimately you get to say to God, "You made me. You know what's best for me. I need You to take care of me. You can guide me. I can look to You with a perfect right because You called me into existence. You called me into being". CREATION Life study guide available from It Is Written, number 3, "Environment".

Let's look at question 3. There's a good question: "Is God evident in His creation"? Can you look at creation and see evidence of God? Now, Romans 1 in verse 20 says, "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made". And Psalm 19, verse 1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork". What the Bible makes clear to us is that God is revealed to us, can be understood; we see Him in the works of creation. What that means is you ought to be able to look up into the sky on a starry night and say, "God made that". You see the intricate pattern in wood or in the bark of a tree and say, "God did that".

You see a bumblebee flying or a bird, in a nest, and you say, "God designed that". And what does that tell you about God? Do you know that God could have made one kind of flower? But instead He made so many beautiful different kinds of flowers. God loves variety. You look at the animal kingdom. God could have made just dogs or just cats, but instead He made this almost endless variety among nature. Sometimes it might suggest God's got a bit of a sense of humor. But what it does suggest is that God created a variety of things, and He clearly cares about what we think, which is why He beautified the world in which we live. You fill your mind with the idea that this great, transcendent Almighty God exists, the Creator of the environment; that's gonna impact the way that you relate to life and to the world around you.

Well, I want to read question 4, that's this: "How should we react when bad things happen in our lives"? Might even be something bad regarding health. I, I, I have a friend who told me that his mother was described as being "sickeningly healthy". It may have even been her doctor who said that. "Oh, you're so healthy. You're so well. You exercise, and you eat well, and you glow, and you have faith in God and everything". She died at the age of 53 from an incurable form of cancer. There was nothing that could be done. I'll share this with you. A few days ago, I spoke to, I'll say a friend. My friend said, "Would you pray for my son? My son's daughter died of a drug overdose three years ago. He's hated God ever since. Won't have anything to do with the rest of his family. His life has spiraled out of control. Something bad happened, and he hates God".

I understand. If we were to think God made the world, God made me, God is good, God is love, why in the world would a loving God allow terrible things to happen? Well, I'm gonna read to you from this study guide. Let's look at it together. "God made this world perfect, but Satan stepped in and tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God. When sin entered the world, it brought with it death, sorrow, and misery. Sometimes things don't go the way we'd like them to go. When [they] don't go the way we'd like [them to go], it's important to remember [that] God is still seated on His throne and [He's] able to bring good out of [a bad situation]". It doesn't mean that bad situations always become good. It doesn't mean that losing a loved one will stop hurting one day. It, it doesn't mean that you weren't harmed or injured or whatever the case might be. But you can trust God. Uh, troubles come into your life, and they're gonna push you. You get to choose whether they push you away from God or push you closer to God.

Question 5: "What should I do if temptation and discouragement are getting the better of me"? I'll read to you from 1 Corinthians 10 in verse 13; it says, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man", to humanity, "but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it". Okay, now, first of all, it'd be wise for us to try to avoid any situation where we're going to be tempted. But when you find yourself in that situation, remember something: God made you to be resilient. During Take Charge of Your Health we're talking to people who have been in some tight spots. And we've got some more gripping conversations to come. You're gonna hear from people who were in a place of utter defeat, maybe even abject despair, and they came through.

So, difficult things happen. Discouragement may grab ahold of you, but you can, you can push it away. You can fend it off. Or you can ask God to rise you, raise you up above it, to give you strength in your life and faith in Him. Now I want to look at this verse. And the question is, "How can we learn to rely on God more fully"? Second Corinthians 3:18, it says, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord". So did you hear what Paul wrote to the church in Corinth there? He talked about looking towards God and being transformed, being made more and more into His image, more and more like God. What that means is this: If you figure you're failing, and Jesus was a success, you look to Jesus; you'll be made more like Him.

What God is saying: "How about connecting with me"? You're wanting to lose weight? "Connect with me". You find yourself having received a terrible diagnosis? "Connect with me". The doctor said you're gonna have to have a stent put in your heart because of, you know, maybe even unfortunate lifestyle choices. You feel bummed about that. God says, "Connect with me. Rely on me. Look in my direction". The Bible says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength". You can come to God and say, "God, give me that joy". You can say, "Lord, let me see the world through Your eyes". You see, high above the circle of the earth, there sits God on His throne, and He says, "I'll take care of you. I'll get you through".

And remember, life on this earth is just the precursor to everlasting life which is to come. So before we get too discouraged by difficulties, by bad things that happen to us on this earth, let's remember this isn't a sprint; it's a marathon, an ultra-marathon. We're talking about eternity. And we can afford to let the challenges of this earth mold us and, and, and lean us more and more in God's direction. What was the question? "How can we learn to rely on God more fully"? Let me back up a little bit. You probably can't learn to rely on God if you don't know God. So while we're talking about the human body, about health, about life and longevity, why don't we think about the God who made the human body and say to ourselves, "I ought to get to know Him better".

The Bible is the bestselling book in the world year after year. You've probably got one. If you do, take it down and read in an attempt to come to know God. Find out what He's like. Who is this God? Does He care for me? Does He love me? Does He want to change my life? Can He change my life? Get to know God. And Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that as we behold God, we are transformed more and more and changed into the image of God. "Environment," that's study number 3. You know, we've just scratched the surface. I want to encourage you to get the study. I want to encourage you to download it. And do you know where you can get it? takecharge.life, takecharge.life, you go there, and you can download this resource and others besides.

Now, something else I want to tell you: You can watch this presentation again if you missed something, if you'd like to see it again, and you can share the link with somebody else, say, "Hey, I want to encourage you to take charge of your health". Find the link at takecharge.life and share it with somebody else. Now, tomorrow night we're going to talk about a weighty subject. We're gonna talk about weight loss, what you can do about your weight if you want to shed pounds. No, there's going to be no finger-pointing. There's gonna be no shaming. There's just going to be encouragement, practical advice. We'll speak to doctors who know what they're talking about, and we'll talk to people who have seen enormous gains because of enormous losses. So don't miss it. That's tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to seeing you then. Thanks so much for joining me on Take Charge of Your Health.
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