We do a lot of outside learning during the semester. Which is a “good” thing, they tell us, since we’re rounding out our education and getting the full experience, so we become even better providers. This also means that we rarely have a set schedule and often hustle back and forth between classes, volunteer activities, tumor boards, conferences, guest lecturers, and support groups.
But it’s a “good” thing, especially when we’re exposed to some amazing speakers and hear about experiences and scientific break-throughs that weave into our classroom learning.
Specifically, 2 classmates and I recently had the privilege to attend a breast cancer support group that featured a nutritionist. She spoke on healing breast cancer through healthful food choices and re-alignment of the endocrine system. She reinforced the immunizing properties of food and touched on themes such as: healthy weight, controlling insulin, maintaining an alkaline pH, healthy intestinal flora, reduced exposure to pesticides, physical activity, etc.
The women in the audience were truly engaged. Many had undergone rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and surgery. My impression was that nutrition was an aspect within their control, an action they could take to help the healing process and feel in control of their bodies. The speaker did not describe a panacea, but rather a positive route to connect with personal healthcare.
As an afternote, I sometimes probe the internet for interesting correlations between health and disease. When I’m being a good student, I explore literature related to cancer and cultural trends…since that’s the direction in which I intend to take my thesis. When I’m being a poor student, I explore “literature” (read: blogs) about interesting recipes and ways to spice up my coffee consumption.
Sometimes my worlds collide.
I recently stumbled upon a recipe for “Bulletproof Coffee” – it involves adding butter to your coffee.
(I am absolutely going to test this out.)
But the coffee article also incorporated a link to a new study, claiming coffee consumption reduces the risk of breast cancer in women. Always be skeptical of the internet – except when they tell you to put butter in your coffee, there is no way that that could be a bad idea. I used my scientific sleuth abilities to look over the article, though, and all looks good from my view. In fact, the results were indeed significant, the article is recent (2011), and the findings interestingly apply to ER-negative women. Very cool.