Health Benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle, especially in relation to Cancer
- Quick summary of the contents this page:
This page was created for the purpose of informing those attending my set dancing classes about my health progress, but if the information here is useful
to others, then so much the better.
I have secondary (Stage 4) cancer.
On 1st January 2019, I completely changed my eating habits and, since then, all my scans have been clear, including the
most-recent one in November 2019. The scans prior to 1st January 2019 were not clear, i.e. they showed cancer in my body.
My last Oncology treatment was in March 2019, yet I've had three clear cancer scans in a row.
I haven't said anything my Oncology Professor about my change of eating habits - I know him since 2003 and we get on well.
I feel that it would be inappropriate for me to be advising him on how to keep cancer at bay.
Previously, when he treated me for the primary cancer, he discharged me
back to my GP after 10 years. This time, since it's now at Stage 4, it may be even longer before he discharges me back to my GP.
In any case, I'll hold hold off on mentioning my change of eating habits until I'm being discharged back to my GP, unless the topic arises sooner.
In the meantime, I'm delighted that he's keeping me under observation, and organising regular scans, even though I'm not on any Oncology Treatment.
Section 2. below gives details about my change in eating habits, but if you want information quickly, I recommend the following two Online Documentaries,
which give a good summary of the reasons why I switched a Whole Food Plant-Based lifestyle, and the health benefits to be gained from such a switch:
How diet/food affects cancer and other "Western Diseses":
The intent of this page to give an update on my health status to attendees at my set dancing classes. If this page is of interest or benefit to anyone else, then that's an added bonus.
I had Breast Cancer in 2003 (about 1% of Breast Cancer is in men). I remained cancer-free until 2018, when it returned as Stage IV cancer, having spread to
my lungs and bones,bringing with it two strokes and Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
My understanding of Stage 4 cancer is that it has spread throughout the body and can't be "cured".
However, while it can't be cured, it can certainly be controlled and, with the help of the new knowledge that I've now acquired,
I expect to be dancing in The Armada Hotel in early July, during the Willie Clancy Summer School, for many more years to come.
You are what you eat!
In late 2018, I received an email from Myra, who I know through set dancing, to say that a relative of hers had got clear cancer scans simply by
changing his food intake, after reading a book called "The China Study".
Myra, many, many thanks for that email. It definitely CHANGED my life, and most likely also SAVED IT!
Had it not been for that email, I could be dead by now, like so many others with Stage 4 Cancer!
Immediately after receiving Myra's email, I bought the book "The China Study", by Prof. Colin Campbell, of Cornell University USA and read all 400 pages
of it, from cover to cover.
I love the methodical way in which he lays out complex information in an easy to understand way.
I was fascinated by the contents of The China Study and absolutely amazed at Colin Campbell's discoveries.
Prof. Colin Campbell devoted most his life to intensive research into what causes cancer and he discovered that the food we eat has a significant impact on
He provides convincing evidence that our "Western Diet" causes, and/or feeds, cancer and other "Western Diseases". In regions of the world where the
food intake is mainly Plant Based, the rates of cancer, and other "Western Diseases", such as stroke and heart failure, are significantly lower than in The West.
I was sceptical at first, but I reckoned I had nothing to lose by giving it a try. As it turned out, I had a lot to gain!
On January 1st 2019, I completely changed to a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle and I've had absolutely amazing results!
After just three months of a WFPB lifestyle, I had the first clear scan on 5th April 2019 and
the following two scans, in August and November, were also clear,
Up to March 2019, I was also on conventional Oncology Treatment. However, after the first clear scan, I stopped all Oncology Treatment,
against medical advice. My Oncology Professor strongly advised me to stay on treatment,
but when I insisted on quitting, he agreed to keep me in the monitoring loop, which was magnanimous of him.
This means that I have regular scans, and follow-up consultations, every three or four months, even though I'm off all treatment.
I'm 100% convinced that the clear scans are due to the Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle
I prefer to say "WFPB lifestyle", rather than "WFPB diet". Diet generally refers to a temporary change of eating habits, whereas I'll never go back, the
benefits are just too good.
Since starting on a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle on 1st January 2019:
I've had three clear cancer scans and I'm expecting that the next scan, in March 2020, will also be clear.
- My cholesterol level has gone down significantly.
I lost 5kg in weight early on and my weight has remained steady since then.
- My skin has improved, for example, I've had a sore on my chest, which wouldn't heal, since I had radiation treatment in 2003
- it often bled and was a nuisance.
Over the years, my GP prescribed a variety of treatments to clear the sore, but none of them ever worked.
However, shortly after starting on the WFPB lifestyle, the sore on my chest started to shrink and it's now hardly visible at all.
I've had no new medical issues since switching to the WFPB lifestyle. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy in June 2019, but the doctors were very clear that the
Epilepsy was caused by two previous strokes, which they could see on the brain scan.
These strokes happened long before I started the WFPB lifestyle, so I don't see the Epilepsy as originating while I was on the WFPB lifestyle.
I've had no colds or flu since switching to a WFPB lifestyle.
I'm in great form, physically and mentally, and teaching three set dancing classes a week, at which I dance for at least two hours at each class.
I also walk to and from class on Wednesday mornings (three hours round trip).
Finally, the soles of my feet never recovered from the Chemo I had in 2003. Since then, I avoided walking on those "red bubbles" at traffic lights, which are
intended to let visually-impaired people know where to cross the road.
In January 2020, a year after switching to a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) lifestyle, the soles of my feet recovered and I'm now able to cross at traffic lights
without having to detour around the lumpy bits.
This may be unrelated to switching to a WFPB lifestyle (it's difficult to imagine how it could be), but it seems a strange that nothing changed for 17 years
and then, magically, my feet recovered within a year of changing what I eat.
If a multinational Pharmaceutical Company was manufacturing a pill that could do all this, the media would be all over it,
yet I've never once heard Colin Campbell's name being mentioned in the Irish media.
While there has been some coverage of the benefits to the planet
of plant-based food, I have never heard anyone mention that plant-based food is effective at reducing the incidence of cancer, stroke and heart failure.
RTE's Late Late Show recently had an interview with the chef Richard Corrigan, which I considered to be a blatant plug for the meat industry. I sent an email to
the Show, suggesting that show balance by inviting Prof. Colin Campbell, or his representative, onto to the Late Late Show to explain his research and
the health benefits of plant-based food. Given the seriousness of the issue, I am hopeful that RTE will be willing to act on this suggestion.
My new lifestyle could be described as "Vegan Plus". It's basically vegan but, in addition, I don't take sugar, or cook with oil,
whereas vegans are ok with both of these.
When I eat out, I ask for vegan food and, while vegan is not always listed on the menu, most Chefs will prepare a vegan meal, if asked.
Right now is a great time to be vegan, more and more restaurants now have vegan options. Even Motorway Services (e.g. at Enfield on the N4 and Barack Obama
Plaza on the N7) now now have decent vegan food.
I must emphasise that, while the WFPB lifestyle worked for me, I make no assertion that it will work for others. However, I would highly recommend giving
it a try, even if you have no illness at all I don't miss any of what I used to eat.
My attitude was that it couldn't do any harm to give it a try. As it turned out, not only did it give me clear cancer scans, but it also had all of the other
benefits listed above.
The first question most people ask when they first hear about this is:
"If it's so good, why haven't I heard of it before and why aren't the media shouting about it?"
Sadly, the obscene reason seems to be that too many vested interests would lose out FINANCIALLY, if this knowledge was generally known!
The media relies heavily on advertisers and many of them want to preserve the status quo, rather than educate citizens about the benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based
After Prof, Campbell made his discovery, he spent years trying to get the
medical, pharmaceutical, political, media, food producer, and cancer support organisations to accept the results of his detailed and conclusive
evidence about the effect of diet on cancer.
But, instead of welcoming him with open arms, they made a concerted effort to shun him, and they continue to do so today.
So, Prof. Campbell decided to bypass them all and go directly to citizens all over the world, through various documentaries and books.
If you're interested in this subject but don't have the time to read books,
then have a look at PlantPure Nation on YouTube and/or Forks Over Knives on Netflix. These documentaries include interviews with Prof. Campbell and cover much of the information contained in his books.
The material I studied consists of:
- The YouTube Documentary PlantPure Nation.
- The Netflix Documentary Forks Over Knives (Netflix account required).
- The book "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD.
- The book "Whole" by T. Colin Campbell PhD, with Howard Jacobson, PhD.
- Selected recipies from three great recipe books by brothers David and Stephen Flynn, of The Happy Pear, all published by Penguin Ireland (I've included the ISBN numbers to distinguish the books from each other):
- "The Happy Pear", ISBN: 978-1-844-88352-3 by David and Stephen Flynn
- "The World of The Happy Pear", ISBN: 978-0-241-97553-4" by David and Stephen Flynn
- "Recipes for Happiness", ISBN: 978-1-844-88425-4 by David and Stephen Flynn
- Selected recipies from the recipe book "The China Study Cookbook" by LeeAnne Campbell, PhD, daughter of Colin Campbell.