Cancer is a dreaded disease that strikes the young and old alike, claiming many lives. You likely know someone who is suffering from cancer -- or maybe that someone is you. Even though cancer is all too common, there are ways to prevent and beat it.

Here are some ways you can resist cancer:

  • Pray about the path God would like to you to travel toward better health. If you already have cancer, ask God how He would like you to pursue healing. If you’d like to try to prevent cancer, ask God to guide you as you strive to take good care of your health.

  • Realize that your body, mind, and spirit are interconnected, and that you need to pay close attention to all three aspects of your health to lead the kind of balanced life that will help you resist cancer.

  • Study the way you currently eat, then change it to improve your diet. Identify moods that trigger your desire to eat, and make sure you’re eating because you’re hungry, not for emotional reasons. Cut out as much animal fat as you can from your diet, and aim to get about 30 percent of your total daily caloric intake from protein, such as lean meats, eggs, and soy products. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, and less pasta and bread. When you do eat pasta and bread, make sure it’s made from whole grains rather than refined flour. Also, regularly consume foods that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt. When you cook, use olive oil.

  • Drink green tea, almond milk, soy milk, fruit shakes, barley-grass juice, water, and natural fruit and vegetable juices.

  • Consider taking some natural herbal supplements to strengthen your body and help it digest and assimilate nutrients. This can help particularly during chemotherapy, which often robs your body of vital nutrients. Be sure to carefully research the supplements that are best for you, however, and to inform your doctor of exactly what types of supplements you’d like to take (plus the amounts and frequency of the doses). Supplements can interact with pharmaceutical drugs. Also, pharmaceutical drugs often act more quickly and powerfully than herbal supplements, so they may be necessary for you to take as well.

  • Increase your physical resilience. Make time for regular exercise such as non-impact aerobics. Learn how to breathe deeply and stretch your body to build fitness.

  • Strengthen your mind. Identify stressful thoughts and release them to God. Decide to trust God to act in your best interest, and practice relaxing. Make regular time for writing in a journal, playing, creating, and caring for others in your life. Ask God to help you direct your emotional energy in positive and productive ways. Realize that you can overcome barriers in your life by thinking creatively about how to get through them. Be flexible and humble, but stick to your values. Study how you make decisions, and make sure you’re decisions align with your values. If not, be wiser and bolder when you make choices.

  • Make time to pray throughout each day, developing greater intimacy with God. Contemplate things that inspire you. Thank God for ways that He has been working in your life. Confess your sins, then receive His forgiveness and grace to do better. Establish and nurture friendships with other people who are genuinely following Christ. Set healthy boundaries in all aspects of your life so you don’t feel drained. Participate in a church, and regularly read God’s Word.

Adapted from Building Cancer Resistance: Natural Remedies for Better Living, copyright 2001 by David Hazard. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or. Look for this book at your local bookstore or click on the link below to buy it online.

David Hazard is founder of The New Nature Institute, which is dedicated to studying the use of spiritual disciplines and natural remedies to maintain well-being or promote healing.

Do you have cancer? Does someone close to you have it? If so, what challenges do you or the person you love face during the struggle? Are you trying to prevent cancer? If so, what strategies are you using? How has God been working in your life as you pursue either healing from cancer of better health to try to prevent it? Visit Crosswalk’s forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.