Cancer nutrition is perhaps the most confusing aspect of cancer treatment for patients. Each patient wants to make sure that he or she is eating the right foods, while also avoiding foods which are potentially harmful. Through a great deal of research, The Stegall Protocol was developed specifically to address cancer and its survival mechanisms. Cancer is a metabolic disease, and by depriving cancer of its primary growth fuel, it will have a much more difficult time growing and thriving.
Unlike healthy cells, cancer cells obtain energy from a process known as fermentation. This is a much less efficient way to generate energy, but it is the only option for cancer cells because they do not have the cellular machinery that normal cells do. Because of this fermentation process, cancer cells require glucose – and thrive on it. This is the basis for PET scans to identify cancerous tumors in the body. PET scans use radiolabeled glucose, because cancer cells preferentially take up the sugar as their sole energy source. Dr. Stegall believes that we are seeing more cancer today than ever before as a result of the abundance of sugar in the standard American diet.
The sugar cancer utilizes can take on many forms. Basically, any carbohydrate source acts like sugar and potentially feeds cancer cells. This includes table sugar, as well as carbohydrates found in foods. Some try to make a distinction between “good carbs” and “bad carbs,” however, for the purposes of cancer treatment, there is no such thing as good carbs. Some carbs are allowed on The Stegall Protocol, but they are limited and must be eaten at the proper time. Dr. Stegall’s philosophy is based on a ketogenic diet.
The bulk of The Stegall Protocol centers around healthy, organic whole foods including plenty of vegetables, meats, nuts, and seeds. Herbs and spices are allowed, for seasoning as well as their many health benefits. In addition, fats are included in the diet – both the saturated and unsaturated varieties – due to their many health benefits. Despite what some “experts” have said, fat is quite good for the body and should be emphasized heavily.
Dr. Stegall feels strongly that good nutrition should be at the core of every cancer treatment protocol. This is in contrast to the many conventional oncologists who tell patients that it does not matter what they eat. Science tells us that what we put in our bodies – including the foods we eat – can have a significant effect on health outcomes. This is especially true with regard to cancer. Recognizing the importance of proper nutrition, and implementing it, is a major difference between the 21st century cancer treatment Dr. Stegall offers and the stone age cancer treatment many other doctors are still practicing.