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The Anti-Cancer Diet

From the show: Body Language
Dr. Donald Abrams, MD
Guest Bio
Guest Bio: Dr. Donald Abrams, MD
donald abrams resizedDonald I. Abrams, M.D. is chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital, an integrative oncologist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He graduated from Brown University in 1972 and from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. After completing an Internal Medicine residency at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, he became a fellow in Hematology-Oncology at the UCSF Cancer Research Institute in 1980.

During his fellowship, Dr. Abrams spent eight months working in the retrovirology laboratory of Harold Varmus, M.D. during the time that the first cases of AIDS were being diagnosed. He subsequently returned to the clinical arena where he was one of the original clinician/investigators to recognize many of the early AIDS-related conditions. He conducted numerous clinical trials investigating conventional as well as complementary therapies in patients with HIV including therapeutic touch, Traditional Chinese Medicine interventions, medicinal mushrooms, medical marijuana and distant healing. His interest in botanical therapies led him to pursue a two-year Fellowship in the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona which he completed in December 2004. His particular passion in the field involves nutrition and cancer.

Since completing his Fellowship, Dr. Abrams has been providing Integrative Medicine consultation to people living with and beyond cancer at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine where he served as Director of Clinical Programs from 2006-2008. His integrative oncology research interests are in medicinal mushrooms, Traditional Chinese Medicine interventions and nutrition. He co-edited the Oxford University Press textbook, Integrative Oncology, with Andrew Weil, M.D.. He is a member of the NCI PDQ CAM Editorial Board. Dr. Abrams was President of the Society for Integrative Oncology in 2010.


“You become what you eat . . .”  and no one sees that result more closely and intimately than oncologists (cancer specialists) trying to save a patient’s life. 

Little wonder that surgeons are often vegans, vegetarians, or at least super-averse to red meat and animal fats... much like guest integrative cancer specialist, Dr. Donald Abrams, who says that some 30 percent of preventable cancers may be attributed to what you eat and what you don’t eat, a proportion equivalent to those caused by tobacco use.

For instance, did you know that garlic is a powerhouse cancer fighter as it has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol?  Dr. Abrams discusses the proven-scientific “why?” behind eating more fruits and vegetables, heavily pigmented fruit, ginger and turmeric, more fiber and, oh, did someone mention sugar? You’ll be surprised by Dr. Abrams’s position on the sweet stuff.

No one is immune to the possibility of cancer. This interview may just help save your life.
  • Original Air Date Friday, 12 October 2012
  • Host Christopher Springman

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