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Fighting Cancer In Your Kitchen

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.


“An apple a day keeps the . . . “  You know the rest of that sentence  . . . or do you?  Integrative cancer specialist Dr. Donald Abrams speaks to cancer survivors in “Fighting Cancer In The Kitchen,” saying that “After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.”

In fact, he advocates that the whole family get on board with these diet and nutritional changes, making cooking and food preparation that much easier, a strategy often adopted by heart attack patients. 

Abrams’ messages are clear:  “It is also important to limit consuming red meats and to avoid processed meats entirely. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between consuming increasing amounts of red meat and colon cancer. Beef has also been associated with pancreatic cancer. In their natural environment cows eat grass.

Most cows today are primarily corn-fed. The result is that a cow that predominantly eats corn will in turn produce fat that is high in omega-6 fatty acids, those that promote inflammation and platelet aggregation.”

  • Original Air Date Friday, 12 October 2012
  • Host Christopher Springman

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