Editor's note: Holly Clegg submitted this column before her death on Nov. 1 from stomach cancer.
November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. I have made it my passion and legacy to create awareness all year long.
As someone who loves to cook, loves to eat and a cookbook author, including "Eating Well Through Cancer," never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be diagnosed with gastric cancer. In August 2018, I was completely blindsided by the diagnosis because I didn’t have any risk factors and had symptoms for less than a week.
When I first wrote my "Eating Well Through Cancer" cookbook over 15 years ago, I never imagined I would one day be a cancer patient using my own cookbook. During my chemotherapy treatments, my caregivers and I used my cancer cookbooks as a guide through my journey. We chose recipes based on my symptoms of the day, but everyone in the house enjoyed the meal.
Chicken and Dumplings (you can find the recipe at my thehealthycookingblog.com) is the perfect example of a super satisfying meal that was light enough for me to enjoy, while also flavorful and hearty enough to please the whole family.
The caregiver is an extremely important part of the patient's cancer journey, so meals that feed both patient and caregiver go a long way in helping ease the burden of a cancer diagnosis.
These cooler nights call for a warm bowl of soup that is sure to bring satisfying comfort to a loved one in need.
Today's recipe for Shrimp, Corn and Sweet Potato Soup is full of nutrient-rich vegetables combined with our delectable Gulf shrimp, making it a delicious, diabetic friendly, one-pot meal.
Through groundbreaking research, experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have pioneered many improvements in treating stomach cancer, some from which I have benefited. However, more research needs to be done, and my hope is to raise awareness of stomach cancer.
Please consider joining my fight against gastric cancer and donating to the Holly Clegg Gastric Cancer Research Fund. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Gastric cancer facts:
- According to the American Cancer Society, about 27,000 cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed in 2019 in the U.S., and more than 11,000 people will die from it.
- Globally, stomach cancer is a much bigger problem with nearly 1 million of cases diagnosed every year.
- Stomach cancer remains the second cause of death (738,000 deaths annually) of all malignancies worldwide.
- Stomach cancer mostly affects people over the age of 65, and there is a higher risk for men.
- Risk factors can include diet, inherited conditions, infection with Helicobacter pylori (a type of bacteria) and unknown environmental causes.