Hi Survivors, their Families and Friends,                      

Welcome to www.1UpOnCancer.com. This site is for you if you want to look cancer in the eye and not be afraid – or at least feel much less afraid.

I’m a long-time health writer. I’m also the daughter, niece, granddaughter, cousin, and best friend to people who’ve faced the beast. And in September 2009 I became a cancer survivor myself. I had myself diagnosed as a gonner, even before I had my first round of A/C. All the data floating on the Internet just rocked me at a time I needed to hear the  positive.

I started this site for a place to find that; you will only get good news here! Please visit to learn about survivors and organizations doing incredible things. To learn about promising research. To read about lifestyle choices to cut your chance for recurrence or to live well if you have  metastasized. Visit for “Freebies for Cancer Patients” and other resources. And if you want a good laugh, click on the “Humor” link. Enjoy, and I hope you come back often.

Best in health and happiness,

Rachel Pappas


Featured on this Page:

Cybersace connections


Foods and herbs to keep sugar in check


Might you have a hereditary cancer? What you can do

And more


Oral health during and after chemo

We should treat our mouths with kid gloves through cancer treatments; as nearly half of us who go through chemo and or radiation deal with oral problems–especially people with head or neck cancer or who’ve had a bone marrow transplant. Read on to learn why the pain and trouble swallowing happen, and how you can keep your teeth and mouth healthy during and after treatments.


What’s the connection between cancer treatment and oral problems? Read More


 imagepalliativecaePain from cancer does not have to keep you from living out your life; palliative radiation may be one means to relief, whether your cancer is curable or not.

 “When we say radiation ‘palliates,’ we are saying it addresses symptoms or side effects associated with life-threatening illness, and it works whether the ultimate goal is cure or to improve quality at the end of life,” said Dr. Stephen Lutz, MD, a radiation oncologist at Blanchard Valley Regional Cancer Center in Findley, OH. Read on to find out who it’s for and how it works …


Palliative radiation is especially common and effective with metastatic bone pain.

Two-thirds to three-thirds of patients with bone metastasis will get pain relief from this procedure, said Dr. Lutz. The therapy accomplishes two things: it shrinks tumors, and it diminishes toxins released by the tumor into the bone.

“The tumor in the bone releases factors that cause pain. These microscopic messengers tell the bone to destroy itself. We think palliative radiation works by changing the tumor cells’ functions in a way where they are less likely to release these messengers,” he said. Read More


 We hear we should pack away six to eight servings of veggies and fruit a day. But who sits down to, say, a two-pound spinach and kale salad?

Learn how to juice.

Learn how to juice

If you were to juice it, you can down most of that spinach and kale’s nutrients in one tall glass. And you will likely get a near immediate boost of energy, because the nutrients go straight into your system without having to be broken down, according to holistic physician, Dr. Joseph Mercola and other nutrition gurus.

Even if you don’t exactly love spinach and kale, read on. You will learn ways to make these vegetables taste surprisingly good, and also learn what else to juice with.

.We will start with some of the benefits of juicing, as well as a few cautions. Read More



Avoiding Acid Reflux

Twenty percent of Americans have acid reflux—that’s 16 million people – and it’s as common in Europe. Read on to learn of early signs. Learn how to dodge or manage acid reflux and why this is important.


What is acid reflux and how do I know if I might have it?

Acid reflux, also called GERD, happens when stomach acid used for digestion backs up into the esophagus (esophagus connects the throat and stomach).

“Common symptoms are heartburn and a sour taste in the mouth.  But even habitual morning throat clearing can be a symptom,” according to Dr. Jonathan Aviv, MD, clinical director of ENT and Allergy Associates’ Voice and Swallowing Center and author of Killing Me Softly From Inside: The Mysteries and Dangers of Acid Reflux and Its Connection to America’s Fastest Growing Cancer. Connection/dp/1494761971 

He calls this morning reaction “throatburn reflux,” which occurs without heartburn and can also include chronic cough and hoarseness. Read More


Fermented foods’ health benefits

Fermentation is a chemical process that keeps foods from spoiling, but it has other benefits, especially when we are fighting or recovering from illness. Fermentation produces bacteria called probiotics that are good for the gut, boost our immune system, and help free up more nutrients to be digested and used by our bodies. And if you love grains, know fermentation reduces their gluten and lectins—the not-so-healthy stuff in them.


Research shows probiotics influence hundreds of our genes, helping them express in a way that fights disease

For instance, they help curb a protein that causes cancer-promoting inflammation, according to alternative physician Dr. Joseph Mercola.  Read More

Cancer survivors need a good laugh

Cancer survivors need a good laugh


I have done something different with this post than the articles on topics like how to treat chemo brain, cancer-fighting diet and herbs, etc. 

I figure we can use a laugh now and then, so I am  sharing  some gut-busting  responses I’ve heard from  folks  to the line:  “You know you’re a cancer survivor when … “ 


You know you’re a cancer survivor when …

Your alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and you’re glad to hear it.

Your mother-in-law invites you to lunch and you say NO.

You’re back in the family rotation to take out the garbage.

You use your toothbrush to brush your teeth rather than comb your hair.

You no longer have the urge to choke the person who says, “All you need to beat cancer is the right attitude.” Read More

Treating anxiety naturally

Treating anxiety naturally


In the following Q&A, master herbalist and clinical nutritionist Donnie Yance speaks on how he treats anxiety and overall brain health, especially after cancer. See Brain Health and Cancer Part 1 for ways to treat chemo brain.


How does anxiety affect us, especially after cancer?

Donnie Yance, herbalist, nutritionist and founder of Mederi Center for Natural Healing:

Anxiety affects the life force or vital energy. If you are anxious for extended periods or often, your brain becomes overstimulated and fatigued. People whom have had cancer tend to have a higher rate of anxiety, and this is not good, so I focus a lot on this.  Read More

Supplements and herbs for chemo brain

Supplements and herbs for chemo brain

Finally, scientists are realizing what we ourselves have known for a while: chemo brain is real. Growing research proves this. But are there treatments to help restore our memory and clear our heads? That is still up for debate in the medical community, but internationally known master herbalist and clinical nutritionist Donnie Yance  claims there is plenty we can do. He explains in this Q&A.  Read Brain Health and Cancer Part 2 for Donnie’s advice on treating both anxiety and brain fog.


How do you address chemo brain?

Read More


Cancer Etiquette

Cancer Etiquette

 Cancer can put a new spin on our social lives. People who haven’t been where we are  may back away. Or they want to be there, and some of them know how to do it in a way that works. Some try, but are there for us  in ways that  we don’t love. So how do we deal with the social scenarios when we are now in a different place from most people in our lives–and don’t want to feel like we are planets apart from them? Let’s hear suggestions from a cancer survivor  who fields questions from other survivors all the time.


Pleasing the world??

You might find yourself getting treated with kid gloves now, with people doing for you. Do you send a thank you for every dinner, “hang in there” card, ribbon jewelry or “chemo sucks” mug?

 “I myself would say, you should be spending your time getting well, not writing thank you’s for every kind act,” says Elyn Jacobs, a cancer coach, host of radio show Survive and Live Well, and cancer survivor herself. Read More

The following is a guest post from Brian Lawenda, MD


Anti-cancer supplements

Although I am a radiation oncologist, and my education and early training were in conventional cancer medicine (surgery, pharmaceuticals, radiation, etc.), I strongly believe there is much more we can do to support our body’s natural abilities to prevent and fight cancer.

One of the best ways to make our tissues less conducive to cancer is to consume lots of plant foods, which are full of anticancer compounds, many which function the same way as our multi-billion dollar cancer drugs. These compounds can neutralize free radicals which damage DNA; reduce inflammation, which can promote cancer; slow the growth of cancer cells and tumor blood vessels  that feed cancer. Some of these compounds signal cancer cells to die, support detoxification and elimination of cancer-promoting substances, etc. Read More