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Published on November 04, 2015

Fighting cancer with your forkFighting cancer with your fork

It’s called ‘Food for Life’ and it certainly is. Joanne Irwin, M.Ed, will be back at Cape Cod Hospital early this month to teach a plant-based food plan that even meat lovers will enjoy. While the class is full, Joanne will be back in the spring of 2016, as part of Cape Cod Healthcare’s Regional Cancer Network program offerings.

Irwin first hosted the class last spring, and it received rave reviews from those who took part. Each Food for Life class includes cooking demonstrations and tips to make healthful food decisions. Throughout the program, Irwin outlines foods that fight cancer; why foods low in fat and high in fiber are valuable for the body; alternatives to meat and dairy products; and foods that boost the immune system.

In her class, Irwin stresses that while nutrition is important for patients undergoing cancer therapy, it’s also valuable for others suffering from chronic disease. Irwin offers helpful tips and practical skills in a motivating atmosphere – skills patients can apply back in their homes to help better manage their health issues.

Plant-based diets have proven beneficial for those with chronic disease. A National Institutes of Health study has shown that people who follow a plant-based diet tend to have lower rates of heart disease and diabetes.

Irwin became a Food for Life instructor for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in November 2008. Additionally, Irwin is ServSafe certified and offers private plant based cooking classes in her home. To learn more, visit