Wilmette Woman Shares 5 Lifestyle Changes She Believes Helped Her Beat Breast Cancer

After finding out she's in remission, Adora Sauer is sharing the lifestyle changes she incorporated into her treatment plan for metastatic breast cancer

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Adora Sauer is sharing the lifestyle changes she incorporated into her treatment plan for metastatic breast cancer. She recently learned she’s in remission, nine months after finding out her triple negative breast cancer, the most aggressive kind, had spread to her brain.

“It immediately felt like I had a death sentence,” said Sauer, 49, of Wilmette.

While her oncologist, Dr. Dean Tsarwhas, medical director at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, came up with a treatment plan for the two brain tumors, Sauer made five lifestyle changes, starting with her diet.

“I chose food as medicine,” Sauer said.

Sauer filled half of every plate with cruciferous vegetables, which have high cancer fighting properties, including brussels sprouts, arugula and broccoli. Sauer cut out all sugar and alcohol, which can trigger inflammation.

Two other lifestyle changes Sauer incorporated include daily meditation and upping her exercise throughout the day. She walks between 5,000 and 10,000 steps each weekday and between 10,000 and 20,000 steps on the weekends.

“I think that empowered me to feel a lot better about my health,” Sauer said.

She was also proactive with her medical care, researching and working with her oncology team.

“I chose to trust them and the novel treatments they were giving me and be in that space of change,” Sauer said.

Her last lifestyle change may be the most important. Sauer said she chose a “mindset of hope.”

“I felt very strongly that through my faith and through positive actions I was going to beat this,” Sauer said.

That mentality impressed her care team, including Tsarwhas.

“She has chosen to be a survivor and not a victim,” Tsarwhas said.

Exactly how much of an impact Sauer’s lifestyle shifts had on her health is hard to track.

“I think it is an evolving field, but as more research comes out, we’re seeing what the benefits of those other factors are,” Tsarwhas said.

Currently, Tsarwhas considers Sauer in remission. After undergoing radiation on her brain tumors, recent brain scans showed that one tumor is completely gone, and one has shrunk from 14 mm to 3 mm, and shows no signs of growth and continues to shrink.

Sauer is sharing her lifestyle shifts to inspire others going through a similar journey to take control where they can.

“Tiny shifts, finding ways to optimize their mindset, health, their stress and their eating will really make a big difference,” said Sauer.

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