Cancer: Natural & Alternative Treatments

There are many different kinds of cancer but they all have one thing in common; cells run amok. Some of the body’s cells divide repeatedly and spread.

Image of broccoli, which has anti cancer compounds

It is normal for cells to divide so that the body has new cells to replace old or damaged cells, but with cancer, the old cells don’t die and cells divide without reason. They can form tumors or spread through the blood and lymph systems.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Each type of cancer will have some unique symptoms. The list below is general, with common symptoms for various cancers. These symptoms may indicate something entirely different than cancer, as well.

RISK FACTORS

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Alcohol
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Diet (i.e. cured meats, too little fiber)
  • Exposure to Toxins
  • Hormones
  • Immunosuppression
  • Infectious agents
  • Insufficient physical activity
  • Radiation
  • Sunlight (i.e. UV rays)

 PREVALENCE

The NCI reports that the number of new cases of cancer (2008-2012) is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women per year. The survival rate for people diagnosed with cancer rises steadily.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Treatment will depend on the type of cancer but may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. There are steps you can take at home to support your health even while undergoing conventional treatments.

SELF TREATMENT

Others have found these suggestions helpful and they are offered to you for further research. Some of the following suggestions are meant to help those who are going through chemotherapy. If you are under the care of a doctor, undergoing chemotherapy or taking other medications, please consult your doctor about any home programs.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point, as it is designed to balance eicosanoids, including those that regulate cell division.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Adequate fiber
  • Bone Broth
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Mushrooms (i.e. Reishi)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Organic food when you can afford it, to avoid chemicals

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • All inflammatory foods
  • Asparagus (asparagine may cause some cancer to spread; animal studies)
  • Excessive sodium
  • Food additives
  • Foods grown with pesticides
  • Legumes (asparagine)
  • Meats cooked at high heat create carcinogens
  • Nuts (asparagine)
  • Potatoes (asparagine)
  • Processed foods of any kind, especially meats
  • Processed sugars
  • Smoking
  • Soy (asparagine)

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Chaga Mushroom tea
  • Chamomile (research bisabolol oxide A)
  • Dandelion tea
  • Essiac
  • Ginger root
  • Green tea
  • Licorice root
  • Milk Thistle
  • Peppermint
  • Valerian Root

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Astragalus
  • Berberis
  • Bloodroot
  • Boswellia
  • Burdock root
  • Butcher’s broom
  • Cat’s Claw
  • Chaparral
  • Echinacea
  • Feverfew
  • Ginger
  • Goldenseal
  • Milk thistle
  • Pau d’arco
  • Red Clover
  • Rhubarb root
  • Sheep sorrel
  • Skullcap
  • Slippery elm bark
  • Sutherlandia
  • Thorowax
  • Turmeric/curcumin
  • Wheatgrass

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut (3% diluted solution), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath.

  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Clove oil
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Myrrh
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • AHCC immune supplement, widely used throughout Asia.
  • Beta-carotene
  • Diatomaceous earth for detoxification
  • Fish oil
  • Garlic
  • Glutamine
  • Graviola
  • Maitake mushrooms
  • Milk thistle
  • Omega 3’s
  • Paw Paw
  • Probiotics
  • Quinton water
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D3, fat-soluble

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.  See the post for Stress for some suggestions on good ways to relax.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, consistent blood donation is associated with lower risks for some cancers.
  • Get out in the sunshine for 15 minutes every day during the hottest time of day, exposing as much of your bare skin as possible. Do not stay out long enough to burn.
  • Deal with anger and find a way to overcome it.  It is not conducive to health.  Some believe it is a root of cancer.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Balanced pH
  • An environment with clean air
  • Eliminate exposure to carcinogens

NOTES

  • An animal study has shown that the compound asparagine causes breast tumors to spread.  Scientists would hope to find a way to target that amino acid with drugs rather than ask people to avoid all foods with asparagine (there are many).  In the meantime, it may help to avoid asparagine-containing foods.
  • Additional animal studies in the UK found that removing two non-essential amino acids, serine and glycine, from the diet of mice slowed development of tumors.  However, it would be extremely difficult to adhere to a diet devoid of these substances, as they are found in many protein foods, including soy.  Protein is a necessary macronutrient important to health, so scientists are still trying to figure out how to use this information to help patients.

 

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