by Dr. Randy
Let’s talk cancer
There is perhaps no more frightening word for most people, except possibly “death.” Cancer is frightening because it can be destructive to the body’s function and structure (or even fatal), and because the conventional treatments themselves can be scary. But cancer can be managed with the proper attitude and treatment program. Fear is not very helpful, except as a motivational force to take action. And fear can be dispelled with knowledge, information, and beginning on a path of healing. This article will discuss general cancer prevention and treatment principles.
Like most disequilibrium states in the body, such as too much inflammation, autoimmunity, heart disease, and diabetes, prevention begins with a healthy lifestyle and all that entails. A relatively pure diet of whole foods with plenty of vegetables and fruits is the foundation, avoiding processed foods and sugar as much as possible. Then minimize toxic exposures to pesticides, plastics, preservatives, and other petrochemicals. Daily exercise and meditation will round out a preventive program, along with a personal practice that encourages healing from emotional afflictions and the effects of stress.
Everyone has circulating cancer cells at all times, but the immune system is very effective at mopping these up. It is only when cancer cells find a hospitable terrain that they can take hold and cause problems. Of course, there are many kinds of cancers and each may need a different combination of treatments, but certain general principles apply.
It is important to stay calm (as much as possible) and not allow anxiety to invoke paralysis and helplessness. Remain strong and have faith that there are curative treatments. Tremendous advances are occurring in the understanding of cancer and ways to treat it.
The problem is that cancer has tricky mechanisms for evading the immune system’s defenses and proliferating. A treatment plan needs to discourage these mechanisms. One commonality of most cancers is the ability to switch the cell’s energy source to sugar or other fuels (such as protein or fat). Another mechanism is the ability of cancer cells to live forever. And a third is to hijack the cell’s growth processes.
The first line of treatment is to deprive cancer cells of their fuel source. This means drastically reducing the intake of sugar and flooding the body with micronutrients in the form of vegetables, fruits, and supplements that support the body’s normal functions. Any dietary plan for cancer needs to remove all toxins. Just instituting these changes can be overwhelming for people, especially given all the other decisions that need to occur regarding conventional treatment.
There are basically two schools of thought in the dietary approach to cancer, but both schools have several similar features of their programs. Eliminate grains and starchy foods from the diet. Reduce all processed sugars and processed foods. And eliminate all toxins. One school advises eating a minimal amount of sugar in the form of carbohydrates and switching to a diet high in healthy fats. This is some form of a ketogenic approach, with the purpose of depriving cancer cells of sugar as their primary fuel. The second school advises eating lots of vegetables and juices all day long. This is some form of the Gerson method. Both schools also advise using supplements and other therapies that limit cancer cell growth.
The second line of treatment is to introduce supplements and prescription drugs that discourage the cancer cell’s growth, proliferation, and spread. Deriving the appropriate supplement and drug plan can be complicated, and will vary for different kinds of cancers and their metabolic profiles. But there are some general supplements that are helpful for encouraging healing and the reduction in cancer.
A third line of treatment includes the variety of conventional cancer approaches: surgery, pharmaceuticals, and radiation. These are also complicated plans, even for a single type of cancer. Once a diagnosis of cancer has been made through blood tests, imaging, and biopsies, then for most cancers making considered decisions is appropriate. One seldom needs to precipitously dive into a conventional treatment regimen. This is where the input from an integrative oncologist can be indispensable. Some of these approaches may be relatively minimal, such as the excision of a tumor. Some treatments can be relatively safe. But some treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation are toxic to the body’s healthy tissues as well as the cancer cells, and therefore have significant side effects.
The fourth line of treatment includes energetic/emotional/spiritual healing. There are sensible approaches to these realms documenting the many cases of cancer remission. These treatment principles include hands on healing of various kinds, acupuncture, massage, prayer, meditation, heat (far infrared), and many others.
Devise a plan carefully. The specifics of cancer decisions can get complicated. Supplement plans need to be devised thoughtfully. And an integrative approach is always helpful in viewing the options. Further articles will describe some of these individual lines of therapy.
This may include consulting with conventional and integrative oncologists, as well as getting educated about cancer. There are many excellent books and reliable websites. Here are some that describe an integrative approach.
Presentation of the two schools in the integrative approach to cancer:
Winters, Nasha. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer
Wark, Chris. Chris Beat Cancer
And developing a healthy approach to cancer
Turner, Kelly. Radical Remission
Carr, Kris. Crazy Sexy Cancer