Although modern medicine has made extensive advancements in the studies of prevention and the treatment of cancer, as well as various ways to help minimize the risk for recurrence, there remains conflicting ideologies on the merits (or detriments) of natural cancer treatment alternatives to chemotherapy. While the following article is not meant to extoll the virtues of alternative treatments as a replacement for traditional practices in cancer treatment, we do want to inform, educate and provide food for thought.
Just as the sum of cancer survivors is made of individuals, each with different genetic codes, environmental exposures, history of stress and trauma, physiology and neurochemical balance, the effects of alternative cancer treatments will vary. This will present the opportunities and details but ultimately, the decision on using any natural cancer treatment alternatives to chemotherapy is best made collectively between patient and doctor.
Chemotherapy or Holistic Cancer Treatment, a Death-Defying Decision?
According to an April 2018 article on cancer.gov, there will be approximately 23.6 million new cancer cases by the year 2030. For those people who hear the words, “You have cancer,” numb doesn’t even scratch the surface of what courses through the body, mind and spirit. While many of us ponder as to what we would do with such a diagnosis, one never knows until faced with having to make that decision.
There are more treatment options today than ever before. Depending on the type of cancer, stage, the patient’s current physical health (other than the cancer) and other factors, noninvasive cancer treatments may be considered to supplement chemotherapy protocol or replace it. In most cases, an oncologist will not recommend alternative therapies alone for the treatment of cancer. Shrinking cancer without chemo or radiation, statistically speaking, does not work for many and may present a greater risk in mortality.
Breast Cancer Treatment Options and the Doctor/Patient Disconnect
A research study through the National Cancer Institute and published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in September of 2016, reveals an interesting patient perception about the use of alternative medicine for cancer treatment. But first, let’s focus on a common dichotomy surrounding cancer treatment in general.
Cancer cells are unwanted and toxic to health balance, but they are natural. Chemotherapy is anything but natural, overwrought with toxic chemical compounds. Treating cancer with chemo is putting more toxicity into the body in the hopes of ending up with less. Using alternative healing practices to remove toxicity and restore internal balance would seem as common sense. Unfortunately, what works for some, and not others, isn’t an exact science.
Dr. Heather Greenlee of the National Cancer Institute, along with other clinical researchers, wanted to uncover the disconnect between many cancer doctors and their patients when it comes to deciding on the best treatment for the disease. Greenlee’s research involved 685 female participants aged below 70, each diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. These women were followed for a 12-month period, noting who was undergoing chemotherapy with alternative treatments, and those not committing to chemo but doing alternative methods of treatment.
The findings showed the following: While the women who involved themselves in mind-body practices, such as mindfulness and meditation, did not alter the implementation of chemotherapies. However, in the women who took dietary supplements and other alternative therapies, there was a decrease in commitment to chemotherapy.
Let’s examine what some of the natural cancer treatment alternatives to chemotherapy are and how they can provide benefits to both the prevention of health risks, disease and to stop or reverse cancer.
Top 10 Natural Ways to Halt Cancer
It turns out that there are many healthy ways to reverse the damage already caused by the toxic exposure we put ourselves through in day-to-day life. From the air we breathe, the preservative-laced foods we eat, the negative people we encounter and the ongoing life stressors that wreak havoc on well-being. While we all have the potential to develop cancer from the cells already within us, it’s what we do as protective measures that can help make a difference.
Top 10 Natural Cancer Treatment Alternatives
Healthy living, decreasing cancer risk and resetting internal balance to help disengage the environment where cancer can survive have some common denominators. Many of these methods are easily accessible and can be part of an ongoing health regimen.
10 Natural Treatments to Live by
- Juicing. Blending cruciferous vegetables, carrots, apples and berries provides the body with nutrient-rich food, full of antioxidants and other cancer-fighting agents that fortify the immune system. Choose from cauliflower, broccoli and kale sprouts to magnify the benefits.
- Diet. By integrating polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats with food intake and removing saturated fats, cholesterol levels are lowered and along with it the risk for heart disease. By including foods abundant in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (essential fatty acids) such as wild caught salmon, almonds, and olive oil, healthy cell growth and brain function are supported, assisting in blood sugar balance—necessary to prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Enzyme Therapy. Many cancers can arise due to imbalances in the digestive system. Proteolytic enzymes are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation in the body, left untreated, is a precursor to illness and disease. By adding bromelain, papain, pancreatin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and rutin enzyme supplementation multiple times a day, patients experienced decreased tumor-induced and therapy-induced side effects and complaints such as nausea, gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue, weight loss, and restlessness and obviously stabilized the quality of life. Enzyme therapy should be used in conjunction with a recommended diet.
- Quark and Flaxseed. Since 1952, Dr, Johanna Budwig, renowned for her work on how fats impact human health, created a Budwig Protocol used in the treatment and cure for cancers in some people. Patients diagnosed with pancreatic, brain, breast ovarian, lung or prostate cancer saw reduction in cancer cell growth and tumors. With a mix of her quark and flaxseeds or flaxseed oil, cells are oxygenated leading to cancer cell death and overall detoxification.
- Quark Recipe:
- 2 Tablespoons of quark OR organic cottage cheese
- 1 Tablespoon flaxseed oil or freshly ground flaxseeds
- Combine 1 & 2
- Using an immersion blender, Mix well in an immersion blender to remove visible signs of oil.
- Eat immediately.
- Chelation Therapy. The process of removing toxic buildup at the cellular level helps reset internal balance, to protect against carcinogen development (such as cancer). Chelation uses high doses of Vitamin C.
- Essential Oil Therapy. In addition to the calming effects of lavender and peppermint to the mind and body, respectively, Frankincense essential oil is known worldwide for its ability to clinically treat:
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Stomach cancer
A specific type of Frankincense from the boswellia tree found in the Middle East and parts of Northern Africa, provide us with the boswellia serrata oil, that not only enhances immune function and diminishes inflammation, but inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines that adversely affect DNA, support tumor growth and destroy healthy cells. It can be applied topically on the neck and three drops added to a glass of water, three times a day.
- Oxygen Therapy. Cancer thrives in environments of chemical imbalance, particularly when the body exists in an acidic state. Oxygen therapy allows for high levels of oxygen, maneuvering cells into a more alkaline state. Because cancer cells cannot survive around increased levels of oxygen, this type of alternative therapy is being used more and more, with hospitals adding hyperbaric oxygen chambers to their facilities.
- Positivity Practices. Utilizing mindfulness in everyday life, as well as part of cancer treatment, will help the mind and spirit stay strong and at peace with the process – the good and bad. Positive thoughts also help reinforce personal will that can alter how the body and brain physically respond to other treatments. You may already believe or have heard others speak of the power of prayer.
- Chinese Mushrooms. For centuries, people have been using a variety of mushrooms for their natural medicinal qualities that reinforce immune system function and fight against viral infections, as well as inflammation and cancer. Some choices include shiitake, reishi, maitake, ganoderma, and cordyceps.
- Supplements. Some of the ingredients many of us use in meal prep also contain anti-cancer elements. Garlic, green tea, and turmeric (contains curcumin) can easily be implemented into daily diet. Specific vitamins and other nutritional supplements can prove invaluable, including CoQ10, melatonin, Indole-3-Carbino, Essiac tea, and artemisinin known to disable cancer cell membranes.
- Vitamin D. Many clinical studies tout the virtues of consistent intake of vitamin D3 for cancer prevention. To heighten the benefits, health experts recommend safe sun exposure for 20 minutes a day.
The One Immeasurable Part of Cancer Treatment Not to Be Ignored
Science, medicine and spirituality all play important roles in identifying and assessing cancer risk and diagnosing the disease. What is often amiss—the communication between patient and practitioner in the emotional aspects of undergoing the healing process, whether it entails surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a host of holistic practices.
Each cancer patient should partner with a health practitioner that has earned their trust. In turn, patients need to be transparent with their caregivers, providing detailed information on any natural cancer treatment alternatives they plan on following, to optimize the program and enable better outcomes.