What is Cancer?
According to Cancer.gov the definition of cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. (1) In normal circumstances old cells die and are replaced with new cells. Cancer develops when abnormal cells grow when they shouldn’t and grow in the absence of signals telling them to. In addition, cancerous cells ignore all signals telling them to stop growing. This uncontrolled growth leads to invasion of the nearby areas and can spread to other areas of the body. Normal cells stop growing when they encounter other cells, cancer cells keep growing no matter what type of cells are reached. The abnormal cells manage to escape detection by the immune system (1).
How Prevalent is Cancer?
Approximately 18 million cases of cancer are diagnosed globally each year and remains the second-leading cause of death in the United States. Cancer is not one disease, but it can develop in a variety of ways, due to a variety of different factors. (2)
Who Gets Cancer?
Anyone can get cancer, but some people have an increased genetic disposition. Smokers. drinkers and couch potatoes are all at increased risk.
Physical carcinogens- UV and ionizing radiation
Chemical carcinogens- tobacco, alcohol, aflatoxin, arsenic, asbestos, and
Biological carcinogens- viruses, bacteria, or parasites
What Can You do to Reduce Your Cancer Risk?
Breast Cancer Prevention Partners recommend the following to reduce the risk of breast cancer, however, these best practices should be followed by everyone:
- Read ingredient labels. Do not assume any product is safe as the use of many carcinogens is not illegal. Peruse sites such as Glossary of Exposure and Chemical of Concern.
- Avoid products with the words “flavors” or “fragrance” as these products could contain a handful of harmful chemicals. Choose natural or organic products made with ingredients that come from the earth and are not made in a lab.
- Wash your hands after handling any products that are not organic.
- Eat fresh, organic, and hormone-free foods.
- Don’t be brainwashed, greenwashed or pinkwashed. Companies are savvy in selling products. Watch out for products that are designed to look all natural. Read labels. Be wary too of products boasting a pink ribbon.
- Be an advocate for safer products, food, and water.
Other Tips for Cancer Prevention (from the World Health Organization)
- Avoid tobacco
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Eat mostly fruits and vegetables
- Engage in physical activity daily
- Minimal consumption of alcohol
- Avoid excessive exposure to the sun
- Ensure safe and appropriate use of radiation in health care (for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes)
- Minimize occupational exposure to ionizing radiation
- Reduce exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution, including radon (4)
Many practitioners, particularly those who practice functional or alternative medicine believe the root cause of most diseases is inflammation. The above suggestions can help keep inflammation low. One method not discussed yet is stress management as stress, particularly chronic in nature can cause systemic inflammation. According to authors Liu et al, intense stress over-activates the immune system, leading to an imbalance between inflammation and anti-inflammation. (8)
Very Well Mind offers 17 ways to manage stress (This list has been modified by the writer of this blog) (9):
- Give or receive a hug
- Take a walk
- Explore guided imagery
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation
- Try different breathing activities
- Consider aromatherapy
- Express yourself through artwork
- Add a hobby
- Schedule downtime
- Develop a positive self-talk habit
- Express gratitude
- Schedule exercise
- Re-assess your to-do list
- Join or start a support group
- See if you can cut out a few stressful things ex. Have groceries delivered
instead of going shopping
- Get a massage
I Have Cancer– What can I do to Improve my Chance of Survival?
All the above-mentioned interventions for cancer prevention also apply if you have cancer. The most immediate considerations are to clean up the diet and stop all unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking. Cleaning up the diet means, eating less to no packaged foods, eating more fruits and vegetables than meat, and including healthy fats (olive, macadamia, coconut, avocado- to name a few), and drinking 2-3 liters of filtered water.
Studies have shown that eliminating sugar can be helpful regardless of the type of malignancy or the stage of cancer. A study by Dr. Huber showed that those patients that avoided sugar had more than twice the rate of survival compared to sugar eaters. Of those that ate sugar, 36% went into remission, as opposed to those that avoided sugar achieving a 90% remission rate.
In addition, incorporate as much movement as possible. Susan Somers (cancer survivor) advocates for moving the lymphatics by using a rebounder for at least 15 minutes per day. Such activity is not feasible for everyone, particularly those undergoing chemotherapy or receiving radiation. In which case, consider lymphatic drainage massage by a trained therapist, or receive treatments with the BallancerPro. The BallancerPro provides a more precise and consistent treatment each time, and the pressure can be adjusted from very light to more intense (20mmHg to 80mmHg) to individual tolerance.
Advice from the Cancer Support Community (information condensed) (6).
- Take time to consider all your options before making any decisions.
- Know your exact diagnosis and stage of cancer.
- Write down your questions or concerns in advance of your appointment.
- Bring a family member or friend with you to medical appointments. They may remember things you forget or think of questions to ask that you never would have thought of.
- Become informed about treatment options and goal of care. Reach out to others that have been in your situation. Facebook is a good forum for thisas well as formal support groups.
- Ask about the benefits and risk of all treatment options presented to you.
- Get a second opinion. Everyone has a right to a second or even third opinion. Any good doctor will support you in your desire for moreinformation and different points of view.
- Consider if a clinical trial might be right for you. Particularly if you have not responded to multiple rounds of established protocols, a clinical trial might appeal to you.
- Establish a relationship with your case manager at your insurance company and be informed of your coverage in detail. If you do not have a case manager, ask for one. Case managers in hospitals will not be familiar with your exact insurance policy. Ask about coverage before agreeing to any
new treatments. Be particularly aware of which doctors are in your network.
- Seek emotional support. Ask to fill out a depression screening. When in the hospital ask to meet the social worker. Social workers will be aware of mental health resources and support groups in your community. Individuals with cancer often seek alternative treatments in place of, or in
addition to standard medical care.
The Mayo Clinic offers the following guide to help with specific issues that arise during the treatment of cancer.
If you’re experiencing… Then consider trying:
Anxiety- Hypnosis, massage, meditation,
music therapy, relaxation
Fatigue- Exercise, massage, relaxation techniques, yoga
Nausea and vomiting– Acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, music therapy
Pain– Acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, massage, music therapy
Sleep problems– Cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, yoga
Stress– Aromatherapy, exercise, hypnosis, massage, meditation, music therapy, tai chi, yoga
Additionally, there are multiple centers in the US and around the world that focus entirely on non-pharmaceutical and/or alternative means to eradicate cancer. Body R-N-R is not offering medical advice nor advocation for or against any treatment options whether conventional or alternative. This writer is merely presenting options found in the literature. Treatments might consist of:
- High Dose Vitamin C given via IV infusion
- Ozone Therapy -given via IV, rectal or vaginal insufflation or other methods
- Proton Therapy
- Blue Scorpion Venom
- Coffee Enemas and other colonic treatments
- Cannabis Oil
- Essiac Tea
- Photodynamic Therapy
- Laser Treatments
- And many, many more options.
In summary, cancer is prevalent and becoming more prevalent in the modern world as our environment becomes more toxic and our lifestyle is more sedentary. Eating and living clean is the best way to stay healthy. Movement is necessary and everyone should engage in at least moderate activity.
Upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, educate yourself as much as possible. Being informed is the best way to make sound decisions. Seek support wherever you can get it, as cancer is a devastating diagnosis and most treatment courses come with many side effects. Doing it alone is not an option.
Body R-N-R is proud to offer a low-toxin environment, utilizing an air filtration system and using only natural or organic products. We also offer the BallancerPro
which can help boost the immune system.