Continued from Save my Cousin, Kill his Cancer, Part 2.
What makes me think that a mere mortal—me—can save someone’s life?
Well the superhero status helps a little (wink), but the real solutions come from my passionate and insatiable quest to help my cousin and my relentless research. I have plundered my social, medical and cyber networks for the latest Western studies, Eastern practices, new technologies, and lesser known innovative modalities that are outside of mainstream medicine. I’ve listened to cancer survivors and cancer researchers, gathering information which hasn’t made its way into randomized controlled studies. Researching the research is one of my superpowers. My father was a nuclear physicist at MIT (now retired) and although I’m no rocket scientist (being a superhero suits me better), I have pretty sound logical reasoning and am inherently skeptical in my assessment of evidence. Also I’m persistent—did I mention that?
And I live in Austin, Texas, home to a deeply ingrained and extensive holistic culture. This is the birthplace of Whole Foods Market, which opened in 1980 as a little natural foods store. The strong values of healthy eating, connecting with the community and caring for the earth has given rise to a philosophy of healthful living that encompasses the whole mind and body. Conscientious eating spans the spectrum from vegan to paleo and Austin hosts some of the largest food education conferences in the country. You’ll probably find more yoga studios than coffee shops here, many of them in people’s homes.
Plus, we have an independent pharmacy chain that sells only nutritious, pure food and supplements that, unlike others, are rigorously tested for purity and efficacy—I can say this because I know the family who owns it. Peoples Pharmacy claims the largest holistic wellness staff in Texas, featuring naturopaths, acupuncturists, and Chinese and Oriental medicine practitioners. There is so much interest here in healing naturally, and so many resources, that it’s easy to find people who have cured “incurable diseases” like multiple sclerosis and terminal cancer through nutrition and alternative therapies. I am deeply involved in this culture, and that’s part of what I bring to the table.
What does the GFF suggest?
The theory that cancer is biologically impossible if you have an adequate functioning immune system is gaining acceptance. Addressing this failure is key to reversing it. You need to repair your immune system.
A. DON’T EAT OUT. Eating out provides you with multiple cancer causes all at once—factory farmed meat, glyphosate bread, rancid vegetable oils, contaminated water, sprayed veggies, GMO everything, hidden processed sugars, toxic plastic residue, and glutamate, found in MSG. It all tastes good so you would never know, right? Well, unless you want to go full speed towards the end of life, DO NOT EAT OUT. I know, it sucks to have to prepare all your food at home. You know what sucks more? Bone marrow transplants, rounds of chemotherapy, pain and nausea, losing your hair, and destroying your immune system.
Eating at home doesn’t hurt, it’s just hard work. So if you need help—and you do—call in the troops. Your friends and family want to offer help but they often don’t know what to do. This is what they can do. Have a loved one help you make up a grocery list of clean food (see below), ask another to help you shop, and still another to help you prepare meals. Every day. Because you need love and community, not just health-restoring food.
I know this sounds draconian and it impinges on your enjoyment. You ask, “Can I eat out now and again”? Well, it depends on how badly you want to live. Detoxification is essential. I suggest that for 90 days you eat only at home so that you can control the quality of everything that goes into your body. You’re worth it.
B. SUPPLEMENTS. There are all kinds of supplements. Some are specifically anti-cancer, others are meant to detoxify, many are immune-boosting. There are also supplements to combat parasites and fungi. Be careful about mixing pharmaceutical drugs with supplements because you need to know if there will be any interactions (contraindications). It is best to consult with an integrative oncologist or naturopath because otherwise you will need to research and understand the thousands of supplements out there. And beware: supplements are not regulated in the U.S. and many do not contain what they say they do, so if you are not careful you will waste a lot of money.
Here is a partial list of supplements that make sense to consider if you are trying to fight or prevent cancer. None is a magic bullet but all have the potential to help you. Many can be purchased on Amazon. You always want the purest form with the least synthetic additives.
Mushrooms. Reishi mushrooms contain a complex sugar called beta-glucans which has been shown to stop the spread and growth of cancer cells. They also stimulate the immune system, and activate macrophages, which are specialized cells involved in detecting and destroying harmful organisms in your body. Learn more about Reishi mushrooms here and here. Chaga mushrooms have more antioxidants than any other food (almost 50x more than blueberries) and have also been studied for applications within oncology. There are 21 articles about it here. Mataike mushrooms also being used for cancer treatment. 88 articles to peruse here. Here’s a mushroom that destroys Myeloma cells. There are a lot of them! You can take in tincture form, powder, or dried, but first do your homework.
Cordyceps sinensis is a fungus that has colonized a caterpillar. It has been used for centuries in China as a natural herbal medicine for invigoration, health preservation, and reduction of fatigue. It is known to strengthen immunity and oxygenate the body, so athletes use it for performance. Folk healers continue to use it to cure 21 ailments including cancer, asthma, TB, diabetes, and hepatitis. Many studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrate its diverse biological activities and pharmacological potential. Another study shows increased activity of NK (natural killer) cells in the treatment of Leukemia. People with blood cancers or bleeding disorders should not take cordyceps as it increases the production of progenitor red blood cells and has blood-thinning effects. Health food stores sell dried cordyceps which you can add to soups and stews, or you can buy the powdered version to make tea. It also comes in liquid and capsule form.
Beta Glucan. Beta Glucan is an immunomodulator—it stimulates the immune system (by stimulation of antibody formation and inhibition of white blood cell activity). It is also an anti-angiogenic (destroys blood supply to tumors). Beta Glucan is one of the most accepted treatments for cancer in China and Japan. This explains how it works. Researchers have established its role in the immune system relative to cancer treatment, infection immunity, and restoration of damaged bone marrow. Studies show that Beta-glucans have multiple effects on cancer cells and cancer prevention. Take in capsule form.
Turmeric (curcumin). There are thousands of published studies on the anti-cancer properties of curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric root. Curcumin has demonstrated an ability to trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death) and to stop cancer cells from dividing. At the same time, non cancer cells are unharmed. Some studies show that curcumin is more effective than chemotherapy. Other studies show that it increases the effectiveness of chemo while reducing its side effects. Because of its consistently impressive track record with a broad range of cancers, it makes sense to ingest as much of it as you can. While it is always preferable to consume the whole food version of a compound, you may find it easier to take a supplement. Buy the organic root, powder or capsule. Be careful because everyone and his mother now sells curcumin. You want to ensure that what you’re taking contains all the valuable compounds. Curcumin is most effective when taken with black/cayenne pepper or ginger. Look for Curcumin C3 Complex. You can also combine curcumin and boswellia into a single supplement for higher potency.
Boswellia (Frankincense). Boswellia essential oil is toxic to breast cancer cells. In studies, the oil prevented cell networks from forming, repressed signaling pathways, disrupted breast cancer cells and induced cancer cell death. Research suggests that the essential oil may be effective for advanced breast cancer. Cell studies have demonstrated that Boswellia also has anti-proliferative, apoptotic effects in multiple human cancer cell lines, including meningioma, leukemia, melanoma, fibrosarcoma, colon, prostate, pancreatic, and bladder.
Indian gooseberry (Amla). Considered the most important medicinal plant in India, this berry is used to treat a vast range of conditions. The extract of this Southeast Asian tree contains molecules with both cancer-preventative and antitumor activity. Even exposure to low levels of extract from these berries may be enough to impair tumor progression at early stages. They also cause apoptosis, or cancer cell death. You can’t find the berries in North America, but it’s sold as an organic powder.
Moringa (Moringa oleifera). Native to the Himalayan region, Moringa is one of the most nutrient dense plants on earth. Extract of the leaves and bark have been shown to cause cell death and cell arrest on breast, colon, and colorectal cancer cells. Bioactive components present in the extracts of leaves and bark, like Eugenol, have been identified as anti-cancer agents. High concentrations of leaf extracts are toxic and cause cell disruptions, causing a “switching off” of cancer cell survival mechanisms. Learn more about Moringa. Buy the leaves fresh and use them in salads or try the powder in a smoothie.
Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum). Known as green blood because of its high content of chlorophyll, wheatgrass is structurally similar to hemoglobin and provides oxygen to all body tissues. Wheatgrass has demonstrated an inhibitory effect on cancer proliferation. It is an alkaline food (cancer prefers an acidic environment), and a one-ounce shot is equivalent to 2.5 pounds of veggies, making it a convenient alternative to juicing. It is packed with important enzymes that boost the immune system, it detoxifies the liver and reduces inflammation in the body. Also, its chlorophyll down-regulates the signaling pathways of growing cancer cells. If you take anticoagulant medication, talk to your doctor before consuming.
By the way, in case you are not impressed with the limited animal and test-tube studies and are looking for double blind placebo scientific studies confirming of the effectiveness of Wheatgrass on cancer, you won’t find any. (There are also none on moringa, milk thistle, etc.) These studies cost millions—sometimes billions—of dollars and no one is going to fund such a study since there’s no money to be made on the free market—anyone can grow these herbs and they’re not patentable. Instead, you’ll want to examine the stories of people who used it to cure their cancer, and there are many online communities of these people. They are known in medical literature as cases of “spontaneous remission“. You can grow your own wheatgrass and make your own powder. You can also buy it at your local juice bar.
Milk thistle. The liver is the body’s primary detoxifier. It performs more than 300 critical metabolic functions. Most of us have a liver that is overburdened from constant exposure to toxins in the environment, food, drugs, water, and other sources. Milk thistle contains a compound called silybum marianum that helps mitigate the effects of toxins. Its powerful antioxidants appear to fight inflammation and also to produce glutathione, the body’s most potent and protective antioxidant. Milk thistle has been shown to protect the body against damage from chemo, radiation, and cancer drugs. It can also prevent cancer cells from spreading and infecting other organs. It has been tested on prostrate, liver, prostrate, lung, and skin cancers. It can be taken in pill form but eating the seeds may be more effective.
Aloe vera. Aloe contains a polysaccharide called Acemannan which heals burns as well as wounds. It also heals ulcers and protects your gut. Initial studies show potential for treating breast and cervical cancers. Acemannan stimulates the immune system to produce anti-cancer compounds. Acemannan is only present on the inner aloe vera leaf. The outer leaf can cause severe gastric distress, and the juice often contains both parts of the leaf plus additives, so be careful. You can take in capsule form or (if you’re brave) buy an organic plant, slice the leaf and scrape out the bitter gel.
Black cumin (Nigella Sativa). In old Latin it was called ‘Panacea’ meaning ‘cure all. Its seeds and oil contains something called thymoquinone (TQ) which is considered a potent anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic agent. It is effective against blood cancers as well as lung, kidney, liver, prostate, breast, cervix, and skin cancers. TQ improves the body’s defense system, increases natural killer (NK) cells and stops proliferation, metastasis and angiogenesis. It also causes apoptosis (cell death) in many different kinds of cancer. It is common for cancer patients in Muslim countries to take this as a dietary supplement along with chemotherapy. It’s best to consume in oil form. Make sure it is organic and cold pressed with no chemicals, not diluted, without additives, and in a dark glass container. Here’s one good brand.
Dandelion root. It turns out that this very humble weed packs an anti-cancer punch. Recent studies show the anti-cancer potential of dandelion root extract (DRE) in several cancer cell models, with no toxicity to healthy cells. Researchers examined the cancer cell-killing effectiveness of DRE in colon cancer cell models and discovered that it induced programmed cell death selectively in over 95% of colon cancer cells within 48 hours of treatment. DRE shows the potential to effectively target multiple vulnerabilities of cancer cells. You can actually forage for dandelions in your yard (or your neighbor’s yard) and produce your own powder, or buy a supplement like this one.
Chemo does severe damage to the gut, and probiotics can help repair it. Disturbance of the intestinal microbiota can lead to autoimmune diseases, colon cancer, gastric ulcers, cardiovascular disease, bowel diseases, and obesity. Restoring the gut microbiota is a big job, but probiotics have shown great promise in many clinical studies. Their anti-cancer effects include: suppressing the growth of microbiota that produce mutagens and carcinogens, altering carcinogen metabolism, protecting DNA from oxidative damage, and regulation of the immune system. Some good brands are: Garden of Life, Metagenics, Prescript-Assist, and Biotics Research.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Vitamin D3. There are no large randomized controlled studies examining the relationship between Vitamin D and cancer risk or Vitamin D and cancer mortality. However, there have been convincing in vitro lab and animal studies as well as epidemiological and occupational studies that suggest a benefit to high levels of Vitamin D. It turns out that occupations associated with outdoor work—farming, forestry, and gardening—have the lowest cancer rates. Observational studies show that lower cancer incidence and mortality rates correlate with higher blood concentrations of Vitamin D. Geographical studies measuring solar UVB show that sun exposure is more protective than oral Vitamin D. Something called genetic polymorphism studies show that vitamin D affects gene expression. Most of the U.S. population is deficient in Vitamin D, so you should have your levels checked anyway. Most people need a supplement. You should also try to get regular sun exposure, although this doesn’t mean lying on a piece of aluminum foil on the beach all day. The best dietary source is wild, fatty fish, like sardines.
Vitamin C. See Intravenous Vitamin C below under New Technologies.
Quercetin. Flavonoids are compounds that show anticancer properties. Among the flavonoids in the human diet, quercetin is one of the most important. Quercetin has great potential as an anticancer treatment. In the last decade, several anticancer properties of quercetin have been described, such as cell signaling, pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative and anti-oxidant, as well as growth suppression. Quercetin inhibits multiple enzymes involved in cell proliferation, as well as in signal transduction pathways. There are also synergistic effects when combining quercetin with chemotherapeutic agents or radiotherapy. Food sources: red leaf lettuce, asparagus, onions, green tea, green pepper, tomatoes.
Selenium. Selenium is a trace element and an essential micronutrient. Research shows that it may prevent cancer, slow its progression, and also hinder tumor development and metastasis. There are three naturally occurring forms and each one contributes uniquely to preventing cancer from emerging. There are 12 known mechanisms by which selenium compounds prevent cancer. Learn more here (and notice the long list of studies referenced at the bottom). It comes in capsules. Talk to your practitioner about the right form and dose for your condition.
Sugar, in addition to causing inflammation and insulin resistance, actually leads to nutrient deficiencies. If you have cancer, you need all the nutrition possible and you can’t afford to have it displaced by sugar. Here’s a good article explaining how that works.
Iodine deficiency. This is on very few people’s radar, and yet it’s a huge public health problem. Low iodine is associated with breast and stomach cancers. Low iodine in Americans was once reversed through adding iodine to wheat. But recently, the iodine has been replaced by bromide, which actually blocks absorption of iodine. Americans are not routinely tested for iodine levels so it is not known what percentage are deficient, but we do know that thyroid problems—associated with low iodine—are skyrocketing. This article explains why. Last year, a groundbreaking study revealed that 85% of pregnant Israelis are deficient in iodine, possibly as a result of drinking desalinated water and not adding iodizing salt. Breast cancer is on the rise in Israel.
C. PLASTICS. Get them out of your life. Don’t drink out of plastic or use plastic food containers. Don’t buy canned food. Use glass and stainless steel. (See Save my Cousin, Kill his Cancer Part 2, section on plastic toxins)
D. SKINCARE, SOAPS, CLEANING PRODUCTS. Trust me, these are full of carcinogenic chemicals that have not been evaluated for safety. They include phthalates, parabens and formaldehyde. Invite all your friends to a detox party. Pull all the products from your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, put them in a big pile, and go around the table so everyone gets a turn. Scan the product’s barcode using the EWG skindeep website or app. Product info will pop up with a toxicity score. If the product is not in their database, use the ingredient field to enter the first five ingredients—data is also available for individual chemicals. Any product that is ranked higher than a “3” goes in the trash can. Time to stop polluting your body. Anyone out there using Tide Detergent? Well it got an F…
E. COFFEE ENEMAS. Does this sound too folksy for you? Check out this video which illuminates how the practice was once a conventional treatment and was included in the authoritative compendium of Western medical care—the Merck Manual. Enemas were used by many ancient civilizations including the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians and were considered one of the most effective treatments for whole body health…all the way until the 20th century. This video walks you through the process and explains it in more detail. In brief, coffee enemas work because they:
- a) cleanse the colon of fecal particles which have started to putrefy.
- b) stimulate the liver to accelerate detoxification. The liver is burdened with more toxins than it can remove, which eventually leads to disease.
- c) improve energy levels
F. HEAVY METAL DETOX. Metals such as mercury, aluminum, copper, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, and lead can seriously derail your health. Yet heavy metal toxicity is an elusive threat that often remains undiagnosed and hidden within our bodies. It only surfaces when you are actively looking for it. Chelation therapy is one method of removing heavy metals through binding. Another approach is to use food. There are many different methods of and programs for detoxification, from simple to very rigorous. For example, foods that are rich in sulfur—like eggs, brussels sprouts and cabbage—stimulate your liver to produce chemicals that help excrete toxins from your body. Then there are juice cleanses—for example drinking a tincture of lemon, lime, orange, olive oil, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon. There are also organ-specific cleanses that require different protocols for the colon, liver and lymph nodes. There are many books and blogs out there to guide you…
G. PARASITE CLEANSE. Parasites from contaminated food and water can infect the intestinal tract and are often difficult to destroy. People with imbalanced gut flora or a weakened immune system are more susceptible. Parasite infection can cause disease and even lead to cancer. In fact, liver, stomach, colorectal, and esophagus cancers are often associated with distinct infectious diseases caused by parasites. Chronic inflammatory processes and oxidative stress play a role in altering cells and inducing carcinogenesis (the initiation of cancer formation). So if you have cancer, it makes sense to consider a parasite cleanse. This supplement may help. Here is a more extensive protocol, called Dr. Clark’s parasite cleanse. Both contain known anti-parasite botanicals black walnut, clover, and wormwood.
How do you get parasites? My friend Martin picked up an amoeba parasite while living in Spain (likely from undercooked meat). His conventional doctors could not figure out what was wrong with him, but an “alternative doctor” in Austin used targeted pathogen resonant frequency to identify it. (The conventional doctor was then able to confirm it). Martin went on a regimen using the three supplements listed above, and after two years he was finally cured. In the meantime the parasite wrecked his gut, and he can no longer consume dairy or gluten. These supplements can cause GI distress but it’s worth dealing with the discomfort to dislodge a parasite. Think you might have a parasite? Learn more here.
Oil refineries and Teflon. Last week I had a hair appointment (at an all-organic salon ;-)). My stylist, Brianna, comes from a cancer-plagued part of the United States known as the Beaumont Triangle in Texas. Every year the U.S. Census on Cancer ranks this region in the top 5 for cancer incidence. What do people do here? The principal industries are plastic and gas. Basically, everyone who lives here works either at Dupont chemical plants or at the Exxon oil refineries. Entire families are employed by these companies, generation after generation. And cancer is a way of life—no one is willing to change anything because it’s a foregone conclusion that everyone is going to get it.
Guess what else is a way of life? Tanning salons. Brianna, like all her friends, tanned daily for years. People start in high school and do it all their life, even though it increases the risk of cancer. When they get cancer, they keep tanning. But there’s some hope; when Brianna’s aunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the doctors at MD Anderson were very clear: “This is caused by your environment”. Some doctors—especially the ones at prestigious teaching hospitals—are becoming aware of the role of toxins in disease. A friend of Brianna’s who owned a nail salon got cancer and the team at MD Anderson told her to “change her career”. Again, lifestyle and environment are integrally linked to disease. In this case, acetone, an ingredient in nail polish remover, played a key role. Luckily, this friend took heed: she sold her business immediately and she is still alive six years later. But most oncologists won’t look for causes, won’t recommend changes, and won’t address diet. And so their patients won’t either. But I won’t stop trying to get the message across.
Food is nature’s medicine. Compounds in food prevent oxidative damage and turn on and off switches on cancer cells.
- All organic, all the time. If you need to compromise here, then you must know which foods are the most sprayed so you can avoid them. Here is the American list and here is the Israeli list.
- No wheat, ever (that means no bread or pasta), or rice, or high-glycemic wheat substitutes like tapioca starch and potato starch. If you want to eat grains, eat ancient grains like einkorn, emmer and kamut, eat them sparingly, and make sure that they are sprouted/germinated. Pseudocereals like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and chia are good alternatives.
- Get all the sugar out of your house and out of your life. All of it, unless it is inside a fruit or a vegetable. Sugar feeds most cancers directly and leads to inflammation and insulin resistance/dysregulation, which is at the root of most Western diseases. Goodbye to sugar substitutes, too. Right now you don’t want honey or maple syrup either, even though these are real foods.
- No red meat or factory farmed anything including fish, chicken, and shrimp. If you don’t know where it comes from, don’t eat it. Start looking for the labels “grass-fed” and “pastured” on meat. “Free-range” and “cage-free” don’t mean anything because they are unregulated terms.
- No fried food. When starchy foods like bread, crackers, breakfast cereals, and potatoes are fried or cooked on high heat for a long time, they produce a chemical called acrymalide. This is a toxin which increases cancer risk in laboratory animals. Although vegetables and meat do not produce acrymalide, cooking veggies at high temps degrades their nutritive value. Overcooked meat contains carcinogenic compounds like heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
- No vegetable oils. Toss them in the garbage where they belong. Alternately, you can use them to grease equipment. Use extra virgin olive from a reputable source or avocado oil or unrefined coconut oil or pastured butter.
- No conventional dairy, and reduce all dairy. Two components are known to contribute to cancer cell growth: industrial casein and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).
Still don’t believe that food choices directly impact cancer? Read this report and this study and this one, just published in the journal of the American Medical Association. Most oncologists still do not understand the food connection—they have no training in this area—so don’t look to them for advice. If you are lucky enough to be at a teaching hospital, especially a prestigious one like M.D. Anderson, you may find an integrative medicine doctor on your team who understands food; if so, s/he will probably corroborate what I am telling you. Nutrition, not medication, is the foundation of of good health and it’s also the foundation of healing.
- celery: (contains the compound apigenin. This article describes a study in which apigenin destroyed 86% of lung cancer cells.)
- apple: (contains quercetin, fisetin)
- ginger: (contains gingerol)
- carrots: (beta carotene). Consuming carrots and their juice appears to yield a different result than taking a supplement. Testimonials abound from cancer patients who cured their cancers with carrot juice alone. Seriously. I believe this critical mass is “clinically significant”. But no one is going to fund a large-scale double-blind placebo study because there is no money for pharmaceutical companies to make on carrots and nothing to patent. Because you have nothing to lose and there are no side effects (except for orange skin), why not give it a try? Clinical studies have shown that too much beta carotene taken in the form of a supplement can actually increase risk for lung and stomach cancers.
- turmeric: (contains curcumin). There are 17,000 studies on its impact on cancer in the database of the national Institutes of Health. If you have cancer, you should take it. Period.
- other good things to include: beets, beet greens, purple cabbage, swiss chard
Make salads, too.
- -lettuce: red leaf, kale, spinach, escarole
- -broccoli sprouts 200 times the nutrients and antioxidants of regular broccoli. Also sunflower sprouts. You can grow your own from seed to harvest in a week.. They are 30x more dense than most veggies. Also broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale. (contains glucosinolates, which produce sulforaphane). Helps body get rid of carcinogens and turns on genes to suppress tumors, slowing cancer growth
- -kale, swiss chard, broccoli.(contains phylloquinone, a form of vitamin K which inhibits growth of cancer and helps blood clotting, builds bones)
- -cruciferous vegetables (contains isothiocyanates, kaemperferol)
- -garlic, onions, cooked leeks. (contains allicin and diallyl sulfide)
- -orange, grapefruit, wheat sprouts, parsley, celery, onion (contains apigenin).
- -tomato, guava, watermelon, papaya (contains lycopene).
- -grapes, mulberries (contains resveratrol).
- -rosemary (contains contains rosmarinic acid).
- -parsley (contains apigenin).
- -pomegranate juice, cranberries (contains ellagitannins). Cranberries usually have added sugar and vegetable oils so best to get freeze dried powder
- -mushrooms (see supplements above)
- –cinnamon, allspice, cloves
- –cardamom, saffron, nutmeg
- –pumpkin, sweet potato, seafood from a clean source (contains B6).
- –grapefruit improves detoxification of liver (contains kaempferol)
- –fermented foods like sauerkraut (contain menaquinones)
- –hemp hearts (contains several kinds of anti-inflammatory fats)
- Green tea, black tea. Lab studies of a polyphenol called catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) show that it may interfere with several of the processes involved in cell replication, causing tumor cell death (apoptosis). More compelling are population studies, mostly in Asia, which show a greatly reduced cancer incidence in regions where people consume green tea as an integral part of their diet.
- Dandelion Root Tea. Recent studies show the anti-cancer potential of dandelion root extract in several cancer cell models, with no toxicity to healthy cells. May increase the growth of hormone-sensitive cancers.
- Essiac Tea. This formulation consists of four botanicals: burdock root, Indian rhubarb root, sheep sorrel, and slippery elm bark. Its use as a cancer treatment is controversial because no clinical trials have been reported in peer-reviewed scientific journals. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of success (there are hundreds of reviews here) from people who have used it to cure their cancers, as you will find from exploring online holistic health communities. The medical literature dismisses tumor shrinkage in an “incurable” patient who was drinking Essiac tea as “spontaneous remission“. You can also buy the book about the nurse who pioneered it here.
Always add lemon—it increases absorption.
You need a filter. I recommend a reverse osmosis water filtration system. It removes all the crap, but it also removes all mineral content. Adding in mineral drops adds back its vitality (This is what I use). The Environmental Working Group explains water filter technology here, so you can explore different options. An inexpensive solution is to buy a pitcher that sits on the counter like Berkey Filters.
Test your water. In Israel, a startup created a device which can identify the presence of at least 10 contaminants in water—just point this gadget at a cup of water to get a reading. Here is another option, though it provides less detailed information.
Hydration. This is incredibly important. Most people don’t drink enough water.
Stress plays a well-documented role in disease. If you have cancer, it is critical that you figure out how to manage your stress. Try to identify the stressors in your life that may have weakened your immune system and then seek effective strategies for stress release. This is vital to your healing and wellbeing. Fear and uncertainty have now been piled on top of stress and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Luckily, the mind can control the body through a range of modalities.
1. Meditation. Meditation has been found to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, to increase melatonin and serotonin, to boost the immune response, to decrease levels of reactive oxygen species (free radicals), to reduce stress and promote positive mood states, to reduce anxiety and pain and enhance self-esteem, and to enhance quality of life in late-stage disease. That’s a pretty impressive list. Don’t believe it? Take a look at all these studies. Scientific American says: “Changing our DNA though mind control? A study finds meditating cancer patients are able to affect the makeup of their DNA.”
2. Prayer. Religious practices have been associated with healing for millennia. Prayer may produce health and healing through several mechanisms: Prayer is a form of meditation and may therefore confer all the health benefits associated with meditation. Prayer works across all traditions and therefore may be effective because of the placebo response. Prayer is often a factor in cases of spontaneous remission.
3. Yoga. Yoga impacts neurological, hormonal, and immune functions at a cellular level and, according to this study, is the third most popular alternative treatment used in conjunction with traditional cancer therapies.
4. Tai Chi. An ancient Chinese martial art, tai chi was initially a form of self-defense, but according to research, is also an effective form of medication for cancer patients. Tai chi is a “moving meditation” in which individuals concentrate on deep breathing and precise posture, which helps to relax the mind and strengthen the body. According to MD Anderson Center, tai chi enhances the immune system and relieves pain, anxiety and stress in cancer patients and survivors. Watch this video to understand Tai Chi and its parent form Qi Gong.
5. Releasing Trauma. When emotional trauma goes unhealed, the body remains in a state of heightened stress. Studies associate stress with depressed immune function and onset of disease. Epidemiological studies suggest that psychological factors that activate stress-response pathways may lead to metastasis and tumor progression. Fight-or-flight response from the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) may impact multiple physiologic processes in the tumor microenvironment that encourage cancer cells to move beyond the primary tumor to distant tissue sites. Under chronic stress, the SNS is constantly “turned on”and eventually leads to altered genetic code. Techniques: meditation, visualization, therapy, hypnosis, tapping. Another good perspective here.
5. Breathing. Learning how to breathe correctly is so vital to health that I’m going to dedicate an entire blogpost to it. I am working on it with my tai chi teacher, a master who believes that breathing is the key to healing. He should know—he was shot 5 times and as soon as he woke up in the hospital, began breathing exercises. He was up and walking and out of the hospital far sooner than normal—his doctors were stunned.
6. Self Care. Self-care is underrated and is of monumental importance. Make changes in your life, whether that means saying no, de-complicating your life, less technology, fewer commitments, work you enjoy, spending more time with the people you love, etc.
The options are endless. Just walking is fine. Get moving, and do something you like on a regular basis. See the link between exercise and cancer/cancer prevention here under sedentary lifestyle.
Find a doctor of integrative medicine or a naturopath.
These doctors look at the context of the cancer: in what kind of environment did the cancer grow? How can the immune system be strengthened in order to better resist the cancer? What is causing the body’s inflammation and how can it be eliminated? They consider the mind-body connection, nutrition, and stress. They also study and implement a much broader range of evidence-based therapies so that the patient has choices, most with little or no harm to the body. These doctors strive not just to kill tumors but to heal their patients’ bodies, and also to maintain health once the patient has recovered. Here are the profiles of several specialists:
Kevin Bethel, MD. Clinical Director of the Immune Augmentation Therapy Clinic (IAT) in Freeport, Bahamas speaks about immune therapy and cancer. Bethel attended McGill University Medical School followed by an internship at John Hopkins University and then a residency at Baylor University in Houston. Bethel opened a clinic in New York but then moved it to Freeport, Bahamas. His work focuses on the role that the immune system plays in preventing and treating cancer. Conventional drugs knock out the immune system, and as a result, the organism tends not to live as long. Ultimately, balance needs to be achieved. Root causes need to be explored. The immune system needs to be coordinated to to attack parasites and viruses. Emotional and energy work is vital to healing. Biochemical, hormonal, and nutritional needs need to be addressed. Dr. Bethel helped my friend Hal reverse his aggressive Leukemia. This website describes many of the innovative medical therapies used by this clinic.
Dwight McKee MD. is an integrative oncologist and the author of After Cancer Care. He also contributes to a journal on cancer strategies. He believes that we can influence the environment that the cancer is in. Poor terrain will support new cancer growth even if most of the cancer is killed.
Keith Block, MD. believes that our microbiome is critical to our well-being, and that we have microbiomes everywhere—on our skin, in our brains, in our gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, etc. The biggest influence on microbiome is diet.
Rashid Buttar, DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). believes that you can’t have cancer if you have an adequate, functioning immune system. He practices something called target acquisition which means introducing a “vaccine” created from the proteins of the cancer from a patient’s individual DNA. When injected, the body realizes that the cancer is a foreign entity and learns to fight it.
Not every insurance plan covers every integrative medicine doctor or naturopath, but they are well worth the money because they have so many more tools in their toolkit. If the cost is an issue, try to find a way to raise the money.
Investigate New Technologies
There should be a meeting point where alternative healing and mainstream science merge and learn from each other. Conventional doctors are slowly beginning to understand the importance of diet, lifestyle, and the value of holistic treatment, but incorporating them into mainstream medicine is still a long way off. You need to do your own research.
Occasionally I warn my cousin that I’m going to kidnap him and whisk him away to the MD Anderson cancer clinic in Houston, or to a new drug trial starting in China. But my research has yielded other promising resources that I might consider first: the Freeport Family Wellness Centre in the Bahamas, the Oasis of Hope Cancer Clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, or the Gorter Clinic in Cologne, Germany. A lot of terminal cancer patients have gotten their lives back after a course of non-conventional but cutting-edge holistic treatment, including my friend Hal, who cured his Leukemia against all odds. These clinics—and many others—offer a range of treatments including the ones listed below.
Ozone Therapy. Pathogenic microbes like candida, amoebas and tapeworms can cause cancer in the human body by depositing carcinogenic waste products like aflatoxin. Ozone deactivates them. This is mainstream in other countries but only offered in alternative clinics in the United States. Read about it here and here.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers (HBO). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Cancer cells thrive in an environment that is depleted of oxygen (known as hypoxia). Hyperbaric oxygen has been shown to destroy cancer cells by saturating them with oxygen and also by suppressing the growth of new blood vessels which feed the cancer (angiogenesis). Studies show that HBO immediately before chemo can enhance its effectiveness. It is also used to heal wounds caused by radiation. This treatment is still fairly new, has shown some success (especially with breast cancer) and continues to be studied. This is a good assessment of recent research. There are many facilities which offer this treatment, including here in Austin.
Vibrational Medicine (also called Energy and Regenerative Medicine) is based on the scientific principles that all matter vibrates to a precise frequency and that the balance of matter can be restored using resonant vibration. This theory relies on the same meridians of energy flow and chakra points that are used in acupuncture. Many forms of healing have been used for thousands of years to leverage these energies, such as homeopathy, reiki, reflexology, yoga therapy, acupuncture and Ayurveda. Combinations of electric field, magnetic field and electromagnetic field techniques have demonstrated how cells move, how their migration is coordinated and regulated, and how they interact with neighboring cells and to changes in their microenvironment. These energies can help explain cell behavior, auto-regulation, tissue healing, and regeneration. Cancer-related frequencies appear to be tumor specific and have been used to treat patients with advanced cancers. Read how exposure to music alters cell viability.
Pulsated electrical field therapy. This experimental technique uses energy to reduce tumors. Static and extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields have been shown to inhibit tumor growth and kill cancer cells in animal and in vitro studies. The evidence suggests that tumor-specific sound frequencies affect the expression of genes involved in migration and invasion and disrupt the mechanism that regulates chromosomes.
Intravenous Vitamin C. High-dose vitamin C, delivered intravenously, may improve symptoms and prolong life in patients with terminal cancer. High concentrations are selectively toxic to tumor cells in vitro. The in vitro biologic evidence and clinical data indicate that vitamin C could affect cancer biology. IVC therapy may stabilize cancer and reduce risk of metastasis. This study shows that IVC therapy decreased inflammation, symptoms related to antioxidant deficiency, disease processes, and side effects of standard cancer treatments. Learn more about it here. If you cannot access or afford IV Vitamin C, consider liposomal Vitamin C or a potent Vitamin C powder.
Molecular Integrative Oncology. The leading researcher in this area is J. William LaValley MD. He has developed extensive, state-of-the-art, relational, evidence-based databases about the molecular biology of cancer. His approach is molecular targeting of cancer metabolism, cancer molecular networks, and tumor microenvironment cells and molecules. LaValley was influenced by a trip to China to study Eastern Medicine. While there he participated in the brain surgery of a patient with no anesthesia, recalled here: He could speak and I watched as they cut through the skin and literally chiseled through the bone of the skull. And then I watched as they snipped through the meninges. I knew enough from my neuroscience to know that the brain itself doesn’t feel pain when it’s stimulated. But I knew that his skin, his skull and his meninges are exquisitely painful when they get stimulated like that. And my concern was that he was feeling pain or they had given him some other medication to knock him out and he wasn’t responding. Well, he was responding, he was talking the whole time and they kept asking him questions, “How do you feel? Do you feel this?” And he said, “No.” He could feel the pressure. I, at that point, was dumbfounded because as they lifted out this tumor and held it with the forceps (and I have photographs of all of this), someone nudged him on his foot and said, “Say hello to the visiting doctor.” And he did. He said, “Welcome to my operation”. Witnessing this blending of Eastern and Western techniques profoundly altered LaValley’s perception of medicine and he decided to incorporate aspects of “alternative, holistic” medicine into his practice. Read more here.
Dichloroacetate sodium (DCA). DCA is a novel metabolic therapy using a simple chemical compound. It has demonstrated anti-cancer activity in several cancer types including colon, prostate, ovarian, neuroblastoma, lung carcinoid, cervical, endometrial, cholangiocarcinoma, sarcoma and T-cell lymphoma. Clinical use has focused on cancer patients with a poor prognosis or who failed to respond to approved cancer therapies. Because DCA is a simple compound and very inexpensive, there has been virtually no interest from the large pharmaceutical companies. There are known gastrointestinal and neurological side effects. Follow ongoing research here. Available through capsules and intravenously.
Infrared sauna: Cancer cells appear to be heat sensitive. So inducing hypothermia damages them by decreasing blood flow to the tumor. This is accomplished through infrared technology which penetrates deeply and is detoxifying.. In this study, far-infrared irradiation inhibited Melanoma cell growth. This study showed that hypothermia treatment resulted in reduction of all cancer cell lines viability. Infrared also appears to boost the effectiveness of chemo and radiation.
Cryotherapy. Also known as Cryosurgery, cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen (or argon gas) to destroy abnormal tissue. External tumors, such as those on the skin. are treated with liquid nitrogen which is applied directly to the cancer cells with a swab or spray. For internal tumors and tumors in the bone, liquid nitrogen or argon gas is circulated through an instrument called a cryoprobe which is guided by ultrasound or MRI. The cells are frozen and the surrounding healthy tissue is untouched.
Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines. First approved by the FDA in 2010, many varieties are now in development. The way vaccines work is to inject a small amount of a “foreign invader” into your body so that your immune cells will respond by producing antibodies. These antibodies fight the invader, known as an antigen, and protect against further infection. If the body encounters that antigen again, your cells will recognize it and mount an attack against it. Cancer cells are problematic partially because they have circumvented your body’s natural immune response and your cells do not recognize it as a foreign invader. But what if you could trick them? These cancer vaccines are generated either from a patient’s own cells or tumor and are meant to induce a focused anti-tumor immune response by targeting specific tumor-associated antigens. As this is a newer treatment, your oncologist may or may not be familiar with it. Ask.
Heads up #1: Not all therapies will work for all cancers. You must do your research and consult with doctors who specialize in alternative methods.
Heads up #2. Some of these are expensive. Especially because they require consecutive rounds. Often you will be traveling to a different city or country (Mexico and Germany have a lot of experimental clinics). Weigh the costs and benefits against the probability that the treatment will have a substantial impact on your cancer.
Old but not forgotten therapies
Essential oils. These have been used for thousands of years and their therapeutic effects are well known. Research strongly suggests that oils can help not only prevent, but treat cancer and its debilitating side effects. Most studies have been in vitro but there are increasing numbers of clinical trials.
- Clary sage: contains sclareol, which has been shown to induce apoptosis.
- Frankincense: likely the most potent anti-cancer oil. Produces apoptosis and anti-mutagenic properties for breast, bladder, colon, skin, stomach and pancreatic cancer. Also helped with swelling in brain cancer patients.
- Lavender: a powerful anti-oxidant that helps combat free radicals
- Lemongrass: It activates apoptotic process.
- Myyrh. Usually prescribed in combination with frankincense for most synergistic application. Combats inflammation, used for relief of pain and swelling.
- Peppermint. Helps manage side effects from cancer treatment, like nausea, pain, and vomiting. May inhibit the growth of prostrate cancer.
There’s lots of information all over the web and huge compendiums of essential oil. Here’s a quick resource. Be careful about perfume grade oils; you want third-party verified, undiluted, therapeutic-grade oils with batches that can be tracked and sold by well-respected companies.
Cannabis. Discover the amazing history of cannabis and why it’s a miracle plant. There are hundreds of studies. Here’s an encouraging one related to Multiple Myeloma. Data shows that medical marijuana has anti-tumor effects and may one day be used as a cancer treatment, not just as a drug to ease symptoms of the disease. The potential for all kinds of cancer is enormous. My friend Hal was hesitant at first to use it, but after suffering a week of horrific chemo-related migraines he followed the advice of a trusted friend and tried it. It was a game changer. He had been in too much pain to sit up in bed. After 20 minutes of smoking he was up and walking. He didn’t love the idea of inhaling smoke, so eventually switched to capsules.
Fasting. Oncologists typically tell you to eat things that fatten you up so you don’t lose weight while going through chemo. But studies actually point to the therapeutic advantages of dietary restriction and periodic fasting. Fasting is an age-old ritual existing in most cultures and religions and there are empirical health benefits. Fasting may activate the immune system and expose cancer cells, making them more vulnerable to an attack by immune cells. This has the additional benefit of making the cancer more sensitive to chemotherapy. Explore fasting as a strategy to treat cancer. Learn more by watching this fascinating movie, the Science of Fasting.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is used mostly to help patients tolerate chemo and to reduce its side effects. Acupuncture is used to treat many symptoms and conditions associated with cancer and the side effects of treatments. They includes nausea, vomiting, pain and fatigue. A number of cancer centers in the U.S., including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are integrating acupuncture into cancer care.
Things you already know
Lose weight. Being overweight is a huge risk factor for many diseases. See this chart. Is your cancer on here? Recent research has found that as the body mass index increases by 5 kg/m2, cancer mortality increases by 10%. In the United States, quality-adjusted life years (QALY) lost due to obesity increased by 127% from 1993 to 2008, and are now slightly greater than the smoking-related loss in quality-adjusted life years. This study concluded that increased body weight was associated with increased death rates for all cancers combined and for cancers at multiple specific sites.
Stop smoking. Smoking causes cancer and then blocks your body from fighting it. Not just lung cancer, but 15 other kinds of cancer. Believe me, you don’t want to die this way. Here’s the surgeon general’s report from 2010.
Get restorative sleep. Sleep disturbance is very common in cancer patients. This can be due to anxiety, medications, pain or fatigue, inflammation, and treatment side effects. Sleep disruptions have adverse short- and long-term health consequences. Short-term consequences include increased stress, tissue pain, reduced quality of life, emotional distress, and cognitive, memory, and performance deficits. Long-term consequences include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Getting proper sleep is instrumental to overcoming cancer. Try CBD oil, lavender capsules, and an essential oil diffuser with frankincense, peppermint, and lavender. Don’t use technology an hour before bed. Find ways to relax in your evening routine. Consider meditation, visualization, breathing exercises and a cup of chamomile tea before bed.
The Power of the Mind
Nocebo Effect. You are probably aware of the placebo effect, although you may not realize that it has actual medical applications. Well, the Nocebo effect is the equally powerful converse of the placebo effect. It has been demonstrated that people who are told and believe that they are going to die are actually more likely to die. So be careful what you believe. You are sending signals to your body. Negative expectations from a doctor visit can produce negative outcomes. Nocebo effects reduce the effectiveness of treatment. Information about potential side effects can actually lead to adverse effects because of neurobiological processes in the brain. In a recent study, the anticipation of receiving painful stimulation made healthy participants perceive pain while receiving painless stimulation. This is why it is so important to believe that you will overcome your cancer. Oncologists should be fostering in their patients a belief in their own innate healing abilities. I have tried to instill this in my cousin, but instead he listens to the statistics….
Resources. These are packed with life-changing, life-saving info.
Abracadabra! Here’s my treasure trove of links to start your healing journey. I take great pains to carefully vet my resources for quality and credibility, but if I discover after the fact that anyone is (or was) a belligerent drunk in college, I will erase them to maintain the integrity of my website.
Anti-Cancer. This is the story of David Servin-Schreiber, the French neuroscientist and founding member of Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders). Servin-Schreiber accidentally discovered his own brain tumor while studying the MRI brain patterns of a group of volunteers. It was an aggressive tumor and his doctors—who were also his colleagues—gave him 2 years to live. Servin-Schreiber dramatically changed his life and lived for almost 20 years. He came from a conventional medical background in which nutrition played no role; this made his transformation all the more dramatic. He wrote a book about his journey from doctor to patient and how he cured himself. Recommended by John Mendelsohn, former president of M.D. Anderson Center. If you only read one book, make it this one!
TED talk: Can we eat to starve cancer?
William Li has published in Nature and Science and has held faculty positions at Tufts and Harvard. Cancers can hijack the defense system of nutrition in the body. Our gut bacteria is one of our cancer defense systems. Make gut bacteria healthy and they will boost our defenses. What we eat feeds our cells through our blood vessels. We all have harmless microscopic cancer cells in our bodies but without a blood supply, they will not become dangerous. So the key is to prevent blood vessels from feeding cancer. If you block angiogenesis and prevent blood vessels from reaching tumors, cancer can’t “grow up”—deprives tumors of their blood supply. Li founded Eat to Beat Cancer, a resource for understanding how to starve cancer. Li is creating the world’s first rating system in which we score foods based on their anti-angiogenic properties. Some of the best anti-angiogenic anti-cancer foods are green tea (contains EGCG), tree nuts like walnuts (contain polyphenols), and cooked tomatoes which contain the bioactive chemical lycopene.
Chris beats cancer. Chris Wark was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at age 26 and given a 30% chance of surviving. He declined chemo and instead embarked on a holistic journey which ultimately cured his cancer—he is alive and well 14 years later and coaches cancer patients using all the methods that worked for him. Sure, you can call it a focus group of one, an anecdote, or completely unscientific, but the reality is that cancer practitioners and patients have been employing his techniques for decades—most of the therapies and dietary knowledge is not new. There’s a huge body of evidence to draw from and Chris took exhaustive pains to compile it and put it all in one place. Check out his website, which you can access in exchange for your email address. It’s full of videos of cancer survivors who tell their stories. Chris sells a 12-part video series called Square One which is a detailed roadmap for healing cancer naturally. He recounts his journey, ingredient by ingredient, and provides specific (mostly) evidence-based information about diet, stress, exercise, and supplements. He also has a best-selling book.
Radical Remission. Psychotherapist and oncology researcher Kelly Turner was mystified after reading a book on spontaneous healing, which is when patients recover from late stage or terminal cancer with no conventional treatment or intervention. It turns out that hundreds of these cases are documented in medical literature, but with no explanations. Turner started asking oncologists if they’d seen similar cases, and they all replied yes, but no one had followed these patients to learn why or how they had healed. So Turner embarked on a quest to find them in the hopes of discovering a common thread. She traveled around the world interviewing patients and the alternative healers who helped them. She has since developed a database of over a thousand such cases and identified the 9 common factors that unite them. She calls the phenomenon “radical remission”. To her surprise, only two of the factors are physical lifestyle changes and all the others are social, emotional and spiritual. This is a mind-blowing work. It reaches far beyond the realm of Western science to identify powerful cancer causes deep within you that only you can heal. Turner has a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Learn more and buy the book.
Hal beats cancer. Hal is a friend and a dad at my son’s school. He is a motivational speaker and authored the New York Times best-selling book, Miracle Morning. Two years ago, Hal was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia which has a 30% survival prognosis.
Hal understood that chemo is deadly—it can and does kill patients and is known to cause…leukemia! He asked his doctors for some time to try to heal his cancer naturally. But they warned him that his lungs, heart, and kidneys were all on the verge of failing and that if he didn’t start chemo within 24 hours, he would likely be dead in a week. He relented and started a massive course of 60 hours of consecutive chemo every three weeks. We parents, all horrified, were bracing for his death. But Hal had other plans.
Hal was determined to identify every possible treatment and strategy that might bolster his chances of surviving, and he quickly began his holistic healing journey. He combined the best that allopathic (Western) medicine had to offer with evidence-based holistic treatments. Knowing that many chemo patients die of chemotoxicity, Hal asked his doctor for the best strategies for detoxifying the liver and kidneys. His doctor, one of the best oncologists in the world, did not know. But that wasn’t the only irony: Hal asked the same question about diet and his doctor responded, “it doesn’t really matter”. Hal observed patients in the hospital cafeteria hooked up to IVs getting chemo while drinking huge sodas and eating antibiotic-fed cheeseburgers with bleached flour buns.
Hal developed his own protocol based on his research. It included juicing every day, coffee enemas, ozone sauna therapy, intravenous Vitamin C, 60 supplements/day, acupuncture, cannabis, and a clean, fully organic, no-sugar diet.
Hal was determined to focus only on the positive, even when he was in terrible pain. He visualized living a long prosperous life—to 100 years—and practiced affirmations every day. Hal maintains that he told himself over and over and over again that he would survive. If you say it enough, you program your subconscious mind at some level to think that it might be possible. He had unwavering faith that he would heal in spite of the grim statistics.
Through multiple healing mechanisms, Hal was able to minimize the side effects of his marathon chemo treatments. Doctors told him that he had fewer side effects than people who were getting one hour of chemo a month. When they asked him what he was doing, he replied:
“I’m doing everything that you told me wouldn’t matter”.
Hal laments: “1.5 million patients in the U.S. are suffering more than they need to because our traditional doctors are not being taught all these other practices—big pharma and doctors don’t benefit when people take coffee enemas.” Doctors do the best they can with what they know. But there’s so much that they don’t know.
I’m so grateful to Hal for sharing his cancer journey with me—I am especially interested because his is a blood cancer, like my cousin’s.
Hal is now cancer-free, to the disbelief of his doctors. View his inspiring podcast here.
Indeed, the entire medical establishment tends to dismiss as pseudoscience any treatment that didn’t undergo a double-blind randomized clinical trial. This misguided thinking only hurts patients. Big Pharma is simply not going to fund studies of Hawaiian noni fruit or carrot juice. There is no money to be made off nature’s bounty. And yet, there’s plenty of evidence of their effectiveness. It’s not solely the fault of doctors—they are only trained in specific modalities and many have a comprehensive but very narrow focus in one area. Most have a few weeks—or sometimes just days—of nutritional education, and they are not trained to look for causes or for relationships between lifestyle, environment, and disease.
Interestingly, pharmaceutical companies have been trying for 20 years to manipulate turmeric root in a way that will produce a patented lucrative drug. Alas, none has succeeded in making anything as effective as the simple, humble turmeric root that you find at your supermarket. Meanwhile there are hundreds of studies that demonstrate the cancer-killing properties of this miracle herb—including studies on Multiple Myeloma patients. Yet none of Red’ doctors—including the “complementary” ones—thought to recommend it.
The Truth about Cancer. This is a 9-part docu-series in which host Ty Bollinger interviews alternative doctors all over the world about innovative cancer techniques. These episodes are packed with information that you will not learn about from your oncologist. They include discussions about nature’s pharmacy, cancer-killing viruses, stem cells, epigenetics, peptides and micronutrient therapy, GMOs, juicing, detoxing, the power of emotions, excitotoxins, healing cancer with sound and light, and what goes on at cancer clinics in Mexico and Germany. Disclaimer: I do not support all of their positions on medical issues and I treat all new information with healthy skepticism, but I still think this series is eye-opening and worthwhile. Their website also has a lot of useful articles and videos. This is an example of one of their articles: Four factors and Prevention strategies for Cancer Metastasis.
Healing Cancer World Summit. This is an annual symposium organized by Kris Carr who rejected advice to transplant three of her organs and has been living with a rare stage IV cancer for 15 years. She gathers some of the world’s top integrative oncologists, dietitians, wellness experts and cancer survivors each October to share practical tips and inspiration to help you prevent, stabilize and reverse disease. She’s also an author and has made a movie: Crazy Sexy Cancer.
Rethinking Cancer. Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (FACT) is a non-profit educational organization that supports non-toxic, biologically sound alternative cancer therapies. FACT is the creator of the documentary film Rethinking Cancer.
Brian Johnson: Conquering Cancer 101
Brian distills huge amounts of information into simple, accessible explanations. There are 10 segments that explain what to do to get results. Watch the YouTube video he put together for his brother, who was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer.
In a nutshell:
- Most people who are diagnosed with cancer imagine that they are cursed with bad genes. But cancer is a disease of habits, not genes. A 20-year study in Denmark makes this clear: the health of every adopted child was followed and compared to both biological and adoptive parents. The surprising research shows that birth parents that contracted cancer before 50 had no impact (zero correlation) on the health of their children but when adoptive parents contracted cancer under age 50, their kids had a five-fold risk of contracting the same cancer. Genes load the gun but the environment pulls the trigger. There may be a genetic predisposition. But your lifestyle choices are critical.
- Helplessness feeds cancer. This has been demonstrated in rat and human experiments.
- The terrain in your body is all-important. The inner environment is either hospitable or inhospitable to cancer.
- Nutrition is first line of defense—you want to cut off cancer “supply lines”. Sugar loves cancer. Flour is another form of sugar, and Omega 6 fatty acids create inflammation. Reduce animal protein because it stimulates Mtor, which is associated with prostrate and breast cancer. The top cancer fighting foods are cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries, garlic, onions and leeks. You need phytonutrients and fiber.
- Move + exercise + sleep. Get up every 20-30 minutes. Move your body regularly. Shut down electronics hours before bed to optimize sleep.
- Cultivate serenity and courage.
- Learn to breathe.
- Reduce your toxic load.
- Assemble a team with an integrative doctor. Examine acute and chronic issues. Understand the limitations of modern western science.
- You need a reason to live. Find one.
- When you go outside the standard treatment you leave the normal statistical curve.
Lots more info here about conquering cancer.
Anti-cancer tutor. This is the website of The Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. founded in 2006 to research and report on the most effective natural cancer treatments available. It is an excellent resource, providing informational articles which focus on specific types of cancer and offer a recommended protocol for each.
Movie Night! Watch this Documentary: Healing Cancer from Inside Out. Mike Anderson reveals how conventional medicine exaggerates the benefits of treatments while minimizing the risks; he helps you understand how to talk to your doctor intelligently, and also how to reverse cancer through diet. Here’s the trailer.
The microbiome. The microbiome is the collection of organisms that lives on and inside you—fungi, viruses, yeast, pathogens, and bacteria. It is estimated that each of us has about 38 trillion bacteria living on us. The microbiome directly impact human diseases, including cancer. Changing our microbiome can change our biology. Your microbiome influences your response to cancer treatment, and changing this biome can effect your response to cancer therapies. Guess what influences the gut biome? Antibiotics, pathogens, and…..your diet. Find out why indigenous hunter-gatherer populations have the healthiest microbiomes. People who live long, robust lives seem to have a varied and diverse microbiome. Weaker, frailer people who have a lot of inflammatory conditions typically have a less varied microbiome. Can you change yours?
The future: fighting disease with genetic engineering. (watch from 6:30-7:15 minutes if you have limited time). Cancer occurs when cells refuse to die and keep multiplying while concealing themselves from the immune system. “CRISPR” gives us the means to edit a person’s immune cells and make them better cancer hunters. Eliminating cancer might eventually involve just a few injections of thousands of your own cells that have been engineered in a lab to heal you.
If you live in Israel I would start here:
- Tal Center for Integrative Medicine
- Tai Chi class. See section on Stress above.
- Massage by Pavel at Physical Clinic. This massage therapist has experience working with patients undergoing chemo and radiation and does a blood-enhancing circulating procedure.
- Cannabis. Israelis are pioneers in medical marijuana. There is actually a medical cannabis department in Israel’s Ministry of Health.
This is a tiny sampling of resources but it will get you started on the right path.
Remember: Your doctor has finite knowledge. S/he has not read every study, does not know all the resources out there, and is human like you and therefore fallible. If you don’t believe this, you need to read Your Medical Mind.
This path—the one of taking control of your own healing and being an active participant—is not an easy one. It requires a commitment from you to do everything possible to save your life and to believe in your ability to succeed. Make sure that you are surrounded by love and support and that you tune out the people who do not support your journey. Feeling helpless is a risk factor.
I have written this post out of love and anguish but also hope.
Love: because I’ll do anything to help my cousin. This three-part series is dedicated to his journey to wellness. I cannot fathom anything else.
Anguish: because I’m not sure he wants my help. Even though Red is one of the smartest people anyone has ever met, he doesn’t really believe me. He is listening to the doctors at the hospital, and, like most oncologists, they largely dismiss the role of nutrition, exercise, and detoxification in causing or reversing disease. They had the gall to tell Red that they “were not aware of any studies showing that sugar impacts cancer“. Ironically they spoke the truth: they are “not aware”. That’s the problem. This lack of awareness is extremely detrimental to patients who need all the nutrition and immune support possible and whose cancers may be fueled by sugar. Fighting cancer is a big job. But convincing Red to fight is—unexpectedly—proving to be the greater challenge.
Hope: Because you can never give up. If Plan C isn’t convincing enough, there will be a plan D.
Does my cousin know I wrote this? Nope. He’s not even subscribed to my blog, lol, but that’s because he prefers to keep an invisible digital footprint. Will he be mad at me for telling his story? I hope he will understand. And actually, this is my story.
The reality is that I can’t really save Red’s life. I can only bring the horse to water (or in this case, the squirrel to carrot juice). I have done a massive amount of research and provided evidence-based studies to support my findings. But only Red can decide if he is willing to venture outside of mainstream medicine, if he is prepared to embark on an unfamiliar journey, if he is willing to make radical changes to his life, if his life is worth it. I hope and pray that the answer is “yes”.
Please send this post to someone you love who is fighting cancer or wants to prevent it.
Note: I apologize to all my readers for the long wait. The third article in the series was supposed to immediately follow the second one. However, I realized that hundreds of hours of research and conversations were necessary to produce a thorough and well-referenced article. It is my intention to provide the Ultimate Guide for holistic cancer treatment. Do not be overwhelmed by the volume of information here—take your time exploring and digesting it, and be sure to check my references so that you are assured that everything is evidence-based. It is my most sincere hope—and, in fact, the very reason I do this—that the advice herein might save your life or the life of a loved one.
Disclaimer: the Good Food Fighter is not an affiliate marketer and gets absolutely no financial compensation for recommendations or endorsements. Everything in this article is my opinion only and I invite you to take what is useful to you and relevant to your cancer and to dismiss what is not. I hope you will keep an open mind as you come across unheard-of techniques, supplements, strategies and studies. You may be helped or healed by something new.
“Nature, time and patience are three great physicians.”
Questions/comments? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org