Cancer treatments: Those that have proven results!

Dr. Brenda Gill
By Dr. Brenda Gill
March 11th, 2013

I would like to focus on what has been shown to be the most effective treatments from studies that have either decreased tumour growth, minimized chemotherapy and/or radiation effects and in some cases increased their efficacy or have been shown to change the body’s pattern to ultimately reverse the cancer process.

The most successful patients “reverse” cancer by combining a dietary, mental, supplemental, environmental, emotional and spiritual program with possibly chemo and/or radiation.  Determining “success” depends on the definition- what has been found to be helpful and what for some just “prolongs the agony” (quote from a patient).  Therefore, I will focus on studies that have shown to increased living, but, vitally.

The foods that have been found to decrease cancer risk and are always part of a cancer treatment program, are dark coloured organic vegetables, such as kale, swiss chard, collards, beet tops, parsley and cilantro.  These help keep the body alkaline, which improves the elimination of hormone breakdown products and other metabolites.  Other vegetables, such as carrots, red peppers, yams and squash all have bioflavinoids.  These all help the immune system identify and remove abnormal cells. 

Vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts all have high amounts of sulfur, which increases the removal of toxins from the body and have been shown to be protective against most cancers.  It is important to have at least 5 servings of vegetables per day, with 2 servings including those above.   

Dark coloured fruit, such as cherries, berries, plums or prunes and mangoes also have different bioflavinoids that help the immune system work much more effectively.  Having 2-3 servings per day is sufficient.  

Flax seed and fish have also been found to decrease risk because of the omega 3 fatty acids.  I encourage at least 2T of seeds per day and at least 3 servings of wild salmon, herring, sardine or halibut per week. 

Many claims are made for cancer cures, so, I will focus on those that have been documented and have clinical support. 

Supplements that are frequently used are the anti-oxidants, since they not only help to protect the healthy cells from damage, but, help enhance the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.  These are Vitamins A, E and C, a B complex, zinc, beta carotene and folic acid, depending on the type of cancer.  I often use combinations of these depending on the type of cancer and the chemotherapy drugs or radiation that is being used.  Some are more beneficial than others. 

Glutathione and N-acetyl cysteine reduces liver and nerve toxicity. This is extremely important, because it is the liver that has to detoxify and metabolize all the breakdown products that enter the system, including the residual products from the chemotherapy and radiation, and the destroyed cancer cells.  The liver is also responsible to breakdown any improperly formed cell, so, we must keep it as healthy as possible.  Nerves often get damaged in cancer treatments, so these also help minimize that damage. 

Glutamine helps repair the intestinal damage that can occur.  It is the main raw material the intestinal cells need to recover and repair themselves. 

Co-enzyme Q10 protects the heart from damage. Note that CoQ 10 is depleted by

most heart medications, so, should always be supplemented for those taking them.

Fractionated citrus pectin interferes with the ability of cancer cells to attach to healthy cells, so is essential to prevent metastasis (spreading) of cancer.  I always try to incorporate this after the mass has been diminished, so, no spreading occurs in the future. It is a powder that is easily mixed into a smoothie.  

Reishi and  Coriolus mushrooms also increase white blood cell count which can drop too low with blood/lymph cancers. They can be used in a stir-fry or taken as a supplement in a tincture or capsule form.

 Iscador (mistletoe) has been shown to selectively kill cancer cells and has been used in Europe for years in the treatment of cancer.

 Essiac and Hoxey formulas have much anecdotal support.  They are both a combination of herbs that are blood builders, purifiers and support the function of the kidneys and liver.  They can be used in a tea form or a tincture.

Conventional cancer care has a high rate of side effects relative to cure rate, therefore the future of oncology (treating cancer) lies in combining the newer, less toxic and more tumour specific treatments with patient, cancer and treatment specific naturopathic therapies to improve the effectiveness and reduce the side effects.  I hear over and over again how few “other” drugs my patients need to use for the side effects of their treatments and how well they do in comparison to the patients not combining treatment plans. 

Cancer is a systemic and cellular problem.  If you neglect to address the issues that permitted it to grow over time, it is more difficult to treat and more likely to recur.  Therefore, any events during a person’s life that have been especially traumatic, should be addressed through counseling and homeopathics.  It is extremely important that those cellular patterns are changed, otherwise, recurrence is a real possibility. 

Patients certainly benefit the most when they access all types of care providers that can work together as an integrated team with the patient at the centre.

Brenda Gill is a naturopath practising in Rossland.

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