FIGHTING CANCER : THE HOLISTIC WAY ( PART 2 ) [2006-09-24]
In the previous article, I elaborated on the first four strategies to fight cancer the holistic way. These are: (1) address the spiritual issues; (2) charge your body with qi and electromagnetic energy; (3) super-oxygenate your body; and (4) super-hydrate your body. Today I will continue with several other topics. All of these have actually been mentioned in previous articles ( see www.superqigong.com ), but I will go into more detail here as the need to turn to natural, nutritional and complementary therapies for cancer becomes more urgent, because conventional medical treatments have failed to provide satisfactory results.
Not only are the results poor, the morbidity or suffering from the side-effects of medical treatment is also worrisome in many cases. Sometimes we wonder if the patients suffer more from the treatment or from the disease. The overall success rate for medical treatment of advanced cancer is about 5%, although some of the top cancer centres claim much higher rates. Success in treating cancer means at least 5 years survival with no recurrence.
5 PROTECT & REPAIR YOUR GENES
Cancer starts with the mutation of the genetic materials in the chromosome of the affected cell to become a grossly abnormal cell that continues to multiply incessantly, devoid of the normal control mechanisms, to billions of cells which form tumours and invade other tissues, causing much pain, suffering and cachexia. So this is where my specific strategy begins. The key to reversing cancer is to reverse this genetic damage. And the key to preventing cancer is to prevent the damage.
It is obvious that the strategy must involve removing the predisposing or causative factors, if possible, and to empower the repair or healing systems of the body to do their work efficiently. Cancer results not only from the unabated genetic damage, but also from the failure of the prevention, surveillance and repair systems of the body that are meant to stop cancer cells from developing, or from surviving, multiplying, and spreading.
The contributing factors can be genetic predisposition ( for example, BRCA genes for breast cancer ), hormonal ( breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancers ) , infection ( Hepatitis virus for liver cancer and HPV for cervical cancer ), free-radical and chemical damage ( including chemotherapy ), radiation ( including sun exposure, and radiotherapy to treat cancer ), nutritional deficiency, and others.
Spontaneous mutations do occur ( like those that result in certain genetic diseases ), but there is so much we can do to reverse or prevent mutations that result from the predisposing factors ( except inherited genetic predisposition, though in the near future, gene therapy and genetic engineering will provide the answers ).
To protect your genes, first, you must prevent sun damage by avoiding excessive sun exposure ( especially between 10am to 3pm when UV radiation is maximal ). Those who always use sunscreen ( current advice is minimum SPF30 ) will also have flawless young skin. Cancer patients ( other than those with skin cancer ) do not often see this as an important strategy, but they should realize that skin free-radicals add to the total free-radical load and require plenty of anti-oxidants to neutralize, depriving that available for the rest of the body.
Next, you have to avoid getting toxins into your body, especially through smoking, and unfortunately, also through the air that we breathe ( the air is almost always polluted these days ), and some foods that we eat ( fruits and veggies that are contaminated with pesticides, and fish and meats contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals ). You also have to get rid of as much of the toxins that are already in you. This will be discussed in full under detoxification.
Cancer patients also need plenty of nucleic acids to make sure that these raw materials to repair and make new healthy genes are in plentiful supply. Nucleic acids are the building blocks of our genes, which are the sequences of DNA which make up our chromosomes. Our cells have to repair their chromosomes which are continually damaged by free-radicals and chemicals. At the same time, we have to make millions of new cells daily to replace the dying cells. So the requirement for nucleic acid cannot be ignored. It is also an important item in my anti-aging prescription. I use plant-derived nucleic acids as a supplement. One particular patient ( who was not suffering from cancer ) bought 6 month's supply after discovering that her vagina became tighter with the DNA supplements!
Free-radicals are the major culprit causing genetic damage, and anti-oxidants are their antidote. While fruits, veggies and green-foods are excellent sources of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, cancer patients need very high doses and will require supplementation. There are many important anti-oxidant nutrients they should take, but the ones I recommend most for cancer patients are beta-carotene, vitamin C ( in high doses ), complete vitamin E8 ( with all the eight vitamin E isomers ), glutathione, and Ningxia wolfberry extract. I have previously written at length about the vitamins. Glutathione is the master anti-oxidant within the cell, and Ningxia wolfberry extract was introduced to me by my qigong sifu who hails from Ningxia Muslim Autonomous Region, China.
He had actually told me about it almost ten years ago, but I ignored it, thinking that this must be one of those many products with all sorts of claims which China produces. He said that he had remarkable testimonies from people with cancer and even those with benign growths. It was only a few years ago, after doing research on the anti-oxidant and healing properties of berries that I discovered that wolfberries are the best against cancer. And the best wolfberries came from Ningxia! Master Yusuf Yang Huaxiang not only introduced me to qigong, but also taught me about anti-cancer wolfberry.
For the nutritional prescription, my recipe is the same for all. Those who are healthy and wish to remain so can take the standard recommended doses, while those who want optimum health and reverse their aging will have to take higher doses. Those who want to try to recover from diseases, including cancer, must take the maximum safe doses, and will also have specific nutrients and herbs according to their disease, in addition to the general prescription. Remember, these are not meant to replace whatever prescription drugs and treatments ordered by their respective doctors.
6 OPTIMISE AND BALANCE YOUR HORMONES
Some hormones influence the onset and progress of certain cancers. Breast, ovarian ( most types ), uterine, testicular and prostate cancers are influenced by hormones, and so hormones and hormone-analogues or their receptor-blockers are used in many cases. Phyto-hormones ( hormone-like nutrients from plants ), specifically phyto-estrogens ( eg. isoflavones ) are being recommended as nutritional alternatives to actual hormones in women who need to improve their health as their hormones decline with age. Safer bio-equivalent hormones are gradually replacing unnatural and synthetic hormones in treating menopausal women ( and andropausal men ).
We have not fully understood the roles hormones play in other cancers, but I suspect that when we do, we will discover that they are much more important than we previously thought. For example, the female sex hormone progesterone, has long been underestimated as a valuable tool to balance the harmful effects of estrogen. It is not only about having the hormones in their optimum levels, but also balancing them as some work synergistically, some against, and others complementary, to one another.
For the body to be healthy and the immune defence system working in the best possible way, all the hormones in the body must be present in the most healthy levels. For some, low levels are best ( eg. insulin ), and for others higher levels are better ( eg. HGH or human growth hormone, though in cancer patients there is controversy whether HGH promotes cancer-growth ). Treating cancer patients will not be complete if the hormones that regulate metabolism and other important functions are not looked into, as only the well-functioning body can heal itself properly.
There are of course certain cancerous and non-cancerous tumours which involve the glandular cells and produce excessive hormones, or conversely, cause severe reduction in hormone levels.
7 THE ANTI-CANCER DIET
My anti-cancer diet is nutrient dense (low calorie but high nutrient content), with plenty of fruits & veggies ( preferably fresh, raw, and organic ) providing an abundance of protective nutrients and fiber. Go for dark veggies of various colours, for each variety has nutrients that others don't have. You can eat tons of veggies without ever worrying of growing fat, because they are loaded with nutrients but have minimal calories. The only exceptions are the starchy ones, which are not actually vegetables anyway. If you take spinach, you will lose weight while you gain nutrients ( more calories are required to chew, digest and absorb spinach than the calories it contains ).
Fruits are excellent sources of cancer fighting nutrients too, even though they contain more calories. However, these are nutrient-packed calories compared to the empty-calories of polished rice and refined sugar! Again, go for variety as each fruit has nutrients that others don't have. Mangosteens, and now pomegranates, are the new stars providing strong cancer-fighting anti-oxidants. Both are abundantly available here, but because we did not do research on them, we have to wait till others tell us how good our fruits are. Unfortunately, since the best anti-oxidants come from the parts we normally discard ( seed, rind, pulp ), it is necessary to take the supplements made from the whole fruits if you want to get the full benefits.
An alternative way to ingest the goodness of fruits and veggies is by juicing. However, it takes a lot of commitment to continue doing this. If you do, you will find much pleasure in drinking various delicious concoctions, limited only by your creativity. With high-power juicing, it is also possible to juice the whole fruit and get 100% of the nutrients.
The anti-cancer diet should also include plenty of other raw, unprocessed foods ( greens, grains, legumes, nuts, etc - but beware of aflatoxin in nuts ) with lots of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, co-enzymes, fiber and probiotics ( healthy bacteria ). Eat more foods with known anti-cancer nutrients, eg. carrots for beta-carotene; tomatoes and watermelons for lycopene, mushrooms for beta-glucans, and others. Include essential fats ( fish and plant oils ) and essential amino-acids ( sufficient if you take well-balanced diet ) as well.
Intake of red meat should be reduced, and burnt meat ( BBQ or overfried ), excess sugars and excess salt should be avoided. This diet is not only anti-cancer, it will also protect you against most of the chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and will slow down your aging.
In the next article, I will discuss each nutrient group in detail.
Dr Amir Farid Isahak