By: Sangeeta Pati MD, FACOG –
Whether you have cancer, you had cancer, or you don’t want cancer, the questions that you find yourself asking are; Is cancer preventable? What can I do to prevent a recurrence? Wha t are the holistic options available for cancer? What evidence supports these options? Will these options compliment or contradict my current treatments?
As I see more cancer cases, I find myself looking for these answers and I have acknowledged the importance of having some understanding of factors that contribute to cancer in the first place. In
Part I of this series, I will discuss some basic holistic steps that address these contributing factors and apply to everyone. You can change your entire expe rience with cancer simply by knowing that there are many things you can do to influence a great outcome.
Most cancers are preventable . It is great news that most cancers are not genetic. Only 9 out of 100 breast cancers cases are accounted for by identifiable genetics. Only 6 out of 100 prostate cancers are accounted for by genetics. So, over 90% of cancers cases are accounted for by correctable factors that weaken the immune system.
A weak immune system allows cancer cells to grow. Every day cancer cells form in the body, and every day the healthy immune system identifies and eliminates these abnormally dividing cells. When the immune system is weak, a cancer cell can multiply from one cell to two cells then to four cells and eventually to masses at detectable sizes of 0.5 to 1.0 cm. This process can take from 5 to 20 years depending on the aggressiveness of cancer and the strength of the immune system. Even if cancer grows, a weak immune system can regain strength and shrink or even completely eliminate growing cancer. This is referred to as a spontaneous regression. So, what can you do to strengthen your immune system?
“Most importantly, set your intention to be well. There is currently a growing body of literature supporting the effect of our thoughts on the immune system. Believing “My cells are healthy and happy” releases neurotransmitters that stimulate the immune system. The belief “I fear I am sick” releases an entirely different set of neurotransmitters that depress the immune system.
Once you decide to be well; there are 5 main areas you can address:
1) Reduce stress to the mind and the body
Mental and physical stressors deplete the body’s reserve of immune – protective nutrients and hormones. Whether it is a painful knee, bad news, a flat tire, a sick family member, a buzzing phone, drama or a commitment; neurons fire and deplete the body’s reserve. Of course, there are those stressors that will occur without your choosing; however you can be selective about where you choose to commit your energies, reserve and time.
Most importantly trust in the guided decisions that you make. Be easy on yourself and let go of guilt of any kind. Congratulate yourself for anything you do for your best life.
2) Correct nutrient deficiencies
Vitamin D levels above 50 ng/ml are associated with a 50% reduction in breast cancer. Excellent data exists to prove that nutrient deficiencies lead to genetic damage, which eventually lead to cancer cell proliferation. Data also shows that reversal of nutrient deficiencies can reverse the genetic damage. Further great news is that you can measure your individual nutrient status by a blood test called Spectracell™, which is covered by most insurance companies. After measuring your individual nutrient status, you can correct deficiencies.
3) Reduce inflammation in the gut
75% of the immune system lies in our intestines. Those of you who have heartburn, reflux, indigestion, bloating, allergies and IBS symptoms have inflammation in the intestines. Inflammation leads to degenerative disease and a suppressed immune system.One of the strongest measures you can take against cancer is to reduce inflammation in the gut.
One of the strongest measures you can take against cancer is to reduce inflammation in the gut.
4) Reduce exposure to toxins
If you review the National Cancer Institute (NCI) website and the American Cancer Society, you will find a list of substances that are known carcinogens and those that are suspected carcinogens . Many of these compounds are found in our foods, plastics, water, cleaning products, and body care products. As an example, according to the NCI, aspartame and saccharin are known carcinogens in animals; however they remain in our food supply.
The most important step you can take here i s to increase your awareness of avoidable toxins, reduce your exposure and congratulate yourself for any step you take without going overboard.
5) Reduce hormonal imbalances
As hormones become imbalanced cancer incidence rises. Studies show that low progesterone levels and high toxic estrogens (like estrones) are associated with breast cancer. Low levels of testosterone and high estrogen are associated with prostate cancer. Melatonin hormone is a strong stimulator of Natural Killer cells, which destroy cancer cells. Melatonin levels fall by over 50% by age 50. Measuring and addressing hormone imbalances is protective.
Once the stage is set to optimize the immune system with the above basic steps, there are several specific therapies, which may compliment the current options offered for cancer. These include botanical immune boosters, regional hyperthermia, IV anti – oxidants, oxygen and stem cell therapies, which I will discuss in Part 2 of this article.
You can change your entire experience w ith cancer simply by knowing that there are many things you can do to influence a great outcome. In the meantime, set your intention to be well and congratulate yourself for any step you decide to adopt towards your healthy, happy future!
As Published in: Orange Appeal September/October 2013 Natural Awakenings October 2013