Originally published February 13 2008
A Holistic Strategy Against Cancer
by Mary Laredo
(NaturalNews) In 1971, President Nixon declared a war on cancer. In the ensuing decades, tens of billions of dollars have been spent on the cause yet a cure by orthodox means remains elusive. By any standards this campaign has been a failed endeavor; or worse, a shameful fraud. Progress is a myth, and sustaining hope for the development of a safe and effective cancer drug is pointless. It's up to each individual to empower themselves with knowledge of the myriad ways to eradicate cancer without harming the body. Although it's easier to prevent cancer than to reverse it once it has taken hold, it is nevertheless reversible with holistic therapies that address imbalances of the body, mind and spirit. This is not an opinion; it is a statement of fact that's based on this author's first-hand experience.
A comprehensive approach to healing cancer includes at least the following eight factors:
1. Proper nutrition and clean water
3. Immune building
4. Oxygen therapy
5. Natural chemotherapies
6. Lifestyle changes: adequate sleep, sunlight & exercise
7. A positive attitude
8. Spiritual cleansing
Regardless of the cancer's aggressiveness, the body will respond to this holistic approach - the speed and degree to which it does so is commensurate with the diligence and extent to which these eight factors are applied. No cancer treatment, conventional or otherwise, comes with an iron-clad guarantee; however, it's important to consider that orthodox treatments ravage the body and ignore the underlying causes while alternative treatments strengthen the body and address its healing requirements. Reason and logic side with alternative therapies.
These guidelines are merely an overview of what a comprehensive holistic protocol would include. The term "cancer survivor" refers to those who have been diagnosed with the disease and are still alive – whether they are in remission or not. The cancer survivor should adopt as many of these strategies as is feasible, slowly incorporating them into one's lifestyle and working with a naturopath if necessary. A holistic healer can be located through the help of a reputable chiropractor, acupuncturist or other practitioner of the healing arts. A health food store may also provide contacts.
It's useful to determine whether the body's chronic stressors include specific nutritional deficiencies, absorption problems and/or the burden of toxic heavy metals. This insight is possible through analysis of hair, urine or blood, and will help determine which supplements and therapies will enhance treatment. Without addressing these conditions, optimum healing may be delayed or prevented.
Proper nutrition and pure filtered water is critical to a successful anti-cancer strategy. Diet alone can make or break the effectiveness of any cancer treatment and is therefore the most important strategic point. Knowing which foods feed cancer cells, which interfere with the treatment, and which assist in healing is vital.
Refined sugar feeds and strengthens cancer cells and should be the first substance to be eliminated. Sugar substitutes, refined flour and trans fatty acids damage the body and numerous studies link them to cancer. Dairy and all mucus-forming foods should also be avoided (1). Processed foods, carbonated beverages, coffee, alcohol, chlorine and fluoride fall into the category of foods and substances that interfere with healing and may fuel the cancer's growth. Conversely, a diet of nutrient-rich foods will enhance all levels of the healing process.
All plant foods contain nutrients that aid healing. Herbs, fruits and vegetables have properties that protect against and inhibit the proliferation of cancer while strengthening, cleansing and repairing the body (2). These include green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), sea vegetables, fruits (especially berries and dark grapes with seeds and skins), garlic, ginger, turmeric and green tea, among many others. A diet containing an abundance of organic plant foods provides layers of nutritional protection.
Concentrated fats from flax oil and olive oil may be used unheated while coconut oil can be used for cooking. Although these healthy oils as well as fats from whole foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds provide the essential fatty acids necessary for oxygenation of cells (3), they should nevertheless be kept to a minimum (approximately 15% of diet) since fat slows digestion and in large quantities may accelerate tumor growth (4). Once the cancer is stabilized this restriction may be relaxed.
Animal protein should be eliminated if possible; however, we are all of different constitutions, so for those who must consume flesh, it should be restricted to small amounts of organic, pasture-fed beef or poultry, and wild-caught fish. Beans and legumes are an excellent source of fiber and many important nutrients and may be consumed in moderation.
While whole grains also contain fiber and nutrients, there is disagreement among experts as to their place in a healing diet. Due in part to their sugar and gluten content, and the digestive load they place on the body already burdened by cancer, they should be eliminated or restricted to gluten-free varieties, at least until the condition is stable. Likewise, natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup should also be restricted while cancer remains active. The herb stevia is a safe sweetener.
The cancer survivor should aim for a diet that is at least 80% raw. This will ensure an alkaline environment as well as an ample supply of enzymes for healing processes. Oral supplementation of digestive enzymes with meals and systemic enzymes on an empty stomach will further aid healing.
Effective healing requires the removal of accumulated toxins and metabolic wastes. Being mindful to eliminate or minimize the ingestion of processed foods, substances, and environmental toxins that inhibit the healing process is of primary importance. It's also beneficial to begin a healing regimen with a cleanse of the kidneys, liver and colon to remove stored toxins. There are many effective cleansing formulas and procedures that can be found at health food stores, the internet, or through a holistic healer.
In addition to consciously avoiding toxic exposure and cleansing the organs of elimination, there are various therapies and practices that will help purify the body. Some include daily stretching to release acids from tissues; rebounding on a mini-trampoline to move lymph fluid, flush waste, and increase the number and activity of white blood cells (5); perspiring in a sauna to purge toxins through the skin; juicing to alkalize and cleanse tissues, and castor oil packs to enhance circulation, stimulate the immune system and aid in detoxification (6).
Toxic build-up can also be released through fasting, which helps to heal and rejuvenate the body. The practice of coffee enemas should also be considered since it prevents the reabsorption of toxins, cleanses the blood and liver, and counteracts the symptoms of a potential healing crisis(4, 6). To be clear on how to proceed with a fast or enema it may be necessary to speak with a health care professional.
3. Immune Building
The immune system is our body's natural defense against harmful substances and abnormal cell development. Any cell within the body can mutate in response to negative stressors, but a healthy immune system will stop its growth and defend against an uncontrollable malignancy. There are various groups of white blood cells that possess an innate intelligence for healing. Their functions include identifying, attacking, destroying and finally removing abnormal cells through the body's lymph system and organs of elimination. Strategies to strengthen and build these natural defenses to prevent or treat cancer include a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods and supplementation. Chlorella, mushroom extracts, aloe vera, and milk thistle are just a few of the many supplements that strengthen the body's natural defenses.
The more toxic the body, the less oxygen is delivered to cells. Oxygen starvation at the cellular level leads to disease; in fact, it's an undisputed fact that cancer cells cease to grow when blood and tissues are sufficiently oxygenated (3). There are many ways to oxygenate the body, including a highly alkaline diet (80% raw). This raises the body's internal PH which enhances the transport of oxygen to cells. Regular exercise, deep breathing, and adequate consumption of pure water are other simple methods to increase oxygen uptake. Ozone, which is activated oxygen, may be used therapeutically in the home by drinking ozonated water and using ozone saunas. Hospitals in Mexico, Europe and Malaysia administer intravenous ozone infusions with great success. There are also clinics in the United States; however, they operate under threat of FDA reprisal and confiscation of ozone equipment. For more information about oxygen therapies and ozone visit (www.oxygenhealth.com) , (www.colecenter.com) , and (www.ozonehospital.com) .
5. Natural Chemotherapies
There are many natural, non-toxic chemotherapies that directly or indirectly kill malignancies. None of them are stand-alone treatments however, and should be considered as one component of a comprehensive protocol. Amygdalin, also known as laetrile or vitamin B17, selectively targets and destroys cancer cells while healthy cells remain unharmed. The substance is naturally occurring in many plant foods, including apple seeds, bitter almonds and apricot pits, and may also be obtained through oral supplements or administered intravenously. Four decades worth of clinical evidence and case studies attest to its efficacy (9). Supplements may be found online, and many hospitals in Mexico and Europe administer intravenous laetrile; however, the FDA has deemed this therapy illegal in the States. Other treatments that indirectly kill cancer cells include shark liver oil, shark cartilage and melatonin, all of which cut off the blood supply to tumors.
6. Lifestyle Changes
Deep, restful sleep is an important part of an effective healing strategy. During sleep our bodies undergo the processes of rebuilding, detoxifying and healing. The liver works during the deepest level of sleep, the delta level, to break down and eliminate carcinogens. Additionally, sleeping in complete darkness contributes to healthy levels of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that promotes restful sleep (6). Eating three hours before sleep, especially protein, should be avoided since it diverts the body's healing efforts to digestion. The value of adequate sleep should not be overlooked because without it our healing efforts will be compromised.
Other lifestyle changes include sunlight exposure and daily exercise. Research links lack of sunlight to certain cancers and vitamin D from sunlight has been shown to shrink tumors (7, 8). Adequate exposure during the early morning or late afternoon hours is the safest way to obtain the restorative benefits of sunlight. The darker one's pigmentation, the more exposure is necessary. Avoid over-exposure during the hottest part of the day as sunburns can damage skin and promote cancer.
Regular exercise speeds up the elimination of toxins and is necessary to keep the body oxygenated and to improve lymphatic function while building immunity. These therapeutic benefits can be achieved through moderate exercise at least three times per week and gradually increasing duration and/or intensity as new thresholds are reached.
The body, through its resilience, will heal itself when given what it needs. Its sustenance however is not the end of the story. Addressing the mind and emotions is the second component of the holistic approach that should not be overlooked.
7. A Positive Attitude
Developing a positive attitude will reduce psychological stress and profoundly aid the healing process. A cancer survivor can achieve this in part by becoming proactive through researching alternative options. This is an empowering strategy and gives one a firm sense of control. There are innumerable books and websites that outline alternative cancer therapies. One of many extensive sites and a good place to begin research is (www.cancertutor.com) .
There are also many inspiring books and success stories written by cancer survivors - including A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm, The No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program by Jane Plant, Ph.D., and Cancer: Curing the Incurable Without Surgery, Chemotherapy or Radiation, by Dr. William D. Kelley, DDS, to name but three. These encouraging stories give one a strong sense of hope which is essential for survival.
Each individual has the power to control their own thoughts and attitudes, thereby creating their reality. A constructive outlook perceives a cancer diagnosis as a necessary life-changing event and an opportunity to transform one's life.
8. Spiritual Cleansing
Spirituality is the third aspect of the holistic paradigm and refers to our sense of peace. It involves settling unresolved conflicts, forgiving and asking forgiveness, liberating toxic emotions such as anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment, regret, and fear, while embracing our capacity for love, compassion and joy. Spiritual cleansing is a process that can be achieved through various means, including meditation, affirmations, visualization and/or prayer.
These strategies should be embraced by the cancer survivor as permanent lifestyle changes. Occasional diversions are to be expected, but one should try not to lose focus. Although it may at times be difficult to remain faithful to the holistic protocol, its benefits over conventional treatments are beyond measure. Furthermore, the regimen becomes increasingly rewarding once healing begins and measurable results are achieved. The holistic protocol creates a physical, emotional and spiritual environment that simply will not support cancer.
1. Plant, Ph.D., J.: The No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program. NY, NY: St. Martin's Press, 84-113, 2000
2. Liu, M.D., McManus, M.S., R.D., and Carlino, J.: Healing Gourmet, Eat to Fight Cancer. New York, NY, McGraw-Hill, 53-147, 2006
3. McCabe, Ed: Flood Your Body With Oxygen: Therapy For Our Polluted World. 6th Edition. Energy Publications, 68-9, 2003
4. Gerson, C. and Walker, M.: The Gerson Therapy. NY, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp., 154-77; 190-2, 2001
5. Brooks, Linda: Rebounding and Your Immune System. Urbana, OH: Vitally Yours Press, 13-46, 2003
6. Yance, Donald: Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer. NY, NY: McGraw-Hill, 268-70; 242-4, 1999
7. Diamond, M.D., W. John, and Cowden, M.D., W. Lee: Cancer Diagnosis, What To Do Next. Tiburon, CA: Alternative Medicine.com, Inc., 313-16, 2000
8. Last, Walter: The Natural Way to Heal. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 348-9, 2004
9. Griffin, G. Edward: World Without Cancer, The Story of Vitamin B17. Westlake Village, CA: American Media 16th printing, 115-36, 2001
About the authorMary Laredo is an artist, educator and gallery curator who lives and works in Detroit, MI. As a breast cancer survivor who shunned conventional treatment, she is writing a book about her experience with natural therapies and nutritional healing. Visit http://marylaredo.blogspot.com
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