Cancer is a disease that can attack almost any organ, bone, blood, lymph, muscle or skin, in fact almost any part of our body can develop cancer. Some cancers are markedly easier to treat than others, with differing survival rates depending upon the specific organs affected. For example, testicular cancer has high survival rates, whereas pancreatic cancer has very poor survival rates. Cancer cells do not differentiate as normal cells do. Normal cells, as they develop, differentiate into specific organ cells: skin cells, liver cells, bone cells etc. But cancer cells do not do this. They grow very quickly and are very tough to kill, as all their energy is dedicated entirely to their own growth. Unlike healthy cells, they remain independent, and do not “serve” any organ by differentiating and supporting the organ or tissue to which they belong. Quite the reverse, cancer cells trick the body into supporting them instead. The body mistakenly believes that cancer cells are like embryonic cells, and it starts to create a feeding system to these cells by growing micro-capillaries to feed them with nutrients, in a process known as angiogenesis. In this way, essential nutrients are diverted away from the body’s own internal needs to feed its enemy, the cancer cells.
Under normal circumstances, small numbers of cancer cells are actually being produced every day in our bodies, but as long as we remain healthy, our immune system will identify and destroy them before they can form a mass or a lump. Once cancer cells have reached a critical mass, they can also spread to other parts of the body in a process known as metastasis. In conventional theory, it is assumed that metastasis is a clear sign of aggravation into a more deadly form of the disease, but in Japan, an opposite view is taken by renowned immunologist and cancer oncologist, Toru Abo, MD. Dr Abo maintains that metastasis actually signals a weakening of the cancer, which is diluting itself as it metastasizes. (1) This presents an opportunity to strongly support the immune system so that it can attack and kill off the spreading, diluting cancer. Unfortunately, conventional allopathic procedures such as radiation and chemotherapy do the opposite of this by poisoning and weakening healthy cells, and this explains why allopathic treatment of metastasized cancers has such an abysmal failure rate: the overall 5 year survival rate for patients of all cancer types receiving chemotherapy in the US is just 2.1 per cent. (2)
It is generally recognized that about 85% of all cancers are caused by the environment. Environmental causes of cancer include an increasing proliferation of carcinogenic chemicals in our air, water and food, as well as electromagnetic pollution from cell phones and towers, personal computers, microwaves and other common electrical devices. Lifestyle factors such as smoking (tobacco is sprayed with massive amounts of pesticides, heavy metals and other carcinogens), processed foods, dental amalgams, lack of exercise, diets high in artificial ingredients or rancid or hydrogenated fats and low in fresh fruit & vegetables, exposure to fluorescent lights, common household cleaners, personal cosmetic products, pharmaceutical drugs. and even medical procedures such as mammograms have all been identified as causes of cancer. The problem of toxic exposure is becoming ever more serious.
Cancer often can be seen to run in families, however cancer is not a genetic disease. Instead, it is strongly influenced by epigenetic changes. These so-called epigenetic changes are really changes of the condition of cell membranes which then trigger certain problematic genes to “switch on”. It is this “switching on” of certain hereditary problem genes which can lead to the development of cancers, and explains the incidence of familial cancers. Most of these epigenetic changes are caused by environmental toxins, and the good news is that they are reversible with early intervention using holistic life-style changes. An extremely impressive study in Japan involving many thousands of patients and known as the known as the Kobayashi Project, has proved that holistic intervention in early stage cancers assures a very high remission rate. (3) Unfortunately, the National Cancer Institute has chosen to turn a blind eye to these facts.
Micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites have all been implicated in the incidence of cancers since the discoveries of Dr. Royal Rife in the last century. (4) Today we see the existence of chronic latent infections in vast numbers of people. These microorganisms destabilize the immune system and interfere with its capacity to take out cancer cells. They also secrete a variety of toxins which either promote the proliferation of cancers, or interfere with the body’s immune mechanisms. Viruses have been associated with several cervical cancers in women and recent research has observed viral infections correlating with prostate cancers in men.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cancer is seen as caused by toxins, stagnation and waste build up in the blood. These various conditions are differentiated as Phlegm or Toxic Heat, which together describe the tendency within an unhealthy body to produce masses and lumps and also the toxic condition of the blood driving rapid proliferation of abnormal cells.
Last but not least, emotional traumas or buried emotional pain can give rise to cancers that only show up as physical disease many years later. This concept has been explored at length by Caroline Myss in her best selling book, Anatomy of the Spirit. (5) Emotional health is a part of cancer etiology and treatment typically overlooked in conventional medicine. But emotions, like chemical toxins, can severely disturb cellular processes, and upset the immune system.
According to Dr Abo, cancer always correlates with an imbalance in our autonomic nervous system when it gets locked into sympathetic mode, the fight-or-flight mode induced by chronic stress. When the autonomic nervous system is out of balance, the body starts firing free radicals at its own tissues, which can trigger the growth of tumor cells especially amongst cells which replicate rapidly, such as epithelial cells (the cells which line the outer part of tissues and organs). This disturbance of the autonomic nervous system can be caused by toxins, poor dietary habits, buried emotions, bad posture, exposure to electromagnetic radiation, pharmaceutical drugs and so on.
In 2000, ten million people globally reported a malignant tumor, of whom 6.2 million had died before 2003 according to WHO. WHO also predicts a 50% rise globally in cancer by 2020. (6) In the USA, skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer for all people regardless of race, with breast cancer the most common threat for women and prostate cancer for men. In one study, 60% of men autopsied at age 60 showed incidence of prostate cancer. At the end of the last century, cancer rates between 1979 and 1994 were shown to have increased by 22% for white women and 56% for white men, with comparable statistics for persons of color. Breast cancer risk was shown to have increased by 41% for white women relative to their own mothers’ risk at an equivalent age, and 56% for African American women relative to their mothers. (7)
Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary according to the type of cancer. However, there are general symptoms that could pertain to a cancer process in the body such as unexplainable lumps or cysts, sudden weight loss or gain, loss of appetite, skin color changes, persistent headache, blurring of vision, inability to perform previous activities, enlargement of a body part, irregular bowel movements, abscess, discharges, wart changes, poorly healing skin sores, urinary irregularities, indigestion, difficulty swallowing or loss of organ functions and persistent pain, especially at night, of the affected sites. For some cancers, organ bleeding may be a pertinent sign; or bleeding in the urine or stool or coughing up blood. Any such abnormality should be carefully examined by your physician.
At home tests
There are two online testing services to check cancer status. These sites are: www.caprofile.net and www.youtestyou.com Both of these sites offer services for individuals to be tested, and the tests can be monitored and analyzed by their competent health care professional.
Very recently, a brand new blood test has been designed that offer quick and painless detection. This test so sensitive that it can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones, and the test itself should only involve a pinprick of blood an a half hour wait time for the results. This test should become available available at most doctor’s offices, hopefully by the end of 2011. (8)
The test, developed by Boston scientists and funded by Johnson & Johnson, was recently announced to the medical world ad should revolutionize cancer screening. Four big cancer centers also will start studies using the experimental test this year. If successful, this test will allow for much earlier detection of cancer amongst the population, and it will also allow physicians to evaluate whether or not treatment protocols are really working by shifting the focus from the local tumor to the blood, and to the systemic nature of the disease process.
Older, conventional screening tests are lengthy, expensive and potentially hazardous. Tests may vary according to the specific type of cancer. Conventional blood tests require a much larger amount of blood to be drawn, and comprehensive panel tests are necessary to check for a range of possible abnormal readings. Imaging studies such as x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs are standard for suspected abnormal growths and, if these initial tests reveal abnormalities, further blood tests will usually be done to check for tumor markers. Tumor markers are substances in the body that reveal the presence of cancer. Biopsies are sometimes performed to check on actual samples of tissue taken from the patient.
There are further problems with standard tests since these can often generate false positives. At the very least, false positives create needless anxiety, but in worse cases patients may be induced to go for surgery or chemotherapy without actually having cancer.(9)
Treatment & Care
Many possible alternative treatments for cancer exist, ranging from oxidative therapies, dietary and enzyme therapies, IV Vitamin C, oral herbal treatments, cancer salves, laser and light therapies, Far Infra Red Onnetsu, hyperthermia and insulin potentiation therapy. Literally hundreds of different approaches and combinations are possible.
Treatment must be understood either as palliative or as primary: palliative care means protocols that support patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, whereas primary protocols take the place of allopathic treatment. Treatment options not generally available in the US are offered at clinics in other countries such as Germany and Mexico. Sometimes, cancer patients from the US opt to travel outside their country for care. For example, there is a longstanding of alternative cancer care in Tihuana, Mexico.
Some allopathically trained MDs have specialized in integrative or alternative treatments for cancer, and offer in-patient and out-patient care at their clinics or integrative medicine centers. Amongst the most renowned are Dr. Burzynski in Houston and Dr. Robert Rowen in Santa Rosa, CA.
Choice of treatment and/or care should depend on the stage of the disease. Stages are usually rated 1 through 4, with Stage 4 being the most advanced stage. The earlier the stage, the less difficult it is to turn cancer around and heal. Once a tumor or growth has developed, the situation becomes more challenging.
Since there are so many treatment options available, it is recommended that a person first engage in some informative reading to become more educated about this disease, and then go on to review many of the different options available. This introductory phase should be conducted under the guidance of a qualified health professional.
One of the preferred alternative protocols for cancer in the US today is Vitamin C therapy. Usually this will involve IV C along with oral C supplementation. However, special forms of oral Vitamin C have now been developed that can be easily taken at home. Other supportive or detoxifying ingredients might be added to the mega Vitamin C protocol. Always, the focus will be on removing toxins and wastes from the body, and fortifying immune response. A number of herbs from different countries and herbal traditions have been greatly studied and applied in cancer treatment. Amongst the best known are Graviola, Annual Wormwood, Mistletoe, Cat’s Claw, Bloodroot, Goldenseal, and Turmeric. In Chinese Herbal Medicine, a variety of herbal formulas are used to treat cancers, but these are carefully modulated to each individual patient. Chinese herbal formulas may be combined with Vitamin C protocols or other alternative treatments. All effective alternative cancer protocols focus on supporting the entire body and strengthening the immune response. Far Infra Red hyperthermal treatment from Japan is a type of topical heat treatment that is applied in two steps: first to the spine to stimulate the immune system, and then to areas of the skin directly adjacent to tumors. (10)
It is very difficult to provide accurate statistics about cancer cure rates from alternative protocols, since the approaches are very varied as are the presenting circumstances. On the other hand, statistics for conventional, chemotherapeutic treatments are abysmal, averaging a 98.9% failure rate for 5- year survival. An additional reason many people opt for alternative therapies is that they do not cause the tremendous suffering and discomfort caused by radiation and chemotherapy. Moreover, as we have seen with the Kobayashi project involving thousands of cases over twelve years, alternative, holistic intervention for early stage cancers is extremely effective, with a virtually 100% success rate.
Complications may ensue from the destructive effects of allopathic treatment itself, if these treatments consist of radiation or cheotherapy. Generally speaking, treatment induced toxicity may occur with sever damage to organ function. The most common side effects of treatment are nausea and vomiting . Medicines used in chemotherapy cannot distinguish between the healthy and cancerous types of cells. As a result of chemotherapy, patients commonly experience hair loss. In some cancers, such as leukemia, bone marrow transplants require immuno-suppressive drugs which leave patients highly susceptible to dangerous infections.
Prevention includes avoiding carcinogens and substances that can promote epigenetic transformation in the cells. These carcinogens are present in cigarettes, tobaccos, pesticides, water supplies, air, food preservatives, medications, water bottles and other plastic, automobile fumes, flame retardants and pharmaceutical drugs.
Intake of antioxidants from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables help neutralize carcinogens and switch off free radical damage.. Antioxidants come from fruits and vegetables and recently, from food supplements.
Certain minerals and trace minerals are very important in cancer prevention, notably selenium, vitamin C, Vitamin D3. Anti-inflammatory supplements such as omega-3 rich fish oils and spices such as turmeric are protective of cells against cancer. Oral chelating supplements such as zeolite may be of tremendous benefit in reducing the body’s overload of heavy metals and other carcinogens, thus stopping cancer in its tracks. Maintaining a strong immune system with good amounts of exercise, sunlight and fresh air are simple but crucial steps in protecting from cancer. Cancer flourishes in an unhealthy body filled with acidic wastes and noxious micro-organisms, but finds it harder to flourish in a well oxygenated environment with plenty of anti-oxidants. It is becoming increasing important also to limit one’s exposure to electromagnetic field pollution, as we are seeing greater incidences of brain cancers linked with excessive cell phone use.
John Boik, Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy. Oregon Medical Press, 2001.
Ingrid Naiman, Cancer Salves, A Botanical Approach to Treatment, Seventh Ray Press, 1999
Josef Issels, MD, Cancer: A Second Opinion, Avery Publishing Group, New York, 1999
Russel L. Blaylock, MD, Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients, Kensigton Publishing Corp., New York, 2003
Christine Murphy, Ed, Iscador, Lantern Books, NewYork, 2001
Suzanne Somers, Knockout, Crown Publishers, NewYork, 2009
(1) Your Immune Revolution, Toru Abo, MD, Kokoro Publishing, NY, 2007
(2) Morgan G, Ward R, Barton M., Clinical Oncology, (see Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2004 Dec;16(8):549-60.)
(3) 1. Kawakubo T., Kobayashi T.: Cancer screening and cancer detection rate by serum tumor marker combination assay. J. Jpn. Hygiene. 42:284, 1987.
(4) Barry Lynes, The Cancer Cure That Worked, Marcus Books, Ontario, Canada, 1987.
(5) Carolyn Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit, Three Rivers Press, New York, NY, 1996.
(6) WHO News Releases, Media, 2003.
(7) Dinse, GE, DM Umbach, AJ Sasco, DG Hoel and DL Davis. 1999. Unexplained increases in cancer incidence in the United States from 1975 to 1994. Annual Review of Public Health 20: 173-209.
(8) MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione, Ap Medical Writer – Mon Jan 3, 2011
(9) Wall Street Journal Online, Dec. 28 , 2004, p. D1
(10) Overcoming Cancer and Other Diseases in a Holistic Way, Tomeko Matsui and Kazuko Hillyer, Phd., Kokoro Publ., NY, 2009.