We all experience trauma in our lives. It fairly unavoidable as a human being. Even the act of being born is a potentially traumatic experience. But what happens when the trauma we experience is severe and frequent? How does this affect us in the long term? Could intense trauma actually be one of the root causes of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer?Read More
A doctor who specialized in the treatment of cancer is called an oncologist. He or she may be a surgeon, a specialist in radiation therapy, or a medical oncologist.
The first option is usually surgery to treat the cancer; the second, radiation therapy; the third, chemotherapy and related treatments. There is consultation between medical team to develop a treatment plan for each particular patient.
The treatment is based on the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer. In some people, diagnosis and treatment may occur at the same time if the cancer is entirely surgically removed when the surgeon removes the tissue for biopsy.
Although patients may receive a unique sequenced treatment, or protocol, for their cancer, most treatments have one or more of the following components: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or combination treatments (a combination of two or all three treatments).
Individuals obtain variations of these treatments for cancer. Patients with cancers that cannot be completely removed by surgery usually will get combination therapy, the composition determined by the cancer type and stage.
There are many complications that may occur with cancer; many are specific to the cancer type and stage and are too numerous to list here. However, some general complications that may occur with both cancer and its treatment protocols are listed below: (5)
Fatigue (both due to cancer and its treatments)
Loss of appetite (both)
Hair loss (treatments mainly)
Immune system depression (both)
What else is there if you have been diagnosed with Cancer
Integrative medicine is a total approach to medical care that combines standard medicine with the complimentary medicine practices that have shown to be safe and effective. They treat the patient's mind, body, and spirit. (6)
How can alternative medicine help people with cancer?
Alternative cancer treatments may not play a direct role in curing your cancer, but they may help you cope with signs and symptoms caused by cancer and cancer treatments. Common signs and symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, difficulty sleeping, and stress may be lessened by alternative treatments.
Integrating the best of evidence-based complementary and alternative cancer treatments with the treatments you receive from your doctor may help relieve many of the symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment.
Working closely with a medical doctor to determine the right balance between traditional medicines and alternative cancer treatments offers the best outcome.
Dr. Kelley, and John Beard before him, believed to defeat cancer you don’t create some new method of defence that does not mimic the human body, you create a method of defence that acts LIKE the human body, and the body uses pancreatic proteolytic enzymes in the natural fight against cancer.(7)
Suggested nutritional guidelines to improve the treatment of Cancer
pH and electrolyte balance – includes both extracellular and intracellular pH
Energy balance of aerobic and anaerobic states
Immune balance – including controlling inflammatory functions
Eliminating or destroying various toxins
Maintain and control cellular reproduction and cellular death
Maintain cognitive functions to avoid stresses and support health functions (8)
Gawler Institute Philosophy
Healing is possible and achievable by taking a holistic approach to lifestyle choices. Health is influenced by how we eat, think, exercise, relax and relate to ourselves and others. This belief is based on ancient wisdom combined with the real life experience of many thousands of people who have been through our programs and increasingly our philosophy is being validated through scientific research as well. (9)
By Sally Pattison BAppSc, Adv. Dip. Nat, Adv. Dip. Nut
What is Cancer?
Definition of Cancer from Cancer council:
“Cancer is a disease of the body's cells. Normally cells grow and multiply in a controlled way, however, if something causes a mistake to occur in the cells' genetic blueprints, this control can be lost. Cancer is the term used to describe collections of these cells, growing and potentially spreading within the body. As cancerous cells can arise from almost any type of tissue cell, cancer actually refers to about 100 different diseases.
Cancer cells that do not spread beyond the immediate area in which they arise are said to be benign ie. they are not dangerous. If these cells spread into surrounding areas, or to different parts of the body, they are known as malignant - commonly referred to as cancer.”1
Cancer affects a large number of Australians, both directly and indirectly.
How many people are affected by cancer?
The statistics speak for themselves:
- In the early 1900s, one in 20 people developed cancer
- In the 1940s, one in 16 people developed cancer
- In the 1970s, it was one in 10
- Today, it's one in three! (2)
What are the different types of cancer?
There are over 200 types of cancer; far too numerous to include in this introductory article. However, a list of general categories is shown below:
- Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs -- skin, lung, colon, pancreatic, ovarian cancers, epithelial, squamous and basal cell carcinomas, melanomas, papillomas, and adenomas
- Sarcoma: Cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue -- bone, soft tissue cancers, osteosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, liposarcoma, angiosarcoma, rhabdosarcoma, and fibrosarcoma
- Leukemia: Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood -- leukemia, lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL and CLL), myelogenous leukemias (AML and CML), T-cell leukemia, and hairy-cell leukemia
- Lymphoma and myeloma: Cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system -- lymphoma, T-cell lymphomas, B-cell lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphomas, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and lymphoproliferative lymphomas
- Central nervous system cancers: Cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord -- brain and spinal cord tumors, gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, vestibular schwannomas, primary CNS lymphomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (3)
How is cancer staging determined?
There are a number of different staging methods used for cancers and the specific staging criteria varies among cancer types. The common elements considered in most staging systems are as follows:
- Site of the primary tumour
- Tumour size and number of tumours
- Lymph node involvement (spread of cancer into lymph nodes)
- Cell type and tumour grade* (how closely the cancer cells resemble normal tissue cells)
- The presence or absence of metastasis (secondary spread to other organs)
The Roman numeral or stage grouping method is used by some clinicians and researchers on almost all cancer types.
The Roman numeral or stage grouping method is described as follows (4)
Stage 0 - Carcinoma in situ.
Stage I, Stage II, and Stage III - Higher numbers indicate more extensive disease: Larger tumour size and/or spread of the cancer beyond the organ in which it first developed to nearby lymph nodes and/or organs adjacent to the location of the primary tumour
Stage IV - The cancer has spread to another organ(s).
Signs and Symptoms
As there are many types of cancer and organs that can be effected it is difficult to list all symptoms to look out for. Some cancers are silent – as in they do not produce symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
Unexplained weight loss
Change in bowel or bladder function
Wounds that won’t heal
Unusual bleeding or discharge
General symptoms that linger – like a cough
By Sally Pattison BAppSc, Adv. Dip. Nat, Adv. Dip. Nut
Cancer is not a single disease but a group of related diseases. Many things in our genes, our lifestyle, and the environment around us may increase or decrease our risk of getting cancer.
Scientists are studying many different ways to help prevent cancer, including the following:
Ways to avoid or control things known to cause cancer. Changes in dietand lifestyle. Finding precancerousconditions Precancerous conditions are conditions that may become cancer. Chemoprevention(medicines to treat a precancerous condition or to keep cancer from starting).
Infections: Human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the risk for cancers of the cervix, penis, vagina, anus, and oropharynx. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses increase the risk for liver cancer. Epstein-Barr virus increases the risk for Burkitt lymphoma. Helicobacter pylori increases the risk for gastric cancer.
Studies show that obesity is linked to a higher risk of the following types of cancer: Postmenopausal breast cancer, Colorectal cancer, Endometrial cancer, Esophageal cancer, Kidney cancer, Pancreatic cancer. Some studies show that obesity is also a risk factor for cancer of the gallbladder.
Diet is being studied as a risk factor for cancer. It is hard to study the effects of diet on cancer because a person’s diet includes foods that may protect against cancer and foods that may increase the risk of cancer.
Some studies show that fruits and non-starchy vegetables may protect against cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. Fruits may also protect against lung cancer.
Some studies have shown that a diet high in fat, proteins, calories, and red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
“By eating the right amount of fruit and vegetables, it’s estimated that 5-12 percent of all cancers could be prevented”¹
¹International Agency for Research on Cancer (2003), IARC handbooks on cancer prevention, vol.8: Fruit and Vegetables, p.246. Lyon
Being exposed to chemicals and other substances in the environment has been linked to some cancers:
Links between air pollution and cancer risk have been found. These include links between lung cancer and second hand tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, andasbestos. Drinking water that contains a large amount ofarsenic has been linked to skin, bladder, and lung cancers.
Studies have been done to see if pesticides and other pollutants increase the risk of cancer. The results of those studies have been unclear because other factors can change the results of the studies.
Tobacco smoke: Tobacco use is strongly linked to an increased risk for many kinds of cancer. Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of the following types of cancer:
Acute myelogenous leukemia(AML). Bladder cancer. Esophageal cancer. Kidney cancer. Lung cancer. Oral cavity cancer. Pancreatic cancer. Stomach cancer. Not smoking or quitting smoking lowers the risk of getting cancer and dying from cancer. Scientists believe that cigarette smoking causes about 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States.
Studies have shown that drinking alcohol is linked to an increased risk of the following types of cancers: Oral cancer, Esophageal cancer, Breast cancer, Colorectal cancer (in men).
Drinking alcohol may also increase the risk of liver cancer and female colorectal cancer. (11)
Oestrogens affect the majority of breast cancers, known as oestrogen receptor (ER) positive cancers. Medications used to treat these cancers either target oestrogen production or oestrogen action, preventing oestrogens from stimulating growth of breast cancer cells. In older women, being obese or taking combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) long term may increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Collective evidence points to a prominent role for chronic stress in cancer growth and metastasis. Sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activation, along with related hormones, have functionally and biologically significant impacts on the tumor microenvironment. β-adrenergic receptor signaling pathways directly affect cancer cells. Stress hormones (e.g., norepinephrine and epinephrine) stimulate angiogenesis, cell migration and invasion, leading to increased tumor growth and progression. Dopamine retards tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenesis. Glucocorticoids inhibit chemotherapy-induced cancer cell apoptosis and promote cancer cell survival. Integrated pharmacological and biobehavioral interventions are being developed to target neuroendocrine dynamics in the tumor microenvironment and create more successful cancer therapies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3037818/
Genes play a role in the development of some cancers. The link is strongest for breast, bowel, stomach and prostate cancers. All cancer is triggered by altered genes. However, only 5-10 per cent of cancers are actually hereditary.
Current research suggests that environmental factors such as tobacco, diet, infection, alcohol, drugs, radiation and chemicals are more important than genetic (hereditary) factors in determining development of most cancers.
“The behaviour of a person's genes doesn't just depend on the genes' DNA sequence - it's also affected by so-called epigenetic factors. Changes in these factors can play a critical role in disease.”* Epigenetics involves genetic control by factors other than an individual's DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes can switch genes on or off and determine which proteins are transcribed.
Inflammation is a normal physiological response that causes injured tissue to heal. An inflammatory process starts when chemicals are released by the damaged tissue. In response, white blood cells make substances that cause cells to divide and grow to rebuild tissue to help repair the injury. Once the wound is healed, the inflammatory process ends.
In chronic inflammation, the inflammatory process may begin even if there is no injury, and it does not end when it should. Why the inflammation continues is not always known. Chronic inflammation may be caused by infections that don’t go away, abnormal immune reactions to normal tissues, or conditions such as obesity. Over time, chronic inflammation can cause DNA damage and lead to cancer. For example, people with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease, have an increased risk of colon cancer.
Prevention – isn’t it the best option?
Top 12 ways to prevent cancer:
- Limit carbohydrates – especially in form of fructose
- Avoid GMO foods
- Increase raw food (not all raw) – aim for around 1/3 of diet being raw
- Protein : Fat ratio – decrease protein to approx. 100g per kg of body weight max and increase good fats – avocado, nuts, coconut
- Avoid processed oils – increase Omega 3 and avoid hydrogenated oil
- Daily Exercise –
- Daily Vitamin D
- Reduce toxins
- Reduce radiation exposure
- Reduce stress
Associate Professor Peter Baade, the Manager of the Descriptive Epidemiology Research Program at the Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, said that changes to diet and activity would have the greatest impact on bowel cancer, averting an estimated 10,049 cases, and could also prevent 7,273 cases of female breast cancer. (10)