You have made the decision to address your cancer naturally. Now, what is the next step? First off, remember everyone is different. What works for a 7-foot-tall African American basketball star will probably not work for a 5-foot-tall woman from Tibet. What works for you may not work for a family member.
This is known as “biochemical individuality” and your primary focus should be on figuring out what works best for you. This is why working with a holistic cancer coach and trusted physician is imperative so you can monitor your progress. You are looking for cancer-fighting answers and strategies.
Top 10 Natural Cancer Strategies
Listed below are some of the most popular cancer-fighting protocols on the planet right now. Many are used alone, but they can be used in combination with each other. After reading and researching, discuss these strategies with your physician or holistic cancer coach before implementing.
The Vegetarian/Vegan Diet
If eating raw vegan food doesn’t excite you, let me tell you about Chris. Chris is a cancer-free blogger that eluded cancer by removing processed foods from his diet and replacing junk food with raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Chris believes in the bioavailability of food that determines whether or not your body will absorb and use the nutrients in the food. (1)
He says, “The vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and enzymes in raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts are bioavailable. Plants take these minerals from the soil and convert them into a form that the human body can absorb and use to repair itself.” (1) When the body is fed processed foods, the body can only use what little (if any) nutrients are available.
By eating a vegan diet, the body is given all the nutrients it needs. Although Chris’ claims may be anecdotal, studies have been published confirming his claims. (2)
Ketogenic Diet Short-Term
The ketogenic diet is being touted as a magic bullet for treating cancer. A ketogenic diet promotes foods with higher fat and protein content and restricts carbohydrates. It is thought that tumors thrive on carbohydrates which will cause them to metastasize. But, would this diet really work to improve the patient’s quality of life?
A three-month study was conducted with 16 cancer patients with advanced metastatic tumors. The patients were told to follow the ketogenic diet for the short-term period. The results showed that out of the 16 participants, only five completed the three-month study. The other participants dropped out of the study due to various reasons and two participants passed away.
Of the five that completed the study and one participant that stopped at week 6 to resume chemotherapy, all reported improved emotional functions and less insomnia. Other parameters of quality of life remained stable or worsened, reflecting the advanced disease.
The conclusion from the study suggests that “a ketogenic diet is suitable for even advanced cancer patients. It has no severe side effects and might improve aspects of quality of life and blood parameters in some patients with advanced metastatic tumors.” (3)
The Budwig diet, also known as the Budwig protocol, is a diet considered to be excellent in the prevention of cancer and as a natural cancer treatment. It promotes the consumption of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids to repair damaged cell membranes. By combining the two fats in a meal, the cells are given the optimal conditions needed to heal.
One such meal with the Budwig diet consists of cottage cheese (saturated fats) and flaxseed oil (unsaturated fats) combined together to create a super potent meal that makes the fats more soluble and able to be absorbed by the cell readily. The Basic Rule with the Budwig diet is ‘if nature made it, then it’s fine and try to eat it in the same form that nature made it.’ (4)
Vitamin D is one of the easiest supplements to get access to as most drug and grocery stores carry it. According to the Am J Public Health Journal, “The majority of studies found that a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status, for example by Vitamin D supplementation, could reduce cancer incidence and mortality at low cost, with few or no adverse effects.” (5)
A link has been made between Vitamin D deficiency and certain types of cancers, suggesting that the deficiency may have contributed to premature deaths. Consult with your physician or holistic cancer coach to see if you have a deficiency and what the proper dosage should be for your circumstance.
Intermittent fasting has been practiced by many different cultures for centuries, however, in the United States it is just catching on as a way to lose weight and heal the body naturally. To do a daily intermittent fast, most people only eat during an eight-hour window; say 11am to 7pm daily. This gives the body time to use any glycogen and begin burning stored body fat.
With that said, fasting and binging will lead to unhealthy behaviors and possible acceleration of certain cancers. Fasting must be combined with a sensible, balanced diet. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder and director of The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the benefits of intermittent fasting far outweigh any uncomfortable hunger pangs (6):
- Produces weight loss
- Decreases cardiovascular disease risk
- More effective for reducing insulin resistance
- Boosts metabolism and human growth hormone
- Improves brain function
- Protects against some effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
With so many benefits, there is no reason not to try intermittent fasting today.
Nutrition Research and Practice published a study stating, “High consumption of fruits and vegetables has been suggested to provide some protection to smokers who are exposed to an increased risk of numerous cancers and other degenerative diseases.” (7) The great news is all of the benefits found do not apply only to smokers, but to everyone.
Another study found a link between ingesting carrot juice and reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight breast cancer survivors. (8) With more studies being conducted on the benefits of juicing, it really is an easy step in the right direction in addressing cancer naturally.
Juicing makes it simple to get the proper nutrition and amounts needed for protection and each vegetable used contains its own worthwhile nutrients. For example, carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and tart cherry juice with its polyphenol is associated with a lower risk of cancer. (9) Even pomegranates and citrus fruit juices are associated with preventing colon cancer. (10)
You have probably seen the television commercials touting the heart benefits of eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning. Turns out that is not just a marketing ploy to have you buy oatmeal; science confirms this claim. The heart-healthy soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol and the superior source of this benefit is beta glucan.
You can get soluble fiber from beans, fruits, lentils, bran, and peas. However, studies are being published about the benefits of using beta glucan for cancer. One reason may be that beta glucan is scarce as a surface component in tumor cells. Beta glucan has been shown that when taken as a supplement it will prevent cancer growth in a number of ways. (11)
Essential oils are all the rage at the moment, but can they really work in addressing cancer?
The National Cancer Institute reports that essential oils can be effective at improving the quality of life for a cancer patient. (12) The aromatherapy can be combined with massage and other treatments. Essential oils can be applied topically after dilution or inhaled. The oils can help relieve stress and anxiety and are easy to find.
The National Cancer Institute reports, “People who have cancer may find the physical, emotional, and social effects of the disease to be stressful.” (13) However, effective coping strategies are available:
- Training techniques in relaxation, meditation, or stress management
- Cancer education sessions
- Group counseling
- Medications prescribed for depression or anxiety
- Exercise to raise endorphins and increase circulation and cognitive function
There are different types and levels of stress that can affect a patient. Consult with your physician to see if you fall into any of these categories (14):
- Normal adjustment
- Psychological and social stress
- Adjustment disorder
- Anxiety disorder
It is suggested to ask for help from a holistic cancer coach or trusted physician if you are feeling stress, anxiety, and depression.
The Permanente Journal published an article from Dr.Marilyn Schiltz about using prayer and meditation as a conduit for spiritual healing. Through the centuries prayer and meditation have been used in different forms in different cultures. Indigenous cultures do not separate healing and sacred, ancient traditions.
73% of adults believe praying for someone can heal them. (15) This is not a minority number. Almost three-quarters of those polled believe in the power of prayer for healing. 50% of adults go so far as to say they would like their physician to pray for them. (15) So can prayer and meditation really bring about healing and improve the quality of life?
Schiltz is conducting a study using a grant funded by the National Institute for Healing to observe any healing effects from prayer and meditation. The participants in the study are all women undergoing reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy due to breast cancer. The healers brought into the study are from all different religious backgrounds. The study is ongoing.
More than 180 studies have been conducted on prayer and meditation for healing; patients continue using this strategy not only to pray for themselves but for others.
Special Note: Coffee Enemas
The jury is still out on whether coffee enemas can be used for a natural cancer treatment. ISRN Pharmacology published a study conducted to see if bioavailability would be high for coffee enemas compared to coffee consumed orally. Eleven healthy males were chosen and then randomly selected to receive either a coffee enema for 10 minutes or a cup of coffee to drink.
After 10 days, the participants switched to the alternate procedure. Blood samples were taken at specific times throughout. The results showed that the “bioavailability of caffeine from the coffee enema was 3.5 times significantly less than those of the coffee consumed orally.”(16)
If considering a coffee enema for cancer treatment, take the following into consideration regarding the enema:
Although our previous study has demonstrated that single or multiple doses of coffee enema do not produce beneficial effects with respect to an enhancement of serum glutathione levels and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity or a decrease in serum malondialdehyde concentrations in the same population reported here, documented evidence exists that it might be associated with considerable potential risks. It is worth noting that such procedure should be performed by trained and skillful personnel using appropriate equipment in subjects or patients without contraindication (i.e., colorectal cancer, recent bowel surgery, colostomy, gut obstruction, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.).” (16)
No matter the strategy you choose, research the ones you want to try to find one that will work for you and consult your physician before starting anything new if you are currently treating cancer.
(1) Chris Beat Cancer http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/the-raw-vegan-diet/
(2) NIH “Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables and cancer risk” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8877066
(3) PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21794124
(4) Budwig Center http://www.budwigcenter.com/the-budwig-diet/#.VjAVJ1OrZes
(5) NIH “The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470481/
(6) The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/fasting-health_b_1557043.html
(7) NIH “The effect of carrot juice, beta-carotene supplementation on lymphocyte DNA damage, erythrocyte antioxidant enzymes and plasma lipid profiles in Korean smoker” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3259297/
(8) NIH “Effects of a carrot juice intervention on plasma carotenoids, oxidative stress, and inflammation in overweight breast cancer survivors” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22292424
(9) NIH “Tart Cherry juice induces differential dose-dependent effects on apoptosis, but not cellular proliferation, in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23057779
(10) NIH “Role of Pomegranate and citrus fruit juices in colon cancer prevention” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4000498/
(11) NIH “Effects of beta-glucans on the immune system” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17895634
(12) The National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/aromatherapy-pdq
(13) The National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/stress-fact-sheet#q4
(14) The National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/feelings/anxiety-distress-pdq
(15) NIH “Meditation, Prayer, and Spiritual Healing: The Evidence http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396089/
(16) NIH “Pharmacokinetics of Caffeine following a Single Administration of Coffee Enema versus Oral Coffee Consumption in Healthy Male Subjects” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603218/