Just say the word “cancer” and everything seems to stop for a moment.
Conversations pause, anxiety levels increase, and a sense of foreboding permeates the air. Why? Because cancer is a terrifying proposition with, to date, no cures in sight. Unlike polio, no vaccine has been developed to eradicate the disease. And unlike an ear infection, there are no antibiotics that will render anyone cancer-free.
The high cost of cancer
The second most common cause of death next to heart disease in the US, cancer can be blamed for nearly one in every four deaths. Experts anticipate that more than 1.6 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed this year, with the disease expected to claim the lives of more than 595,000 Americans. Cancer is an indiscriminate killer, striking anyone, at any time.
With so much at stake, it makes sense to prevent cancer as much as we possibly can … and when we are diagnosed with it, attack it aggressively with everything in our medical arsenal. Physicians agree that cancer, when caught early, has a much greater chance of being cured than when diagnosed in its later stages. But it does beg the question: is the higher cure propensity solely due to catching the disease in its early stages, or was it a slow-growing cancer that due to its very nature had a much better chance of being cured?
Chemotherapy: good or evil?
Universally regarded as one of the most aggressive ways to fight cancer, chemotherapy utilizes powerful drugs to kill rapidly dividing cancer cells, keep the disease from spreading, and slow its growth rate. Traditional oncologists often utilize “smart drugs” so named because they target specific kinds of cancer cells. Because chemo is such a powerful drug cocktail, a treatment is often accompanied by a series of adverse and uncomfortable side effects ranging from fatigue and nausea to hair loss and foggy thinking.
Those who opt for chemotherapy do so because they believe the pros outweigh the cons – and that by so doing, they’ll have a greater likelihood of surviving the disease. Yet it may not be for everyone. A study recently published in the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine suggests that some women may be undergoing chemotherapy treatment even if it won’t necessarily boost their odds of survival. A genomic test of 70 distinct tumor features was administered to women in early stages of breast cancer, and researchers found that those who seemed to be at low risk of recurrence could have avoided the physical and emotional toll of chemotherapy without compromising their survival chances.
Maybe chemotherapy, “smart drugs” and other traditional approaches of “precision medicine” need to be looked at through a different lens.
An alternative approach to addressing cancer
With prevention in mind, living a clean, healthy lifestyle can lessen the likelihood of getting cancer in the first place. If cancer it is diagnosed, addressing its root cause may provide valuable insights for effective treatment.
We advocate harnessing the best that both traditional and alternative medicines have to offer. Looking at the situation from a holistic perspective can help identify the underlying physiological and lifestyle factors contributing to the cancer. When this knowledge is combined with the appropriate chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, it can paint a more complete picture to maximize treatment efficacy.
Here are my thoughts for those my patients with cancer:
- Get a good internal exam. Consult with a trained holistic practitioner to see if there’s anything going on within your body that may be exacerbating the cancer or precluding its effective treatment. If the gastrointestinal tract is inflamed or compromised, for example, the lack of digestive enzymes may be preventing the absorption of key nutrients. If you’re experiencing heavy metal toxicity, the lead might be interfering with vitamin D metabolism and other vital bodily functions.
- Get back to nature. If your digestive system is functioning as it should, consider adopting a raw Paleo diet if your digestive system is healthy. Obtain vitamins, minerals and protein from high-quality, natural sources including fresh fruits and vegetables, Wild Alaskan salmon, cold water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, grass-fed beef, acorn-fed pork, and milk-fed chicken.
- Get the right supplements. You might need the support of Vitamin D Synergy, Vitamin C Buffered Powder, Detox, Selenium, Probiotic Synergy Spheres, and/or Detox products to complement your traditional and other alternative medicine protocols. To order them from Ecobeautica Wellness Center’s online store, visit www.ecobeautica.com .
- Get active. If you’re able to exercise, moving your body most days of the week can reap both preventative and therapeutic results. Find an aerobic activity that you enjoy doing – whether it’s walking, swimming, cycling or hiking – and make it a priority on your calendar. Exercise can help reduce stress, build your muscles, and allow your mind to focus on something else other than cancer.