Category Archives: Alternative Treatments
Herbs and plants were the original treatments for many illnesses and injuries people faced. As such, cannabis or marijuana use dates back centuries. It popped up in Western medicine in the 19th century as a means of relieving pain, inflammation, and spasms.
Today, marijuana use can spark some serious debate, even when considered for medical use only. But regardless of how you feel about its use, more cancer patients are turning to marijuana for a number of reasons.
Marijuana is not legal for use everywhere and researchers have their own concerns about potential side effects. For some patients, however, the benefits can be invaluable as they go through treatment.
These days, walking into any major cancer centre looks rather different to a few years ago, because you are likely to see not only ordinary examination rooms, equipment, and chemotherapy suites, but also massage rooms, yoga mats, and possibly even a music therapy room.
This is the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. More and more recent research now supports complementary treatments such as Acupuncture, Yoga, and some diet supplements as good ways to relieve some of the side-effects of Chemotherapy Treatments.
Treatment centres that offer complementary options, as well as the amount of individuals taking advantage of them, have increased dramatically across the globe in recent years, with some studies showing that around 50% of all people undergoing cancer treatment use some kind of complementary option.
Most of the complementary treatments recommended by medical doctors have few or no side-effects, according to the director of medical content at the American Cancer Society, Ted Gansler, MD, who states that it is fine to try Music Therapy or Meditation, for example, while you follow your standard treatment plan.
Although we have previously mentioned Gerson Therapy, we thought that you might be interested in more information on this Alternative Therapy for Cancer.
The Gerson Therapy was one of the first natural cancer therapeutics and has successfully treated patients for more than 80 years. Rooted in an organic, plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas, and natural supplements, the Gerson Therapy restores the body’s ability to heal itself.
The Gerson diet is naturally high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micro-nutrients, and extremely low in sodium, fats, and proteins. A typical daily diet for a Gerson patient on the full therapy regimen features 13 glasses of fresh, raw carrot-apple and green-leaf juices prepared hourly from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables; three full plant-based meals, freshly prepared from organically grown fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; and fresh fruit and vegetables available at all hours for snacking, in addition to the regular diet.
The Gerson diet is extremely detailed. It is not just the foods that are included and excluded; it is when the foods are eaten, how often they are eaten, how they are prepared, how not to prepare them, what to cook them in, how to package them, etc.
While we understand that when one’s child has cancer and does not seem to be getting better one is desperate enough to try ANYTHING, one should be aware of some of the cancer myths that are out there such as “Cancer is a Fungus – and Sodium Bicarbonate is the Cure.”
This rather strange and frankly ridiculous “theory” seems to originate in the fact that “cancer is always white.”
Let’s just put this myth to rest once and for all – cancer cells are clearly not fungal in origin, and cancer isn’t always white.
Sodium Bicarbonate reduces stomach acid. It is used as an antacid to treat heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach. Sodium bicarbonate is a very quick-acting antacid; it should, however, be used only for temporary relief. Sodium Bicarbonate DOES NOT cure cancer!
Wheat-grass contains chlorophyll, which has almost the same molecular structure as haemoglobin. Chlorophyll increases haemoglobin production, which means that more oxygen gets to the cancer.
Wheat-grass also contains Selenium and Laetrile, both of which have anti-cancer properties. Both Chlorophyll and selenium also help build the immune system.
Wheat-grass contains at least 13 vitamins, of which several are antioxidants, including Vitamin B12, and various minerals and trace elements, including selenium, as well as all 20 amino acids.
Back in the 40s and 50s, cancer patients were being treated by having their blood extracted, bombarded with ultraviolet light and then put back into the body.
The blood (actually the haemoglobin) “remembered” the ultraviolet frequencies (i.e. the haemoglobin continued to vibrate after being exposed to the frequencies) after the blood was put back into the body.
Wheat-grass can be used instead of extracted blood because the haemoglobin molecules and the chlorophyll molecules have some very key similarities.
As if it is not bad enough to suffer from cancer and have to go through all the pain and stress of the many tests, the diagnosis and the treatments, conventional cancer treatments such as chemo, radiation, and/or surgery come with lingering side-effects that make life very difficult.
One such potential problem is that it can become hard to swallow without experiencing significant pain − a condition known as dysphagia, in which swallowing is difficult and/or painful.
It is difficult if not impossible to ensure that your Child with Cancer gets the correct nutrition to help fight their cancer and heal their body during and post-treatment when it is so difficult and painful for them to eat. Read the rest of this entry
The brain is the most important organ in the body because it controls all complex actions including the ability to learn, speak, move, think, and control our emotions. The brain is made up of soft spongy tissue which means that when malignant cell growth occurs, it often invades surrounding healthy brain tissue quickly (brain tumours).
Although there have been many advances in technology and medicine over the decades, conventional therapeutic strategies generally remain unsuccessful and offer brain cancer patients a dismal outlook. Patients who undergo surgery and radiation treatment have an expected survival rate of only nine months. Only 10% of individuals who undergo chemotherapy for a brain tumour have an extended life expectancy.
While it is important to highlight Brain Tumour Awareness this month, focusing mostly on the primary symptoms and medical testing for brain cancer, more attention needs to be paid to nutrition, toxic exposures, and lifestyle factors and their contribution to the development of brain cancer. Read the rest of this entry
Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils has become an accepted complementary therapy for cancer patients, as they can provide support in the form of stress relief and emotional support.
Some essential oils, however, have been shown to act directly on cancer cells, , preventing growth or even promoting apoptosis (cancer cell death).
Every individual carries a minute amount of “cancer,” or malformed cells, in our bodies at all times. These cells do not cause any problems in healthy bodies where a balanced diet and robust lifestyle is practiced – the cells will generally be removed or healed and the body kept in balance.
In an unhealthy body which is not well-maintained or exercised and fed a constant diet of junk food, these malformed cells can continue to exist and can actually develop into cancer.
Some of the most effective oils against unhealthy irregular cells include Chamomile, Frankincense, Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme. These oils are remarkable because they are able to selectively harm or disable cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact, whereas many conventional cancer medications and treatments are often poorly targeted and cause severe side effects.
While Gene Therapy has been around for a few years already, we don’t seem to be hearing much about it being used to treat cancer, especially paediatric cancer, and one cannot help but wonder why…
In most gene therapy studies, a “normal” gene is inserted into the genome to replace an “abnormal,” disease-causing gene. In cancer, some cells become diseased because certain genes have been permanently turned off. Using gene therapy, mutated genes that cause disease could be turned off so that they no longer promote disease, or healthy genes that help prevent disease could be turned on so that they can inhibit the disease.
Other cells may be missing certain genes. Researchers hope that replacing missing or defective genes can help treat certain diseases. For example, a common tumor suppressor gene called p53 normally prevents tumor growth in your body. Several types of cancer have been linked to a missing or inactive p53 gene. If doctors could replace p53 where it’s missing, that might trigger the cancer cells to die.
Hey there Fans – it is Foodie Friday again so, following on our post about the health and cancer-fighting benefits of cardomom yesterday, here are some great cardomom recipes that both you and your Child with Cancer are sure to thoroughly enjoy!
Please remember that if there are any specific recipes that you would like for your Child with Cancer (something with their favourite foods) that you think will help them to eat when they are feeling poorly from their cancer treatment, drop us a line on our Contact Us page and we will be happy to research some easy recipes for you.
The same goes for any other information that you would like about Childhood Cancer ~ this blog is for YOU so we always try to post information that you need and/or want.
Have fun trying out the following recipes and let us know what they are like and whether your child enjoyed them.
Cardamom is a peppery, citrusy spice that is native to the evergreen forests of India and is commonly used in Indian cuisine, but it has also made its way into Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression.
According to various studies, cardamom also contains cancer-fighting compounds with the potential to kill cancer cells as well as stunt new cancer cell growth. In India, Cardamom was known as the “Queen of spices” to black pepper’s title as the “King of spices”. Also in India, during the 11th century, it was listed as one of the ingredients in the “Five fragrance betel chew” in the Book of Splendour.
Historically, spices have shaped many events throughout the world. Many voyagers, including the legendary Christopher Columbus, explored the seas in search of treasured spices. These valued commodities contribute not only flavours but also serve as colorants and preservatives in a wide variety of cultures.
In Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle) and Traditional Chinese Medicine, cardamom was believed to be a remedy for teeth and gum infections, throat problems, congestion of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of the eyelids, gastrointestinal disorders, disintegrating kidney, and gall bladder stones, and was also used as an antidote for poisons and venoms.
Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas.
The team found that reducing levels of antioxidants in pancreatic cells can help to kill them. This novel strategy for wiping out pancreatic cancer cells may open new doors for treating this serious illness, in which less than 5% percent of patients survive beyond 5 years.
“Antioxidant” is currently a popular buzzword that is viewed as a panacea for health ailments; it is widely believed that raising levels of antioxidants stops cancer cells from developing.
The reality is that although antioxidants interact with and neutralise free radicals and prevent them from causing damage, there is minimal evidence that antioxidants actually prevent cancer.
The 65 year old psychotherapist Estalyn Walcoff was devastated when she was told that she’s suffering from untreatable lymphoma 5 years ago. But, realizing that having negative thoughts won’t do her any good, she decided to incorporate a spiritual outlook into her life.
She began looking for ways to help herself and came across a study that required test patients for consumption of psilocybin, the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’, with hopes in treating anxiety and depression in cancer patients.
When she got in NYU where the testing took place, she was amazed by the environment. “There was a couch, flowers, and books, and it seemed not-study-like” she recalls. “Jeff and Seema had a wonderful ritual with the three of us, intending for how that day would go, which I thought was lovely. I also asked if I could read a poem, and play a song that really moved me, to set an intention for the day too.”
Even though “magic mushrooms” weren’t new to her since she’d tried them few times in her early 20’s, this time it was different. This time, she took a journey through the dark barrels of her own mind.
She soon realized that this anxiety was actually a level of her own mind.
“I began feeling that I was actually holding the pain of the world in some way. I had been listening to black spiritual, and I felt the pain in the woman’s voice who was singing the song. I felt the whole gestalt of slavery, and what it is like to pull people out of their homes and take them here to this country and treat them like animals, and I sobbed and sobbed because of that.“ Read the rest of this entry
Naturopathic Medicine, also called Naturopathy, is a system of healing that focuses on supporting and stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself; it takes a holistic approach, which means that it focuses on the whole person rather than on a person’s illness.
Naturopathic Medicine, which combines modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural therapies, is performed by Naturopathic doctors (NDs) who are trained in and use a wide variety of different therapies.
Naturopathic Medicine Treatments may include special diets and nutritional counselling, fasting, enemas and herbal, vitamin or mineral remedies.
Naturopathic Medicine uses natural, non-toxic therapies to treat the whole person and encourage the self-healing process. Naturopathic clinicians treat a variety of conditions, including digestive issues, respiratory conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome and cancer.
Various organisations with Integrative Oncology Services offer Naturopathic Medicine where the focus is on reducing the risk of harmful effects from cancer treatments; to support normal metabolism and digestion during cancer treatment; to manage any side effects, such as nausea or fatigue; and to boost immune function. Read the rest of this entry
Laetrile is a partly man made (synthetic) form of the natural substance Amygdalin and has been used as a treatment for people with cancer worldwide. The term “laetrile” comes from 2 words (laevorotatory and mandelonitrile) and is used to describe a purified form of the chemical amygdalin. Amygdalin is a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide. Cyanide is believed to be the active cancer-killing ingredient in laetrile.
Amygdalin is a plant substance found naturally in raw nuts and the pips of many fruits, particularly apricot pips, or kernels. It is also present in plants such as lima beans, clover and sorghum.
Although laetrile is also often called Vitamin B17, it isn’t a vitamin. It is also known as Mandelonitrile beta D gentiobioside; Mandelonitrile beta glucuronide; Laevorotatory; Purasin; Amygdalina, and Nitriloside.