Children with Cancer generally have many problems caused by their cancer and by the cancer treatments they are undergoing, such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy, including losing weight, inability to eat or swallow, and an impaired immune system exactly at the time that they need everything they can get to fight this devastating disease.
Part of the answer to these problems may lay in a nutrient-loaded porridge that was developed by the late Dr Basil Kransdorff, a South African doctor, specifically to cater to feeding HIV patients and babies.
The late Dr Basil Kransdorff and wife Rose’s work helping an NGO called CARE (Community AIDS Response) at the Joburg General Hospital, led to a worldwide debate on Food Security vs Nutrition Security.
Back in 2000 there was no medication and Doctors were telling patients diagnosed with HIV to go home, eat a healthy well-balanced diet and prepare to die. It was a difficult time when little was known about treating those living with HIV.
It is winter in South Africa, and that means that we need to eat more, eat more hot food, and eat more nutritional food in order to stave off the bitter cold weather, influenza, the sniffles etc.
This is vitally important for our Little Fighters, as Children with Cancer need all of their strength to build up their immune system which is compromised due to the cancer and as a result of the treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.
Children with Cancer have to follow a nutritionally specific diet, which is often impossible for cancer-affected families to follow due to lack of funds.
In excess of 50% of the individual Childhood Cancer-affected families that are supported by the Little Fighters Cancer Trust have lost one income due to the child’s diagnosis. LFCT supports in excess of 100 Childhood Cancer-affected Families with groceries every month!
With one parent in the hospital for months, sometimes years on end, the sole breadwinner struggles to make ends meet at home. The Little Fighters Cancer Trust ensures that these families have food in the home while the Child with Cancer is in and out of hospital via our Feeding Our Families project.
We need YOUR help to put food on the table for many of our Little Fighters and their Families who are really struggling. Read the rest of this entry
A good father makes all the difference in a child’s life. He’s a pillar of strength, support and discipline. His work is endless and, oftentimes, thankless.
The father of a Child with Cancer has an even harder job because he must continually stay strong for his child, even when they are in so much pain that it makes him want to cry.
The vulnerability they experience is stupefying and causes self-doubt, general worry, and frustration with the medical care they receive.
The father of a Child with Cancer rises to the challenge, whether holding a vomit bucket while their child empties their insides, squeezing into a tiny bed with their child overnight in the hospital, or delivering countless meds through syringes.
Even when at work, there is no magical “off switch” to shut off the immense stress and worry that onco-dads feel about their family. “It’s hard to focus, especially after a night where you rushed your child to the hospital with a seizure.”
Following onto yesterday’s post, “Can a Mediterranean Diet Protect Against Cancer?” we are bringing you some great Mediterranean Diet recipes across the board today. Enjoy!
Individuals who follow the Mediterranean Diet have a longer life expectancy and lower rates of chronic diseases than do other adults.
The Mediterranean diet emphasises plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It replaces butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, and uses herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods.
Red meat is limited to no more than a few times a month, while fish should be on the menu twice a week.
It’s been common knowledge for some time that what we eat affects our risk of cancer. It has, however, been far more difficult to try to ascertain whether specific foods affect our odds of getting cancer. Our diet contains so many different foods and nutrients that it can be extremely difficult to isolate any effects due to a single food.
The odds of eating certain foods and nutrients tend to be linked, e.g. people who eat large amounts of fruit & vegetables also tend to eat lots of fibre. By looking at these dietary patterns, scientists can try to work out how a person’s diet as a whole affects their risk of cancer.
The Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer, Heart Disease and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases.
Monoclonal Antibody Therapy is a form of Immunotherapy that uses monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to bind mono-specifically to certain cells or proteins. This may then stimulate the patient’s immune system to attack those cells.
Monoclonal Antibodies are laboratory-produced versions of immune system proteins that have been engineered to serve as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system’s attack on cancer cells.
Antibodies can be very useful in treating cancer because they can be designed to attack a very specific part of a cancer cell. Monoclonal antibody drugs enlist natural immune system functions to fight cancer. These drugs may be used in combination with other cancer treatments.
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!
The standard diet nowadays is packed with processed foods full of chemicals and toxins that contain either too much sugar or salt. In addition there is the rising trend of mass-production and availability of genetically modified foods, something that has caused uproar in almost every first world country.
All of these foods are so different from anything older generations ate that our great-grandparents would not even recognise them as actual food. Some say that we do not eat food in today’s society; we eat food-like products. Eating too much processed food is not good for anyone’s health, and cancer survivors should avoid processed foods and food high in sugar where possible.
There are, however, some very persistent myths surrounding cancer and its causes; one of which is that overly ‘acidic’ diets cause your blood to become ‘too acidic’, which can increase your risk of cancer.
This is biological nonsense. True, cancer cells can’t live in an overly alkaline environment, but neither can any of the other cells in your body.
It is important to eat small meals more often while undergoing conventional cancer treatments such as Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.
For those who are suffering side-effects such as dysphasia, sore mouths or nausea, consuming a nutrient dense smoothie for one meal and then trying some sun-dried fruits (without sugar) and untoasted nuts as a snack a few hours later is a good idea.
A lunch with salad greens, bitter herbs, apple slices, berries and a dressing made with lemon and olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper and avocado makes an exceptionally nutrient-dense meal.
This type of Ayurvedic diet plan will increase your sense of taste, smell, and appetite and help one heal and feel good.
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
One of the side-effects of undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer is that the appetite is often affected; most food tastes like cardboard so not very appealing. The constant nausea also generally makes one not feel like putting anything in your mouth.
Despite the many side-effects and complications caused by conventional cancer treatments, it is vital that a person with cancer consumes sufficient nutrients to help the body recover.
The human body is essentially designed to heal itself, but when it is overwhelmed by poisons, pain, and the inability to smell or taste, food might be the last thing a person with cancer wants. It is important therefore that you ensure that you choose foods for your child with cancer that will stimulate their appetite while delivering the biochemical components necessary to rebuild damaged tissues and fight against infection and inflammation. These foods should also contain properties that eliminate nausea, stimulate appetite, and heal the gastrointestinal tract.
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.
A university degree is linked to a heightened risk of developing a brain tumor, suggests a large observational study, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
Gliomas, in particular, were more common among people who had studied at university for at least three years than they were among those who didn’t go on to higher education, the data show.
The researchers base their findings on more than 4.3 million Swedes, all of whom were born between 1911 and 1961 and living in Sweden in 1991.
They were monitored between 1993 and 2010 to see if they developed a primary brain tumor, and information on educational attainment, disposable income, marital status, and occupation was obtained from national insurance, labour market,and national census data.
During the monitoring period, 1.1 million people died and more than 48,000 emigrated, but 5735 of the men and 7101 of the women developed a brain tumour. Read the rest of this entry