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Wishlist Wednesday: Feeding our Families


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

Can Sodium Bicarbonate Cure Cancer?


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!

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Alternative Cancer Treatment: Wheatgrass


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.

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Foodie Friday: Anti Side-Effect Recipes


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.

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Foods to Stimulate Appetite in Cancer Patients


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.

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Remedies for Diarrhoea after Cancer Therapy


Conventional Cancer Treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy unfortunately generally come with a variety of not-so-nice side effects, such as diarrhoea, one of the more dangerous side effects.

Diarrhoea can not only be painful, but it also removes important nutrients, probiotics, and water from the body. As a result, diarrhoea puts one at a higher risk for more trauma from infection and dehydration.

It is important to manage these side effects immediately to prevent further complications that will weaken your body. The best way to heal is to ensure that you eat only healthy foods and avoid problematic foods that are going to worsen your diarrhoea.

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High Levels of Education Linked to Heightened Brain Tumour Risk


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

The Beer for Brains Foundation


For many, a brain cancer diagnosis remains a death sentence. The life expectancy of those suffering from gliomas, the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumour, has changed little in 40 years.

On average, patients die within 9-12 months of receiving the diagnosis. Yet the most cruel aspect of this illness is the way it attacks individuals from within – steadily robbing them of their ability to perform basic tasks and making it increasingly difficult for them to interact with loved ones and the world around them.

Brain cancer alters personalities. It impairs mental functions, disrupts speech, paralyses limbs and, ultimately, leaves its victims with little freedom or dignity. It not only takes lives, it drastically reduces quality of life.

The Beer for Brains Foundation is an Arizona-based non-profit organisation of craft-beer lovers, distributors and brewers, who are committed to raising public awareness about brain cancer, Engendering Compassion for its victims and Helping Fund ground-breaking research leading to a cure. Read the rest of this entry

High Dose Vitamin C to Improve Cancer Treatment Outcomes Passes Human Safety Trial


Many individuals have been espousing the use of high doses of Vitamin C for cancer patients for years, but were shouted down by the majority, especially Big Pharma, because Vitamin C is not a massive money-spinner.

Now, however, new clinical trials have found that it is safe to regularly infuse brain and lung cancer patients with 800 – 1,000 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C as a potential strategy to improve outcomes of standard cancer treatments.

In a work presented March 30, 2017 in Cancer Cell, University of Iowa researchers have also shown pathways by which altered iron metabolism in cancer cells, and not normal cells, lead to increased sensitivity to cancer cell killing caused by high dose vitamin C.

This paper reveals a metabolic frailty in cancer cells that is based on their own production of oxidizing agents that allows us to utilize existing redox active compounds, like vitamin C, to sensitize cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy,” says co-author Garry Buettner, who was one of the first to propose that cancer cells might have a vulnerability to redox active compounds over 40 years ago. Buettner, along with study senior authors Bryan Allen and Douglas Spitz, are faculty members at the University of Iowa’s Department of Radiation Oncology, Free Radical and Radiation Biology Program, in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read the rest of this entry

The Ugly Business of Cancer!!


What most people do not realise, is that Cancer is a Business!! This is the ugly fact that parents are not told on the fateful day that their child is diagnosed with cancer.

Finding out that your child has cancer is devastating enough in itself, but what is even worse are the months and years that follow… the fight against this monstrous disease, the toll it takes on your child with cancer, your other children, your spouse, your marriage/relationship, your familial relationships, your friendships, your work, your own health, and your finances.

When we talk about The Business of Cancer, we are not only talking about the financial costs of Childhood Cancer Treatment, although they are high, but everything that it takes to deal with a diagnosis of Childhood Cancer…

A typical cancer patient’s treatment can easily cost hundreds of thousands of rands per year:

Depending on the kind of cancer and the complexity of a case, treatment per year can cost less than R10 000, or way over R1 million,” according to Dr Ernst Marais, Operations Executive at the Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON). Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate Oncology Nursing Month, May 2017!


Oncology Nursing Month, celebrated the entire month of May, is a chance to recognize the outstanding contributions of oncology nurses.

The official theme selected for 2017 is: FEARLESS COMMITMENT; ENDLESS COMPASSION.

Oncology Nurses explain the diagnosis, guide patients through treatment, celebrate their victories, and comfort them through the unimaginable. No matter what, they provide fearless commitment and endless compassion to their patients every day. That’s why we celebrate the oncology nurse this month.

Oncology nurses, and especially Paediatric Oncology Nurses, provide steadfast and selfless care for their patients. Individuals who are diagnosed with cancer, as well as the parents of Children with Cancer, naturally go through a wide range of emotions; they may feel confused, angry, afraid or just numb, and they may wonder how others find the strength to remain positive through all the obstacles that come with the diagnosis. Read the rest of this entry

Reduction in Radiotherapy for Childhood Brain Tumours Unsucessful


A research study, Radiotherapy after high-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic cell rescue: Quality assessment of Head Start III, published in Paediatric Blood & Cancer, shows that reduced Radiation Therapy results in worse outcomes.

This study shows that attention to the timing, dose, and location of radiation therapy is crucial,” Kenneth K. Wong, MD, a radiation oncologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and first author on the study.

The paper is a qualitative assessment of the Head Start III trial which avoids or delays Radiation Therapy in children with brain tumours. The studies represent an innovative approach to the treatment of malignant brain tumours – using high dose Chemotherapy followed by transfusion of blood stem cells – as a substitute for radiation in younger children, where the late side effects of radiation to the developing brain can be particularly detrimental. If disease persists after this course of treatment or if the child is older, they receive radiation therapy.

In the latest Head Start III study, only 31 of 220 children received radiation – of those, a subset (8 of 25), consisting of  children 6 years of age or younger, had deviations from the treatment plan.

Parents or providers may want to delay the start of radiation or reduce the dose or area of exposure – particularly in very young children,” said Wong. “But in a study already limiting radiation exposure – patients with these kinds of protocol violations experienced worse outcomes.”

Patients that received radiation therapy treatment according to protocol and within 11 weeks of recovery from stem cell transfusion showed improved overall survival.

 

How do I Prepare for My Child’s Death?


The approaching death of a child is likely to be the most difficult time in any parent’s life. Children are supposed to outlive their parents, not the other way around…

Dealing with your child’s cancer is all-consuming; it drains you and the rest of your family – of strength, of vitality, of joy, of finances, and leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless much of the time.

Many parents feel that, even though they have already been given the prognosis and know that their child is dying, to acknowledge it means that they are giving up… Other families feel that they need to get their affairs in order…

Everyone is different and copes in their own way – there is really no right or wrong way to cope with the impending death of a child – you just need to cope in whichever way feels right for you and your family, no matter what anyone else may think or say.

It is often believed that difficult times can bring a family together and make the family unit stronger, but hardships can also create divisions. This sometimes happens if one parent has been more involved in their child’s care, which could mean that they are further along with the various stages of understanding and preparation than the other parent.

Dealing with the trauma of a child with an incurable disease is difficult, and individuals can go through various stages of disbelief, anger, understanding, acceptance and preparation. It is individual though, and does not always occur in the manner that we would expect.

 

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Phytochemicals & the Fight Against Cancer


Children facing the demands of cancer treatment must eat healthily in order to get the nutrients that can fuel the body and aid in healing as well as assist in maintaining a healthy weight.

Special nutritional challenges are bound to arise throughout treatment because the side-effects of Childhood Cancer and Cancer Treatment Therapies such as Chemotherapy & Radiation Therapy can result in changes in your eating habits and differences in the way your body uses nutrients. Nutritional needs and eating habits are affected differently depending on the type of cancer and its treatment.

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant chemicals (phyto means plant in Greek). They provide plants with colour, odour and flavour. Once we eat them, however, research shows they can influence the chemical processes inside our bodies in helpful ways.

Findings from laboratory studies have shown that phytochemicals have the potential to:

  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Block substances we eat, drink and breathe from becoming carcinogens
  • Reduce the kind of inflammation that makes cancer growth more likely
  • Prevent DNA damage and help with DNA repair
  • Reduce the kind of oxidative damage to cells that can spark cancer
  • Slow the growth rate of cancer cells
  • Trigger damaged cells to commit suicide before they can reproduce
  • Help to regulate hormones

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