Cancer

cancer_definition

In February 2014, The World Health Organization released its third report on the rising incidence of cancer in the world.  In it, they predict a 57% increase in the incidence of cancer worldwide over the next 20 years.  The report notes explicitly the skyrocketing financial burden that this surge will entail.

Because of this astonishing burden, WHO emphasizes the need for prevention categorically stating that the primary causes of cancer are related to lifestyle and include poor diet (especially consumption of sugars), excess consumption of alcohol, smoking and lack of exercise.

We have known that excess sugar causes cancer since 1925 when Otto Warburg identified the molecular basis of mitochondrial dysfunction that triggered the processes that lead to the pathology that is called cancer.

Aerobic fermentation involving elevated glucose and lactic acid defines most tumours, allows cancer cells to survive, and causes normal cells to die.  This respiratory insufficiency in cells can arise from any number of environmental and genetic factors that contribute to altering their mitochondrial function.

In our Western culture, the message of prevention is greatly diluted.  A recent UK study conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found that 49% of 2,046 people surveyed do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer.  A third of people said that they believed the primary causes of cancer to be inherited through their genes.  It is known, however, that only 5% of cancer is genetic – 70% is initiated by inappropriate lifestyle behaviour involving elevated levels of glucose metabolism in the body.

Amanda McLean, general manager for the WCRF, stated: “It’s very alarming to see that such a large number of people don’t know that there’s a lot they can do to significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer.”

Rather than focus on prevention however, governments, industrial medicine and the media would have us instead focus on the benefits of early warning screening, touting advances in treatment.  But, screening is not prevention and for so many, cancer is still a death sentence:

  • Since 1895, we have known that removing a primary tumour upregulates cancer in the body.
  • There is evidence that removing lymph nodes does not alter cancer outcomes.
  • After billions of dollars in expenditure, there are virtually no new cancer drugs on the market and those that are available are not very good at doing their job.  The primary reason for this is that current drugs make tumour cell energy metabolism worse, thus allowing disease progression.

Prevention is always one’s best course of action.  However, once cancer manifests in the body, healthcare solutions need to take a more holistic view of the patient.  Alternatives to our traditional treatment protocols must be sought.

For example, one of the major issues for any patient receiving chemotherapy is the constant battle to maintain and stimulate sufficient white blood cells.   A lack of these cells may induce Neutropenia or Leukopenia.  Sometimes chemo is stopped for this reason.  Professional herbal medicine can efficiently prevent this happening and support the body at this time so maximum benefit may be obtained from chemotherapy without causing any harmful interactions.

Furthermore, in clinical trials, patients who received chemo had a higher level of manifesting secondary cancers and cardio pulmonary disease.  However, when professional herbal medicine is used in conjunction with chemo, data shows a much-improved outcome.

As research into cancer continues, it is becoming increasingly clear that each of us can take control of this disease.  A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, little sugar, and a Mediterranean style diet can have tremendous impact on prevention and, in the hands of a professional herbalist, the medicine of plants can strengthen our immune systems and mitigate the ravaging effects of the disease and its ‘more orthodox’ treatments and in some cases are better in treating cancer.