A topic very close to my heart- Cancer what is it?

Cancer, a word that holds so much fear, for those who have been diagnosed, their family and friends who help them through it and for everyone in the world who fears they may get it. Like so many other chronic conditions there are many ways of defining it and there are many ways of treating it. For your information firstly, by law your health provider is your primary care giver (for cancer and HIV) so if you are looking for alternative treatments you do have the choice but your nutritional therapist or anyone else should seek permission and be in touch with your oncologist.

Like any condition without knowing why these changes in your body are taking place, it’s very difficult to then know how to treat it. In this series of 3 blog posts I will try to help you understand; 1. What cancer actually is, 2. How you can best try to prevent it and 3.  Ideas on how to help heal yourself, either alongside conventional treatment or things to consider if you choose to forego traditional treatment. I am not a scientist or a doctor so my advice is as a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and not specific to any type of cancer or any specific case. Please contact a professional if considering any form of treatment.

Now that’s been said, this is how I understand what cancer is, from Andres Moritz – “Cancer is a general term that describes a group of 100 unique diseases that share a common factor: uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cell”. Its why this mutation of cells happens, and what the body is trying to do with this spread and change, that I will try and explain today.

The body’s singular function is to survive. Each cell is designed with a specific purpose and when its lifespan is up, there are ‘death cells’ that come and take it away to make room for the new ones. Each cell has a purpose and each cell needs an energy source. To obtain, utilise and transfer this energy each cell needs certain nutrients, to feed, break down, catalyse reactions with enzymes and utilise  metabolic pathways. Without this our cells will die and therefore eventually we will too. There are many reasons as to why any of these factors for healthy cell growth and renewal can end up in mutation. Believe me it happens every day to every single one of us. It’s when it happens over a prolonged period of time without any change in the circumstances, that we find chronic disease, cancer being the one everyone fears the most.

To have good cell renewal you need DNA that will make sure the integrity of the cell information is kept intact. A healthy digestive system that procures all the nutrients needed to build a healthy strong cell are available (fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals necessary) and the environment that has the right pH for all of these chemical reactions to happen. Combine that with a well circulated, oxygenated and fully hydrated blood supply to feed it and to take away the waste, a healthy immune system to mop up all the rogue bacteria and to dispose of the cells that have served their purpose, a healthy liver to process any toxins produced and a well functioning elimination system to remove all the toxins and waste out of your body, you can see that there are many places where this could potentially go wrong!

Conventional medicine has identified Cancer as an ‘autoimmune disease’ in some cases. The body is not attacking itself; the ideal environment and circumstances as outlined above has been compromised forcing the cell to mutate in order to continue to survive. Normally the body gives you signs of imbalance and the need to slow down and clear out. A cold is a good example. You get hot eyes, sore throat, and fever to indicate to you that there has been an infiltration. Fever is necessary to increase the body temperature to kill off the bacteria, inflammation is necessary to try and contain the bug so the body can fight it and then the mucous produced is the body’s way of then eliminating it. We are very efficient machines. So why would you then want to reduce a fever and inflammation in order to ‘feel better’? Sometimes you have to stop, feel like crap and let the body do its job; rest, feed it immune boosting nutrients and keep hydrated. By then encouraging the purge you are successfully strengthening your immune system, and getting rid of anything left over. So decongestants, supposedly helping you to breathe, are also not the answer as it just gets broken down and redistributed. Such is the case against Vaccinations and prolonged use of antibiotics. Not only to they upset the body’s natural defences they also contain many toxins and can contribute to the ticking time bomb that may be in your body for years and years. The only way to get an immune system is to get sick and the only way to strengthen it is to provide the nutrients necessary to do its job and to keep the body in tip top condition. This is true for body, mind and spirit.

Without good nutrition, adequate exercise (for both circulation and oxygen content of blood) and the ability to express emotions and release stress your body will suffer. You have to listen to your body’s signals. Each illness is an opportunity to cleanse and heal, even the childhood illnesses are integral to this. There is that great quote from the Dali Lama that illustrates this perfectly

After you take a day off work when you are feeling awful, take the next day too. In the long run you do yourself and your work a favour as by properly convalescence you are less likely to get sick again as quickly as you may if you continue to plough your way through it. Suppressing symptoms is a dangerous game. Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood to the organs and supplying the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything. Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs breaking the essential environment for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. Cancer cell mutation is a last survival mechanism built in when all other protective measures have failed. It’s actually an ingenious way to survive. A cancerous cell is anaerobic so it can continue to function until the environment changes and it can change back to producing a healthy cell.

A cell cannot have malicious purpose or ability, their only function is to survive. Organ failure happens when the constant deprivation of nutrients causes the cell wastage and mutation to continue. Combine that with a highly invasive and destructive poison and toxin that comes in the form of conventional treatment and in my opinion it is a miracle anyone survives such an onslaught from every angle.

In my next blog I will go into the various nutrients necessary for good DNA cell replication, healthy and strong cell formation and immune system; How to minimise toxicity and maximise the body’s detoxification pathways on an everyday level rather than a ‘New Year’s resolution quick fix’. Until then any comments and questions are encouraged and welcomed.

I leave you with this quote again from Andreas Moritz

“Destructive microorganisms have no business in a clean, well-circulated and oxygen rich environment”

Awesome links (and my sources) to follow up with:

http://www.canceractive.com/ a holistic cancer charity.

credence.org a great resource with more online videos to sign up to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgJKaP0Sj5U&feature=plcp&context=C47cd81eVDvjVQa1PpcFP8RDvM10YWoAEwubj3bxD5l703FZVfLDA%3D An awesome video watching the natural immune system dealing with cancer

http://search.mercola.com/search/Pages/results.aspx?k=cancer All the videos and articles from Dr Mercola

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvzDHGLEUyw a video about the history of cancer treatment and its dubious takeover by modern medicine

http://www.cancerlaw.net/treatments.htm Some of the Law behind conventional cancer treatment and its failings.

Books:

Caner is not a Disease: Andreas Moritz

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cancer-Is-Not-Disease-Mechanism/dp/097679442X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339483303&sr=8-1

Staying healthy with Nutrition: Elson M. Haas

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staying-Healthy-Nutrition-Nutritional-Twenty-First/dp/1587611791/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339484253&sr=8-1-spell

The Transformed Cell Steven A Rosenberg.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Transformed-Cell-Unlocking-Mysteries/dp/0399137491/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339484314&sr=1-1

 

Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail

We all know chemicals are bad for our health. They create oxidative damage to our cells and create roaming free radicals – words we are used to hearing, but what do they mean, how does it happen and how is it linked to most chronic conditions? For example we know that there is a link between Asbestos and Lung Cancer, but what about the small amounts of chemicals we are exposed to everyday, and not just their individual toxicity, but in their interactions and their potential lethal combination. The cocktails we create, little and often and whether willingly or not, will play a massive role in our cellular, and therefore overall, health.

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Chemicals are in our Food, Air and Water. Things we can presumably try to control somewhat. Eat organic and as unprocessed as possible, use an air purifier in our homes or wear a mask while out and about (not my personal choice but a choice all the same) and using a water filter or buying bottled, mineral water. But say you buy all organic food, but then use a chemical detergent to wash your dishes and utensils, or a heavy duty surface cleaner or bleach for the floors. Not to mention bug killers sprayed in the kitchen. What about when you use plastic containers to store food or the cling film that wraps our organic vegetables? Look in your bathroom, shampoos, cleansers, toothpaste, nail polish, soap, moisturiser’s make-up, sun cream, insect repellent. The list is endless, that’s before you go to put on your clothes washed in chemical cleaners and softeners, or gone through chemical processes in their manufacture. The skin has an enormous surface area that excretes and also absorbs. However I think the most pointless combination is an air purifier used with chemical air fresheners, especially those automatic dispensers! Even without my usual rant on vaccinations and their chemical content.

So the list is endless and very daunting. When we look at our health and the health of those around us, most things can be helped by cleaning-up what we use and how we use it. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. For example, my husband has very mild asthma; he thought it was the air-conditioning, then the dust in the carpets, then the pollution or the humidity, that was making him need his inhaler more frequently whenever we came to Hong Kong. When we moved we were able to experiment. I chucked out the automatic air freshener in the bathroom and hey presto, complete turn around.

Chemicals react with your body and with each other. Slowly start to replace things as you have finished with them e.g. replace the surface cleaners with the same spray bottle rinsed out completely and filled with water, tea tree, lavender and a squeeze of lemon. You will find that this works at removing grease, and it is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and completely non-toxic. Changing to more earth friendly products will reduce your toxic output for the environment but they will still contain chemicals; try using eco balls or soap flakes in the wash, and don’t forget the numerous uses for the amazingly simple – bicarbonate of soda!

Clean up your cosmetics. Your hair and skin will change, but that’s because they are not constantly being stripped of their natural oils (sodium laurel sulphate is the main culprit for this) and goodness, and being replaced with a coating of chemicals which makes your skin appear duller when you don’t use it, give it time and it will be a million times better than it ever was. I have only used blends of oils such as Almond, avocado, jojoba, wheat germ and rosehip with various aromatherapy oils depending on my mood, part of the body I want to use it for, and for what purpose. For example a great blend for a facial oil is rose, frankincense and lavender; an amazing after-sun blend is chamomile, neroli, lavender and geranium, which also doubles as a very good insect repellent, as does lemongrass, grapefruit and geranium. Use the blended oils directly on skin, in the bath, as a makeup remover, as a hair-mask, or on your hands, nails and feet before you go to bed. Save an absolute fortune and have something completely unique and bespoke for you. Parabens may be a hormone disrupter and may have an impact on ‘bad’ oestrogen production that can lead to pcos, fibroids, painful periods and other oestrogen dominant conditions including prostate, breast, cervical and uterine cancer. It’s not about what and how much oestrogen comes into our body; it’s more about what happens to it afterwards and how the body then excretes it. But that is a whole other blog I will get to very soon as it is a big passion of mine!

One of the major players in chemicals and chronic disease is beginning to come to light. Humble sun cream and its connection to skin cancer. There is research to suggest that completely blocking UVA and UVB rays may be the answer. Australia is one of the countries with an increasing number of people with Vitamin D deficiency (foods containing Vitamin D include egg yolk, fish liver oils, butter and sprouted seeds) an important component which holds vital anti-cancer and general health properties by being a very powerful anti-oxidant. They are even starting to suggest that Australia’s high skin cancer rate has very little to do with the hole in the ozone layer but with the sun creams everyone is using and their chemical effect, combined with vitamin D deficiency. Personally I rarely use sun cream, but I am sensible about my sun exposure at the same time. No more than 20 minutes, during the hottest part of the day, with 40% skin exposure may be enough. If I am sunbathing the first 20 mins will be in part shade (I always wear a hat or have my face in the shade) and then I will generally use a factor 20-30. Burning is obviously not an option and will of course produce a lot of damage; I am not condoning that in any way.

If you start in the spring your body builds up its natural defences to the sun, melatonin, and so by the summer when the sun is at its strongest you will have a good degree of natural sun block. After the 20 mins, sleeves, shade, hats etc and obviously keeping well hydrated and your diet packed full of antioxidants in the form of Selenium (Alfalfa, broccoli, eggs, fish, organ meats, onion, garlic), Vitamin A (apricots, barley grass, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, eggs), Beta Carotene (broccoli, carrots, yellow veg, papaya, spinach, sweet potato, tomatoes- as uncooked as possible), C (Ascorbic acid- Blackcurrants, broccoli, brussel sprouts, guava, parsley, pineapple, raw cabbage, strawberries, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits), E (almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflowers, wheat germ) and glutathione (asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein) should also massively help in the prevention of skin cancer and of course cancer in general. Seek out the most natural sun creams. Also the iris in your eyes is a major player in vitamin D production so try and hold off putting on those shades, for as long as possible, and if you wear glasses with UVA and UVB protection, have a sit down and take them off for a bit.

Chemicals are largely stored in your fat tissue. Chlorella can help to chelate them out of your body. Be careful if you go down this route and always add greens gradually as they can play havoc with your digestive system. Also always consult a professional nutritionist before adding any supplement to your lifestyle, contact me for more personal recomendation.

A last footnote, those chemicals in disposable nappies (in the gels and the materials), are being absorbed into your little babies skin. Use natural ones or re-usable ones.

Here are some links to back up some of what I have said, let me know if you have any questions or information to add.

http://www.thelosthaven.co.uk/BSoda.htm uses for baking soda

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/sunlight.html

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/melanoma/

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=509 A truly brilliant cancer charity

http://products.mercola.com/chlorella/ You can skip the video if you want!

Books used:

Staying Healthy with Nutrition (2006)Elson Hass

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (1991) V.A. Worwood

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