Cancer is often referred to as a modern day disease, as if it was barely recognized as a disease back at the turn of the 20th century.
Yet I recently found a book called “Cancer…Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment”, by Eli G. Jones, MD. It was recommended by my herbal medicine mentor David Winston. It sat on my shelf for almost 2 years and I just happened to come upon it during my recent reorganization frenzy. What I read blew me away.
The cover looks modern enough, since it was reprinted in 2004, yet the inside has many tell-tale signs of age. The book was written in 1921! What shocked me were the cancer statistics presented in the very first chapter. Before reading this, I had thought that cancer was practically unheard of in the early part of the 1900’s.
In the US in 1890, there were 18,536 deaths from cancer. In 1900 there were 29,222 and in 1921 there were over 50,000. In 1921, it was estimated that one man in 32 and one woman in 11 die of cancer.
Cancer Statistics: Are We Really Making Progress?
Conventional medicine would like us to believe that great strides have been made in the eradication of cancer. Yet the statistics say quite the opposite. Today, in the US alone, there are over 562,000 deaths per year from cancer and it’s estimated that 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 people will get cancer. And if do you get cancer, the odds are bleak if you rely on modern medicine to bail you out.
The Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2004 (16:549) published a study done by two Australian oncologists who looked at every randomized controlled clinical trial between 1990 and 2004. On average, the 5 year survival rate for 22 types of cancer treated with chemotherapy and radiation was 2.1 percent. Admittedly, the survival rates tend to be higher in the general population than in studies. Michael Boyer, head of oncology at the Sydney Cancer Center estimated the 5 year survival rate to be closer to 5 or 6 %. It should be noted that in drug trials, anything with less than 30% effectiveness is considered placebo.
The cancers with the best 5 year survival were:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma – 40.3%
- Testicular cancer – 37.7%
- Cervical Cancer – 12%
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 10.5%
What About Nutritional Cancer Interventions?
Are the statistics much better for non-conventional treatments? Hard to say because we really don’t have good statistical analysis for non conventional treatment approaches. And to further complicate things, most people who undergo alternative cancer protocols do so AFTER conventional treatment has failed. At this point their bodies are so ravaged from the chemotherapy, radiation and surgery that it would take a miracle for them to recover.
Still, there are so many case reports of people who have been given up as dead who turned to nutrition and natural therapies and went on to live for decades.
The Hippocrates Institute in Florida was originally founded by Ann Wigmore who at the age of 56 was given 6 months to live. She turned to the natural medicine wisdom of her grandmother, completely reversed her disease and went on to use her approach to do the same for thousands of others with cancer and other serious illness.
The Gerson Institute in San Diego California, uses a program of organic foods, juicing, coffee enemas, detoxification and natural supplements developed by Dr. Max Gerson in the 1920’s and has helped thousands of cancer patients recover their health.
The Oasis of Healing in Tempe, Arizona, is a comprehensive and integrative medical and healing facility that helps cancer patients and their families learn to re-establish health. It’s run by Dr. Thomas Lodi, whose 3 pillared approach has restored health to thousands of people. Dr. Lodi combines juicing, living foods and emotional healing with elements of modern medicine to guide the patients to stop making cancer, target and eliminate the cancer without harm to healthy cells and enhance the immune system.
There are many other healing centers that utilize natural methods, mainly diet and nutritional balance, movement and attitude in helping hundreds of thousands of cancer patients regain their health. Others include Optimal Health Institute in Austin and San Diego, Creative Health Institute in Michigan, and an Oasis of Hope Hospital near Los Angeles, California.
Strengthening Cancer Defenses vs Killing Cancer Cells
The approach of natural cancer interventions is to increase the body’s ability to get rid of cancer cells or to cause the cancer cells to self-destruct. Contrast that to chemo therapy which initiates machine gun fire on all cells, hoping the cancer cells die before the good ones. Statistics tell us that’s not what usually happens. Many cancer deaths are a result of the treatment, not the illness
According to Mike Anderson, author of “Healing Cancer from the Inside Out”, when caught during the initiation or promotion stage, a true anti-cancer diet has 100 percent chance of reversing the disease. When it’s progressed beyond that, nutritional treatment extends patients lives form months to years, or at minimum, reduced pain and suffering.
Seems to me the best approach is to adopt a diet and lifestyle to PREVENT cancer long before it strikes. Prevention programs target what you eat, how you think, the quality of your relationships, with others and yourself and a long list of lifestyle choices over which you have day to day choice.
There are many books and many natural cancer prevention and management programs. The one thing that almost all have in common is that the diet is primarily or exclusively plant based, fresh, whole living foods.
Your body makes cancer cells every day. Your body also has the ability to destroy the cancer cells before they multiply and create a problem. Your daily choices determine how effectively your immune system checks the growth of cancer cells keeps you safe and healthy. If you wait until cancer is detectable, you’ll have to work a whole lot harder to get rid of it that you would have to prevent it in the first place.
It's your choice. You can choose health or you can make choices that increase your risk of cancer. What will it be?
39 Quick and Easy Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Getting Cancer
- Eat plenty of sulforaphane. Say what? Sounds like the name of a chemotherapy drug. It, in fact, is a compound found in the cruciferous family of vegetables. These are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and all their relatives. Sulphorophane blocks cancer cells. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower also contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol that can combat breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting estrogen into a more protective variety. If that’s not enough to have you packing in the crucifers, they also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help decrease prostate and other cancers.
- Try a daily dose of ellagic acid. It’s found in about 46 different foods. The highest concentrations are in berries, particularly raspberries, and pomegranates, grapes and walnuts. Ellagic acid stops cancer cells from mitosis, the process they use to replicate themselves, prevents destruction of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, and causes cancer cells to commit suicide.
- Eat an alkalizing diet. Your blood maintains its pH slightly alkaline at 7.35. Life presents acid residue at every turn – when you exercise, get stressed, and in the foods and chemicals you take into your body. Foods that create an alkaline residue help balance life’s acids. Cancer thrives in an acid environment. Additional information on acid/alkaline balance is found at http://drritamarie.com/Articles.htm
- Exercise daily and vigorously. Cancer cells thrive in an environment deprived of oxygen.
- Take a break from the news. Studies show that the biochemical changes that occur when you’re stressed worried or feeling powerless affect tumor growth and spread by effecting DNA repair and the regulation of cell growth.
- Give your body an oil change. Heated oils oxidize, causing cancer-producing free radicals to form. Switch them out for raw omega 3 fats like flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Minimize the use of oils. Instead choose whole food fats.
- Tame your sweet tooth. Cancer cells thrive on sugar. It’s best to eliminate all forms of refined sugar, and if you already have cancer, its best to eliminate all sweet foods, including fruit, with the exception perhaps of those fruits mentioned below, used therapeutically for their cancer fighting properties.
- Avoid animal foods. Study after study has reported on the cancer protective effects of a diet free of meat and dairy products. One of the most renowned is the “China Study”, conducted by T. Colin Campbell, and published in a book with the same name. Animal foods are devoid of fiber and travel slowly through your digestive track, producing toxic metabolic wastes en route. One mechanism proposed for the increased cancer rates in meat eaters is that the digestion of meat requires large quantities of the pancreatic enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin, which leaves less of these enzymes available to dissolve the protein coat on cancer cells.
- Get plenty of sunshine. Vitamin D is made in your skin from exposure to sunlight. Maintaining appropriate blood levels of vitamin D has been shown to protect against many forms of cancer. If you can’t be out in the sun, take a vitamin D supplement and test your vitamin D blood levels regularly.
- Eat organic foods as much as possible. Pesticides affect your immune system and detoxification systems and put you at higher risk of cancer.
- Use “Green” cleaning products. Products using natural substance reduce the toxic load. Many of the chemicals used in commercial cleaning products are carcinogenic.
- Keep cholesterol levels in a safe range. Excess cholesterol can trigger cancer proliferative estrogens.
- Keep your colon clean. You need to be having at least 2 good sized bowel movements each day to keep the waste flowing out. Sluggish bowels predispose you to toxic recirculation and increased risk of cancer.
- Breathe deeply and fully to increase oxygenation of your tissues and minimize cancer risk. Cancer can’t thrive in well oxygenated environment.
- Avoid refined foods. These are devoid of cancer protective phytochemicals and nutrients and usually contain preservatives and chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer
- Chew your food thoroughly. When you eat under stress and on the run, your digestion becomes inefficient. Toxic residues accumulate from unchewed and undigested food, leaving you more prone to immune stress and cancer formation.
- Avoid food allergens. Anything you are allergic to creates an immune system response, which distracts your system from the more important work of cancer surveillance and destruction.
- Drink plenty of pure water. Insufficient hydration decreases your kidney’s ability to excrete water soluble toxins. Recirculation of these poisons increases your cancer risk. Rule of thumb is ½ your body weight in fluid ounces each day.
- Eat lots of green leafy vegetables every day. They are loaded with cancer protective phytochemicals, minerals and nutrients that protect from cancer and disrupt the functioning of cancer cells.
- Load up on Vitamin C. It’s a powerful anti-cancer nutrient that’s frequently given in IV form to treat cancer. Foods like fresh greens, bell peppers, berries, citrus, and sweet potatoes are rich sources. Supplementary vitamin C can be taken in the form of buffered ascorbic acid or whole food concentrates, like camu camu, amla, goji, acerola cherry and pomegranate powder.
- Eat laetrile containing foods, like apricot and peach kernels, buckwheat, berry seeds, grape seeds, chick peas, lentils, lima beans, mung sprouts, cashews, alfalfa brown rice, millet, bitter almond and macadamia nuts. Laetrile has very powerful anti-cancer properties. It works by killing cancer cells and building the immune system to fend off future outbreaks. For the treatment of cancer, many experts recommend a daily dose of 24 – 40 apricot, spread throughout the day.
- Eat carrots, which contain thousands, of phytonutrients, many of which have already been identified for their cancer-fighting abilities.
- Eat flax seeds, which contain antioxidant lignans that block or suppress cancerous growth.
- Season with Garlic. Its immune-enhancing allium compounds .increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer, help block carcinogens from entering cells, and indirectly help break down and slow tumor development. Diallyl sulfide, a compound found in the oil of garlic, has been shown to deactivate carcinogens in the liver.
- Enjoy Citrus fruits. Grapefruit and oranges contain monoterpenes, which appear by clear carcinogens from the body. Tangerine peels contain cancer destroying Salvestrol 40, a type of phytoalexin produced to repel insects or fungi. Oranges and lemons contain Iimonene which stimulates cancer-killing immune cells
- Eat red grapes, especially concord grapes with the seeds. They contain cancer protective compounds such as ellagic acid, catechin, quercetin, oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), resveratrol, pterostilbene, selenium, lycopene, lutein, laetrile, beta-carotene, caffeic acid and/or ferulic acid and gallic acid! There are several books written about a cancer treatment called the grape cure, during which a water fast is followed by a diet of blended grapes. The idea is that the cancer cells love the grapes because of their high sugar content and while eating the sugar, they are poisoned by the chemo therapy that grapes naturally contain.
- Make friends with mushrooms. There are a number of them that have been shown to have cancer protective effective and immune building effects, including shiitake, maitake, and reishi. The mushrooms contain lentinan, beta glucan and lectin –powerful substances that help build immunity.
- Eat 2 Brazil nits every day. They provide cancer protective selenium, an essential mineral. Other nuts contain the antioxidants quercetin and campferol that may suppress the growth of cancers.
- Season your food with cancer protective herbs and spices. Turmeric is extremely powerful as an antioxidant and anti-cancer agent. It inhibits production of cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), which reduces inflammation and cancer cell growth, especially bowel and colon cancer. Rosemary contains carnosol, which inhibits breast and skin tumors in animals. Rosemary may help increase the activity of detoxification enzymes.
- Indulge in asparagus when in season. It contains cancer reducing saponins. Blend 1 or 2 stalks into a green soup or salad dressing.
- Add beets to your salads. They contain anti-cancer proanthocyanidins (OPC’s).
- Get tropical. Enjoy raw pineapple and papaya. In addition to lots of vitamin C, they contain the enzymes bromelain, papain and pexoxidase that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
- Eat from the sea. In addition to being an excellent source of minerals that support your immune system, sea vegetables contain substances which bind to heavy metals and toxins and eliminate them from your body. Powdered sea vegetables like kelp and dulse can be added to salads, soups and smoothies.
- Switch from coffee to green tea. Green tea contains polyphenols , one in particular called particularly epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG , that inhibit an enzyme required for cancer cell growth and kills cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
- Eat tomatoes. They contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks cancer promoting free radicals. Blend them into a sauce with rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano for extra immune support.
- Prioritize fresh foods. Adopt a diet that contains 75% or more fresh raw foods, including lots of sprouts and greens.
- Drink a green smoothie every day to provide lots of fresh raw cancer fighting plants.
- Learn to love your lawn. There is a cancer protecting effect of several of the cereal grasses. There have been several prominent rat studies which showed a definite reduction in cell mutation in rats fed wheat grass juice along with a highly carcinogenic substance called benzopyrene compared to when they were fed the benzopyrene alone. Barley grass extract was demonstrated to inhibit growth of human prostate, breast and melanoma cancer cells in a study done at George Washington University Medical Centre. While wheat grass juice may not be the tastiest juice you can drink, it sure does appear to be one of the most health promoting ones.
- Practice the Art of Appreciation. There is no better way of getting your stress hormones settled down and your immune system fired up than taking time to deeply appreciate your blessings. Do it daily, morning and evening. Find 3 things to appreciate and experience how good it feels.
So there you have it. Creating cancer protective habits is not difficult. There are lots to choose from. While you don’t need to master all 39 tips all at once, the more you do, the better your odds of protecting yourself from clenches of cancer.
To hear more, visit www.drritamarie.com/cancertalk.
Love, Health and Joy ..and lots of Fun!
Hello Dr Ritamarie,
Thankyou for this informative article!
I’m not sure if it’s OK to ask questions related to your article here….so if you don’t answer my queston, I totally understand. No problem.
34 says “Switch from coffee to green tea”. But I thought that as we should AVOID CAFFEINE….then we should avoid green tea, as I thought it contains caffeine.
Do you still think it’s healthy to have green tea? Or is it best avoided?
May you & your family be blessed.
Thank you very much for the healthy anti-cancer information. It’s really helpful.
My mom, who was supposed to be the healthiest and who almost never got sick or visited a doctor for any issue for a long while, died of cancer before the retirement age. It was horrible to see how she suffered mentally and physically. I’d like to do anything to avoid the same fate. And I’d like to see my loved ones do the same too.
Well, my philosophy is always mind over body. A happy mindset a balanced fulfilling life to me is cardinal. I can’t agree enough that the major cause of death is life style related. And the food we are taking into our body in so important. http://2dgoodlife.blogspot.com/ Not that I am perfect but I am learning and growing each day like anybody else. My common sense approach to food is: you have to enjoy what you’re eating like you have to enjoy what you are doing, so you can keep the good habit day in and day out; it should be balanced; and it should be easy to prepare; easy to digest; easy to your wallet, ha ha ha. And I am telling you, it’s not that hard as you thought. You can totally enjoy a healthy living life.
You must heat tomatoes to get the benefits of lycopene. Raw tomatoes will not enable the body to absorb the benefits of lycopene.
Dr. Ritamarie, I agree. I recently read about pancreatic cancer and was amazed how “silent” signs of cancer might be.
Abdominal pains for example,can be one of the clues we should recognize. It’s stated that roughly 7/10 individuals (or even more than 80% of men and women) with pancreatic cancer, feel some stomach ache.