Home > Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Nutrition > Natural Cancer Fighters

Natural Cancer Fighters

January 15, 2010 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

The other night I found myself at a local card room. I was sitting at a “No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em” table playing poker with a motley group of strangers. Poker isn’t your standard form of gambling. It does involve a certain measure of luck, but it mostly requires a particular set of observational and social skills. It so happens that these same skills can be extremely beneficial in parts of life that extend far beyond the confines of the felt table, the clattering chips and shuffling cards. About half way through the evening, a rather gruff looking gentleman took a seat at the table. He looked like the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to upset or even look at the wrong way. But if there’s one lesson that poker teaches you it’s that you should never entirely trust the obvious. So I began chatting with this biker-type fellow as he devoured an enormous ice cream sundae with plenty of peanuts on top. In the course of about 15 minutes, he revealed to me that was suffering from terminal cancer. He didn’t much care about dressing well or shaving because he didn’t expect to be around for much longer. Talk about a punch to the gut!

Under different circumstances I might have suspected that this was just a tall tale to distract me from my primary objective – to play a solid game and win as much money as possible. But it was obvious by his delivery and his lack of relative poker skills that this was no hustler. This was just a man who wanted to have some fun and who needed a distraction from the stinging reality that life had dealt him. It’s highly unlikely that my poker playing comrade will be reading this. But even if he doesn’t know it, he inspired today’s column.

Natural Protection Against Lung Cancer

Methylation is a process that affects critical genes that control the development and spread of lung cancer. A study just published in the journal Cancer Research reports that eating plenty of dark, green leafy vegetables and taking a multivitamin/mineral rich in carotenoids, folic acid, lutein and Vitamins A, C & K may slow down gene hyper-methylation and thereby reduce the risk of lung cancer. These findings are based on an examination of 1,101 smokers and ex-smokers. Food frequency questionnaires and sputum samples were used to determine diet, supplement use and “the methylation of eight genes commonly silenced in lung cancer and associated with risk for this disease”. The participants who ate a minimum of 12 portions of dark, green leafy veggies per month were shown to have a 17% reduced risk of gene methylation. The ingestion of 750 mcg or more of folic acid brought about a 16% decline in methylation. But the most impressive finding of all was a 43% methylation drop in those actively using a multivitamin. Another study, presented this week at the Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer describes a 5.16-fold increased risk of lung cancer in a group of 510 non-smokers and smokers who did not drink any green tea. A more specific examination of current smokers demonstrated an even greater risk increase of 12.71-fold. The researchers conducting the study believe that green tea consumption may affect particular genes that predispose certain people to lung tumorigenesis. (1,2)

Alpha Lipoic Acid and Low-Dose Naltrexone vs. Pancreatic Cancer

The recent passing of the famous actor Patrick Swayze attracted some much needed attention to the issue of one of the most lethal malignancies, pancreatic cancer. Mr. Swayze’s unfortunate demise was a stark reminder that even the most high-tech, conventional interventions are often inadequate. However, there is some preliminary promise in this arena coming from the field of integrative oncology. The intravenous combination of a natural antioxidant (alpha lipoic acid) and a low-dose form of an anti-addiction medication (Naltrexone) may offer new hope in advanced cases of pancreatic cancer. 3 unique case reports on patients with metastatic (spreading) pancreatic cancer found unexpected remissions and survival rates. In one instance, a man whose cancer had spread to his liver was “alive and well” after 39 months. Two other patients were determined as being free of detectable tumors as assessed by a PET scan after 4 and 5 months of this combination treatment. Several modes of action are described by the supervising researchers who presented this information. They include: the promotion of apoptosis (cancer cell death), a reduction in oxidative stress, the regulation of genetic activity via NF(k)B and stimulation of the immune system. (3,4,5)

Soy and Vitamin D May Protect Against Colorectal Cancer

A new meta-analysis investigated the role of soy food consumption in the prevalence of colorectal cancer. An insignificant reduction in risk was noted when researchers looked for a generalized link between high soy intake and colorectal incidence. However when the United States Department of Agricultural scientists examined the study population by gender, they determined that women alone exhibited a statistically relevant decline in colorectal cancer of 21%. Both genders can rejoice equally in a new report stemming from the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii. An inquiry into the Vitamin D status of a multi-ethnic group of 663 men and women with and without colorectal cancer determined that those with the highest levels of D experienced up to 46% reduced risk or colorectal cancer. (6,7)

Cruciferous Vegetables vs. Prostate Cancer

Two recent German trials provide additional evidence for the protective role of cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, cauliflower and kale in men at risk for prostate cancer. A class of phytochemicals found in said vegetables known as glucosinolates were measured as a way determining dietary consumption in a population of 11,405 men. The average follow-up time for this study was 9.4 years. During that period 328 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed. Men who were in the top 1/4 in terms of glucosinolate consumption were 32% less likely to develop prostate cancer. There also appeared to be a connection between cruciferous vegetable intake and the severity of the malignancies as categorized by localized tumors and “low-grade cancers”. Further analysis in a separate population of 740 men also found a 28% reduced PC risk in those eating higher quantities of cruciferae. A proposed mechanism for this preventive effect may involve an interaction between glucosinolates and “the induction of biotransformation enzymes” which aid in the “elimination of carcinogens from the body”. (8,9)

Green Tea (EGCG) – Proposed Anti-Cancer Mechanisms
Source: Mayo Clinic Proceedings June 2007 vol. 82 no. 6 725-732 (link)

Prevention is obviously the desired course of action with regard to any cancer. However the unfortunate reality is that malignancies are likely to be a part of modern health care for many years to come. One of the most arduous aspects of dealing with cancer is the treatment itself. Chemotherapeutic drugs can assist in killing cancer cells but can also takes a serious toll on the host of the malignancy. The good news is that there may be a few natural ways to minimize the hardship involved in conventional cancer care. The Mayo Clinic recently completed a study that found that adding 1,000 – 2,000 mg of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolis) into the daily routine of cancer patients safely improved energy/vitality levels and resulted in no toxicity. Researchers at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas have also just reported that supplementing with high-dosages of Vitamin D (50,000 IUs per week) is a safe way to improve Vitamin D status and reduce disability and joint pain in women receiving pharmaceutical breast cancer treatment (aromatase inhibitors). However it’s important to note that both of these findings are considered preliminary in nature and warrant further study. Any changes to a cancer treatment protocol should only be made in concert with a knowledgeable health professional. (10,11)

I was posed with a dilemma that night at the card table. Should I try to intervene and offer some healthful suggestions to the poker player with terminal cancer. I thought about giving him my business card that includes this website’s address and my e-mail. I went over in my mind what I’d like to say and exactly how to say it. But ultimately I decided against it. A kind lady sitting between us attempted to offer some emotional and spiritual support to this gentleman first. It was obvious to me that this exchange made him feel uncomfortable. He was there to forget, if only for a short while. It just didn’t feel right to take that away from him. That was yet another lesson that Texas Hold ‘em has taught me: pick and choose your battles carefully.

Be well!

JP

Note: Monday is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates Martin Luther King‘s birthday and his pivotal role in modern American history. I’ll be taking the day off and spending it with Mrs. Healthy Fellow. But as always, I will be reachable via e-mail if you should need to be in touch. I hope you all have a fun filled and healthy 3 day weekend!

Bookmark and Share


Related Posts:

Tags: , ,
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Nutrition

10 Comments to “Natural Cancer Fighters”

  1. Nina K. Says:

    Morning JP,

    wish you and your wife a wonderful extended weekend :-)

    Green Tea: i searched a little bit around and found out that the catechin egcg – the main supercatechin – has a chemical structure which is very similar to methotrexat (a anticancer and anti rheuma drug) but without the side effects. thats amazing!

    Alpha lipoic acid: i don’t know how high the bioavailability is but wheat germs flakes (for example noble-house.tk has two different ones)have 800 mg pro 100g wheatgerms flakes. thats a lot! JP what do you think of wheatgerm flakes? i mean those:

    http://www.noble-house.tk/html/engels/tarwekiemen_eng.htm

    Best regards,
    Nina K.

  2. liverock Says:

    JP
    I thought the opening paragraphs detailing the card room scenes where the prelude to a film script you were writing. Talk about film noir,I think you may have seen too many Humphry Bogart gangster movies!

    My advice is keep away from smoke filled card rooms if you want to avoid lung cancer( as well as eating all your greens).

  3. JP Says:

    Good day, Nina! :)

    Green tea is pretty amazing indeed! I take a standardized EGCG supplement each and every day. I also drink organic white tea regularly. Highly recommended!

    re: wheat germ

    It is a nutritious food but I generally don’t recommend it because it contains gluten – a common allergen.

    I wish you and yours a fantastic weekend too! Hope you get enjoy some music and dancing! :)

    Be well!

    JP

  4. JP Says:

    Liverock,

    Ha! I love film noir! But this event actually did happen to me this past week. A true story!

    I’m happy to say that the card room/casino in our neighborhood doesn’t allow smoking anywhere near the card tables. They use a closed-off room and an outdoor space to accommodate smokers. In the past, I have played in some stereotypically smoky card rooms … it’s horrible. :)

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    Be well!

    JP

  5. Anonymous Says:

    This is one great article! Everyone has had relatives succumb to cancer. This brings hope to millions.

  6. Kathie Says:

    Hi Mr. Healthy! Great blog and great post! I plan on posting a link to this one on my blog because we all can use cancer fighting help. Thank you for this advice.

  7. JP Says:

    Thanks, Kathie. I’m happy to know you liked it! :)

  8. Belen Tanghal Says:

    Hi JP,

    The guy who had terminal cancer has lost hope. He is the exact opposite of my Dad who wants to live until he is 90. :)

    My 82 year old Dad was diagnosed with Stage 2b lung cancer last April 2009. He used to be a heavy smoker during his younger years but he quit before he was 40. I guess the damage has already been done. Anyway, his oncologist recommended radiation as his treatment since surgery was out due to my Dad’s age. The side effects were nasty. Dad was hospitalized twice during the course of treatment because he contracted pneumonia. His doctor said it was normal because his immune system was compromised.

    So my Dad decided not to continue with his treatment. He changed his diet to more fruits and vegetables and is taking ganoderma extract supplements instead. He had an X-ray last December 2009 and his doctor was surprised to see that his tumor didn’t grow a bit. It hasn’t spread also. Lung cancer is one of the most aggressive types. My Dad never said anything about the supplements to his doctor for fear of being scolded or reprimanded. I told him he should have…it’s his body anyway.

  9. JP Says:

    Belen,

    Thank you for sharing your hopeful story with us! :)

    I wish your father all the best in his continued efforts to regain his health. I’m sure that your support is helping a great deal in that regard.

    I’ll try to contribute something positive as well by reporting on new lung cancer news as I discover them.

    Be well!

    JP

  10. kjaonline Says:

    Green tea has great anti cancer properties..

Leave a Comment




*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam word