Dr. Kathy Gruver
There are certain phrases that people dread hearing in their lifetime, “Let’s just be friends”, “We have to talk” and “You have cancer”. The last phrase can instill fear and panic in the hearts of even the strongest people. Since the war on cancer began things have only gotten worse and you may wonder if modern medicine has the weapons needed to fight the war properly. Perhaps the mêlée should be fought on a smaller battlefield, inside each of us. What can we do to protect ourselves from cancer and fight it off if diagnosed with it?
Cancer is the uncontrolled replication of cells. This happens all the time in our bodies and the immune system deals with the problem. When cancer takes hold however, we must boost the immune system to help fight. But what are some things that lead to cancer?
Studies have linked a high fat diet to increased risk of breast and colon cancer. (1) Cutting back on foods that are heavy in saturated fats like red meat and processed foods can help reduce that risk. Increasing foods that are rich in phytochemicals such as fruits and vegetables help keep your immune system strong and eliminate free-radicals. Also, estrogen has been shown to be related to breast and uterine cancer, among others. (2), (3) Estrogen is stored in body fat, so maintaining a healthy weight is valuable.
We all know that smoking is bad news leading to both lung and bladder cancers, and that we should avoid this nasty habit. Avoid being in enclosed areas such as cars while someone is smoking and definitely avoid smoking around children and pets.
Though we have seen a large increase in the availability and consumption of organic products, we are still inundated with “Franken-foods.” These are foods that have been genetically modified or altered, which are also called GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. Right now some of our largest crops are GMO; corn and soy being the most prevalent. Monsanto, a multi-national company is leading the way in patenting GM seeds and genetically modifying our foods. They are making billions and we are being subjected to, what I believe to be, the biggest human science experiment in history. Regulations are very lax in this country regarding these practices and the food is not only assumed to be safe without much testing, but labeling is not a requirement. Beware of foods containing high fructose corn syrup and soybean oil since these not only indicate a highly processed food, but also one that is probably genetically modified.
You may be wondering what genetically modified foods have to do with cancer. Well, unfortunately the jury is still out on that subject. Since these foods were not thoroughly tested before release and we don’t know ultimately how these modifications are going to affect our own DNA, or combine with each other we cannot predict what the ramifications will be. I advise you to avoid GMOs and let your grocers and government know you won’t tolerate these current food practices.
Besides eating organic food and cutting back on saturated fats, what else can we do to stay healthy? How about exercise? Exercise reduces body fat, boosts immune function and gives you a good outlook on life. According to Sara Rosenthal, author of Stopping Cancer at the Source, “Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins; neurotransmitters that occur naturally in the brain and make us feel good. It brings oxygen to our blood and the more oxygen in the blood, the less hospitable the environment to cancer”. (4)
What if we do find ourselves with a cancer diagnosis? Though chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are offered by Western medicine, there are far less invasive natural alternatives that can boost your healing.
Increase vitamin C. I mean tons of it. Bowel tolerance is a way to tell when the body is done accepting it. If you spread the doses throughout the day, it’s more easily tolerated and absorbed. Too much causes diarrhea, so you don’t want to get to that point. If it happens, back off the dose.
It’s believed that cancer cannot live in an oxygen-rich or alkalized environment. Deep breathing is beneficial as is a hyperbaric chamber if you can find one. A hyperbaric chamber looks like a tanning bed and delivers oxygen at a pressure higher than atmospheric. The patient stays in for 30-90 minutes and this high pressure oxygen can help cellular health, anti-aging and clearing toxic residue. (5) Liquid Oxygen is available from health food stores to drip into water. As far as alkalinity goes, there are supplements available in most health food stores, as well as filtration systems that alkalize the drinking water. Also, a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and other alkaline foods can contribute to a state of alkalinity.
Studies have shown how important attitude is with cancer outcome. A fighting spirit wins. This is the biggest competition you will ever be in and fighting and staying positive will work wonders. Surround yourself with people who love you and tell them to remain positive when around you. Prayer is very powerful and people in a group thinking the same healing thoughts can be very beneficial.
Eliminating anything processed is recommended. Chemicals and preservatives in food just give your body something else to fight. Whole foods, fruits and vegetables are key. I personally recommend avoiding wheat and dairy as they can be hard on the digestive system. Keeping up nutrition is very important and a good multivitamin, mineral and amino acid formula would be valuable. Some experts recommend a macrobiotic diet, or at the very least going organic and vegetarian. If you can handle the restrictions, these dietary changes can be beneficial, but make sure you get enough protein and amino acids.
It’s not only important to be selective about what we are putting IN our bodies, but also ON our bodies. One of the most commonly used products is deodorant containing aluminum. We are smearing this daily on some of the most absorbent tissue in the body. Though no specific link is found between deodorant and cancer, I would avoid this, especially if you have already had a breast cancer diagnosis. (6) Also avoid creams, lotions, cosmetics and sunscreens that contain non-organic products.
I HIGHLY recommend testing for both heavy metals and environmental toxin exposure, depending on where you grew up, where you live now and any potential exposure pertinent to your occupation. Both tests are simple; the presence of metal contaminants in the body can be determined by testing a hair sample and environmental toxins can be determined by a simple blood test. You can consult a natural medicine doctor or naturopath to order those tests. If the results come back positive, it would be beneficial to do a cleanse or chelation therapy to flush the chemicals out.
There have been numerous doctors persecuted and forced out of the United States for their work on curing cancer. One is Dr. Hoxsey whose clinic is still functioning in Mexico and the other is a nurse named Rene Caisse. (7) She created a formula called Essiac, which is still available at www.essiac-canada.com. I had a client that used this formula on her husband with melanoma and his recovery was much quicker than expected.
Cancer and health are also affected by personal attitude and mental outlook. As I have mentioned before, I see a large correlation between what we think and what happens in our bodies. I believe one of the reasons we get sick is to let us know something is out of balance with our emotional/spiritual side. Our emotions need to let us know that something must change. When we ignore the emotions we open up the window for sickness. I also believe that malfunctions in our body are the body’s way to communicate that something is wrong in our mind and spirit. I believe that if we don’t acknowledge our emotional needs and issues, this energy has to go somewhere and manifests as illness or dis-ease. A child will only scream mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy for so long before he starts pulling things off shelves. This is also what our emotions do. The carpal tunnel, sciatica, neck pain, headaches, psoriasis and cancer is our emotional child pulling things off shelves because it has been ignored. I’m not saying that illness is 100% emotionally formed. There are toxins, poisons and hereditary components to consider. But if our emotions are even responsible for 10% of our illnesses and we can control them, why wouldn’t we?
If you have already started chemotherapy or radiation treatments, greet it as a positive thing. As it’s going into your body, picture it fighting the cancer and see the tumors shrinking. If you fight against the chemo and dread it, or see it as a poisonous enemy, it will not work as well for you.
And last but not least, I encourage you to communicate with your health providers. Ask questions, do your own research and get a second, third and fourth opinion if necessary. And, if it is in your nature, seek out more natural cures such those we have covered above. We need to be our own advocate. Good luck and good health.
Visualization for Healing Cancer
Get into a relaxed place, in a comfortable position. Breathe deeply and try to quiet the mind. Get a picture in your head of what you think the cancer looks like. It can be a ball, a blob, whatever it is to you. Picture it in the area of the body where it is growing. As you inhale, send the breath to that organ and tumor and picture it shooting at it, eating it, dissolving it, whatever scene works for you. I always saw it as the cavalry coming over the hill in the old movies to save the day. That cavalry are your white blood cells and they are surrounding the tumor to get rid of it. Hold the picture of the tumor disappearing for as long as you can. Do this visualization as many times during the day as possible. I have seen amazing results with this type of meditation.
1 A diet high in fat significantly increases a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
4 Rosenthal, M.S. (2001). Stopping Cancer at the Source. Canada: Trafford Publishing. Pg. 72-73.
About the Author
Dr. Kathy Gruver, PhD is a health practitioner, author, speaker and educator. Her first book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet is available at her website along with free health tips, a monthly newsletter and resources. www.thealternativemedicinecabinet.com