Author's Perspective: You may be wondering why we are discussing cancer on a diabetes website. Actually, there are some biological connections and similarities with both diseases, which will be discussed shortly.
It's unfortunate, but many people suffer and die unnecessarily from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and other similar systemic diseases. Coincidentally, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes generate billions of dollars for the medical industry, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and insurance companies.
In addition, billions of dollars have been donated to scientific research to find a cure for these diseases. If we assume that doctors, biochemists, scientific researchers, and other medical experts are pretty smart people, then, where are all the cures? Are you telling me that with all of these smart people that no one has found a cure for any of these diseases? Really?
It's amazing to me that recently there were two studies that came out that showed a connection between cancer and diabetes. And, another study came out to show a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's. It took over 70 years to figure this out? Really?
Several years ago when I was writing my first book (Death to Diabetes), I identified this same connection during my research about cellular biology, pathology and pathogenesis relative to systemic disease pathology, especially for cancer, diabetes obesity, and heart disease. It really wasn't that difficult to figure out that there was a connection between these diseases ...
Diabetes and Cancer
There is no doubt that diabetes and cancer are "connected" in some way. Just like diabetes and high blood pressure are connected. Just like diabetes and heart disease are connected.
But, Western Medicine treats each of these diseases as separate pathologies that require different pharmaceutical drug protocols.
As a result, you could be taking as many as 17 pills a day to treat your diseases! And, none of these drug protocols address how to cure the diseases or, at least, slow down their progression!
Why? Because "disease treatment" (with drugs) has become a multi-billion dollar business. There's no money in giving people the cure for any of these diseases.
But, the good news is that you can use plant-based nutritional strategies such as the Death to Diabetes Diet to help treat your cancer and other similar diseases.
Why? Even though cancer and diabetes are two entirely different diseases, there are some similarities with these diseases that benefit from a plant-based diet.
Although cancer is an entirely different disease than Type 2 diabetes, during my research, I realized that there were some similarities between these two diseases. Here are some of those similarities:
Risk factors: Poor diet, lifestyle, ethnicity, obesity.
Nutrient deficiencies: Vitamin D, Vitamin C.
Blood cells affected: Diabetes affects red blood cells; cancer affects white blood cells.
Biological: Glucose fuels both Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Hormonal: Hormonal imbalances can trigger both Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Inflammation: Cell inflammation fuels both Type 2 diabetes and cancer; and, in turn, both diseases increase cell inflammation.
Hyperinsulinemia: This is a dangerous condition for many cells and tissues, simply because elevated insulin concentrations in the blood act as potent signals for cell growth.
More insulin means more tissue growth. More tissue growth often results in increased fatness, increased cell replication rates and a significant increase in the risk for cancer.
Many studies have now begun to uncover the link between insulin resistance and cancer, and one such study states the following:
"Insulin resistance is common in individuals with obesity or type 2 diabetes (T2D), in which circulating insulin levels are frequently increased. Recent epidemiological and clinical evidence points to a link between insulin resistance and cancer. The mechanisms for this association are unknown, but hyperinsulinemia (a hallmark of insulin resistance) and the increase in bioavailable insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) appear to have a role in tumor initiation and progression in insulin-resistant patients."
Immune system: Both diseases are triggered due to a weakened immune system. Both diseases also weaken the immune system, which leads to more frequent infections.
Acidic environment: Both diseases flourish in an acidic type terrain inside the body characterized by excess sugar and toxins, enabling both disease to easily spread.
Fatigue: Diabetes blocks glucose entry into cells so cells can't produce ATP. Cancer cells consume most of the glucose, starving the normal (non-cancerous) cells.
Nutritional needs: Both diseases require superior nutrition to fight the disease and change the body's acidic environment. Both diseases respond very well to raw foods, raw juicing and a plant-based diet.
Common Foods: Some of the foods that fight both diabetes and cancer include vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale, other cruciferous vegetables, raw juicing, wild salmon, wheat grass, garlic, onions, flaxseed, blueberries, and filtered water, just to name a few.
Blood glucose control: Blood glucose control appears to be important for both diseases. Ideally, your average fasting blood glucose should be 80 to 99 mg/dL.
Interesting Side Note: Diabetics already know that they need to control their blood glucose. But, it appears that most people with cancer (who are not diabetic) are not told that they need to manage their blood sugar!
Inflammation: At the cellular level, both diseases are fueled by chronic inflammation, which causes major cellular and tissue damage.
Damage to multiple organs: Both diseases cause major damage to multiple tissues and organs.
Cell repair and healing: Both diseases inhibit or slow down cell repair and healing at the cellular level, causing both diseases to progress at accelerated rates.
Alternative medicine: Dietary changes and alternative treatment strategies are not recognized or supported even though there is a lot of evidence that supports the effectiveness of these types of strategies.
Note: As discussed in our online science classes, most systemic and lifestyle-driven diseases and health problems are fueled by one or more of the following biological dysfunctions, which are the pre-cursors to most systemic diseases:
- Biochemical/Hormonal Imbalances
- Impaired Digestion/Absorption
- Impaired Immunity
- Impaired Repair/Healing
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Oxidative Stress
Why is this important? Because once you realize this, then, it becomes easier to understand how to fight these diseases.
Before we look at the major types of cancer, let's take a look at the medical definition of cancer:
Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth, invasion that intrudes upon and destroys adjacent tissues, and sometimes metastasis, or spreading to other locations in the body via lymph or blood.
These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which do not invade or metastasize.
Major Cancer Categories
Cancers are classified and grouped into categories, based on the type of cell that the tumor resembles and is therefore presumed to be the origin of the tumor. These types include:
- Carcinoma: Cancers that begin in the skin or tissues (epithelial cells)that line or cover internal organs. This group includes many of the most common cancers, including those of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- Sarcoma: Cancers that begin in the connective or supportive tissues (mesenchymal cells), such as bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, or blood vessels.
- Leukemia: Cancers that starts in blood-forming tissues such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream, derived from hematopoietic (blood-forming) cells.
- Lymphoma and myeloma: Cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.
- Brain and spinal cord cancers: Cancers that begin in the nervous system.
- Germ cell tumor: Cancers derived from pluripotent cells. In adults these are most often found in the testicle and ovary, but are more common in babies and young children.
- Blastoma: Cancers derived from immature "precursor" or embryonic tissue.
Cancers are usually named using -carcinoma, -sarcoma or -blastoma as a suffix, with the Latin or Greek word for the organ or tissue of origin as the root. For example, a cancer of the liver is called hepatocarcinoma; a cancer of fat cells is called a liposarcoma.
Most Common Types of Cancers
The following list of the most common types of cancer are those that occur with the greatest frequency in the United States:
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Colon and Rectal Cancer
- Endometrial Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
The most common type of cancer on the list is breast cancer, with more than 255,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2017. The next most common cancers are lung cancer and prostate cancer.
Because colon and rectal cancers are often referred to as "colorectal cancers," these two cancer types are combined for the list. For 2017, the estimated number of new cases of colon cancer and rectal cancer are 95,520 and 39,910, respectively, adding to a total of 135,430 new cases of colorectal cancer.
Reference: American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2017.
Note: For some common cancers, the English organ name is used. For example, the most common type of breast cancer is called ductal carcinoma of the breast. Here, the adjective ductal refers to the appearance of the cancer under the microscope, which suggests that it has originated in the milk ducts.
Cancers are primarily an environmental disease with 90-95% of cases attributed to environmental factors and 5-10% due to genetics.
Common environmental factors that contribute to cancer death include: tobacco (25-30%), diet and obesity (30-35%), infections (15-20%), radiation (both ionizing and non-ionizing, up to 10%), stress, lack of physical activity, and environmental pollutants.
Cancer consists of hundreds of different types and forms of cancer -- there is no single cancer disease. And, each of these cancers develop differently. Also, it is not clear how each of these different cancers develop.
As a result, each type of cancer has a very complex pathophysiology and pathogenesis. Also, although some types of cancers are associated with specific parts of the body, cancer is, in fact, a systemic disease -- that is, a disease of the entire body, not just a disease of a specific organ. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to treat most cancers effectively without endangering the entire system, that is the body.
However, there are enough similarities between these different cancers, that some conclusions can be drawn and extrapolated to propose how cancer (in general) develops in the human body.
How Does Cancer Occur?
The body is made up of trillions of cells that usually grow, divide and die in an organized manner. This process is a tightly controlled by the DNA machinery within the cell. When a person is developing and growing up, cells divide rapidly to allow for growth but once adulthood is reached, cells mainly only divide to replace worn-out or dying cells or to repair injuries.
Cancer occurs when cells in a particular site start to grow out of control. Rather than dying, they continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. These abnormal cells can also invade other tissues, a property that normal cells do not possess.
Molecular Pathology of Cancer
Cancer cells originate from normal cells in which the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) within the cell nucleus has become damaged or mutated, usually due to the invasion of microbes into healthy cells that have become weakened due to the onslaught of multiple carcinogens, over a period of many years.
DNA is the “blueprint” contained in every cell that carries instructions for the cell’s function, growth, death and protein synthesis. When this DNA becomes damaged, the cell usually either repairs the damage or dies.
However, in cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired and neither does the cell die. Instead, it gives rise to many more abnormal cells that all contain the same defective DNA as the original cancer cell.
DNA damage may be inherited or it may occur spontaneously at any point in a person’s life. DNA damage can be triggered by exposure to certain toxins such as those present in cigarette smoke, for example. There are, however, multiple factors that can cause cancer and it is often difficult to pinpoint an exact cause.
As cancer cells proliferate, they eventually form tumors. Not all tumors are cancerous and capable of spreading. Those that are capable of spreading are referred to as malignant tumors.
Benign tumors, on the other hand, do not invade other organs or spread to other parts of the body, although they can grow to a large size and start to press on surrounding organs and tissues.
General Cancer Pathogenesis
The following flow diagram is a high-level depiction of how cancer develops in the human body.
Note: Refer to the Death to Cancer Blog, Training Program and science ebook for more details.
A cancer cell looks, acts and behaves entirely differently from a normal (non-cancerous) cell. In fact, there are many differences between cancer cells and normal cells. Some of the differences are well known, whereas others have only been recently discovered and are less well understood.
Why is this important? Because if you understand some of these differences, it will help you to better understand how to fight your cancer via natural means that don't require the use of toxic chemotherapy and radiation.
For true researchers, understanding how cancer cells function differently from normal cells lays the foundation for developing treatments designed to rid the body of cancer cells without damaging normal cells.
From a physical perspective, a cancer cell is characterized by a large nucleus, having an irregular size and shape, the nucleoli are prominent, and the cytoplasm is scarce. A normal cell has a smaller nucleus, has a regular size and shape, and is full of cytoplasm.
Cancer cells often exhibit much more variability in cell size – some are larger than normal and some are smaller than normal. In addition, cancer cells often have an abnormal shape, both of the cell, and of the nucleus (the “brain” of the cell.)
The nucleus appears both larger and darker than normal cells. The reason for the darkness is that the nucleus of cancer cells contains excess DNA. Up close, cancer cells often have an abnormal number of chromosomes that are arranged is a disorganized fashion.
From a functional perspective, a cancer cell divides out of control; avoids programmed cell death (apoptosis); invades other cells and tissues; and, is able to move about freely via the bloodstream and lymphatic system. In addition, a cancer cell has a craving for sugar; a disdain for oxygen; a preference for an acidic environment; has stealth ability (to hide from immune cells); can trigger angiogenesis; and, has the ability to recruit and use our cells against us.
On the other hand, a normal cell divides in an organized manner; performs suicide after about 50-60 divisions via programmed cell death (apoptosis); does not invade other cells and tissues; and, does not move about freely in the body. In addition, a normal cell loves oxygen; can trigger angiogenesis during the repair and healing process; and, prefers an alkaline environment.
Although our bodies' cells continue to divide to replace worn-out cells, this happens in a very ordered, systematic way. The reason is that each cell carries genetic instructions that regulate how fast the cell should grow and divide and when the cell should die. A balance between cells growing and dying keeps our bodies functioning normally.
Normal cells stop growing (reproducing) when enough cells are present. For example, if cells are being produced to repair a cut in the skin, when the repair work is done, cells are no longer reproduced to fill in the hole.
Sometimes a cell starts to grow without regard for the normal balance between cell growth and death, and a small, harmless (or benign), lump of cells will form. A benign growth can occur in any part of the body, including the prostate, skin, or intestine.
In other cases, a cell may continue to grow and divide with complete disregard for the needs and limitations of the body. This continued growth often results in a tumor (a cluster of cancer cells) being formed.
Cells that have this aggressive behavior are called malignant or cancerous. They have the potential to grow into large masses or spread to other areas of the body. When clumps of these cells spread to other parts of the body, they are metastases. A cancer that continues to grow can eventually overwhelm and destroy the part of the body or particular organ where it is located.
Note: Each gene in the body carries a blueprint that codes for a different protein. Some of these proteins are growth factors, chemicals that tell cells to grow and divide. If the gene that codes for one of these proteins is stuck in the “on” position by a mutation (an oncogene) – the growth factor proteins continue to be produced. In response, the cells continue to grow.
Evading Growth Suppressors: Normal cells are controlled by growth (tumor) suppressors. There are 3 main types of tumor suppressor genes that code for proteins that suppress growth. One type tells cells to slow down and stop dividing. One type is responsible for fixing changes in damaged cells. The third type is in charge of the apoptosis. Mutations that result in any of these tumor suppressor genes being inactivated allow cancer cells to grow unchecked.
Normal cells listen to signals from neighboring cells and stop growing when they encroach on nearby tissues (something called contact inhibition). Cancer cells ignore these cells and invade nearby tissues. Benign (non-cancerous) tumors have a fibrous capsule. They may push up against nearby tissues but they do not invade/intermingle with other tissues.
Cancer cells in contrast don’t respect boundaries and invade tissues. This results in the finger-like projections that are often noted on radiologic scans of cancerous tumors. The word cancer, in fact, comes from the Latin word for crab used to describe the crablike invasion of cancers into nearby tissues.
Normal cells mature. Cancer cells, because they grow rapidly and divide before cells are fully mature, remain immature. Doctors use the term undifferentiated to describe immature cells (in contrast to differentiated to describe more mature cells).
Another way to explain this is to view cancer cells as cells that don’t “grow up” and specialize into adult cells. The degree of maturation of cells corresponds to the "grade" of a cancer. Cancers are graded on a scale from 1 to 3 with 3 being the most aggressive.
Cancer cells don’t interact with other cells as normal cells do. Normal cells respond to signals sent from other nearby cells that say, essentially, “you’ve reached your boundary.” When normal cells “hear” these signals they stop growing. Cancer cells do not respond to these signals.
Normal cells secrete substances that make them stick together in a group and enable them to remain in the area where they belong and do not spread to other parts of the body.
Cancer cells fail to make these substances and because they lack the adhesion molecules that cause stickiness, they may spread through the body (metastasize) in several ways. These include direct invasion and destruction of the organ of origin, or spread through the lymphatic system or bloodstream to distant organs such as the bone, lung, and liver.
Once they arrive in a new region (such as lymph nodes, the lungs, the liver, or the bones) they begin to grow, often forming tumors far removed from the original tumor.
Cell Repair and Cell Death
Normal cells are either repaired or die (undergo apoptosis) when they are damaged or get old. Cancer cells are either not repaired or do not undergo apoptosis.
For example, one protein called p53 has the job of checking to see if a cell is too damaged to repair, and if so advise the cell to kill itself. If this protein p53 is abnormal or inactive (for example, from a mutation in the p53 gene,) then old or damaged cells are allowed to reproduce. The p53 gene is one type of tumor suppressor gene that code for proteins that suppress the growth of cells.
The immune system consists of a group of cells called white blood cells (lymphocytes) that are specialized to recognize and destroy "foreign" material in the body such as bacteria, viruses, and unfamiliar or abnormal cells.
So, when normal cells become damaged, these lymphocytes identify and remove them. In addition, normal cells have a built-in identifier so that the immune cells don't attack our own healthy normal cells.
Cancer cells do not have this identifier, so many of them are destroyed before they can grow and multiply. However, as the years pass and our immune system weakens and is not as alert, it overlooks some of these cancer cells, which evade the immune system and begin to multiply. Also, most cancer cells cover themselves with a protein coating that secretes chemicals that inactivate immune cells by "telling" the immune system cells to leave it alone.
By slipping through this detection system without triggering the immune system to start fighting, this allows the cancer cells to continue dividing and growing at the primary cancer site. Eventually, the cancer cells are able to spread to other secondary sites via the blood vessels and/or lymphatic system.
Cancer cells have a thick, protein fibrin coating designed to protect them from the body’s immune system. The fibrin coating is a “cloaking device” preventing cancer cells from being recognized by the immune system’s white blood cells (e.g. macrophages, neutrophils), and thus making them immune to attack by natural killer cells.
The sticky fibrin coating is ~15 times thicker than the fibrin which surrounds healthy cells. [Egyud LG, Lipinski B. Significance of fibrin formation and dissolution in the pathogenesis and treatment of cancer. Med Hypotheses. 1991 Dec;36(4):336-40].
Angiogenesis is the process by which cells attract blood vessels to grow and feed the tissue. Normal cells undergo a process called angiogenesis only as part of normal growth and development and when new tissue is needed to repair damaged tissue.
Cancer cells undergo angiogenesis even when growth is not necessary. As a result, cancer cells are able to obtain their own blood supply (via tumor angiogenesis), enabling the cancer cells (tumor) to grow, invade more tissue and eventually metastasize.
Normal cells produce most of their energy in the presence of oxygen, whereas cancer cells produce most of their energy in the absence of oxygen.
Normal cells require oxygen in order to produce energy via a process called cellular respiration. Without oxygen, our cells cannot produce the needed amounts of energy that are required to keep us going every day. This energy that our cells produce is called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short. Without oxygen, our cells will die.
Cancer cells do not require or like oxygen. Cancer cells produce their energy via a process called fermentation. As a result, cancer cells are able to produce the needed amounts of energy that are required to allow them to grow and multiply.
Normal cells require glucose from the food we eat; and, along with oxygen, our cells are able to produce energy (ATP). Normal cells contain little "garage doors" (insulin receptors) that open up and transport glucose into the cell.
However, cancer cells contain 28 times more "garage doors" than normal cells. As a result, cancer cells are able to absorb 10 to 15 times more glucose than a normal cell. This causes normal cells to starve and cancer cells to flourish.
For every mole of glucose, a normal cell produces 38 moles of ATP. For every mole of glucose, a cancer cell produces 2 moles of ATP. Because cancer cells are less efficient (5%) at producing ATP energy, they require a lot more glucose.
Normal cells do not like an acidic environment because of the lack of nutrients and oxygen. Cancer cells love an acidic environment. In fact, in order to promote their acidic environment, cancer cells internally produce acidic and poisonous mycotoxins that cause damage to the cell's mitochondria and genetic/DNA material. In addition, cancer cells produce lactic acid, as a byproduct of producing energy (ATP).
This lactic acid is secreted into the bloodstream and sent back to the liver, where the liver converts the lactic acid back to glucose. Then, the glucose is returned to the cancer cells to produce energy and more lactic acid, which, again is sent back to the liver.
Note: This vicious cycle is known as the lactic acid or cachexia cycle, which causes the body to slowly waste away. Refer to the blog post titled "Lactic Acid Cycle" for more details.
Cancer cells are positive on the inside and highly negative on the outside due to a heavy fibrin protein coating. Immune cells which carry a negative charge are repelled by the negative charge on the cancer cell's surface.
When a cell becomes cancerous, potassium which has high membrane permeability is pumped out of the cell and sodium enters the cell through the voltage gated ion channels making the inside of the cell potentially positive and the outside of the cell negative by comparison.
Note: At rest, your cells have more potassium ions inside than sodium ions, and there are more sodium ions outside the cell. Potassium ions are negative, so the inside of a cell has a slightly negative charge. Sodium ions are positive, so the area immediately outside the cell membrane is positive. There isn't a strong enough charge difference to generate electricity, though, in this resting state. Human cells are designed to run at about -20 millivolts (or pH of 7.35). As voltage in cells drops, going from -20 mV to zero mV, their physiology becomes compromised.
Nutrients and Compounds
There are various nutrients and compounds that normal cells like but cancer cells do not. Some examples include: chlorophyll, sulfur, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), beta glucan, certain seed extracts, certain herbs such as turmeric and ginger, Vitamins A/C/D/E, ellagic acid, pancreatic enzymes, etc. Refer to the nutrition-related posts for more details.
Normal cells perform the function they are meant to perform, whereas cancer cells may not be functional. For example, normal white blood cells help fight off infections. In leukemia, the number of white blood cells may be very high, but since the cancerous white blood cells are not functioning as they should, people can be more at risk for infection even with an elevated white blood cell count.
The same can be true of substances produced. For example, normal thyroid cells produce thyroid hormone. Cancerous thyroid cells (thyroid cancer) may not produce thyroid hormone. In this case the body may lack enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) despite an increased amount of thyroid tissue.
Normal cells are mortal, that is, they have a life span. Cells aren’t designed to live forever, and just like the humans they make up, cells grow old. Researchers are beginning to look at something called telomeres, structures that hold DNA together at the end of the chromosomes, for their role in cancer.
One of the limitations to growth in normal cells is the length of the telomeres. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. When the telomeres become too short, a cell can no longer divide and the cell dies. Cancer cells have figured out a way to renew telomeres so that they can continue to divide. An enzyme called telomerase works to lengthen the telomeres so that the cell can divide indefinitely – essentially becoming immortal.
Normal cells have normal DNA and a normal number of chromosomes. Cancer cells often have an abnormal number of chromosomes and the DNA becomes increasingly abnormal as it develops a multitude of mutations. Some of these are “driver” mutations, meaning they drive the transformation of the cell to be cancerous. Many of the mutations are passenger mutations, meaning they don’t have a direct function for the cancer cell.
Summarizing the Differences
As you can see, there are many differences between normal cells and cancer cells. This is a good thing, because it enables researchers to develop counter strategies to fight cancer.
Unfortunately, the majority of researchers who have been successful are those willing to look at non-drug alternative solutions instead of strictly focusing on drug-based solutions.
Non-drug solutions cannot be patented or generate a revenue, whereas drug-based solutions have created a multi-billion dollar revenue stream for the medical industry and especially the pharmaceutical industry.
As a result, the general public is only made aware of the drug-based solutions from their doctors.
Medical Treatment for Cancer
Cancer is primarily treated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Chemotherapy, or chemo, is a type of treatment that includes a medication or combination of medications to treat cancer. The goal of chemo is to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells.
Chemo is considered a a “systemic” treatment — working through the whole body to prevent the spread of the disease.
Chemo medications attack rapidly growing cancer cells, but they can also affect healthy cells that grow rapidly and weaken your immune system.
The drug(s) used will vary depending on the type and stage of cancer as well as the patient’s age and health. The goal of chemotherapy is to stop the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
The goal of chemotherapy (chemo) is to kill cancer cells or slow cancer's growth over time. Chemo is often given several times over weeks or months in what is known as a course of treatment.
A course of treatment is made up of a series of treatment periods, called cycles. During a cycle, you may get chemo every day for one or more days. Since chemo also kills normal cells, these chemo days are followed by periods of rest when you receive no treatment. This rest lets your body recover and produce new healthy cells.
Chemotherapy is administered by a medical oncology (cancer) health professional, typically a nurse or doctor. Chemo can be delivered as an outpatient procedure, in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or even at home in any of the following ways:
- Injection into muscle, vein, or artery
- Injection into the body (such as the abdomen)
- Direct skin application
Chemotherapy Side Effects
Chemo side effects vary depending on the type and amount of chemotherapy drug used and how the body reacts to it. Because chemotherapy drugs travel through the body, they can also impact healthy cells, leading to a variety of side effects.
Chemo is designed to kill fast-growing cancer cells, but this can sometimes lead to side effects involving the body’s other, healthy fast-growing cells.
- Blood forming cells in the bone marrow (anemia, increased risk of infection, bruising)
- Hair follicles (temporary hair loss)
- Cells in the mouth, digestive and reproductive tract (nausea, loss appetite, constipation, diarrhea)
Some chemo drugs can damage cells in the heart, kidneys, bladder, lungs, and nervous system. Your doctor monitors you closely and may prescribe medicines to protect your body’s normal cells. There are also medicines to help relieve side effects.
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation (high-energy particles or waves) to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Radiation is delivered using special equipment that sends high doses of radiation to the cancer cells or tumor. Radiation can also cause damage to healthy cells.
Sometimes radiation is used to treat cancer, or it may be used to help you feel better, such as to minimize bone pain, for example. Radiation therapy can be given by itself, but it’s frequently combined with chemotherapy as a comprehensive cancer treatment program.
Radiation therapy differs from chemotherapy — it is used to treat just the tumor, so it affects only the part of the body that has cancer.
At low doses, radiation is used in x-rays to see inside your body, as with x-rays of your teeth or broken bones.
At high doses, radiation therapy kills cancer cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and removed by the body.
Radiation therapy does not kill cancer cells right away. It takes days or weeks of treatment before DNA is damaged enough for cancer cells to die. Then, cancer cells keep dying for weeks or months after radiation therapy ends.
The most common types of cancers treated with internal radiation therapy include:
- Cervical, ovarian, pelvic
- Head and neck
Side Effects of Chemotherapy and Radiation
Cancer treatments cause considerable collateral damage – including initiating new, second cancers.
Second cancers are cancers unrelated to the original cancer, which can be triggered by the very same imbalances or cancer-causing agents that led to the first cancer. In fact, doctors sometimes refer to the risk of a second cancer as “friendly fire” – that is treatment for one cancer resulting in the initiation of a second cancer.
The link between chemotherapy and radiation and the development of second cancers has been known for decades!
Even the American Cancer Society acknowledges that chemotherapy and radiotherapy are carcinogens and may increase risk for developing a second cancer, and that the risk is even higher when both therapies are given together.
Yet still this information is not typically shared with patients or is severely downplayed by oncologists − unless you ask specific pointed questions about your proposed radiation therapy and/or chemo.
Warning: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but, don't fall for the hokey-doke. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is not to help women prevent breast cancer by getting mammograms. In fact, over time, mammograms may cause cancer! Breast Cancer Awareness Month is part of a ingenious marketing ploy that the medical industry and pharmaceutical companies use to increase their donations and fuel their multi-billion-dollar drug business. Instead of creating awareness, we should be putting pressure on them and the government to provide actual cures and solutions instead of giving us toxic drugs that poison our bodies and keep them in a diseased state.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for fighting cancer or any disease for that matter. Instead, a combination of natural treatment strategies, alternative medicine and conventional medicine may be the best of all-around approach to take -- but, do your research first.
In general, the optimum alternative treatment protocol for cancer and diabetes is a raw food diet combined with raw juicing therapy, exercise therapy, detox therapy, and emotional/spiritual therapy.
The natural strategies and remedies that help to fight and prevent cancer and achieve optimum wellness include:
- Knowledge, e.g. good health-related books
- Effective Diet, e.g. plant-based diet
- Raw Foods, e.g organic vegetables, whole fruits
- Raw Juicing, e.g. green juices, wheatgrass
- Super Foods, e.g. raw vegetables, juice, flax, turmeric, garlic
- Cleanse and detox, e.g. raw, herbs, fast, juicing
- Supplementation, e.g. CoQ10, selenium, systemic enzymes
- Supporting Tools, e.g. a good juicer, a high-powered blender
- Positive Attitude (get rid of the excuses and negativity)
- Supportive Environment (get rid of the complainers and toxic relationships)
- Positive Actions (based on the knowledge)
For diabetes and high glucose therapy, get a book such as Death to Diabetes to stabilize blood glucose levels and use multiple alternative therapies, e.g. raw foods, raw juicing, whole foods, detox, exercise, food-based supplementation, emotional support, spirituality, etc.
For cancer therapy, get one of the top natural treatment cancer books or get our new Cancer Prevention & Cure ebook to understand how to fight your cancer naturally (without drugs).
In general, the best way to restore the body to wellness is by eating raw vegetables and other cancer-fighting foods, while drinking large quantities of raw, freshly-extracted vegetable juices. The vegetables and its juices provide the body with concentrated building materials so the body can repair and heal itself.
The first part of the body that will restore when given the proper nutrients is the immune system. As the immune system restores, then it seeks out the trouble spots throughout the body and starts to heal them. And it doesn't matter what the symptoms are, the body is self-healing when we stop the disease and provide the body's cells with the proper raw nutrients.
Most cancer patients being treated in America today are not offered any scientifically guided nutrition therapy beyond being told to "just eat good foods." Most doctors know very little about nutrition since most medical schools only require one 3-hour course about nutrition!
As a result, most doctors discount the importance and positive impact that a superior nutritional program can have on one's overall health.
Most cancer patients would have a major improvement in their outcome if they controlled the supply of cancer's preferred fuel (glucose) into their bodies.
Nutrition must be optimized for efficient detoxification and to change the body's acidic environment to alkaline. The diet must be based upon whole foods (plenty of vegetables, fruits, and fiber) and should emphasize foods with a net alkalinizing impact with lower amounts of acid-forming foods.
Generous portions of cruciferous vegetables should be eaten daily, along with modest amounts of olive oil, as well as onions, garlic, and very modest amounts of lean, unprocessed proteins.
If possible, eat only organic vegetables and fruits. If you can't afford to buy all organic, then, focus on buying organic the primary vegetables that eat during the week.
Supplements can include CoQ10, aged garlic, pancreatic enzymes, beta glucan, essential fatty acids (DHA/EPA), N-acetylcysteine, lipoic acid, and antioxidant support (vitamins C and E, grape seed extract, green tea extract).
By eating healthy, patients can strengthen their immune systems and change their body's acidic environment to a more alkaline environment. This would help to slow down the progression of the cancer and, with the proper cancer treatment, kill and destroy the cancer cells.
Controlling one's blood-glucose level through dieting and supplementation is one of the most crucial components to an effective cancer recovery program.
And, one of the best ways to do that is to eat primarily a plant-based diet of raw and lightly-cooked vegetables, some fruits, beans, nuts, seeds and plant oils, e.g. Death to Diabetes Diet (Level 3).
A diet consisting of a variety of raw fresh vegetables and some fruits is the best prevention and also a potential cure for most cancers, depending on how far the cancer has progressed and how easily the body can digest and properly assimilate the nutrients from the food.
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, leafy greens, sprouts, avocados, red and yellow peppers, red cabbage, dandelion, beets, garlic, turmeric, blueberries, flaxseed, and many more foods have been proven in numerous scientific studies to not only prevent, but to also destroy, cancer cells.
If we did research on every single piece of raw produce we eat, we’d probably find that almost all of them, if not all of them, prevent and fight cancer in some way or another. This is what the modern diet is missing -- fresh raw produce. Early humans ate pounds of it a day, all day, every day.
Do not underestimate the miraculous healing properties of whole, raw, fresh, organic, uncooked, unadulterated produce. Believe it or not, it’s the foundation of almost all of the best remedies for ailments, and it is the only path to true health.
Eat a wide variety of raw produce every day. Cooked produce has benefits, but raw produce heals. Make big salads every day with lots of produce and drink raw juices and green smoothies.
The 1931 Nobel Laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells.
The crux of his Nobel thesis was that malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic glycolysis -- a process where glucose is used as a fuel by cancer cells and lactic acid is produced as an anaerobic byproduct -- compared to normal tissues.
The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from cancer cells is then transported to the liver where lactic acid is converted back to glucose (this cycle is known as the lactic acid or cachexia cycle).
The conversion of glucose to lactate generates a lower, more acidic pH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue and pain from the lactic acid buildup. And, the lactic acid promotes tumor growth causing larger tumors, which tend to exhibit a more acidic pH.
This inefficient pathway for energy metabolism yields only 2 moles of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy per mole of glucose, compared to 38 moles of ATP in the complete aerobic oxidation of glucose.
By extracting only about 5 percent (2 vs. 38 moles of ATP) of the available energy in the food supply and the body's calorie stores, the cancer is "wasting" energy, and the patient becomes tired and undernourished.
This vicious cycle increases body wasting, which is one reason why 40 percent of cancer patients die from malnutrition, or cachexia (wasting of the body).
Therefore, cancer therapies should encompass regulating blood-glucose levels via diet and supplements, for cachectic patients who lose their appetite and a lot of weight loss. Professional guidance and patient self-discipline/motivation are crucial at this point in the cancer recovery process.
The quest is not to eliminate sugars or carbohydrates from the diet but rather to control blood glucose within a narrow range (ala what diabetics have to do) to help starve the cancer and bolster immune function.
The best way to control one's blood glucose is to follow a low-glycemic, macronutrient-dense nutritional program such as the Death to Diabetes Nutritional Program with lots of green vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli; onions, garlic), raw vegetable juices, high quality fats (olive, coconut, flax) and high quality protein (Whey, ground flaxseed, wild salmon).
The lower the glycemic rating, the slower the digestion and absorption process, which provides a healthier, more gradual infusion of sugars into the bloodstream.
Conversely, a high rating means blood glucose levels are increased quickly, which stimulates and stresses the pancreas to secrete more insulin and insulin growth factor, which fuel the cancer/tumor to grow faster.
In fact, many cancer patients have cured their cancer by using an effective cancer diet with these attributes. However, most cancer patients who have had extensive chemotherapy and radiation will require a lot more than a good cancer diet, i.e. a specific cancer-focused treatment protocol. refer to the blog post about the Cancer Treatment Strategy.
How far you go with your cancer diet is up to you, but this much is clear, a poor cancer diet will fuel the cancer and allow it to continue to grow and cause more damage throughout the body.
Many doctors in alternative medicine (e.g. Gonzalaez, Gerson, Christopher, Moerman, Hoxsey, etc.) were people who knew how to cure cancer and they knew that the "cancer diet" was a major factor, even the primary factor, in a cancer person's ability to nourish their normal cells and kill the cancer cells in order to survive and defeat their cancer!
Many books have been written about various cancer diets. You hear terms like "live food," "raw food," "superfood", wheatgrass juice, carrot juice, macrobiotic diet, sprouting, and many more.
In somes cases, people will simply go to a clinic or a retreat to get their cancer diet. While this is good if you have the money, you will still have to learn how to eat healthy when you return home.
Goals of Nutritional Program
It is best to use a solid and well-structured alternative cancer treatment protocol as the main treatment to fight and kill the cancer cells; and use the cancer diet to build the immune system, nourish the normal cells and possibly kill some cancer cells.
The goals of an effective cancer diet should include the following:
1. Strengthen the immune system by helping to activate phagocytes, e.g. macrophages, natural killers.
2. Help your immune system "find" the cancer cells so that they can do their job: stop the spread of the cancer and kill the cancer.
3. Provide key nutrients to feed the non-cancerous cells and starve the cancer cells.
4. Eat healthy foods that provide energy to the body without feeding the cancer cells.
5. Turn the body's environment from acidic to alkaline.
6. Reduce the lactic acid created by the cancer cells (cachexia cycle or lactic acid cycle).
7. Keep your blood glucose in a tight range (80 to 99 mg/dL)
Foods to Eat
At this point, you're probably thinking "What's left to eat?" Actually, there is a lot of good foods left to eat.
Key foods include green and leafy vegetables, bright-colored vegetables and possibly some (limited) bright-colored and dark-colored fruits. If possible, try to obtain these foods locally and organically grown.
Vegetables include green/leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bok choi, kale, Romaine lettuce; asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, okra, peppers, stringbeans, other greens (collard, turnip); sea vegetables/blue-green algae such as chlorella, spirulina and sea plankton; and, grasses such as wheat, barley, and alfalfa.
Vegetables of other bright colors (green, red, yellow, purple, orange) include artichokes, avocado, bean sprouts, beets, carrots, chickpeas, mushrooms, parsley, peppers, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Fruits include dark, bright-colored fruits such as açai berries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, elderberries, strawberries, apples, grapes, goji berries; apricots, avocado, figs, grapefruits, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangosteens, melons, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates, prunes, raspberries.
In general, only whole almonds, whole macadamia nuts and whole walnuts should be eaten on a cancer diet. Almonds and macadamia nuts both have laetrile, and both are acceptable. Walnuts have the very critical omega-3 EFAs.
Other nuts should be used very sparingly. Peanuts (which are not really nuts) and cashews both have too much fungus and should be avoided.
Note: With the exception of walnuts being used in a Budwig Diet treatment, even the acceptable nuts should be used sparingly.
As a general rule, all vegetables should be organic, if possible. Green vegetables, including grasses (generally juiced) and sprouts, must be the foundation of a good cancer diet. The fiber, enzymes, chlorophyll, minerals, and many nutrients are necessary for your cancer diet. These are required to be the foundation of your cancer diet!!
Essentially, you should have organic, fresh salads/vegetables/juiced grasses/sprouts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many of the other foods that are allowed on a cancer diet should be mixed in with the salad, except for the vegetable juices.
Juicing is an excellent way to get critical nutrients into your cells and body with the least amount of energy. Juicing vegetables and grasses will help get more nutrients into your body. However, some whole vegetables should be eaten in order to get the fiber. Fiber is critical to a cancer treatment.
As with all juices, if you make the juice from the actual foods, the juice should be drunk immediately after they are prepared (before oxidation destroys the enzymes). In cases where many small doses of a fresh vegetable juice are needed to be taken (e.g. to avoid diarrhea), the juice can be refrigerated during the day.
There are two advantages to juicing vegetables. First, juicing makes the nutrients in a vegetable more digestible by the body, meaning more of the nutrients are extracted from the vegetables with less of the obstructing fibers. The second advantage is that you can consume a lot more vegetables (particularly vegetables and fruits with cancer killing nutrients) in a shorter amount of time and with a lot less effort.
The bad thing about juicing is that the nutrients are not extracted sufficiently from the seeds or skins of some key vegetables and fruits. If you are eating a food where the seeds and/or skins contain key cancer fighting nutrients (e.g. purple grapes), you should not use a juicer for the seeds or skin, but rather use a food processor or use a hand grinder, to grind the seeds and skins to make mush.
In general, it is often better to juice on an empty stomach (before meals) so that more enzymes and nutrients can be absorbed and assimilated into your cells.
A Note About Carrots
A special note about carrots is in order. Like virtually all vegetables, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of phytonutrients in carrots that have not yet been identified or tested for cancer-fighting abilities. It may be that we do not yet know the best cancer-fighting nutrient in carrots, but based on many testimonials and some books, carrots may be the best cancer-fighting vegetable of all.
In a review of 206 human studies, carrots consistently emerged as one of the top cancer-fighting foods. The power of carrots lies in the group of pigments called carotenoids (beta-carotene is among this group), which give them their orange color.
The raw vegetables (with cancer-fighting substances) that you should focus on include: carrots, cabbage, green asparagus, broccoli, red beets (i.e. beetroot), beet tops, bell peppers, cauliflower, asparagus and other related (cruciferous) vegetables.
As a minimum, the vegetable juice should include:
1) Carrot juice (1 to 2 quarts per day),
2) Beet juice (from at least 2 red beets, with their beet tops)
3) A significant amount of cruciferous vegetables including: broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (this is for both the cancer and the critical protection of the liver)
Note: Beetroot can cause the urine of a person to turn red. So, if you take beetroot and your urine turns red, it is not necessarily blood in the urine.
Here are just a few of the cancer cell killing nutrients in vegetables:
-- Carrots (alpha carotene, beta carotene, Vitamin E, etc.),
-- Broccoli (sulforaphanes/isothiocyanates),
-- Cabbage (isothiocyanates),
-- Asparagus (saponins),
-- Beetroot/red beets (proanthocyanidins (PAC's or OPC's)), and
At least 80% or above of the vegetable juice should come from vegetables with known cancer-fighting abilities, although other vegetables are not far behind the ones listed above.
In general, because of the high amounts of glucose, most fruits should be avoided, except those with cancer-fighting nutrients such as blueberries and other berries.
Raw fruits you should focus on are: purple grapes (with skins and seeds), red raspberries, black raspberries, strawberries, and other non-citrus fruits, with their seeds, especially peaches and apricots (the seed is inside a hard shell). Actually, any fruit with dark blue or dark purple coloring is acceptable, such as blueberries. Raw pineapple is especially good if you can get it and afford it. Tomatoes also have cancer fighting nutrients.
Here is a sample of the known cancer-killing nutrients in fruits:
-- Raw pineapple (bromelain and pexoxidase)
Note: Juice the core of the pineapple for maximum bromelain benefit.
-- Whole purple grapes with seeds and skins (more than a dozen)
-- Apricot seeds and apple seeds (laetrile)
-- Strawberries, red raspberries, black raspberries (laetrile and ellagic acid)
-- Blueberries (ellagic acid, anthocyanins, OPC),
At least 80% or above of the fruit juice should come from fruits with known cancer-fighting abilities.
Exception: If you have pancreatic cancer, you should avoid fruit completely since this type of cancer feeds on fructose.
Also consider the super-fruit juices: mangosteen, Tahitian noni and wolfberry or goji. These are allowed, but only in very limited quantities. No more than a 5 or 6 ounces of these super fruit juices (combined) should be taken each day because they place a burden on the liver by releasing a great deal of toxins in the body.
In addition, use green drinks that contain wheatgrass, barley grass, chlorella and spirulina. If you can, prepare your own wheatgrass. For chlorella and spirulina, make certain that it is an organic, highly absorbable product. Do not fall for many of the overly-marketed green powders because they contain very little nutrients and include things like hay and sand as fillers!
Cruciferous and Allium Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables and vegetables from the allium family contain sulfur, which is able to penetrate the cell walls of cancer cells, which allows oxygen and nutrients such as Vitamin C to get into cancer cell and kill it. Cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli sprouts; and, foods from the allium family include garlic, onions, and leeks.
If possible eat the garlic and onions raw. If you can't stand eating raw garlic, slice them up and let them sit for at least ten minutes before cooking. This will allow the alliinase enzyme to release alliin, which is converted into allicin, which kills cancer cells.
Fermented Foods: Raw yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese, kefir, sauerkraut, miso and natto are some examples of fermented foods. These foods have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin K2 and various strains of probiotics.
Natural fermentation of foods has also been shown to preserve nutrients in food and break the food down to a more digestible form and increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This, along with the probiotics created during the fermentation process, helps to improve digestion, overall gut health and immunity.
Beneficial bacteria in the gut are crucial to the fight against a variety of illnesses including cancer. In America a $173 million gut project showed that illness often follows a decline in the gut bacteria levels and diversity. This coincided with chronic inflammation as ´bad´ gut bacteria normally overwhelmed by the good guys were free to make their toxins.
Gut bacteria are now proven in research to direct a strong immune system and your immune memory, and digest foreign microbes, yeasts and candida every night while you sleep. They don´t just help release nourishment and essential cancer preventing and cancer fighting compounds from your food, but they generate certain compounds to prevent or beat cancer.
Some gut bacteria even produce short chain anti-inflammatory esters like sodium butyrate and this has been shown to cause cancer cells to self-destruct. But drugs and antibiotics kill them off reducing your natural ability to beat cancer.
Multi-strained probiotics can at least replace some of the lost millions of your crucial little helpers. But don´t take huge doses. Research shows that is counter-productive. It is not the volume you need to focus on -- it's the diversity. Once you have a bacterial strain in your gut, the foods you consume can increase the numbers very quickly. One research study showed that your gut composition could change markedly within 24 hours.
Illnesses linked to problems with the gut bacteria include IBS, Crohn´s, colitis, diabetes, Alzheimer´s, heart problems, dementia, blood pressure, and even obesity. And, especially colorectal cancer where a lack of diversity has been shown to reduce the compounds that protect you from good bacteria, while microbes producing localized inflammatory compounds dominate.
As a supplement, everyone over 50 needs to consider taking a multi-strain probiotic daily and avoid the sort of things that disrupt the balance of natural intestinal flora.
Note: If you take a probiotic supplement, take it 30-40 minutes after a meal, to protect the bacteria from stomach acids. Always keep the probiotic in a refrigerator; and, only use a reputable manufacturer, with live strains that are genuinely probiotic.
Prebiotics: In addition, you can feed the good bacteria properly, with prebiotics like whole fibrous foods, such as chlorella. Together with the probiotic it provides excellent levels of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and enzymes.
Prebiotics (pre-life) are non-digestible or fiber components of food. While these fibers would be useless to us without our friendly little helpers to break them down, they are essential life support systems for our good bacteria. Examples include chlorella and greens in general (from wheatgrass to chicory, cabbage, onions, leeks, asparagus); pumpkin, sunflower and other seeds; lignans in liquids like olive oil and aloe vera; fresh and dried fruits like apples, pears, bananas and apricots that contain pectins; and, herbs such as garlic, turmeric, echinacea, propolis, slippery elm bark, cat´s claw bark and liquorice.
Inulin (for example from chicory and onions) also promotes the growth of bifidobacteria in the gut. Several studies have shown that bifidobacteria increase short chain fatty acid (SCFA levels) in the gut from digestion-resistant fibre. SCFAs include butyrate, acetate and proprionate, which have been linked in research to lowered cancer levels and lowered blood cholesterol levels.
Garlic: Phytochemicals in garlic have been found to halt the formation of nitrosamines, carcinogens formed in the stomach (and in the intestines, in certain conditions) when you consume nitrates, a common food preservative.
Garlic, onions and leeks and other foods in the Allium Family enhance immune function and promote the death of cancer cells; and, help to remove carcinogenic substances such as nitrosamines and N-nitroso compounds that are created in overgrilled meat and during tobacco consumption.
In addition, these foods provide sulfur compounds that help to penetrate the cell wall of cancer cells and promote the detoxification of carcinogen and cancer-promoting compounds
Fats That Heal vs. Fats That Kill: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats
Believe it or not, fat is good for you! -- as long as you eat the right fats. Good fats help your cells be more permeable and able to better absorb oxygen (and cancer cells hate oxygen).
The good fats include:
-- Monounsaturated fat, e.g. extra virgin olive oil
-- Polyunsaturated fat: Omega-3 EFA, e.g. wild salmon, sardines
-- Polyunsaturated fat: Omega-6 EFA, e.g. gamma linolenic acid (GLA), evening primrose oil (EPO)
-- Saturated fats, e.g. extra virgin coconut oil; raw milk, raw butter; free-range chicken, turkey, bison
The bad fats include:
-- Polyunsaturated fat: vegetable oils, e.g. corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil; also canola oil
-- Saturated fats, e.g. conventional animal meats, processed meats; dairy (milk, cheese)
-- Trans fats, e.g. fried foods, processed meats, margarine
Note: Don’t believe the “No trans fat” labels on margarines and other processed foods -- a certain amount per portion size is legally allowed without mentioning it on the label.
Every one of our 100 trillion cells is surrounded by a membrane. This cell membrane is composed of half protein and half fat. The fat component is composed of Omega-6, Omega-3, cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. One major function of the Omega-3 fats is to help the cells absorb oxygen. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) work like tiny magnets drawing oxygen into all cells, tissues and organs.
FYI: Did you know that there is monounsaturated fat in chicken and turkey?
The key to meal planning is to keep it simple and to include a diversity of the aforementioned foods while avoiding the refined and processed foods that fuel cancer.
Even if you're following a specific cancer diet protocol, in most cases, your meal plate should be dominated with whole foods of mostly raw or lightly-steamed vegetables, along with some raw juices and green smoothies, raw fruits, beans, nuts, seeds and plant oils -- based on your specific health needs and food preferences.
Note: For more information about cancer diets, refer to our Death to Cancer blog posts about cancer nutrition, the top 10 cancer-fighting foods, nutritional supplements and the top 10 foods that cause cancer.
Foods to Avoid to Prevent Cancer
The obvious foods to avoid include all foods made with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, molasses, brown sugar, artificial sweeteners (e.g. NutraSweet, Equal), and processed honey.
This includes foods such as sweets, candies, jams, jellies, cookies, cakes, pies and desserts. This also includes beverages such as soda, diet soda, bottled juice, soft drinks, and energy drinks.
Some of the other obvious foods to avoid include foods made with flour, wheat, gluten, or starch such as white bread, enriched bread, wheat bread, biscuits, cornbread, pasta, rice, macaroni, cereals, crackers, donuts, pancakes, pastries, pizza, biscuits, spaghetti, cakes, pies, and other processed foods; and, starchy vegetables such as white potatoes and corn.
Another group of foods to avoid include foods that contain trans fats such as all processed foods made with hydrogenated oil, such as stick margarines, French fries, potato chips, pretzels, cookies, fried foods, donuts, crackers, store-bought baked goods, pastries, packaged foods, and canola oil.
The process of creating hydrogenated oil destroys the essential fatty acids in the oil and replaces them with deformed trans fatty acids. These trans fats make the cell walls hard and brittle, making it easier for transform healthy cells into cancerous cells.
Another reason to avoid processed foods is to ensure that you avoid foods that contain excitotoxins such as MSG and aspartame and, also GMO foods such as corn, potatoes and soy.
Another group of foods to avoid is meat and dairy. Foods include animal meat, organ meats, processed meats, lunch meats, fried/barbecued meats and dairy products (cow’s pasteurized, homogenized milk, cheese, butter, ice cream).
First, pancreatic enzymes, which are critical for cancer patients, are programmed to digest meat before they are programmed to strip-off the protein coating of cancer cells, which makes the cancer cells "visible" to the immune system so the immune system can kill them.
Also, animal proteins may "feed" cancer cells as much as sugar. This is an unknown, but what is known is that meat proteins are one of the most consistent factors contributing to why a person gets cancer.
Meat is also very acidic. Obviously, sugar, white flour, and many other things, literally feed cancer cells because they are so acidic. In addition, digesting meat requires a lot of energy to break down the meat, which can tire out the cancer patient and rob the body of the energy it needs to fight the cancer.
Exception: Blood system cancers - lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma - need to include lean meat protein so as to build blood and bone marrow. Just make sure that the meat is organic and free range.
The last group of foods to avoid is vegetable oils and other processed oils. These oils include soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower along with canola oil and lard.
Although, "drugs" are not a food category, you should avoid all drugs and most medications, if possible. Drugs include alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, prescription drugs, and recreational drugs.
Alcohol and tobacco devastate the liver, lungs and cardiovascular system. Caffeine is a stimulant that may trigger insulin surges. Excess caffeine may cause the body to produce an oxidative chemical called alloxan that may damage the pancreatic beta cells in some people, reducing their production of insulin.
Many OTC and prescription drugs cause serious side effects that can lead to liver, kidney or heart failure. Also, these drugs “fool” the body by altering the biochemical and hormonal functions within the body, leading to chemical dependencies and the suppression of symptoms that later manifest themselves as a disease.
You should avoid most beverages, especially tap water, soda, diet soda, coffee, bottled juices, cow's milk, energy drinks, other beverages, and alcohol for many of the previously mentioned reasons. In addition, tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, antibiotics, and other toxins that can directly interfere with your cancer treatment.
As a side note, you should avoid most toothpastes because they contain fluoride! Instead use baking soda or an herbal-based powder to brush and clean your teeth, gums and tongue. Also, avoid traditional mouthwash products. Also, use a dental probiotic to rebalance your mouth's terrain.
Note: All of the above aforementioned foods contain sugar, flour, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats (hydrogenated oils), pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals and toxins that fuel cancer cells.
FYI: For those of you who have read DeWayne McCulley's book (Death to Diabetes), the above list should look very familiar. McCulley is the engineer who almost died of a diabetic coma with a blood sugar over 1300 and a potential double-leg amputation, blindness, kidney failure and pulmonary embolism -- all due to poor circulation, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, deep vein thrombosis, two blood clots, and pancreatitis. The doctors said that any one of these problems along with the nonketotic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar coma should have killed McCulley.
Cancer Nutrition-related Tips
Some of the most effective nutrition-related strategies include the following:
- Eat as many of the top cancer-fighting foods as possible to strengthen your immune system.
- Strengthen your immune system with the raw foods, detox, and raw juicing.
- Eat only raw organic vegetables, very little fruit.
- Eat all of the raw vegetables (and some fruit) that you can stand to eat. Constantly.
- Eat foods rich in Vitamin D and selenium (i.e. oily fish, Brazil nuts).
- Eat raw garlic -- lots of it.
- Follow a well-balanced mostly raw diet per the Super Meal Model.
- Implement raw vegetable juicing, and drink raw vegetable juice at least 3-6 times a day.
- Drink at least 1 quart of carrot juice and 1 pint of celery juice every day. That may sound like a lot, but a quart is only 4 cups.
- Cleanse/detox periodically -- at least every 3 months. Use high-quality organic herbs and herbal tinctures.
- Take two tablespoons of unrefined organic flaxseed oil every day.
- Eat raw almonds with breakfast and lunch meals.
- Avoid all dairy products except raw (unpasteurized, unhomogenized) goat’s milk, and yogurt made from the same.
- Avoid all "dead" processed foods.
- Don’t eat cooked meat, or processed foods at all.
- Avoid all processed foods, especially those containing flour, sugar, soy, or vinegar.
- Avoid most supplements except food-based and herbal tincture-based supplements such as unprocessed cod liver oil, organic flaxseed, gingko biloba, cayenne, bilberry, etc.
- Avoid OTC and prescriptions drugs like the plague!
Note: For more details about cancer nutritional strategies and therapies, refer to the Death to Cancer Blog and ebook.
All the studies on cancer and nutrition point to eating plant-based foods for their antioxidants, phytonutrients and other special compounds. Food is medicine against cancer when you know what to eat and what not to eat. An optimal diet with cancer fighting foods promotes cancer cell death and optimal wellness.
Food is medicine against cancer when you know what to eat and what not to eat. An optimal diet with cancer fighting foods promotes cancer cell death and your optimal wellness. Learn about a quality cancer diet to support quality of life and cancer survival. Nutrition and cancer is a necessary component of integrative cancer care.
Nutrition and cancer recommendations about cancer fighting foods to eat have been compiled based on research studies and cancer resources from Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD and Harnessing the Power of Your Diet Against Cancer: Report of Translational Research by Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC of Nutritional Solutions.
Of course, not all health problems are avoidable, but you have more control over your health than you may think. Research shows that a large percentage of cancer-related deaths are directly linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, a lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet.
Avoiding cigarettes, limiting alcohol, reaching a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise are a great start to preventing cancer. But to best support your health, you also need to look at your eating habits. What you eat—and don’t eat—has a powerful effect on your health, including your risk of cancer. Without knowing it, you may be eating many foods that fuel cancer, while neglecting the powerful foods and nutrients that can protect you.
Aim for five to nine daily servings of all kinds of fruits and vegetables—especially the following superstars.
Studies suggest that eating at least one apple a day may help reduce the risk of developing certain cancers like throat, mouth, colon, lung, and breast. Besides being delicious, apples contain fiber, Vitamin C and quercetin, another antioxidant-based nutrient..
However, since apples are on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Dirty Dozen Plus list, try to choose local and organic when possible and eat them with the skin on. That’s where many of the nutrients are found.
Helps fight: throat, mouth, colon, lung, and breast cancers.
Artichokes (and celery) contain 2 flavonoids (apigenin and luteolin) that may help to kill cancer cells or slow tumor growth.
Even though individually, apigenin and luteolin were effective in causing pancreatic cancer cells to die in vitro, more research needs to be done to verify this within the human body.
Asparagus is one of the best food sources of the anti-oxidant glutathione, a substance researchers at the Institute for Cancer Prevention have identified as effective in warding off cancer. Glutathione is also believed to have anti-viral properties.
Research has shown that chronic, excessive inflammation and chronic oxidative stress heighten the risk for many types of cancers. Since asparagus contains many nutrients, including saponins, which have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property, it deserves a place in a healthy diet, along with other vegetables and fruits. The anti-inflammatory nutrients in asparagus make it an excellent dietary choice for people trying to combat diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism. It can also help prevent varicose veins.
Avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamins and antioxidants, making it one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
What you may not know, however, is that these super fruits also have cancer-fighting properties. In one of the latest studies, avocatin B, a type of fat found in avocados, was found to combat acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is a particularly rare and deadly form of cancer.
The study, published in Cancer Research, revealed that avocatin B targets leukemia stem cells, which are responsible for causing most cases of AML recurrence. The avocado fat was able to wipe out the leukemia stem cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. Scientists believe avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis (a cause of liver cancer), as well as other sources of liver damage.
Avocados are rich in cancer-fighting carotenoids, which are most plentiful in the dark-green portion of the flesh that's closest to the skin.
A study out of Michigan State University found that black and navy beans significantly reduced colon cancer incidence in rats, in part because a diet rich in the legumes increased levels of the fatty acid butyrate, which in high concentrations has protective effects against cancer growth. Another study, in the journal Crop Science, found dried beans particularly effective in preventing breast cancer in rats.
Some beans provide genistein from isoflavones with anti-angiogenesis activity that prevents tumors from growing by inhibiting their ability to create new blood vessels and working as inhibitors of protein kinase C, an enzyme that fosters tumor growth.
Helps fight: breast and colon cancers.
This dark-red vegetable is a super food with multiple health benefits. Beets contain anthocyanins which kill cancer cells. It also contains resveratrol, a potent antioxidant that fights cancer especially blood and brain cancer.
All berries, especially blueberries and raspberries, contain Vitamin C and ellagic acid and other polyphenol antioxidants that inhibit tumor growth. But black raspberries, in particular, contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which slow down the growth of premalignant cells and keep new blood vessels from forming (and potentially feeding a cancerous tumor), according to Gary D. Stoner, PhD, a professor of internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
According to a recent research study reported by Cancer Research 2001;61:6112-6119, rats fed diets of 5% to 10% black raspberries saw the number of esophageal tumors decrease by 43% to 62%. Research reported in the journal Nutrition and Cancer in May 2002 shows black raspberries may also thwart colon cancer. Black raspberries are rich in antioxidants, thought to have even more cancer-preventing properties than blueberries and strawberries.
Helps fight: colon, esophageal, oral, and skin cancers.
Note: Other fruits that help to prevent and fight cancer include açaí berries, apricot (seeds), dark grapes, Goji berries, kiwi, lemons, mangosteeen, and pomegranate
All cruciferous vegetables (e.g. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale) contain sulfur and other cancer-fighting properties, but broccoli is the only one with a sizable amount of sulforaphane, a particularly potent compound that boosts the body's protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals, says Jed Fahey, ScD. A recent University of Michigan study on mice found that sulforaphane also targets cancer stem cells—those that aid in tumor growth.
These vegetables are rich in isothiocyanates and indoles, compounds that put the double whammy on cancer by inhibiting enzymes that activate carcinogens and stimulating enzymes that deactivate them.
Bok choy, a type of Chinese cabbage, contains brassinin, a powerful cancer-fighter, which is also found in broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Women take note: “No other group of foods has more scientific support for helping to prevent breast cancer,” says Jackie Glew, RD, Lead Clinical Nutritional Manager at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care in Skokie, Illinois.
Helps fight: breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers.
Cayenne Pepper and Other Hot Peppers
Capsaicin, an ingredient of jalapeno peppers, triggers cancer cell death by attacking the mitochondria. Cayenne pepper increases circulation (cancer thrives in poor circulation). Habanero chili peppers kill prostate cancer.
Citrus Peel: Orange, Tangerine, and Lemon Peels
All contain limonene which stimulates liver detoxification of carcinogens, anti-tumor activity, and induces differentiation (maturation of cancer cells into healthy cell types).
Tangerine peel supplies tangeritin and nobiletin, which have shown the ability to inhibit the MMP enzymes that promote the invasive properties of cancer cells.
There is no other single food that has been as well-documented as a top cancer-fighting food. The key however is to select organic carrots and juice the carrots to obtain optimum benefits.
Drinking carrot juice is one of the best ways to prevent cancer or fight cancer. According to the "Antioxidant Miracle," carrot juice provides powerful antioxidants that support health and the immune system. Eating raw or cooked carrots are great ways to obtain vitamins, minerals and even fiber, yet it would be difficult to consume enough carrots in your daily routine to meet your body's cancer prevention needs. The juice from 1 lb. of raw carrots makes one glass of juice.
Carrots contain the carotenoids alpha carotene and beta-carotene, along with potent antioxidants. Recent studies published in the "Antioxidant Miracle," indicate that alpha carotene is a more potent cancer preventative and fighter than even beta-carotene. Carrots contain one of the few carotenoids with pro Vitamin A activity, which means that the body converts the beta-carotene into Vitamin A as needed. In addition, carrots contain calcium pectate, a source of soluble fiber, Vitamin B-complex, C, D, E and K, iron, calcium and phosphorous and manganese.
From research taken from the "Antioxidant Miracle," one of the best cancer preventative methods is to juice not only raw carrots, but carrots in combination with foods that have equal cancer fighting properties such as ginger root, garlic, apples, celery, green peppers, onion, spinach and parsley. For a cleansing carrot juice drink, add a ¼-inch of fresh ginger, one peeled raw beet and half of an apple.
Authors from "Prescription for Cooking," recommend creating carrot juice cocktails that are beneficial as cancer fighters. Add to your carrots juiced collard greens, kale, parsley and spinach for additional sources of cancer fighting beta-carotene. To add more Vitamin C in your diet, add kale, parsley, green pepper or broccoli with two carrots daily. Since juicers do not juice bananas, avoid adding them to the juicer. Carrots blend well with nearly every other fruit and are as delicious as they are refreshing.
Carrots also contain an antioxidant called falcarinol that has proven to have anticancer properties. Researchers in the UK and Denmark reduced cancerous tumors by 1/3 in mice and rats with lab induced cancers.
Additionally, a human study found that consumption of carrot juice increased blood levels of carotenoids in breast cancer survivors. The researchers believe that increased carotenoid blood levels acts as a cancer preventive.
Carrot Juice Preparation
Remove the tops from the carrots. Use organic carrots for juicing to ensure that you do not introduce pesticides into your juice. Wash the organic carrots before juicing, but do not peel them. If you do not use organic carrots, wash them using a vegetable wash solution to remove pesticides and scrape the peel, if desired, before juicing.
Serve your juice immediately after juicing. According to "Juicing for Life," that is when the juice is at its peak for flavor and antioxidants.
If you cannot drink your juice immediately, place the juice in an air-tight thermos or cover the juice and refrigerate it to slow down the oxidation. Begin and end juicing with the softest vegetables or fruits.
For example, to create an cucumber-carrot cocktail, begin with half of the cucumber, then add the carrots next and end with the remaining half of the cucumber.
Cancer-Carrot Juice Testimonial:
Note: Other juices that help to fight cancer include beet juice, various green juices, mangosteeen juice, noni juice, and wheatgrass juice.
Juicing Recipes Ebook
If you want a lot of juicing recipes and recipes for green smoothies, get the Death to Diabetes Power of Raw Juicing ebook or hardcopy.
Cruciferous and Allium Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables and vegetables from the allium family contain sulfur, which is able to penetrate the cell walls of cancer cells, which allows oxygen and nutrients such as Vitamin C to get into cancer cell and kill it.
Cruciferous vegetables contain myrosinase, a key enzyme involved in the formation of sulforaphane, which is an anticancer phytonutrient. The myrosinase is released when the vegetable's cell walls are damaged and it converts glucoraphanin into sulforaphane.
Thus to get sulforaphane from the diet requires the chemical reaction between glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase. If cruciferous vegetables are cooked before they are eaten, the heat destroys the myrosinase enzyme and very little sulforaphane is produced.
Scientists believe sulforaphane protects us from bacterial damage in the intestinal tract which can eventually lead to the development of stomach ulcers and cancer. Ingredients in broccoli are said to lower your risk of developing breast and (smoker's) lung cancers, as well as heart disease.
Cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli sprouts; and, foods from the allium family include garlic, onions, and leeks.
If you don't like to eat raw vegetables, then, you can lightly steam cruciferous vegetables. Several studies found that lightly steaming Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage rendered the sulforaphane and glucosinates three times more bioavailable.
Chop up the Brussels sprouts, cabbage or cauliflower and let them sit for a few minutes so that the myrosinase gets to work. Stick to four or five minutes of steaming. After steaming, add turmeric, curry powder, cayenne, sea salt, and/or black pepper for seasoning.
And, don't forget to add the fat (e.g. extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil) after you finish steaming the vegetables to help with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients.
If possible eat the garlic and onions raw. If you can't stand eating raw garlic, slice them up and let them sit for at least ten minutes before cooking. This will allow the alliinase enzyme to release alliin, which is converted into allicin, which kills cancer cells.
Cold-water fish such as wild salmon provides omega-3 fatty acids, which act as an anti-inflammatory; strengthen healthy cellular structure, function, and communication; stimulate immune cells and function; support cancer prevention and may promote anti-cancer activity. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote brain and nervous system health.
“Omega-3s can reverse tumor metastasis as well as a tumor’s resistance to radiation or chemotherapy, and may also enhance the effectiveness and minimize the toxic side effects of some chemotherapy drugs.” Keith Block, MD, Life Over Cancer
Caution: Many fish contain high levels of toxins such as mercury. Generally, the bigger the fish, the more toxins, and the smaller the fish, the less toxins. Deep-water, northern ocean fish are best, including salmon, cod, haddock, mackerel, and sardines.
Flaxseed was commonly used in cereals and breads in the Middle Ages, but has not been a staple in the modern diet since the industrial age. It is rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which may affect levels of hormones that are involved in the progression of cancer.
Flaxseed also contains a fiber-like compound, lignan, which is thought to bind to testosterone and possibly help remove it from the body. This could, in turn, help suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Flax should be alternated with other ground grains, like sunflower, sesame and pumpkin, which will help to balance the omega six and omega three ratios. Pumpkin seeds have other fats in them which are likely to be particularly beneficial for prostate health.
The seeds should be freshly ground in a coffee grinder and added to your fresh vegetable juice, green smoothie or on top of a salad.
Packed with antioxidants (at least 12, including selenium), garlic has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and anti-viral properties. Garlic also boosts the antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase.
Garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks all contain various sulfur compounds, some of which have shown promise as anti-cancer operatives in in vitro studies. Various garlic sulfides protected mice from peroxidative damage and increased glutathione activity in the liver.
Some studies have shown that garlic can restrict the growth of many types of cancer cells. Garlic is particularly protective in stomach, gastric and colon cancers, although across several epidemological studies, it has been linked to reduced rates of a wider range of cancers, from lung to oesophageal.
For example, in the Iowa Women´s Health Study (USA -Steinmetz 1994) of 127 foods, tested with 41,387 women, garlic was the only fruit or vegetable that produced an effect; one or more serving of fresh garlic a week was linked with 35% less colon cancer and 50% less distal colon cancer.
In a 1998 study in China (You et al) people taking large quanties of garlic every day had less than half the cancers of those taking only a little.
The bad news is that fresh, chopped or squeezed garlic is essential. Cooking ruins garlic's effect and, in tests, most garlic pills are useless.
Although many reports talk about the active ingredient of garlic being allicin, other potential anti-cancer agents appear to be produced on cutting or crushing. They include alliin and the enzyme alliinase. It is possible that allicin works as an antioxidant, and it is certainly effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels.
Allicin is also a very strong natural weapon against infection, particularly bacteria, viruses, yeasts and intestinal amoeba. By eradicating them it could help the fight against cancer in several indirect ways.
Phytochemicals in garlic have been found to halt the formation of nitrosamines, carcinogens formed in the stomach (and in the intestines, in certain conditions) when you consume nitrates, a common food preservative. In fact, the Iowa Women's Health Study found that women with the highest amounts of garlic in their diets had a 50 percent lower risk of certain colon cancers than women who ate the least.
Animal research suggests the long list of cancer-protective compounds found in the allium family may slow the development of breast, colon, esophagus, and lung cancer, too. Look for recipes that feature garlic or onion as a main ingredient rather than as a subtle flavor enhancer to gain the most benefit.
Garlic, onions and leeks and other foods in the Allium Family enhance immune function and promote the death of cancer cells; and, help to remove carcinogenic substances such as nitrosamines and N-nitroso compounds that are created in overgrilled meat and during tobacco consumption.
In addition, these foods provide sulfur compounds that help to penetrate the cell wall of cancer cells and promote the detoxification of carcinogen and cancer-promoting compounds
These foods also help to regulate blood sugar levels that reduces insulin secretion and IGF and thereby the growth of cancer cells; and, reduces blood clotting and lowers blood pressure.
Helps fight: breast, colon, esophageal, and stomach cancers.
Ginger, a cousin spice of the super anti-cancer substance turmeric, is known for its ability to shrink tumors. The subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by 56% in mice.
The anti-cancer properties were observed in addition to ginger’s role in reducing inflammation as well as being a rich source of life-enhancing antioxidants.
These tart and tangy fruits in pink and red are particularly rich in the powerful antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene.
Studies show that the phytonutrients in grapefruit called limonoids may inhibit tumor formation, and the pulp in grapefruit contains compounds that may help prevent breast cancer.
With nearly 200 studies against various types of cancer over the past 10 years, the catechins in green tea are proving to be especially beneficial for cancer patients. The best amount of green tea includes 3 cups daily. You can consume it iced, as well as refrigerated then used in other types of food such as soups and rice.
Herbs and Spices
Various herbs and spices provide health benefits for fighting cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Here is a list of the key herbs/spices that fight cancer.
If you thought this herb was only for skin problems and burns, think again! Aloe vera has been shown in research to have powerful immune modulating and anti-tumor compounds due to the polysaccharides in this common house plant.
International Immunopharmacology showed in one study that polysaccharides from aloe vera has potent macrophage activating powers including producing greatly increased volumes of nitric oxide, which is thought to be an anti-tumor compound.
Increases our resistance to stress while increasing energy levels, freeing up the body’s systems to scavenge rogue cells.
According to research conducted on the herb, ashwagandha helps in the slowing down of the growth of the cancer cells and inhibits the growth of tumor cells without harming the good cells.
This Chinese herb is an immune system booster, known to stimulate body´s natural production of interferon. It also helps the immune system identify rogue cells.
Sometimes known as Huang Qui, this herb from China is well-known for stimulating the body’s production of interferon. It also improves the immune system’s ability to find and destroy rogue cells.
Recent research has shown that this herb has great promise in the area of AIDS and cancer treatment. Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy who consumed astragalus more than doubled their survival times in a research study performed at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.
The herb has shown consistent anti-neoplastic activity in research studies. It can help to shrink cancerous tumors and help to stop them from forming. There is a black salve commonly sold that help to kill sarcomas, and bloodroot is the main ingredient in this salve.
This herb contains an ingredient called ruscogenin, which has been shown in studies to shrink tumors and have anti-estrogenic abilities. Because of its anti-estrogenic power, this is a terrific choice for fighting breast cancer.
An adaptogen and powerful immuno-stimulant, cat's claw improves white blood cells’ clean up process (phagocytosis). Research indicates it can reduce tumor size, particularly with skin cancers. It also helps reduce the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Cat’s claw is best when combined with curcumin, astragalus, and echinacea. This tonic can reduce tumor size and is especially helpful in fighting skin cancer. This herb will also help to reduce the side effects from chemotherapy and other types of conventional cancer treatments.
Well-known for its immune boosting powers, this herb is popular for treating colds and flu viruses, but there is plenty of research to show that this herb can help those with brain tumors and improve the immune system so that the body can naturally fight cancer.
This herb acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant against certain cancer cells to slow cancer growth. Also, helps reduce the creation of new blood vessels needed for cancer growth; and, alleviates nausea from chemotherapy or radiation
Known for hundreds of years to support liver function and fight liver diseases including liver cancer, this herb has now been shown to be capable of protecting the liver during chemotherapy.
Research in America showed that leukemia patients who took milk thistle had reduced liver toxicity and chemo side-effects. There is some evidence that milk thistle has its own anti-cancer activity too.
Research from a number of cancer centers including the Royal Marsden has shown red clover's potential as a part of a treatment program against estrogen-driven cancers, from breast to prostate. One active ingredient in the so-called Herb of Hippocrates is the anti-estrogen genistein, which Professor Powles formerly of the Royal Marsden dubbed ´the anti-estrogen´.
This herb inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells; reduces the invasion of cancer cells by blocking MMP enzymes; and, enhances the differentiation-inducing effects of Vitamins A and D.
Several studies indicate that rosemary does the following:
-- Enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy.
-- Reduces the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer growth and metastases through high levels of polyphenols, including catechins
-- Acts as a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier activating enzymes in the liver that eliminate toxins from the body
-- Facilitates the death of cancer cells
-- Enhances the effects of radiotherapy on cancer cells in the laboratory
Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, and Mint
These herbs have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help promote the death of cancer cells and reduce their spread by blocking the enzymes they need to invade neighboring tissues.
Oregano (along with mint, thyme, basil) contains carvacrol, a molecule that may offset the spread of cancer cells by working as a natural disinfectant. In addition, oregano contains the phytochemical quercetin, which restricts the growth of cancer cells.
Turmeric contains the polyphenol curcumin, which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory that enables this herb to fight various cancers.
More than any other herb, turmeric is supported by numerous studies that demonstrate that turmeric inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells and decreases inflammation; inhibits the transformation of cells from normal to tumor; and helps your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body.
In addition, turmeric helps stimulate the death (apoptosis) of cancer cells; inhibits the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer/tumor growth (angiogenesis); and, enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduces tumor growth in the laboratory.
Tip: Mix turmeric with black pepper (piperine) and olive oil to increase absorption of curcumin
Note 1: Without fat, the curcumin, has a difficult time making it past the stomach, into the small intestine, and into the blood where it can offer the greatest benefits.
Note 2: Adding black pepper to turmeric enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper’s hot property called piperine.
Wormwood is a Chinese herb that is known to be one of the best herbs for killing a number of parasites, and it is anti-microbial and anti-fungal, making wormwood a great addition for people who need to heal their gut. In fact, wormwood has actually outperformed anti-malaria drugs in studies.
Because this herb has powerful anti-yeast and anti-microbial compounds, it can be an effective part of any anti-candida diet. Typical cancer treatments cause damaging yeast overgrowth in the body, which only adds to a cancer patients list of woes. Some cancer experts believe that excess yeast is a driving force behind some cancers, so by limiting the growth of yeast, wormwood can put a stop to cancer growth if yeast is the factor behind it.
Warning: Please be aware that some herbs may conflict with some medications. Consequently, always consult with your physician and an expert medical herbalist for clear and informed advice.
Kale is rich in many phytonutrients like carotenoid-based antioxidants and other sulfur-based compounds including indoles, which support natural liver detoxification processes and may help protect against DNA damage or inhibit tumor blood vessel formation.
Other members of the cruciferous family include broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. People who have diets rich in these vegetables have been found to have lower incidences of certain cancers like lung, prostate cancer and stomach cancer.
Helps fight: lung, prostate cancer and stomach cancers.
Lemons and other tart citrus fruits such as limes and grapefruit help to alkalize the body and reduce the body's level of acidity. These tart fruits contain Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, water, and other phytonutrients that help to maintain the body’s defenses and provide anti-cancer benefits.
Lemons contain high levels of Vitamin C, limonoid, limonene, citrus pectin and flavonol glycosides, which stop cell division in cancer cells, stimulate cancer-killing immune cells (lymphocytes) and break down cancer-causing substances. Lemon is also very effective for preventing acute inflammations of the gum margins, pyorrhea, and other oral diseases.
Grapefruit contains the flavonoid narigenin, which is believed to reduce the risk of some cancers. Research has shown that grapefruit seed extract (rich in citrus bioflavonoids) is effective against some intestinal pathogens such as Candida albicans and other candida species (fungi), some E. coli (bacteria) species and Staphylococcus aureus (bacteria).
Limonoids are chemicals, which are found in citrus peels and are responsible for the bitter taste. Limonoids are capable of slowing cancer cell growth and inducing apoptosis (cell suicide). This research was conducted in labs, which have shown that it worked in vitro and on animals.
According to The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia, citrus fruits pack a powerful punch – reducing the risk of some cancers by 50 percent. These scientists report that citrus fruits are most protective against stomach, mouth, larynx and pharynx cancers.
The results of a 2001 culture study summarized in "Nutrition and Cancer," revealed that limonoid, at a concentration of 100 micrograms/mililiter, was effective at partially inhibiting the growth of human ovarian cancer cells and inducing the death of breast cancer cells.
Three years later in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,” researchers discovered three new limonoids. Two of these limonoids, obacunone and deoxylimonin, significantly reduced the number and burden of induced oral-cavity tumors by 25 to 50 percent.
Since these phytonutrients are found in the whole lemon, pith and peel included, it is best to make use of the whole lemon, especially the peel.
(Maitake, shiitake, enoki, crimini, portobello, and white button mushrooms)
These types of mushrooms have anti-tumor compounds and other types of bioactive molecules which include alkaloids, phenolics, tocopherols, folates, organic acids, flavonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid enzymes.
These mushrooms stimulate the reproduction and activity of immune cells such as natural killer cells and helps to suppress cancer metastasis. In addition, these mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants and other nutrients that provide anti-viral support and can inhibit some malignant tumor growth. Countries like Japan and Brazil use mushrooms in cancer treatment protocols.
Numerous studies show that, when consumed over time, these types of healing mushrooms prevent tumor growth by greatly increasing the level of antioxidants in the blood, while boosting immune system levels in those which are already stricken with cancer.
In addition, these foods enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy while reducing side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Mustard seeds are surprisingly rich in phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, which have been extensively studied for their anti-cancer benefits. For example, a study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research in 2002 found that isothiocyanates can inhibit mitosis and stimulate apoptosis (cell death) in human tumor cells.
Another study published in Carcinogenesis in 2010 discovered that mustard seed powder, which is rich in a particularly beneficial group of isothiocyanates called allyl isothiocyanates (AITC), can significantly inhibit the growth of bladder cancer. These impressive results suggest that adding more mustard seeds to our diets can prevent, and possibly even treat, the development of cancer.
Packed with thyroid-regulating selenium
One tablespoon of mustard seeds contains approximately 21 percent of our recommended daily allowance of the essential trace mineral selenium. Aside from being an antioxidant that helps scavenge disease-causing free radicals, selenium is also responsible for transforming the sluggish thyroid hormone T4 into the more active T3.
Indeed, selenium actually works alongside iodine to help maintain thyroid function. Since a malfunctioning thyroid can wreak havoc in the body (including preventing us from losing weight), it's always important to consume foods rich in selenium as well as iodine.
Contain the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin
Ever wondered why mustard and the seeds from which it is made are usually yellow? That's because they're bursting with curcuminoids, a group of fat-soluble pigments that are also found in turmeric, ginger and other yellow-colored herbs and spices.
Curcuminoids, of which the best-known is curcumin, are antioxidants that possess notable anti-cancer benefits. However, they're also potent anti-inflammatories. For example, a report published in Alternative Medicine Review in 2009 found that curcumin can ease the pain associated with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Good source of vitamins and minerals
Like most seeds, mustard seeds are a good source of varied nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and manganese. Two tablespoons of them also supply us with 6 percent of our recommended daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids, the beneficial polyunsaturated acids required to build cell membranes in the brain.
Good-quality mustard and mustard seeds are easily purchased online or in stores. While mustard seeds can be eaten raw as a snack, their robust taste makes them especially suited to rich, cooked meals such as curries and rice dishes.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are extremely nutrient-dense and provide generous amounts of good fats, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Trace minerals include magnesium, zinc, selenium and copper. Nuts also contain plant sterols, thought to help keep cholesterol levels in check and reduce cancer risk.
In addition, nuts and seeds provide various bioactive phytonutrients that help fight illness and diseases such as cancer and diabetes. These phytonutrients include Omega-3 fats, ellagic acid, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, luteolin, isoflavones, tocotrienols and lignans.
Many of these phtonutrients reduce inflammation, which fuels and triggers most cancers. Furthermore, the unsaturated fat in nuts and seeds reduces risk of breast and other cancers.
Some of the healthiest nuts include:
Almonds contain magnesium, vitamin E, selenium and lots of fiber.; and, help to lower cholesterol and help prevent cancer. Research shows that almonds help to lower blood sugar and raise the levels of good bacteria that bolster the body’s immune system.
Brazil nuts are a good source of protein, copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E, and a great source of selenium, which may help prevent certain cancers, including bone, prostate, and breast cancer.
A recent study in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that the selenium found in Brazil nuts, along with soy, may help fight prostate cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells.
Walnuts are extremely good for your heart and brain, and contain ellagic acid, a cancer-fighting antioxidant.
Note: Other healthy nuts include hazelnuts, pecans and pine nuts, which contain Vitamins A, B, D, and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, and zinc. And they help lower cholesterol.
Some of the healthiest seeds include:
Apricot seeds (aka Apricot kernels), Apple seeds, and other bitter fruit seeds contain amygdalin aka Vitamin B17 which has incredibly powerful anti-cancer properties. The pharmaceutical Laetrile which is a concentrated form of Amygdalin has been used in cancer clinics outside the U.S. for over 50 years.
Flax seeds are definitely at the top of my list. Two tbsp of ground flax seed per day is ideal and easy to add to oatmeal or smoothies.
Use Barleans Cold-Pressed Organic Flax Oil because it is the best source of parent omega-3s (better than fish oil) and Lignans, super anti-oxidants that help fight cancer. It also contains a lot of fiber and can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Hemp seeds are a certified superfood with cancer and heart disease prevention properties. They are high in protein and fiber, with balanced omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, fiber, iron, B1 and phosphorus. They can lower blood pressure, and protect against liver damage. Sesame seeds have also been linked to prevention of many diseases like arthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, menopause, osteoporosis, and may even reduce PMS symptoms.
Other healthy seeds include chia, hemp, sunflower and pumpkin seeds -- all contain omega-3 oils, Vitamin E, protein, anti-oxidants, calcium, and fiber.
Note: Cashews and peanuts are not recommended for cancer patients due to potential levels of fungus.
Two of the most important types of chemicals in onions are flavonoids, which are responsible for their red, yellow, and brown colors, and organosulfur compounds, sulfur-containing constituents that impart the strong flavors.
A key property of onions and other members of the onion family is their ability to help prevent and manage a variety of cancers, as research has revealed. A study of French women found that those who consumed more onions and garlic had a lower risk of breast cancer.
The combination of the flavonoid quercetin—which occurs abundantly in onions—along with curcumin (an ingredient in turmeric) has a profound effect in adults with colon cancer risk. The nutrient combination dramatically reduced the number of polyps characteristic of the disease—an important finding, since these polyps often precede colorectal cancer.
Furthermore, several studies indicate that onions can effectively prevent stomach cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. The protective effects of onions have also shown promise in esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian, kidney, and oral cancers.
In addition to healthful flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds, onions contribute potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, zinc, selenium, and fiber to the diet.
Papaya Leaf Extract
A study conducted by University of Florida researchers Dr. Nam Dang and colleagues in Japan has documented papaya’s powerful anticancer properties and impact against numerous lab-grown tumors – and without the negative consequences of chemotherapy. The researchers used papaya leaf extract for the study conduction, with the anticancer effects being even stronger with a larger dose of the extract. What’s more, the extract can be taken for a long time without nasty side-effects.
Another study also shows how papaya leaf extract is able to fight various cancers including cervix, breast, liver, lung, and pancreatic while aiding the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.
Paw paw (also called graviola, soursop or guanabana), is a tropical fruit with a white, fibrous pulp that is rich in Vitamin C and other nutrients, including vitamin B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, folate and niacin.
Unlike many tree fruits, paw paw is a rich source of minerals. Each cup provides about one-seventh of the magnesium, one-eighth of the potassium and one-tenth of the phosphorus you need each day.
Paw paw may offer benefits to people with some forms of cancer, according to researchers who published a study in "Nutrition and Cancer" in 2011. They found that breast cancer patients who took 200-milligram doses of paw paw extract for 5 weeks experienced inhibited growth of their tumors. University of Nebraska researchers, who published a paper in "Cancer Letters" in 2012, also concluded that paw paw extract appeared to stop cancer from spreading and even to shrink existing tumors.
Research by Dr. Jerry McLaughlin of Purdue University found that the paw paw tree is a source of substances known as acetogenins. (Since the family Latin/scientific name of paw paw is Annonacea, these natural substances are often referred to in the literature as Annonaceous Acetogenins). It is these acetogenins that he found to drastically reduce the ATP production of the cells' mitochondria.
Acetogenins modulate/reduce the production of cellular energy (ATP), thus robbing the cancer cells of the energy it needs to survive and grow. Unlike chemotherapy, the paw paw works to "starve" the cancer cells instead of poisoning them. Thus, the action is usually slower than chemotherapy, but, the side effects are minimal.
Quinoa (keen-wah) is a great source of protein. It’s naturally gluten-free and often called an ancient grain because it’s been grown for thousands of years.
Quinoa is actually a seed that can be ground into flour. It is considered a complete protein, which means that it contains all nine essential amino acids, just like meat.
Quinoa is also rich in fiber and minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium plus phytonutrients like quercetin, an antioxidant that we just learned is also found in the skin of apples.
Quinoa is a nice alternative to protein-rich foods like meat and fish. Other alternatives include lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and other whole grains.
Helps fight: colon cancer.
Not all cruciferous vegetables are dark, leafy greens. Radishes are root vegetables, but like their cruciferous relatives broccoli, cabbage, and kale, they have cancer-fighting properties.
They also contain impressive amounts of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber. Radishes have a mild to spicy flavor, and they are delicious sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil with minced garlic and other vegetables.
Note: Because root vegetables absorb pesticides and other chemicals in the soil, make sure that you only eat organic radishes.
Seaweed foods such as Nori, kombu, wakame, arame, and dulse stimulates immune cells such as T-cells and natural killer cells and help to inhibit tumor growth.
These foods help reduce the formation of new blood cells needed for cancer growth (angiogenesis) and also act as an anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation, which fuels cancer and other systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Brazil nuts, tuna, sunflower seeds, oysters, Shiitake mushrooms, and vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, spinach) are vital to immune system function and help to keep your thyroid functioning properly.
Selenium works in conjunction with vitamin E, vitamin C, glutathione and vitamin B3 as an antioxidant to prevent free radical damage in the body and may help prevent cancer by affecting oxidative stress, inflammation and DNA repair, especially breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Herbal sources of selenium include burdock root, alfalfa, fenugreek, fennel seed, catnip, chamomile, garlic, cayenne, nettle, oat-straw, yarrow, peppermint, sarsaparilla, lemongrass, ginseng, hawthorn berry, rose hips and raspberry-leaf.
Sweet potatoes and yams are other foods that can be enjoyed year round. They are rich in phytonutrients called carotenoids, such as beta- and alpha-carotenes. Including even small but consistent amounts of carotenoid-rich foods may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. Other foods rich in carotenoids include carrots, acorn or butternut squash, and pumpkin.
Carotenoids stimulate the growth of immune cells and increases their capacity to attack tumor cells through lutein, lycopene, phytoene, and canthaxanthin. With over 600 carotenoids available in the diet, Vitamin A, beta carotene, and lycopene all have demonstrated growth against cancer cells.
Note 1: Given the latest research that says that our bodies may not be converting the carotenoids to Vitamin A, it may be necessary to add food sources (such as cod liver oil or beef liver) that provide real Vitamin A -- especially to fight cancer.
Note 2: Phytonutrients like carotenoids are available in pill form but they do not have the same protective properties as those found in whole foods and may even cause harm in certain individuals. To get the healthiest boost, it is best to eat the food versus taking these nutrients in a pill.
- Stimulates the growth of immune cells and increases their capacity to attack tumor cells through lutein, lycopene, phytoene, and canthaxanthin
- With over 600 carotenoids available in the diet, Vitamin A, beta carotene, and lycopene all have demonstrated growth against cancer cells.
Helps fight: breast, lung and ovarian cancers.
This juicy fruit is the best dietary source of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red hue. The lycopene is best absorbed when the tomato is cooked and includes a healthy fat like olive oil or avocado, packing more of a nutritional punch.
And that's good news, because lycopene was found to stop endometrial cancer cell growth in a study in Nutrition and Cancer. Endometrial cancer causes nearly 8,000 deaths a year.
Helps fight: endometrial, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers.
Among the most currently researched of cancer fighting foods, turmeric has repeatedly been shown to be an effective cancer-fighter and even block cancer growth. Previously found to reduce tumors by an astounding 81%, the naturally occurring compound found in turmeric, curcumin, exhibits numerous anti-cancer properties.
Researchers at UCLA found that curcumin is the component harnessing the ability to actually block cancer growth. Not surprisingly, the cancer-fighting ability that turmeric possesses makes up only a single facet of the many benefits of turmeric.
Note: The biggest problem with turmeric as a supplement is its bioavailability and your body's ability to absorb the nutrients. Make sure that you add some fat and black pepper to increase your body's absorption of the curcumin in the turmeric.
Their phytosterols (cholesterol-like molecules found in plants) have been shown to block estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, possibly slowing the cells' growth, says Elaine Hardman, PhD, associate professor at Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia.
Helps fight: breast and prostate cancers.
(And, other Super-Green Foods: Chlorella, Spirulina, Blue-Green Algae and Barley Greens)
These chlorophyll-rich foods help nourish the blood by providing oxygen and chlorophyll for detox purposes. These super greens chelate and remove excess copper from the body, which may help inhibit angiogenesis.
Specifically, wheat grass has been shown to fight breast cancer, prostate cancer and several other cancers. Studies indicate that chlorella boosts energy and possibly prolongs survival.
Whey protein helps to fight cancer because it helps our bodies increase our glutathione levels and it provides an easy-to-digest protein that helps the body rebuild and repair its cells due to the damage from the cancer.
Glutathione (GSH) is a small protein composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. It is involved in detoxification of the liver and the body. Glutathione binds to toxins, such as heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides, and transforms them into a form that can be excreted in urine or bile.
Glutathione is also an important antioxidant, counteracting the effects of free radicals produced in the body by oxidation reactions from cancer cells and other damaging functions such as cellular inflammation.
Glutathione, better known as the ‘master’ antioxidant, helps to neutralize free radicals inside our cells. Over 40,000 papers on its effects were published in 2010. Vitamin C and E depend on its presence to function fully. Glutathione is also an immune system booster that helps T-cells to function properly.
Glutathione helps to increase energy levels within our cells. German work stemming from a 1998 Nobel Prize has shown that toxic cells lose their energy-producing ability and ´power down´. Below certain levels of power, protective genes cannot work.
Glutathione levels seem to be very important in keeping cellular energy high. Some alternative cancer therapists focus on low glutathione levels found in the cells of cancer patients, trying to drive them, and thus oxygen levels, upwards.
Glutathione is a terrific cellular detoxifier, helping to break down the adverse effects of environmental toxins, from heavy metals to tobacco smoke and diesel fumes. It is produced in all cells of the body, specifically to break down these dangerous toxins and free-radicals.
Glutathione also works in the gut, in the blood stream and in the cells. Its particular strength is with peroxides, the precursors of free-radicals, and also with bad fats.
Besides high-quality whey protein, other foods that help to increase glutathione levels include green vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli along with avocado, asparagus, chlorella, wheatgrass, grapefruit, strawberries, raw tomatoes, and oranges.
High-quality whey protein provides many health benefits including, immunity, cell energy, muscle strength, and antioxidant support.
High-quality whey protein contains lactoferrin, which is a cancer killer. Lactoferrin activates the innate immune system cells like the macrophages, neutrophils and T-cells. These are the first line of defense against harmful pathogens – including cancer cells.
Lactoferrin has antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties (Rodrigues et al. 2009, Kanwar and Kanwar 2013).
Cancer cells have a highly negative membrane charge which attracts lactoferrin, while healthy normal cells have a neutral charge. Lactoferrin is attracted to the cancer cells, attaches to them and triggers a process that kills the cancer cell; as well as blocking angiogenesis – the growth of blood vessels that feed cancer cells.
More specifically, lactoferrin inhibits cancers (Parodi 2007, Rodrigues et al. 2009, Tsuda et al. 2010, Pepe et al. 2013). Research shows that consuming lactoferrin inhibits cancer carcinogenesis, proliferation and metastasis (Tsuda et al. 2010).
A component of lactoferrin LfcinB, is able to specifically target cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Cancer cells have a highly negative membrane charge which attracts lactoferrin, while healthy normal cells have a neutral charge (Burdick et al. 1997). Lactoferrin is attracted to the cancer cells, attaches to them and triggers a process that kills the cancer cell.
- Lactoferrin triggers cancers cells to commit suicide; this process is called apoptosis.
- Lactoferrin inhibits the formation of blood vessels in tumors. Formation of blood vessels is called angiogenesis and is needed for cancer growth. Tumors need a steady supply of blood to deliver nutrients to their inner cells. Without a blood supply tumors remain small and relatively harmless.
- Lactoferrin modulates carcinogen metabolizing enzymes.
Note 1: Lactoferrin triggers the production of glutathione, which, according to one study, was responsible for preventing the development of prostate cancer. In addition, a clinical study with cancer patients showed a regression of patient’s tumors when given whey protein at concentration levels of 30 grams per day.
Note 2: Researchers, at Lund University in Sweden, reported that alpha-lactalbumin proteins found is whey solid have the ability to kill all the known types of breast cancer cells – even at low doses. In fact, their peer-reviewed paper – published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry suggested that when consumed by the body, alpha-lactalbumin is configured into a protein that selectively induces apoptosis (programmed cancer cell suicide) in cancerous tumors.
Note 3: Another key to lactoferrin’s cancer-fighting properties is its amazing ability to bind with iron. It forms a bond with iron that’s 100 times stronger than transferrin – your body’s major iron transport protein. Several studies suggest that excessive amounts of iron, in your diet, increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Researchers have shown that many chronic diseases – in particular, cancer – need iron to reproduce and grow.
Note 4: Loss of muscle and fat tissue – due to chronic conditions like cancer, AIDS and mercury poisoning – is called cachexia. For cancer patients, this is often why they succumb to the disease. Fortunately, by drinking a green smoothie that contains high-quality whey protein – every day, cancer patients have an easy way to enhance lean muscle mass and boost their energy.
So, what is a high-quality whey product? Key attributes include use of pasture-fed cows or goats, easy-to-digest (medium-chain triglycerides (MCT)), cold-processed, rich in healthy fats such as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), no GMOs and whey protein concentrate, not protein isolates.
In addition, a high-quality whey is free of toxic heavy metals (e.g. mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic) and is low glycemic, low carb and does not contain any artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohol, glycerin, fructose, sugar or gluten.
Some of the other foods that provide cancer-fighting benefits include almonds, anise, ashwagandha, basil, bee propolis, black pepper, boswellia, beta glucan, caraway, cardamom, chili pepper, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, curcumin, fennel, fenugreek, figs, flaxseed, garlic, ginger, gooseberry, gruggul, Holy basil, honey (raw, manuaka), lemongrass, licorice, mace, mango, mint, mustard seed, nutmeg, onion, oregano, parsley, pecans, pomegranate, prunes, resveratrol, rosemary, saffron, sesame seeds, strawberries, and tamarind.
Note: No one food offers a golden ticket to fighting cancer, but a meal plan that includes at least eight of these “cancer-blocking” foods offers the strongest protection and contributes to overall health.
If possible, work with your oncologist and a licensed alternative healthcare professional to develop the optimum alternative therapy for you.
Note: For more details about cancer treatment strategies, refer to the Death to Cancer Blog and websites such as the Cancer Tutor, Gershon Institute, Burzynski Clinic, and Cancer.Net Patient Education, just to name a few.
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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