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NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS TO PREVENT CANCER: FRUCTO-OLIGO-SACCHARIDES, GENISTEIN AND GREEN TEA

Monday, March 30, 2009 | 4:52 am

Fructo-oligo-saccharides (FOS)

These promote the growth and activity of friendly bacteria in the gut. A naturally occurring compound found in fruits and vegetables, FOS are non-caloric substances that are not broken down by the digestive tract. It passes through us easily, inhibiting the growth of’the baddies’ and enhancing the growth of healthy organisms like bifidobacteria. A healthy immunity within the digestive system helps to prevent the formation of many types of cancer.

Genistein – Phyto-oestrogens

One of the most powerful and fascinating of plant ingredients available today is genistein, a plant hormone in soybeans that has been found to profoundly influence our hormone cycles and health. Soy contains phyto-oestrogens, or weak plant oestrogens such as genistein. The power in these phyto-oestrogens lies in their gentleness and their remarkable ability to adapt to your body’s particular needs.

Phyto-oestrogens latch on to the same receptor sites as oestrogen in your body and may help prevent hormonally linked cancers. Like a light switch, they can both turn on oestrogenic effects and turn them off, depending on what your body needs.

Soy protein is believed to reduce the frequency of menstrual cycles by increasing the length of the follicular phase. This may play a role in decreasing one’s risk of developing breast cancer. Phyto-oestrogens such as genistein could be a safer alternative to using tamoxifen in the treatment of breast cancer. Studies on animals have indicated that genistein may also reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Finally, genistein can help prevent excessive new blood vessel growth. Cancerous tumours grow by creating a rich network of new blood vessels. By inhibiting this ability, genistein may slow cancer down.

Green Tea

A simple, tasty and age-old beverage, green tea has potent health-enhancing flavonoids. Green tea seems to protect against several cancers and heart disease. This is good news, since after water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world.

Black tea is dried, crushed, fermented and then dried again. Green teas are not crushed and oxidized; instead they are steamed, then rolled and dried. A cup of green tea contains about 400 milligrams of polyphenols, which are highly beneficial to our health. One of these polyphenols, known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), is a potent antioxidant.

The flavonoids (substances that act like antioxidants) and polyphenols found in green tea may decrease one’s risk of developing many types of cancer including oesophageal cancer, sarcomas and stomach cancer. Green tea decreases a person’s risk of forming polyp-like growths in the lower colon that can lead to colorectal cancer.

Green tea is believed to block the formation of carcinogenic substances such as nitrosamines and it promotes detoxification of harmful agents such as heavy metals and excess oestrogen. Studies show that green tea drinkers have a reduced risk of colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Its active ingredients uniquely boost the body’s immune system, protecting against disease and cancer formation. It also helps to promote weight loss, prevents tooth decay, lowers cholesterol levels and encourages healthy heart function.

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(posted in Cancer)

CANCER: DIET DURING CHEMOTHERAPY AND RADIATION TREATMENT

Monday, March 30, 2009 | 4:47 am

With chemotherapy and radiation treatment you may need to change the consistency or texture of your foods to cope with chewing or swallowing difficulties. Following are examples of a soft or pureed diet. It is important to eat regularly throughout the day to maintain good energy levels and to help your body to detoxify and heal quickly, and to prevent harmful reactions from treatment.

Foods to Enjoy

Meat/fish/poultry — in casseroles, vegetable/legume stews, soups, fish dishes. All foods can be blended in a processor. Try to buy organic meats if possible.

Nuts/legumes – blended soybeans, lentils, dried peas made into soups, casseroles, soaked almonds, soaked sunflower seeds.

Vegetables — serve mashed/steamed and blended. Good vegetables include beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, turnips, radish, potatoes, cauliflower, pumpkin, carrots, peas, kale, and spinach. All vegetables can be blended in a food processor.

Cereals – breakfast porridge made from oats or millet. Alternatively, a great combination includes oatmeal, LSA mix (linseed, soy, almonds ground), slippery elm, lecithin granules and psyllium. Cut mashed banana on top and serve with hot soy milk, rice milk or nut milk.

Soups — chicken soup with the bones, fish soup, beetroot soup, vegetable soup, miso soup.

Fruit – fresh banana, pear, mango, apricots, pineapple, watermelon, papaya — stewed fruits, pureed or mashed. Stewed apples and pears are great.

Dessert – creamed brown rice, fruit, natural yogurt and natural fruit bars.

Drinks – freshly made fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas, protein energy drinks, fruit smoothies and nut milks.

Breads/sandwiches – use flat pita breads (yeast free, gluten free), soft wholemeal bread, sour dough or rye. Use soft toppings like avocado, natural sugar-free fruit spreads, hoummus, banana, tahini etc.

Breakfast

Scrambled tofu, egg white omelet.

AND

Fresh fruit and fruit juice.

AND

Rye bread/sour dough/yeast-free wholemeal bread together with natural toppings.

Mid-morning

Any of the following:

Fruit

Pureed fruit

Fruit and vegetable juice

Fruit smoothie

Energy protein drink

Lunch

Blended fish/chicken/tofu with mashed vegetables or a fresh salad.

AND

Any selection of healthy soups.

OR

Pureed fruit or soft baked potato with cottage cheese.

Mid-afternoon

Any of the following:

Fruit pureed or blended

Nourishing drink such as energy protein drink

Herbal teas

Fresh fruit or vegetable juice

Dinner

Blended meats and gravy with mashed/blended or steamed vegetables.

OR

Vegetable and bean casserole.

AND

Some soft fruit for dessert.

Supper

Any of the following:

Herbal teas

Nourishing drink

Energy drink

Nut milks

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(posted in Cancer)

MIND MEDICINE FOR CANCER: EMOTIONAL VIEWPOINT

Monday, March 30, 2009 | 4:42 am

Blocking negative emotions isn’t the answer to preventing illness and cancer. Inhibiting emotions will not make them go away, it simply drives them into more subtle and usually more destructive avenues of expression later. Holding on to your emotions, especially negative emotions, is like sealing a volcano that is waiting to explode. The lava has to go somewhere and more often than not it flows to one specific area of the body, creating illness there.

As human beings, we carry inside ourselves an array of emotions and feelings. This is part of who we are, what we are born with. If we inhibit our emotions from direct expression (many men are taught to hide their true emotions), we may cause more serious health problems to arise. Many people block the expression of their anger, turning it back onto themselves rather than letting the anger go out in a clean, quick release towards the person or situation that provoked the emotion. Once the anger is blocked and turned inward, serious health imbalances can result. Many heart attack patients are the victims of inhibited anger.

Emotions developed in humans because of their survival value. We need every single one of the emotions that we are born with. Negative emotions lead to sickness when we block them and allow them to literally eat us up inside. The mind and the body function together as a biochemical whole. It is thought cancer cells suffer from isolation of a positive flow of energy and metabolism. If this is the case, then people with cancer have pulled their consciousness away from the cancerous growth. When the mind pulls away from this part of the body, it is termed avoidance.

The area of the body being ignored is possibly part of a deep hurt or pain. Those most prone to developing cancer are often people with a high anxiety/low love acceptance profile and those who tend to steer clear of cancer are people with a low anxiety/high love-acceptance profile. It is no wonder cancer is so rampant in today’s world, with an increase in anxiety due to higher stress levels and a decrease in loving relationships and self-acceptance.

If you do have cancer, ask yourself, ‘What is really the source of the anxiety I am feeling inside? What am I afraid of deep down? What am I trying to destroy inside myself? What or who is hurting me or causing me pain?’ ‘Where is the cancer located in my body and what emotion is associated with this body area?’ Answer these questions honestly and perhaps they will reveal the emotional manifestation of your illness.

To enhance the healing process from an emotional viewpoint you need to stop judging yourself and start accepting yourself for who you are. No one is perfect. We are all struggling to survive, we are all hoping to be accepted for who we are and we are all souls looking for true love, balance and eternal peace. If you learn to understand that every human being is ultimately driven by the same goal, ‘acceptance and love’ and try to release any judgements or expectations of who you think you are meant to be — then you can really learn to accept and love yourself exactly for who you are, not for what you want to become or for what others think of you.

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(posted in Cancer)

CANCER: MORE ABOUT RADIATION THERAPY

Monday, March 30, 2009 | 4:36 am

Radiation Therapy and Pain

The actual session of radiation therapy is not painful. It is the side effects and reactions from radiation therapy that can cause associated discomfort, illness and pain. The most noticeable side effects are nausea, vomiting and damage/scarring/burning to tissues. The side effects depend largely on which area of the body is being zapped.

It is important to maintain a good diet, rich in supporting and selective nutrients to ensure that only limited reactions and side effects occur. Radiotherapy can also be very invasive to your body and therefore may cause many emotional reactions.

Radiation Therapy

Continuing your normal life during radiation therapy is totally dependent on your lifestyle and work requirements. It is advisable to take time out for yourself and relax totally during this period. Lassitude or lack of energy is a major side effect of radiotherapy, so you will definitely feel more tired than usual. The energy drop is very cumulative, tending to get worse over time. Your body requires as much support as possible to ensure rapid healing, so try not to do too much. Concentrate this time in your life for healing your body. The more rest you receive, the quicker your body will heal.

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

Reaction to radiation therapy varies from patient to patient. Symptoms can range from lassitude (lack of energy), to decreased appetite, nausea, neuropathy (numbness or tingling), vomiting and temporary hair loss (if radiation is given to the head). Later reactions include inflammation due to cellular damage and symptoms vary according to the site being treated. For example, you may experience a sore throat or mouth if this area is being treated, or diarrhoea if the abdomen is being treated.

The major side effect of radiation therapy is scarring. This is a severe reaction and is unforeseeable, as doctors still do not fully understand differences in individual’s tolerance levels. Sterility is possible if the testicles or ovaries are being treated. Cancer induction is also possible, as radiation is another type of carcinogenic substance being exposed to the body. Deformity may be another risk.

Radiotherapy can cause internal bleeding and often destroys the microvilli (minute projections from the intestinal wall that are the primary site of absorption) for up to two years. It often produces toxicity and free radicals, weakens the body’s immune system, reduces white blood cell count and disrupts the body’s sodium/potassium ratio, leading to fluid retention.

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(posted in Cancer)

WHAT YOU MAY NOT BE TOLD ABOUT RADIATION THERAPY

Monday, March 30, 2009 | 4:24 am

Radiation therapy is also often given after cancer surgery. Just as for surgery and chemotherapy, very little information may be provided with regard to what to expect. Below are some common questions and answers about radiation treatment. Refer to Chapter 13, Understanding Radiation Therapy, for an in-depth look at this treatment and further helpful information on what to expect.

Q. What is Radiation Therapy?

A. Radiation therapy involves using large amounts of ionizing radiation (such as x-rays, radium or radioactive cobalt) for short periods of time on the cancerous area of the body. This process involves bombarding the malignant cells with radiation at the specific site to destroy the harmful cancer cells. It is performed in a number of different ways according to the type and severity of the cancer being treated. For instance, in endometrial cancer, some doctors insert a toothpick-like device into the vagina and pass radium through for 48 hours.

In other forms of cancer, tattoos are placed on the body, the radiologists exit the room to avoid exposure and the patient is given radiation therapy for 30 seconds over a number of continuous days.

Q. How does radiation therapy make you feel?

A. Radiation therapy can be quite a degrading experience for the person involved. Many people who have undergone radiation therapy feel like rag dolls being played with. The nurses place permanent tattoos on the body, which may take years to disappear in some cases. The body is dosed with large amounts of radiation which in most cases lead to long-term side effects. Psychologically it is one of the hardest forms of therapy to deal with and overcome, as the physical and mental side effects are often long term and in some cases, permanent.

Q. Will I have permanent scarring from Radiation Therapy?

A. YES. In most cases. Because radiation affects all rapidly proliferating cells it usually causes some adverse effects. Tissues that are most frequently affected are the skin, the mucosal lining of the gastro-intestinal tract and bone marrow. Radiation tends to kill the affected and surrounding tissues. The tissue may experience permanent blackening or have a burnt appearance.

I know of one case of a man who had radiation therapy for twenty-one days in a row and came through with no permanent or noticeable burning. He was taking large doses of the nutrient lycopene, which is believed to prevent burning. Radiation can induce bone marrow depression, leading to a decrease in white blood cells and platelet production. This can increase the risk of infections and bleeding.

Q. Are there any other side effects caused by this treatment?

A. YES. As in chemotherapy, there are similar side effects of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, lassitude (lack of energy), temporary hair loss and sore throat or mouth, depending on the area being zapped with radiation. Drugs are given to counteract these side effects, which generally lead to more side effects. There are many natural alternatives available to assist with preventing these symptoms. Loss of tissue sensation in the area is common and in some cases it may take years to return to normal. Taking the right nutritional supplements, eating a nutrient-packed diet, exercise and a positive attitude will rectify this condition faster than expected.

Conventional cancer treatment is not without risks or harmful side effects. It is advisable to seek many opinions, know your options, seek alternative approaches and therapies and be well informed about every aspect of your condition. It is your body, your mind and your life, so you ultimately have the right to choose what works best for you. A specialist can give advice as to which treatment they feel will be most successful for your condition but once again, doctors are only human and are not always free from error. You are putting your life into someone else’s hands, and I’m sure they will not accept responsibility if something does go wrong.

Knowledge and understanding is the key. It is your responsibility to understand your condition as much as possible. Find a good, open-minded medical or experienced natural health practitioner to guide you in the right direction and to support your decisions.

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(posted in Cancer)

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