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Cancer Prevention, Detection and Treatment – The Way Forward

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 7 - August 1995

Even if you don’t have cancer, or  are not particularly interested in reading about cancer, please read the following articles which contain important information about environmental, dietary and psychological factors which could increase your awareness of self-help and socio-political issues relating to cancer.  Cancer in its myriad manifestations affects all of us. Whether it be young children suffering from leukaemia, women of all ages with breast cancer, a large proportion of men with prostate cancer or the three-fold increase of testicular cancers reputedly due to xenobiotic (chemicals which mimic) oestrogens in the environment, cancer is no longer a rare condition.

This information may help you to enhance your cancer prevention lifestyle, and, if you have cancer, may provide tips to assist in your current treatment or maintenance regime and improve your quality of life. After 25 years and the investment of untold billions spent on waging war on cancer, truth is finally breaking out from all sides of the battlefield. Governments everywhere, alarmed at the sharply rising incidence of many cancers, are now becoming seriously interested in cancer prevention. Oncologists, sorely aware of the inadequacies of even the best available treatments, are stating publicly the doubtful benefits of various screening and treatment techniques.[1,2] People with cancer, armed with scientific information, are now demanding more say in research policies, screening programmes and treatments being offered.[3,4] 

The Bad News

  • There is a lot of bad news: Of screening procedures, drugs   and surgical procedures implemented without adequate trials to test their efficacy: mammography practised as a screening procedure for women younger than 50 for whom no benefit has been proven , exposing them to carcinogenic radiation; radical prostatectomies for men with prostate cancer, causing incontinence and impotence, despite the fact that in the majority of cases, men die of causes apart from prostate cancer.[1,3]
  • Media hype about cancer genes,  glee for developers of DNA-testing kits, involvement of nosy insurance companies, and the unfortunate people harbouring these genes being offered the choice of prophylactic surgery –  before cancer strikes, or doesn’t, as the case may be.[5]
  • The continued preference among  oncologists for drug or high-tech cancer treatments –  chemotherapy, radiotherapy, bone-marrow transplants –  and clinical trials to test hormone-based agents like tamoxifen as a cancer preventive in healthy women.[3]
  • The almost universal marginalisation of other therapies – herbal, homoeopathic, Chinese, Ayurvedic, energy-based – from mainstream oncology practice, even those disciplines solidly based in conventional research, such as nutrition.[6] Why, despite the tens of thousands of published research studies concerning the role of nutrition and diet in cancer prevention and treatment, is nutrition ignored, and nutritional treatment of cancer, by qualified physicians, criminalised in countries including Canada and the USA ?
  • The lack of research funding for   the testing and development of alternative cancer treatments –  nutritional, dietary, herbal, based in Chinese medicine, homoeopathic or electromagnetic. The long-standing hostility of the medical profession towards a long list of allegedly and anecdotally successful unconventional cancer treatments cannot continue in the face of screaming public demand for positive action.[7,8]
  • The cover-ups regarding the serious  ness of environmental pollutants and xenobiotics which may be responsible for altering the sexual gender of fish and other wildlife and may be key contributing factors for the alarming 50% decline in human male sperm levels, and the trebling of testicular cancers over the past 30 years.[9,10]

The Good News

During the past decade or so, research in many domains, but especially in molecular biology has contributed a huge amount of information toward our understanding of the basic biology of cancer cells, the molecular basis (genes) of cancer development, how cancer cells may be persuaded to die off or commit suicide (apoptosis), and even the development of tailor-made cancer DNA vaccines.[11,12] Together with bio-technological advances which will enable gene-based therapies to more accurately reach their targeted cancer cells, it is fully anticipated that cancer treatments will gradually become more “biological” in the ways in which treatments help to strengthen the body’s immune system to cope and dispose of cancer, rather than the present somewhat brutal techniques of surgery, toxic radiation or cytotoxic drugs.

Throughout the same period, pioneers of non-mainstream cancer treatments –  dietary and herbal regimes, shark cartilage, laetrile, Iscador, CoEnzyme Q10, antineoplastons –  to name but a few, have also been researching and developing their approaches, often in the face of threats of criminal charges.[7] The long-term survival of many cancer patients and the myriad testimonials and anti-cancer regimes published in books and the medical literature, provide evidence of an untapped potential to help cancer sufferers. Imagine the progress which could be made if the type of funding typically at the disposal of mainstream cancer research could also be made available to extend the expertise of these unconventional cancer approaches.

Likely future successes with what is now unconventional cancer treatment include:

 1         Routine cancer preventive and treatment dietary advice, including government guidelines regarding the consumption of low fat, low protein, high fibre diets with large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables;

2           The use of antioxidant vitamins and minerals and certain essential oils to disrupt and destroy cancer cells, by virtue of their free radical scavenging and as yet little understood cytotoxic properties towards cancer cells;

3          The high-dosage use of ubiquinones such as Q10 for breast cancer treatment;[13]

4          The development and refinement of  antiangiogenesis agents such as shark cartilage, which block the formation of blood vessels, thereby starving tumour tissues;[14,15]

5          The “re-discovery” and promotion of various herbal and homoeopathic cancer cures from all over the world, including the use of Chinese and western herbs, various fungi and homoeopathic medicines;

6            The validation amongst the medical profession of energy-based medicines such as yoga, acupuncture, healing and electromagnetic therapies amongst physicists, and the integration of  various types of presently-existing equipment into mainstream machines which can read auras and energy patterns and correct “blockages”.[16]

Additional Prerequisites

It has been accepted for decades by the majority of scientists and oncologists, that the causes of most cancers are environmental in origin. It has been discovered that many chemicals, such as certain types of plastics, can mimic the action of hormones in our bodies, disrupt normal metabolism and stimulate hormone-sensitive organs such as the breast and prostate to promote the tumour formation. This has galvanised everyone’s serious attention, for we are all at risk of an environmental catastrophe. The clean-up of environmental pollutants and removal of such xenobiotic chemicals is a mandatory requirement for the long-term prevention of cancer.

 Another vital prerequisite in the prevention of cancer is the recognition of the role that “lifestyle” plays – especially exercise, diet, smoking and   drinking. Health and fitness are vital and important safeguards against cancer.

The greater public acknowledgement from all interested parties that the battle against cancer has not been won –  that cancer is difficult to predict and detect, complicated and unpredictable in its response to treatment, and that lifestyle factors –  diet, alcohol, smoking, exercise, hormone treatments, child-bearing, breast feeding, stress and attitude toward life –  may play a profound role both in prevention and treatment of cancer, may just lay the foundations for a more honest, more cooperative and ultimately more successful strategy in the prevention and treatment of cancer

It is also acknowledged that most cancers do not progress and are contained or destroyed by the body’s defences. Recognition of the multitude of built-in defence factors and how to shore these up will go hand-in-hand with bio-technological advances which will understand how  to re-programme cancer cells from psychopathic killers into suicidal dead cells.

The prognosis for the future, leaving aside desperate hopes for magic bullet cures, must be healthier under a more open and democratic medical treatment strategy process than during a previous era where everyone hoped that “they” would come up with a cure and take good care of “us”. A more complete understanding of prognosis, treatment options and side-effects can only enable people with cancer greater choice in which types of treatment they elect and their degree of participation in their own  treatment.

If research and development and clinical strategies can involve all contributors –  conventional and unconventional –  working together, rather than against each other, great progress can be seen before the decade is out.

References

1.         Baum M. Does screening really work? The Times. 6 June 1995. 

2.         Sikora K. Enraged about radio therapy. British Medical Journal 308: 188-9. 1994.

3.         Read C. Preventing Breast Cancer:  The Politics of an Epidemic. HarperCollins. 1995. 4.   Proceedings of the Oncologic Drugs  Advisory Committee meeting, Parklawn Building, Rockville, MD, 2 July 1991, transcript by CASET Associates, VA.

5.         Rogers L. Mail-order genetic tests set alarm bells ringing at Westminster. Sunday Times. 16 July 1995. 

6.         Goodman S. Nutrition and Cancer:  State-of-the-Art. Green Library. 1995.

7.         Moss RW. Cancer Therapy –  The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Non-Toxic Treatment and Prevention. Equinox. 1992.

8.         Houston RG. Repression and Reform  in the Evaluation of Alternative Cancer Therapies. Project Cure. 1989.

9.         Carlsen E et al. Evidence for decreas ing quality of semen during the past 50 years. British Medical Journal 305:  6854: 609-13. 1992.

10.       Sharpe RM and Skakkebaek NE.  Are oestrogens involved in falling sperm counts and disorders of the male reproductive tract?  Lancet 341: 1392-5. 1993.

11.       Douglas K. Making Friends with   Death-Wish Genes. New Scientist: 31-4. 30 July 1994.

12.       Berger A. Made-to-measure vaccine  overwhelms cancer cells. New Scientist: 8-9. 15 July 1995.

13.       Lockwood K et al. Partial and  complete regression of breast cancer in patients in relation to dosage of coenzyme Q10. Biochem Biophy Res Commun. 199(3):  1504-8. Mar 30 1994.

14.       Brem H and Folkman J. Inhibition of  tumor angiogenesis mediated by cartilage. J Exp Med. 141: 427-39. 1975.

15.       Lane IW and Comac L. Sharks Don’t  Get Cancer –  How Shark Cartilage Could Save Your Life. Avery. 1992.

16.       Benor D. Healing Research: Holistic  Energy Medicine and Spirituality. Vol 2: 78-83; 169. Helix Editions Ltd. 1994. 

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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US. She has focused upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993.

 

In publishing in Positive Health PH Online authoritative articles and book reviews by leading proponents of numerous alternative cancer treatment approaches, Dr Goodman has demonstrated her passion about the necessity of making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, considerable clinical expertise in areas of Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. She is a member of the Therapy Advisory Panel of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Scientific Expert Committee member of the Alliance for Natural Health and a Patron of the Avalon Complementary Medicine Trust in Wells, Somerset. Nutrition and Cancer.

 

Dr Goodman and Mike Howell, her long-term partner, seek individuals with the resources, structural organization and interest to continue and expand the legacy of Positive Health PH Online forward into the 21st century, adding facilities to conduct online seminars, fund raise for alternative cancer research, as well as to promote leading holistic organizations and businesses internationally. Follow her Blog and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  Dr S Goodman may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via: sandra@drsgoodman.com     www.drsgoodman.com  sandra@positivehealth.com   and www.positivehealth.com

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