How you can keep cancer in remission
As you probably realize, April is Cancer Awareness Month.
I gave a lecture to a Prostate Cancer Support group recently and I thought it would be a good idea to review some of the “healthy lifestyle” recommendations that may help prevent any cancer type as well as help with maintenance of remission of cancers. Once a person has had treatment for a cancer and then been told they are “cancer free” this is a great time to start on a naturopathic treatment program for one year to aid the body in the maintenance of this remission.
The four most common cancer types in Canada are lung, colon, breast and prostate and the fastest growing cancer incidence in Canada is primary liver cancer.
So, before I continue, if you were born between the years of 1945 and 1965 you need to be tested for Hepatitis C. There are no symptoms of liver cancer unless the cancer is late stage. By checking through a routine blood test for Hepatitis B and C you can do a lot to prevent this most common cause of primary liver cancer. There is a standard naturopathic protocol for treating Hepatitis C also.
We all know people who have lived a very healthy lifestyle and have still developed cancer, so what to do? I believe many cancers these days are often related to environmental toxins and when these toxins exist in a body that is overweight, or loaded down with prescription medications and is constantly under stress, the body can’t keep up and normal cell function deteriorates.
I recommend that every prostate and breast cancer patient have as part of their lifestyle: a regular diet of non GM (genetically modified) organic soy in the form of tofu, edemame or tempeh; to use ground flaxseeds as their fibre as they inhibit estrogens in the gut that aggravate breast and prostate cancers; to include milk thistle as a regular liver support to aid the body in detoxification of toxins; to eat organically as much as possible to avoid pesticides, herbicides and hormones in animal products; to avoid a lot of dairy as it clogs the lymphatic system, one of the body’s important detoxification systems; to choose foods that are low glycemix index; incorporate coconut oils and drink green tea. Many of these healthy habits are excellent for preventing other cancers too!
Knowing that over 60 per cent of the immune system resides in the gut why would you not consider taking a probiotic routinely?
This will help crowd out the “bad guys,” lower dysbiosis and inflammation and generally aid your immune system. They may prevent colon cancer specifically and in general improve digestion. There is mounting evidence that vitamin D may prevent many of the common cancers including colon cancer, so why not get your 25(OH) blood levels checked and take more to get your levels to 150nmol/L?
Now if you do have cancer, milk thistle, medical foods and homeopathic drainage remedies will help rid your body of by products of tumour cell death after cancer treatment by radiation and chemotherapy. Why would you not consider using these for at least one year after a diagnosis?
I also recommend Pectasol, a modified citrus pectin that prevents metastasis of many cancers as well as aiding the detoxification of heavy metals in the body. This should also be taken for one year after a cancer diagnosis for optimal maintenance of remission.
Naturopathic physicians also use novel treatments for cancers including: Low Dose Naltrexone and Avemar, or older naturopathic formulas such as Hoxsey Formula and Medicinal mushrooms including PSK and Coriolus. Some of these can be safe to use in conjunction with chemo and radiation. It is very refreshing that Dr. Dugald ND, the Executive Director and founder of Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC), is collaborating with local oncologists and surgeons and seeing improved patient outcomes using alternative therapies along side traditional therapies. See Ottawa Life Magazine six part series on OICC.
I recently attended a seminar on “The Care and Feeding of Our Mitochondria”. The mitochondria are the powerhouses of every cell in our body and much research is being done on how to optimize their function.
Mitochondria damage and defects are associated with many chronic diseases including cancer. There are many phytochemicals that support mitochondrial function including B complex, Vitamin D, omega 3 essential fatty acids, CoQ10, magnesium and many others.
Why would these not be part of your daily anti-cancer prevention program?
It is a shame that by the time many cancer patients come to me it is too late, when all along they could be using these alternative therapies to help maintain remission of cancer. Naturopathic physicians personalize your preventive or treatment program for you.
Dr. Ingrid Pincott, Naturopathic Physician, has been practicing since 1985 and can be reached at 250-286-3655 or www.DrPincott.com