Cancer treatments are geared towards targeting the cancer, but why not promote your body’s instinctive defences to fight cancer too? Also, once the cancer is gone, what is to keep it from returning? Although it is nearly impossible to discover the root cause, cancer has been theorized to stem from several health imbalances, such as poor immunity, poor blood sugar regulation and obesity, excessive cell turnover (often due to inflammation and chronic irritation), and environmental carcinogenic exposures.
Below is a comprehensive list of 4 Treatment Aspects that I target when it comes to helping my patients to overcome a cancer diagnosis and to prevent recurrence.
1. Immune System
Your immune system consists of soldier cells that are responsible for surveying your body for cells that look not quite right. Once they find these cells, they target them for destruction. This is the case whether you have a nasty cold or flu bug, or if you have cancerous or precancerous cells. In addition, chemotherapy and radiation continually challenge one’s immunity. If you want to improve cancer cell surveillance, a fully functioning and strong immune system is of the utmost importance. Naturopathic medicine offers many options for boosting the immune system. Intravenous therapies, properly chosen botanicals (including mistletoe), and augmenting the basic foundations of health (nutrition, sleep, digestion, and emotional wellness) all contribute to optimizing immune surveillance.
Inflammation is what is commonly referred to as a double-edged sword. On one hand it provides us with the ability to kill microbes and heal tissue. On the other hand, too much inflammation causes rapid cell turnover and damage, and can lead to an environment that is conducive to the development of cancer. Hormone imbalances, constant assaults on the immune system, food intolerances, a gut microflora imbalance, environmental attacks, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and stress all contribute to chronic inflammation.
3. Blood Sugar Regulation
The main source of energy for cancer cells is sugar, and they have twice the ability over normal cells to get the sugar into them so that they can grow and divide. Additionally, cancer cells use an intermediate of sugar breakdown to activate a gene that increases cell growth, and perhaps aggressiveness. Furthermore, sugar is a known pro-inflammatory compound (see Point 2). Lastly, sugar causes obesity and obesity has a definite link to increased risk for cancer. Proper nutrition can help to diminish blood sugar spikes and to nourish your body so that the healthy cells can thrive, while the cancerous cells die off.
4. Digestion and Detoxification
Your digestive and detoxification processes are very closely linked. Your digestive system feeds the detoxification system the nutrients it needs to function, in addition to supplying it with the compounds that it needs to eliminate. Without proper functioning, the waste builds up and forms an environment in your body that is conducive to cancer cell growth. Wastes that are accumulating include hormones, cell breakdown products, drug metabolites, and food and environmental byproducts. Getting rid of gas and bloating, regulating bowel movements, and improving the gut microflora all increase the absorption of essential nutrients for healthy cells. Optimizing the function of your liver, kidneys, circulatory system, and other organs of detoxification improve your body's ability to get rid of harmful compounds.
Moreover, most of your immune system is within your gut (see Point 1), and a build up of waste leads to a pro-inflammatory environment (see Point 2). See where I’m going here? Everything is connected and addressing all of these points will form a healthy body terrain that is hostile to cancer development.