Photo by George Barner (Flickr and Creative Commons, click on above photo to go to source page)
In my journey with my wife in trying to manage her stage 4 cancer I’ve run across a common attitude. The attitude that changing diet isn’t necessary because the patient is getting chemo. Chemo is looked on as a kind magic pill like so many medicines. One spouse expressed it perfectly:”She can eat whatever she wants, because she’s getting chemo, right?”
Chemo has an important place in an integrative cancer plan. But chemo, surgery and radiation only work on debulking, or shrinking the physical mass of the tumor(s) which are the symptoms or effects of long term health problems (or in a minority of cases a result of genetic causes). The more advanced or aggressive the cancer is the more critical this is.
But what about dealing with the causes?
Sometimes putting things into pictures helps me to understand things. This following picture helped me.
A neighbor of mine has a massive tree he’s been trying to get rid of for years. They climb and hack at the branches every few months. What happens after a few weeks or months? More branches. Why is that? The roots and the soil around the roots are untouched.
Scientifically validated dietary and lifestyle measures can ideally have three effects:
First, they can change the biochemical make-up of the soil around the roots of the cancer tree (such as reducing inflammation and oxidation) to, as much as possible, deny nutrition to it to stunt its growth and help kill as many of it seeds (metasteses or micro tumors that break off from the main mass) as possible. Elements in certain foods have been shown to prevent or slow growth of microscopic blood vessels that support tumors (an approach known as anti-angiogenesis).
Second, they can inject elements (such as cancer fighting phytonutrient sulforaphe in broccoli) into that soil that help attack and kill off as many seeds (micro-tumors from the main mass) as possible.
Finally such measures help to provide desperately needed nutrition to the body to better enable it to fight the cancer and recover from the toxic effects of chemo, and radiation and the trauma of surgery. (About 40 percent of patients diagnosed with cancer that die don’t die from cancer but from malnutrition according to Dr. Patrick Quillen in Beating Cancer With Nutrition.)
To ignore the hidden root system is like hacking off the branches of a tree while allowing powerful fertilizers to be pumped into the soil around its roots. Integrative cancer treatment is a two pronged approach that works on both ends of the cancer tree (i.e. its branches and its roots).
If you want to learn more about the integrative approach please see the reviews posted on Oct. 28 on the book Life Over Cancer by Dr. Keith Block, visit the book website (lifeovercancer.com) or visit Dr. Block’s blog (http://lifeovercancerblog.typepad.com/) and look up cancer related topics of interest he’s written about. He’s dealt with cancers of virtually every kind and stage for over thirty years and is looked on by many as the Father of the integrative cancer treatment movement. The website for The Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment is blockmd.com.