Above photo by John Spade (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons)
The widespread search for the mirage of the magic bullet for cancer
We’re now into our fifth year managing my wife’s breast cancer, which recurred and is now stage 4. Because of the traumatic experiences we’ve been through and the many cancer patients we’ve met on this journey I started this blog to share the fruits of my research to help my wife.
One thing I’ve found interesting is that there was less interest than I expected in nutritional measures that people can adopt in helping manage their illness. More people are interested in finding the “magic bullet” for cancer. The magic bullet is the one pill, drug, potion, food, or drink that will magically dissolve the tumor and metastasized cancer cells and allow the patient to continue with the same diet, lifestyle, mental state and other factors that contributed to causing the cancer in the first place.
In our fifth year of our cancer journey I don’t think such a “bullet” exists or ever will exist. Cancer is a very complex disease with complex biochemical causes that cause a rippling cascade of symptoms. One of my wife’s oncologists told me that there are easily over one hundred different types of cancer. Oncology tries to deal with this complexity by coming up with evermore complex, costly and toxic drugs and drug cocktails to battle evolving mutations and symptoms. The cancer adapts to one drug or cocktail and they substitute another drug. And on and on it goes. Unfortunately in most cases of metastatic, invasive cancers the eventual outcome is predictable. The statistics I’ve seen tell us that the “cure” rate in such cases is just over an almost statistically insignificant one or two percent over five years.
Forget the magic bullet. Use the magic shotgun!
The good news is that although there may be no magic bullet I like Dr. Michael Greger’s (nutritionfacts.org) alternative of a “magic shotgun” using the many dozens of proven anticancer phytonutrients in fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, beans and seeds many of which scientific studies have proven to slow, stop and even reverse cancer establishment, growth and invasion (see some of the many mini videos I’ve posted below produced by nutritionfacts.org and Dr. Michael Greger). Oncology deals with symptoms (i.e. debulking geometrically growing tumors in order to buy the patient time to try and correct the body’s biochemistry and other bodily causes that resulted in the tumor) whereas the above approach deals with causes. While I believe conventional measures (surgery, chemo and radiation) can be useful in some cases the downside is that over time they tend to be tremendously taxing and traumatizing to the very cells, tissues, organs and bodily systems (such as the immune system) that the patient desperately needs to fight the advancing cancer and that has successfully killed millions of cancer cells and micro-tumors in our body’s for the vast majority of his or her life.
In some cases radical lifestyle and dietary changes have actually resulted in late stage remission of diseases; for example the over one thousand such cases documented in medical journals and written about in Radical Remission by Dr. Kelly A. Turner (see my review in an earlier post below). And Dr. Turner believes that for every documented case of “Radical Remission” there are probably over a hundred cases that were never documented. In some cases radical lifestyle and diet changes may result in a few extra months, a year, three years, five years or more of “bonus time” versus just using conventional treatment alone. In my wife’s case we’re working for the best possible scenario possible given her type and stage of cancer and the complex variables of her body. Whatever that is we’ll gratefully take it. We’re just glad for the gift of every extra day she’s with us.