Every health expert on the planet might extol the values of raw food but the process of fermentation can elevate the most humble vegetable to superfood status.
‘A week-old carrot will grow limp and grey, even when stored in the refrigerator,’ says Donna Gates, author of Body Ecology and high priestess of probiotics, ‘while a fermented carrot stays crisp, crunchy and bright orange.’
Today, our appetite for cultured food is growing as quickly as the beneficial bacteria they produce. Twitter is brimming with recipes for sauerkraut and coconut yoghurt, restaurants are responding to a demand for tangy side-dishes and even Red Bull makes a drink using a kombucha culture.
I recently wrote a feature for the The Sunday Times Style Magazine looking at just how beneficial these living foods can be and thought I would share with you some snippets from it this week.
The Forgotten Food Group
Fermented foods have been an essential part of traditional diets for centuries: Genghis Khan fed fermented vegetables to his plundering hordes, Captain Cook took sauerkraut on his epic sea voyages and Hippocrates – the founder of modern medicine – was said to use apple cider vinegar to control bacterial infection.
Science is now confirming ancient wisdom about cultured foods and the beneficial bacteria they contain. We know that up to 80 per cent of the body’s immune system is located in and around the gut and studies suggest restoring our intestinal flora could help with everything from diabetes and heart disease to colon cancer and chronic anxiety.
Personally I try to consume some kind of fermented food every day (usually a good scoop of sauerkraut) and I encourage all my clients to do the same – whether they are trying to prevent urinary tract infections or sort out digestive issues.
Here are just a few ways the forgotten food group can bolster your health:
Fermented foods not only reduce inflammation – a key cause of heart disease according to Dr. Mark Hyman – but studies suggest they can also help lower triglycerides (British Journal of Nutrition, 2006) and cholesterol (Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, 2010).
Heidi Klum and Halle Berry have spoken of their love of sauerkraut and studies (British Journal of Nutrition, 2013) suggest it might be the secret tool to weight loss: ‘The probiotics in fermented vegetables aid weight loss by balancing your inner ecosystem,’ says Donna Gates.
Fermented foods can also help cut sugar cravings – after a few weeks you’ll be hankering for that sour tang instead.
Protection during Chemotherapy
‘If the gastrointestinal tract remains healthy and functioning, the chances of survival increase exponentially,’ says Jian-Guo Geng, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, who has been studying a new drug which stimulates cell growth in the intestines.
Your Mind and Mood
You may have heard that probiotics are great for soothing the stomach, but did you know a daily dose could also calm your mind? A recent human study found that eating probiotics daily reduced stress and anxiety while holistic physician Dr. Kelly Brogan says that disruption of our gut ecology may be a ‘major player’ in depression.
To read the original article in the Sunday Times, click here
For those who want to learn how to make cultured foods at home I highly recommend Kevin Gianni’s E-book ‘Cultured.’
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January is a time when even the most relied upon party-lovers suddenly revel in the opportunity to have a night in, shun alcohol and embrace soups, salads and sushi.
Most of us renew our health vows, get the juicer humming and try to absolve the sins of the silly season through rigorous detox regimes and exercise. It’s dull, but it’s Ok, because everyone’s doing it – see the ubiquity of the following on twitter #5:2 diet #liverflush #greensmoothies.
While a few ‘Kale Mary’s’ might be enough for some, for those who have had cancer, getting on top of their health in the new year often means booking in for blood tests to see how they’re doing. Always scary, never fun, and increasingly confusing with the choice of diagnostic tools currently available.
It’s worth remembering that many routine scans come with the risk of radiation (mammograms, CAT scans, PET scans) and that conventional blood marker tests can be extremely unreliable. To give you just one example, less than twenty five percent of patients with early stage colon cancer show an elevated CEA level.
Thankfully we are living in the dawn of frontier oncology. There are now tests that can detect cancer years earlier than previously thought possible; tests that can pick up tumours at just 1-2mm in size and identify circulating tumour cells before they form a mass in the body.
One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime according to current statistics. Imagine the millions of lives that might be saved if cancer was picked up in micrograms, rather than at the stage of metastasis?
I discuss these groundbreaking tests and techniques in detail in my new book Mum’s Not Having Chemo. But for those who missed getting their hands on a copy before Christmas (in Australia demand outstripped supply) below you will find some basic details so you can take action, find out what’s really going on, and then make informed resolutions for 2014 that are right for you.
Greece: Research Genetic Cancer Centre (RGCC): At the forefront of molecular oncology, this lab picks up cancer at minute, molecular levels. More specifically RGCC offers analysis of circulating tumour cells and cancer stem cells. These high tech tests can also identify which treatments, both conventional and alternative, will work best for you. That includes a list of the most effective chemotherapy agents as well as the top natural treatments – like IV C, Artemisinin and curcumin – for your cancer. www.rgcc-genlab.com
Australia: RGCC has a branch in Melbourne which undertakes the sampling and shipping of blood to Greece. www.nutripath.com.au
USA: America Metabolic Laboratories offers sophisticated cancer profiling using a range of blood and urine markers including the PHI test and sensitive HGC test: www.Americanmetaboliclaboratories.net.
Oncoblot: This brand new test only became available in January this year. Dr. Garry Gordon, co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) says: ‘Oncoblot tells anyone if they have any cancer years before CAT scans or PET scans. It gets it when it is only 1-2mm in size, when I expect nearly 100 per cent can reverse the test.’ www.oncoblotlabs.com
Germany: Biofocus Institute for Laboratory Medicine runs similar tests to RGCC in Greece including analysis of circulating tumour cells, chemo-resistance testing and ‘alternative agent’ testing: www.biofocus.de
Denmark: Humlegaarden Cancer Clinic now offers CellSearch – testing of circulating tumour cells in the blood. www.humlegaarden.com
Japan: Dr. Tsuneo Kobayashi offers early detection – through his Tumour Marker Combination Assay (TMCA) test. Kobayashi, who believes his innovative test could save ‘seven million’ people are year also offers a range of cutting edge therapies for those who travel to his centre in Tokyo. ‘He [Kobayashi] is an unrecognised hero,’ says Dr Thomas Lodi, integrative oncologist and founder of An Oasis of Healing centre in Arizona.
Nobody likes blood tests and it can be so tempting to procrastinate, postpone and jam your fingers in your ears and sing ‘la, la, la’ – rather than discover something you would rather not know.
But knowledge is power and with the smorgasbord of therapies now available to the discerning cancer patient – ozone, hyperthermia, curcumin, PEMF, all of which I discuss in my book – there’s no need to despair whatever the result.
Dr. Garry Gordon, believes sophisticated tests are key: ‘It’s only when people fail a test that they’re going to spend money, change their diet, give up the sugar, start to walk, stop the smoking – nobody is going to do these things until they have a problem.’
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I now try and meditate for ten minutes, exercise (even if it’s just 20 minutes bouncing on the mini tramp) have breakfast and jot down any ideas I have before I hit the emails.
This simple rule has made such a difference to the way I feel and how much I can get done. It gives my body a chance to relax and digest, and my mind the opportunity to roam free, before my thoughts are hijacked by the inbox.
I always assumed it was the distraction of the messages themselves that put paid to productivity, but new research suggests that the act of emailing can literally take your breath away, robbing the brain of the vital oxygen it needs to function properly.
Apnoea is usually associated with sleeping and is characterized by a sudden pause in breathing – and snoring.
This common condition not only wreaks havoc on your sleep (and possibly relationships) but on your health too.
Shallow breathing, shorter life?
In one recent Spanish study, researchers found that people with severe sleep apnoea had a 65 percent (almost two-thirds) greater risk of developing various types of cancer.
They discovered the missing link was oxygen.
After following 5,200 people for seven years they found that the more oxygen depletion participants experienced at night, the more likely a patient would be diagnosed with cancer during the study.
The link between cancer and low oxygen levels has been known for over 80 years.
The theory was first put forth by the Nobel Prize-winning physician Dr Otto Warburg in the 1930s. He believed that cancer cells are normal cells that have been forced to adjust to a low oxygen environment in order to survive.
Instead of being aerobic, they become partially aneorobic and become dependent on glucose (sugar) for energy production.
It’s for this reason that so many leading cancer experts recommend oxidative therapies – like intravenous ozone, hydrogen peroxide and rectal ozone – which work at the cellular level to encourage better uptake of oxygen.
Oxidative therapies are real game-changes for cancer patients, and there is barely a week that goes by when I don’t receive a message from someone letting me know how crucial these treatments have been for their recovery.
Just yesterday a lady from Melbourne posted a comment underneath one of my articles, mentioning how she had used ozone therapy, vitamin C and heat therapy to successfully overcome tongue cancer.
In my book Mum’s Not Having Chemo I share how other survivors have benefitted from oxidative therapies and provide the names of practitioners and clinics – around the world – who offer them.
But there are also simple ways you can boost the body’s intake of oxygen -without booking an appointment. You will find a list below…
Top 5 Ways to Oxygenate your Body:
• Start humming: Walking and humming dramatically increases oxygen intake, according to Marcus Freudenmann producer of Cancer is Curable NOW: ‘The vibrations from humming soothe the nerves while helping to increase the flow of oxygen through the body,’ he says. There’s even a clinic in Denmark where patients walk through the garden humming and singing twice a day.
• Drink your greens: Green vegetable juice has become more ubiquitous than skinny jeans – but it’s more than just a fad. Drinking a potent green cocktail floods the body with vital enzymes, antioxidants and chlorophyll – which improves oxygen transport throughout the body.
• Ditch stress: ‘Stress will cause you to take shallow breaths,’ explains New York-based cancer researcher Dr Kelly Turner. ‘After ten years of intense stress, you’ve got cells that have been starved of oxygen enough that their mitochondria might be damaged.’ Dr Turner thinks we can learn a lot from babies: ‘They take these beautiful belly breaths – they sleep a lot, they take naps, they’re not working all day and they’re moving,’ she says.
*Download the APP: Breath Pacer, an iPhone application monitors breathing and displays optimal breathing rates. Slower deeper breathing not only switches on the parasympathic nervous system (think rest and digest) it can also help alkalize the body.
• Exercise: ‘One of the best ways to oxygenate the body is by exercising,’ says integrative oncologist Dr Thomas Lodi. Going for a run, doing a few downward dogs or jumping on a mini tramp not only floods your body with oxygen but it also stimulates your lymphatic system – vital for removing toxins from the body – an helps de-clutter your mind, giving it a chance to re-set before it’s reloaded.
Ploughing through emails often feels like a chore, but this week it’s been pure pleasure.
Thanks to a feature in the Sunday Telegraph in Sydney, I have received a slew of messages from alternative health aficionados, natural cancer survivors… and even my old Montessori kindergarten.
I appreciate you taking the time to get in touch and I wish all my new subscribers a very warm welcome. Many of you have asked where to purchase the book so I’ve created a list below of key stockists.
AUSTRALIA: Dymocks, Collins and The Book Depository. Amazon does not have an Australian warehouse so the shipping costs are very expensive.
UK: Waterstones, WH Smith and Dubray as well as Amazon.co.uk.
AMERICA: The book will be re-released in America by Red Wheel, but for now you can purchase it online at amazon.com
In the meantime I hope you all enjoy the festive season – remember to keep breathing (a few deep breaths before bed might even help the hangover) – and I’ll see you in the New Year!
For comments click here
Although the internet and new media have revolutionized our relationship with news, it’s very easy to get lost in the vortex; and while google and #hashtags might be useful highway guides, there is no satnav for searching, and no direct postcode to help connect those looking for a kindred spirit.
A newspaper or magazine article on the other hand can draw, with magnetic force, thousands of like-minded people together.
Knowing this, I was hugely grateful to those editors who defied the usual blanket silence on alternative cancer therapies and mentioned my book in their pages last month. As a result, I received a flurry of emails from people who, like Mum, had overcome their cancer naturally.
One of them was Cliff Russell, a 6 foot 6 police officer with three science-based degrees who also said ‘no’ to chemo.
Here is his story, in his own words….
Cliff Russell, 46, London
‘I had a particularly bad stage 2 colon cancer with a poor prognosis and I was strongly ‘encouraged’ to undergo chemotherapy. But, having done my research I knew that chemotherapy wasn’t going to increase my chances of being around in a few years – I actually ended up getting the head oncologist to admit that chemo might ‘theoretically’ only add an extra 2-3% to my 5 year survival chances! I remember thinking at the time that just drinking the odd cup of green tea would probably outperform that statistic.
The point I would like to highlight is that for me, not having chemo was not actually a brave choice, it was actually the most logical and rational choice to make. The real tragedy is that when I asked my oncologist how many patients had rejected his advice to undergo chemotherapy, he said I was the first.
What alternative treatments have you tried since your diagnosis?
I’ve tried a wide range of self-treatments over the last 3.5 years – unfortunately I’ve not really had the money to treat myself any other way.
The constants have been; The love of my wife and family, organic food, a quality multivitamin/mineral, iodine, high dose selenium, high daily doses of Vitamin C and D, trace minerals, as much sunshine as possible, a very low carbohydrate diet, green and white tea, coffee enemas, green vegetable juices and smoothies and about 5mg of melatonin every night.
Along the way I have also dipped in and out of other treatments, including; Raw milk, meditation, visualisation exercises, binaural beats, Far Infra Red Saunas, structured water, ionized water, a grounding sleeping mat, Tai Chi, the Budwig Diet, growing and juicing my own wheatgrass, chlorella, spirulina, St John’s Wort, NAC, glutathione, Beta Glucan, Vitamin B-17, turmeric, fish oil, colloidal silver….you name it, I’ve tried it! I’m also pretty much a teetotaller nowadays.
Which alternative treatments do you think have worked best for you?
I’ve felt that I’ve needed different things at different times. However, the number one thing for me is always maintaining a low carb/sugar (mainly organic) diet – Otto Warburg didn’t win that Nobel Prize for nothing!
I was also lucky to be diagnosed in the Spring, and it was a warm one in 2010, so for 5 months (until I had to go back to work) I spent every spare minute with my shirt off sunbathing – put it down to Vitamin D or celestial photons, whatever it was, the sun really made me feel better, and it has done ever since.
When I’m not sunbathing I take a minimum of 10,000 units of Vitamin D a day, and between 5 to 10 g of vitamin C. Of all the other ‘interventions’ the green juices and smoothies always make me feel great (being a typically ungrateful bloke I have christened them ‘Green B@@tards’) And of course the treatment that dare not speak it’s name…the coffee enema, I feel has been an amazing support. I have some affectionate names for this procedure too…
Were there any surprising benefits from the treatments? For instance some people reach for the coffee enema kit when they feel a headache coming on…
I feel like my immune system is hard as nails now – I’m never ill with colds or flu. Another more profound by-product of my illness has been the ability, most of the time, to put things in perspective. I feel like I have been to the edge, had a quick peek into the abyss, and nothing is going to phase me now.
You mention that you really related to the chapter in my book about the ‘cancer personality.’ Which parts resonated with you?
I’m not sure if everyone who knows me would necessarily agree, but I think I’m the type of person who always wanted to be liked, and by everyone, and all the time. I think the pressure of wanting to be constantly perceived as a ‘nice person’ can take its toll – I now think it’s beneficial to be a selfish git occasionally.
It hasn’t escaped my attention that psychopaths and Nazi war criminals seem to live quite routinely into their 90’s – go figure. What have I done about it? Well, it’s a work in progress, but I do generally spend less time worrying if people like me or not, and I’m much more likely to be honest about my opinions with people.
How have your changed your diet and environment? (i.e. have you got rid of anything in your house that might have hindered your recovery?)
We now cook with titanium-coated cookware- no nasties leaking into our food any more. We also try to only cook with organic coconut oil – but my wife still uses other oils when she thinks I’m not looking. My wife has also chucked out nearly all the household cleaning products and we now clean with ‘Enjo’ microfibre cloths and water. I’ve also learned how to make my own natural soap (for shaving and washing) and deodorant, and I use a chemical free shampoo.
I’ve cut down on my fluoride exposure through a whole house water filter, fluoride-free toothpaste, and a reverse-osmosis drinking water filter. I’ve also recently got a water alkalising machine, as I realised that the RO water comes out very acidic.
I’m still learning about electro-smog issues, but have already ditched our cordless phone for an old-fashioned corded one. The wifi is next on my hit list, but for the time being we always switch it off at night.
What do you believe is the most important factor for healing?
For me everything flows from your attitude. Having a loving family around you helps too. It’s easy to crumble after the initial shock of the diagnosis, I certainly did. I was numb for days.
Luckily my spirit managed to kick back in again, and just in time to make some pretty important decisions. The default pathway for shell-shocked patients would appear to be doing exactly what they are told by their doctors – which isn’t necessarily always the best thing for them. As for chemotherapy? I have realised, certainly for colon cancer, that what is constantly being hailed as a life-saving wonder intervention, is in fact largely a redundant pile of pants (and a very lucrative one at that).
This shattered illusion has naturally led me to take a fresh look at the rest of the world around me, and ask what other pant-like rubbish we are being peddled. How about Quantitative Easing, SSRI’s, Statins, low-fat diets, vaccines, the apparent need for constant wars..
My daughter was a little over 12 months old at the time of my diagnosis, and the thought of her growing up without her dad chilled me to the bone. At a certain point I made a commitment to myself that I would do absolutely anything to maximise my chances of survival, and I haven’t looked back since. So no more carbohydrates, ‘green b@@tards’ for breakfast, some coffee ‘where the sun don’t shine’, bring it on.
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‘Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.’ Dr Andrew Saul, health educator and author of Food Matters
In Britain, Australia and the United States, you are punished financially if you choose alternative medicine over conventional treatment.
Chemotherapy drugs are expensive – often tens of thousands of pounds– but since they’re covered by national or private health insurance, the patient usually pays only a small portion of that amount. Nevertheless, someone is footing the bill.
In 2011 Americans spent over $23 billion on cancer drugs. Yet despite the promises, these shiny new drugs consistently underdeliver. ‘Standard therapies, although free, condemn the patient to low survival rates,’ says Dr Garry Gordon, co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). ‘Metastatic cancer five-year survival is 2.5 per cent; alternative doctors prove 38–60 per cent [five-year survival] is possible.’
However, holistic medicine often comes with a hefty price tag. After just a few weeks of intravenous vitamin C injections, ozone therapy, and investing in a far infrared sauna, mum’s credit card had already taken a battering. And that was before she flew to Germany for expensive blood tests.
While mum has been lucky enough to be able to afford these things, for many people alternative cancer treatments can be financially crippling. ‘It’s okay for you,’ people will say, ‘but I don’t have the money to see that specialist/order that supplement/travel overseas.’
Notwithstanding that money is a very real issue for a lot of people, there are effective solutions that don’t cost the earth. In fact, some of the best things a cancer patient can do cost nothing at all. For Professor Jane Plant giving up dairy led to recovery.
For Jane Wallis, a six-year bladder cancer survivor, apricot kernels and Essiac tea were, largely, the answer. ‘In a cash market the first step in stopping cancer is diet,’ emphasises Dr Garry Gordon.
Giving up sugar – cancer’s fertiliser – doesn’t cost a penny, and filling up on green juices, although time-consuming, is relatively affordable – even if it means budgeting in other areas.
Engaging with the natural environment also bestows positive health benefits and, in some instances, leads to profound healing. In Peace, Love and Healing, Dr Bernie Siegel discusses one case where Mother Nature contributed to a patient’s ‘spontaneous remission’:
‘Working outdoors, John maintains what I call a celestial connection and, like patients in the hospital who have shown to heal faster when their room has a view of the sky, he became healthier because of it.’
Changing your mental landscape can also change your life. Alternative cancer literature abounds with stories of tumours vanishing thanks to visualisation (Dr O. Carl Simonton, Getting Well Again), affirmation (Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life) and meditation (Ian Gawler, You Can Conquer Cancer).
While these books remind us of what is possible, for many people it is simply incomprehensible to rely on non-tangible treatments to heal cancer. The large majority of people crave radical action in the face of a terrifying diagnosis.
So what is available for those on a budget? In researching this topic I’ve learned that our world is rich in cancer-fighting substances. From broccoli sprouts and dandelion tea to shark cartilage and turkey-tail mushrooms there is a universe of affordable and effective options out there.
However, there are five treatments that have consistently cropped up in the expert interviews, survivor stories and the medical research I’ve done. These include turmeric, marijuana and salvestrols. Here are just a few things you may not know about them…
Turmeric: You will find over 4000 studies on Medline about this ancient healing powerhouse and the molecule, curcumin, it contains. According to Professor Bharat Aggarwal, head of the Cytokine Research Group in the department of experimental therapeutics at MD Anderson, ‘So far there is not one cancer, at least in the test-tube, that curcumin cannot stop.’
Marijuana: Now legal in several US states marijuana has been shown to cut lung cancer tumour growth in half – according to a 2007 Harvard Medical study.
Salvestrols: These potent plant compounds offer the possibility of anti-cancer treatment ‘without the horrible side-effects’ according to one British expert I interviewed.
In Mum’s Not Having Chemo I share the full story; I detail where you can get vitamin injections and how much turmeric to take, I provide practical advice from others who have beaten the odds and I share where you can go for molecular blood tests which will reveal the best treatments – alternative and conventional- for you.
The aim of the book is not to provide all the answers, but to raise your spirits along with a few important questions you might not otherwise have asked. Whatever road you decide to take, I hope it provides some comfort along the way.
For comments click here
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everyone from fashion designers to NFL football players are getting involved.
While I have nothing against putting a spotlight on disease – indeed Mum was motivated to see the doctor back in 2011 after reading a testimonial during Ovarian cancer awareness month – I sometimes feel that new research and important messages are lost in a deluge of pink marketing.
So this week I bring you the latest news on breast cancer that I hope will empower you to make healthy choices and give you some food for thought:
Get Enough Selenium
‘If every girl in this country took 200mcg of selenium in one generation we’d eliminate breast cancer by 82 per cent,’ says Dr Peter Glidden, a naturopathic physician and author of The MD Emperor Has No Clothes. It’s a bold statement, but research reveals people who live in areas of selenium-rich or magnesium-rich soils are indeed many times less likely to get cancer. Boost your levels by stocking up on brazil nuts, sardines and button mushrooms.
Try a Vitamin C Shower
Not to ward off the flu, but to cut your exposure to chlorine: ‘Chlorine is a very well-known cancer- causing agent,’ says the widely respected naturopath and clinical nutritionist David J. Getoff. A study carried out in Hartford, Connecticut found that, ‘Women with breast cancer have 50 per cent to 60 per cent higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination by- products) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.’ The bonus? Reducing chlorine content, by investing in a Vitamin C shower filter, can also promote healthy skin and hair.
Genes Don’t Make the Decision
Today, the lifetime risk of breast cancer among females with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene is 82 per cent. But the statistics haven’t always been so dire.
Before 1940 the BRCA2 gene only expressed in about 24 per cent of cases, according to research (Science, 2003, 302, pp. 643–50).
‘Genetically humans don’t change . . . the only thing that’s changing is our environment,’ says Dr Alexander Mostovoy, Toronto-based physician and thermographer.
Junk food and junk thoughts, coupled with increased pollution and radiation all have a hand to play in disease.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Women with low levels of vitamin D in their breast tissue have a much greater risk of breast cancer AND in 2013 researchers from St Louis found that vitamin D blocked a pathway linked to the development of breast cancer in women with the BRCA1 gene.
Jump on Mini Tramp
Rebounding slows ageing, oxygenates the blood and increases lymphatic flow, which may help prevent cancer.
‘Increasing lymph circulation gets white blood cells moving – which are critical for cleaning out your system and also killing cancer cells,’ says Marcus Freudenmann, producer of the hit documentary CANCER is Curable NOW.
Have a blueberry smoothie
In 2010, scientists discovered that blueberries cause programmed cell death in triple negative breast cancer cell lines. To find out more about the benefits and for a delicious basil and blueberry smoothie recipe, click here.
Some of the leading cancer centres in Europe won’t accept patients until they have their root canal teeth and mercury fillings removed.
In the years 1995-2000 Dr. Thomas Rau who runs the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland checked the records of the last 150 breast cancer patients admitted. He found that 147 of them (that’s 98 per cent) had one or more root canal teeth on the same acupuncture meridian as their original breast tumour.
Science is increasingly urging us not to overlook the impact of stress.
In 2009 Chinese researchers revealed that adrenaline – the fight or flight hormone – actually makes cancer resistant to treatment (Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics).
So why not use this month to slow down, reflect and maximize moments of pleasure by avoiding multitasking? Watch Downton Abbey without replying to a text at the same time, read a whole chapter without getting up to unload the dishwasher (I’m loving Deborah Moggach’s Heartbreak Hotel) wonder at the beauty of autumn and leave your mobile at home…
Take in this information and then detach from the subject of cancer.
It’s good to be aware, but it’s also good to let-go.
For comments click here
But the old thinking is shifting, and it’s shifting fast.
In a new report, heralded as a ‘milestone of cancer research’ scientists from Germany reveal that the immune system is the best cancer ‘fighter.’
Researchers from the Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany, have shown that the immune system has the ability to drive tumours and cancerous cells into a state of permanent dormancy.
‘It is very likely that we can’t win the ‘war on cancer’ by exclusive military means,’ says Professor Dr. Med Martin Rocken who led the research. ‘Instead, it will be an important milestone to restore the bodies’ immune control of malignant tumours.’
Immunotherapy was front-page news last weekend.
The cover story focused on breakthrough drugs reported to have ‘spectacular’ effects in seriously ill melanoma patients.
One scientist said it was ‘amazing’ that researchers could talk of ‘using the C-word- cure’ for the first time.
The two new drugs – ipilimumab or ‘ipi’ and anti-PDIs – work by stimulating the immune system and breaking down cancer cells’ defences. When combined, they are reported to ‘cure’ more than 50 per cent of patients. Traditionally, when melanoma has spread to other organs it is regarded as incurable.
So should we be excited?
Yes, I think so. I believe mainstream medicine is finally focusing their massive research budgets in the right direction – and these drugs certainly look promising. However, I would be interested to know more about possible side-effects and long term benefits.
Dr. James Larkin, of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying:
‘It’s difficult to know that we have actually ‘cured’ people, because we have to wait to see if they die from something else. But all the new ipi data points to the fact that if you respond to the drug and are still alive three years after treatment, then it’s very likely that you are clinically cured.’
Currently the word ‘cure’ means living five years beyond diagnosis.
Phillip Day, a UK based health researcher and author of Cancer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the Truth is wary of the word:
‘My aunt – who had all the chemo offered – is forever immortalized as a breast cancer ‘survivor’ says Day. ‘She survived the five years, but died six months after that. So she’s ‘cured’ and dead.’
Twenty-five years ago Day embarked upon a worldwide quest to find the answer to cancer. The result? He discovered the clinics getting the best results were focusing on nutrition, stress management and lifestyle changes. ‘They weren’t doing chemotherapy and radiation at all. That surprised me,’ says Day.
For decades, alternative medicine has been focusing on the power of the immune system to overcome cancer, and there is now a wealth of research showing the benefits of immune boosting therapies like ozone therapy, hyperthermia, haelan and high dose vitamin C.
We all know that vitamin C can ward off the flu and fight viral illness – in fact vitamin C injections recently saved the life of a New Zealand farmer who was at death’s door from swine flu – but clinical research shows it’s a powerfully ally for cancer patients too.
Since 1980, numerous studies have reported that high dose vitamin C is selectively toxic to melanoma cells.
Another study from Japan, found that those suffering from uterine cancer lived fifteen times longer if they were having intravenous vitamin C.
My own mother, who was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer in March 2011, opted to have 60,000 mg of vitamin C injected injected three times a week.
She believed doing so would supercharge her immune system, help with healing and mop up rogue cancer cells left in her body following surgery.
There is now compelling clinical evidence that high dose vitamin C can kill cancer cells and leave healthy cells in tact.
A 2008 paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that intravenous vitamin C reduced cancerous tumours in mice by 43 per percent to 51 percent. The mice had ovarian, pancreatic and brain cancer.
The study was led by Dr Mark Levine, from the American National Institutes of Health.
So is vitamin C a magic bullet?
I don’t believe there is one, but I am convinced it was an important part of Mum’s recovery.
Six months after Mum started intravenous vitamin C – along with a series of other non-toxic therapies, which you can read about here – she was thriving, and still is.
I think we should be open to the idea and offer patients the freedom of choice.
Sadly, the government is not of the same mind.
While the drug ipi is already available on the NHS, under the brand name Yervoy, the governments £200 million-a year budget doesn’t cover vitamin C – even though it retails for around 5 cents per gram.
Nor does the budget stretch to turmeric, hyperthermia or hydrogen peroxide – even though scientists from Nottingham Trent University recently concluded that the latter substance can act as ‘an anti-cancer drug with two distinct advantages: it produces minimal short and long term side effects and is relatively cheap and cost effective.’
As health educator and author Dr. Andrew Saul so aptly says ‘Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.’
For comments click here
That is the conclusion I’ve come to after spending two years interviewing over 60 experts around the world – most of whom were doctors – and speaking to countless cancer survivors.
Through my research I was astounded by the number of people who turned their situation around, after being told they had weeks or months to live.
‘Terminal’ cancer patients – with metastases to the bones, lungs and liver – have been known to fully recover, pancreatic tumours have vanished and those who’ve been sent home to die have gone on to live.
So what did these people do? Frustratingly, there is no simple answer. There is no ‘magic bullet’ no Elysium like ‘health repair pod,’ that will bring every patient back from the brink.
Nonetheless there are treatments that come up time and time again as the ones to try when all else fails. They won’t work for everyone, but rather than leave your health in the hands of fate, why not do your research, weigh up all your options, and take a chance on recovery?
In my forthcoming book, Mum’s Not Having Chemo: Cutting-edge therapies, real-life stories – a road-map to healing from cancer, I provide an in-depth account of the latest protocols along with an extended resources section to help you navigate through the dark.
But for those of you who need answers now, here are four treatments worth considering when the doctor says ‘there is nothing more we can do.’
Hyperthermia has gained a reputation as the therapy to try when the prognosis is poor, and Dr Garry Gordon, co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), swears by it:
‘If a patient has cancer that is so out of control they’re supposed to die in ten days – if it’s in every part of their body, they’re living on IV morphine – if they have the money, I would fly them directly to Munich and I would suggest they go to see Dr Douwes to have hyperthermia.’
Hyperthermia is a form of heat therapy where the patient’s body temperature is raised to around 41 degrees for four or five hours.
Cancer cells can’t take the heat, it weakens them, but healthy cells are left untouched.
So when cancer cells are in that weakened state doctors use small doses of chemotherapy or natural treatments like high dose vitamin C to finish the cancer cells off.
This fermented soy beverage is for ‘the ugly cancers’ according to Walter Wainright, a world-leading expert on Haelan 951. Preliminary research shows Haelan can:
Cut off the blood supply to cancer cells
Reduce cachexia (the wasting away process that haunts end stage cancer patients)
Take on ‘treatment resistant’ cancers
The National Cancer Institute has certified and accepted one very interesting case study of a terminal liver cancer patient who started taking Haelan and who was, seven months later, cancer free. According to the report his doctor was dumbfounded; he did not know of any other survivors of the cancer (cholangiocarcinoma).
A course of Haelan 951, on average costs about $900 (USD) and that’s not including shipping. It’s a serious investment, but then cancer is no trifling condition and, as Wainright pointed out in a recent interview, the chemo drug Avastin costs $100,000 — and perhaps extends life for two to six months, with extreme side effects.
(For those new to this blog, Mum is now thriving. She has no sign of the ovarian and uterine cancer she was diagnosed with in 2011. You can read a summary of her story here).
For more details go to: www.haelan951.com/
One of his patients is a twenty-four-year survivor of metastatic breast cancer. ‘I know of no other patient with stage-4 inflammatory breast cancer, that failed chemo, alive twenty-four years later,’ says Dr Gonzalez.
The highly sought-after physician has had phenomenal success with a wide variety of cancers, including pancreatic cancer. You can find published case reports of his patients on his website.
For more details go to: www.dr-gonzalez.com/
While illegal in the UK and Australia, treating cancer with marijuana is big news stateside: ‘One literally has to be a fool not to consider using medical marijuana in one’s cancer protocol after reading the research,’ one international expert shared with me.
This blog just might get a mention too…
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Such a departure was it from my normal behaviour that it left me shaking with adrenaline for hours, freaked out by what else I was capable of.
It wasn’t psychedelic drugs – I’m too much of hypochondriac for that. It wasn’t extreme sport – something that will never float my boat.
It was simply that I booked a seat on the Eurostar one hour before it was due to leave the station. For the impulsive among us that’s probably no big deal.
But for someone like me who worships routine and craves control – it was about as far from my comfort zone as I’ve been in a long time.
And you know what? It felt amazing. As I sat with my little sister in Paris a few hours later, demolishing a huge bowl of pea carbonara and sipping red wine, I wondered why on earth I didn’t relax the rules and let joy into my life a little more often.
Pleasure is powerful stuff
In fact, having a sense of joy is the second most important factor for predicting cancer survival, according to research from Sandra Levy, associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
Feeling euphoric also provides free access to Interleukin-2.
The synthetic version of the substance – the cancer drug Proleukin – costs around $40,000 and comes with a long list of side effects.
But according to medical research you can boost your own secretions of Interluekin-2 just by being relaxed and joyful.
It sounds so simple. But is it really?
One in three British workers fails to take their full annual holiday entitlement according to a recent survey. Instead they put in 36 million hours of free overtime.
The relentless pressures of twenty-first century life mean many of us have forgotten how to ‘let go.’
Prior to getting cancer Mum now admits that she was ‘just going through the motions.’ She felt like a slave to her to-do list and would always postpone pleasure in lieu of one more task.
She routinely put her own needs behind those of her four children, friends, her dogs, other people’s dogs (at one point I think she was walking six) and while selflessness might be the mark of a saint, any virtue can turn to vice, when taken to the extreme.
So for Mum, putting joy back on the agenda has been crucial to her recovery.
She has learnt to say ‘no’ to other’s endless demands and her own exacting expectations. Complicated meals are now a special treat and simple meals – organic lamb chops and salad – are du jour.
Mum has also transformed her approach to exercise. Rather than another chore to tick of the list, these days it’s an experience to delight her soul. Some days it’s a swim at the beach, a jump on her mini tramp, a qigong class or a ‘spirit raising’ session of kundalini yoga at home.
Lose track of time
Finding pleasure and fulfillment is a key component of Dr. Bernie Siegel’s workshops for Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECaP):
‘ “Do I have enough play in my life?” That’s what patients need to ask themselves,’ he told me in a recent interview. ‘ So find things that help you lose track of time. Because then you’re in a trance state, and that’s the healthiest state to be in.’
There’s still people to email, features to write and a fringe that desperately needs a cut – but it can wait, I’m not going to slavishly follow today’s ‘to-do’s.
According to one psychologist: ‘The day our list is complete and our inbox is empty is the day we die.’
At the moment I’m hell bent on living.
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She has always been ahead of the curve – she knew about kombucha and kefir twenty years ago, practiced yoga when step-class was still du jour and shopped at one of the first macrobiotic health stores in Sydney, while I was still in kindergarten.
When I asked her this week, ‘What’s new?’ she didn’t fail to deliver.
‘Apparently chlorophyll is the new coconut water,’ she announced.
I thought the catchy headline was too good to be true. But sure enough, a brief search online proved Mum still has her finger on the pulse.
British health expert James Duigan, who counts Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson among his clients apparently swears by it: ‘We use chlorophyll drops in water to help keep people alkaline,’ said Duigan in a recent article.
Chlorophyll, the pigment which gives plants their green colour, does much more than alkalize the system.
This all-star player is reported to be an anti-carcinogen, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
What’s more, just a few drops diluted in water can:
– Deodorize your body and cure bad breath
– Brighten your skin
– Promote healthy digestion
– Eliminate stored toxins and poisons
– Build up your blood – by increasing hemoglobin
– Deliver a host of vital minerals, including magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, calcium and protein.
Chlorophyll can even stand-in for sunshine, according to Paul Pitchford, author of Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition.
‘In the old days people used to say, if you can’t get out in the sunshine, used stored sunshine in the form of chlorophyll,’ says Pitchford.
Perhaps the biggest draw-card in terms of anti-cancer nutrition, however, is chlorophyll’s ability to improve oxygen transport throughout your body.
Research shows that malignant cells can’t survive in a highly oxygenated environment, so anything that boosts your oxygen levels, will help keep cancer at bay.
Exercise is one simple way to oxygenate the body; drinking chlorophyll-packed juice, is another.
‘Green vegetable juice is alive with biophoton energy and is the highest quality water we can obtain for cancer prevention,’ says Dr. Thomas Lodi, a leading integrative oncologist (You will find more wisdom from Dr. Lodi in my forthcoming book Mum’s Not Having Chemo: Cutting-edge therapies, real-life stories – a road-map to healing from cancer).
Most days, Mum makes herself a potent green cocktail.
She will then add a few drops of Ocean’s Alive – a concentrated form of marine phytoplankton, and another rich source of chlorophyll.
For those who can’t stand the taste, you can also reap the rewards through bathing in chlorophyll – apparently.
An equally wild fact is that coconut water – getting back to yesterday’s hot health drink – is almost identical in composition to human blood plasma. And, according to reports, coconut water was given to wounded soldiers in lieu of blood transfusions during the Pacific War.
So in conclusion I’d say both chlorophyll and coconut water deserve their place – not only on the top shelf of health food stores, but also, it would seem, in the bathtub and first aid-kit.
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