The most essential tool in combating cancer is the immune system, and its resistance is affected by lifestyle. Some scientists have recently argued that cancer treatments only lead to the removal of a problem – tumour, but they offer no solution for the cause itself – a weak immune system. Therefore, it is important to consider a lifestyle change and to promote immunity – by a healthy diet, regular and adequate exercise, or by natural food supplements if required. We live in a considerably polluted environment which affects us all, and the food despite the best choice often lacks everything we need. Finally, it is important to take a responsible and a positive approach to our life and health.
Many treatment options make people with a diagnosis of cancer feel hopeless, or scared, also due to the confusion about choosing the right treatment. It is usually their doctor – an oncologist who selects the right approach in line with the individual needs. Mostly, it is the commonly used therapy which is regarded as the most effective despite its negative side effects.
Most treatment methods for cancer include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical interventions or their combination. However, some new methods have recently been developed that aim to provide a gentler solution for healthy cells, and to eliminate adverse effects often associated with the commonly used cancer treatments. The “novel” methods include proton therapy, biological therapy (immunotherapy), gene therapy, infusion of vitamin C and many other alternative methods.
A very promising treatment is immunotherapy based on the premise that cancer develops due to the failing immunity. Globally, this treatment option is at its early days, but it has been given increasingly more attention. In the Czech Republic this method started with tests in 65 patients with melanoma – skin cancer who had failed to respond to any other treatments. During this therapy, the anti-cancer immunity and body’s natural defence mechanisms are reinforced, so the body can deal with cancer using minimal external support. Cancer cells are not targeted directly, but the immune system is activated to respond to these cells adequately and effectively. This is different from the very demanding chemotherapy and radiotherapy aiming to destroy the tumour using unnatural means for the body.
The treatment effectiveness increases when the commonly used therapy such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a surgical intervention are combined with a so called complementary (additional) therapy using food supplements such as vitamins and mineral products or herbs, that are more alternative ways of help. This complementary therapy may promote the effects of standard medical treatments and complement them adequately; however, it may also reduce their effects (or negatively elevate them to be toxic), and hence it is recommended to gain medical opinion on the use of some food supplements or herbs.
A so called nutritional therapy which is often neglected and poorly promoted should be a part of cancer treatment. Patients’ diet influences the course of illness as well as its prognosis and the quality of life. Malnutrition is present in 70% of cancer cases, but the weight loss reduces the treatment effectiveness and chances for survival. Poor nutrition as a consequence of treatment side effects (loss of appetite, nausea and others) compromises the treatment outcomes, and it brings many complications that may at the worst scenario put a life at risk. Healthy and nutritious diet, which may be administered intravenously in most serious cases, can suppress inflammatory reactions, promote immunity and slow down muscle wasting. It is important to use the latest findings from the field of nutrition, particularly before the start of therapy, throughout its application and after its termination to prevent the disease recurring.
If patient’s condition requires no intravenous or special nutrition, it is important to adjust the food usually consumed, so it puts no strain on the body and it does not promote the growth of cancer. Primarily, poor diet full of modified ingredients and artificial additives should be avoided including red meat, dairy, meat products, pickled or canned food and alcohol. The main components should be fruit and vegetables, especially those with anti-cancer properties (apple, grapefruit, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, melon, etc.). Even limiting sugar is crucial (as glucose is the main fuel for tumour formation) as well as adding green tea (containing EGCG which blocks metabolism of glutamine needed by cancer), vitamin D3 (formed in the skin during sunbathing, contained in fish oil, liver, or egg yolks) and resveratrol (antioxidant contained in grapes, blueberries and black currants). Apart from the recommendations above patients should care for their mental well-being as it is an important aspect of recovery. Positive thinking, trust in the therapy and full recovery should be fundamental, though often most difficult to do. Meditation or psychotherapy may provide some help, consequently resolving inner fears, accepting the disease and finding a new direction in one’s life.
When treating cancer, immunity enhancement is crucial; it is the perfect cure for all diseases. Medical management of immunotherapy is significant; effective natural products promoting a healthy function of the immune system are medicinal fungi high on beta-glucans such as oyster mushrooms, or the less known reishi, shiitake and cordyceps. Because cancer cells evoke inflammation it is important to use inflammation-reducing agents and anti-cancer agents that include the commonly used chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Some alternative methods for cancer include curcumin, graviola, ginger or beetroot.
Studies - oncological diseases
Types of cancer
Liver cancer, Brain cancer, Hodgkin´s lymphoma, Cervical cancer, Kidney cancer, Leukemia, Lung cancer, Skin cancer, Uterine cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Colon cancer, Bladder cancer, Ovarian cancer, Testicular cancer, Stomach cancer