Cancer: How It Grows
Cancer takes hold when all the bodily protective mechanisms (immune system) have virtually broken down. (It is of paramount importance to understand that these protective mechanisms are in turn protected by the nutrients obtained from foods). Cancer is a mutated growth out of control that literally feeds off the relatively healthy cells in the body. Cancer cells need nitrogen (from protein) and glucose to survive. They obtain the nitrogen by ‘robbing’ it from healthy cells and gobble up ten to fifteen times the amount of glucose utilized by normal cells. Sufferers of cancer can starve to death, or due to a weakened state, contract other diseases such as pneumonia which can kill them before they succumb to the cancer.
Here is a more technical explanation of how cancers grow:
To grow, cancer cells use glucose as their fuel, but they metabolize it incompletely and dump the waste product, lactic acid, into the blood stream. The body requires ever increasing energy to reconvert the lactic acid into glucose. This energy expenditure often results is cachexia, the severe weight loss associated with cancer. Cancer cells also rob healthy cells of nitrogen (which the body obtains from protein foods), and secrete a substance that paralyses the immune system. Cancer is basically caused by the respiration of oxygen (low oxygen pressure) being replaced by the fermentation of sugar (glucose). The malignant cells utilize glucose at ten to fifteen times the rate of normal cells. This glucose is generated mainly in the liver (in a healthy body glucose comes mainly from foods) by reconverting the lactic acid. A vicious cycle is set up, lactic acid – glucose – lactic acid – glucose (gluconeogenisis).
Certain substances such as Hydrazine sulfate have been shown to inhibit the enzyme that allows this process, thereby helping to starve and shrink cancer tumors. Hospitalization for any illness normally requires that one eat the food supplied. In the UK NHS hospital food is quite simply, appalling. At a time when nutritional intake should be at a maximum, it is more often than not at an all time low. If you have the luxury of time to plan an operation, I strongly suggest that you optimize your diet and or nutritional supplementation. This will ensure a much speedier recovery and reduce the risks of complications. Prior to treating cancer patients with, for instance, chemotherapy, it is usual for a white blood cell count to be taken; this indicates the strength of immune system. If it is below a certain level the treatment will not be administered as chemotherapy ‘hits’ healthy cells as well as the cancerous, it would be all too easy to totally decimate the killer white blood cells of the immune system with this treatment.
Here again, nutritional support will help the immune system prior to the treatment and during the recovery period. Please be warned that if you have chosen to undergo chemotherapy, advise your consultant on any nutritional program you are undertaking. Please be advised that antioxidants, particularly vitamin C can negate the affects of chemotherapy (such is their power). If you have chosen the chemotherapy route, it may work better if you don’t take antioxidants during the “live’ treatment phase. Persons suffering from any serious illness who are hospitalized, should receive an optimum nutritional program from a professional, prior, during and after treatment, I cannot emphasize this point too strenuously. As I have said, many cancer patients die due to malnutrition, They become progressively emaciated and simply starve to death, as the had cancer gobbles up whatever life-giving nutrients that were available.
You will recall that proteins are the building and repair blocks to build the body anew. Cancer patients have a tremendous need for all nutrients and particularly for protein. As many of them suffer nausea both from the illness and conventional medical intervention such as chemotherapy, it is preferable to supply protein as free form amino acid capsules and or as whey protein powder. This powder is made up as a drink to which all other nutrients can also be added. When nitrogen from protein is freely available, cancer cells do not need to rob healthy cells of it and therefore tend not to release the substance which paralyses the immune system. By further supporting the immune system nutritionally, it can go to work and endeavor to rid the body of the cancerous cells.
A wealthy gentleman, whose wife was suffering from cancer, consulted me. He was very much in favor of her receiving nutritional support while undergoing chemotherapy. I was asked to travel to their home to see her and the rest of their family, not to treat her, but to try and convince them that nutritional support would be beneficial and not harmful! The family was quite antagonistic, but their reactions were mild compared to the attitudes of both the hospital dietitian and consultant when I spoke to them afterwards. My client was totally exasperated with the whole experience. I had formulated a protein based nutritional drink for my client’s wife, while awaiting the outcome of the meeting. A week or so later I received a call saying, no go! He was bitterly disappointed that his family and the hospital dietitian would not instigate any nutritional action. To say the least, so was I.
- Cancer And Its Nutritional Therapies – Dr Richard A. Passwater – Pivot Publishing – USA.
- The Persecution and Trial of Gaston Naessens – Christopher Bird – H.J. Kramer Inc. A ‘must read’.
- The Essiac Report – Richard Thomas – Published by: The Alternative Treatment Information Network, USA. Another ‘must read’.
I have a particular interest in the alarming rise in breast cancer. I strongly recommend that you implement as many of the preventative suggestions that you can. Unless action is taken, in approximately twenty years, on current projections, a huge proportion of the female population will develop cancer of the breast. This is a totally unacceptable situation and one that does not have to exist.
- The risk factor for females getting breast cancer in the UK during their lifetime, is 1 in 12.
- For females who develop this disease, almost fifty per cent of them will die from the cancer.
- Fourteen thousand four hundred and forty-three women died of breast cancer in the UK in 1994. That amount of women would fill thirty-six Jumbo jets!
- Twenty-nine thousand eight hundred and seventy women developed breast cancer in the UK In 1988 (latest figures available). That amount of women would fill seventy-four Jumbo jets!
- By contrast, in the same periods male deaths from breast cancer were seventy-one with an incidence of two hundred and five cases.
- Breast cancer is the leading ‘cancer killer’ of females in the UK We are in the unenviable position in leading the world in mortality rates from this disease.
To suffer with any form of cancer is at best a severe trauma and at worst, a slow and sometimes painful death. Virtually every form of it is on a relentless upward march. Breast, testicular, colon, lung, stomach, etc. Why is this? After all, we are told that we get all the nutrients that we need from our food supply, that the toxins in our food and environment are at low safe levels, so it can’t be that, can it? So, I ask again, why is this? Must just be ‘one of those things’, we are lucky or we are not! Rubbish! It has everything to do with our diet (in this instance ‘our’ means Great Britain, as our cancer levels of certain types are the highest in Europe.) And the levels of toxins in our environment and therefore in our bodies. There is so much that can be easily done to reduce the risk of getting breast and virtually all other cancers, by adhering to the principles of nutrition set out in this book. In various cities in the USA cancer mortality rates have a direct relationship with low selenium (a powerful antioxidant) levels in the blood.
Note: Selenium supplements should be of the Methionine variety. Vitamin E must be present in the body for selenium to work correctly.
Below are some of the predisposing factors that can substantially increase the risks of getting breast cancer:
- Genetic Inheritance (Family history)
- Excess estrogen
- Toxic bowel
- Increasing age
- Late childbearing (after 30 years of age)
- Not having children
- Early start of periods
- Late menopause
- Ionizing radiation
- Prolonged use of the contraceptive pill -for young women before pregnancy
- History of benign (non cancerous) breast disease
- Refined sugar intake
- Prolonged HRT
- Excess hydrogenate fat intake
- Lack of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants in the body
- Lack of fiber in the diet
- Lack of essential fatty acids
- Environmental toxins
- Depleted Immune system
Let us look at some of these risk factors in a little more detail.
Genetic Inheritance (Family History)
RNA and DNA are a genetic blueprint for the production and growth of all cells. If the gene that is responsible for giving instructions for the manufacture of breast tissue becomes damaged by, for instance, free radical attack, it can produce mutated cells that may grow out of control. If you have inherited this defective gene there is a high risk of it being activated, and cancer of the breast developing at some point. Even where there is no genetic inheritance, during a lifetime of poor nutrition, the gene governing breast growth could become damaged and a cancerous growth may then develop. It is my belief that if the body is correctly nourished with real foods (and /or supplements) that contain high levels of all nutrients, including the very important antioxidants, (these quench free radicals) then there will be substantial protective mechanisms in place. All women should undertake regular breast screening, without fail.
Excess Estrogens – Estrogen Dominance
The term Estrogen Dominance coined by John Lee, M.D., refers to excessive serum blood levels of this predominately female hormone. This condition affects both females and males in these times. The body, due to their extremely powerful effects, normally tightly regulates hormonal production and secretion. Certain deactivatory and excretion mechanisms exist to deal with normal or slightly abnormal levels of these types of substances. However, in many instances these mechanisms can no longer cope with the extreme overload. Until the industrial revolution came into being, it was all but impossible to obtain excessive estrogen’s by dietary, environmental, or any other means. Around seventy-five per cent of breast cancers are estrogen dependent. In other words, the cancer cells are literally fed by estrogenic hormones. So, where are we all getting these excessive amounts from?
These are some of the answers; certain pesticides and insecticides that are now an integral part of our food chain and water supply, act as synthetic versions of the natural form. Some industrial chemicals such as Nonylphenol and PCBs act similarly. Plastic food containers can leech synthetic forms of them, certain car exhaust fumes do the same thing. Poisons from a toxic bowel can reactivate deactivated estrogens, substantially increasing their blood levels. Prolonged use of HRT and the contraceptive pill also increase estrogen blood levels. Fiber, of which most people are desperately short, binds with estrogens and carries them out of the body in the stools. The more fiber we get in our diet (within reason) the more deactivated estrogen we are capable of expelling.
Estrogens deposit fat in the breasts. The more fat we have in our bodies, the more the potential for an oxidation process to take place. This causes damage from free radical attack. Fats also accumulate excess estrogen and store toxins such as pesticides, which can be strongly carcinogenic (cancer causing). The body manufactures both estrogens and progesterone, these hormones must be in balance, or inevitably, problems will occur. John Lee MD, in an effort to highlight the problems caused by increased levels of estrogen in relation to progesterone, lists among others, the following effects of the hormones:
|Breast stimulation||Protects against breast fibrocysts|
|Increased body fat||Helps use fat for energy|
|Salt & fluid retention||Natural diuretic|
|Depression & headaches||Natural antidepressant|
|Decreases sex drive||Restores sex drive|
|Impairs blood sugar control||Normalizes blood sugar levels|
|Increased risk of breast cancer||Helps prevent breast cancer|
|Slightly restrains the breakdown||Stimulates new bone building of ‘old’ bone|
Other notable symptoms of an excess of estrogen include premenstrual tension, fibrocystic breast disease, endometriosis, painful and or heavy periods. It must be understood by both the public and medical practitioners that synthetic (drugs) estrogens and progesterones do not work in the body in the same manner as those produced by the body. The synthetic versions can often have the opposite effects of natural hormones! I therefore urge all medical practitioners to read DR John R. Lee’s book, Natural Progesterone. To highlight this situation, I reproduce an abbreviated list of potential problems from the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) in the USA, for the commonly prescribed synthetic progesterone (progestin) Medroxyprogesterone Acetate.
- Increased risk of birth defects such as heart and limb defects, if taken during the first four months of pregnancy.
- Beagle dogs given this drug developed malignant mammary nodules.
- Discontinue this drug if there is a sudden or partial loss of vision.
- This drug passes into breast milk, consequences unknown.
- May contribute to thrombophlebitis, pulmonary embolism and cerebral thrombosis.
Thrombophlebitis, thromboembolic disorders, cerebral apoplexy, liver dysfunction or disease, known or suspected malignancy of breast or genital organs, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
- May cause fluid retention, epilepsy, migraine, asthma, cardiac or renal dysfunction.
- May cause breakthrough bleeding or menstrual irregularities.
- May cause or contribute to depression.
- The effect of prolonged use of this drug on pituitary, ovarian, adrenal, hepatic, or uterine function is unknown.
- May decrease glucose tolerance, diabetic patients must be carefully monitored.
- May increase the thrombotic disorders associated with estrogens
- May cause breast tenderness and galactorrhea.
- May cause sensitivity reactions such as urticaria, puritus, oedema or rash.
- May cause acne, alopecia and hirsutism.
- Oedema, weight changes (increase or decrease).
- Cervical erosions and changes in cervical secretions.
- Cholestatic jaundice.
- Mental depression, pyrexia, nausea, insomnia, or somnolence.
- Anaphylactoid reactions and anaphylaxis (severe acute reactions).
- Thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism.
- Breakthrough bleeding, spotting, amenorrhea, or changes in menses.
- When taken with estrogen’s, the following have been observed:
- Rise in blood pressure, headache, dizziness, nervousness, fatigue.
- Changes in libido, hirsutism and loss of scalp hair.
- Decrease in T3 uptake values.
- Premenstrual-like syndrome, changes in appetite, etc.
Testicular cancer rates are rising and doubtless this situation will continue. In many cases the root cause can be traced to a lack of vital nutrition, particularly powerful antioxidants such as selenium. Worryingly, much of our food is grown on selenium deficient soil. Males have fifty percent of their bodily supply of selenium concentrated in the testicles and parts of the seminal ducts, which are next to the prostate. To have this high a proportion of any single mineral-antioxidant concentrated in one area is unusual. However, the ability to procreate is probably the most powerful of drives, and the mechanism which allows this must be protected for as long as possible. As selenium is ‘lost’ in ejaculated semen, this further depletes the levels. It is vital for males to ensure that they have adequate intakes of this mineral.
A good quality multi-vitamin-mineral formula should contain selenium. Due to capsule size limitations, these may well contain less than the optimum amounts. It would be better to obtain a “stand alone’ selenium supplement or an antioxidant complex that supplies around 100mcg per capsule. To check yourself for any possible testicular abnormalities, after a warm bath or shower, when the scrotal skin is relaxed, gently (!) roll each testicle between the fingers and thumb, checking for lumps or nodules. If you detect anything suspicious, see your doctor as soon as possible.
Note: Selenium should be of the methionine variety and vitamin E must be present in the body for it to work correctly.
Prostate cancer has a reasonably high awareness profile. This is possibly because it kills thousands of men each year in the UK and many nutritional companies’ aggressively market products to address the issue. They are generally sold as a preventative and/or as a treatment of benign hypertrophy of the prostate. The prostate is a doughnut-shaped sex gland that lies beneath the urinary bladder. It encircles the first part of the urethra, which is the tube in the penis through which urine leaves the body. It is responsible for producing prostatic fluid that transports and nourishes sperm.
There are three main prostate problems that may be encountered:
- Prostatitis – this is an acute or chronic inflammation of the prostate, usually caused by a bacterial infection.
- Benign hypertrophy – this is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This condition affects around one third of males over the age of fifty.
- Cancer of the prostate. This is the third most common cancer in males in both the UK And the USA (Vasectomy increases the risk of prostate cancer threefold).
Symptoms of prostate problems include:- pain between the rectum and scrotum, burning sensation when urinating, impeded urine flow, frequency and urgency, blood in urine, need to urinate frequently in the night, lower back pain and impotence. Please see you doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
James F. Balch, MD& Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C. in ‘Prescription for Nutritional Healing’ (Avery Publishing Group Inc) state “Prostate cancer is one of several common cancers that have been confirmed in the laboratory as being diet related”.
Same old story, diet, diet, diet! Obviously, prevention of prostate problems is much easier than effecting a cure. Together with dietary changes, males should ensure that their intake of zinc and antioxidants is adequate. Please seek professional help in this if you can, merely supplementing with zinc may cause other nutritional imbalances. I recommend that males take 20mg of a zinc as an amino acid chelate daily, as the most basic preventative measure.
Saw palmetto extract (beta sitosterol) from the dwarf American palm tree has been shown in many clinical studies to counter enlargement of the prostate gland, as has zinc. Most supplemental formulas contain these nutrients together with other antioxidants.
Colorectal cancer is a major killer of people over the age of fifty, second only to lung cancer.
Risk factors include a family history of it, calcium deficiency, toxic bowel, continued constipation or diarrhea, general poor dietary choices, excessive hydrogenated fat intake, smoking, alcohol and obesity.
The good news is that if it is detected at an early stage the treatment of this cancer has a good chance of succeeding. Home test kits are generally available, these detect blood in the stool, an early warning sign. I suggest that you test annually.
Specific Measures to Take!
- Regular screening.
- Self examination of the breasts for unusual lumps.
- Toxic bowel test. (See services section).
- Cut down significantly on hydrogenated fats, replace with some saturated and unsaturated fat.
- Diet, diet, diet!
Note on Bras!
In 1996 I read an article in a professional journal, that stated that tight bra straps may be a risk factor for breast cancer. This article was generally treated with utter disdain in professional circles. The writer proposed that tight straps may impede the flow of lymph in and out of the major lymphatic ducts, (lymphatic fluid carries toxins away from the blood) thereby causing the retention of carcinogens and estrogens There is no proof that this is so. However, I can understand the writer’s reasoning, and it may well be an extra burden on an already overworked system. It is well to be aware of this possible problem.
Figures supplied by the cancer research Campaign, 10 Cambridge Terrace, London, NW1 4JL. Tel: UK – 0207 224 1333