Our view of cancer needs to shift from the theory that ‘Cancer is an enemy that attacks us and that we must wage war against it,’ to ‘Cancer is something that our body does, presumably in order for our cells to survive in an increasingly inhospitable, nutrient-deprived cellular environment.’
Cancer is a Survival Mechanism of the Cell
According to Dr Otto Warburg, “The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by the fermentation of sugar. All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation.”
Healthy cells create their energy (APT or adenosine triphosphate) by burning oxygen and glucose- the process is aerobic respiration and the cycle of creating energy is called the Krebs Cycle.
Cancer cells create their energy by fermenting glucose- cellular toxicity has damaged the mitochondria of cancerous cells and this creates dysfunction with their respiration mechanism. Since they no longer have the ability to burn oxygen and glucose they must switch over to fermenting glucose instead.
Fermentation is a much more primitive, much less efficient form of energy production and it creates a lactic acid by-product that further acidifies the surrounding tissues. This acidification is also a necessary component for cancer metastasis (growth and spread).
What Causes an Unhealthy Cellular Terrain
- A lack of nutrients in our diet: we are eating diets that are heavy in processed foods sugars, dairy, meats, refined grains, soda, coffee, fast foods, and chemical laden foods. These are all lacking in essential micro-nutrients that the body requires to function properly and they promote inflammation. When we consume this type of diet, we are setting ourselves up for disease by creating the ideal low-oxygen, acidic environment for cancer cells to thrive that is known as chronic metabolic acidosis.
- A lack of proper lipids (fats) for healthy cellular membranes: essential fatty acids and cholesterol are the building blocks for the cells. A deficiency in the proper lipids can restrict the transfer of oxygen and nutrients into the cells and waste products out of the cells, not allowing the cell to breathe and remove waste as it had before. Cellular membranes are made up of lipids (fats), and the body will use whatever form of fats that you are consuming, even if they are the toxic kind that clog the cells. This lack of permeability of the cell membrane will cause a buildup of cellular toxicity and acidity.
- Toxic overload: an overwhelmed immune system is no longer able to deal with the parasites, fungus, viruses, bacteria, and pathogens, as well as destroy the mutated cells, and so the cancer is allowed to grow unchecked.
- Poor blood and lymph flow: from a lack of movement and exercise.
Steps towards healing:
- Remove sugar and refined carbs from your diet: cancer thrives on sugar and the carbohydrates that are easily converted into glucose such as refined grains, breads, white potatoes, white rice, corn, high-glycemic fruits, and all of the hidden sugars that are in the processed foods that we are eating. Cancer cells have ten times more insulin receptors per cell than normal cells do, which means that they can suck up all of the glucose much faster than normal cells and use it to fuel their grow and spread. And as they metabolize all of that sugar they release a lactic acid by-product that further increases the acidity of the body. Read more about sugar and cancer
- Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits: The goal for those with cancer is to eat 10 servings of vegetables and 5 servings of fresh fruits every day.
- Vegetables: are some of the most nutrient dense foods that you can eat. Some cancer-fighters include bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, green beans, kale, leeks, onions, garlic, radish, scallions, mustard greens, spinach, leafy greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, peas, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peas, mushrooms, sprouts, etc. Juicing fresh vegetables is a great way to increase consumption.
- Fruits- If you are excluding fruit from your diet, you are missing out on an abundance of antioxidants, flavonoids, and anthocyanins that can prevent and reverse cellular damage and reduce overall inflammation. Fruits have astringent-like qualities that can cleanse the lymph system and get it moving again. Some powerful fruits to include are: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, pineapple, granny smith apples, lemons, limes, and oranges. Fruits are easily digested, therefore they should be eaten separately or about 1/2 hour before your main meals, or blend them into nutritious smoothies.
- Juicing fresh vegetables and making green smoothies are both excellent ways to increase your overall servings of these nutrient dense foods. A good rule of thumb here is to juice the vegetables and blend the fruits because you want to have fiber to go along with the natural sugars that are in the fruits.
- Complex carbs can include sweet potatoes and yams with the skins, adzuki beans, and lentils (red, green, yellow, black and brown).
- Grains can include amaranth, black rice, wild rice, millet, and triticale. How to soak and cook grains.
- Eating limited amounts of animal proteins. These can include wild-caught salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, and pasture-raised eggs a couple of times per week as needed to maintain weight.
- Herbs and spices should be added to the diet: oregano, basil, thyme, cilantro, sage, lemon grass, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, garlic, sage, lemon balm, parsley, turmeric, rosemary, ginger root, and cayenne pepper, just to to name a few.
- Sea vegetables such as kelp, wakame, dulse and nori that provide a natural source of iodine along with other essential minerals.
- Eat a variety of mushrooms, read more about their benefits
- Nuts can include raw almonds, Brazil, hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamia, pecans, walnuts, and their butters, and seeds including hemp seeds, flax, black and white sesame.
- Enzymes: are required for the digestion of food, the absorption of nutrients, and the delivery of those nutrients throughout the body. When we consume foods that contain their own enzymes (raw foods), the body can use their enzymes to assist with the digestive processes and this will lessen the continual demand to reallocate enzymes for digestion. If you are having problems with digestion, this can generally be resolved by including digestive enzymes with your meals. Read more about enzymes here.
- Avoid all chemically-laden processed and fast foods- consider these to be nutritionally dead foods.
- Eat organically grown foods whenever possible as they contain more nutrients since they are grown in enriched soils without toxic residues.
- Vitamins and minerals: make sure you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. These can be difficult to obtain from the diet alone. Taking a quality vitamin and mineral supplement can help to cover any nutritional shortfalls.
Step 2: Consuming the proper building blocks for cells (lipids):
- Adding fats to meals helps the body to feel satiated and allows for the fat soluble vitamins to absorb.
- It is essential that we are consuming healthy fats in their proper form and using them appropriately.
- Remove the toxic fats that can clog our cells. These include the trans fats that are found in processed foods, baked goods, shortening and margarine-type products and the refined polyunsaturated oils which are easily oxidized and can form toxic lipid peroxides which can cause cellular damage. These oils can become rancid very easily when exposed to light, oxygen, and heat, so they must be manufactured, transported, and stored very carefully, but they are not. They form carcinogens and mutagens when exposed to heat, yet we frequently use these same toxic oils in food manufacturing processes, fast food frying, and for high heat cooking. These toxic oils include vegetable, corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sunflower, grape seed, and safflower.
- For moderate cooking, use oils that remain stable when exposed to light, heat, and oxygen. These include unrefined coconut oil and red palm oil.
- Use extra virgin olive and avocado oil for cold uses or as a finishing oil to top off your vegetables after cooking.
- Supplement with unrefined flax oil.
- Read more about healthy fats and removing the toxic fats
Step 3: Detoxification:
- Juice fasting, sweating, skin brushing, herbal remedies, Epson salt baths are all ways to detox the body.
- Herbs such as Uva Ursi, parsley, dandelion greens, chanca peidra, parsley, marshmallow root, beetroot, and horsetail are helpful for cleansing the kidneys which are the most important aspect of clearing a stagnant lymphatic system.
- Coffee enemas, milk thistle, turmeric, celery root, dandelion root, and cilantro are all good for detoxing the liver. Read more about various strategies to detoxify your liver.
- Sauna treatments- sweating can help to rid the body of about one-third of the toxic material that your kidneys would normally have to filter from your bloodstream. Multiple studies have shown that saunas are effective in removing solvents, organic chemicals, PCBs, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metal toxins from the body. The high temperatures of saunas can also give your immune system a boost by increasing the number of white blood cells that fight infections by as much as 58%. Your T cells (which are the cancer killer cells) and antibodies can increase by as much as 2,000%. Additionally, many microbes can not survive in a heated environment so many of them die off with exposure to the heat.
- Remove chlorine compounds and fluoride from your drinking water as they are toxic to the body
- Stay hydrated: your body needs a minimum of 50 ounces of water per 100 pounds of body weight per day in order to flush toxins out of the body and to stay well hydrated. This water should have minerals– such as found in spring water. Consider purchasing a water filtration system that will remove fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals and metals that are found in municipal water supplies. A simple carbon filtration system will only remove chlorine so don’t assume that any filter will do the job. You can find products online that will remove the harmful elements and leave the beneficial minerals intact, such as a Big Berkey Water Filtration System.
- Take one gallon of this filtered water and add 1/2 tsp sea salt, the juice of 4 organic lemons or limes (and toss in the skins too), and drink this water first thing in the morning and throughout the day. It is an alkalizing beverage that will help to cleanse the liver too.
- Use non-toxic cleaning products in the home- vinegar and baking soda works great for most tasks and look for non-toxic alternatives for general household chores.
- Remember that anything that you put onto your skin is going to be absorbed into your body; so look for non-toxic cosmetics, lotions, deodorants, etc. Here are some ideas for non-toxic cleaning products and natural personal care products that you can make yourself.
- Detoxify your emotions: constant emotional conflicts including resentment, jealousy, bitterness, guilt, and shame can easily suppress the body’s immune system, inhibit digestive function, create an acidic internal environment, and disrupt basic metabolic processes thereby creating the conditions for the occurrence of a cancerous tumor. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit by incorporating meditation, visualization, forgiveness exercises, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). You can find notes on all of these with this link.
- Read about more ways to detoxify the body.
Step 4: Oxygenate the blood and increase the lymphatic flow:
- Exercise: will help to improve circulation and oxygenate the cells. Walking, stretching, yoga, swimming, biking, hiking, jumping on a mini trampoline, etc.
- Deep breathing: most people are shallow breathers. Here is an exercise to help you become more conscious of your breath and this will assist your body in becoming better oxygenated, as well as relieve stress, and has the added benefit of releasing toxins through the lungs. Take a full breath, in through the nose and then expand the chest fully. When you think your lungs are full, then try sucking in just a little more air. Hold this for a few seconds and then breathe out through pursed lips to expel the air out slowly. Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes at a time, and do this multiple times per day or when you need a boost of energy.
- Read more ways to cleanse the lymphatic system
- pH refers to “potential of hydrogen” and is a measurement of whether your body is in an acidic, balanced or alkaline state. The pH scale runs from 1-14, with 7 being in the middle (or neutral). Anything lower than 7 would be within the acidic range, anything above 7 is within the alkaline range. The pH of the different bodily fluids will vary for many reasons. For example, your urine and vaginal fluid will measure slightly acidic because this helps to keep any unfriendly bacteria from colonizing in these areas; and the blood is slightly alkaline at 7.365- 7.4, with your bodies buffering systems working very hard to keep it within that tight range.
- When you ingest foods and liquids, the end product after digestion and assimilation of the nutrients will result in either an acidic or an alkaline-forming effect. These end products are often referred to as acidic-ash or alkaline-ash. All foods and beverages can then be considered either alkaline or acidic based on the ash that is created following their digestion. When we eat diets that are composed primarily of acid-forming foods such as dairy, meats, refined grains, sugar, processed foods, soda, coffee and alcoholic beverages the body must continually take steps to neutralize this excess acid by drawing calcium from your bones in order to keep the body within the normal range. Acidity and illness is what happens when this delicate system can no longer maintain a healthy balance.
- You can test the pH of your saliva to get an idea of your level of acidity. Your goal when testing is to be 7.2- 7.4 where cellular oxygen is plentiful and you are slightly more alkaline than acidic. At this range you are naturally able to resist illness and disease, whereas people who are overly acidic or overly alkaline are more prone to sickness and disease. You can read more about acid/alkaline balance and the method for testing with this link.
To maintain a healthy pH your goal is to eat 70 -80% alkaline foods. The chart below gives you an idea of where foods would land on the alkaline/acidic ash scale and gives you a numerical ranking. It should be noted that many of the foods listed as acidic forming are not appropriate to eat when following an anticancer diet. It is for informational purposes only.
Include supplements and foods that promote cancer cell death:
Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels are formed and is responsible for much of the growth and spread of cancer. Once a tumor grows to a certain size, the tumor sends chemical signals out that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that carry the blood to it. If you can stop the tumor from receiving a blood supply, then the tumor will essentially “starve” and die. The following is a list of anti-angiogenic supplements and foods that can be added to your healing protocol.
- Artemisinin (Chinese wormwood)
- European mistletoe
- Grape seed extract
- Green tea extract
- Milk thistle
- Modified Citrus Pectin
Supplements that build up the Natural Killer Cells of the body
- IP-6 (inositol hexaphosphate)
- Host Defense Comprehensive Immune Support
- Primal Herb Immune & Wellness Support Formula
- Life Extension NK Cell Activator Tablets
Make your diet and lifestyle changes permanent: According to Dr Max Gerson, it will take about 2 years for the body to fully eliminate tumors, detoxify itself, and then rebuild the tissues when one is healing from a serious cancer. Stopping your healing diet prematurely would be detrimental, as would returning to your old diet and lifestyle habits after healing from cancer. Make your dietary and lifestyle changes permanent.
Angiogenesis – is a process in which new blood vessels are formed and is responsible for much of the growth and spread of cancer. Once a tumor grows to a certain size, the tumor sends chemical signals out that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels that carry the blood to it. If you can stop the tumor from receiving a blood supply, then the tumor can not grow and spread. The following supplements can interrupt the growth process of tumors and promote cancer cell death.
Natural killer cells –are lymphocytes of the immune system that control several types of tumors and microbial infections by limiting their spread and subsequent tissue damage. Supplements that support the function of Natural Killer Cells include: