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What to do About Cancer - Part Two

In part one of this look at what to do about cancer, I expressed support for surgical excision of a malignant tumor whenever deemed prudent by those involved.

Generally, I don't feel as good about radiation and chemotherapy, but before I explain why, please allow me to say this: if you've already undergone radiation or chemotherapy, consider your body strong and resilient, having withstood the harmful effects of these therapies.

Every person's case is unique, and should be treated as such. This means getting additional professional opinions and researching the statistics on outcomes for chemotherapy and radiation for the type and location of the malignant mass at hand.

Contrary to popular belief within alternative health circles, there is relatively strong evidence to suggest that radiation therapy can significantly extend lifespan with some types of cancer - examples include localized tumors in the cervix and within the neck region.

The same holds true for chemotherapy - if you spend some time searching through archived published research at the national library of medicine, you'll find that chemotherapy is effective in extending lifespan in a measurable way with some types of cancer - examples include testicular cancer and some types of lymphoma, especially when such cancers are detected early.

Still, it's clear to me that in most cases of cancer, radiation and chemotherapy do not measurably improve lifespan, and they almost always decrease quality of life. With some cancers, scientific literature is absolutely clear on there being no benefit to using chemotherapy - examples of clear-cut cases include melanoma and cancers of the kidneys, bladder, and pancreas.

Radiation Therapy

The simple idea behind using radiation to treat cancer is to use radioactivity to stop malignant cells from reproducing. You zap cells to death or at least until they're injured enough to stop replicating.

The problem with radiation therapy is that it is impossible to injure or kill only malignant cells. In the course of hurting cancerous cells, healthy cells (at the periphery of the beam) will also be injured. Some healthy cells may turn cancerous after being injured by radiation therapy.

Here's what Dr. Jon Gofman - a professor at the University of California - has to say about ionizing radiation and human health:

  • X-rays are known to cause instability in our genetic material, which is usually the central characteristic of most aggressive cancers.

  • There is no risk-free dose of x-rays. Even the weakest doses of x-rays can cause cellular damage that cannot be repaired.

  • There is strong epidemiological evidence to support the contention that x-rays can contribute to the development of every type of human cancer.

Consider that a typical chest x-ray delivers just a fraction of a single rad (radiation absorbed doses) of radiation. Compare this to the several thousands of rads that are typically used in the course of treating common cancers with radiation therapy, and you have a good idea of how much radiation is involved.

This makes sense, of course, as the purpose of radiation therapy is to severely injure or kills cells.

Chemotherapy

The same general idea hold true with chemotherapy. It's simple: chemotherapy is highly toxic to every cell in your body. The chemical agents involved aren't intelligent - they course through your bloodstream and hurt everything that they come into contact with.

The hope is that your malignant cells will be destroyed, and that enough of the rest of your cells will survive - this outcome would be deemed by the conventional medical community as a favorable response with acceptable side effects.

These "side" effects are really just effects, of course. Drugs are incapable of affecting just one part of your body. They affect every location that your bloodstream takes them to.

There's really no need to pinpoint organs that are damaged by chemotherapy because every organ in your body gets damaged to some degree by chemotherapy - there's no question about this, it's a fact.

But again, please note that despite the known harmful effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, in some cases, statistics indicate that they do improve lifespan.

If you are diagnosed with cancer and are faced with the decision to accept or refuse these conventional therapies, I encourage you to gather facts and experiences that are relevant to your situation. Consider the type and stage of your cancer, your age, the strength of your immune system, and best and worst case outcomes.

For myself, even in knowing that there are some types and stages of cancer that can be helped with radiation and/or chemotherapy, I am relatively certain that I would never receive these treatments. But I don't feel comfortable suggesting this same path for everyone. It's a highly personal decision, one that should be made with a great deal of thought by you, your loved ones, and your health care provider.

Please note: A number of others in the health care field and those who provide commentary on health care have written thorough and well researched articles on this topic. If you'd like to learn about the origins of radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of cancers, an excellent resource to start with is John Robbins' Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Sources of True Healing.

So, what to do about cancer?

The use of chemotherapy and radiation in the treatment of cancer stems from the conventional medical paradigm of fighting an unwanted growth. Within this paradigm, little consideration is given to how and why a malignancy develops. The mindset is to get rid of the malignancy at all costs and declare the person to be cancer-free.

A growing community of health-conscious people recognize that this mindset (let's do everything I can to get rid of it and get on with my life!) doesn't give the person involved his or her best chance to truly restore health. If you don't strive to identify the factors that may have caused you to develop cancer, how can you have peace of mind that comes from knowing that you're taking steps to prevent a re-occurrence?

As is the case with any health challenge, I feel it's best to look at cancer as an opportunity to figure out where our lives are out of balance, and what we can do to help restore it.

If I was to develop some type of cancer, I would first look to see if it made sense to have it removed surgically.

I would then:

  1. Ensure optimal vitamin D status - no other nutrient appears to be more important in addressing and preventing cancer of any type.

  2. If at all possible, step away from everyday duties to give myself plenty of time and space to rest, both physically and emotionally - this can be exceptionally helpful in allowing exhausted organs to heal and shifting the body from a flight/fight state to a parasympathetic state that is essential for healing.

  3. Spend at least two weeks ingesting nothing but freshly pressed vegetable juices - I'm not aware of a safer or more effective way of allowing the body to experience an intense cleanse while maintaining ongoing nourishment.

  4. After an intense cleanse with freshly pressed vegetable juices, focus on eating mainly fresh plant foods and any clean animal foods that I felt like eating (like organic eggs or wild fish). The goal would be to continuously nourish all of my cells and avoid unnecessary digestive and toxic burden from food choices.

  5. Do everything possible to be around fresh air and take deep, mindful breaths often. Healing requires plenty of oxygen intake and regular clearance of carbon dioxide from the blood - deep cycles of inhalation and exhalation allow both to happen.

  6. Regularly partake in an activity that I truly enjoy and could rely on to allow for a good sweat - engaging in this type of activity promotes healthy circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid, which in turn, allows for optimal immune system strength.

  7. Minimize exposure to all significant sources of electromagnetic radiation - this includes non-essential diagnostic imaging techniques that utilize ionizing radiation, as well as regular use of a cell phone.

  8. Regularly visualize all parts of my body healing and building strength.

Perhaps most importantly, I would focus on the vision that I have for my life and how I want to be of service to those around me.

I strongly believe that no other factor has more influence over our ability to get and stay healthy than a sense of purpose that requires that we stay well for as long as possible. If you don't feel that you have something that's of significant value to give to the world - to some cause or even just to one other person or other living creature - you likely won't sustain the everyday effort and subconscious energy needed to will your way to good health.

Of course, the ideal scenario is to incorporate habits of healthy eating and living into everyday life to prevent cancer and other degenerative illnesses. But it takes a special understanding of the short and long term value of staying healthy for most of us to really live this way consistently. And in most cases, it also takes a powerful "why" - strong motivation to stay well - to sustain the everyday effort that is needed to access our full health potential.

I hope that this post is useful in some way.

 
 

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Comments

Excellent. your coments are louds and clear. Reafirmed the position of few that I have heard and make me think seriouly in the topic.
Thanks to put your knowledge at our disposition.

Jaime

Very useful and informative post.
However, can Dr Kim please expand on "electromagnetic imaging"? I am not sure what the term means. Apart from cellphones, what other equipment? Are massaging and Electro-Reflexologist foot machines that are designed to stimulate the reflexes in the feet also included?

Julie

Julie,

Here's a site with some measurement equipment (I have no affiliation or make no claims of utility or value). From their meter page (http://www.lessemf.com/emf-mete.html) you can click through to tools to measure magnetic fields (gaussmeters) and electric fields. Those are typically generated by 60 Hertz A/C appliances but can also include higher frequencies (e.g. TV sets before flat panels). Changes in electric fields results in magnetic fields and vice versa. But when static or low frequency, those fields are generally short distance phenomena and can be fairly easily shielded against.

When either an electric or magnetic field is modulated (turned on and off at a particular frequency), it and its associated field propagates through space as an electromagnetic wave or electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation spans radio waves to infrared heat sources to lights to ultraviolet from lights and the sun to ionizing radiation (i.e. X-rays). Those waves can travel great distances and in many cases with little loss. But even a cell phone at 900MHz is quite different from a microwave oven or cordless phone both at 2400MHz due to their difference in wavelength compared to the size of the objects that they impact. The same page I linked above has different instruments to measure different wavelengths because the detection methods and circuitry are very different for those different wavelengths.

The reason why x-rays can be so damaging is that their very small wavelength corresponds to the size of the human genome and can alter molecules. Also it can easily passes through the body so it can cause damage anywhere internally. Radiation at high enough frequencies and energies strips electrons (ionizes) and damages living tissue. At lower energies it can alter chromosomes in genes so that cells that normally reproduce rapidly fail to do so completely (e.g. hair, digestive tract), or cells that reproduce more slowly (e.g. in most organs) do so in an aberrant manner. Ultraviolet also alters chromosomes although less radically and only near the surface of the skin.

Meanwhile the lower frequencies of cell phones and microwave ovens impact molecules like water and heat them. For a cell phone the heating should be slight. However the heating may only impact a molecule of a particular size which perhaps could cause some impact. Also some of these waves pass more easily through the body than others (i.e. the ones that are not absorbed by water pass through) and so could affect things internally. Generally though, apart from microwave ovens which intentionally create large amounts of electromagnetic energy, today's electronic communications gadgets emit relatively little energy mainly because doing so uses up the battery.

So while that lumping together cell phones and x-rays into "electromagnetic energy" is acceptable from a holistic health viewpoint, at the physical level the effects are quite different and the intent (digital communication versus imaging) is also very different and has different consequences. Sorry for such a long answer!

I realize I never fully answered Julie's question. The odds are that the massaging and foot machines she is referring to are not radiative devices, merely electrical. If they are decently designed they should not have strong electrical or magnetic fields near them.

I have a link to share that I just came across today. It is a study from 2002 that puts cancer death risk in perspective: http://dms.dartmouth.edu/news/2002_h1/4jun2002_woloshin.pdf

Someone may reply "you will think differently once you are diagnosed". There is certainly some truth to that. But while the charts point out how truly awful smoking is, there are many more things we can do to live longer healthier lives that have nothing to do with cancer but the other, more prevalent risks we face and can do something about (e.g. heart health). The random bad luck of cancer from mutations will never be decreased even if you live inside a lead box (cosmic rays will still penetrate that). As Dr Kim alluded to in his first article, the body's defenses are designed to deal with a lot of those unlucky mutations.

IMO, there's nothing wrong with thinking differently once we have been hit with enough bad luck that some slips by the defenses and we develop a tumor. Then we should go to see the specialists and listen to what they say (about the tumor). But we should all start thinking positively today about the risks we can control.

Thank you for this excellent article. I just wish I'd had the opportunity to read it 2 years ago when I was operated from endometrial cancer. I went through radiotherapy and as a consequence of this I now have a defficiency of white cells. This is an irriversible condition (so doctors say) and now I get a cold if someone sneezes near me, and the simple cold turns into bronchitis. I however, declined to have another very toxic treatment called brachytherapy which consists of having a radioactive "seed" inserted in your vagina. I was supposed to have 3 of those and when I asked the oncologist if she considered that I really needed this she said, "well, you know, that's part of the package" ! If I had to relive this nightmare again, I would not go through the radiotherapy or anything of the sort. If you have suggestions for raising my white cells, I would appreciate it, Thank you ever,
Alicia

My husband has recently completed PROTON treatment at Loma Linda University Hospital in CA for prostate cancer. He has had no major side effects to date. In fact, his ONLY side effect has been a "tan" spot on each thigh where the proton beam was entering his body.

The GOOD thing about PROTON is that, even tho it is a form of radiation, it is so refined that it hits the cancer cells and does not continue on thru the body as other types of radiation do.

This is NOT a NEW treatment. Loma Linda has been performing this treatment for over 20yrs now - they did research and preliminary procedures before that. OF all the men I personnally have met who have had this treatment, the ratio of side effects has been very LOW. Of course each person is different - but 99% do not have ANY side effect other than the "tanning" and a few do not have that either. Please check out their website - www.protons.com - and on Facebook there is a group of former patients on the ProtonBob page.

While we were there my husband was also diagnosed with Lung Cancer - Now for this they removed his upper lobe of the right lung along with the lymph nodes to ensure they got all of the cancer. The biopsy afterwards of the tissues confirmed they got it all!

So we went there for one cancer and had 2 cured!

Dr. Kim has obviously never received a cancer diagnosis (and hopefully never will). When cancer stares you in the face you're willing to avail yourself of all available medical help, including chemotherapy and radiation. Most of the time it's either that or roll over and die.

I don't agree with this statement Barb. My husband was diagnosed with esophogil cancer in July and we chose not to do chemo or radiation like our doctors suggested and are doing it by healing my husbands body. My husband is doing great and living his life with happiness and hope and faith in God. I believe healing your body is the way to go. It is a change of life styles but my husband has excepted it and is doing very well with it. I'm enjoying the fresh fruits and vegetables too. We have planted fruit trees and my husband planted a garden that is chemical free.

So are so correct. I swore I would never have chemo or radiation in my lifetime. But, when death stares you in the face, the resulting changes in your thinking are astonishing. After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I agreed, absolutely, to surgery. Actually, I insisted that both breasts be removed, even though only one had a lump (which, by the way, was biopsied as benign...as it turned out, after this first surgery to remove the benign lump, all the tissues surrounding it were cancerous...I am still questioning the accuracy of a biopsy...perhaps all lumps should be removed, and THEN biopsied). In any event, it was pretty dramatic surgery, as I am 5' tall, and had 42DD breats. It took a while to convince the team that I wanted both or none. The obvious second step, for the medical team, was chemo. I asked, what would happen if I did nothihg. I was told DEATH. I opted for chemo. My oncologist asked if I had a lot of morning sickness when I was pregnant. She said if I did not, I would not have any major reaction to chemo. This was true. This is 3 years, both breasts,8 lymth nodes on one side (two had cancer), 10 on the non cancerous side, 6x with chemo, and I take ant-estrogen each day. So far, so good. I expect to live a long life. I am now 63. And I thank the Doctors, the chemo, the surgery, etc...and take my tinctures, vitamins, etc...yours, andi

First I want to thank Dr. Kim for his posts on Cancer and other topics!

I buried my 14 year old daughter August 15, 2009. She did not die from her cancer (Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma) but she did die from complications of her Chemo and Radiation. I am not saying that she would not have died from her cancer but she was not given the chance. She was one of the people that do not respond well to Chemo and radiation. The chemo and radiation made her last 11 months miserable and changed a very beautiful, confident, fun loving young women to a girl who was too sick,weak and immune compromised from the chemo to eat, go to school and enjoy life.

I did a lot of research and found doctors that have success working with a person's immune system to help the body heal itself (as it was designed to do). Unfortunately for my daughter I found this too late for her. The reason it was too late was that once you start a course of treatment that includes radiation and or chemo you effect the whole body and its ability to respond. I would caution anyone facing a diagnosis of cancer to:

1. Get a second opinion. If possible from a major medical center that specializes in the specific cancer...this this has been proven to make a difference in the outcome.
2. Research both conventional and alternative treatments.
3. Remember that you normally have some time to decide what is best for you or your child. For the cancer to have been found it usually will have to be growing in the body for years (of course there are exceptions and some very fast growing cancers...and other cancers that do respond well to chemo...you have to research).
4. There are tests that insurance companies will not pay for but are being used by many doctors to get a better idea of what treatment is best. I would suggest that you research "tumor sensitivity or tumor assay testing".
5. Ask the doctor if he or she was diagnosed with this cancer (or their child) what they would do. A study was done of oncologists at McGill university in Canada and a large percentage responded that they would not do or give chemo to their own family members if diagnosed. Push your oncologist for options! Don't let them or anyone rush you into a decision. This truly is potentially a life or death decision!

Currently except at a very few locations in the USA the treatment offered is not "integrated or comprehensive". The oncologists are taught to treat the cancer and "kill" the cancer even if the patient does not survive. One of our daughters oncologists said the current treatment is like setting off a nuclear bomb in the body and hoping that the bomb only hurts cancer cells. Integrative or comprehensive treatment will include treating the "whole" person and will include diet, immune system, mental and spiritual.

Please take the time to make an educated decision before starting treatment.

This article was timely for me. I've just finished a five-week course of whole-breast radiation after surgical removal of an invasive ductile carcinoma, stage one. No cancerous cells were found in the margins or lymph nodes. I thought I might not have to have radiation, but the doctors thought otherwise, so I acquiesced, albeit reluctantly.

Now the doctors want me to have an additional week in which they would target the incision. I don't want to do any more harm to m body, and I've been reluctant to agree, but afraid to go against medical advice- and all the well-meaning advice of family and friends.

Your column has made me go back to thinking I won't have the additional week.

Since the diagnosis, I've eliminated animal protein from my diet, and added all foods I can find that are classified as cancer-fighting. That includes kefir milk, flax, chorella and tumeric. I've been exercising for over forty years. (I'm sixty-four) During radiation, I got up at three and walked/ran with a flashlight, so I didn't have to give up my exercise. I think that helped eliminate the fatigue.

Thanks for being a voice of reason, and giving me a shot of courage.

Cheers,

Myra

Myra, I urge you to watch these series for information and more options. Today they are airing a show with "powerfull stories of victory" from cancer survivors. https://go.thetruthaboutcancer.com/?ref=dbe57792-b444-4834-ae7e-e4323e48...

I echo everything in Dr. Ben's article. I would have surgery done only if the tumor is pressing on a nerve, blocking my airway etc.. I would also pass on the chemo & radiation. The collateral damage to heart, lungs, nerves, brain (hence the term "chemo brain") is too great. Ironically, chemo also wipes out the immune system, which is our body's own anti-cancer "army", so we are left defenseless against the cancer stem cells that remain after, and in fact are enriched & empowered by, conventional treatment.

Thank you, Dr Kim, for concise and helpful information. I appreciate your heartfelt approach to all things. I am always reassured and encouraged when I consult your page.

Reading your article on what to do about cancer scares me because I just had my second abdominal CT scan in 4 years. And it seems they did it 8 times with and without contrast. I am worried about the radiation changing my cells. What do you suggest for this? And what about flying? I hear one gets lots of radiation from that. My son flies between Asia and North America several times a year. How to deal with all this radiation?

If being of service to others is an indicator of longevity, I think you'll be around quite a while. Your site is an oasis in the massive business of healthcare and your recipes are amazing. Thanks!

Thank you for these wonderful articles. I love your humility, the way you avoid dogma, and the clarity of your writing. This was exactly what I needed to read at this time. In 2012 I had a right hemicolectomy for stage III colon cancer. I opted for surgery yes, chemo no. I enjoyed more than 3 years of excellent health. This last winter I have been under stress, and slacked off on the healthy living as well. A recent FIT test was positive. There is a colonoscopy in my future but apart from that, it is vigorous gardening, naps, EFT and back to fresh vegetable juice daily. That will show those rogue cells. And if they prove too stubborn, there are worse things than leaving this plane in one's seventies. I refuse to waste my remaining time with medicine that insults the body instead of nourishing it.

Much is missing in this article - the fact that chemo does not cure in most cases it simply shrinks the tumor and does not add any significant increase to lifespan and radiation for head and neck cancer is so morbid in most cases destroying the patients quality of life permanently it should be avoided at all costs by these patients of which I am one, diagnosed in Aug 2012 having no conventional treatments.
Nothing is mentioned about using a ketogenic diet and or fasting or controlling blood sugar.

If this is where the Dr. is today he is not keeping up with current events like Dr. Thomas N. Seyfried shifting into a whole new cancer paradigm as cancer initiation as a metabolic process not a genetic one. John

Cancer is the best and most profitable business in the planet. Cancer is fabricated through the poisoning of water, food, air, stress, etc.... and therefore no cure is ever going to be accepted because the business is huge. The cures that we know today are specifically designed to have side effects so the wheel continues. Pharma, Agropharma, Banking, Insurance, all feed from the same and also they have made possible that most people donate to this cause and force us into the other great business, donations and charity that goes generally into the pockets of the few. People should wake up and realise that we are rats in a lab dominated by the big Corporations, the day we all take responsability of ourselves and not leave this to their parties, the world would make a huge change for the good. All the best.

 

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