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The Role of Natural Cancer Support

 
22-Nov-2012

Many cancer patients seek supportive care whilst under medical treatment in order to help them tolerate their treatment better, decrease side effects, support their immunity and general well-being and recover more quickly.  Approaches which are very helpful include Cancer Herbal Medicine, Nutritional Medicine and Cancer Dietary Support.  Specific areas which are amenable to herbal medicine include support of the gastro-intestinal system (anti- nausea herbs, herbs for bowel function, appetite support herbs etc); stress support (adrenal herbs, anti-anxiety herbs, sleep support herbs) and immune support (herbs and medicinal mushrooms).  Women experiencing menopausal symptoms as the result of treatment can be well supported with herbal medicines to reduce sweating and hot flushing.  Post treatment detoxification is another area where herbal medicines are very useful including support and repair of the gut, liver, kidney and lymphatic systems.  And finally herbal medicines are useful to support the body’s cancer defense systems in the longer term including direct immune support and indirect support via the gut, liver and hormonal systems.

Repletion of nutritional status with nutritional medicines benefits cancer patients in many ways including the support of their immune systems and tissue repair post surgery. Research has identified that cancer patients are often nutritionally deplete particularly of anti-oxidants at the time of diagnosis and these deficiencies may be worsened as a result of treatment. Minerals such as zinc, selenium and molybdenum are often low in cancer patients as well and these are all vital for immune health.  Post treatment investigations into areas such as heavy metal toxicity and other possible causative factors for cancer development can inform indiviudalised nutritional medicine cancer prevention programs.  For example identification of high levels of copper which are associated with increased risk for breast cancer might lead to a variety of copper clearance approaches using herbal, nutritional and dietary approaches.

Specific Cancer Dietary Support often includes approaches to minimise unhealthy weight loss such as the addition of omega 3’s in the diet and supplementation with fish oil.  The inclusion of foods with phytochemicals that deter the development and progression of cancer are also useful. Some of these phytochemicals act mainly to protect normal cells from damage that can lead to cancer initiation.  At this level the main phytochemicals identified to date are sulforaphane (broccoli), indole-3-carbinol (cabbage), diallyl sulfide (garlic) and ellagic acid (strawberries). Other phytochemicals block the promotion and progression of cancer including: curcumin (turmeric), epigallocatechin (green tea), resveratrol (red grapes), lycopene (tomatoes), anthocyanidins (blueberries), Omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish/flaxseed oil), limonene (citrus) and proanthocyanidins (cinnamon, cranberries, blueberries).

There are a wide variety of Natural Cancer Support approaches which complement medical treatment including Cancer Dietary Support, Cancer Nutritional Medicine and Cancer Herbal Medicine.  Please seek professional advice before commencing any such support program.

 
Category : Cancer
 
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