Beating Cancer with Nutrition
by Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS
21 days to a healthier cancer patient
IF YOU ARE TOO SICK TO READ MUCH, THEN READ
21 days to a healthier cancer patient
"And in the end, the love
you take is equal to the love you make." - Abbey Road, Beatles, 1969
BEATING CANCER THROUGH:
DAY 1: HOPE, OPTIMISM, AND A FIGHTING SPIRIT
Focus on the parts of your body that are working properly, not on the cancer. Since you are alive enough to read this book, then something and perhaps quite a bit is working in your body. Give thanks for everything that you can think of. Thanksgiving is a healing balm on the body and soul.
What are your priorities in life? Have they changed since finding out about your cancer diagnosis? Have they changed for the better? Is it possible that cancer has become a life-threatening yet valuable wakeup call for you?
We are all going to die. The question is not "if" but rather "when." For cancer patients, sometimes this "when" becomes a more immediate issue. But our finite lives should be an issue for all of us all of the time. Life is precious. Not to be wasted. Many of us cram our days with minutia, trivial details. We spend too much time worrying about insignificant events and lose sight of the real issues in life:
People beat cancer all the time. But fear of death is not a reason to live. What do you want them to say at your funeral? "Look, I think she's moving!!" Not going to happen. Begin today with a renewed sense of purpose and appreciation and proper perspective for the truly memorable things in life. Build a fighting "can-do" spirit that will serve you well for the coming journey of treating your cancer. Find a "co-patient", a loved one, or family member who is so supportive that they will keep you motivated when you have run out of steam.
Be enthusiastic. The word "enthusiasm" comes from
the Greek words meaning "God within". With joy, enthusiasm,
appreciation, and altruism, we literally become a conduit for God's life itself.
DAY 2: KNOWLEDGE, OPTIONS, DATA GATHERING
While your doctor who made the cancer diagnosis may have a plan for you, it is probably not the only therapy that is appropriate for your cancer and may not even be the best therapy. You need to explore your options. In today's society, getting information is easier than ever before. Get on the Internet and spend a few hours gathering data and phone numbers on who can help you with your particular cancer. The more knowledge that you have on the treatment and curing of your cancer, the more likely you are to make the right decision on which "wagon master" to choose for your vital treatment ahead.
If you are too tired and not well suited to research, then contact one of the experts in this field who can provide a detailed report on doctors around the world who have a successful track record in treating your form of cancer:
DAY 3: THE POWER OF NUTRITIONAL SYNERGISM
Synergism means that 1 + 1 = 3 or 500, but a whole lot more than 2. Synergism tells us that the combined efforts of certain factors yield more than what would have been expected. Do not rely on any "magic bullet" nutrient to beat your cancer. There are no such things. Your body needs the 50 recognized essential nutrients plus a couple of hundred other valuable nutrients that can only be found in a wholesome diet that is supplemented with the right nutrients.
"What is the most important part of a car?" Some people answer: "The engine." Fine. Then I will give you an engine and let's see you drive it home. A car, like a healthy human body, is composed of many essential parts. The most important one is the one that you are missing. In building a house, all of the raw materials must arrive in the proper ratio at the proper time, otherwise you cannot build a sturdy home. Same thing with the human body. Nutritional synergism says that when you gather the right nutrients together at the right time in the right ratio, the body becomes a lean, mean, disease-fighting machine. Nothing less will do in your quest to beat cancer.
DAY 4: STARVE THE CANCER
Cancer is a sugar-feeder. The scientists call it an "obligate glucose metabolizer". You can slow cancer growth by lowering the amount of fuel available to the tumor cells. Americans have become humming birds in our constant consumption of sweet fluids and foods. The resulting constant high blood glucose levels yield many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and yeast infections. Trying to beat cancer while eating a diet that constantly raises blood glucose is like trying to put out a forest fire while someone nearby is throwing gasoline on the trees.
Stop eating sugar. Eat very few sweet foods, including fruits. Begin an exercise program to burn blood glucose down to a manageable level. Your cancer is not going to be happy as you begin to starve it. You will develop sugar cravings worse than you currently have. Ignore them and push through the discomfort.
Make fish and colorful vegetables the staples in your diet. Eat small amounts of fresh fruits at a mixed meal, which will blunt the rises in blood glucose. Use cinnamon liberally, since it helps to stabilize blood glucose. Take supplements of chromium and magnesium. I have yet to see a cancer patient beat the disease who continued to load up on the average amounts of sugar in our diet, which is 140 pounds per year per person.
DAY 5: AVOID MALNUTRITION
Cancer is a wasting disease. Over 40% of cancer patients actually die from malnutrition, not from the cancer. Cancer generates chemicals that lower appetite while increasing calorie needs. The net effect is that many cancer patients begin to lose weight. You cannot fight a life-threatening disease while malnourished. You need all the proper nutrition you can get to feed your immune system, which is your army assigned to killing the cancer cells. The backbone of the immune system is protein. If you cannot eat solid foods, then try the Dragon-slayer shake mentioned later in this book.
DAY 6: NUTRITION + MEDICINE= IMPROVED RESULTS
While chemotherapy and radiation can kill cancer cells, these therapies are general toxins against your body cells also. A well-nourished cancer patient can protect healthy cells against the toxic effects of chemo and radiation, thus making the cancer cells more vulnerable to the medicine. Proper nutrition can make chemo and radiation more of a selective toxin against the cancer and less damaging to the patient.
DAY 7: TURBOCHARGE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Your immune system consists of 20 trillion cells that compose your police force and garbage collectors. The immune system is responsible for killing the bad guys, any cells that are not participating in the processes of your body, including cancer, yeast, bacteria, virus, and dead cells. "Kill the bad guys and take out the trash." That is what your immune system is supposed to do. But since you have cancer, something is wrong with your immune system: usually either stress, toxic burden, or malnutrition.
Eat well and take professionally designed nutrition supplements. Lower your stress levels. Use guided imagery to imagine your immune cells like sharks gobbling up the cancer cells. This technique really works!! Detoxify your body. The average American body has 1,000 times more heavy toxic metals than our primitive ancestors before the dawning of the industrial age. Toxins shut down the ability of the immune system to mount a good battle against the cancer cells.
As your cells divide billions of times daily, mistake cells are the inevitable consequence. These mistake cells sometimes grow into cancer cells, which your immune system recognizes as being defective and then gobbles them up like Pac Man. The average adult gets 6 bouts of cancer in a lifetime, yet only 42% of Americans will end up in a cancer hospital. The other 58% had a respectable immune system, which protected the person against defective cells rising up to become palpable life-threatening cancer. Get your immune system working and the end of your cancer is in sight. Nutrition products that have demonstrated an ability to bolster immune functions include: colostrum extracts (lactoferrin, transfer factor), whey extracts, aloe extracts, mushroom extracts (Maitake D-fraction), yeast cell wall extracts (1,3 beta glucan), IP-6 (phytic acid), MGM-3 (mushroom extract plus IP-6), ImmKine (Aidan 480-446-8181), and Essiac tea.
DAY 8: THE HEALING POWER OF WHOLE FOODS
It is amazing how simple the answer to cancer can be. Our brilliant researchers have spent 30 years and $45 billion of your tax dollars wrestling with the complex issue of curing cancer. Yet Nature has been solving the dilemma for thousands of years. All of us get cancer all of the time, yet magical ingredients in a whole food diet are there to help the body beat cancer. Ellagic acid from berries induces "suicide" in the cancer cells. Lycopenes from tomatoes help to suppress cancer growth. Genistein in soy, glutathione in green leafy vegetables, S-allyl cysteine in garlic, and much more are the new scientifically validated cancer fighters of the 21st century.
You don't have to wait for 7 years while some drug company goes through clinical trials, nor for FDA approval, nor for a doctor's prescription for some drug that has many toxic side effects and costs thousands of dollars each month. These miracle anti-cancer agents are waiting patiently at your nearby grocery store and health food store.
DAY 9: NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS RECIPES
Now that you understand the importance of eating wholesome foods to beat your cancer, you will need some tips on making this food palatable. See Noreen's chapter on "Nutritious & Delicious" for many great tasting recipes. I have hosted many a class with hundreds of cancer patients where we would tell them what foods might help them to beat their cancer. Women, in general, seem more receptive to these new cooking ideas. Men, in general, seem less interested in changing 50 years of eating habits. Gravy is not a beverage, contrary to popular belief in America. Those same men who turned their nose up at our recipe suggestions are now dead.
You are trying to take simple food straight from Nature and use healthy seasonings to make a quick and tasty meal. Crock pot, pressure cooker, microwave, and grilling are all wonderful means of cooking nourishing foods. Some produce is most nutritious when eaten raw, such as many vegetables and all fruit. A high speed blender can take any leftovers or foods that are not appealing and blend them in to a smoothie drink or a nice soup.
Try a couple of boiled eggs with a bowl of oatmeal and a half cup of cantaloupe for breakfast. Move on to a lunch with grilled chicken breast sandwich with spinach and onions, wild rice, a bowl of deep-colored fresh vegetables with homemade Italian dressing, and a half cup of raspberries for dessert. A sample dinner might be grilled halibut with lemon, baked sweet potatoes, fresh tomato slices with onions and homemade Italian dressing, and a dessert of a half cup of fresh papaya.
This is all nourishing food that you can grow to savor, easy to prepare, and easy to find at your local grocery store. And it will help you to beat your cancer.
DAY 10: HERBAL MEDICINE
There are thousands of herbs that have been used for thousands of years to treat cancer. None are guaranteed cures for all cancers, but many are non-toxic boosters of immune function and detoxification pathways. If you want just the basic herb that all cancer patients should be using daily, then start with garlic--as a food, seasoning, and/or pill supplement.
Many other herbs merit attention, as you will see in the chapter on herbs. Astragalus, echinacea, goldenseal, licorice, ginseng, ginkgo, ginger, and PC-SPES are on the golden hit parade of herbs to help you toward recovery from cancer. Work with a professional who can help guide you toward which herb is best for your disease, your therapy, your wallet, and your stomach tolerances.
DAY 11: HEALTHY FATS
While too much fat and the wrong kind of fat have been killing millions of Americans for the past 50 years, we are now finding a new form of fat malnutrition: deficiencies of the essential fats. Not enough fish oil, borage or primrose oil, flax oil, conjugated linoleic acid (from the meat and milk of ruminants like cows and sheep), and shark liver oil are all fats that can help you to beat your cancer. For a simple starter, begin taking a few capsules of fish oil daily, preferably basic cod liver oil with all the good vitamin A and D still intact. You can also make a delicious healthy Italian salad dressing by using flax oil, olive oil, water, vinegar and some seasonings.
The right fats in your diet will feed the precious pathways for beneficial prostaglandins, which are crucial to beating cancer. Healthy fats line the cell membranes and help to lower blood glucose by making insulin more effective. Healthy fats make the immune cells more likely to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
DAY 12: MINERALS
Before modern agriculture, farmers would use manure and compost to nourish the soil before planting the crops. Today, we use only nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N:P:K) as the basic fertilizer. With each passing harvest, the American soils and our bodies become more deficient in essential minerals for health. For instance, scientists have found that a dust speck of selenium (200 micrograms daily) can lower cancer incidence by 60% and raise immune functions dramatically. Deprive animals of magnesium and they spontaneously develop lymphoma. Some of our cancer epidemic in America is due to our serious widespread deficiency in essential minerals.
Buy a basic mineral supplement, containing decent amounts of calcium, magnesium, chromium, and selenium. Add some kelp, which is rich in the trace minerals that are found both in the ocean and supposed to be found in your body fluid.
DAY 13: VITAMINS
Vitamins are the factory workers that get things done. Calories are the fuel for energy and minerals are part of the structure or help vitamins to get things done. Most Americans are deficient in vitamins, even on the survival Recommended Dietary Allowance level. Find a knowledgeable sales person at your local health food store and buy a quality broad spectrum vitamin supplement. Add some vitamin C (1-4 grams per day) and E (400-800 iu/day) if your budget allows. If your stomach and wallet can tolerate it, take ImmunoPower (888-741-LIFE), a broad spectrum mixture of 77 nutrition ingredients designed to be one-stop-shopping for nutrition support in cancer treatment.
DAY 14: PROBIOTICS--FRIENDLY BACTERIA
Professor Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel prize in 1908 for his work on the immune system. He later discovered the bacteria that makes yogurt (lactobacillus) and declared "Death begins in the colon." Indeed, it may. And the colon and gut of most Americans are under siege by unfriendly organisms and free radicals.
When we eat nourishing food, our well-established colony of friendly bacteria in the colon eats yeast like a bird munches on insects. Many Americans eat too much fat, too much sugar, not enough fiber, very little probiotic food (like yogurt and tempeh), take antibiotics (which wipe out all bacteria in the body, including the friendly bacteria), and subject ourselves to stress; all of which affects the balance of power between good and bad microorganisms in the gut. The net effect is an overgrowth of yeast, along with a deficiency of friendly bacteria that feed the immune system via the lining of the intestines. The yeast, which are there to degrade feces upon elimination, become hateful dictators in the gut. Many health problems result from what is called "dysbiosis" of the gut, or not having the right kind of microorganisms in charge.
Eat more fiber and no white sugar. Drink plenty of clean water. Eat yogurt daily or take a probiotic supplement. Make sure that you have a daily bowel movement. Use gentle herbal laxatives, like senna, if necessary. After 40 years of poor diet and chronic constipation, some people need colon flushing. Find a qualified expert to help on this issue.
At least 40% of our immune system surrounds the gastro-intestinal tract. For better or for worse, the status of our gut will begin the healing or the deterioration of a cancer patient.
DAY 15: WATER
Our bodies and the earth's surface are composed of 2/3 water. Water is the most amazing substance on earth, providing the fluid of life in your body and the bathing solution for all cells in your body. Yet, most Americans do not get enough water and are drinking contaminated water.
Our water pollution situation in this country has been called "a ticking time bomb." by the Environmental Protection Agency. We have used our rivers, lakes, and oceans as if they were sewers to dump unconscionable amounts of toxins. And we end up drinking that stuff. Pollution in our water supply is part of the reason for our growing cancer epidemic in this country.
Buy yourself a good water filter system and install it on your kitchen tap. Dual stage carbon filtration may cost $100-$200, with reverse osmosis costing two or three times that much. If need be, buy bottled water from a respectable vendor. Some bottled water is merely bottled city tap water with sugar added to make it taste better. Drink enough water to dilute your urine so that it is nearly clear in color and inoffensive in odor. Chronic dehydration first shows up in wrinkled skin, poor concentration, constipation, frequent infections, and eventually may appear as cancer. Water is your friend. Drink lots of clean water.
DAY 16: BREATHING
Cancer is an anaerobic growth. Healthy cells in your body are aerobic, meaning that they need oxygen. Cancer hates well-oxygenated tissues of the body. Lung tissue, which is well oxygenated, develops cancer as the result of smoking carcinogens and excessive "rusting" of tissue in the absence of antioxidants to protect the lung tissue. I have found lung cancer in non-smokers to be quite beatable if the person is willing to follow the guidelines in this book.
Of all nutrients required by the human body, oxygen is the most essential. We can go weeks and even months without food, days without water, but only a few minutes without oxygen. We are aerobic creatures by design. Cancer is the opposite. Unfortunately, many Americans breathe shallowly, thinking that sucking in our stomach is more important than diaphragm breathing to fully oxygenate our tissues.
Get some exercise. Do some yoga. Start breathing properly all the time. Lay on the floor with a book on your stomach. Begin breathing by pushing the book up and sucking in air to the bottom of your lungs. Continue breathing by filling the lungs fully and expanding your chest. Reverse the process on exhaling. This "belly breathing" will fully oxygenate your body to help make it less friendly to cancer cells, like shining sunlight on a vampire.
DAY 17: CHANGE THE UNDERLYING CAUSE
No one with a headache is suffering from a deficiency of aspirin. And no one with cancer has a deficiency of chemo or radiation. While these therapies might temporarily reduce tumor burden, they do not change the underlying cause of the disease.
Mrs. Jones might be suffering from metastatic breast cancer because, in her case, she is still hurting from a hateful divorce of 2 years ago, which drives her catecholamines into a stress mode and depresses her immune system; she goes to bed on a box of high sugar cookies each night; she has a deficiency of fish oil, zinc, and vitamin E; and she has an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone in her body. Her oncologist may remove the breasts, give her Tamoxifen to bind up estrogen, administer chemo and radiation; but none of these therapies deals with the underlying causes of the disease. And it will come back unless these driving forces for the disease are reversed.
Find a nutritionally-oriented doctor (listed in the back of this book) and determine what got you into this condition, which will provide a detailed map on how to get you out of this situation.
DAY 18: SQUELCHING THE YEAST PLAGUE
There is a fungus among us. Yeast (a.k.a. fungus, mold, mushrooms) are everywhere. There are over 400,000 different strains of yeast, of which 400 can cause diseases in humans. Yeast have a very valuable purpose in a well-orchestrated body. Yeast is the "undertaker and the ecologist", degrading our "poop" into basic elements when we relieve ourselves and decomposing our bodies when we are through with them. Unfortunately, due to lowered immune status, toxic burden, malnutrition, sedentary lifestyles, stress, too much antibiotics, enhanced virulence of yeast strains, and people living indoors too much (where yeast thrive in dark, warm, moist, stagnant conditions), we are becoming premature victims of yeast. While many cancer patients develop secondary or opportunistic yeast infections, there is good reason to believe that yeast may have started some cancers in the first place. Aspergilli yeast generate the toxic by-product of aflatoxin, which is a known carcinogen. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Take a simple urine test to see if you have a yeast overgrowth (MetaMetrix, 800-221-4640, Great Plains Labs 913-341-8949). If so, then you will have to:
DAY 19: BEATING CANCER SYMPTOMS
"If the heat don't kill you then the humidity will." "And if the cancer don't kill you then the side effects will." Actually, both are worthy of your attention. Nausea, depression, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, weakness, fatigue, pain, and more can be common side effects of cancer. Depending on how advanced your cancer is, your medical therapies being given, your general health, etc., you can reduce symptoms to a tolerable level. See the chapter later in this book. This is crucial because some cancer patients just give up, after suffering too much for too long. Much of this suffering can be reduced by allopathic and naturopathic treatments. Pain and discomfort induce stress, which lowers immune functions, which can be a real show stopper for cancer patients. Get help.
DAY 20: SELECTIVELY REDUCE TUMOR BURDEN
It is very likely that your body needs some help in removing 10 or 20 trillion cancer cells, in order to reduce tumor burden enough to get your own anti-cancer defenses up and running. Working with the information that you gathered on day 2 (know your options of treatment), begin the process of debulking your tumor. Surgery, chemo, radiation, immune therapies, and hyperthermia are all common options. The key here is "restrained" tumor debulking. Anyone can kill all the cancer cells in your body. A thimble full of arsenic will do the job. No more cancer cells. No more you.
Surgeons used to take the aggressive cowboy approach and remove all surrounding tissue near the tumor. Then they found that by removing too many lymph nodes, lymphedema, or pooling of lymph fluid, could create such pain that amputation of limbs became necessary. "Remove the target organ" was the battle cry of many an oncology surgeon. The hemi-ectomy was the pinnacle of aggressive surgery, where the cancer patient with a sarcoma below the waist had the body removed from the waist down. The survival statistics of these poor victims were no different than sarcoma patients who did nothing. Pelvic exoneration, taking out all internal organs near the tumor, yielded no improvement in survival curves and a serious reduction in quality of life for the remaining months. "Maximum sub-lethal chemo" has been the mantra of many oncologists. Bring the patient to the therapeutic brink of death, and then salvage the patient if possible.
Find a doctor who will work with you on RESTRAINED tumor debulking. Just like the childhood fable of Goldilocks, you want a doctor to remove--not too much, not too little, but just the right amount of tumor mass. Your oncologist can be the beginning of your demise or can give your body some breathing room so that your natural host defense mechanisms can take over. Choose your doctor "wagon master" wisely.
DAY 21: ILLNESS AS A TEACHING TOOL
What have you learned since being diagnosed with cancer? How have your priorities changed? Do you see life differently? Do you appreciate sunsets and friends more? If so, then you are heading in the right direction toward healing. If not, then wake up.
In working with over 500 cancer patients individually and speaking to many thousands of cancer patients, there is a clear message in the appearance of a serious disease in anyone's life. Illness can be an unavoidable teaching tool. You can ignore advice from friends and loved ones. But you cannot ignore a terminal diagnosis.
I have had my own health challenges and each has taught me much. We are here on this earth for a very limited amount of time. What are we doing with our precious time and talents? Are you a human being or a human doing? Do you hate more than you love? Take more than you give? See the glass as half empty rather than half full? Spend more time contemplating regrets than your dreams? Treat people with respect or victimize them? Understand your unique skills that the world needs?
Cancer is more than just a physical systemic disease. And it requires more than just good nutrition and medicine to cure. It is a wake up call of the highest magnitude. Cancer patients who heed the call become better people having experienced this acid bath, this gauntlet, this baptism of fire. Many a cancer patient has stood in front of an audience and said: "Cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me." If you are nodding in agreement with this statement, then you are moving towards healing.
In Oriental language, "crisis" is written with two characters: one meaning "danger", the other character meaning "opportunity". Cancer is truly a dangerous disease. Over a half million Americans die from this disease annually. Yet, for thousands of cancer patients, the disease has forced them into rearranging their priorities and lifestyle. Respect your body, your "temple of the Holy Spirit". Fill your mind and your hours so full of joy, passion, helpfulness, music, laughter, play, worship, thanksgiving, friends, family, and your work that there is no room left for cancer in your life. A diamond is nothing more than a piece of coal that was put under a lot of pressure. You can become a diamond through the healing of your cancer.
PATIENT PROFILE: BEAT ENDSTAGE TUBERCULOSIS
True story. The number one cause of death throughout most of the 19th century was tuberculosis. Galen Clark went to Yosemite Valley to die of endstage tuberculosis at age 42 in the fall of 1856. His doctor told him that coughing up chunks of his lungs meant he had up to 2-6 months to live. There was no cure for this disease. Clark reasoned that "if I'm going to die soon, then I'm going to die in Yosemite, the prettiest place I've ever seen." He got happy. Scientists now tell us that happiness brings on the flow of endorphins, which supercharge our immune system and may slow down cancer.
Next, Galen Clark carved his own tombstone, thus accepting his mortality, a ritual that would give us all a better appreciation of our finite time on earth. He then started eating what was available in Yosemite in those days; clean and lean wild game, mountain trout, nuts, berries, vegetables, and lots of clean water. No sugar and no dairy products. He then began doing what he wanted to do, hiking and creating trails, in the place he treasured the most, Yosemite Valley. He didn’t die 6 months later, but rather 54 years later, just shy of his 96th birthday. He bolstered his "non-specific host defense mechanisms" with good thoughts and good nutrition.
Our bodies want to be well. There is an innate wisdom within all of life that knows how to fix disease. No one has to tell the scab on your hand how to heal properly. Your body knows what to do. We just have to give our body the proper physical and metaphysical resources to do its job right while purging our systems of toxins that inhibit healing.
Feed your mind the good thoughts of music, beauty, laughter, play, art, friends, share a glass of wine or a cup of tea at sunset, and discuss the events of the day with a loved one. Feed your heart the good feelings of love, forgiveness, confidence in your abilities, a sense of purpose in your life, and a trusting relationship with your Creator. And feed your body good nutrients through diet and supplements, thus providing your body the raw materials that it needs to rebuild itself. You can recover from your cancer.
Beating Cancer with Nutrition
Revised Edition with Audio CD
Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS
with Noreen Quillin
Rated 5 Stars by readers at Amazon.com
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Making Medical Therapy More Effective