A Complementary Medical Program To Support Chemotherapy: Anna Pemberton

The aim of this dissertation is to provide an accessible complementary medical programme for cancer sufferers who elect to follow the path of chemotherapy as a treatment option, and who are interested in attaining the best result and best recovery from this treatment by using the support of nutrition, herbs, supplementation and flower essences.

 CONTENTS:

Introduction

Chemotherapy explained

The program

Case Studies

Conclusion

Introduction:

It is important for practitioners of complementary medicine and practitioners of conventional western medicine to acknowledge each other and explore ways in which they can work together to create an integrated medicine.

It is important also, as a complementary medical practitioner, to remain open to and respectful of the choices made by those suffering from cancer.  By doing this, we are in the best position to help them, whatever their choice of treatment may be.

Those people who have recently been told they have cancer are commonly in a state of shock.  It is a time when decisions need to be made and unfortunately conventional medical practitioners can create a sense of urgency (not always, though sometimes appropriate).  This does not allow for the sense of empowerment that comes when options have been explored and choices made.

Information received can be overwhelming and alarming as well as contradictory – from different doctors, family and friends – who are all trying to help. Therefore, any information given regarding a complementary support programme needs to be as clear, concise and accessible as possible.

Chemotherapy explained

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs, both plant-derived and man-made, to kill cancer cells.  These cytotoxic drugs kill both cancer cells and normal, healthy cells – primarily those that divide and proliferate rapidly (a feature of cancer cells).  Research and the development of new drugs is ongoing – with the aim of creating drugs that are target specific and able to cause selective cell death, with resulting decrease in damage to healthy cells.

Chemotherapy is used :

  1. as a primary therapy to cure a small percentage of malignancies
  2. as adjuvant therapy to decrease the rate of relapse or improve the disease-free interval
  3. to palliate symptoms and prolong survival in some cases of incurable malignancies
  4. prior to surgery to reduce the size of a tumour, rendering it more operable
  5. post surgery to decrease the risk of occult micromestaseses of tumor stem cells outside the primary field.

There are over sixty different drugs used in chemotherapy, most being specific to certain types of cancer.  These drugs are often used in combination – having different mechanisms of action and metabolic pathways.  Some of the common chemotherapeutics and their mechanism of action are listed below:

Chemotherapeutic

Mechanism of Action

Alkylating Agents

Cyclophosphamide, Ifosfamide, Chlorambucil, Melphalan, Busulphan

 

Oxidative mechanism. Damages DNA which results in cell necrosis
Antimetabolic Agents

Methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil, Mercaptopurine, Cytarabine

Interferes with metabolic machinery in synthesis of nucleic acids
Mitotic Inhibitors

Vincristine, Vinblastine, Temiposide, Paclitaxel, Docetaxel

Prevents cell division
Antibiotics that affect nucleic acids

Doxorubicin (Adriamycin), Bleomycin, Dactinomycin, Idarubicin, Mitomycin, Pentostatin

Initiates free radical oxidants
Hormonal therapies

Tamoxifen, Anastrozole, Testolactone, Flutamide

Affects hormone receptor sites
Biological response modifiers
Inteferon, Aldesleukin, Levamisole
Activates cellular immunity
Platinum Compounds
Cisplatin, Carboplatin
Initiates free radical oxidants, alkylating agent
Camptothecin derivatives
Topotecan
Inhibits DNA replication
Miscellaneous Antineoplastics
Asparaginase, Hydroxyurea
Causes direct damage to DNA

(Table compiled primarily from Osiecki p.97- see references)

Many chemotherapeutic drugs work by increasing the oxidative state of the cancer cell.  Cancer cells do not rely on oxygen and proliferate more rapidly in an anaerobic state, deriving their energy from anaerobic glycolysis.  Thus, increasing the oxidative state of a cancer cell renders it more open to attack, both from chemotherapeutic drugs and from the body’s own defence system.  However, the effect of the chemotherapeutics is to not only kill cancer cells but to weaken the body’s defence system and lower immunity.

There is a further risk that the tumour cells may develop resistance to the chemotherapeutic drugs.  Administration of drugs may effectively kill the most sensitive cancer cells, leaving the resistant subpopulation to become the predominant cell type.

‘In  this situation chemotherapy only increases clonal selection of the most resistant and possibly the most aggressive cancer phenotype……..If chemotherapy is to be successful, it must initiate death in all cancer cells…..’1

It is important to remember that most chemotherapeutics are extremely toxic to the body, and are actually carcinogenic in their own right.  They tend to remain in the body for long periods of time after treatment.

Side effects of chemotherapy can be extreme and debilitating, causing a person to feel more unwell than they did prior to treatment.  Side effects include:

  1. leukopenia, lowered immunity and thus susceptibility to infections
  2. anaemia due to the suppression of bone marrow function and the formation of red blood cells
  3. nausea and vomiting (anti-nausea drugs are used in conjunction with chemotherapeutics but these have their own side effects) with resulting anorexia
  4. mouth ulcers, difficulty swallowing, foul taste in mouth
  5. constipation/diarrhoea cycles
  6. tachycardia to bradycardia
  7. resultant multi-drug resistance and/or chemical sensitivity
  8. hair loss
  9. fluid retention and possible kidney damage
  10. lethargy and tiredness, adrenal exhaustion
  11. depression, panic and anxiety

The extent of side effects varies from person to person, depending on constitutional wellness prior to treatment as well as the type of cancer being treated and drugs used.

The Program

There is a variety of cancer-cure diets today.  Many of them advocate against the path of chemotherapy and are often successful in their outcomes. The purpose of this paper, however, is to focus on the population of people who :

  1. have chosen to undergo chemotherapy as a treatment for their cancer, for whatever reason
  2. are relatively uninformed of complementary medicine, including nutrition, but keen to become more informed (through my attendance at the Balya Cancer Support Group meetings run by Dr Ivy Bullen, I have witnessed the ‘hunger to know more’ amongst those newly diagnosed with cancer)
  3. are interested in taking action to support themselves in some way through their medical treatment

Therefore, the primary aims of this complementary medical programme are to :

  1. 1.      Support and strengthen the body’s immune system
  2. 2.      Increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapeutic drugs with minimal damage to healthy cells
  3. 3.      Detoxify the body of chemotherapeutics post treatment
  4. 4.      Minimise side effects

 

(Please note: This paper does not attempt to cover complementary treatment for specific side effects as this area is a large one in itself and will depend on the individual constitution and the type of cancer being treated.)

Diet:

Because of the healthy cell death that occurs concurrent with cancer cell death with chemotherapy, it is important to support the rebuilding process with a highly nutritious diet.  However, because of the associated side effects of chemotherapy (nausea, vomiting, anorexia and ulcerated conditions of the mouth), it is easy for a state of malnutrition to set in.  Therefore, nutrition must be ingested in whatever way possible – which may be in liquid form with high levels of supplementation.  Foods can be blended, juiced or made into soups, with supplements added.

There are two factors to bear in mind when choosing a diet to support chemotherapy.

  1. 1.      ‘Certain cancers respond best to alkalising diets while others respond better to high protein/acidic diets.’2 Sympathetic dominant cancers such as breast, prostate, lung,  colon, uterine, ovary and pancreatic, respond to alkalising diets, potassium and magnesium supplements. This type of diet stimulates the parasympathetic system and decreases sympathetic activity.  Parasympathetic dominant cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma or blood or immune based cancers, respond best to a high protein, high fat diet with calcium, sulphur amino acid, tyrosine, phosphorus and zinc supplementation.  This diet is stimulating to sympathetic activity and decreases parasympathetic activity.
  2. 2.      ‘As most cancer cells derive their energy from anaerobic glycolysis (i.e cancerous anaerobic cells can only utilise carbohydrates, not fats or proteins for energy production), any approach that inhibits the anaerobic glycolytic pathway will result in reduced energy production.’3

Keeping these factors in mind, a general diet to support chemotherapy will be one containing the necessary building foods such as proteins of a high quality, a moderate amount of essential fats, with a balance of cleansing, alkalising foods, a low high quality carbohydrate intake and exclusion of all refined, processed foods and sugars.

Important Foods to Eat:

1.      Meats (red meat & poultry) – this needs to come from a chemical free, organic source if possible.  Eat in moderate amounts, no more than two times a week.

2.      Fish – particularly deep water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod and sardines as these are a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids which have an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer action. Eat two to three times a week.

3.      Dairy products – from an organic/biodynamic source if possible.  Small amounts only of cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and yoghurt.  Yoghurt contains lactobacillus acidophilus which is essential to good digestive health.

4.      Eggs (free-range, organic) – a valuable source of fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E,K, cysteine and other amino acids, lecithin. Up to three per week.

5.      Nuts & seeds – eat moderate amounts of almonds, brazils, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  Flaxseeds (linseeds) are an excellent source of immune enhancing omega-3 essential fatty acids.  Also one of the best sources of vegetable lignins which have antitumor, anestrogenic and antioxidant properties – may be best taken daily in the form of soaked or crushed seeds (chewed thoroughly) or unrefined, cold pressed flaxseed oil.

6.      Fermented vegetables (raw) such as sauerkraut.  These contain powerful anticarcinogenic compounds, lactic acid, lactic bacteria and enzymes.

7.      Fermented soy products such as miso and tempeh.

8.      Vegetables – all vegetables are helpful, being abundant in minerals, vitamins and other vital nutrients.  Use only organic and seasonal vegetables if possible. They may be eaten raw or lightly cooked.  Of particular note are:

Brassica genus (brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and turnip).   Contain dithiolothiones, which have anti-cancer, antioxidant properties; indoles, which protect against breast and colon cancer; and sulphur, which has antibiotic and antiviral characteristics.

Carrots. Very rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and contain an essential oil which kills parasites and unhealthy intestinal bacteria.

Onions and garlic.  Contain the powerful anti-cancer bioflavonoid quercitin.  Garlic also contains antiviral, antibiotic and antifungal compounds such as allicin.

Beetroot. Cleanses the liver and the blood.

Green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll.

Sprouts.  Readily digestible and nutrient rich.  Also rich in nitrilosides, which break down in the body into chemicals (benzaldehydes) that selectively destroy only cancer cells. 4

Vegetable juices.  Taken in any combination (carrot makes a good base).  Juices, which must be drunk fresh, are rich in oxidizing enzymes and easily available nutrients.  They have an alkalising and cleansing effect on body tissues.  Drink four to six glasses per day.

Cereal grasses such as barley and wheat grass.  These are rich in antioxidants, enzymes and a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

Algae such as Spirulina.  Spirulina is packed with nutrients, including protein, that are easy to digest and absorb.  Good protection against malnourishment if solid food is hard to take.

Mushrooms (shitake, reishi, maitake, button) which are often rich in germanium, an element which oxygenates the tissue thereby limiting the growth of cancer.

Sea vegetables.  Used by the Chinese to soften and reduce hardened masses in the body.5   They also contain the range of minerals, including trace minerals, often deficient in people with degenerative disease such as cancer.

9.      Fruits – should be eaten in moderation as they are a readily available source of sugar which will feed the cancer.  However, some fruits have particular valuable properties in supporting the body through chemotherapy.

Pigment rich fruit such as berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, elderberries) and cherries.  These contain valuable substances that protect against DNA damage and help to induce tumour cell death.6

Tropical fruits such as pawpaw, mango, pineapple, guava, coconut.  These fruits are rich in digestive enzymes.

Apples eliminate mucous, relieve depression and tonify the ‘heart-mind’, which is usually depressed and weak in degenerative diseases.7

10.  Grains – whole grains only and eaten in moderation (carbohydrates are a source of glucose which feeds the cancer).  Best grains are the alkaline forming ones such as

millet and buckwheat.  Avoid wheat, unless sprouted (eg. “Essene” sprouted wheat breads) as it has high allergenic properties. Oats are strengthening and nourishing for the nervous system and can sooth an overly sensitive digestive tract.  Pre-soaked

and/or sprouted-grain products are preferable as they are phytate-free (enzyme inhibitors), rich in enzymes and additional vitamins and more easily digestible.

11.  Legumes – not easily digested.  Best eaten in sprouted form such as mung and aduki beans.

12.  Oils – to be used in moderate amounts only.  Small amounts of high quality organic, cold pressed virgin olive oil may be used in cooking.  Flaxseed oil (with lemon juice) makes a good dressing for raw foods but should not be used in cooking. Flaxseed oil is not a stable oil and needs to be taken fresh.  Once the bottle is opened, keep sealed and refrigerated and consume within four weeks. Avocado is a good substitute for butter as a spread.

13.  Water –  approximately 2 litres of filtered water a day.  Juices can be diluted 50/50 with water.  Sip regularly throughout the day rather than ‘guzzling’.  Start the day with a glass or two of warm water with lemon juice.

What to avoid:

1.      Sugar (including refined carbohydrates) –  sugar feeds cancer cells and causes insulin production, which stimulates cancer growth.  It demineralises and acidifies the body fluids.

2.      Processed dairy foods and conventionally raised meats – likely to contain pesticides, hormones and antibiotics.

3.      Vegetable oils (especially hydrogenated oils found in margarines) – these are easily oxidized, causing peroxidized lipids which are carcinogenic.  (Use cold pressed organic olive oil for cooking and flaxseed oil for salads)

4.      All processed foods  – these are devitalised and may contain carcinogenic substances such as artificial colours, nitrates and nitrites.

5.      Reduce tea and coffee.  Use herbal teas as a substitute.

6.      Alcohol, cigarette smoke and drugs.

Herbs:

There are many herbs that have beneficial properties for supporting a lowered immune system, building a weakened body and removing toxins from the cells.  There are also many herbs to address the specific side effects of chemotherapy such as those described earlier in this paper. The following herbs are just a few of the many.  They have been selected because of their availability, overall and specific healing qualities and synergistic effects with each other and their particular relevance to chemotherapy. These herbs may be used at different times in the healing process and probably not all at the same time.  Some herbs can be drunk regularly as infusions, while others are more suitable in tincture form.  The following herbs are listed in alphabetical order.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) – this is a powerful herb for stimulating and strengthening the immune system.  It has the effect of increasing the production of interferon and enhancing natural killer cell activity.  Interferon is a cellular protein formed when cells are exposed to a virus or another foreign particle of nucleic acid.   (Viruses are believed to play a part in the production of some cancers.)  Natural killer cells are lymphocytes capable of binding to and killing virus-infected cells and some tumour cells by releasing cytotoxins.

Astragalus has been used in combination with Panax ginseng as an adjunctive treatment to chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy.  The combined effect was to raise survival rates considerably.8

‘Injection of Ginseng-Astragalus used with chemotherapy in patients with malignant tumour of the digestive tract reduced the toxic effects of the chemotherapy and increased patient body weight.  The white blood cell count was not reduced markedly, in contrast to controls.’ 9

Astragalus has marked tonic and adaptogenic effects, these qualities in themselves being of great benefit to anyone undergoing chemotherapy with the accompanying fatigue and debility.

As a herb with immunostimulant, antiviral, tonic and adaptogenic actions, Astragalus is an excellent herb to use concurrent with chemotherapy.

2.      Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tormentosa) – Cat’s claw has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-stimulating effects.  The bark extract stimulates the production of white blood cells and is useful in countering the effects of chemotherapy.

3.      Dandelion  (Taraxacum officinale) – the root is an effective detoxifiying herb, cleansing the blood and strengthening the liver.  The leaf is an excellent diuretic, which can be beneficial with those undergoing chemotherapy as the body tends to retain high amounts of fluid.  The leaf and root can both be drunk as tea, while the root, roasted and ground, can be used as a healthy substitute for coffee.

4.      Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) – Green tea contains significant levels of polyphenols which are believed to have a cancer-inhibiting effect.  A substance called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been isolated from green tea.  It is thought to inhibit cancer growth, in particular in the skin, gastrointestinal tract, lung and liver.  Green tea extract or EGCG is believed to work synergistically with the anti-cancer drugs Chlorambucil, Cisplatin and Doxorubicin.  It reduces drug resistance by inhibiting P-glycoprotein, thereby improving the effectiveness of the drug.

5.      Panax Ginseng – like Astragalus, Panax ginseng has a tonic, adaptogenic action and is therefore good for the stress, fatigue and debility that usually accompany chemotherapy.  Ginseng also has an immune stimulating effect, enhancing phagocytosis and non-specific immunity, and increasing natural killer cell and macrophage activity.  It has a more specific role as an adjunctive treatment to chemotherapy by increasing white blood cell count, and increasing resistance to the adverse effects of anticancer drugs.10

6.      Pau D’Arco (Tabebuia spp) – this herb has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.  It is believed there may be a viral component in the production of some cancers.  Also, these antimicrobial properties are important in supporting a compromised immune system which is a feature of chemotherapy, and of cancer as a whole.  Pau D’arco also has immune stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties as well as having a cleansing, detoxifying action.  It appears that a key constituent, lapachol, inhibits the growth of tumour cells by preventing them from metabolizing oxygen.11

7.      Withania (Withania somnifera) – this herb also has potent tonic and adaptogenic  properties.  It is particularly helpful as a restorative in chronic illness and the accompanying debility.  The withanolides in the herb are anti-inflammatory and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

The use of withania concurrently with the chemotherapy drug, cyclophosphamide,

significantly increased white blood cell and neutrophil counts both before and after treatment with cyclophosphamide.12

Withania is used in a similar way to ginseng and the two don’t need to be used together.  Panax has a stimulating tonic effect, wheres whithania has a sedative tonic effect. The two herbs could be interchanged according to which is most appropriate for the individual.

Supplements:

As with foods and herbs, the supplements selected are those that boost the immune system, increase the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs whilst minimising side effects and aiding the body to detoxify post treatment.

(Information for the following table is drawn primarily from Osiecki’s ‘Cancer: a Nutritional/Biochemical Approach’ and Ellis’ ‘Shattering the Cancer Myth’.  Both of these books provide comprehensive tables of nutrients to support chemotherapy, including specific nutrients for specific chemotherapeutic drugs.)

NUTRIENT

DRUG

NUTRIENT ACTION

Adenosine200-300mg/day Chemotherapeutics that lower white blood cell(WBC) countMethotrexate, sulfasalazine Improves WBC production & recovery.  Should be taken with chemotherapy
Bromelain300mg x 4 caps in divided doses 5-fluorouracil, Vincristine Improves effectiveness, resulting in reduced doses
Calcium & vit. D Thiotepa, hydroxyurea, Cytarabine, cisplatin, carboplatin Improves efficacy of drugs used in Hodgkin’s disease, bone cancer & lung disease
Co Enzyme Q10270 mg/day plus All forms of chemotherapy Maintains health of cells, preserves WBC, improves oxygenation to cells & tissues, reduces side effects, cardiotoxicity, diarrhoea & stomatitis
Cysteine, N-acetyl cysteine, glutathione& Vit C Potassium bromate Protects kidney and bladder against oxidative damage, reduces nausea
Fish oils, omega-3 fatty acids, DHA/EPA All forms of chemotherapy Improves the killing of cancer cells(improves blood perfusion through tumour, increases plasma membrane fluidity and uptake of drugs), reduces side effects, anti-inflammatory
Genistein Doxorubicin, etoposide, tamoxifen, tiazofurin, cyclophosphamide Synergistically improves killing tumour cells.

 

NUTRIENT

DRUG

NUTRIENT ACTION

Glutathione, magnesium Cisplatin Reduces side effects of drug, protects kidneys and liver against toxic effects of chemotherapy
Glutamine4gm/day Methotrexate, 5FU, anthracycline, cisplatin, cytosine arabinoside, vincristine Improves effectiveness of drug, reduces mucosal injury in the gut and mouth.  Reduces vincristine induced neurotoxicity
Lipoic acid600-1200mg/day Doxorubicin, vincristine, cisplatin Reduces drug resistance & side effects, boosts immunity
Melatonin20 mg/day Doxorubicin, cisplatin, epirubicin, etoposide, tamoxifen, carboplatin, triptorelin Reduces adverse effects of drugs
Pancreatic & food-derived enzymes All forms of chemotherapy Removes blocking antigens from cancer cells, decreases inflammation, improves gut absorption, improves survival
Quercitin500-1500mg/day Adriamycin, busulphan, vinblastine, vincristine, cisplatin, cytarabine, arsenite Potentiates drug activity, reduces drug resistance, anti-inflammatory
Selenium Cisplatin, carboplatin Reduces nephrotoxicity
Vitamin A & carotenes Etoposide, doxorubicin, vincristine, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, 5FU, mitomycin, epirubicin, methotrexate Improves effectiveness of drugs, reduces side effects & toxicity, protects lung and mucous membrane linings
Vitamin B complex All forms of chemotherapy Enhances effects & reduces side effects of drugs
Vitamin C5 grams/day All forms of chemotherapy Enhances effectiveness of drug treatment, reduces side effects, boosts WBC function and immunity, aids detoxification
Vitamin E (as succinate)800-1600mg/daymust begin 7-14 days prior to treatment Adriamycin, vincristine, cisplatin, 5FU, doxorubicin, melphalan, bleomycin Enhances inhibition of oestrogen dependent tumour growth, enhances effectivness of drug to prostatic cancer, prevents baldness associated with Adriamycin, enhances effectiveness of drugs to melanoma, reduces the occurrences of oral mucositis and hence malnutrition

The table above shows specific supplements for specific chemotherapeutics.  As mentioned earlier, there are also specific supplements for the different side effects that occur with different drugs. However, we can also see from this table that there is a general supplementation regime to follow for any form of chemotherapy.  This being:

  1. Large doses of Vitamin C (up to 5000mg daily) and Vitamin B complex. These vitamins may be best given intravenously.
  2. Bioflavonoid, particularly quercitin
  3. Anti-oxidants A,C,E, Zinc and selenium
  4. Co-enzyme Q10
  5. Essential Fatty Acids
  6. Glutamine
  7. Digestive enzymes – pancreatic and food-derived.
  8. Whole dried foods such as barley grass, wheat grass and algae such as spirulina provide an excellent source of enzymes plus a whole spectrum of vitamins, minerals  and antioxidants.

Note:  Supplements are best taken 12 hours before and six hours after chemotherapy
treatment.  This will:

  1. minimise any interaction with chemotherapy drugs
  2. minimise any aversion to supplements that may develop as a result of treatment
  3. minimise side effects
  4. maximise therapeutic effect

Flower Essences

The connection between mind and body has been esoterically understood for centuries and utilised by any number of cultures.  This connection has been scientifically backed up in recent decades by scientists such as Candace Pert in her work on neuropeptides and opiate receptors.  She has scientifically proven that body and mind work as one inter-relating network, rather than the brain being the governing organ for the body. She writes: ‘My research has shown me that the body can and must be healed through the mind, and the mind can and must be healed through the body’13.  It is heartening to see that the ‘scientific validation’ insisted upon by the conventional western medical world is at last appearing.  Perhaps this will initiate a greater acceptance of the place and power of complementary therapies, including flower essences, in the treatment of disease such as cancer.

‘Flower essences can work on the physical level, filtering back to relieve the mind state which caused it, or from the mind state filtering down to relieve the physical.’14

Although cancer, as a chronic disease, may have some deep seated mental and emotional beliefs contributing to its manifestation, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the period of time leading up to and following chemotherapy.  The role of the flower essences then will be to address associated stress, anxiety/fear, pain, energy depletion and the toxicity of chemotherapeutics.

All these essences could be used in a physical dose (25 to 60 drops depending upon severity of symptoms) to deal with the immediate and following effects of the treatment with drugs.

1.      Stress

–        Hybrid Pink Fairy/Cowslip Orchid is a general stress essence useful for lowered immunity.  It also treats physical symptoms of insomnia, inflammation and pain.

–        Brown Boronia helps to relieve stress and sleeplessness caused by obsessive thought of a morbid nature.

2.      Anxiety/Fear

Ribbon Pea addresses feelings of intense fear and anxiety, fear of the unknown, fear of death

3.      Pain

Topical application of Living Essences Pain Cream will help muscular tension

Dampiera taken internally (physical dose) will help also to lessen the pain caused by muscular tension and assist with the feeling of letting go of that which no longer serves – relating to both body and mind.

Macrozamia can be applied topically to area of the body that is swollen and painful due to a build up of fluids

4.      Energy Depletion

Cowkicks is an essence used for recovery from shock or trauma, whether emotional or physical.  The body undergoes severe physical stress at the time of chemotherapy and this essence would be useful to aid recovery on all levels.

Pink Fountain Triggerplant helps to rejuvenate the vital force and is useful for extreme tiredness caused through ill health or shock to the body.

5.      Drug Toxicity

–     Black Kangaroo Paw can be taken to aid detoxification after the chemotherapy. Take 4 drops in fresh lemon juice and water with a small pinch of salt, 30 minutes before eating each morning for one month.

References:

Barnao,V & K; 1997; Australian flower essences for the 21st century; Australian Flower Essence Academy, West Australia

Bone,K; (1996); Clinical applications of ayurvedic and chinese herbs; Phytotherapy Press, Queensland

Brunetti,J (2002); Session 12; My battle with cancer; Reprinted from ACRES A Voice for Eco-Agriculture, May 2002 – Vol.32 No.5 – Page 30

Chevallier,A (Rev. ed.); 2001; The encyclopedia of medicinal plants; Dorling Kindersley PL, New South Wales

Ellis,K;(2003); Shattering the cancer myth; Hinkler Books Pty Ltd, Dingley, Victoria, Australia

Gawler,I; (1984); You can conquer cancer; Hill of Content Publishing Co Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria

Hoffman,D (2nd ed); 1986; The new holistic herbal; Element Books Ltd, distributed By Penguin Australia Ltd, Victoria

Osiecki,H (5th ed); (2002); The nutrient bible; Bio Concepts Publishing, Eagle Farm Queensland

Osiecki,H; (2002); Ketogenic diet and cancer; Bio Concepts Bulletin Nov.2002

Osiecki,H (2nd ed); (2003); Cancer a nutritional/biochemical approach; Bio Concepts Publishing, Eagle Farm, Queensland

Pert,C; (1999); Molecules of emotion, the science behind mind-body medicine; Touchstone (Simon & Schuster Inc.) New York

Pitchford,P; (1993); Healing with whole foods: oriental traditions and modern nutrition; North Atlantic Books, California, USA

Tierney.L, McPhee.S, Papadakis.M (editors) (39th ed); (2000); Current medical diagnosis & treatment; Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill, New York, USA

Specific References:

(please note: all Osiecki references are found in Cancer a nutritional/biochemical approach except for the third)

1.   Osiecki       p.98

2.   Osiecki      p.106

3.   Osiecki      Ketogenic diet & cancer

4.   Pitchford      p.376

5.   Pitchford      p.376

6.   Ellis            p.166

7.   Pitchford      p.380

8.   Bone          p.18

9.   Bone          p.18

10. Bone          p.39

11. Chevallier      p.139

12. Bone          p.139

13. Pert            p.274

14. Barnao       p.18

Case histories:

Male, 58 years old.  Diagnosed 12 months ago with angio-sarcoma – located in spine with metastases in lungs.  This is a rare form of cancer and doctors opted to treat as they do for multiple myeloma (patient believes it is experimental as they are not sure which way to go).

Treatment, conventional:

  1. Thalidomide (oral) – ongoing.
  2. Regular intermittent treatments with IV bisphosphonates to prevent spread of bone metastases. (Patient has developed strongly negative attitude to this as has severe side effects including mental disorientation, bordering on hallucinations)
  3. Prednisone – a glucocorticoid.  (Patient elected to discontinue this also because of severe side effects)

Treatment complementary:

  1. Vegetarian cleansing diet for 10 months.  Using juices and green tea. No fat, sugar, wheat, dairy, salt, processed food.  Patient has commenced eating some red meat and using sea salt because of severe anaemia and sodium deficiency.  Feels much better for it.
  2. Intravenous Vit C – to reduce side effects and boost immunity.  Has been having this once a week for 10 months.
  3. Intravenous mistletoe
  4. Meditation twice a day – feels great benefit from this.  Was distressed when bisphosphonates created such mental disorientation that unable to meditate.

Is now completely clear of lung metastases.

This person feels strongly attracted to a complementary support programme and works regularly with a naturopath who uses kinesiology to muscle test for prescribing.  Muscle testing revealed that the dose of thalidomide was twice that needed and the doctors have since reduced the dose (not on the advice of the kinesiologist).

Female, 53 years old.  Diagnosed 9 years ago with lobular breast cancer, leading to mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy.  Twelve months ago, diagnosed with cancer in other breast, leading to mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy.

Treatment, conventional:

  1. chemotherapy
  2. ongoing oral Tamoxifen

Treatment, complementary:

Nine years ago – followed a cleansing diet, juicing and regular exercise

12 months ago –

  1. upgraded diet (which had lapsed a little) – no wheat, dairy, meat (eats fish); Juices every morning
  2. supplements include zinc, selenium, vitamin E, iron & Femarin (menopause compound as she has been experiencing hot flushes)
  3. also takes Indole 3 Carbonol which is a natural estrogen inhibitor
  4. Had IV Vit C injections once a week prior to chemotherapy and 3 times a week during chemotherapy.  Continues to have them once a week.  Oncologist surprised at continuing high white blood cell count.  Also experienced minimum side effects and sustained energy levels during treatment.
  5. Has an ongoing positive attitude and continues to inform self.

This woman appears to have made some very positive changes in her life as a result of her diagnoses.  She has been asked by her GP to talk to other cancer patients about her experiences and often gets approached by ‘friends of friends’ to talk with them, help dispel their fears and help inform them about options available to them.

Conclusion:

There is no doubt that the body can be prepared for the onslaught of chemotherapy in a way that can help to achieve a better result from the treatment and to minimise side effects.

The benefits to be had by using nutrition, herbs, supplements and flower essences when undergoing chemotherapy are twofold.  Firstly, they prepare the physical body to better receive, use the potential healing, and withstand the toxic effect of the chemotherapeutic drugs.  Secondly, they give the person a sense of choice and empowerment in their treatment.  This is a very powerful combination indeed.
 

 

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