Before Cancer Invades Your Life... by:Barbara Morris, R.Ph.Not many families escape the horror of seeing a loved one with cancer go through the agony of chemotherapy -- a barbaric "treatment" that more times than not eventually helps to kill the patient.
I am aware there are many "cures" after chemotherapy. Those folks are lucky. However, as a pharmacist I see so many people who have gone through chemo, surgery or radiation, appear to get better for a while, then relapse, get more chemo, surgery or radiation, rally a bit - maybe even for a couple of years, and eventually, the cancer comes roaring back, perhaps attacking a different part of the body.
It's infuriating. There are so many options and methods for treating cancer other than traditional means. I just don't understand why so many cancer victims opt for tradition. On the other hand, I do understand. It's because they trust their physician. Or, they know about alternative treatments but are afraid to try, having heard horror stories about "quack treatments" and "quack doctors" who use "unscientific" approaches to treat cancer.
I know the power of trust. Every cancer victim I've spoken to has told me how "wonderful" their doctor is, how "caring" their doctor is, how much of an "expert" their doctor is. They trust with a capital "T". If I had cancer, trust would not be enough to help me make a decision, given the track record of chemo, surgery, radiation, and "expert" opinion. Why go through hell at the behest of a wonderful, caring, expert when chances are you are not going to survive all the wonderful, caring, expert traditional treatment?
Ignorance and closed mindedness are rife, especially in the branches of medicine that deal with cancer. Will this ever change? Hopefully, but not soon.
Given the effectiveness of traditional treatments to produce cures, it is clear we should be trying - very hard-to find and use alternatives. A sensible approach would be a combination of traditional and alternative treatments.
A recent press release titled "American Chemical Society showcases cancer fighting foods" told about a meeting designed to draw attention to the potential of nutraceutical compounds in preventing cancer, and as such present a balance to mainstream therapeutic and medical approaches.
To date, I have not seen a statement by the ACS, or the American Cancer Society, or any cancer-fighting organization indicating that attempts will be made to influence the medical community to look at the role of food in maintaining a healthy body.
Another press release titled, "Antioxidant pills may benefit chemotherapy patients" reported that antioxidant supplements may help increase cancer survival rates, tumor response and the patient's ability to tolerate chemotherapy, according to a researcher at the University of Illinois.
How many oncologists, if shown the research will continue to denigrate patients who want to try alternative nutrition treatment? Or just want the okay to take vitamins? That may seem strange to those who take vitamins every day but many people won't take vitamins unless the doctor approves. Some cancer patients fear that supplements will feed the cancer.
An April 2006 press release, "Med schools failing on nutrition teaching" reported that Almost 60 percent of U.S. medical schools do not meet recommendations for nutrition education for med students. Consider that in 1985 the National Academy of Sciences reported "Nutritional education programs in U.S. medical schools are largely inadequate to meet the present and future demands of the medical profession."
Why, in the past twenty years haven't more medical schools taught students about the value of nutrition?
When cancer strikes, decision-making is tough. You tend to throw what you know and believe out the window and abide by what the oncologist suggests. That's human nature.
Preparation and prevention are everything. If you are not taking supplements; if you are concerned that you don't know as much as you should about keeping your body cancer free - start now to educate yourself.
A good place to start is to learn about anti-oxidants because of the vital role they play in preventing cancer and other diseases. One of the best books to read is The Anti-Oxidant Miracle by Lester Packer, Ph.D.
Keep an open mind and try to think what you would do if faced with a cancer diagnosis. If you are not well prepared, chances are you will opt for traditional treatments that are as risky as the most unorthodox alternative treatments. And the outcome will be a predictable traditional outcome - death -- sooner or later.
About the author
Barbara Morris is a pharmacist and author of Put Old on Hold. Visit her web site, http://www.PutOldonHold.com and sign up for her free content-rich newsletter and receive a complimentary copy of special report, "Thirteen Diva Tested Tips for Fabulous Skin."