Cancer supplements, herbs, vitamins,
Natural and alternative ways to prevent and treat,
or to slow down its progression
by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
December 26 2014
Breast and prostate cancer head the list of the most common
cancers, regardless of race, among American men and women. Cancer is the
second-leading cause of death in the US and the American Cancer Society estimates that in
2012, approximately 1.4 million Americans received a new diagnosis and over
half-a-million Americans died of the disease. Just four types account for half
of all cancers in the U.S.: prostate, breast, lung and colorectal tumors.
Those who are tall are more likely
to get this disease which may account why men have a slightly higher incidence,
particularly of kidney, melanoma, and hematological malignancies. Many cancer
survivors have unresolved physical and mental health issues long after being
Each day, your immune system spots and
destroys cells that could easily go on to become cancerous,
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, news release, Feb. 2, 2014.
Knowing one's genetic risk for cancer may not have a strong influence in
changing behavior which makes one question whether such tests are necessary or
helpful, Oct. 21,
2014, Annals of Internal Medicine.
cancer diet and foods
There are a variety of ways foods can prevent, slow down, or fight this disease.
Genetic differences in taste preference, food tolerance, and
nutrient absorption and metabolism all influence the effect of diet on cancer
foods block natural bodily processes such as inflammation that stimulated cancer
growth. Other foods influence cancer cells to die through a process called
apoptosis. Still other foods help the body in detoxifying cancer-causing toxins
or protecting against free radicals. Colorful vegetables and herbs are at the
top of the list of anti cancer foods. Colorful berries are also excellent. Some
of the most promising dietary chemopreventive agents are green tea polyphenols
(i.e. catechins), long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids,
glucosinolates / isothiocyanates, vitamins (i.e. vitamin D and folate).
Reduce your risk naturally
Eat a healthy diet with
few processed foods, and more vegetables, preferably organic. Reduce the amount
of food cooked at very high temperatures. Try to maintain an appropriate body
weight, losing excess pounds can reduce your risk. Many vegetables have anti-tumor activity, for instance broccoli,
cauliflower and watercress.
Eat more onions and garlic.
Try to get a deep sleep
Of course, reduce or eliminate smoking and excessive drinking.
Minimize exposure to toxins.
Walk your way to wellness - By keeping your body healthy and active,
walking can help you improve your mood, boost your energy, lose weight, control your blood
pressure, prevent bone loss, and decrease the risks of many diseases, including cancer.
Everyone needs fats. Problems arise only when we get too
much fat, or the wrong types of fat, such as trans fats and hydrogenated fats, and excess
fat from dairy products and meats. Fat has been linked to an increased risk of heart
disease as well as an increased exposure to certain forms of cancer.
eating too much sugar, substitute
stevia, the no
calorie natural sweetener, instead.
Weigh less, live longer - Being overweight seems to play a role in cancers of
the breast, colon and the lining of the uterus. Cancers of the prostate occur more often
in obese men and cancers of the gall bladder, bile passages and ovaries occur more often
in obese women. Fasting
may reduce cancer rates according to one animal study.
Seek shade, not sun - A tan is a sign of skin damage! It is a scientific fact
that overexposure to the sun damages skin, causing cumulative, permanent harm, including
(but not limited to) skin cancer.
Finding Fiber - Research has shown that eating more foods containing fiber can
lower your risk of two fairly common, potentially fatal cancers: colon and prostate
cancer. Because foods with fiber are naturally low in fat, they also protect you against
other types of cancer to which a high-fat diet may contribute.
Drink tea rather than sodas or sugared drinks - Solid evidence
is mounting that drinking tea can prevent cell damage that leads to cancer, heart disease
and perhaps other ills. Tea is loaded with phytochemicals--a wide range of molecules that
can act as antioxidants. Such compounds counteract the damage done to DNA cells by free
radicals--charged particles produced by sunlight, chemicals, many foods and simply the
stress of day-to-day living.
Natural cancer treatments worth tryingYoga, hypnosis, meditation, biofeedback,
imagery, and support groups can help ease the anxiety and post-chemo or
radiation treatment consequences. Different vitamins and other micronutrients in
vegetables, fruits, and other natural plant products may prevent cancer
development (carcinogenesis) by interfering with detrimental actions of
mutagens, carcinogens, and tumor promoters. There's a lot of controversy
surrounding alternative treatments, and more research is needed before we have
more confidence in these approaches.
Cancer supplements, herbs, vitamins,
plant extracts with potential anti cancer
There are countless herbs that have been found to have anti-tumor activity in
laboratory studies. Whether these herbs and dietary supplement have a role to play in cancer treatment or
prevention in humans is not clear at this time. Even if they do, the appropriate
dosage and best way to use them is not well known. However, if your doctor
approves, you could try some of these herbal and nutritional supplements.
There are numerous reports of cancer preventive activity of dietary
botanicals, including cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli,
allium vegetables such as garlic and onion, green tea, citrus fruits, soybeans,
berries, and ginger, as well as medicinal plants. Several compounds,
such as genistein (from soybeans), lycopene (from tomatoes), brassinin (from
cruciferous vegetables), sulforaphane (from asparagus), indole-3-carbinol (from
broccoli), and resveratrol (from grapes) are being tested.
Berries and berry extracts such as
black or red raspberries,
strawberries, blueberries, noni, and wolfberry have numerous anticancer
Broccoli vegetable and
extract are excellent options.
Curcumin may help fight
breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Researchers have found in the lab that curcumin can
enhance the cancer-fighting power of treatment with TRAIL, a naturally occurring molecule
that helps kill cancer cells. TRAIL stands for tumor necrosis factor-related
apoptosis-inducing ligand. In an experiment with human prostate cancer cells in a
laboratory dish, the combination treatment killed off two to three times more cells than
either treatment alone. Curcumin exerts multiple different suppressive
effects on human breast carcinoma cells in vitro.
Carotenoids show a prominent role in decreasing
the incidence of various cancers.
Vitamin D has an important role to play in prevention. Cancer rates are different at different latitudes of the globe. Rates
of breast, colon and ovarian cancer are lower in sunnier regions of the world
than in Northern climates where cold winters limit people's sun exposure.
Sunlight triggers the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, and people who get
little sun exposure tend to have lower stores of the vitamin. More than
three-fourths of people with a variety of cancers have low levels of vitamin D,
and the lowest levels are associated with more advanced cancers
Green Tea has polyphenolic compounds
such as EGCG that are
protective against various forms of cancer.
Graviola fruit, also known as soursop, grows in the
Amazon jungle and some of the Caribbean islands. See
graviola cancer latest research, a
web site that is updated regularly.
AHCC -- Active Hexose-correlated
Compound -- is a mushroom extract that has been
tested as an immune enhancing, liver protective and anti-cancer agent.
Ashwagandha has many compounds that have
been found to have activity against lung, colon, breast, and central nervous
Calcium D Glucarate
is a natural supplement.
Cat's Claw extracts exert a direct anti-proliferative activity on MCF7 breast cancer cell
supplement for more information.
DIM-Diindolylmethane supplement is another good option. See current research
on this supplement at
diindolemethane dim web site with the latest studies.
Indole 3 Carbinol
is available as a supplement. See
Indole3Carbinol I3C for more information.
Mangosteen has powerful
xanthones. As of 2011, I am not aware of human studies with
in the prevention or treatment of cancer.
Milk thistle contains silymarin and other
flavonoids that have been found to have anti-tumor action in bladder and
prostate cancer cells.
fruit juice contains a polysaccharide-rich substance called
with anti-tumor activity.
Reishi mushroom water soluble extracts
inhibit colon tumors in mice. Reishi may be helpful in advanced-stage cancers
and has shown activity against prostate cancer cells.
Agaricus mushroom has
been studied as a mushroom extract cancer treatment.
Resveratrol shows promise in neuroblastoma and
Integr Cancer Ther. 2014. Efficacy of
Antioxidants as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Combination
With the Chemotherapeutic Agent Doxorubicin. Resveratrol and curcumin have the
potential to be clinically applied to prevent cardiac toxicity and hand-foot
syndrome and enhance the anticancer efficiency of Doxorubicin.
is often used in Japan
Calcium mineral has been associated with a lower
risk of colon cancer, so has vitamin D.
IP-6, Inositol hexaphosphate, is a naturally polyphosphorylated
carbohydrate found in beans, brown rice, corn, sesame seeds, wheat bran, and
other high fiber foods. IP-6 has been reported to have in vivo and in vitro anticancer activity against
numerous tumors, such as colon, prostate, breast, liver, chronic myeloid leukemia, and
rhabdomyosarcomas. Significant human trials are lacking and hence we do not currently know
whether taking IP-6 supplements is helpful in cancer prevention or therapy.
Melatonin, a pineal
hormone, is a potent antioxidant and has been shown to inhibit estrogen-responsive human
breast cancer cells and augment the effectiveness of tamoxifen.
Supplements that may be helpful for those on chemotherapy:
fatigue in those who are undergoing chemotherapy.
Glutamine supplementation can lessen
loss of protein in the muscle and protect immune and gut-barrier function during radio-chemotherapy
in patients with advanced cancer.
may also be helpful for mucositis induced by cancer treatment.
SAM-e may have a protective effect in cancer
chemotherapy-induced liver toxicity, do not use more than 100 mg a day.
Improved survival in patients with end-stage
cancer treated with coenzyme Q10 and other antioxidants: a pilot study.
J Int Med Res. 2010.
This pilot study evaluated the survival of patients with end-stage cancer who
received supplements of coenzyme Q10 and a mixture of other antioxidants (e.g.
vitamin C, selenium, folic acid and beta-carotene). During a period of 9 years,
41 patients who had end-stage cancer were included. Primary
cancers were located in the breast, brain, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, esophagus,
stomach, colon, prostate, ovaries and skin. The median actual
survival was 40% longer than the median
Additional Herbs and compounds
Celery seed extract
D Glucarate supplement
Sulforaphane, found in broccoli
and Brussels sprouts, slows the growth of human breast
cancer cells in the lab. It disrupts the action of protein 'microtubules' within
the cells, which are vital for the success of cell division. It also has effects on detoxification enzymes that can defend against cancer-promoting
Tongkat ali --
Beta-carboline alkaloids isolated from tongkat ali have demonstrated
significant cytotoxicity against human lung cancer (A-549) and human breast
cancer (MCF-7) cell lines. In plain English, this means that some compounds in
this plant can kill cancer cells. The practical significance of this finding in
humans is not clear at this time.
Supplements used for radiation
Aloe vera gel may be helpful for skin damage as a consequence of radiation
Factors that cause cancer
Diet and speed of growth as a child are both significant causes of cancer, but
many Americans still incorrectly believe that factors such as pesticides or
pollution are bigger causes. Diets that have a high content of fruits,
vegetables and whole grains and that go are low on red meats, dairy products and
fats protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Hormones that cause the
body to grow quickly may be involved in some cancers. Tall people have a higher
risk of cancer than shorter people. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer for
mother and child.
Repeated CT scans increase the risk.
Several studies, mostly involving Western populations, have found
that cancer risk increases with height. Taller people are more likely to succumb
to this disease. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2009.
What about high alkaline foods and water?
The kidneys and lungs can easily make the blood the normal pH
necessary for proper body functioning even if high alkaline foods or water are
Role of alcohol
Men who drink beer or liquor on a regular basis have a higher risk of
several different types of cancer. Among 3,600 Canadian men ages 35 to 70, those
who averaged at least a drink per day had higher risks of a number of cancers
than men who drank occasionally or not at all -- including cancers of the
esophagus, stomach, colon, lungs, pancreas, liver and prostate. When the
researchers looked at individual types of alcohol, though, only beer and
"spirits" -- and not wine -- were linked to elevated cancer risks. Cancer
Prevention and Detection 2009.
and physical activity
Exercise is particularly important for overweight survivors of breast,
prostate, and colorectal cancers, because lifestyle factors can significantly
affect their quality of life. Men who exercise hard are less likely to die from
cancer. British Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2009.
Pollution and environmental exposure
To lessen cancer risks:
Remove shoes before entering the home to avoid tracking in toxic chemicals such
Filter tap water.
Use stainless steel, glass or BPA-free plastic water bottles.
Microwave in ceramic or glass instead of plastic containers.
Minimize consumption of food grown with pesticides and meat raised with
antibiotics and growth hormone.
Minimize consumption of processed, charred or well-done meats, which contain
carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.
Reduce radiation from X-rays and other medical sources.
Reduce your exposure to three dangerous chemicals: formaldehyde, benzene and
radon. Almost all homes contain formaldehyde, considered a probable human
carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Formaldehyde is used in
plywood, particle board, foam insulation, carpet and draperies, furniture,
permanent press fabrics and toiletries. Exposure is highest when these are newly
installed. Many Americans are exposed to formaldehyde at work, raising their
risk of dying from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. Exposure to benzene is
widespread. Exhaust from cars and other vehicles contain benzene, listed as a
known human carcinogen by the EPA. Radon, which forms naturally and can collect
in homes, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States,
This is the fourth and eighth most
common cancer in men and women in the United States, respectively. Flavonoid
phytochemicals are being studied for both prevention and therapy of various
human malignancies including
bladder Cancer. One such naturally occurring flavonoid is silibinin isolated from milk thistle. Cigarette smoking is confirmed as a risk factor for
Green tea extract may interfere with a process that
helps early bladder cancer to spread throughout the body. The findings, say
researchers, bolster ongoing studies into green tea extract as a cancer
treatment -- and may give green tea drinkers more reason to savor every cup.
The investigators found that when they exposed human bladder cells to both a
cancer-causing chemical and green tea extract, the extract interfered with a
particular process by which early cancer cells become invasive and spread
throughout body tissue. This process involves the "remodeling" of actin, a
structural protein in cells that is essential for cell movement. Actin
remodeling allows cancer cells to move and invade nearby healthy tissue. Based
on the new findings, green tea extract may get in the way of this process by
activating a protein known as Rho, which helps regulate actin's organization in
cells and has been implicated in tumor development and progression.
Harvard University is investigating an allegation that a dentistry professor
downplayed research showing an increased risk of bone cancer for boys who drink
fluoridated tap water. Chester Douglass, who heads Harvard's Department of Oral
Health Policy and Epidemiology, received a $1.3 million grant in 1992 from the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to conduct a study of
fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Douglass'
1992-1999 study found that the odds of having osteosarcoma after drinking
fluoridated water were "not statistically different" from those who drank
non-fluoridated water. But Elise Bassin, a doctoral student who Douglass
supervised, reported in her 2001 thesis that boys who drink fluoridated water
appear to have an increased risk of developing the bone cancer. Her findings
were based on some of the same people used in Douglass' study. The Environmental
Working Group filed an ethics
complaint against Douglass In June 2005 after discovering that Douglass cited Bassin's research in his final grant report. In it, he said her work supported
his claim that there was no significant risk from fluoridated water, even though
Bassin had found a strong link between fluoride levels in tap water and an
increased osteosarcoma risk for boys. There appears to be a conflict of interest
between Douglass' research and his position as editor-in-chief of The Colgate
Oral Health Report, a quarterly newsletter funded by Colgate-Palmolive Co.,
which makes fluoridated toothpaste.
The number of
tumor cases in the US and
Europe has increased by up to 40% in the past 20 years. The incidence rate for
tumors is increasing among people of all ages, but males between 20 and 40 years old are
the most affected. Epidemiological studies indicate that white collar
workers -- intellectuals and professionals -- are among the most affected. The reason is still
unknown, though environmental causes such as cellular phones, computers and exposure to
electromagnetic fields cannot be ruled out.
Children fathered by men who have been
exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) apparently have increased odds
of developing brain tumors. Parental
exposure to PAH, which occurs primarily through tobacco smoke, occupational
exposure, and air pollution, could increase the risk of cancer during childhood.
Resveratrol, found in red wine, shows promise for
the treatment of neuroblastoma.
In survivors of childhood cancer, exposure to radiation therapy,
especially before 5 years of age, is the most important risk factor for the
development of a new primary tumor of the central nervous system (CNS). The most
common CNS tumors in these children are gliomas and meningiomas, which are
primarily located in the brain but can occur elsewhere.
Coffee and tea lovers may have a decreased likelihood of developing
the most common form of malignant brain tumor in adults. A study of more than
500,000 European adults adds to evidence from a recent U.S. study linking higher
coffee and tea intake to a lower risk of
gliomas, a group of brain tumors that
makes up about 80 percent of malignant brain cancers in adults. American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition, online September 15, 2010.
Breast Cancer -- for a fuller discussion, click the link below
Breast cancer is the
most common non-skin malignancy in women in the United States and is second only
to lung cancer as a cause of cancer-related deaths.
high-fiber low-fat diet reduces blood levels of estrogen in women with breast
cancer, researchers report. This may help keep the disease in check, as breast
cancers are sometimes driven by female hormones.
Even moderate physical activity over the course of a lifetime can reduce a young woman's risk.
Having breast cancer tissue sampled with a needle
seems to increase the odds that disease will also be found in an armpit lymph
node called the sentinel node, new research suggests. The spread of breast
cancer to the sentinel node adversely affects a woman's survival and influences
the treatment received. As reported in the Archives of Surgery, Dr. Nora M.
Hansen of the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center, Santa
Monica, California hypothesized that the method used to obtain specimens from
the breast tumor might influence the spread of cancer to the sentinel node. To
investigate, the researchers studied 663 women with proven breast cancer. Of the
cancers, about half were biopsied with a needle, while the remainder involved
actual removal of the tumor. Women who had a needle biopsy were about 50 percent
more likely to have cancer in the sentinel node than women who underwent tumor
removal. The researchers suggest that the increased risk of sentinel node
disease may be "due in part to the mechanical disruption of the tumor by the
needle," and they call for further studies to confirm these findings.
Archives of Surgery, June 2004.
low-fat diet reduces blood levels of estrogen in women with breast cancer. This
may help keep the disease in check, as breast cancers are sometimes driven by
High-carb diets may increase more
than just waistlines. New research suggests they might raise the risk of breast
Genistein, which has weak estrogenic and
antiestrogenic properties, may be one of the the components in the soy-based Asian diet
that helps prevent breast cancer by its effects on biochemistry early in life. Reduced
caloric consumption by Asians may be another reason for the lower rate of breast cancer.
One test tube study indicates
saw palmetto slows the growth
of breast cancer cells.
Consider the following
supplements: Black Cohosh, Cat's Claw, Curcumin, Green Tea, and Melatonin.
You can read
more about them by clicking on the links here or at the top of the page.
Screening should begin within 3 years
after a woman begins having vaginal intercourse, but no later than 21 years of age. If
traditional Pap test results are obtained, screening should be done every year. If
liquid-based Pap tests are used, screening should be done every 2 years. Many American women who have had a complete
hysterectomy are having Pap smear screenings even though they are not at risk of
Women infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) may reduce the odds that the virus will persist by
increasing the amount of certain carotenoids-- plant compounds with antioxidant
properties - in their diets. Specifically, the study found that increasing
dietary intake of lutein/zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamin C, and papaya
appears to lower the risk of persistent HPV infection, a strong risk factor for
Eating lots of preserved meats such as salami, bacon, cured ham and hot dogs could
increase the risk of bowel cancer by 50 percent. Fiber found in vegetables, fruits, and
whole grain cereals and legumes may reduce colon cancer risk. A daily calcium supplement protects against colon
polyps, particularly the advanced type that go on to become cancer.
Sigmoidoscopy is recommended every 5 years
starting at age 50.
Despite recent advances in screening and
colon cancer, the number of people dying from the disease has remained
steady since the late 1980s.
Higher milk and calcium consumption is linked with reduced odds of developing
colorectal cancer, according to an analysis of ten studies.
Risk factors are unopposed estrogen therapy, late menopause, tamoxifen,
nulliparity, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes, and obesity. Most
endometrial cancers are diagnosed at an early stage when there is unexpected bleeding or
consumption of soy foods seems to reduce a woman's risk of getting cancer of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, according to a study conducted in
Shanghai. This benefit is most pronounced among overweight women. The estrogens
women produce are known to play a key role in the development of endometrial
cancer, the researchers note in this week's British Medical Journal. Soy foods
contain isoflavones with both estrogen-like and anti-estrogen activities.
Esophageal or esophagus
The most prominent, scientifically supported,
and long-regarded risk factors for esophageal cancer are tobacco, alcohol, and
reflux esophagitis. Dietary habits, nutrition, local customs, and the
environment are contributing factors. Along these lines, vitamins, minerals,
fruits, vegetables, meats, fats, salted foods, nitrogen compounds, carcinogens,
mycotoxins, and even the temperature of what we consume (for instance drinking
very hot tea or coffee) are increasingly regarded as potential etiologies for
this deadly although potentially preventable disease.
Carbonated drinks may raise the risk of esophageal cancer. A team at Tata
Memorial Hospital in India found a strong correlation between the rise in per
capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks in the past 50 years and a
documented increase in rates of esophageal cancer in the United States. Team
members studied U.S. Department of Agriculture data to find that per capita
consumption of carbonated drinks rose by more than 450 percent, from 10 gallons
on average in 1946 to 49 gallons in 2000. And over the past 25 years, the
incidence of esophageal cancer has risen by more than 570 percent in white
American men. Esophageal cancer affected 13,900 U.S. men and women in 2003, of
whom more than 10,000 were men, and killed almost all of them, according to the
American Cancer Society. The number of esophageal cancer cases clearly followed
the rise in intake of carbonated soft drinks, the researchers found.
Research in China provides further evidence that
exposure to silica dust raises the risk of cancer of the esophagus, the organ
that connects the mouth with the stomach. The association was first noted in
1968, when a high rate of esophagus cancer was observed among residents of a
South African village, which seemed to result, in part, from silica
contamination of their diet. Since then, numerous other reports have verified
this association. In the present study, Dr. Ignatius Tak Sun Yu, of The Chinese
University of Hong Kong, and colleagues evaluated death from esophagus cancer
among nearly 3000 caisson workers and non-caisson workers exposed to silica.
Caisson workers were defined as subjects who worked underground in settings with
high levels of silica dust. The researchers' findings appear in the
International Journal of Cancer. Compared with the general population, the
workers were 2.2-times more likely to die from esophageal cancer. The elevated
risk was 4.21-fold for the caisson subset of workers.
In patients with early-stage cancer of
the esophagus, those who were treated with radiation and chemotherapy before
surgery lived more than twice as long as those who were treated with surgery
Persistent hiccupping in addition to weight-loss and
difficulty swallowing could be a warning sign of cancer of the esophagus.
Hiccups are caused by the involuntary spasm of the diaphragm, which causes the
vocal cords to close very briefly. Eating too quickly or too much, coughing,
laughing and too much alcohol are thought to cause hiccups. In cancer patients,
hiccups could be linked to the vagal nerve or phrenic nerve, the motor nerve of
There is no association between the use of carbonated
beverages and risk of subsequent development of cancer of the esophagus.
About a third of East Asians -- Chinese,
Japanese and Koreans -- have an enzyme deficiency that puts them at higher risk
of developing esophageal cancer when they drink alcohol.
Overweight teens are at increased risk for developing it later in
life. Cancer, news release, Oct. 14, 2013. Exercise lowers the risk.
Bisphosphonates, drugs sold as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and other brands,
are widely used after menopause to prevent or treat osteoporosis. They increase
Head and Neck
Chronic tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption are well-established risk
factors for the development of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
There are, however, a variety of other habitual and culturally based activities
that are less commonly seen in the Western world and that are also risks factors
for the development of this type of cancer. In this era of globalization, many
of these habits have now crossed borders and appear in various areas throughout
the world. These factors include chewing tobacco and snuff, areca
nut in its various forms, and
People who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of
developing cancers of the head and neck. Researchers at the National Cancer
Institute found that among more than 490,000 Americans age 50 and up, those who
consumed the most fruits and vegetables were the least likely to develop cancers
of the mouth, throat or voice box. Smoking and heavy drinking are two major risk
factors for head and neck cancers. International Journal of Cancer, May 15,
People with cancers of the head or neck have better survival odds
if they have private health insurance. Head and neck cancers include cancers of
the mouth, throat, nasal cavity, salivary glands and lymph nodes of the neck.
Most cases are linked to smoking, with excessive drinking being the other major
Diets high in saturated fat appear to increase the risk of cancer of the small
intestine. The small intestine makes up 75 percent of the digestive tract, yet
rarely do cancers develop there, more often showing up in the large intestine,
or colon. Cancer Research, November 15, 2008.
A diet high in refined cereals, and bread in particular, is associated with an
elevated risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the main type of kidney cancer.
Eating red meat may increase a person's risk of developing renal cell carcinoma
-- which accounts for 85 percent of kidney cancer, while eating vegetables may
provide a protective effect. Dr. Nabih R. Asal of the University of Florida,
Gainesville found that people who ate lots of white bread and white potatoes
were at greater risk of the disease than their peers who ate these foods less
frequently. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, April 2009.
Living near a fuel station may
quadruple the risk of acute
in children,. French scientists who carried
out a study of more than 500 infants found that a child whose home was near a
fuel station or vehicle-repair garage was four times as likely to develop
leukemia as a child whose home was further away. And the longer a child had
lived nearby, the higher the risk of leukemia seemed to be. The prevalence of
childhood leukemia is four in every 100,000 children, but it is the most common
type of childhood cancer in developed countries. Few clear risk factors have
been identified for the childhood variant, but exposure to benzene in the
workplace has been identified as a possible factor in leukemia in adults. The
risk appeared to be even greater for acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia, which was
seven times more common among children living close to a fuel station or
commercial garage. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, September
Kids with leukemia do not take enough antioxidants, which raises their
risk of side effects during chemotherapy. Chemotherapy produces changes that
stress the body's antioxidant defense system. Therefore, it's important that the
diets of cancer patients contain adequate amounts of antioxidants. In a 6-month
study, the researchers examined antioxidant intake and chemotherapy side effects
in 103 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer
in kids. During the study period subjects ingested vitamin E, total carotenoids, beta-carotene, and vitamin A in
amounts that were 66, 30, 59, and 29 percent, respectively, of the US
recommended dietary allowance. Greater intake of vitamin
C was associated with fewer therapy delays, less side effects, and fewer
days spent in the hospital. Similarly, the risk of infection and side effects
decreased as vitamin E and beta-carotene intake increased.
Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables during the
first two years of life is associated with a reduced risk of childhood leukemia.
Living near a high-voltage power line roughly
doubles the risk of childhood cancers such as leukaemia.
Rosemary extracts have been found to be helpful.
Children being treated for acute lymphoblastic
leukemia (ALL) seem more able to deal with their treatment if their levels of
antioxidants don't drop too much.
Parthenolide, a compound found in
feverfew, has been tested
against chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Heavy alcohol use, diabetes, and viral
combine synergistically to raise the risk of developing liver cancer. Carnitine may be
In people at high risk for lung cancer, low-dose CT scanning of the chest may
detect early lung cancer. However, "its usefulness as a screening tool is
limited because it misses tumors in certain areas of the lung and often falsely
identifies harmless spots as being cancerous.
Workers exposed to the pesticide chlorpyrifos have an elevated risk of lung
cancer and lung disease. Annual screening for lung cancer using computed tomography (CT) can help
detect the disease at its earliest, most curable stage, but it does not reduce
mortality from the disease and could actually result in more harm than good.
Plenty of sunshine and vitamin D may help people with
early stage lung cancer survive longer after surgery. Patients who had high
levels of vitamin D and had lung cancer surgery in sunny months were more than
twice as likely to be alive five years after surgery compared to patients with
low levels of vitamin D who had surgery in the winter. Exposure to sunshine is a
significant source of vitamin D, which also comes from food and dietary
A study conducted in an area of Italy where residential
radon levels are high confirms that the risk of lung cancer increases in step
with levels of radon exposure, but that the Mediterranean diet may modify the
effects. In the study, researchers examined the association between indoor radon
exposure and lung cancer in 384 "case" patients with lung cancer and 404 control
patients without lung cancer. They considered the potential role of smoking,
diet, and other risk factors. The researchers determined residential history
during the 30-year period ending 5 years prior to enrollment. Radon detectors
were placed in the main bedroom and the living room in each residence for two
consecutive 6-month periods. Confirming prior studies, the researchers found a
positive link between indoor radon and lung cancer. The odds of developing lung
cancer rose with increasing levels of residential radon exposure. Overall, the
increase was generally not statistically significant, although significance was
reached for some high radon exposure categories. They also report that
individuals with low-medium consumption of dietary oxidants tended to be at
greater risk for developing lung cancer. The possibility that dietary
antioxidants may modify the effects of radon on lung cancer risk should be
studied further, they conclude. SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, May 10,
Although both marijuana and tobacco smoke are packed
with cancer-causing chemicals, other qualities of marijuana seem to keep it from
promoting lung cancer. The difference rests in the often opposing actions of the
nicotine in tobacco and the active ingredient, THC, in marijuana, says Dr.
Robert Melamede of the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Whereas
nicotine has several effects that promote lung and other types of cancer, THC
acts in ways that counter the cancer-causing chemicals in marijuana smoke. Lab
research indicates that nicotine activates a body enzyme that converts certain
chemicals in both tobacco and marijuana smoke into cancer-promoting form. In
contrast, studies in mice suggest that THC blocks this enzyme activity.
Eating cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage,
broccoli and sprouts, protects against the development of lung cancer. A
person's genetic makeup may influence these anti-cancer benefits.
Despite large declines in smoking rates, cigarettes still cause
about one-third of cancer deaths in the United States.
Infection with hepatitis C
virus nearly doubles the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma, a cancer
involving the lymph nodes. People who undergo chest radiation therapy early in life to treat
Hodgkin's disease -- a type of lymphoma -- appear to be at increased risk of
Melanoma skin cancer
Australia has the highest skin cancer rate in the world and despite decades of
health campaigning the rate of
melanoma, which is the most common kind of
cancer, is soaring. The melanoma rate rose 12 percent in men and 15 percent in
women in the last 10 years, and is expected to rise another 11 percent by 2011.
Zeaxanthin is an
interesting nutrient that has been looked at as a treatment for
Many healthy people who smoke or drink may
have a genetic alteration in the cells of the mouth and throat that could signal
an increased risk of developing cancer.
A simple inspection of the mouth by trained healthcare
workers could reduce oral cancer deaths worldwide by at least 37,000 annually.
Oral cancer is a common problem among men in developing countries, and is often
associated with tobacco or alcohol use. Short of convincing people not to engage
in these activities -- which is notoriously difficult -- detecting and treating
early disease may be the best approach. Visual inspection of the mouth has
proven to be a simple and accurate means of screening for oral cancer.
After following more than 60,000 women for an
average of 13.5 years, Swedish researchers found that those who drank at least
two glasses of milk every day or consumed at least four daily servings of dairy
products were twice as likely to develop serous epithelial
ovarian cancer as
those who consumed less than two servings of dairy a day.
Increased risk with postmenopausal estrogen use. Decreased risk with aspirin use.
Women who eat plenty of begetables, particluarly carrots, tomatoes and other foods high in carotene and lycopene
may reduce their risk.
A case-control study of diet and
the risk of ovarian cancer. Cancer
Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Sep;13(9):1521-7. Epidemiologic studies have
suggested that some dietary factors may play a role in the etiology of ovarian
cancer, but the findings have been inconsistent. We assessed the association of
ovarian cancer with dietary factors in a population-based case-control study in
Canada. Diet information was collected on 442 incident cases of ovarian cancer
diagnosed in 1994 to 1997 and 2,135 population controls via a self-administered
questionnaire. We did not observe an association of ovarian cancer risk with
dietary fat intake, including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated
fatty acids, protein, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, fruit, dairy products, meat
products, fish, chicken, grain products, nut products, baked desserts,
margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and supplement of multiple vitamins, vitamin A,
vitamin C, calcium, iron, zinc, and selenium. Our findings suggested that
ovarian cancer risk was positively associated with higher consumption of dietary
cholesterol and eggs and inversely associated with higher intake of total
vegetables and cruciferous vegetables and supplementation of vitamin E,
beta-carotene, and B-complex vitamins.
Physical activity decreases risk, obesity increases risk. A diet high in
vegetables reduces the risk of
pancreatic cancer. Smokers who consume diets rich
in saturated fat may be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Processed meats
increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
A sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer is also a cause for
half of all cases of cancer of the penis, Perhaps human papillomavirus (HPV)
vaccines for cervical cancer are also likely to be effective in the fight
against penile cancer. Merck & Co's Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix are
both used widely to immunize girls against HPV infection, which can lead to
cancer of the cervix. However, penile cancer is quite rare, accounting for less
than 1 percent of adult male cancers in Europe and North America, although the
incidence can be as high as 10 percent in parts of Africa and Asia. Worldwide,
there are more than 25,000 new cases every year.
prostate cancer for a full discussion of the latest
research on diet and natural supplements involved in the prevention or treatment
of prostate cancer.
Is the use of sunscreens
effective in preventing wrinkles or damage to skin leading to abnormal growth
StomachRegularly consuming hot dogs, salami, bacon, smoked ham, or other processed meat
products may raise the risk of
Testicular or testis
occurs in about 8000 men each year.
Q. I am a 43 year old male who recently underwent an inguinal
orchiectomy - 10 days ago. I noticed I was having some ''hot flashes'' last week
while I was recovering, and informed my Urologist about these symptoms. He had
blood drawn from me (not in the morning as suggested), the findings indicated I
had an abnormally low testosterone count of 26 nanograms per deciliter. To back
up somewhat, I had been taking about 250 mg of DHEA per day for well over a year
and only discontinued it's use about 5 days prior to my diagnosis of testicular
cancer. So, as of today I have been off DHEA for approximately 2 weeks. Now my
Doctor has me on a topical gel to replace testosterone and has basically told me
I am stuck with this for life. I have one testicle, but it appears to not be
A. This is interesting, I do not know if taking the high
dosages of DHEA had an influence on the testicular cancer formation.
Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes
increase the risk.
The use of clomiphene citrate to induce ovulation in women with fertility
problems appears to be associated with an increased risk of uterine cancer.
What is it?
A cancer is a cell that has lost its normal control mechanisms and thus has unregulated
growth. Cancer can develop from any tissue within any organ. As cells grow and
multiply, they form a mass of cancerous tissue that invades adjacent tissues and can
spread (metastasize) around the body
Cancer cells develop from normal cells in a complex
process called transformation. The first step in the process is initiation, in
which a change in the cell's genetic material primes the cell to become
cancerous. The change in the cell's genetic material is brought about by an
agent called a carcinogen--such as a chemical, virus, radiation, or sunlight.
However, not all cells are equally susceptible to carcinogens. A genetic flaw in
the cell or another agent, called a promoter, may make it more susceptible. Even
chronic physical irritation may make cells more susceptible to becoming
cancerous. In the next step, promotion, a cell that has been initiated becomes
cancerous. Several factors, often the combination of a susceptible cell and
a carcinogen, are needed to cause cancer. About 15 to 20 percent of cancers are
associated with an infection, for instance viruses with cervical cancer and
helicobacter pylori with gastric cancer.
Nuclear industry workers exposed to chronic low doses of radiation have a
slightly higher risk of developing cancer. Approximately one person out of 1,000
would develop cancer from exposure to the amount of radiation from a single,
average whole body CT-scan. Even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of
cancer over a person’s lifetime, including radiation from routine X-rays.
People who get whole-body X-ray scans in the hope of
finding tumors at their earliest stages may, ironically, be raising their
overall risk of cancer. The scans are marketed as a way to catch cancer before
symptoms begin, but the radiation from the scans themselves could cause cancer.
Work exposure of
Death rates, both overall and cancer -related, are considerably higher
among workers engaged in manufacturing computers and component parts, when
compared with the general population. Similar findings have been reported among
employees who work in plants that manufacture computers, semiconductors,
integrated circuits and other components
Diesel fumes from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach -- the busiest U.S.
seaport complex -- raise the risk of cancer for people living up to 15 miles
inland. The report by the California Air Resources Board said 50,000 people
living closest to the two ports face a higher-than-average risk of developing
cancer from port pollution alone. But even residents living within 15 miles of
the complex face a slightly higher risk than Californians as a whole.
Treatment with a shark cartilage
product does not prolong life in patients with advanced cancer, nor does it
improve quality of life. Shark cartilage has become a popular alternative
medicine for people with advanced cancer. Its use is based on the belief that
the reason sharks rarely develop cancer is because of their high cartilage
content. Previous reports examining the benefits of shark cartilage as an
anti-cancer therapy, however, have yielded mixed results. In one of the few
randomized trials to evaluate this treatment, Dr. Charles L. Loprinzi, from the
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues compared the outcomes of 89
patients with incurable breast or colon cancer who were treated with shark
cartilage or placebo in addition to standard care and treatment with
chemotherapy if appropriate. The shark cartilage and placebo were supplied as a
powder, mixed with water or juice, and consumed three to four times per day.
There was no difference in overall survival between subjects drinking shark
cartilage and those drinking placebo, the researchers report in the journal
Growing body of evidence linking
increased night light to certain types of cancer has led researchers to suspect
it could be connected to the steady increase in cases of childhood leukemia.
Scientists presenting research at the First International Scientific Conference
on Childhood Leukemia said that light at night and working shifts, which
disrupts the body's internal clock, have been associated with an raised risk of
breast and colorectal cancer.
Loss of weight and muscle mass,
common among people with cancer, may be improved with fish oil supplements,
according to a report. Intestinal upsets make high-dose fish oil capsules
difficult for many people with cancer-related wasting to tolerate, but those who
are able to take the supplements regularly may be able to stabilize their weight
or even gain pounds, according to Dr. Patrick Burns of the University of Iowa
Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City and colleagues. Animal studies and some
clinical investigations have suggested omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils
may protect against cachexia, as weight loss related to a chronic disease is
The intake of 400-600 g/d of fruits and vegetables is
associated with reduced incidence of many common forms of cancer, and diets rich
in plant foods are also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and many
chronic diseases of ageing. These foods contain phytochemicals that have
anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties which confer many health benefits.
Many phytochemicals are colourful, and recommending a wide array of colourful
fruits and vegetables is an easy way to communicate increased diversity of
intake to the consumer. For example, red foods contain lycopene, the pigment in
tomatoes, which is localized in the prostate gland and may be involved in
maintaining prostate health, and which has also been linked with a decreased
risk of cardiovascular disease. Green foods, including broccoli, Brussels
sprouts and kale, contain glucosinolates which have also been associated with a
decreased risk of cancer. Garlic and other white-green foods in the onion family
contain allyl sulphides which may inhibit cancer cell growth. Other bioactive
substances in green tea and soybeans have health benefits as well.
The Unending Debate: Do Vitamin Pills Prevent Cancer?
several decades the scientific community has debated whether vitamin and mineral
supplements prevent or reduce the risk of cancer. Over the years numerous
studies have given contradictory results leaving the medical community uncertain
of what to recommend to the public. In this latest study, scientists, from the
Scientific and Technical Institute for Nutrition and Diet in Paris, France gave
a vitamin/mineral supplement to thousands of men and women. A total of 13,000
men and women aged 35 to 60 took part in the study. Half were given a daily
supplement containing 6mg of beta-carotene, 120mg of vitamin C, 90mg of vitamin
E, 100 micrograms of selenium, and 20 milligrams of zinc. A dummy capsule was
given to the other participants. At the end of seven years, the researchers
found that taking the supplement had no effect on heart disease, and did not
influence cancer rates in women. But they found a 31% reduction in the risk of
all cancers in men taking the antioxidants. And, overall, the death rate was 37%
lower among men who took the supplement. The researchers, said: "Our findings
support recommendations for following a healthy diet, particularly one rich in
fruit and vegetables which are major dietary sources of antioxidant vitamins and
minerals, for all ages in life and for both sexes." They added that women may
not have received the same benefits because their diet were better than those of
men and they perhaps were already ingesting many healthy antioxidants through
Dr. Sahelian says: The debate seems to continue
regarding the role of vitamin/mineral supplements and the prevention of cancer.
It appears that those with a very health diet rich in fresh fruits and
vegetables are not likely to reap much benefit from supplements, but those with
a marginal diet would.
Vitamin B17, laetrile for cancer
What do you think of laetrile as a cancer remedy?
I have not seen convincing studies that vitamin B17 is effective
as a cancer remedy.
The last days of cancer
There appears to be a disturbing rise in the number of
cancer patients getting chemo and other aggressive but futile treatment in the
last days of their lives. Rather than letting these dying patients live the last
days of their lives in peace, they are subjected to painful and nauseating
chemotherapy. Nearly 12 percent of cancer patients who died in 1999 received
chemotherapy in the last two weeks of life, a large review of Medicare records
revealed. That is up from nearly 10 percent in 1993, and the percentage probably
is even higher today. Overly aggressive treatment gives false hope and puts
people through grueling and costly ordeals when there is no chance of a cure.
I remember in my residency days at a Philadelphia
hospital encountering so many patients who very on their to dying, but rather
than providing supportive care in a hospice or with their family, the
oncologists pushed more and more drugs on them. One particular patient, a 74
year old man with metastatic lung cancer, had come for intensive chemotherapy.
He was actually alert and in relatively good shape when he first came in. He was
started on chemotherapy and within a couple of days he started losing weight at
a rapid pace, his hemoglobin level dropped, he started getting rashes and
bruises all over his body, his white blood cell count dropped, and soon he had
chemotherapy induced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. He got infected with a
gastrointestinal bug, was given antibiotics which made him even more sick. Even
as he was rapidly deteriorating, the oncologist kept prescribing more
chemotherapy. I was a first year resident and thought at the time that the
doctor must know what he was doing. As I reflected on this more later, it became
apparent to me that specialists do make mistakes or may be suggesting medical
treatments just so that they can continue charging for their visits. Within 6
weeks of being admitted into the hospital he passed away, a miserable, painful,
death. I've long thought about him and whether he would have been better off
staying home. All all the medical dollars that were wasted on him could have
been used to immunize poor children or helping those with no medical insurance.
Food additives and cancer
Food coloring Red 2G (E 128), which is added to some breakfast sausages and
burger meat, may cause cancer. Tests using animals indicated that aniline, a
substance into which Red 2G is converted in the body, might cause cancer in
animals and humans, possibly hitting the genetic material of cells.
Q. I've seen promotional material for glyconutrient and
cancer, can you shed some light on this?
A. I have a full discussion on
Q. i wanted to ask as i read many herbs that
could treat cancer like Essaic Tea, Noni Juice, Goji Berry mangosteen, so i
wanted to ask what is the difference between them and which do u think is more
effective. Aslo, can you comment on Dr. Johanna Budwigs flaxseed oil and cottage
cheese cancer cure?
A. It is impossible to know which is better or which
combination is best since so little study has been done on humans with these
herbs. As to Dr. Johanna Budwigs flaxseed oil and cottage cheese diet treatment,
I have not seen such studies that show it to be effective.
Q. Should a patient with cancer take any
supplements that increase testosterone? I understand that testosterone feeds
A. There are a number of different types of cancer, some are
responsive to blood hormone levels or hormone usage, others are not.
Testosterone is particularly associated with prostate cancer.
This is the problem. We can't "trust" the laymen and we
can't trust the corporations and we can't trust many doctors and we certainly
can't "trust" the internet. I trust in God, who told me He helps those who help
themselves, so now I am studying integrative medicine. Because I am too poor to
go back to the University, and I live in a remote rural community, I have to
educate and make decisions for myself. I would no more follow the advice of
Florida Congresswoman's advice than I would that of the Cancer society or the
doctor I am assigned to, without researching thoroughly. They are only dangerous
to those who do not take the time to research her position. Most people do not
have the time to do as I do. They will take "on faith" that anyone in
"authority" knows what he is talking about. They
are too busy juggling stressful lives, and easily intimidated. And most of them
will add the stress of ill health to the rest of their problems. I subscribe to
your newsletter because I consider you a relatively knowledgeable and
intelligent person. You and Dr. Weil, Dr. Pauling, Dr. Hoffer and Dr. Strand all
share a trait I have come to appreciate on the internet ... you are all
conservative both in discussion and the language used to present it, and you
cite references. You are also
Integrative or orthomolecular physicians, not snake-oil salesmen with instant
cures. Much of this is above my head, but I am learning. No one person can store
all this in his head. I have decided it is the essence of wisdom not to retain
it all but to retain its sources and its references. You offer a good reference
and are a good source.
Could you answer which of the following you feel might
be good or bad: Cesium Chloride - DMSO/MSM/Cesium Chloride (DMCC), MMS (chlorine
dioxide), Gerson Therapy, Bob Beck Protocol, Cellect-Budwig Ozone Therapy, Dr.
Stananislaw Burzynsk antineoplastons and Aminocare, Lifewave, Insulin
Potentiation Therapy (IPT), Matthias Rath Oral Amino Acid Protocol, Brandt Grape
Protocol, Intravenice C. Supplements covered on your site: Avemar Dong quai (for
anemia caused by Multiple Myeloma) Energy Kampo Force-C (Ginsenoside - Aglycon
Sapongenin) Germanium 132, Graviola MaxHerbal C (Taxus Brevifolia, Ginsenoside
aglycon sapogenin), Immune C Spray (Baccharis Trimera, Plantago Majora Extract,
Rosmarinus Officinalis) NTense NTense-2, Pancreatic Enzymes, Peony root (for
anemia caused by Multiple Myeloma), Poly-MVA, Pawpaw, SaliciniumVitalsil (Antrodia
camphorata), Zolite, limu.
I have not looked into these alternative cancer therapies to any
great extent to have a thorough and educated opinion.