NMW Day 2: Cancer prevention

Cancer is something we have inside of us, all of the time.

Before you google this statement and begin to panic, it is a simple phenomenon that happens in our bodies when the normal mechanisms for “control” go wrong. Our cells have controlled rates of growth and controlled rates of death. Our bodies are generally good at cleaning out the gunk (inside and outside cells, and even cells themselves) when things are not working properly. This is called apoptosis.

However, like every system, things can break down and the cellular growth mechanism can go awry. Apoptotic mechanisms that initiate cellular death in unhealthy cells can become disrupted. This is how cancer begins. Of course, I have simplified the process for the purposes of this discussion.

We know there are many triggers that can affect apoptosis, and that preventing the process is key. Many triggers are environmental, such as heavy metal or pesticide exposure that change the chemical structure of the DNA in the cell and thus its mechanisms for growth. Sometimes unchecked inflammation in the body (which involves cellular migration and increased cell production) can be a trigger, as hormonal factors also can be involved. What to do?

Cancer prevention with your naturopathic doctor

Curcumin/​Turmeric

A bright spice known for its presence in curries and stews, turmeric has amazing anti-​cancer capability as seen in human cell lines as well as animal models of cancer. A large study beginning in the United Kingdom for colon cancer and the impact on the expression and progression of cancer in human trials is now exploring laboratory evidence. Well-​versed with herbal usage, naturopathic doctors are the individuals to speak with regarding the appropriate dosage of turmeric for prevention of cancer.

Green tea catechins

Green tea, known for the potent anticarcinogenic molecule epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) content, is immensely important for cancer prevention. For reasons like a caffeine high, buckets of green tea is perhaps not the answer. Finding the right dosage and how to get the adequate amounts of EGCG in your body is another method of naturopathic support for cancer prevention.

Vitamin C

When done intravenously for those with precancerous or cancer-​containing cells, Vitamin C is an amazing target for cancer cells as it does not cause cell death to healthy cells (the way chemotherapy does as an unfortunate side-​effect) but also enhances many chemotherapeutic treatments for cancer by improving the efficacy and targeting cancer cells. Many naturopathic doctors are certified in intravenous (IV) therapy to assist alongside oncology to improve cancer outcomes and extent lifespan.

Check out the website and blog of naturopathic doctor Lyse Alschuler who herself has triumphed with her treatments for breast cancer, and a naturopathic doctor certified in oncology. Bet you didn’t know that NDs can do that too!

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