Every year, over one million Americans are diagnosed with cancer. Of those diagnosed, studies suggest 60 percent turn to alternative cancer therapy in conjunction with or in lieu of conventional treatment, discovering a large number of these alternative facilities are located outside of the country, such as Mexico.
Why not the U.S.?
In the past, many clinics outside the U.S. were not taken very seriously, however those times have drastically changed. Because conventional forms of cancer care such as surgery, chemo and radiation are the only forms of therapy covered by the U.S. healthcare system and insurance companies, many doctors choose to practice in Mexico in order to offer a broader array of treatments from around the world – and at a more affordable price. Over 500,000 estimated cancer patients leave the U.S. for treatment annually seeking these highly successful treatments.
Why seek alternative treatment?
Integrative approaches to cancer treatment provide individualized regimens tailored specifically for each individual. They focus on healing the entire body, with the added benefits of fewer side effects and improved quality of life when combined with conventional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. Natural cancer therapies are also sought, offering hope, when conventional treatments fail.
How accepted are the alternatives?
For over a decade, complementary and alternative cancer treatments have been gaining acceptance, resulting in the creation of such organizations as the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). In fact, Cancer.gov, the National Cancer Institute’s website, acknowledges the evaluation of certain CAM therapies and their capability to help patients feel better and recover faster.
Looking for a safer, more effective cancer treatment option? Contact Issels today.
It’s not exactly a new procedure – researchers have been working on immunotherapy for decades in the fight against certain types and stages of cancer – but the protocol is getting renewed interest in the light of clinical trials and new treatments that show promise; cancer immunotherapy was even named Science magazine’s 2013 “Breakthrough of the Year.”
In the past, immunotherapy has shown uneven or unremarkable results. “But as the sophistication of our understanding of immunology increased,” Charles Link of New Link Genetics told MIT Technology Review, “new strategies evolved to attack the disease, and those strategies are turning out to work in the clinic.”
Today’s immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system – the “T-cells” – to target and attack malignant cancer cells. When used in conjunction with chemotherapy, immunotherapy may serve to shorten and lighten the chemo treatment, which can dramatically reduce the unpleasant side effects and toxic complications of the powerful toxins.
A handful of major pharmaceutical companies have immunotherapy protocols in tests. In one early-stage trial of melanoma patients, half of those receiving high-dose immunotherapy had tumors shrink or disappear, and a year later the majority of those patients were still alive – a notable result, as late-stage melanoma survival rates are typically low.
T-cell protocols are just one of the new wave of cancer treatments that are making headlines. A form of cellular therapy, for example, trains a patient’s own immune cells to better recognize cancer cells, after which these powerful fighters are infused back into the patient. One pharma company is developing virus-based gene therapies that, according to MIT Technology Review, “selectively kill cancer cells while simultaneously making the cells better targets for the immune system.”
Eating a high-fiber diet is generally recommended to help prevent colon cancer, although there is debate within the cancer community about its effectiveness as a preventive measure.
A new study on mice adds to the debate by suggesting that cancer protection may have as much to do with the type of bacteria that live in your gut as with diet. In experiments with mice, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that consumed fiber was fermented into the chemical butyrate when a certain type of bacteria was present in a mouse’s gut. The formation of this chemical appears to be critical to colon cancer prevention – at least in mice.
Mice with the butyrate-producing gut bacteria had a 75% lower incidence of colon cancer tumors than mice whose guts did not contain the bacteria. In control experiments, neither a high fiber diet alone nor the combination of butyrate-producing bacteria with a low-fiber diet had any effect on reducing colon cancer.
“Our study shows that it’s not the high fiber in and of itself that has a protective effect against cancer, but it’s a combination of the fiber plus having the right types of bacteria,” Scott Bultman of the University of North Carolina told Fox News.
Bultman explained that healthy colon cells use butyrate for fuel. Because cancer cells use sugar glucose for fuel, not butyrate; researchers suspect that butyrate collects inside the cancer cells, eventually causing their destruction in some, as yet, unknown way.
Studies on people have explored the effects of a high fiber diet on colon cancer with mixed results. Future studies will need to examine the potential impact of gut bacteria on colon cancer. Visit our website to find out how Issels integrative immunotherapy has successfully helped colon cancer patients achieve long-term remission.
Going through cancer treatment can certainly feel like a workout. Afterwards, physical activity might be the last thing on your mind. However, starting an exercise program can be beneficial to both your physical and mental health.
Studies have demonstrated that increased physical activity can help prevent a recurrence of cancer while extending the life span of cancer survivors. Exercise can also boost your mental and emotional outlook, which is vital for maintaining quality of life. It helps promote production of serotonin and endorphins, chemicals that work in your brain to elevate mood and reduce pain.
Here are some tips to help you successfully incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle.
Don’t overdo it, especially if exercise wasn’t a part of your pre-diagnosis routine. Start off with small, achievable goals. Your success at each step provides motivation to move up to the next level.
Find an activity you enjoy. Don’t feel obligated to use a particular form or style just because it works for others. Do you find treadmills boring? Try swimming or walking outdoors. You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you’re having fun.
Exercise doesn’t have to be formal to pay dividends. Look for little things you can do such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Don’t feel guilty when you’re too fatigued for activity. Listen to your body and get some rest. Start up again once you’re feeling better.
Exercise is a healthy complement to the holistic cancer therapy offered at Issels alternative cancer treatment centers. Our integrative immunology approach focuses on a personalized program treating both mind and body. Please contact us to learn more.
One of the greatest challenges in targeted cancer therapy is achieving accurate delivery of the beneficial agent directly to the cancer cells you wish to affect. Researchers at the Institute for Integrative Nanoscience in Dresden, Germany are working on a novel solution to the problem. They are attempting to turn sperm cells into cancer treatment delivery agents.
The Germans were trying to build biobots, microscopic robots that could be controlled and directed from outside the body while surviving inside the body without damaging or being rejected by their host. After experimenting with numerous biologic materials, Discover Magazine recently reported that the researchers found a winner in sperm – specifically, the sperm from bulls (yes, the farm animal).
Strong and agile, modified sperm, called “spermbots” by the Germans, were able to deliver the propulsion the scientists desired. The ability to direct the sperm cells’ movement was achieved by exposing the sperm cells to a magnetic field in the laboratory and then using magnets to provide directional guidance. As explained in Discover Magazine, “It’s like a remote-control robot where the sperm start the engines and the researchers provide the navigation.”
While the research appears to have the greatest immediate potential for developing an in vivo, or inside the body, alternative to in vitro fertilization; the German scientists believe that human sperm cells could someday be used to deliver medicine and other beneficial agents directly to the body’s cells, potentially opening a new pathway for the delivery of advanced targeted cancer therapies. Even more boldly, they imagine a day when spermbots might be directed to “drill” into cancerous cells and actually cure cancer!