Natural and herbal remedies for coping with cancer treatment.
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- What is Cancer?
- Diagnosing Cancer
- What causes Cancer?
- Help for Cancer
- Tips for coping with cancer
- More Information on Cancer
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What is Cancer?
Cancer is a broad term used to describe a number of diseases characterized by the growth and development of abnormal cells. When damage occurs to the DNA of normal cells, these cells can begin to grow out of control and divide into new abnormal or cancerous cells.
These cancerous cells then begin to grow all the while replacing and destroying normal tissue and they can eventually spread to other areas of the body in a process known as metastasis. In many cases, a tumor or cancerous tissue develops, although this is not always the case, such as with leukemia.
A diagnosis of cancer for oneself, or a loved one can be a devastating blow. With the word cancer come a multitude of fears and worries – however, it is important to note that Cancer can be beaten. In today’s world, cancer can be successfully treated and in many cases cured all together. That is not to say that cancer is not a serious and ever growing concern that seems to be on the increase.
Just as there are a number of environmental triggers that are said to cause cancer, so there is a long list of types of cancer that can develop. These range from cancer of the blood or leukemia, hormone related cancers such as prostate cancer and breast cancer, and cancer that starts in various organs and tissues of the body such as colon cancer or lung cancer.
For some, cancer is only discovered when symptoms appear or during a routine physical examination. However, there is a growing trend towards various screening tests that can help pick up cancer in its early stages before symptoms appear.
In most cases, the earlier the cancer is discovered, the better the chances for successful treatment and cure. Screening tests will depend on risk factors specific to the individual such as age, heredity previous medical history and lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity
If your health care provider suspects you have cancer he or she will probably recommend some form of imaging test such as an x-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
This will determined the presence and location of any abnormal mass in the body; however these tests will not be able to determine if the mass is cancerous. Cancer can only be confirmed by examining the tissue for cancer cells and therefore a biopsy of the affected area is usually necessary, although, in some cases a blood test is sufficient, as is the case with leukemia.
What causes Cancer?
There are a number of different factors such as genetics, age, immune system functioning, environmental toxicity, illnesses, as well as diet and life-style factors which have been implicated in playing a role in the development of cancer.
While much of the research points to the evidence that cancer is a genetic illness, it is also becoming clear that genetic predispositions are triggered by environmental cancer-causing agents or carcinogens. These carcinogens can trigger the genetic mutation which starts the process of cancer.
Examples of environmental factors include cigarette smoke, radiation from the sun and various chemical that we are exposed to through environmental toxicity or pollution and processed foods.
Help for Cancer
There are a number of treatment options which will depend on the type of cancer, the stage of the cancer and individual factors such as age, health and personal preferences. Speak to your health care provider regarding which treatment option would best suit you.
The three main conventional treatment options are surgery, radiation
therapy and chemotherapy.
- Surgery – In many cases, the surgical removal of the cancer is the most effective treatment method. However, this is not always possible and can prove to be inappropriate when the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, or when the cancer is not localized to a specific area, as is the case in leukaemia (cancer of the white blood cells). In addition, other treatment options such as chemotherapy may be recommended as well as surgery to make sure any remaining cancerous cells are destroyed.
- Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. The treatment is localized so that it only targets the cancerous mass within the body while surrounding cells are left either unharmed or temporarily damaged. Depending on the location of the cancer and the course of treatment, radiation therapy can cause a number of side-effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite nausea, diarrhea, and the suppression of the immune system, however, the actual process is not a painful one.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is the best option for those whose cancer has spread to other areas of the body. It is also recommended in cases where surgery and radiation therapy cannot remove all traces of cancer. Chemotherapy uses chemical drugs to kill the cancer cells. Each person reacts differently to chemotherapy and side-effects are vast depending on what chemical combinations are used and at what dose. Common side-effects include nausea, vomiting hair loss lowered immune system and fatigue.
Tips for coping with cancer
There are a number of things that you can do to improve your overall health as well as optimize your chances of becoming or staying cancer-free.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco greatly increases the chances of developing cancer, as well as the likelihood of some types of cancer returning after successful treatment. Quitting smoking is no easy achievement so consider quitting smoking naturally using herbal and homeopathic ingredients to help along the way.
- Exercise regularly! Exercising for 30 min five days out of the week can greatly reduce the chances of developing cancer. If you are currently undergoing cancer treatment then moderate exercise can keep you feeling healthy and strong and will help to reduce the tiredness and side-effects caused by the cancer treatments. Be sure to consult your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine.
- Eat a healthy balanced diet and manage you weight. Make sure your diet is rich in fiber and fresh organic foods and low in saturated fats. When ever possible, avoid processed foods which are full of synthetic ingredients like colorants, artificial flavorings and preservatives.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Excessive or moderate daily drinking may increase the risk of developing certain cancers especially for those people with a family history of cancer.
- Protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. Make sure you keep a bottle of sun block close at hand and that it is applied liberally when you are in the sun. Not only do the sun’s UV rays cause skin cancer but chemo and radiation therapy can also increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun’s harmful effects.
- See your doctor for regular check-ups so that your general health and recovery can be closely monitored.
- Discuss supplementation with your health provider. Certain supplements have proven cancer prevention properties, particularly Vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium.
- Read as widely as possible in order to be fully informed about available cancer treatments and prevention programs.