Is your Chemo Better than Mine?
possibly, if you’re eating a healthy diet.
Think about this:
everything is chemo.
That is, everything we ingest is made of chemicals even if they’re “natural” they have effects and interactions with other chemicals and resultant negative effects — think snake venom — what could be more natural?
So food is chemo. It’s well known that food affects health of course, and evidence is accumulating that the foods we eat can have direct impact on our cancer risk — for both getting it initially and recurrence.
Is your Chemo Better than Mine?
Can food cure cancer? Not accoding to current science, but there are compelling indications we may one day get there. Check out the documentary “Forks Over Knives” for an intriguing glimpse of the nutritional research of two prominent doctors.
Chemotherapy means “chemical therapy.” Cancer chemo is usually an intravenous infusion of chemicals designed to interfere with cell replication. An apple is an amalgam of chemicals. Coffee? Second-hand smoke or auto exhaust? Alcohol? “In” can mean by mouth, breathing, or through the skin — i.e. hand lotion. All are chemicals, and really pretty strong ones. Of course, except for air, food accounts for most of our c hemical intake. We know that the kinds and quantities of food we eat have real AND SUBSTANTIAL health effects. Some are obvious and easy to avoid. Many diseases are linked to diet: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, even cancer. Whole foods are especially useful as preventative agents for cancer relapse and progression. The phytochemicals present in most foods act to slow cancer cell replication. There’s SOME evidence that chocolate, red wine, blueberries and other foods have properties that improve health. Of course doctors resist declaring any curative effects and rarely prescribe food — tho’ it is done. It’s the phytochemicals in whole foods that do the work. There’s no superfood, but antioxidants that come from fruit and vegetables can reduce the formation of the”free radicals” that damage cells and open the door to cancer f0rmation mechanisms. Despite efforts to isolate and purify these chemicals into dietary supplements, it has been shown that supplements don’t provide the same benefits.
So, what is your chemo doing for you? Or to you? If everything is chemo you can reduce cancer risk by eating right. Michael Pollan‘s rule, CHeck out the book antiCancer for an experts view of the power of diet in combating cancerwhich is backed up pretty well by the science and research on the topic:
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouln’t recognize as food.”
I’ve begun a new chemotherapy regime, this time with an agent called Avastin. The previous round was a mix called Temodar. It had minimal side effects. Ok — good. but it also had little positive effect.
Both of these chemicals are designed to cut off the flow of blood, i.e. food, to cancer cells and starve them (sounds cruel) — to slow tumor growth and regrowth, especially after resection. The image of chemotherapy for many people is the more severe side effects, especially hair loss. On Temodar I experienced very few and Avastin, so far, has also had few side effects. According to the surgeon, during the July surgery he removed 95% of the tumor, but all of it had grown back by October. We’re happy that the new regime has been avastinprovement (pun intended)… The most recent MRI showed no new growth – and some healthy tissue moving in.
Avastin is administered as IV, so I’ve been going in every couple of weeks to have a needle stuck in my arm. The chemo drugs are strong chemicals, poison really, introduced to the body and designed to seek out tumor growth regions and reduce the creation of new blood vessels. Yay chemo!
Really Bad Chemo
I’ve worked with some pretty dangerous chemicals in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time doing construction which means paints and adhesives and other toxic stuff with solvents. I breathed in in large quantities. Based on the research out there, I’m pretty sure my cancer originated with one or another of these environmental toxins. But of course, unlike lung cancer’s link to smoking, there’s no direct cause and effect relationship which can be established between my cancer and any particular chemical, partly because I have no record, and I likely didn’t follow the label precautions. Ah… heedless youth.
There’s a pervasive urban myth that anything will cause cancer in large enough doses. If true, can chemotherapy cause cancer? I would not be surprised. Hospitals are dangerous places. “Chemo” of course is short for chemical. To state the perhaps obvious, chemicals are a double-edged sword. Pour acetone on cancer cells in a petri dish and they will be history in seconds. But inhale acetone or other toxic solvents and you’ve ingested a powerful carcinogen. Will you get cancer instantly? Probably not, but you may get sick or at least high which tho’ momentarily pleasant, is a bad sign. A few good basic rules: 1. Always read the label warnings and take them seriously. –2. If it makes you lightheaded, it probably causes cancer.
So the good news is, my tumor seems to be under control since starting Avastin infusions. But I hope you will forgive me if I give some credit to all the mandarin oranges we’ve been eating. Thanks, Cuties!