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  • Writer's pictureMike Parker

What I've learned about avoiding and fighting Cancer.

Nobody wants to find out that they have cancer, but according to Cancer Research UK, an appalling 1 in 2 of us will get cancer at some point in our lives. However there are simple changes that you can make in your life to help you avoid cancer in the first place, which can also help you fight it. The best outcomes are always when it's found early, treated quickly, and the patient makes major changes to their lifestyle. However, don't rely entirely on treatment, it is actually your body that heals you.

I have several friends, and friends of friends, who've been given the bad news in recent years, and so I've written this article as in introduction to the huge amount of sound research out there about optimizing your body to fight Cancer. This article is full of links to hours of videos you can watch to broaden your knowledge on the subject, and target your research. If there is anything else you know about that you think would be a useful addition to the article, then by all means let us know in the comments.

What is Cancer and why did I get it?

Throughout our lives we are exposed to things that damage our cells. That might be the Sun, high electric fields, radioactivity, chemicals, viruses and no doubt many other things too. When the DNA in our cells is damaged they can become Cancerous.

When the human body is working at its best it has the capacity to recognise damaged cells or intracellular components (little organs within your cells) and replace them with new ones. The human body is absolutely amazing.

However problems with our diet, lifestyle and stress can leaving our bodies without sufficient ability or opportunity to do this maintenance. A harmless lump of damaged cells if left to "ferment" (some researchers litterally use this term, and when you discover the link to sugar you'll know why) and grow, may ultimately generate a blood supply (angiogenesis) and become a tumour.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, it is our modern lifestyle that causes Cancer, a combination of exposure to too many carcinogens, too much sugar, not enough micronutrients, and too much inactivity.

How can I fight it?

If lifestyle is the cause then lifestyle change is the only long term solution.

Fighting cancer is a war between your body and the cancer. This analogy helps us to explain something far more complicated.

Cancer treatments wage war against the Cancer, and can help decimate the Cancer's army, but you need to realise no treatment is going to kill off all of the Cancer's troops. There will always be some left, that can grow or spread to elsewhere in the body. So to win the War, your body needs to be functioning well enough to build its own troops to hunt out and destroy the remaining Cancer troops, and any new ones which pop up.

Finally your once you won the war, your body needs to be functioning well enough to make enough workmen, and equip them with all the materials they need, to fix all the damage caused by the Cancer AND the collateral damage caused by the treatment.

So in summary, to beat Cancer you need your body to do two things:

  1. Win the war (with minimal collateral damage).

  2. Repair the damage.

You cannot beat Cancer, simply by dropping bombs on it.

A cancerous tumour is a symptom of a dysfunctional body. If you want to beat Cancer, you need to treat the cause, not only the symptoms. The same is true with any illness when you think about it. If all of our efforts are focussed on removing the tumour, withouth preparing the body to win the war and repair the damage, it's just going to come back again in the same place or somewhere else. This explains in simple terms why people go into remission for a period and then the cancer comes back. Unless you fix the underlying cause, which is your lifestyle (fitness, nutrition, exercise, stress), its going to come back again and again until the treatment leaves you too weak to fight it and you die.

If you have been diagnosed with Cancer the most powerful tool you have to beat it is your mind. You can be led by Doctors into standard treatments and place all of your faith in that, but you may be disappointed by the results. Or you can take charge of your own health, do your own research, ask questions, find specialists, get the best treatments, change your lifestyle, and beat the bloody thing.

Cancer research and treatment is a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2021, oncology spending is expected to be around 187 billion U.S. dollars worldwide (Cure). There is a vast amount of research that has been done around the world, and a vast number of treatments available. I can't possibly go into all of that detail. It is easy to get lost in all that complexity and to miss the wood for the trees so to speak, so be aware of that.

Cancer is a simple illness when you go back to basic principles. Your body is growing something it would have removed if it was working properly. You need to stop it growing, and to get your body working properly so that it removes it.

Drink less alcohol and cut out refined sugar

Most people know that alcoholism leads to a whole load of health problems like cirrhosis of the liver, but they don't know that excess sugar consumption, particularly the fructose component of sugar, leads to many of the same problems. This is a good introductory video.

In relation to Cancer there is a particularly strong reason to cut out sugar from your diet, which is because Cancer cells feed on it, as you will learn from videos later in this article. We know this, and have known for along time. In fact one of the ways they find Cancer cells on an MRI scanner is by giving you a glucose drink and looking to see where the glucose molecules are conentrating in your body.

More videos about sugar:

Eat enough salt

There has been a witch hunt on salt in recent decades. Yet before refrigeration we consumed far more salt that we do today and were far healthier. Your body needs salts to make the electrolytes needed for the biological, chemical and electrical processes which need to happen efficiently for your body to work properly. You die from hyponatremia if your blood salt gets too low, which is why the first thing they give you in hospital is a saline drip! We naturally crave salt when we're low on it, and we're not the only species, if you don't beleive me, watch the video of the Ibex climbing a dam to lick salts off the rocks.

Salt has become associated with high blood pressure. However, a significant amount of this is correlation not causation and in reality the high blood pressure is caused by people being overweight and having arteries clogged up with colesterol.

In relation to Cancer, excessive salt intake has been correlated with increased levels of gastric cancers... but again correlation is not cause. Salt is associated with increased acidity of stomach acid, so if the diet is low in alkaline vegetables, it is plausible that the stomach acid could become strong enough to damage cells, which could become Cancerous if the body is not working properly to repair/replace them. You know when your stomach acid is too strong or there is too much of it, because you get heartburn. Listen to your body. You need to eat the right amount of salt for your diet and activity level.

More videos about salt:

Reduce your eating window through Intermittent Fasting

There are many benefits to reducing your eating window, a practice often referred to as Intermittent Fasting, a very popular form of which is called 16:8 because you spend 16 hours of the day fasting and 8 hours eating. This is a very simple change for most people and allows you to access some of the benefits of fasting every single day of your life. Below is an introductory video by Dr Jason Fung.

The main principle of fasting is to give your body downtime. If you are constantly eating, the cells in your body, especially in your digestive system, never get downtime for maintenance, which unsurprisingly leads to problems. You wouldn't run a car like it would you.. so why do we run our bodies like it and expect them to work faultlessley?

Fasting gives your body the opportunity for healing through two processes:

Autophagy - In the absence of food your body has the ability to eat itself! Put simply your cells have a clear out, metabolising all the junk left that has built up inside them after years of working constantly without downtime for maintenance. After the clear out your otherwise healthy cells function better and you become healthier. The stress of fasting can also help stimulate apoptosis (cell death) of old unhealthy cells, which are then replaced by young healthy cells when you start eating again.

Ketosis - Our body's metabolism can run on glucose or fat. The modern western diet has conditioned us to rely on glucose, but as hunter gatherers we would have relied mostly on fat. Ketosis is the name of the process when the body metabolises fats. Being in Ketosis for long periods, leads to fat loss, which makes makes you healthier.

Switch to a Ketogenic or low-carb diet

The main principle in a ketogenic diet is to minimise your intake of carbohydrates and increase your intake of fats, to condition your body to switch from burning glucose for energy to burning fat. This metabolic process is called Ketosis. This is an introductory video to the Keto diet by Dr Eenfeldt.

Although it is often described as a "switch" to ketosis. In reality there is a more gradual transition. In fact you can measure exactly how much your body is using Ketosis for energy using test strips which measure the level of Ketones in your urine. These test strips have a scale on them, which tells you whether you're doing a lot of Ketosis or only a little bit.

If you eat a diet based mostly on vegetables, without too many potatoes which are full of carbohydrates, without too much fruit which is full of sugar, and with a moderate amount of meat, eggs and nuts, and liberal amounts of lard, coconut and olive oils... you are going to get into Ketosis within a few days and certainly within a week. The Ketogenic diet is an extremely healthy diet, which has benefits for fighting cancer by depriving cancer cells of their preferred energy source... sugar.

More videos on the Ketogenic diet:

Starving cancer

Cancer feeds on sugar, so can you starve Cancer if you stop eating sugar? A lot of people think so, and Ketogenic diets are certainly a good strategy to starve cancers of this fuel source. However cancer cells can also get their energy from glutamine, which is available in the body whatever you eat, so you need to find ways to inhibit glutamine production too. Nevertheless, by cutting out one of its fuel sources, you are going to slow the growth of it and buy your body time to fight it, and there are drugs to cut out the other one. This is the subject of a fascinating interview by Dr Berg with Professor Thomas Seyfried.

You can also watch a more detailed presentation by Prof. Seyfried. Cells become Cancerous in the first place because of damage to their DNA. Everyone agrees on this. However, the damage can be to the nucleus of the cell or to the mitochondria, making it genetic or metabolic respectively. Seyfield argues that Cancer is a metabolic disease and says they have proved this by transferring the nucleus from a Cancer cell into a healthy new cell, and showing that the cell doesn't become Cancerous. However, when they transfer the intracellular fluid containing the mitochondria into the new cell, it does become Cancerous. So clearly, if what they are saying is correct it is the mitochondria that is damaged, not the nucleus.

Fasting to activate autophagy

This leads to the next aspect of starving Cancer. If it is the mitochondria that is damaged and not the nucleus, then fasting to activate autophagy will lead to some (and eventually all) of the damaged mitochondria being metabolised by autophagosomes. Read my article about autophagy to understand this. Here is a short video about it by Dr Berg.

Autophagy, the breakdown of damaged intracellular components, is a miraculous process, which is gradually being recognised as a fundamental part of health and life extension. There is a complementary process called Apoptosis, which is the breakdown/suicide of entire damaged cells. In this paper, they found that fasting was beneficial for encourage both autophagy and apoptosis to complement chemotherapy in tumour suppression.

More videos about Autophagy:

Progressing to prolonged fasts

Intermittent fasting using the 16:8 protocol is a brilliant introduction to fasting, which gets you some of the benefits in your every day life. However it does not access all the benefits. You can access more of the benefits by reducing your eating window further. When I am getting overweight, I switch to one meal a day OMAD, which accesses more of the benefits whilst making it easier to lose weight.

However to get any significant amount of autophagy or ketosis you need prolonged periods of fasting. Autophagy happens first, then Ketosis. The exact timings of these depend on factors like diet and exercise. To put numbers to it, you might expect autophagy to begin ramping up slowly after about 15 hours and ketosis after 48 hours. The five stages of fasting are discussed in this video by Dr Jason Fung.

Prolonged fasting seems like a dramatic thing to do, but fasting has been practiced for hundreds of years for health and religious reasons. Muslims do Intermittent fasting every year for Ramadan. Christians occasionally do Prolonged fasting, following the example of Jesus who is said to have fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, but don't be like this Woman who fasted 120 days "for Jesus" and ended up looking like she was ready to meet him.

Prolonged fasts can be done safely. There is a famous case of Angus Barberi who lost 275 lbs on a prolonged water (with supplements and medical supervision) for 392 days! When fasting you can drink black tea or coffee, or green tea. You must drink water and take salts to replace the salts you are loosing to maintain essential electrolytes. You should take vitamins to help keep your body functioning properly during your fast. It is wise to tell some of your friends / family / neighbours what you are doing so that they can support you and check in on you to see that you're ok. It is wise to discuss this with a Doctor and have them monitor your health throughout. Expect most people to try and talk you out of it...

More videos about fasting:

Turbocharge your nutrition intake with Juicing

So damaged intracellular components and cells can be destroyed by autophagy and apoptosis respectively. But once the fast has ended, these components and cells will need to be replaced with healthy ones. So when you start eating again, you need to make sure your diet contains all of the building blocks needed for those cells/components and for the processes doing the work. Juicing is an excellent way to support this, as it allows you to turbocharge your intake of micronutrients. Think about it like this. Would you ever sit and eat a bag of carrots? No you wouldn't... but you can drink most of those nutrients in a glass of freshly made carrot juice. Juicing allows you consume far more nutrients, micronutrients and enzymes than you could ever eat on any diet imaginable. If you have healing to do, juicing allows you to fill your body with all the building blocks it needs for healing, whilst reducing the amount of energy it needs to spend on digestion, allowing it to focus on healing. This is a good introductory diet by Joe Cross who is famous for his documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly dead". He has cured himself and god knows how many people around the world of all manner of ailments through juicing.

In Fat, sick and nearly dead we see how Joe and someone else cured themselves of urticaria, whilst loosing huge amounts of weight, by consuming nothing but juice for months on end. In the Super Juice Me Documentary, they did something similar for even more people with a variety of health issues. In this documentary a handful of people went to a retreat for a month where they drank nothing but Juice, and cured themselves of all manner of ailments and reduced the managed to eliminate the need for many of the pharmaceutical drugs they were on.

However, there is a catch when using juicing to support cancer treatment. If you are only juicing fruit, you are giving your body a massive hit of sugar, which is cancer's favourite food. You can make vegetable juices but they are an acquired taste. With vegetable only, you could try adding salt and treating it more like a soup; you could even warm it up. Or you can add a little bit of fruit to make it more palatable. If you get yourself a juicer (a slow masticating/press juicer), which I highly recommend, try my "crapple juice", cabbage and cucumber with a bit kiwi and apple, and ginger to taste. There are lots of recipes online. In general the worse it tastes the better it is for you.

More videos on juicing:

Gerson therapy

An extension of juicing is Gerson therapy, made famous by Charlotte Gerson and named after her father, which combines a raw vegan diet with a lot of juicing and coffee enemas to help flush toxins from the body. The diet has become famous for curing people of chronic illnesses including cancer. The internet is full of examples of people who have incorporated Gerson therapy, or aspects of it, into major lifestyle changes which have cured them of Cancer.

The diet/therapy has some excellent aspects to it in terms of massively increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and helping to detoxify the body, but personally I think it is bit ideological with the emphasis on a raw food vegan diet, and probably leaves you lacking in some of the micro-nutrients and enzymes from meat and fish which would otherwise assist your body with healing.

I am not a proponent of a raw vegan diet. Not at all. Firstly raw food is harder for your body to digest, and can contain parasites/eggs which are not killed off by cooking. Secondly a diet based of fruit and veg has a lower calorific density, so you get less calories from a full stomach, which is good for weight loss, but not for long term healthy living. Thirdly meat is a rich source of some micronutrients not present in sufficient quantities in a vegan diet. There is a probably a reason our mostly vegetarian cousins, Apes, are still in the jungle chewing on bamboo, whilst we have been to the Moon. This is almost certainly because we started eating meat, and secondly because we started cooking our food, the combination of which massively increased our nutritional intake, allowing us to spend less time eating, grow bigger brains, invent agriculture, and make spaceships in our spare time. So if we all went vegan, our species would probably devolve!

Veganism aside, do check out the diet and stories of people who have been cured of all sorts of things by using it.

Choose foods which inhibit angiogenesis

A tumour starts out as a harmless bunch of cells. Most adults will have little growths like this, which they accumulate throughout life, because their bodies aren't working well enough, or aren't given the opportunity to remove them. These fatty lumps, polyps and so on, are usually not a problem. They only becomes a problem if they develop a blood supply through a process called angiogenesis. A healthy body should prevent this from happening. There are foods and some drugs that have been found to help inhibit the process, as was described in the following TED talk by Dr William Li.

More videos on inhibiting angiogenesis:

Final words

There is a huge amount to take in from this article, and I hope it guides you towards doing your own research and taking charge of your own health. It is your body, don't let others make all the decisions on what to do to it, do your own research, ask informed questions, and make your own informed decisions.

I won't tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I would do. If I was diagnosed with cancer today, I would get a scan as a record of its size and extent, cut out refined sugar completely, and limit carbs as much as possible by switching to a Ketogenic diet. I would follow a time restricted eating pattern of Intermittent fasting to start with, like 16:8, before quickly progressing to OMAD. After a week of so of that, so my body is used to burning fat for energy and I'm not possessed by hunger, I would go on a prolonged fast for a few days. I would then return to Intermittent fasting, incorporating as many green or otherwise dark coloured vegetables as possible, and using juicing to turbocharge my nutritional intake, and remembering the caution about having too much sugar from fruit. After a week I would do another prolonged fast for a bit longer and I would repeat this over and over again. I would look for foods that inhibit angiogenesis, and reduce my intake or avoid entirely foods that promote it. Throughout I would take supplements, drink plenty of water & take salt to keep my electrolytes up, and I would exercise every day, going for walks every morning to get fresh air and doing occasional short bursts of intense exercise to get the blood flowing. I would then get scans and blood tests periodically to see what is happening with the tumour and with my overall health. If you are lucky, your intervention may be sufficient to start shrinking the tumour, but at the very least you will likely slow the growth of it, buying you time to get treatment.

At the same time I would find out what organisations are out there to advise on treatment options, and research them. I would scour the internet and YouTube for information, and follow that up by looking for Scientific papers on Google Scholar. I would focus on targeted treatments, in preference to whole body treatments like chemotherapy. My current view of chemotherapy is I would avoid it entirely, as it batters your immune system and may even help the cancer spread. I would look for drugs that might be useful to treat or complement cancer treatments, like chloroquine, quinine and ivermectin. I would research blushwood berries, other more available berries, cruciferous vegetables and natural substances which could help.

I would not leave my fate entirely in the hands of the NHS if I could help it. Whilst I have huge admiration for the Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics working in it, the NHS is a crap institution that will probably let you down. Did you know 90% of the staff working for the NHS are in non-medical roles (UK Gov)? However hard those Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics work, they are massively outnumbered by inept bureaucrats. If they can't even manage to clean the Hospitals properly to reduce the risk of infection, or to provide patients with decent food which we know is essential for healing, how on Earth can they be providing the best treatment in the world? That is pure propaganda. If I had the money I would find the best private clinics around. If I had no choice but to go through the NHS, I would try to steer them as much as possible with my own research. My body, my choice.

This is pretty much everything I know about the subject at present. I have always had an interest in nutrition and its role in healing. I started a page on Facebook about this several years ago, to share what I found out with others, although it's fallen by the way side. I started researching cancer when my step-brother's Mum got ill, but was too late to help her and I've had a passing interest in it ever since. I know too many people who have had or have died of cancer, so I've put this article together so anyone new to this can benefit from what I've learnt over the past few years. It is not everything there is to know by a long shot, but it will give you a head start in your own research.

Getting back to where I started in this article, your mind is the most powerful asset you have in your fight against cancer. Whether you have cancer and you are trying to treat it, or you are concerned about the rising prevalence of it and want to reduce your risk of developing it in the future, whatever your motivation for reading this article, the best thing you can do is take charge of your health.

Source: Cover picture from Everyday Health




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