This article is one of a series of different articles looking to provide individuals with accurate and reliable information to help people prevent, treat and recover from cancer. At the present there is no cure for cancer, but that does not mean that people do not recover from cancer. Many people have been successful at beating cancer and have gone to live long productive lives. This article is based on the notion that cancer is better treated with a multidimensional approach. Many researchers believe that the best approach to treat cancer is an approach that includes conventional medicine and alternative medicine. Types of conventional cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Examples of alternative medicine include herbs, diet, supplementation, acupuncture, meditation, etc. Your chances of recovering from cancer can be improved if you and your health care provider use such a multidimensional approach
Lifestyle and diet
The liver is the major organ of detoxification in the body. As a result, liver cells are repeatedly exposed to toxic and reactive molecules. Liver cells can sustain damage from short term exposure to large quantities of highly toxic compounds, or long-term exposure to other less toxic compounds. Over time, the detoxification and reparative mechanism in the liver can become overwhelmed, which can result in cirrhosis and can also cause DNA damage and eventually liver cancer. Thus, reducing exposure to chemical toxins is a significant way to reduce the risk of liver cancer. The most common toxins include alcohol, oral estrogens, iron overload, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (found in cigarette smoke) and certain compounds found in petrochemicals, insecticides, and solvents. Nitrosamines are particularly toxic to the liver. There are over 300 nitrosamines which are found in tobacco smoke, some cosmetics, latex and rubber products, beer, bacon, and cured meats.
Cruciferous vegetables are especially beneficial for liver function and may reduce the symptoms associated with liver cancer. In addition to supporting detoxification, they contain compounds that reduce inflammation and stimulate apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells. Cabbage extract was shown in vitro and in vivo to kill cancer cells and stimulate immune system activity. Cruciferous vegetables include: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard green, turnips, and watercress. Because the nutrient value of these foods can be substantially diminished with cooking, it is best to eat them slightly steamed.
Nutrients and Herbs
Ginseng: Earlier studies and a more recent in vitro study indicated that Panax Ginseng inhibits the growth of liver cancer by inducing apoptosis of liver cancer cells.
Green Tea: Several studies have demonstrated that green tea is an effective anticancer agent, for all types of cancer. You need to drink at least five cups of green tea daily to get results.
Limonene: A compound found in citrus fruits, has demonstrated apoptotic effects in liver cancer cells in vitro.
Mushroom Extracts: Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC), a compound derived from polysaccharides extracted from mushrooms, may prolong survival and improve prognosis of patients with advance liver cancer and delay the gradual decline of their physiological status.
Pine Bark Extract (Pychogenol): In vitro studies showed this herbal antioxidant to selectively inhibit growth of human liver cancer cells while slightly promoting the growth of normal, healthy liver cells.
Selenium: This trace mineral provides additional antioxidant activity by regenerating glutathione. It also exerts antiviral effects, which is especially useful when viral hepatitis B or C is implicated with the cancer.
Silymarin (Milk Thistle Extract): This flavonoid complex found in Milk Thistle has antioxidant activity and helps stabilize the cell membranes of liver cells. Silymarin also helps maintain adequate levels of glutathione, an amino acid that provides antioxidant protection for healthy liver cells.
Vitamin C: In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of Vitamin C exert some protective effect against liver cancer.
The liver is the key organ for detoxification. Avoiding alcohol is essential, as is supporting liver function before, during and after conventional cancer treatment. A well balanced diet is highly recommended one that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Also taking organic supplements is highly recommended. A regular exercise routine is highly encouraged as well; 30 minutes of moderate exercise three to four times per week and increase it as your body allows you to. Always consult with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements, and never stop any of your current medications before seeking help from a professional health provider. Please feel free to contact my if you have any specific questions or if you like to read other information I have written regarding cancer and alternative medicine.