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But it doesn’t have to be this way. Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy has developed a whole-person approach to treating cancer – and these treatments have helped thousands of patients through her Cancer Center for Healing. In The Cancer Revolution, Dr. Connealy shows you how to get to the root causes of cancer and the practical steps you can take to get back on the path to healing — from balancing your body’s chemistry with nutritional supplements, following a healthy food plan, detoxifying your body and home, exercising regularly, getting deep restful sleep every night, practicing stress reduction techniques, and putting together a supportive healing team.
Chemotherapy and radiation have their place in treatment, but in many cases, they are simply not enough, because cancer isn’t caused by one thing, but by many different factors. All of these causes must be addressed, not just the tumor. The Cancer Revolution will equip you to make impactful, achievable lifestyle choices that fight the root of the disease, and that offer hope for recovery and a cancer-free life.
A NEW WAY TO PREVENT,
TREAT, AND BEAT CANCER
Cancer: What It Is, What Causes It, and How to Fight It
IN THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL LEARN …
- Why cancer is a disease of the entire body, not a body part, and what tools you can use to help overcome it
- How tumors are formed
- Why the conventional approach isn't enough
- Three main causes of cancer
One out of three women and one out of two men in the United States are developing cancer today. Most of us have lost a family member, a friend, or a colleague to cancer, or we know someone who has. Cancer is rampant: The National Institutes of Health has spent over a trillion dollars trying to find a cure, and yet the death rate from cancer is the same as what it was fifty years ago. For instance, one meta-analysis study by three Australian oncologists, the results of which were published in 2004 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, revealed that the five-year survival rate for cancer of all types and stages is only about 60 percent, and that chemotherapy increases that five-year survival rate by only about 2 percent.1 Further, conventional cancer treatments, while sometimes useful and necessary, may have the potential to harm some patients just as much as, if not more than, the cancer itself.
Early on in my career, I realized that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery weren't enough to cure cancer, and my experience with thousands of patients over the years has solidified that belief. These treatments have their place in the fight against cancer, but by themselves they are inadequate, and when improperly used, can be dangerous. Also, cancer is a disease of the whole person, not a body part, yet most conventional oncologists treat cancer as a separate entity or as a specific problem in the body. They don't address the entire person or try to discover the root cause of disease; their aim is to kill the cancer rather than heal the body from the inside out. Instead of building up the immune system, which is the body's most effective and important weapon in the fight against cancer, conventional treatments tear it down and can sometimes create new health problems for the person.
Another reason the mainstream approach is inadequate is neither chemotherapy nor radiation nor surgery can eliminate what are called circulating tumor cells (CTCs) or cancer stem cells (CSCs). These are cells that break off from the original tumor and float around in the bloodstream (a process called metastasis), looking for their next "nest." CTCs and CSCs are responsible for more than 95 percent of all metastases and cancer deaths, but scientists haven't figured out a perfect, surefire way to eradicate them, so conventional treatments fall short on this crucial front. Further, these treatments don't address any of the cancer's survival mechanisms or the body's functional imbalances. Cancer is caused by the deregulation of multiple genes, which must be individually targeted by different natural anticancer agents.
Another major con of conventional treatments is they leave patients with a weakened immune system, which in turn increases their risk of cancer reoccurrence, contracting other illnesses, or suffering complications after surgery. Meanwhile, they live in the shadow of a ruthless disease that could return at any time.
Increasingly, cancer patients are also discovering that conventional care, with its five- or six-figure price tag, is not doing what it is supposed to. Many people have survived chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, only to relapse and have to endure the process all over again. Despite these problems with conventional care, we keep doing the same thing over and over again, and getting the same results. This is the definition of insanity!
Fortunately, I have learned many things about cancer and cancer treatment that I think will encourage you. First, a cancer diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence. Science has provided us with new, cutting-edge tools that not only can accurately detect the disease better than before and earlier on, but which can also help you manage it so that you can live longer and experience a better quality of life.
Second, there are groundbreaking new cancer treatments in integrative medicine that are gentler than what's found in conventional medicine, and which are unlikely to cause terrible side effects, such as vomiting, hair loss, and fatigue. These treatments are useful, no matter what stage or type of cancer you have, and some can be used even if you just want to prevent cancer.
Finally, research suggests that such factors as diet, detoxification, exercise, nutritional supplements, stress management, sleep, and resolving emotional conflicts can, in some cases, trump any genetic predisposition to cancer. This means that your destiny doesn't have to be determined by your genes. If you understand this, then you can have a greater likelihood of being victorious over cancer and your health.
In The Cancer Revolution, I will empower you with an amazing arsenal of tools that can help you manage and fight cancer or prevent it from happening in the first place.
We encourage you to keep an open mind, as these tools and treatments aren't based on fads or some random philosophy. Instead, they are supported by many doctors' experiences with their patients, and I personally have witnessed some of my patients live long, productive lives as a result of doing them—not to mention the thousands of Pubmed articles on these topics. You probably won't hear about them in mainstream medicine, though, because most oncologists have only been taught to give their patients drugs, and so they don't understand or know about integrative methods. Also, integrative, homeopathic, and conventional Western medicines are not marketed to the same degree. Since many integrative natural therapies are not FDA approved, they are not advertised as prominently, which means they remain relatively unknown.
Yet integrative medicine is truly beneficial because it marries the best of conventional medicine with new, natural medicine, and is based on the idea that you must treat the root cause of disease, not just the tumor or cancer, and heal the entire person. This approach can produce exceptional outcomes.
Integrative medicine can include treatments from a wide variety of medical disciplines including homeopathic, nutritional, bioenergetic, regenerative, antiaging, and Chinese herbal medicine, along with lifestyle approaches to wellness.
Time and again, doctors who practice integrative medicine have found ways to help leverage the effects of conventional treatments, helping even the sickest of people strengthen their armor against cancer. And as our "best of both worlds" methods have made waves, these clinics have earned a reputation for being compassionate as well as patient because it is time to get to the root of our patients' problems.
As I mentioned, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery do have their place in cancer treatment, but they are not enough, because regardless of the healing approach you decide to take—whether conventional or integrative—you still need to support your body before, during, and after cancer treatment. That means doing things like providing it with the nutrition it needs; detoxifying it from environmental pollutants; and protecting it against some of the harmful effects that chemotherapy, radiation, and other harsh treatments unfortunately can impose. It also means addressing all of the cancer's survival mechanisms, as well as all of your body's functional imbalances, which conventional treatment alone cannot do.
For instance, you might have low thyroid function, or inflammation, or high blood sugar, or a liver detoxification problem—all of which you would need to treat, along with the cancer, if you wanted to be well. You need to change your internal environment so that it becomes an inhospitable place for the cancer and it has a harder time surviving in your body.
In this book, I will teach you how to do all of these things. Even if conventional treatments alone have failed you, the approaches I will discuss have the potential to help you live a better quality of life. In my personal experience, I have seen many late-stage cancer patients who were told by their oncologists that they had only months or weeks left to live survive longer than their original prognoses. Even if you have a so-called deadly cancer, such as melanoma or pancreatic cancer, you will find tools and treatments in The Cancer Revolution that can help you improve your health and enjoy a better quality of life than you might have otherwise had. But you must first understand a few key things about cancer, including:
Notice that my focus here has not been on how genetics factor into cancer risk and recovery. Many of us have been taught that if one of our close family members has or had cancer, then we're doomed to get cancer by default. But this is simply not true for every individual. The emerging science of epigenetics suggests that our genes are not our destiny. In fact, genes only contribute to 5 percent or less of our cancer risk (according to the American Cancer Society, "only about 5% to 10% of all cancers result directly from gene mutations that are inherited from a parent").2 Even so, we can change how our genes are expressed by modifying our lifestyle, such as our dietary and exercise habits; by managing our stress levels, and detoxifying our body from environmental pollutants—just to name a few things. Many of the factors that activate cancer-causing genes and initiate the development of cancer are within your ability to prevent. In The Cancer Revolution, I will show you exactly how to do that.
Cancer: An Earthquake in Your Body
I like to tell my patients that cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells in the body that have gone wild and crazy because they are overwhelmed or overstressed. These cells have been damaged by carcinogens, or cancer-causing toxins, which cause them to mutate and behave abnormally. Once they do this, they then become like an earthquake in the body and everything in it then gets thrown into chaos. It then takes years and a whole team of people and machines to rebuild and repair the damage.
Similarly, once you get cancer, you need a whole team of doctors and treatments to create order and restore homeostasis, or balance, to your body. And that repair isn't done in a month, or three, or six; it takes time. But if you understand this, you can then learn about what you need to do to heal yourself. We can actually make our patients feel a lot better in just a couple of weeks, by giving them such things as intravenous vitamin infusions, hyperbaric oxygen, and other therapies; by putting them on the right diet; and helping them spiritually. Yet the full healing and rebuilding process takes time—months or years, depending upon the damage that's been done.
You may find that your doctor can do things to help you feel better right away, but the process of repairing your body may take longer if only conventional methods are used. In Chapter 10, I will show you how to find a good integrative doctor and put together a healing team that can help you do this if you don't already have one.
Cancer is a disease of the entire body, not just a body part. A person doesn't just have breast, ovarian, or colon cancer, for instance, because the disease doesn't only affect the breasts, or the ovaries, or the colon—but the entire body, always and without exception. So, if you have a doctor that goes on the offensive and just attacks the tumor, or treats only the area of your body with cancer, then he or she is ignoring the fact that the cancer is a result of sickness in your entire body, and that it isn't just the tumor that needs to be treated, but all of you. Your "inner terrain" must be rebuilt and repaired, so that the root cause of disease can be removed.
What Causes Cancer?
Identifying the exact cause of cancer has proven tricky for scientists. After all, if we knew the cause, we'd be closer to finding a cure. However, a wealth of scientific research suggests a specific set of risk factors for the disease.
Today, practically everyone knows that smoking cigarettes is linked to an increased risk of developing lung cancer, but how many know that there are more than thirty different factors that can lead to cancer? They can be grouped into three basic categories: infections (bugs), toxins, and biological factors. All of these things may cause cancer by disrupting the body's homeostasis, research suggests.3 One way they do this is by creating oxidative stress and inflammation. Inflammation and free radicals damage the RNA and DNA (the genetic material) inside the cells, and with that, the cells' mitochondria, or energy-producing furnaces.
When the mitochondria are damaged and a cell can no longer efficiently produce energy for itself, it reverts to an inefficient method of energy production called glycolysis, in which it depends on sugar as a fuel source. In this state, the organs and body systems can no longer work properly. This leads to more DNA damage, less energy for normal cells, and more fuel for cancer cells.
Environmental toxins are one of the biggest causes of DNA damage and cellular mutations. The following is a list of some toxins that research links to cancer. I have divided them into two categories. The first describes toxins you are probably aware of and which you may already know can cause cancer. The second describes toxins that you may have heard of, but which you may not know are associated with cancer. In Chapter 5, I will share with you how you can help eliminate these toxins from your body and environment.
The "Usual" Suspects
As you can see, there are many more environmental toxins and factors that are linked to cancer than what you may have been aware of!
Infections: Viruses, Bacteria, Parasites, and Fungi
Viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, such as molds, mildews, and Candida, cause inflammation in the body and can increase cancer risk.
Certain infections have also been directly linked to specific types of cancer. For instance, the human papilloma virus (HPV) has been associated with head and neck cancers, as well as cervical cancer. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with leukemia. Hepatitis C has been linked to liver cancer, and colitis is related to colon cancer. Herpes II increases cancer risk in general.
You may not always know whether you have an infection in your body that's creating an environment that is favorable to the development of cancer. A good integrative doctor can help you identify and eliminate any low-grade or underlying acute and chronic infections. Treating infections can help lower your risk of any cancers that may be directly caused by those infections.
Other factors that may cause cancer include:
According to American Medical Research LLC (AMR), a medical research company, toxins are responsible for 70 to 75 percent of all cancers. Viruses and other infections cause 20 to 25 percent of all cancers, and electromagnetic pollution and genetics are thought to cause less than 5 percent each of all cancers.8
Otto Warburg, a Nobel Prize winner, German physician, and physiologist, discovered that cancer occurs when any cell is denied 60 percent of its oxygen.9 Poor oxygenation results from a buildup of carcinogens and other toxins inside of and around the cells, which then damages the cell's ability to utilize oxygen. Additionally, psychological and emotional stress and nutritional imbalances are important contributing factors to cancer, although researchers aren't sure to what degree they play a role in its development. In The Cancer Revolution, I will show you how you can remove the effects of all of these factors from your body, so that you can either continue to live a cancer-free life, or help fight a cancer you may already have.
Finally, the following are some additional facts about cancer that you may not know:
• Some studies link sugar to the growth of cancer cells. Sugar may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.10
• A sedentary lifestyle creates a lack of oxygen in the body and can contribute to cancer growth.
• Bacteria, viruses, toxins, parasites, and heavy metals may indirectly increase cancer growth by suppressing the immune system.
• You are more likely to get cancer if your immune system is already compromised. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, a compromised immune system increases an individual's chances of contracting different viruses and bacteria that can increase the risk of cancer.
How Tumors Are Formed
Every cell has the capacity to become a cancer cell under the right conditions. When a normal cell becomes damaged and mutates, it ceases to work as part of the team and community of other cells that it is a part of, and instead starts to work for itself, for its own survival. As part of this process, it grows rapidly and doesn't respond to the body's natural cellular control mechanisms.
So, tumors start with a normal cell mutating into an "immortal," uncooperative cancer cell. This cell then multiplies and proliferates until it becomes a mass of cells. Once this mass reaches a certain level, it seeks to form a "nest" somewhere in the body, and by this means it begins to establish itself in a specific organ or set of tissues to become what we know as a tumor.
As the tumor grows larger, it begins to require greater and greater amounts of nutrients from the blood, until it finally creates its own set of blood vessels and blood supply in a process called angiogenesis. Finally, if left unchecked, some of the cancer cells will break off from the tumor and establish new tumors, or "nests," in other parts of the body (metastasis).
"Dr. Connealy understands the role of nutrition, epigenetics, and integrative approaches in healing cancer and even preventing cancer. Cancer is not a death sentence. There is always hope, and this book will empower you with knowledge that just might save your life or the life of a loved one."
—Ty M. Bollinger, author of the New York Times bestselling The Truth About Cancer, documentary film producer
- "Being diagnosed with cancer never needs to become a death sentence. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy provides practical, easy-to-implement strategies that can complement your conventional plan to pave the path for healing and vitality. Highly recommended reading."—JJ Virgin, New York Times bestselling author of The Virgin Diet
- "The Cancer Revolution provides lifesaving facts and information; you cannot receive optimal cancer care without knowing what is in this book. Its empowering information will help ensure that no one will have to settle for inadequate and outdated forms of mainstream cancer treatment."—Garry F. Gordon, MD, DO, MD(H.)
- On Sale
- Jul 17, 2018
- Page Count
- 336 pages
- Da Capo Lifelong Books