Introduction to Cancer Basics
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases of our time. Yet, ironically, it can also be said to be one of the simplest, but only if we fully understand the cancer basics.
Cancer is not a disease of an organ, it occurs at an organ, specific tissue or location. Nor is it a disease that is caused by a parasite, bacteria or virus, although the presence of some of these can often aggravate or contribute to a problem that is developing.
For the past hundred years, the cause has been known, recognized, stated, and to some of us, it has become increasingly obvious. Perhaps because it is so simple and so obvious, few people have truly focused on it.
It is now recognized that cancer is fundamentally a disease of poor lifestyle. Various estimates put the figure for lifestyle causes at above 90%. Many secondary factors may play a part, but poor lifestyle habits are the fundamental cause. Our worsening lifestyle has increased in parallel with the increase in cancer. Unexpected recoveries have come largely from improvements in lifestyle, as practised by many of the ‘natural’ clinics such as the Gerson Clinic.
Fundamentally, and for the great majority of people, the cause of cancer is twofold:
- Not giving body and soul all that they need for optimum function, health and wellbeing.
- Giving body and soul too many of the things that they do not need. These include too much of the wrong foods and toxic substances, toxic thoughts, for example, that can cause harm.
At one level, this should be blindingly obvious. Think about your car for example, if properly designed and made it should run well and last for a long time provided you:
- Give it all that it needs for optimum running: the correct fuel both in type and quality, the correct oil and greases in the various parts, the correct amount of water in the various tanks, cooling, windscreen wipers and so forth, and the correct amount of air both in the tyres and flow to the engine.
- Avoid toxins, no water in the fuel supply, no grit in the grease or toxins in the oils, no dirt in the water spray for the windscreen, etc.
I expect you see no problem with this scenario in relation to your car, and that, almost without thinking, you do all these things correctly – at least if you want to care properly for your car.
Consider doing that for your body and soul. Note that I said for your body and soul. Just as different cars need different fuels (petrol, diesel, electric power), different oils, different greases and so forth, individuals have different needs for fuel (dietary) and other (supplement) needs. Therefore, we determine the Unique Metabolic Needs (or Type), the UMNs, of each individual before formulating a dietary plan for them. There is no one “cancer diet,” just as there is no one “arthritis diet”, or “healthy heart” diet [see Note L106].
In so many walks of life, we seem to have lost sight of the fundamentals. Gardeners will spray toxic chemicals to keep the weeds down in the vegetable patch instead of careful husbandry, seemingly unconcerned about the toxins this will introduce to the vegetables. They will put other drugs out to kill snails, ignoring the fact that snails will consume rotting vegetation and fungi, and provide calcium and other nutrients that are vital to the soil. Snails can be gathered up and dealt with in more beneficial ways. In the home people will kill spiders, forgetting that they help to keep the fly population down, and then they will kill the flies with further poisons that are also toxic to the human body. The more ‘advanced’ and ‘civilized’ we become and the more technologically powerful, the more we seem to think that we can blast the world into the shape we want. It simply doesn’t work. When Australians allowed rabbits into the country, they took no account of the unsettling effect this would have on the local ecology. There are countless such examples that one could quote.
In the same way, we seem to feel we can ignore the basics in relation to our health. We consume, swallow, breath, absorb, and expose our bodies and mind to whatever we like. We risk cancer through exposure to some of the 86,000 man-made chemicals now in our environment and then rely on high technology and more toxic chemicals to blast the tumour out of existence.
Advanced technology may make some small headway against cancer, at least initially, or it may not. However, it risks doing a lot more damage, and it does not prevent a probable recurrence.
Even many of the alternative options still follow a similar way of thinking. We search for more tools to ‘fight the tumour’, be they technological tools or complex plant ‘tools’.
So, what are the alternatives? We have many, but the most important is to work with your body. Reinforce the reactions that occur normally and naturally. Many of us focus on this approach as we work towards restoring homoeostasis, or normal function, in other people as well as in ourselves.
There are many advantages to this approach. By and large, you are in control and can make for yourself the positive changes that are required. This is probably the least expensive option and it does not have adverse or toxic side effects, nor does it create new problems for the future. Additionally, by restoring homeostasis you can also avoid many other health problems while you are taking the necessary steps to avoid cancer.
No problem is ever all about your body. Your mind and emotions, your soul, or whatever you choose to call it, are equally important. During my forty years in practice, both as a Naturopath and a Psychotherapist, I have encountered people with an amazing variety of ‘toxic thoughts and toxic emotions.’ These are often in their subconscious, unrealized and significantly harmful to their general wellbeing. These too can be altered.
All this means that the choice is yours and that ultimately you are in control. It is not up to someone else to fix your health or emotional problems. It is up to you. You can do it, albeit with guidance from people trained in doing just that, at least, initially.
I see many clients who have decided against any sort of medical intervention, or perhaps just the conservative surgery if that is absolutely necessary. They have then focused on the corrections indicated by the concepts above. In general, they do extremely well and have often outlived any prognosis they were given by their medical team. In an office of only one practitioner, the numbers are not great and standard forms of statistics are not possible. None the less, the impression remains: these people are almost all doing a lot better than had been expected for them.
While I am helping to support people concerned about cancer, I use the above as my starting and often major strategy. In future Naturopathic Notes, I plan to go through and discuss what this means in practice. You will learn strategies that help to restore homoeostasis within your body, help you to avoid a variety of health problems, including cancer, and help you to clear out toxic emotions and mindsets.
*This Naturopathic Note is the first of a series of planned Notes on Cancer Basics