As much as I love Paleo I wonder what I'd do if I got a sudden diagnosis of cancer. While we love to bash the vegans I do believe there's tremendous value in some of their approaches to healing, in particular water fasting, juice fasting, organ detoxification, herbs (especially in high doses), Dr. Schulze's "Incurables Program," saunas, and other things. One of the things I learned in my exploration of raw veganism once upon a time was that there's a difference between a diet for rapid healing, a diet for rebuilding health, and a diet for maintaining health. I think Paleo is great for rebuilding and maintaining but I wouldn't trust it for rapid healing.
If I were staring cancer in the face I'd want to ease the digestive load on my body while getting lots of nutrients into me (would probably consume large amounts of non-sugary vegetable juices), and I would want to make sure things were moving out quickly. I'd also make sure to get enough sun exposure, clean up any crappy relationships I had, develop relationships that got me out of my narcissistic self, get emotional support, and find a health practitioner that wouldn't push towards chemo or radiation.
What would you do? Would you bet your life on your current diet? And, if you've been Paleo for a while, how would that affect your decision-making?
I've been there, twice. The first time, I was young, and I still believed in the 'medical model' and 'aggressive treatment options". I opted for a clinical trial. I ended up being one of the people who developed the "rare" side effect and damaged my heart permanently. That became a deciding factor in my future management plan.
The second time I had cancer (it's not unusual for someone with my particular genetic anomaly to develop multiple cancers over a lifetime, so I was already prepared for that eventuality), I opted to do surgery and alternative ancillary treatment. My oncologist was less than pleased, but I can honestly say that I had a MUCH faster recovery, and have sustained long-term remission and near-full recovery from the 2nd round... whereas, following the 'standard of care' and 'cutting edge research' track left me with a permanent disability.
If I end up with cancer again, I will continue with my primal diet, will nourish myself as best I am able, if they are able to remove the cancer, I will opt for surgical removal, and I will follow with homeopathic and naturopathic concomitant care.
I will not use radiation or chemotherapy again on my body. If cancer is what is going to take me, I am going to opt for the most productive life experience I am able while I'm alive, rather than opting for the "fight the cancer at any cost" approach I see so often where I work.
I'm sorry, there is no value in veg*ns approach to healing. It's all based on pseudoscience, and lots of it can get in the way of both natural healing and the chemotherapies commonly used with cancer.
I would go ketogenic because most cancers will be starved without sugar, plus there's some evidence that being in ketosis makes the good cells more resilient to chemo and the cancer cells more susceptible.
I would not do any kind of juicing. The idea of most cancer treatments is to actually kill the bad stuff. If you're taking megadoses of vitamins and antioxidants you're actually going to undo the effect of the treatment. Just like taking megadoses of antioxidants after exercise to reduce soreness actually reduces your body's ability to adapts and get stronger because of the exercise.
And yes, I would bet my life on my current (strict) paleo diet. I dealt with cancer and chemo on the SAD and that was terrible. I wish I knew then what I know now. A high-nutrient keto diet probably could have saved me 4 months of chemo.
I'm an oncology nurse and breast cancer survivor, so I'm a bit biased, but:
If you ever get cancer, please PLEASE PLEASE get your ass to an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, get a second opinion (ideally from another NCI-designated CCC), educate yourself about your options, clarify your goals, and then DO THE CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT that meets those goals. Complementary treatments like acupuncture, massage, Reiki, etc. are awesome. Nutrition is VITAL to getting thru treatment and/or improving quality of life in an end-of-life situation. But no nutritional changes will cure cancer, I promise. Bullshit pseudoscience placebo juice fasts (or really any "eat this and you will be cured" diets) are evil, create false hope, and in my experience end in tragedy and regret and misery.
I would do multiple things at the same time. Both Doctor and Diet.
Things to research:
Ketogenic diet w/ coconut oil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natto (fermented soy).
Some grassfed liver
Change meat to exclusively Grassfed Lamb/Beef and Wild Salmon. No chicken or pork.
Healing your gut. http://www.siboinfo.com/ Dr Allison Siebecker will do skype calls with you. If you visit her once in person then I think the skype calls can be full up patient doctor..
Things to get rid of:
All Vegetable oils. (This seems like a no brainer but of course research.)
All Dairy. (research)
Soy Protein Powder.
You might study the work of:
He is WAPF friendly but not Paleo. He has a video series in cancer that is interesting. Being his patient involves one flight a year to NY. My friend visits him.
Depends what kind of cancer really and the prognosis given. In all cases, simply tightening up diet and getting all metabolic ducks in a row is going to help immensely. If prognosis is good (80+% recovery, life extension on the order of years), do the standard cancer treatment regimen. That with a good diet puts one in the best position for recovery. If however prognosis is poor even with treatment (less than 20%, treatment extending life just months as opposed to years), rely on diet, move close to a medical marijuana dispensary, and enjoy what time I have left.
-Ketogenic Paleo Diet -GAPS bone broth -Intermittent Fasting -Low Dose Naltrexone & IV Alpha Lipoic Acid -Curcumin BCM95 -Vitamin D levels up to 80
Well, it depends on the cancer, how far advanced it is, the treatment options, and the prognosis. But no matter what those variables might be, I'd be researching the hell out of it in order to make the most informed decisions possible.
I'm not one for passively trusting financial advisors, veterinarians, lawyers, or anyone else to know everything and automatically act in my best interests; as a client I'm actively involved and willing to do a lot of homework and ask a lot of questions (which makes me a pain in the ass to some, and a dream client to others). And I'm the same way with physicians. No matter how caring others may be, I'm always going to be my own best advocate.
My particular beliefs about death are such that I'd be okay with choosing palliative care and enjoying what quality of life I might have left over waging a desperate, agonizing battle with a poor chance of survival. I don't want to die, but I'm not afraid of it.
If the outcome is promising, however, I'd go with conventional treatment, supplemented by any alternative means that studies have shown to be useful, or else would obviously do no harm. One thing that seems to be very helpful to those undergoing chemo is fasting, during which the body's normal cells get a chance to put up their defenses against stressors--defenses cancer cells usually don't have. I've seen friends and family suffer horribly from the effects of chemo, which weakened them even further. So if fasting can potentially reduce those toxic effects, I'll do it.
Doubling-down as far as diet goes is another step I'd definitely take. There's a lot of small things where I'm not strictly paleo, so I'd optimize my diet.
But, to be honest, I really don't know what else I'd do. So much would depend on currently-unknown variables that I won't know unless I'm ever in that position--which I would greatly prefer not to be.
Long bouts of water-fasting. green-juice fasting. Lots of sun and relaxation. Sorry but Dr.Brian Clement of Hippocrates health institute has healed many of degenerative,chronic diseases through the use of fasting and green juice fasting. I'm not saying meat would slow down the healing or anything. Just saying so far fasting and herbs seem to be the best choice in my opinion.
Dr Schultzes incurables is a great adjunct to a high fat/mod protein/low carb diet. He is PETA vegan so I am just going to go over some herbals and other Schultze protocols. He told me there are 3 kind of people you wont cure. 1. It is just their time. 2. The disease serves a function..ie..my mom and her alcoholism. Everytime she drank she became the center of attention in the family again. 3. They are not willing to crawl over broken glass to get well.
He also said about herbs..."People go to a party, drink a 5th of Jack Daniels, smoke a pack of cigarettes and do an 8 ball of coke...but when it comes to herbs its.."do I take 2 drops of lobelia or 3?" Take herbs like you are partying. Get strong, organic, properly prepared herbs. I drowned cancer patients in Echinacea and it never burned out their immune systems"...so speaks Dr. Richard Schultze. I spoke to a lot of people he was successful with, cancer included. + 1 for the medical marijuana...California looks ok again.
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