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Cancer has increased from a rare illness to a common disease diagnosed in nearly half of all people within a century or two – the blink of an eye in human history. We live in toxic times; in fact, our modern, civilized world is the most toxic in the history of humanity. Cancer, along with other modern diseases of civilization, is largely caused by toxicity and inflammation.
Cancer cells feed on toxic waste, and the tumor thus serves a purpose: to keep us alive when we are in danger of imminent poisoning. The tumor is so important that the body provides it with a blood supply. The body needs the tumor, and that is why tumor-centered therapies such as chemo, radiation, and surgery have had such poor success rates.
In a paper published in the journal Cancer Metastasis, cancer is described as a natural, healing-related process:
Cancer is a natural wound healing-related process.… However, if the cause of the wound or if the wound persists … the continuous wound healing process will lead to a clinical cancer mass.… The logic of this cancer mechanism is consistent with the rationales of the other physiological metabolisms in the body – for survival.
Only by addressing the cause (the toxic, inflammatory situation that caused the body to create a tumor) and promoting detoxification can we expect to have a real cure. Toxicity causes chronic inflammation, a precondition for cancer. People diagnosed with cancer are often found to have had inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune disease, or a chronic infection for years before the cancer appeared.
The problem is not just brief incidents of inflammation, but inflammation that lasts for years – that is, chronic inflammation…. Inflammation is the stimulus for conversion of normal cells to cancer cells and for the worsening of the prognosis of existing cancers.
The logical approach is to eliminate the toxicity and inflammation. When the need for the tumor is removed, it can spontaneously regress or be reabsorbed, digested, and excreted. In other words, the body created the tumor, and the body has the ability to remove it when it is no longer needed.
Overcoming the fear of cancer
Cancers are usually slow growing. It has long been said, for example, that men die with, not from, prostate cancer. In many cases, there is plenty of time to explore treatment options, especially natural approaches. John McDougall, MD, puts it this way:
Cancer is a slow growing disease … the doctor will pressure [patients] to make a decision but … on average it has been going on for ten years before [being] discovered and it’ll probably go on for another 10, 15, or 20 years before it kills them.
A friend, when she heard her diagnosis of breast cancer, said, “I just want them to cut it out.” This attitude is fueled by the cultural fear that cancer is an enemy that will quickly take over the body, spread, and kill the person unless removed at once.
The truth is that cancer comes and goes throughout our lifetimes – usually without our ever knowing it. With the high failure rate of chemo, radiation, and surgery – and their terrible side effects and dangers (including more cancer) – it’s often better that we don’t know.
This, of course, dovetails with the hypothesis that the tumor serves a purpose and when its purpose is completed, it will dissolve or at least settle in, with its toxic content enclosed so it won’t spread throughout the body to cause harm.
Cancer without disease
Harvard researcher Judah Folkman, PhD, “the father of angiogenesis research,” found that colonies of cancer cells in situ that never develop into clinical cases of cancer are quite common. Folkman called this “cancer without disease.”
He found that for every woman diagnosed with breast cancer, 33 had cancer cells in situ but never got breast cancer. For every person diagnosed with thyroid cancer, 1,000 had cancer colonies in their thyroid and never developed the disease. The vast majority of tumors remain harmless. They never develop into life-threatening cancers and never metastasize. He wrote:
More than one-third of women aged 40 to 50 who did not have cancer-related disease in their lifetime were found at autopsy with in situ tumours in the breast. But breast cancer is diagnosed in only 1% of women in this age group. Similar observations are also reported for prostate cancer in men…. Virtually all autopsied individuals aged 50 to 70 have in situ carcinomas in their thyroid gland, whereas only 0.1% of individuals in this age group are diagnosed with thyroid cancer during this period of their life.
It has long puzzled physicians and scientists why cancer develops and progresses to the lethal only in a very small percentage of the people. The realization that a lot of us carry in situ tumours but do not develop the disease suggests that these microscopic tumours are mostly dormant and need additional signals to grow and become lethal tumours.
This finding was reaffirmed in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine:
Clinically apparent breast cancer afflicts about 1% of all women between the ages of 40 and 50 years. In a recent medicolegal autopsy study, however, small foci of breast cancer were found in 39% of women in this age group. Most cancers were in the form of ductal carcinoma in situ. Furthermore, over 45% of the women with cancer had two or more lesions, and over 40% had bilateral lesions.
I know women who were grateful that a mammogram found an obscure, tiny clump of cancer cells hiding in their breast and who submitted to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. They didn’t realize that, in most cases, their “cancer” would have disappeared on its own.
The natural disappearance of cancer, called spontaneous remission, is an acknowledged fact and has been recorded in thousands of cases. In the book Spontaneous Remission, O’Regan and Hirshberg document over 1,300 cases from biomedical journals describing patients diagnosed as terminal whose tumors and cancers disappeared without care – that is, “spontaneously.” The authors comment:
Since remission happens with unknown frequency it can convincingly be argued that some of both conventional and unconventional therapies’ “successes” are simply cases of remission and have nothing to do with the efficacy of either conventional or unconventional therapies.
Larry Dossey, MD, also comments on this so-called rare phenomenon:
Spontaneous remission occurs when serious, often deadly illnesses such as cancer quickly and inexplicably – some would even say miraculously – disappear. No one knows exactly how often such cases occur. Approximately 3,500 medically documented cases of seeming miracles – based on reports from doctors in America and around the world dating to 1967 – have appeared in 800 peer-reviewed medical journals and cover all major illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
Happily, we are discovering this isn’t so rare:
Spontaneous regression of cancer is not a rare occurrence as thought to be. In an average month during 2002, medical journals published more than four articles on the subject.… Spontaneous regression occurs in most types of cancer….
Why aren’t more cases of spontaneous remission reported? When a patient labeled as “terminal” doesn’t return, doctors rarely follow up. Case closed. No papers are written, and no newspapers report on the cancer patient whose tumor disappeared.
However, this self-curing ability is being noticed more often. For example, a paper in (of all places) the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that spontaneous remission is far more common than previously thought. Even though more frequent screening is finding more cancers, the death rate is unchanged. Therefore, many tumors that would never have caused trouble are being discovered.
Many tumors disappear on their own rather than inevitably grow into large masses. The New York Times reports:
Data from more than two decades of screening for breast and prostate cancer [reveal that] … screening appears to be finding many small tumors that would not be a problem if they were left alone, undiscovered by screening. They were destined to stop growing on their own or shrink, or even, at least in the case of some breast cancers, disappear.
Thousands of cases of spontaneous remission of cancer are completely ignored because they don’t fit in with the medical belief that cancers, once they appear, inexorably grow and ultimately kill. Cancer research should explore how the body quietly, safely, and completely destroys its own cancers.
Moreover, complete remission and robust health have been achieved using procedures that are much safer, gentler, more effective, and far less costly than chemo, radiation, and surgery. These include relatively inexpensive, natural detoxification and nutritional protocols.
What do cancers like to eat?
When my father was dying of esophageal cancer, the hospital dietician gave him a booklet from the National Cancer Institute that contained a list of foods he should add to his diet. On the list were frozen Snickers bars, milkshakes, and ice cream. Recommended were chemically processed foods filled with hydrogenated oils, white sugar, and preservatives.
I stared at the dietary list wondering, “What is the thinking behind this?” I couldn’t contain myself and called the hospital dietician and asked her. She said, “Cancer patients lose weight and waste away, so we give them foods full of sugar and fat so they’ll eat to keep their weight up.”
The problem is that tumors love sugar and glutamine (from glutamate, usually eaten in the form of MSG). If you have cancer and consume a lot of sugar and glutamate, you are feeding the tumor.
Cancer cells like glucose and love fructose
While any cell can consume glucose, only those in the liver can deal with fructose, and that has serious health implications for cancer. High-fructose corn syrup may be much deadlier than we ever thought. Fructose has been especially linked to pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers, and the reason why may have been discovered.
In a paper published in the journal Cancer Research, scientists report discovering that cancer cells use both glucose and fructose, but in different ways. Cancer cells use glucose to function, but fructose causes the cancer cells to increase in number.
More research needs to be done on whether cancer patients should avoid fruit because of high fructose levels. However, since fruit is not necessary for health, it may be wise to avoid or limit its consumption.
What do cancer patients really need to eat?
Otto Warburg, MD, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1931 for his discovery that cancer cells eat and breathe differently than regular cells. Cancer cells can only utilize carbohydrates (sugars) and glutamine for energy.
Normal cells also utilize carbohydrates and glutamine for energy, but they can do something cancer cells cannot do – they can use fats and proteins for energy.
If there aren’t any carbohydrates in the diet, normal cells burn fats or ketones (byproducts of fat metabolism, also known as ketone bodies) for fuel. The process of creating ketones is called ketogenesis. When we burn ketones for energy, we are in a physiological state referred to as ketosis.
Cancer cells cannot use ketones for energy and actually find them toxic. Therefore, shouldn’t tumors starve, deteriorate, and die if there are no carbohydrates and only ketones available? The answer is yes! Along with being toxic to tumors, ketones cause the blood vessels supplying the tumors with nutrients to deteriorate (the technical term for this is anti-angiogenesis).
How do we achieve ketosis? With a ketogenic diet, a high-fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate diet that causes the body to create ketones. A ketogenic diet is an anti-cancer diet for the above reasons. This phenomenon is described in Tripping Over the Truth:
Cancer needs glucose to survive. When glucose is restricted, the cancer cell is forced to compete with healthy cells for any available glucose. And while healthy cells effortlessly transition to burning ketone bodies, cancer cells, unable to, are put under tremendous metabolic pressure and oxidative pressure…
According to [researchers] Seyfried and D’Agostino the foundation of metabolic therapy begins with the restricted ketogenic diet … preclinically, and in case studies, the diet has been shown to slow tumor growth.
Ketosis is our natural state. Babies are born in ketosis. When we have a deep sleep, we are in ketosis. Fats (ketone bodies) are a much better fuel than carbohydrates because they burn cleaner and release more energy.
Anyone with cancer or any chronic illness should begin a ketogenic diet as an antidote to the standard American diet. It is an ideal cancer prevention and treatment diet, and research continues to indicate its power. For example, malignant brain cancer is a major disease in adults and is the second leading cause of cancer death in children. In one study, ketogenic diets were given to mice with malignant astrocytoma and to a human with malignant glioma. An anti-angiogenic effect was noted:
A dependency on glucose for energy together with defects in ketone body metabolism largely account for why the brain tumors grow minimally on either a ketogenic [calorie]-restricted diet or on a standard [calorie]-restricted diet.
It is possible to go into ketosis through diet alone. However, for some, it may take weeks or months for the body to transition from burning carbohydrates to burning fats for fuel. There are commercial products made up of therapeutic ketones available that can bring people into ketosis within a short period and assist in generating higher levels of ketones.
Dietary steps you can take immediately
Adopt an organic, nutrient-dense ketogenic diet. As noted, eating glutamate, sugars, and other refined carbohydrates feeds tumors. Switching to an organic, nutrient-dense ketogenic diet starves tumors. The ketogenic diet also has powerful detoxification and anti-inflammatory powers.
Organic means the food was grown free of pesticides and herbicides and is not genetically modified. However, even foods labeled as organic may be grown in depleted soils and may not be ideally nutritious. Seek organic foods that are nutrient dense. Always select organic, raw milk products from grassfed (pasture-fed) cows, goats, sheep, etc.
Stop the toxins. This is most important. Avoid all junk foods – sugars, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods. Eliminate pasteurized, homogenized, and low-fat milk and dairy products from your diet. Avoid glucose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, and agave. Artificial sweeteners are especially toxic and are linked to cancer. These include aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal), and sucralose (Splenda). White, refined sugar has been linked to breast, prostate, ovarian, colon, and pancreatic cancers. As a general rule, if it wasn’t around when your great-grandparents were living, avoid it.
Choose healthy fats and oils. Avoid soy, canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed oils, as they are artificially produced, have a high chance of being rancid, and are full of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Especially avoid oils or fats that are “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated,” such as Crisco and margarine. Select fats from traditional sources: coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, palm oil, and animal fats such as butter, ghee, lard, beef tallow, chicken fat, goose grease, and duck fat. Animal fats should be from pastured or free-range animals that were grassfed or fed their natural diets.
Avoid non-fermented soy – it’s not health food. Only consume fermented soy products, such as tempeh, miso, natto, tamari, and soy sauce. Unfermented soy products, such as edamame, tofu, soybeans, soymilk, soybean oil, soy lecithin, and soy protein, should be eliminated from the diet. Non-fermented soy has been linked to breast and thyroid cancer, hormonal imbalances, infertility, and other conditions.
When soy protein is processed, toxic lysinoalanine, carcinogenic nitrosamines, and free glutamic acid, a potent neurotoxin, are formed. Two soy phytochemicals (genistein and daidzein) are linked to childhood leukemia and to breast cancer. In addition, genistein is linked to uterine cancer. Soy has also been linked to pancreatic cancer.
There are many health risks associated with soy. It contains high levels of phytic acid, which inhibits the body’s ability to use calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. Soy also increases your body’s requirement for vitamin D.
Avoid GMOs. Genetically modified foods are toxic and have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals. GMO foods are created when genes are inserted into plants or animals to create life forms that have never before appeared in nature. Such foods can cause inflammation and a myriad of other health problems.
Dow Chemical’s Enlist-brand corn and soy are genetically engineered with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), a toxic chemical that was part of the Vietnam War-era herbicide Agent Orange. 2,4-D has been linked to liver damage, endocrine disruption, depressed thyroid hormone levels, infertility, and cancer. 2,4-D-resistant crops will be able to withstand huge amounts of 2,4-D – a poison that will wind up in our food as well as our soil, water, and air. Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant soybeans are a close cousin of these Agent Orange crops.
Sadly, much of the US-produced wheat, corn, zucchini, sugar beets, papaya, soy, and even farm-raised salmon are genetically modified. Animals fed GMO corn, soy, and wheat produce milk, eggs, butter, cheese, cream, yogurt, and meat that is GMO contaminated.
Hopefully, truth-in-labeling laws will be passed in the US so the public will know which foods contain GMO ingredients and can choose accordingly. In the meantime, please seek out organic foods (USDA-Organic) and animals raised on organic food. Be aware that thousands of foods in the supermarket, especially those in bags, boxes, and cans, are contaminated with GMO ingredients.
Suppressive medical therapies
Since the time of Hippocrates, there have been physicians who held that medical care that interferes with the body’s expression of symptoms – and the release or neutralization of toxins – should be avoided. According to this viewpoint, it is inadvisable and dangerous to interfere with symptom expression because it can result in the sickness being driven deeper into the body. Symptoms are beneficial manifestations by which the organism restores balance and homeostasis. Thus, symptoms must be respected and understood, not suppressed.
Our constant swallowing, injecting, applying, and inserting medications to suppress symptoms result in the majority of Americans having a chronic illness, an illness so deep that it never goes away. The constant suppression of symptoms may make us feel comfortable, but it comes at a terrible price.
Before the medical profession was taken over by the pharmaceutical industry, some of the most illustrious doctors of their age warned us:
To suppress acute diseases means to suppress Nature’s purifying and healing efforts, and to change the acute constructive reactions into chronic disease conditions. – Henry Lindlahr, MD
The person who takes medicine must recover twice. Once from the disease and once from the medicine. – William Osler, MD
Sadly, much of the practice of medicine – including most prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vaccines, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery – is suppressive.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs and cancer
Statin drugs that lower blood cholesterol do not prevent heart attacks or save lives. Drugs such as Lipitor and Crestor have been linked to cancer, brain damage, depression, muscle damage, pain, and many other problems. For example, a study of women aged 55-74 taking statins for 10-plus years revealed more than double the risk of lobular and ductal breast carcinoma. Cholesterol-lowering drugs interfere with the body’s ability to produce CoQ10, which the heart needs for proper function. Lack of CoQ10 is considered one reason for the muscle pains and other symptoms, including sudden heart attack, that have been linked to low cholesterol levels.
Serious causes of toxicity that often go unrecognized include dental and oral pathologies, which have been linked to cancer and many other chronic, life-threatening illnesses. Addressing oral toxicity may make the difference between continued sickness or recovery, between life and death.
The dental focal infection theory states that germs from a central (focal) infection, such as in decaying teeth, roots, inflamed gum tissues, or tonsils, can spread and infect the heart, eyes, kidneys, lungs, or other organs and tissues.
Many clinicians have observed this phenomenon over the years. Thomas Rau, MD, who runs the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland, reports that of 150 consecutive breast cancer patients treated in his clinic, “147 of them (98%) had one or more root canal teeth on the same meridian as their original breast cancer tumor.” He now goes so far as to recommend that any cancer patient he treats first see a biological dentist for an exam and even removal of all root canal teeth.
According to Hal Huggins, DDS, a leading critic of modern dentistry, “Dental problems such as cavities, infections, toxic or allergy-producing filling materials, root canals, and misalignment of the teeth or jaw can have far-reaching effects throughout the body.”
Josef M. Issels, MD, was a German physician specializing in alternative cancer treatments. During his career, Dr. Issels and the doctors in his clinic saw 8,000 patients – many who were diagnosed as terminal. Cures were documented of patients who had been declared incurable by conventional medicine. Most importantly, Dr. Issels would not begin treating patients until their root canals and oral infections were addressed. In Cancer: A Second Opinion, he writes:
Only total, thorough dental treatment will really succeed in giving the body’s defense a chance…. The growth of the tumor itself is very often distinctly slowed down by focus treatment. Now and then tumor development stops altogether, and sometimes even regresses. The head foci therefore seem not only to contribute to the development of secondary lesions, to the origin of cancer disease, but also to exert a direct influence on tumor growth by stimulating it. Many tumors seem to respond to immunological therapy only when foci have been removed.
What should be done with a root canal? As a general rule, there should be immediate removal – a dead tooth must not stay in one’s mouth. After extraction, the periodontal ligament must be removed and the socket sterilized. The empty space is filled with a false tooth using a bridge, Nesbit partial, implant, or some other device that you discuss with your biological/holistic dentist. Zirconium implants are considered safer than titanium implants.
In addition to root canals, there is another source of dangerous toxicity in the mouth. When a tooth has been extracted and the bone has not healed properly, this potentially gangrenous area (a cavitation) may be a source of toxins. Cavitations may also be due to trauma to the face or jaw.
Anyone diagnosed with cancer or any chronic illness needs to see a biological/holistic dentist for an examination, which will probably include a panoramic x-ray or some other imaging. These dentists are specially trained to locate and safely address dental toxicity caused by dead teeth, root canals, mercury amalgams (the copper and mercury are toxic), infected crowns (especially if they contain nickel), oral infections, and cavitations.
Somatic mutation theory
The theory that genetic mutations are the cause of cancer is called the somatic mutation theory (SMT) of carcinogenesis. It has held the medical community spellbound for decades. Common sense tells us that the explosion of cancer rates cannot be solely related to genetic mutations since our genetic composition hasn’t changed in the past few thousand years.
The results of this approach have led to some bizarre “treatments.” Women told they have a “cancer gene” can be frightened into having their healthy breasts or ovaries removed to prevent cancer.
Blaming our genes is unscientific. The science of epigenetics reveals that by altering our environment – what we eat, drink, think, and are exposed to – we can, in fact, change our genetic expression for the better or for the worse. We have much more power than we realize.
There is no “cancer gene.” The ultimate failure of the SMT is that cancer tumors have unique genes, as unique as one’s fingerprints. Thomas Seyfried, PhD, independently discovered that cancer is a metabolic disease – a disease of impaired mitochondrial energy production – not a genetic disease. In Tripping over the Truth, his research is discussed:
Left unprotected, the chromosomes are vulnerable to mutations by the increasing generation of free radicals from the damaged mitochondria … mutations thought to initiate the disease are merely a side effect…. The mutations at the heart of SMT of cancer were downstream to the true cause: damaged mitochondria … the mutations seen in the DNA of cancer cells are “red herrings” that had sent researchers on a futile hunt.
Our genes are not our fate
We are not our genes; we are what our genes express. Our genetic expression – which genes are turned on and off – is influenced by many factors. The science of epigenetics reveals that nutrition, exposure to toxins, radiation, and even our stress levels and thoughts can influence genetic expression. Dawson Church, PhD, author of The Genie in Your Genes, puts it this way:
The old view that our genes contain indelible instructions governing the functioning of our bodies is, in the scornful words of my offspring, “So twentieth century.” We now know that a host of other factors determine which genes are expressed. Some of these are physical, like diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Others are metaphysical, like beliefs, attitudes, spirituality, and thoughts.
You are not destined to get cancer, a stroke, heart disease, or mental illness – you were born to live a long, happy, healthy, fulfilling life. Because we are all unique, multifaceted, incredibly complex individuals, restoring ourselves to harmony, wholeness, and health may involve employing many different disciplines. When dealing with a life-threatening illness, do as many things as possible to heal and be open to inspiration and guidance.
Adapted from the book Cancer is Natural, So is the Cure by Dr. Tedd Koren. Available at korenwellness.com/cancersnaturalcure.
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About the Author
Tedd Koren, DC, received his professional degree from the Sherman College of Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC, where he graduated with honors as class valedictorian in 1977. The following year, he helped found the Pennsylvania College of Chiropractic, where he taught histology, neurology, and chiropractic adjusting techniques. His recent discovery, Koren Specific Technique (KST), has given chiropractors more tools than ever before to correct subluxations, imbalances, blockages, and disharmony in the mind/body. Today, Dr. Koren devotes himself to teaching KST, writing, speaking, and doing research. He lectures on chiropractic philosophy, science, and art, as well as childhood vaccination, cancer, and other subjects. His continuing education seminars are among the most popular in the profession. He writes for Koren Publications and contributes to chiropractic and biomedical publications. For more information, visit korenwellness.com.
Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Spring 2018 | Volume 42 Number 1
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