Skin carcinoma treatment alternatives

The Skin Cancer Treatment Toolbox

Skin cancer treatment strategies are presented that can be used against squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma lesions. These strategies target the traits of skin cancers identified by a simple but comprehensive model of cancer based on pancreatin enzymes. By taking steps to impede the cancer's growth and improve the performance of the body's own defense mechanisms, natural skin cancer healing is possible!

treatment options for squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma

Squamous and Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment Strategies Part I

See also Part II

This is the first part of a collection of skin cancer treatment strategies that harmonize with the pancreatin enzyme theory of cancer. All these strategies are either free or inexpensive to try. Nearly all the supplements mentioned are easy to find at vitamin stores or supermarkets. Do not consider these ideas as medical advice for your unique situation or as a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Especially, if you think you may have melanoma, see a doctor immediately. These treatment strategies may not produce beneficial results for everyone. The strategies are not presented in any specific order. Consider these strategies as tools: they can be very useful or they can be inappropriate or misused depending on the circumstance. Understand that you try any of these strategies entirely at your own risk. See my statement of caution and disclaimer.

Here are the strategies:

(1) Investigate the many sources of alternative cancer treatment information

Conventional medicine generally relies on surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy to treat cancer.  Although relatively few people die from squamous or basal cell skin cancers when treated with these procedures, they are not very satisfactory because of disfigurement and frequent recurrences.  Alternative medicine approaches that endeavor to optimize the capabilities of the immune system against cancer are especially attractive. Many of these alternatives are supported by credible scientific research. The skin cancer resource page has links to leading web sites that disseminate the most current scientific cancer research results plus outstanding alternative medicine sites that emphasize natural healing approaches. These research results and approaches can be adapted to heal and prevent skin cancers.

At least glance through One Answer to Cancer by Dr William Kelley, first written in 1967. The book provides a sound basis for cancer healing by optimizing the function of the immune system using natural pancreatin enzymes. It also provides practical strategies, many of which I tried to include here. This book will give the reader realistic hope for natural cancer healing and perspective on the battle ahead. A person may think they are treating only a small skin cancer lesion but may have other undiagnosed cancers elsewhere in the body as well. The book is necessary preparation for those placed in that situation. Anyway, the price is right (it is free). An update to this book is also available at Current cancer treatments based on this protocol, such as from Dr Gonzalez in New York City, are now recognized as legitimate and effective.

(2) The protein gap

Leave one long span of at least twelve hours and preferably longer without protein intake each day. This daily protein fast is necessary so that pancreatin enzymes can be freed from their other job of digesting protein in food to work instead on cancer eradication throughout the body. Cancer is often a disease of protein metabolism. Daily protein intake is needed for muscle maintenance and healing, but skipping protein during one or preferably two meals makes sense. Never eat a late night snack containing protein. This strategy is easy to underestimate in importance. The cancer also needs protein based building blocks to grow and this strategy limits its available supply. The official protein recommended daily allowance (RDA) depends on body weight:

Protein RDA Table: RDA (grams)= 0.36* (Weight in lbs.)
Body Weight in Pounds Daily Protein in Grams
100 36
125 45
150 54
175 63
200 72
250 90

Try to eat for your ideal weight. As a point of reference, a 6 ounce can of tuna supplies about 40 grams of protein. A piece of meat about the same size will supply similar amounts of protein. Adjustments should be made for individual circumstances such as the activity level. The average person consumes almost twice this recommended daily amount, and high protein diets that triple or quadruple this amount are not uncommon. Keep in mind the RDA is a recommended level and not a minimum level so that one can consume less than this amount, at least on a temporary basis.

Blood type may have an influence on individual daily protein requirements. People with blood type A comprise about 40% of the population and have more difficulty with protein metabolism than people with blood types O and B.

One can take this strategy of limiting protein too far, so be observant for signs of protein deficiency such as "flaky paint" skin. For treatment purposes, the RDA level should probably be considered a maximum level. Deficiencies are easy to reverse by slightly increasing protein intake. Another point to consider is that many of the enzymes the body produces are ultimately derived from protein in the diet.

(3) Supplement pancreatin enzymes

I began by doing this only topically, but now I think it makes sense to use digestive enzymes containing pancreatin orally as the primary way to supplement. A drawback of applying pancreatin topically is that a person needs knowledge of the skin cancer location; by applying it orally the body automatically finds and fixes them all. I think this leads more systematically to a completely cancer free body. Topical pancreatin treatments can be combined with oral pancreatin supplements to increase the dose applied to the cancer, potentially speeding up healing and minimizing the costs involved.

I found that pancreatin produces a flushing of the skin, especially when treatment is first started. If I took too much I would look like a cooked lobster. So the amount to take and the timing for me was initially regulated by that flushing effect, which lasted for several hours. I tried to keep a pink tinge to my skin by taking just small pieces of the pancreatin supplement tablets many times a day when first starting. Later I was able to take six tablets or more at a time with no noticeable side effects. I am sure the amount needed by each person is unique but I ended up going through 8-12 tablets a day, with the biggest dose taken at night before sleeping.

What should one look for in a enzyme supplement? Trypsin and chymotrypsin are the protein dissolving enzymes in pancreatin believed to be most effective against cancer. Amylases are carbohydrate dissolving enzymes that improve the effectiveness of the protein dissolving enzymes by removing hair-like strands protruding from the cancer cell membrane that can block the access of protein dissolving enzymes. Most inexpensive enzyme supplements will not indicate the presence of trypsin and chymotrypsin on the label, instead grouping their function as proteases along with any other protein dissolving enzymes. It is not safe to assume trypsin and chymotrypsin are present in effective amounts in every enzyme supplement containing pancreatin. According to Dr. Kelley, it is now difficult and expensive to find worthy pancreatin supplements, specifically because the chymotrypsin content is usually minimal. If one has access to a butcher shop, obtaining the pancreas or sweetbreads (dry, cook, eat raw? you are really on your own here) and skipping supplements entirely might be considered.

Other ingredients are often included in enzyme supplements. Pepsin is a protein dissolving enzyme that works only in an acidic environment, so it might be a good choice to include with meals. The plant derived enzymes papain (papaya), and bromelain (pineapple) could also be beneficial for digestion. Betaine hydrochloride, a strong acid, is sometimes added to enzyme supplements. For cancer eradication purposes, betaine hydrochloride should not be taken at the same time with pancreatin enzyme supplements. Betaine hydrochloride taken alone with meals is useful in improving digestion in the stomach so that less digestion will later be required by pancreatin enzymes.

Since pancreatin is destroyed by stomach acid and needs to be absorbed in the intestine to fight cancer, an important consideration is to get the supplements past the stomach and into the intestine as rapidly as possible. Take supplements on an empty stomach if possible. Take the supplements while standing or sitting, rather than lying down. Taking extra pancreatin at night before sleeping on an empty stomach with antacids, or the stomach acid reducer cimetadine (Tagamet), and water, seems like a good idea to me. For cancer prevention purposes, taking pancreatin at night would seem to be most beneficial. I thought it was kind of a waste to take pancreatin supplements with meals because I felt they would be destroyed before doing anything useful, but most other sources recommend doing so.

A good vitamin specialty store will have as many as ten or more brands and types of enzymes from which to choose. There is concern regarding the quality of pancreatin supplements available in vitamin stores. Even prescription versions of pancreatin used in the treatment of cystic fibrosis have proven to be inconsistent, prompting a recent FDA admonishment to improve these products. Combining enzyme supplements from a couple of different sources can provide a broader spectrum of enzymes and alleviate some quality concerns.

Typical good quality pancreatin enzyme supplement

This Source Naturals Pancreatin 8X product is a good enzyme supplement value.

I have used several enzyme products that I think are representative of what is available for about $10 for a bottle of 90 to 100 tablets or capsules.

GNC Enzyme Digestant contains Pancreatin 400 mg, alpha-Amylase 130 mg, betaine hydrochloride 65mg, pepsin 65 mg, papain 65 mg, Ox Bile Extract 8:1 8.1 mg.

Vitamin World Pancreatin Enzyme contains 1400 mg pancreatin (233.3 mg of pancreatin 8:1 extract) providing 40 mg amylase, 40 mg lipase, and 40 mg protease.

Pancreatin by NOW Foods provides Pancreatin 4X 500 mg, (Amylase 50,000 USP units, Protease 50,000 USP units (Trypsin and Chymotrypsin), Lipase 9000 USP units) This product is a powder in a gelatin capsule, making it easy to include in topical preparations by pulling the gelatin capsule apart. Twinlabs makes a similar product.

Source Naturals Pancreatin 8X has protease 100000 USP units, Lipase 18000 USP units, and amylase 100000 USP units in a gelatin capsule.  This is my current preferred brand.

Based on the enzyme deficiency cancer theory, higher doses than I took can be considered. Higher doses are consistent with Dr Kelley's proven methodology. Actually, the current Dr Gonzalez recommendation is for 45000 mg a day, which is a lot of pills (32 to 112 of the above types) to take each day. Side effects that can be expected with high doses (and cancer) are flu like symptoms and nausea. Oddly, nausea can be a good sign. Nausea is simply an indication that the cancer is being dissolved at a high rate. Nausea should not be experienced if cancer is not present and can be controlled by the dose. Frequent urination is another side effect I noticed. The expense and number of tablets one feels comfortable taking per day may also be limiting factors on the dose. Topical treatments are a way to increase the level of enzymes presented to the cancer without consuming large amounts orally.

Even though enzymes are catalysts, they promote reactions that tend to make the body more acidic, which in turn depletes them. It is important to make sure the body chemistry is not acidic by checking saliva acidity regularly and adjusting it if enzyme supplementation is being considered.

See your doctor for advice if you are taking any medications. It might be prudent to monitor blood pressure during treatment because enzymes tend to raise it. Based on John Beard's views concerning preeclampsia in pregnancy, including amylase enzymes may help to offset any increase in blood pressure induced by enzyme therapy. A good side effect is that enzymes can clear up allergy symptoms.

(4) Limit alcohol use

Alcohol destroys pancreatin and interferes with digestion. Moderate red wine consumption is actually a beneficial risk factor for cancer, probably due in part to a polyphenol called resveratrol or because alcohol interferes with mercury absorption. I would limit even red wine consumption during treatment because alcohol needs to be detoxified and the liver already has enough to do with processing cancer debris.

A 2007 study found that moderate alcohol consumption significantly increased the tumor size of breast cancer in mice. The equivalent of 2 drinks a day caused a 2-fold increase in tumor weight vs. control mice. The study also found that moderate alcohol intake caused an increase in tumor blood vessel density vs. the control group, and that a hormone called VEGF associated with tumor blood vessel growth was increased in the alcohol group.  Even moderate alcohol consumption appears to promote cancer growth. Watch for alcohol in products such as mouth washes.

Discontinue any topical alcohol use, such as topical minoxidil, some deodorants, after shave lotions, and colognes. Alcohol in cosmetics is often in the form of isopropyl alcohol that, according to some sources, may enable parasites to flourish. Parasites can tie up the immune system unnecessarily, and may even promote cancer by stimulating stem cells to form trophoblastic barriers around the parasite. If these stem cells suffer genetic damage, such as from ultraviolet radiation, they can become cancers.

(5) Discontinue topical acid use

Acids such as alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) destroy pancreatin and may cause cell damage. Exfoliates such as these products remove the dead outer part of the skin but this potentially exposes the live cells underneath to more UV radiation.  Many cosmetic manufacturers try to match the natural acidity level of the outer part of the skin and so these cosmetics are also potentially destructive to pancreatin.

A low cost (~$6-10 at pet stores) and easy to use pH test kit for aquariums can be used to check for the acidity of cosmetics. The test kit procedure is described on the acid test page. Just substitute the cosmetic for the saliva sample. Possibly baking soda can be added incrementally to the cosmetic, using the aquarium test kit to check the pH level, to neutralize the acid if the other ingredients in the cosmetic are considered valuable. The baking soda will tend to make an acidic cosmetic watery because as the acid is neutralized it is converted to water. In my experiments with topical pancreatin, I noticed the potency of the mixture I applied seemed to decline rapidly over time if it was acidic.

Exceptions to this topical acid rule may include some beneficial fatty acids with anticarcinogenic properties. These possibly include ellagic acid, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), stearic acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), and gamma linolenic acid (GLA).  Just because a compound has "acid" in its name it does not necessarily mean the compound is to be avoided.

(6) Exercise regularly

Exercise minimizes muscle atrophy so that the cancer cannot sap the protein it needs to grow from muscle wasting. It is important to exercise at least as much as before the treatment period. Keeping muscles hungry for protein and glucose makes the cancer compete for the available food supply. Exercise also enhances circulation to aid pancreatin transportation to the cancer site and to flush acidic wastes away from the cancer site. Moderate levels of exercise such as walking are probably preferable to very intense exercise in order to minimize lactic acid and histamine production. Histamine and lactic acid are also produced by cancers and appear to be integral to the cancer growth cycle. Even a walk around the block helps to prevent the lymph system from becoming stagnant. Exercise also prompts the body to produce more melatonin, one of its most effective hormones to fight cancers.

A 2007 Rutgers study involving mice found that both exercise and oral caffeine (amount equivalent to a cup or two of coffee) reduced the incidence and severity of skin cancer.   Caffeine apparently promotes a natural self destruction mechanism of cells called apoptosis. This causes damaged cells to kill themselves, a type of programmed cell suicide that prevents development of abnormal growths. Caffeine acts selectively, causing the aberrant cells to die while not affecting normal cells.   Compared to the UVB-exposed control animals, the caffeine drinkers showed an approximately 95 percent increase in UVB-induced apoptosis and the exercisers showed a 120 percent increase. The mice that consumed caffeine and exercised showed a nearly 400 percent increase in UVB-induced apoptosis over a group that had no access to an exercise wheel and had no caffeine.

(7) Limit meat and dairy products

Meats and dairy products have the potential for high content of protein, carcinogens, female hormones, iron, and growth hormone factors. Red meat consumption is a significant established risk factor for cancer. Pork products in particular are associated with a higher incidence of certain cancers. Processed, smoked, or well done meats increase the risk. A group of carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines or HCAs can form when meat is cooked too long at high heat. HCAs tend to form when moisture is removed from meat. HCA formation in cooked meats can be minimized by cooking slower at lower temperatures, marinating, or precooking in the microwave. Discard burned portions of meats. A crock pot is a good way to cook meat.

Dairy product consumption has been associated with certain cancers through IGF-1 (insulin-like growth hormone factor 1). IGF-1 seems to promote the rapid growth of cancers. Cows treated with rBGH, a synthetic hormone used to increase milk production that is banned in many countries (but not the US), produce extra IGF-1. High serum IGF-1 levels are strongly linked to prostate, lung, colon, and breast cancers. Oddly enough, IGF-1 supplements are available, but of course are not recommended. Be very careful of mixing growth hormones and cancer. The intended purpose of milk is to promote rapid cell growth to aid the survival of the baby. This is similar to the needs of cancer. Vitamin D, flax seed, and lycopene (from tomatoes) can reduce the effect of IGF-1.

Using soy products as a protein source or dairy alternative is a question mark; some sources say soy products block estrogen, others say that they add estrogen (but a weaker form of it). Soy products also are promoted as protease enzyme inhibitors (see pancreatin enzyme theory of cancer), which is incompatible with pancreatin based treatments. According to Dr Kelley's book, eggs are an ideal source of protein.

Red meats and blood are a leading source of iron in the diet. Cancer cells require large amounts of iron to replicate. Excess iron intake and iron stores in tissues are implicated in many cancers.  Excess iron causes insulin resistance, raising blood glucose levels that fuel cancers. Excessive iron can also diminish the pancreas capability to produce the sodium bicarbonate that provides an alkaline environment for pancreatin enzymes. 

Iron intake has similar historical trend to melanoma incidence

Graph showing historical trends of various minerals in food consumed in the US over the past century. The red line depicting iron intake has a similar shape to melanoma incidence over this time period. As a reminder, cancer incidence rates were very low in 1909. Data source USDA.

Much like protein, an appropriate amount of iron is required by the body, so the situation is tricky to balance. Anemia, a condition where the blood lacks the capability to deliver sufficient oxygen to cells, promotes cancer growth and can be caused by insufficient iron. Because cancer thrives in in a low oxygen environment and immune defenses do not, anemia must be avoided!  Unless there is a mechanism for blood loss, most people do not have to worry about anemia. Cold hands and feet are a symptom of anemia. IP6, mentioned later, binds and removes excess iron. Multivitamins with iron,  fortified breads and cereals, tobacco use, air pollution, alcohol consumption, excessive vitamin C intake, and iron cookware can also contribute to high iron levels. Chemotherapy can also lead to anemia.

(8) Consider supplementing CLA

Meats and dairy products do contain a remarkable cancer fighting nutrient called conjugated linoleic acid or CLA (Tonalin). A steady decline in the amount of CLA supplied by meats and dairy products in the diet through the past 50 years years can be attributed to modern farming practices. The meat of grass-fed cows contains up to four times as much CLA as cows fattened in feed lots. Today's dairy products have only about one third of the CLA content they used to have before 1960. CLA stimulates the immune system, inhibits cancer growth, improves insulin sensitivity (be careful if diabetic), improves blood lipid levels, improves lean body mass to fat ratios, and has no known practical toxicity levels.  Organic dairy products could be expected to have more CLA because there is a certification requirement to have adequate pasture available to the animals.

CLA can be supplied in large controlled amounts though supplements. Although CLA may appear to be just another weight loss supplement, its anticancer properties appear to be real and should not be overlooked. Typical doses are 0.75 grams to 4 grams a day. One can also consider applying CLA topically to guarantee the cancer is subjected to a high dose. This can be done by puncturing the CLA softball supplement and spreading the oil inside with the fingers. Keep CLA away from the eyes because it is very irritating.

(9) Reduce blood glucose levels

Take steps to reduce blood glucose levels. The popular saying that "sugar feeds cancer" probably has a lot of truth. Glucose is a sugar that is the staple food of cancer cells. My understanding is that cancer cells metabolize glucose anaerobically (without oxygen or at least with very little oxygen) and generate lactic acid which in turn attacks muscle. If you have ever exercised too much and experienced sore muscles, you are familiar with lactic acid. Some of this muscle protein may be then used by the cancer to grow. Anyway, almost everyone agrees it is wise to try to avoid high glycemic index foods like sugar and starches.

Chromium supplements can lower glucose levels significantly, on the order of 7%. This may not sound like a big improvement at first glance. However, normal fasting glucose levels range from 60-90, so that the most desirable baseline level is really 60 instead of zero. So if the fasting glucose level is 100, then 7 points is just about the improvement level needed all by itself to get into the normal range. Chromium picolinate is the most popular chromium supplement and also the least expensive. On a bad note, chromium picolinate has been linked to DNA damage in a few studies, one of the three requisites for cancer. Chromium polynicotinate (ChromeMate, chromium bound to niacin) is harder to find but seems to be the best choice for supplementing. But by far the best way to reduce blood glucose levels is to pretend you are a diabetic and cut down on sweets and refined foods like white flour and white rice.

(10) Eat cancer fighting foods and nutrients

Eat more raw, unprocessed, uncooked, and natural foods to supply nutrients and enzymes for healing and repairing cell damage. Many useful enzymes in foods can be damaged or destroyed by heating. Look for organic apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, raspberries, spinach, and strawberries because they often have high levels of pesticides. These otherwise wonderful foods are called the "dirty dozen" because they account for as much as 90% of our exposure to pesticides in foods.

Include a multivitamin supplement and additional vitamins C and E, selenium, folic acid, and co-enzyme Q10. The ascorbic acid form of vitamin C is very acidic and may destroy pancreatin, especially if taken at the same time. Take vitamin C with meals. Another form of vitamin C, calcium ascorbate or ester C, does not have this acidity problem.

Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomato products that has been associated with reduced prostate cancer risk. Lycopene counteracts the cancer growth promoter IGF-1. Lycopene is more easily absorbed if the tomato has been cooked. About 20 mg of Lycopene a week is needed to make a significant difference, so do not expect too much from the 3 mg per week typically included in multivitamin supplements.

Broccoli and other cruciferous (cross shaped leaves) vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts contain the cancer fighting chemicals D-glucarate, sulfurophane, di-indolylmethane (DIM), and indole-3-carbinol (I3C). DIM and its precursor I3C are available in supplements but have low bioavailability in plain formulations.  Broccoli sprouts have an especially high sulfurophane content. These compounds are said to affect estrogen metabolism and/or activate cancer attacking enzymes. Other cruciferous vegetables include radishes, turnips, kale, chard, and rutabaga.

Garlic, oregano, curry (contains turmeric or its extract curcumin), and olive leaf may be helpful. Dark grapes, carrots, maitake and shiitake mushrooms, and almonds are sometimes advocated as having cancer healing properties. The liver, which has to process the dead cancer cells, can be pampered with artichokes and milk thistle.

Strawberries and red raspberries have been associated with reduced cancer risk. This is probably due to their ellagic acid content, a powerful and well studied natural anticarcinogenic compound. Walnuts and pomegranates are other good sources of ellagic acid. Topical ellagic acid has been shown in studies to inhibit skin cancer.

(11) Watch out for trans fats and omega 6 oils

There are good fats and bad fats for cancer treatment and prevention. By limiting protein intake, fat intake may also plummet too low. Fat is necessary and should not be regarded as undesirable. But it is important to be discerning about the effects of fats on cancer.

Omega 3 polyunsaturated oils from fish, walnuts, and flax seeds have been shown to inhibit cancer growth through an antiestrogen mechanism. On the other hand, much more common omega 6 polyunsaturated oils can promote cancer growth by stimulating the overproduction of "bad" prostaglandins. These are hormones that encourage inflammation and the growth of small blood vessels, two things needed by cancers.  Omega 6 content is especially high in corn, sunflower, safflower oil, cottonseed, and soybean oils. Consider using olive oil for foods that will not be cooked. Extra virgin olive oil is an ideal source of fat and contains polyphenols that disrupt cancer by inhibiting estrogen from reacting with the cell.

Check the ingredients of prepared foods to completely avoid trans-fats or hydrogenated fats (fried foods, margarines, vegetable shortening, pastries, candies, french fries, biscuits).  Dairy products are one of the few natural sources of trans fats but most of the concern is rightly directed at refined foods. Partially hydrogenated oils are not partially bad, they are totally bad! Trans fats take up residence in cell membranes but are not permeable.  When improperly located in a cell membrane, trans fats impede the normal cellular exchange that lets nutrition and oxygen in and wastes out. Trans fats are also a cause for insulin resistance and diabetes. Insulin is a very large molecule it has a difficult time passing through a cell wall clogged with man made fats. The body often ends up rejecting cells with trans fats. They become isolated by fatty deposits on the heart muscle and arteries. These lesions block circulation, damage heart action, inhibit cell renewal and impede the free flow of blood and lymph fluids.

Saturated fats, and especially those from plant sources, do not appear to have an impact on cancer. Saturated fats are are good for cooking because they are stable. Concerns about animal fats include cancer promoting hormones and toxins that may accompany them. Coconut oil has a completely undeserved bad reputation for good health but is an ideal oil for cooking. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid (found abundantly in human milk) that enhances the performance of tumor necrosis (killing) factor present in the body by 60 times. See the topical page for a skin cancer remedy using coconut oil.

(12) Blend flaxseed with cottage cheese

One of the simplest cures for cancer was proposed in 1950's by Dr. Johanna Budwig, a German biochemist.  Dr. Budwig found the blood of cancer patients was deficient in certain important essential ingredients derived from omega 3 oils called phosphatides and lipoproteins, while the blood of a healthy person usually contains sufficient quantities of these essential nutrients. She found that when these nutrients were restored by eating a combination of organic flax seed oil and low fat cottage cheese blended together, cancer tumors shrank. Testimonials for the effectiveness of the Budwig protocol can be found for almost every type of cancer.  It is also claimed to work for heart disease and arthritis.

Modern research has provided vindication for Budwig and insights as to why flax seed can be so powerful against cancers. One study found flax seeds increase the apoptosis or self-suicide index of their breast cancer cells by 31%. Both the flax oil and the natural lignan precursors in flaxseed were necessary to achieve these results. Lignans are produced in the intestines by bacteria that convert the precursors in flaxseeds into different lignan molecules. These lignans then readily enter the blood. Lignans compete with estrogen for binding to its receptors and they are anti-angiogenesis factors (they stop blood vessel growth into tumors).

inexpensive flaxseed meal

This inexpensive flaxseed meal product available in supermarkets can be mixed with lowfat yogurt or cottage cheese as part of the Budwig diet cancer protocol.

Another study found that flaxseed counteracts insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and epidermal growth factor, two major growth factors for cancer cells of all types. Tumor cells secrete an angiogenesis factor called VEGF which induces the formation of blood vessels into the tumors. Flaxseed inhibits cancer metastasis and does so partially through the inhibition of VEGF release from cancer cells. In yet another study, flaxseed products were shown to reduce the metastasis of melanoma cells, one of the most metastatic of all cancers and clearly the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

A simple strategy for skin cancer is to eat daily a quarter cup or more of flaxseed meal mixed in low fat organic plain yogurt or cottage cheese. How the mixture is prepared is important because we are trying to cause a certain chemical reaction between the oils in the flax seeds and the proteins in the yogurt or cottage cheese.  This can be accomplished by using a blender to thoroughly mix the ingredients and make the flax seed particles as small as possible. Another good method is to grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder just before adding them to yogurt. Either way, let the blended mixture stand for a few minutes. The mixture can be sweetened with organic fruit spread. It should be noted that the Budwig protocol had several forbidden foods such as sugar, all animal fats, all meats, margarine, all  foods with trans-fatty acids, butter, salad oils with the exception of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and preservatives in food.  She also stressed the importance of adequate sunlight on health.

(13) Alkalize your body

Try to make the body chemistry less hostile to pancreatin by choosing foods that make the body less acidic. There is a theory that acidosis or an acid body chemistry is a cause of many diseases including cancer. There are two facets of concern. First is the direct acidity levels of the foods and drinks we consume. Second, and probably more importantly, we should be concerned with what remains of the foods ("ash") after oxidation that ends up circulating in the blood. Interestingly, those foods that leave highly acidic ash are usually high in protein or high glycemic index foods. These include meat, eggs, seafood, nuts except for almonds, rice, beans, bread, grains, cereals, corn, chocolate, sugar, peas. Most ripe fruit and vegetables are on the good list to produce non-acidic or alkaline ash. Maybe this explains why the five fruit and vegetable servings a day advice to avoid cancer is effective. Certain medications may also lead to an acidosis condition.

Correcting an acid body chemistry is a very critical strategy because it provides an environment that protects pancreatin enzymes from destruction. Enzymes are not normally consumed in reactions, so that they can be used over and over again if they are not destroyed by other factors. Still, reactions that destroy cancer cells with enzymes may have acidic byproducts that in turn destroy the enzymes. Antacids, mineral supplements, and vitamin D are probably the easiest way to rapidly improve an acid body chemistry, especially when used in conjunction with an alkalizing diet. Other ideas to specifically reduce skin acidity include soaking in alkaline mineral baths such as Epsom salts regularly. Even using bar soap (pH typically 9.5) regularly may allow alkalinity to be absorbed through the skin to neutralize acids that deplete cancer fighting enzymes.

A simple saliva acidity test can be performed to get an indication whether the body chemistry is currently too acidic. This should be performed just after waking up and before eating or drinking anything. This test involves obtaining an aquarium pH test kit (~$4-10), available at pet stores. The test and results are described on the acid test page. If the wake up saliva tests acidic, consider an alkalizing diet and taking antacids (and testing) on a regular basis to lower the acidity (increase the pH)

(14) Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D

Get enough calcium balanced with magnesium. Common antacids may reduce body acidity when taken regularly and will also supply minerals needed by the body such as calcium and magnesium. Many sources recommend maintaining a 2:1 balance for calcium compared to magnesium when using supplements, otherwise a magnesium deficiency may result. Common, inexpensive sources of calcium are antacids. Calcium carbonate (Tums) is the most popular antacid, but other brands (e.g. Rolaids) and types of supplements may do a better job of maintaining the balance of the minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, etc) needed by the body and becoming absorbed. It may be best to take antacids a couple of hours after meals so this will not interfere with the digestive process. Lowering the acidity levels in the body requires minerals to be absorbed, as opposed to simply supplying alkalinity. The calcium in calcium citrate products is advertised to be about 50% absorbable compared to 10% for calcium carbonate. Likewise, magnesium citrate is more absorbable than the more common magnesium oxide. Citracal Plus with magnesium is fairly inexpensive and widely available, has a good balance of minerals, and includes vitamin D (which aids calcium absorption) and vitamin B6. Unfortunately, it also contains copper at 0.5 mg per tablet (RDA=2mg). Copper mineral supplements should be avoided, unless there is a clear need, because copper aids building new blood supplies to the cancer. Coral calcium products purportedly contain dozens of trace minerals that may have an important effect on improving body alkalinity.

These is controversy concerning excessive calcium supplementation because high calcium levels are also associated with rapid cell growth and other health problems. Cancer cells do utilize calcium because calcification in tumors shows up on diagnostic X-Rays. Grossly exceeding the calcium RDA of approximately 1000 mg per day is not recommended under normal circumstances. Ideal calcium intake appears to depend on the amount of protein intake. Japanese women with low protein diets get by with around 400 mg of calcium per day with low cancer and osteoporosis rates. Increasing Vitamin D through supplements or (gasp) moderate sun exposure is a way to reduce body acidity levels with reasonable calcium intake levels. Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive but are limited in the US to 1000 IU due to concern of its toxicity. Some sources say the RDA of 400 IU for vitamin D is far too low: a half hour's sun exposure can total the equivalent of 10000 IU of vitamin D and toxicity problems are not likely to occur below 4000 IU exposure per day. Consider using the acid test as an aid to adjust body acidity using calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, and an alkalizing diet.

In addition to helping to correct body acidity problems and thereby aid the function of pancreatin enzymes, there is another known mechanism that uses calcium to impede cancer. If the cancer cell can be coerced into consuming too much calcium, the cell's glucose metabolism fails and the cancer cell dies. This mechanism is the subject of new cancer drug research, but it will probably not happen naturally without adequate calcium intake.

(15) Respect the function of stomach acid

Adequate stomach acid is needed to properly digest foods. My feeling is that if stomach acid levels drop then extra digestive burden falls on digestive enzymes. The result is that pancreatin enzymes may not be available for cancer control. Do not take antacids with meals or drink excessive water with meals. If possible, confine eating to meals rather than continuously snacking. Studies with mice show this reduces cancer risk. Consider supplementing betaine hydrochloride with meals to enhance stomach acid activity. Go to bed on an empty stomach.

(16) Drink enough clean water

Water is essential to good health as it makes up 70% of the human body. Drink enough water: consuming over 2.5 liters of fluid per day is associated with reduced cancer risk.

Consider using a water filter. Filter companies have an effective saying: "Buy a filter or be a filter". Inexpensive pitcher cartridge filters work well for filtering drinking water of chlorine, lead, iron, and copper when changed monthly, but do not remove fluoride. Filters can remove many other impurities in your local drinking water supply. Other effective filtering methods include distillers and reverse osmosis systems.

Chlorine is used as the main drinking water disinfectant in the United States. Essentially a low level pesticide, chlorine combines with organic substances to form carcinogenic trihalomethanes (THM's) including chloroform.  Higher levels of THM's in drinking water have been shown to correlate with higher levels of cancer in studies of drinking water of several US cities.

Chlorine as a vapor is absorbed by the lungs, and chlorine based contaminants in drinking water such as chloroform and trichloroethylene (TCE) are released and readily absorbed when water is heated. It is estimated that 50% of our absorption of chlorine compounds come from hot showers. Turn on an exhaust fan before showering to minimize exposure to chlorine vapors. Take shorter, less frequent, or cooler showers. Consider using a shower water filter. Less frequent bathing also helps retain skin oils that are needed to produce vitamin D from sunlight.

Triclosan, an antimicrobial agent used in household dishwashing soaps reacts with chlorinated water to produce significant quantities of chloroform. Research also suggests that the reaction of triclosan with chlorine could be producing highly chlorinated dioxins in the presence of sunlight. Because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, triclosan is found in toothpastes, acne creams, deodorants, lotions, and hand soaps. Unlike conventional bar soaps, triclosan is readily absorbed through the skin. Try to limit your exposure to this chemical.

A drawback of filtering drinking water is that alkalizing minerals are also removed so that the water may become acidic. Consider neutralizing the acid (add minerals such as coral calcium) or buying bottled drinking water if yours tests acidic. Incidentally, acidic drinking water has recently been shown to result in a higher risk of diabetes. Both natural diabetes and natural cancer control depend on a healthy pancreas which is sensitive to excessive acidity.  Easy and inexpensive pH tests for acidity are described on the acid test page. Most public water supplies are processed to not be acidic to prevent plumbing corrosion and lead from leaching, but private supplies are more variable. 

Fluoride is added to some water supplies but can cause genetic damage in both plant and animal cells. Fluoride can also interfere with enzyme reactions.  Dental fluoride treatments have been shown in a study to increase the amount of serum IGF-1 which seems to promote the rapid growth of cancers. Choose a toothpaste without fluoride. Using bottled water in place of drinking water that has been fluoridated should be considered.

If possible, use glass cookware to avoid excess exposure to metals such as aluminum, iron, chromium, nickel, and copper. Nonstick coated cookware has come under scrutiny for emitting toxins and carcinogens when heated above 400F. Also a chemical used in the manufacture of nonstick cookware is a suspected carcinogen.

(17) Try curcumin

Extracted from the roots of the turmeric plant (a member of the ginger family), curcumin is what gives the spice curry its yellow color although it does not have much of a taste or smell itself. Curcumin disrupts cancer from more simultaneous mechanisms than probably any other known substance. Here's a list of the good things curcumin has been found to do to cancer through studies: It inhibits proliferation of cancer cells, induces apoptosis of cancer cells, inhibits angiogenesis, inhibits aromatase, and suppresses adhesion molecules expression. It downregulates EGFR activity,  HER2/neu,  Bcl-2 expression,  NF-κB activation, AP-1 activation, PI3K-Akt pathway, c-Jun kinase activation,  COX2 expression, MMP-9 expression,  inducible nitric oxide synthase, and cyclin D1 expression.  If you know what two or more of these mechanisms mean, congratulations! If not, you are in good company.

Curcumin has limited bioavailability when taken orally in capsules because it is soluble in fat but not water. Curcumin has been shown through studies to have an positive effect on both squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas.  There are a couple of tricks to improve the effectiveness of curcumin.  Dissolving curcumin in saturated fat such as cream, coconut oil or coconut milk enables it to get directly into the lymph system and bypass the first pass filtering of the liver. The lymphatic system bathes all the cells in the body. Another way is to chew the capsules (thank goodness they do not taste like curry!) with dark chocolate or macadamia nuts.  A dash of black pepper which contains piperine can help its absorption. Curcumin is synergistic when combined with quercitin and glutamine. Applying curcumin topically by dissolving it in coconut oil is an option for skin cancers, albeit a bright yellow messy one. Try a small area first and avoid applying to hair (unless you want a good laugh). Typical doses for curcumin are 1 to 5 grams twice a day. Serious adverse effects have not been reported in humans taking high doses of curcumin, but it can interfere with some cancer treatments that target specific pathways.

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