Natural and Alternative Approaches for Cancer Treatment
Associate professor
Department of pharmaceutics
Chalapathi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lam, Guntur

Head of the Department
Department of pharmaceutics
Chalapathi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lam, Guntur

Many people with cancer are interested in trying anything that may help them, including alternative cancer treatments. Alternative cancer treatments are treatments that do not follow or include any of the traditional medical protocols. This article takes a look at prevailing natural and alternative approaches for cancer treatment and its effectiveness.

The term "cancer" is used for the first time by Hippocrates, father of western medicine, who applied Greek words "carcinoma" and "Karakinos" to describe tumor(1). Cancer begins with mutations in DNA, which instructs the cells how to grow and divide. Normal cells have the ability to repair most of the mutations in their DNA, but the mutations which are not repaired and causing the cells to grow becomes cancerous. It is an abnormal growth of cells in body that can lead to death. Cancer cells usually invade and destroy normal cells. These cells are born due to imbalance in the body so by correcting this imbalance, the cancer may be treated. Cancer is a major public health burden in both developed and developing countries. Billions of rupees have been spent on cancer research and yet do not understand exactly what cancer is. According to the American Cancer Society, deaths arising from cancer constitute 2-3% of the annual deaths recorded worldwide. Thus cancer kills about 3500 million people annually all over the world. Several chemo preventive agents are used to treat cancer, but they cause toxicity that restricts their usage. Statistics showed that hundred years ago only 1 in every 100 people would get cancer. Fifty years ago it dropped to 1 in 50. Today, it's a staggering 1 in 3 (Soon to be 1 in 2). This is contrary to the researchers and the medical professions telling, we are going backwards real fact with our current approach of orthodox treatments for cancer. National Cancer Institute (NCI) recognized more than 100 types of cancers viz., carcinoma, leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, central nerve system cancer etc(2, 3).

Reasons and Preventions for Cancer

Nowadays, cancer is considered as a human tragedy. WHO has predicted that number of cancer new cases will reach 15 million in 2020(4)? The WHO states that up to 70 per cent of cancers are preventable. The four main factors leads changes around the DNA leading to chronic illnesses like cancer are stress, environmental toxins, poor-diet and hormones like oestrogen. These changes are preventable and reversible. Generally exercise, sunshine (vitamin D), sleep and gut bacteria can help in cancer prevention(5-7). The methods used for cancer treatment are;
  • Orthodox medicine - It tends to focus on surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
  • Complementary and Integrative therapy - It includes Tai Chi, meditation, acupuncture, hands on healing, lymphatic drainage. It includes dietary advice and supplements for people on chemotherapy.
  • Alternative therapy - Diet therapy is an alternative, it is used simultaneously with orthodox medicine. E.g: Virotherapy, Dendritic Cell Vaccines, localised Hyperthermia
The survival rate for chemotherapy is only 5years and pathetic of 2-3 per cent. So after 5 years, only 2 to 3 cancer patients out of every hundred are still alive after receiving chemotherapy. (This is definitely not a statistic the cancer industry wants you to find out about, but here having the proof cancer survival rates). Another therapy is the radiation therapy, which actually causes cancer. (Another frightening piece of information the cancer industry won't reveal to public). But here is the most appalling of all statistics about conventional medical treatments for cancer. Untreated cancer patients do not die any sooner than patients who receive chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. In fact, in many cases they actually live longer. Dr. Hardin B. Jones, a 40 year cancer researcher and Professor of Medical Physics and Physiology at Berkley, California, did an exhaustive 25 year study on the lifespan of cancer patients and discovered this shocking truth. What he found with breast cancer survival rates was particularly disturbing. He discovered that women who refused orthodox medical treatments actually lived four times longer than women who accepted these conventional treatments(8-11).

Dr Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize in medicine back in 1931 for his groundbreaking discovery on cancer whilst looking into alternative cancer treatments and therapies. He discovered that cancer cannot be survive in any way i.e. shape or form in an aerobic (oxygenated) environment. But it will survive and flourish very nicely in an anaerobic (acid) environment. If the body is stagnant (poorly oxygenated) cancer will grow and thrive. But if it stays constantly oxygenated (alkaline), cancer is dead in the water. The human body has a pH level and it must be maintained above the neutral level (7.35-7.45 to be exact) at all times for optimum health. By keeping the pH of the body above 7, it acts as a “cancer treatment” for itself and works to break down and dispose of any cancerous tumors(12, 13).

ACIDOSIS: Cause and Therapies of Cancer

Acidosis refers to an acid pH. It is an imbalanced acidic condition of all bodily fluids. Almost all cellular functions in the body are sensitive to the pH of their fluids. If the pH falls too far to the acidic side the cells become poisoned in their own toxic wastes and will die. Many studies show that people with a correct blood pH enjoy good health; whereas, people with a low or acidic pH are more likely to be ill. The slightest imbalance can cause serious illness and disease. Acidosis can result in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and most cancers. So in this acidic environment, cancer will not just grow, it will flourish. This was explained by the renowned health expert and founder of The Optimum Health Clinic in London, Alex Howard. The correct pH levels were maintained in the body by different ways(14). They are;

1. The Gerson Therapy and Juicing (15-17)

The Gerson therapy targets the most significant metabolic requirements in your body. This therapy allows the people to reap the nutritional benefits of consuming 15–20 pounds by taking organically grown fruits and vegetables each day. The break down was given below;
  • The Gerson diet - The Gerson diet consists of only organic fruits, vegetables and sprouted ancient grains, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes; and very low level of fats, proteins and sodium. The meal plan advises cancer patients to drink 13 glasses of freshly prepared juice, eat three plant-based meals and only snack on fresh fruits each day. Also, the traditional Gerson Therapy recommends consuming raw beef liver since it is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet and extremely high in vitamin B12.
  • Juicing - According to the Gerson institute, "Fresh pressed juice from raw foods provides the easiest and most effective way of providing high quality nutrition." The cancer-fighting protocol calls for patients to drink fresh vegetables each day, including raw carrots or apples and green-leaf juice.
    To preserve the nutritional content, the juice should be prepared hourly using a two-step juicer or a masticating juicer used with a separate hydraulic press. This helps prevent denaturation — when vitamins, minerals and enzymes are destroyed. (Most commercial juicers spin so fast that they heat up juice to the point they are basically pasteurized.)
  • Detoxification - The Gerson therapy utilizes coffee enemas as the primary method of detoxing the body by increasing the parasympathetic nervous system. For cancer patients, this may take up to five enemas each day. The importance of keeping the body free of toxins is stressed by Dr. Gerson's daughter, Charlotte. The moment a patient is put on the full therapy, the combined effect of the food, the juices and the medication causes the immune system to attack and kill tumor tissue, besides working to flush out accumulated toxins from the body tissues. This great clearing out procedure carries the risk of overburdening and poisoning the liver, which is already damaged and debilitated in the cancer patients.
  • Supplements - The Gerson therapy recommends the following organic medicinal therapies: Lugol's solution, Pancreatic enzymes, Potassium compound, Thyroid hormone and vitamin B12.
2. The Budwig Protocol (18, 19)-

The Budwig protocol counteracts the cancer causing process. She claimed that 90 per cent success rate was observed with her protocol over a 50 year period. When the deadly processed fats and oils are replaced with life-giving unsaturated/ saturated fatty acids, the body cells rebuild and are rejuvenated. She found that consuming a mixture of cottage cheese, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil had the best results. When cottage cheese (which is rich in sulfur protein and saturated fats) and flax (which is high in electron-rich unsaturated fatty acids) are combined this way, body is able to absorb these vital nutrients easier and quicker. The Bugwig recipe contains 6 ounces cultured dairy (cottage cheese, goat's milk kefir or amasai), 4 tablespoons sprouted and ground chia or flax, 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix all the ingredients together in bowl or blender and consume once daily.

3. Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy(20)

In 1906, John Beard first proposed that pancreatic proteolytic enzymes represent the body's main defense against cancer. The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic ("fight" or "flight") and autonomic ("rest" and "digest") nervous systems. Dr. Francis Pottenger's discovered that a vegetarian diet suppresses sympathetic function, whereas the opposite is true with a meat-rich diet. So after dividing patients into different categories based of their metabolic differences, genetic and physical makeup the recommendations are,
  • People with epithelial tumors like lung, pancreas, colon, prostate, uterine cancers are prescribed a largely plantbased diet with minimal to no animal protein.
  • People with blood or immune based tumors like leukemia, myeloma or lymphoma are put on a high-animal protein, high-fat diet with minimal-tomoderate plant foods.
  • In addition, 5 grams of proteolytic enzymes 3 times daily on an empty stomach between meals to reduce inflammation.
Vitamin C Chelation(21)

Chelation therapy uses chemicals or natural compounds to remove toxic metals from the body. Generally, only holistic doctors and naturopaths use chelation therapy. Because it is not an officially "approved therapy" for most conditions in medicine today. In a study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, vitamin C chelation therapy was found to be highly pro-oxidant after just one hour of treatment. Pro-oxidation isn’t always good, but in this case it is. It was discovered that, pro-oxidant effects appear to be responsible for destroying tumor cells. These pro-oxidant effects may also induce endogenous antioxidant systems in normal tissues that offer protection against carcinogenic insult. Along with vitamin C chelation, consuming more vitamin C rich foods may also prevent and fight cancer.

5. Frankincense Essential Oil Therapy(22)

This therapy was recommended by Dr. Budwig (fighting brain tumors), frankincense essential oil is one of the most unbelievably effective natural cancer treatments. Specifically, Indian Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) has been shown clinically to being a vital treatment for: Brain cancer, Breast cancer, Colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, Prostate cancer, Stomach cancer. The potential effects of frankincense were due to its ability to influence the genes to promote healing. Baylor cancer scientists emphasize that this potency makes Boswellia serrata a viable candidate for both cancer prevention and treatment. Rub the frankincense essential oil on neck three times daily and drink three drops in 8 ounces of water three times daily

6. Probiotic Foods and Supplements(23)

Probiotics are microorganisms that promote a natural balance in intestinal microflora. The best way to include probiotics in diet is consuming raw milk products such as cheese, kefir and yogurt. Recent research has confirmed probiotic supplementation can stop tumor growth due to presence of 80 per cent of immune system in the gut. The probiotics can also improve the digestive function and mineral absorption as well as aid in healing leaky gut, which contribute to prevent the cancer.

7. Sunshine and Vitamin D3

Studies revealed that high levels of fatsoluble vitamins and minerals are key to keeping the body free from cancer. Due to consumption of vitamin D3-added supplementation, the risk of developing all cancer types was decreased by 77 per cent. The vitamin D3 is obtained by sun exposure for 20 minutes between 10am to 2pm or by taking oral supplement containing around 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3, it is fatsoluble, so take them with food containing coconut oil or a probiotic rich drink like kefir. In market, combination formula of astaxanthin, omega-3 fish oil and vitamin D3 is available(24).

8. Turmeric and Curcumin(25)

The curcumin has the anticancer effect. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing; it has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, skin cancer and stomach cancer cells. Studies revealed that the combined treatment of curcumin with chemotherapy killed more bowel cancer cells than chemotherapy alone. It also shown that curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth and spread by blocking the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents. Turmeric helps to stop cancer and effective in treating breast, colon and skin cancer.

9. Oxygen therapy and hyperbaric chambers

Dr. Warburg identified the root cause of cancer is oxygen deficiency, which creates an acidic state in the human body. He also discovered that cancer cells do not breathe oxygen and cannot survive in the presence of high levels of oxygen, as found in an alkaline state. Generally, antioxidants kill free radicals in the body and reverse oxidative stress causing chronic disease. Hence, with oxygen therapy and utilizing a hyperbaric chamber is highly beneficial for people seeking natural cancer treatments. The air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about 2.5 times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere; it causes the blood to carry more oxygen to the organs and tissues in the body(26).

10. Prayer and Building Peace

In addition to the many research studies prayer, maintaining mental peace and a positive outlook are absolutely critical to cancer prevention and treatment.

Foods and Cancer Risk

Food containing sugar, refined oils, refined carbohydrates, conventional dairy products and farm-raised meats causes cancer. Foods that are organic, grassfed, pasture-raised and additive-free can greatly lower the toxic load of the diet. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) published the data from the investigations that higher intakes of vitamin C, carotenoids, retinol, α-tocopherol and fiber prevents the overall cancer risk(27-33). Widely consuming cancer fighting foods are;
  • Leafy green vegetables - Leafy greens are the cornerstone of any healthy diet since they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes, very low in calories, fats, sodium and other toxins. They are spinach, kale, collard greens, arugula salad, romaine, watercress etc., which are rich in antioxidants known to combat cancer, including vitamin C and beta-carotene.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables - These are rich with glutathione, known as the body’s "master antioxidant" due to its high free-radical-scavenging abilities. The brassica family of cruciferous vegetables are nutrient-dense sources contains isothiocyanates that are linked to cancer prevention. The cruciferous veggies like cabbage and broccoli are stimulators of detoxifying enzymes that protect the structure of DNA. Many other vegetables are onions, zucchini, asparagus, peppers, carrots, artichokes and beets.
  • Berries - All types of berries (raspberries, blueberries, cherries strawberries, goji berries, camu camu and blackberries) are top high-antioxidant foods in the world. Berries are especially rich in proanthocyanidin antioxidants, which have been observed to have anti-aging properties in several animal studies and are capable of lowering free radical damage. High amounts of phenols, zeaxanthin, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and polysaccharides are other berry benefits. Less familiar "superfoods" mulberry, camu camu and goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine since around 200 B.C. to increase immunity and energy.
  • Brightly Orange-Colored Fruits and Veggies - Brightly colored pigments found in plant foods are a sure sign that they’re beaming with phytochemicals, especially carotenoid antioxidants. The carbohydrate-rich veggies viz., sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, other tubers and whole-grain foods, reduced the risk of several types of cancer, particularly of the upper digestive tract. This is due to more fiber content.
  • Fresh Herbs and Spices - Turmeric, which contains the active ingredient curcumin, has been shown to decrease tumor size and fight colon and breast cancer. The curcumin absorption increases in presence of balck pepper and able to fight inflammation. The other herbs that act as immune booster are ginger, garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil and parsley.
  • Organic Meats - Organic meats including beef or chicken liver are extremely high in vitamin B12, so they are recommended for cancerfighting. These mineral-rich foods can help counteract the effects of alcohol, prescription drugs, hormone disruptions, high triglyceride levels, low potassium, obesity and viral infections.
  • Cultured Dairy Products - Cultured dairy products are a rich source of "good bacteria" probiotics, which are microorganisms that promote a natural bacterial balance in intestinal microflora and increase the immunity. Over 80 percent of the immune system is housed in gut, so probiotic foods and supplementation can stop tumor growth and help cells renew. One of the easiest ways to consume more probiotics is taking raw milk, cheese, kefir and yogurt. Cottage cheese, which is rich in sulfur protein and saturated fats, was found to be especially beneficial as part of the Budwig cancer protocol. Probiotics are also present in cultured vegetables like kimchi, sauerkraut and coconut kefir.
  • Nuts and Seeds - Chia and flax seeds are the most nutrient-dense seeds in the world. They provide fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a range of important minerals. Hemp, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are also beneficial and full of healthy fatty acids. Their health benefits and are best sprouted and can be used easily in smoothies, baked goods and with yogurt.
  • Healthy Unrefined Oils - The widely consumed conventional processed fats and oils are hydrogenated oils and are capable of destroying the membranes of our cells, leading to diseased cells and toxicity. Refined and rancid fats create problems throughout the body, leading to lower immune function, cell congestion and inflammation. The unrefined oils like flax oil, extra virgin olive oil, cod oil and coconut oil nourish the gut and promote better immune function, help to reach and maintain a healthy weight. The flaxseed and cod liver oils also contains essential omega 3-fatty acids that helps in energize the body cells.
  • Mushrooms - Mushroom species are in existence today, but all are known to be immune-enhancers and many have been used to fight cancer for centuries. Reishi, cordyceps and maitake type mushrooms improve immune function and cell regeneration.
  • Traditional Teas - Metastasis is the principal cause of death among cancer patients, so it's one of the most important issues in cancer research today. Several clinical and epidemiological studies have reported that the consumption of green tea can help decrease cancer risk. Green tea contains major polyphenolic compounds, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which has been shown to inhibit tumor invasion and angiogenesis, which are essential for tumor growth and metastasis. Teas derived from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis are commonly consumed as beverages around the world, including green, black or oolong tea. While all traditional teas seem to be beneficial, the most significant effects on human health have been attributed to green tea, such as matcha green tea. It contains the highest percentage of polyphenolic compounds, catechin, gallocatechin and EGCG. The antioxidant EGCG appears to be the most potent of all the catechins and its anticancer effects have activity about 25–100 times more effective than that of vitamins C and E. EGCG has been reported to be linked to the modulation of multiple signaling pathways, finally resulting in the down regulation of expression of proteins involved in the invasiveness of cancer cells(34, 35).
  • Wild-Caught Fish - According to Richerche Institute of Pharmacology study conducted in 2004, higher fish consumption provides better immune response.The study found that people who eating less fish and more frequent red meat showed several common neoplasms in their blood that suggested higher susceptibility. Wild and especially small fish including salmon, mackerel and sardines are providing omega-3 fatty acids. They preserve muscle mass and function in chemotherapy of cancer patients.
  • Supplements: Supplements are useful for helping the body to recover and filling nutrient deficiencies. Studies have shown that people who consume more selenium, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, chlorophyll and antioxidants have better protection from the disease. A supplementary use of oral digestive enzymes and probiotics is also an effective anticancer dietary measure. Supplements that act as natural therapeutic medications include Vitamin C, pancreatic enzymes, probiotics, potassium compound, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, super foods including chlorophyll, spirulina, raw cocoa and blue-green algae.

From the present review, it can be concluded that cancer is considered as a human tragedy. The cancer cells can flourish in the acidic environment, for controlling the growth of cancer cells pH is playing an important role. As there is an enormous increase in the health care concern of the people, the natural approaches for treating cancer is getting its glimpse. The pH levels in the body can be maintained by different therapies. Along with the therapies by taking good food cancer can be treated easily.


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