A Local Slant on Rethinking Cancer

The Upstate is blessed to have a variety of businesses and practitioners that are dedicated to helping prevent cancer as well as working to improve the quality of life of cancer victims. In our own backyard, Dr. Connie Casebolt of Wellness by Design, in Greenville, incorporates into her integrative medicine practice modalities that improve quality of life and support the immune system. These include saunas, various supplements and some specialty IV’s, notably Vitamin C and ozone. And, as you will note in almost all discussions of cancer prevention, making dietary changes—getting rid of all inflammatory foods—is essential.

Acupuncturist Joan Massey of the Healing Center worked for many years as a medical assistant in hematology before becoming certified in acupuncture. A short while ago, Massey took part in an acupuncture training program through the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the original three comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. Acupuncturists in the program made grand rounds with the medical doctors who viewed acupuncture as a successful treatment for pain, nausea, stress, anxiety and other side effects of receiving chemotherapy.

Massey practices community acupuncture in her practice in Simpsonville. This is a program where acupuncturists, can treat 6 patients, in rotation, who are settled in recliners, swapping stories and providing each other with support. Those who want privacy may be treated in two private rooms off the main room. Community Acupuncture extends special pricing, $25 per treatment and lowered to $15 for cancer patients. Massey believes “each patient needs to be treated with dignity and care” and the most important need of those she treats is to “be heard”.

As pointed out in our feature, Live Free of Cancer, toxicity is an unavoidable part of modern life. Chiropractor Dr. Michael Day of Mountain Movement notes, “In today’s world we are exposed to toxins in the air, water, and even in store-bought products. Through a two-step process, toxins such as heavy metals, medications, pesticides and herbicides are made soluble by the liver in order to pass through stool and urine. Unfortunately, in the modern day world, the liver can become overtaxed with excessive toxic loads. Also, some people are more sensitive than others to toxins.”

“The toxicity problem leads many in society to battle chronic disorders, often undiagnosed. This can scare many into a state of hopeless resignation. According to Environmental Health Perspectives (July 2004) and the Journal of Rheumatology (October 2004), brain fog, cancer, autoimmune disease, autism, joint pain, fibromyalgia, heart disease, neurodegeneration (Parkinson’s, dementia) and other maladies are being researched for their relation to toxin exposure.”

The good news is there are ways to aid our body in the detoxification process. At the top of the list, again, is diet. According to Dr. Day, “Cruciferous vegetables show incredible potential for detoxification. Much research is being done on the benefits of one of the constituents of broccoli. Sulforaphane is a powerful inducer of Phase II detoxification, a key step that becomes down regulated with chronic or excessive toxin exposures. Other foods showing great promise are turmeric, garlic, and supplements such as glutamine, n-acetyl-cysteine, sulfur and taurine.”

He also stresses cleansing through the natural ability of our body to clear toxins. This is enhanced with sweating, exercising briskly, bodywork and breathing. Massage, chiropractic care, saunas can all play a part in ridding the body of toxins. Rebounders, whole body vibration, and daily exercise and breathing regimens, although not as densely researched, may help. The skin is the largest organ we have and it is believed that sweating is a way to help clear toxins. (Ambio, 1984).

Toxins are also found in many household products. Dr. Day’s advice: Take a look at your cleaning products, carpet, couches and beds. These all have been implicated for causing excess toxin exposures.

Focusing on food to prevent cancer has been receiving increased attention recently. According to the websites for NIH, Physicians for Responsible Medicine, and Eat Plant-Based, research shows approximately 40% of cancer can be prevented with a healthy diet that trades processed foods for fresh ones. Also, an article on the American Cancer Society’s website states, “Only about 5% to 10% of all cancers are thought to result directly from gene defects (called mutations) inherited from a parent”, leaving the other 90 percent to be caused by lifestyle and environmental factors. In addition to eating ‘whole’ foods—plant foods that are unprocessed, such as fresh fruits and vegetables—one should be conscious of their sources of meats, dairy products and produce, and choose local and organic options whenever possible.

One such local source is Belue Farms Natural Market in Boiling Springs. Co-owner Harriet Belue explains that processed (packaged) foods tend to be high in sugar, refined oils, artificial colors, enhanced flavors, and chemicals which inflame the body’s cells. That inflammation fuels tumor growth, so by choosing whole, organic, pastured, and plant-based foods, you reduce inflammation and your risk. Here are some of the Market’s shopping tips:

Buy a rainbow of produce. Leafy green vegetables. Bright-colored squash, peaches, carrots, beets and citrus fruit. Dark-skinned fruits like berries, cherries, grapes and pomegranate for antioxidants. Add tomato and watermelon for lycopene.

Eat more cruciferous (crunchy) vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Roast them with garlic, onions, olive oil and sea salt, or add them to stir-fry meals.

Select grass-fed beef or pastured meats that are hormone- and antibiotic-free when eating meat. Choose wild-caught fish over farmed fish.

Include natural probiotics, buy raw milk, raw cheese, cultured dairy products, fermented vegetables, kefir and kombucha.

Use oils rich in omega-3s like coconut, extra virgin olive oil, and hemp oil.

Choose whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes for fiber and plant-based protein.

Read labels to avoid trans fats, olestra, soy, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers such as MSG, and chemical preservatives including BHA/BHT, sodium nitrate, potassium bromate, sulfur dioxide, and aluminum.

For more information on: Wellness by Design, call 864-558-0200 or see ad, page 3; Healing Center, call 864-406-3800 or see ad, page 11; Mountain Movement Center, call 864-448-2073 or see ad, page 29; Belue Farms Natural Market, call 864-578-0446 or see ad, page 31. For further reading on cancer-fighting foods, visit CancerCompassAlternateRoute.com/diet. To read articles sourced on genetic inheritance, visit TinyURL.com/y8xyt3bb and TinyURL.com/hua7b2m. For the articles on diet and cancer, visit TinyURL.com/y8mns85y, TinyURL.com/yag8dggg and TinyURL.com/y8nxms68.