Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Alternative Therapies for Cancer and Treatment Side Effects

 by Allison Brooks

The use of alternative treatments for various health problems has become popular in recent years.
More and more, people are turning to natural methods to treat things like colds, headaches and skin problems. Some are even beginning to use them for cancer, and with much success. It has often been said that the natural world contains everything needed to treat and prevent illness. Nature’s interaction with the body surpasses that of doctor’s so there is truth to that statement. Emerging research and personal accounts provide evidence to validate this claim.

To give some examples and to spike people’s curiosity, I have provided a list of a few common natural remedies to treat certain cancer treatment symptoms. It should also be noted that many doctors encourage these complimentary therapies for patients with aggressive forms of cancer, such pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma, or higher-stages of breast cancer.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a prominent feature in almost anything spicy. Many people recognize it primarily from Mexican and Indian cuisines. However, they don't recognize cayenne's little secret: It kills cancer cells, and does a good job at it. Moreover, it also improves blood flow throughout the body. Cancer has been shown to develop more often in areas of the body where circulation is poor.

This amazing pepper is also quite adept at reducing pain, which is a common side effect of both cancer and its modern treatments. Simply consuming cayenne could decrease dependency on prescription painkillers. This could potentially help the sufferer save money. Cayenne pepper is inexpensive, but modern treatments are so very costly.

Reishi Mushroom

Ganoderma lucidum, or the Reishi mushroom, has been used in Ancient Chinese Medicine for over four thousand years, where it was used as a chemotherapy agent among other things. This simple bracket fungus is thought to reduce the invasiveness of cancer cells, particularly those of the breast and prostate.

It also aids in minimizing or protecting against the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy and radiation such as nausea, hair loss, fatigue and pain, and reduces the physical damage wrought by such treatments.


This humble spice is known for its bright orange-yellow hue, and is responsible for the color of foods like of mustard, yellow rice and curry. It contains a chemical called curcumin, which has been proven to destroy cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading. One study from the University of Chicago found that this chemical killed Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that is responsible for ulcers, and has been liked to digestive and colon cancers.

Though these are only a few examples of the vast realm of natural cancer remedies, it is a good sample of what is out there. These natural treatments, promote life and health in a more enjoyable sense. Step out of the conventional patterns, and see what nature has always offered you.

Allison Brooks is a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Anthropology and has continued her research to work towards a complete ethnography. She mainly focuses on the effects of biomedicalization on different cultures, but also branches off into other fields of anthropology.

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