Medical reports confirming ‘cancer’ can dawn a vision of a nearing end to life but I have seen and spoken to a number of people who don’t lose hope and instead take a stance to fight the disease. But ‘cancer’ is not an easy enemy to fight since, the treatment not only happens to be painful at times but is also slow and dependent on progress reports / condition of the patient. Moreover, medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation target not only the cancer cells but also the overall immune system, making the patient all the more weaker to keep up the hope of surviving this dreadful disease. Having witnessed a cancer case in my extended family, I can understand the pain that the patient and his/her near and dear ones go through. I have also realised that the patient needs much more than the usual, painful chemotherapy / radiation rounds as it is highly essential that we restore their destroyed immunity. Given that, this post specially is for providing information on some Alternative Therapies for cancer that the patient can try and continue with the one that results to be the most effective for him/her.
- The therapies mentioned below are usually used as support therapies and not in lieu of conventional treatments like chemotherapy / radiation / surgery, etc.
- Every individual may respond differently to different treatments hence, there is a possibility that what works for one may not successfully work for another.
- No alternative therapy, by itself, can be tagged as ‘the best treatment’ for a certain type or stage of cancer. One has to only try it to understand if it works for him/her.
- It is possible/okay to try more than one alternative therapy at a time, however, in case of ayurvedic or homeopathic treatments it is important to consult the concerned doctor before doing so.
Alternative Therapy 1: Ozone Therapy
Cancer cells are anaerobic, i.e. they die when exposed to oxygen. Cancer cells derive their energy by fermenting sugar without using oxygen, are deficient in antioxidant enzyme system like other lower life forms and are unable to fight the Ozone onslaught. On the other hand normal, healthy cells can protect themselves from Ozone by their rich Anti-Oxidant Defense System. Based on this theory, oxygen is supplied to the body by means of ozone in order to kill cancer cells and strengthen normal, healthy cells. Ozone (O3) itself is a form of oxygen and Ozone Therapy treatment is different from the common medical uses of oxygen, which involve increasing the amount of oxygen gas in inhaled air. It is also different from hyperbaric oxygen, which involves the use of pressurized oxygen gas.
- It reduces the side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation to a very large extent. Reduces pain in cancer.
- It gives feeling of well being and rejuvenation. The zest for life is returned.
- It helps in reducing tumor size.
- It helps in controlling troublesome symptoms in certain inoperable cancers. E.g., fits in meningioma
Medication in gaseous forms is somewhat unusual, therefore special application techniques have to be developed for the safe use of ozone.
NOTE: In any form of ozone therapy, the breathing in of ozone gas is forbidden.
Ozone water - e.g. in dental treatments optimally applied as a spray or compress
Ozone sauna / Ozone bath
Ozonated oil - for applying on the skin for skin eruptions such as eczemas and conditions involving molds, funguses and lichens etc.
Bagging the affected part/limb – a closed system using O3 gas fed into special plastic “boots” (for the legs and feet) or bags, foils etc fitting various parts of the body. These are of course made of ozone-resistant materials. The parts of the body treated have previously been moistened with water, as ozone cannot act on dry areas. This method is highly effective in treating ulcers, sores, open wounds, postoperative lesions, shingles (herpes) and infected areas etc.
Internal/Systemic Application (Usually opted for treating cancer patients):
Non invasive application (the treatment is usually not painful at all)
- Rectal insufflation - The sensitive intestinal membranes directly absorb Ozone gas. The specially designed disposable tube is lubricated through which Ozone is introduced inside the rectum. A patient can apply it himself/herself. This method is primarily indicated for inflammatory conditions of the intestinal tract, but is finding increasing use for general revitalization processes.
- Vaginal insufflation
- Ear insufflation
- Dental application
- Invasive application
Intravenous infusion of Ozonated Saline
- Major AutoHemoTherapy
- Minor AutoHemoTherapy
- Recirculatory Hemoperfusion
I don’t know much details about this medicine but have heard a lot of good things about it from different people. They have literary described this as a miraculous medicine that has helped treat cancer in their relatives/friends. I believe it works in the same manner for all types of cancers but have heard good reviews about it especially for treating breast cancer. If I’m not wrong, it is known by the name Men-Tsee-Khang or Tibetan Medical and Astrology Institute and has many branches across India and Nepal. The people who told me about it had sourced their medicines from the Malad branch.
Since, my knowledge about this alternative treatment is highly limited, I recommend you to do some research by yourself on this based on little information that I have provided.
Will update this space if I come across more substantial information on Tibetan Medicine and also welcome your inputs, in case you know anything about it.
Alternative Therapy 3: Iscador/Mistletoe
Iscador is the trade name of a group of anti-cancer treatments, all prepared from different types of mistletoe extracts. Treatment with Iscador aims at intensifying the body’s own forces against the cancer cell’s tendency towards autonomy. Iscador is a complementary rather than an alternative medicine. It is largely used by doctors in Europe and US for treatment of cancer but not permitted for use to all doctors in India as one needs to be trained to administer the dose. In India, following training in anthroposophic medicine, homoeopaths have begun to use Iscador for cancer cases. I have heard of Dr Farokh J. Master using it but to my knowledge the patient has to source out the injection himself/herself as it is either not available/allowed in India. The present scenario may have changed and Dr Farokh may be providing the injections himself. Iscador is available in the US under the brand name Iscar. It is manufactured mainly in Switzerland and Germany and is then exported.
Alternative Therapy 4: Homeopathy
Doctors treating patients by homeopathic treatment is not uncommon in India but cancer is a challenging case so one needs to be careful if they decide to opt for homeopathy as the only mode of treatment for cancer. I have heard of many well-known doctors like Dr Prafull Vijayakar and Dr Farokh Master who take up cancer cases but haven’t met any patient who has benefited from homeopathic treatment. I clarify that just because I haven’t come across any patient who has benefited from homeopathy does not mean that homeopathy treatment may not prove helpful for a cancer case. Therefore, if you are someone who completely believes in homeopathy and trusts a particular homeopathic doctor, there doesn’t seem much harm in trying.
Alternative Therapy 5: Ayurveda
Again, like homeopathy, they are plenty of ayurvedic options available in India that claim to help in treating cancer. Infact, some claim to completely cure cancer. I have come across quite a few with such claims but unfortunately all of them failed to work in our case. However, there are a few people for whom Ayurveda has worked to treat cancer. Of many Ayurvedic options that we tried, one that I share with you is D. S. Research Centre (http://www.cancercurative.org/2011/home.html).
It didn’t work in our case but has worked for many others so one can try sourcing ayurvedic medicines from them if he/she wishes to. After having been through the patient’s history, they normally sell 1 month medicine course worth around Rs 4600/- (including courier charges, I believe) directly from their branches. They have 5 branches with head-office in Varanasi in India.
Alternative Therapy 6: Soursop fruit
Lakshman Phal or Graviola or Soursop fruit (Annona muricata) has been discussed as a cancer-killing fruit by many people and that’s how I came to know about this fruit. Soursop belongs to the Annona family which is the same family that Sitaphal belongs to and hence once cut, it more or less appears like Sitaphal too. It is quite difficult to source and hence have never got a chance to try it. It can be consumed both by the patient and otherwise healthy individuals but the entire fruit is supposed to be used completely (not stored) once cut or else it loses it’s medicinal properties.
People in African and South American countries have used Soursop to treat infections with viruses or parasites, rheumatism, arthritis, depression and sickness. There are some Soursop extracts that can help to treat these conditions.
In laboratory studies, Soursop extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs. But there haven’t been any large scale studies in humans. So, there is no scientific proof yet that confirms whether it can work as a cancer treatment or not. Overall, there is no evidence to show that Soursop works as a cure for cancer but since the treatment for cancer is supported with hope, there are many who have Soursop as a medicinal fruit to treat cancer.
Note: Soursop may cause side-effects to certain people as it can cause nerve changes, causing symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. Though, this is rare.
Though Soursop is an all-season fruit, in India it is available only is certain seasons (usually around January) in Crawford Market (Mumbai) or Godrej – Nature’s Basket and can also be procured from Kerala. In Kerala the fruit is called “Aathakka pazham” or “aatha chakka” and over there I suppose the fruit is available throughout the year.
Alternative Therapy 7: Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy definitely cannot cure or treat cancer but it can help in soothing out cancer-related symptoms or side-effects resulting from conventional treatments for cancer like nausea, headache, stress, anxiety, depression, etc. In short, it is mainly used for uplifting the spirit or mood of the person.
Aromatherapy is a practice in which scented oils are inhaled through the nose or rubbed on the body/body part during a massage. There are a lot of different essential oils that can be used via a diffuser in order to spread their fragrance in a room. Alternatively, it can also be used in the following ways:
- Sprinkle 5-10 drops of oil in your bath.
- Sprinkle 2-4 drops of oil on a tissue or a handkerchief, and hold it up to your nose. Keeping your eyes closed to avoid irritation, take 2-3 deep breaths through the nose.
- Place 10-15 drops of oil in a 100ml spray-bottle of water. Shake the bottle and then spray fragrance around a room.
- Headache relief: Peppermint
- Immune system stimulation: Eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree
- Muscle tension relief: Chamomile, clary sage, eucalyptus, peppermint, ylang ylang
- Indigestion relief: Peppermint
- Relaxation: Ylang ylang, geranium, lavender, lemon, clary sage, and chamomile
- Respiratory problem relief: Eucalyptus
- Vomiting: Neroli and peppermint
- Nausea: Ginger, lemon and peppermint
- Fear: Rose, Neroli, Spikenard and Vetiver
- Insomnia: Lavender, Neroli, Marjoram and Valerian