The problems with conventional Western medical treatments for cancer
The main goal of treating cancer through conventional Western medicine (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) has been to eliminate or shrink tumors.  The problem with this approach, however, is that the tumors are not the cause of the disease.  The underlying cause of cancer is an improperly functioning healing system within the body.   Removal of tumors through surgery may be useful in removing the cancer burden on the healing system of the individual as well as decreasing the chance of metastasis (spreading of the cancer cells).  However, removal of tumors through surgery should be followed by other therapies that improve the healing system of the individual as well.

Radiation and chemotherapy are problematic in that they destroy healthy cells along with the cancer cells. In addition, both radiation and chemotherapy severely weaken the body’s healing system, which may therefore actually increase the progression of the disease.  In cases where surgery is not an option to remove tumors, the success rates of chemotherapy and/or radiation are dismal.  (I am referring to solid tumors, which are tumors found in organs in the body.  Lymphoma and leukemia are different and can sometimes be treated successfully with chemotherapy and/or radiation.)

It is important to understand what is meant by a positive response when referring to chemotherapy or radiation treatments.  A positive response simply means that there is a decrease in tumor size for a limited period of time (usually a few months).  There is a misconception by patients that this means increased longevity. It does not!  Many medical studies have shown that tumor shrinkage is not necessarily correlated with survival time.  Consider an example of a woman who has chemo and her tumors shrink considerably.  A few months later, the tumors come back and a few months after that, she dies.  This person will have been considered a positive response in the medical data because her tumors initially shrank, even though she died soon after her treatment.  Ask your doctor for medical evidence that shows that chemotherapy or radiation will increase your survival time, not just decrease tumor size. This is an important distinction for the patient, but it is an issue that is often not clearly explained by the physician.

The Body’s Innate Healing System
The innate healing system of the human body is quite miraculous and yet is still way beyond our understanding. However, there are numerous types of therapies that have been used by people since ancient times through the present that have been shown to increase the health of the individual who has cancer. These so-called “alternative” therapies are extremely diverse and include ancient healing arts, such as acupuncture, herbs, Yoga, meditation, and Shamanic healing as well as therapies based on modern research such as diet and vitamins, mind-body health (including the new scientific field of psychoneuroimmunology), and the emotional and spiritual components of cancer.  What all of these therapies have in common is that they focus on improving the self-healing abilities of the individual.  Many studies, conducted primarily outside of mainstream cancer research, have shown that these therapies can have a positive effect on the treatment of cancer. It is important to keep in mind that just as the causes of cancer are unique for each individual person, so will be the specific therapies needed for improving the healing system.

Some researchers in the field of unconventional cancer treatments have begun to refer to the treatment of cancer as “reversing” the process of cancer.  By increasing the healing system of the individual, the process which has lead to the diagnosis of cancer can be reversed. The development of cancer is a very complex process and no one can predict whether or not reversing the process can bring about complete health or even prolong survival. However, by using therapies that improve your own healing system, it is very likely that you will be able to change the course of the direction of the disease, improve your quality of life, and even increase survival time.  By viewing cancer as reversible rather than curable (or incurable), the concept of being healthy and living fully despite having cancer becomes a real possibility.

The road to recovery from cancer will be unique for each person.  You must learn to recognize what you need to be healthy in all aspects of your life. This means being healthy physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.  The task of reversing cancer is not an easy one, but by working towards optimal health, it is possible to alter the course of this disease and to live fully despite cancer.