Natural Medicines for Pancreatic Cancer
Article on Natural Medicines for Pancreatic Cancer
Here's the bad news: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in America, and it's on the rise.
Because pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed in advanced stages, the cure rate is a mere five percent, and the median overall survival span for patients without treatment is only three months.
Forty percent of patients who do seek conventional treatments live about one year (depending on the treatment), and very few live past three years with metastatic pancreatic cancer.With statistics like these, it's clear that conventional treatment methods - such as chemotherapy, surgery, and pharmaceuticals – are in vast need of improvement.
But there's good news!
New studies are being performed combining conventional therapies and natural medicines with very encouraging results! To better understand comprehensive treatment for pancreatic cancer, it helps to understand a potential cause of the disease first.
Certainly we're seeing a rise in pancreatic cancer because it's primarily a cancer found in elderly people, and we're living longer than ever before. But the more common reason why rates of pancreatic cancer are increasing is obesity and high carbohydrate intake. There’s a strong link between what’s called metabolic syndrome and pancreatic cancer. Metabolic syndrome is basically a condition where your body produces too much insulin in response to carbohydrates.
THE INSULIN LINK TO PANCREATIC CANCER
So here's the scenario: you wake up every morning and enjoy a slice of toast or a bagel, or perhaps some pancakes and a glass of juice. For dinner, you're having pasta, bread, and potatoes and you’re maintaining this sort of routine for years. You might be a little bit overweight (especially around the middle), with blood pressure on the high end, and an exercise routine that is slightly lacking.
Eventually, with this sort of lifestyle, your body will start to produce too much insulin.
And it is these high circulating levels of insulin that could act as a catalyst for the development of pancreatic cancer simply because there are insulin receptors – binding sites – for insulin on pancreatic cancer cells.
In short - insulin increases cell proliferation in pancreatic cancer cells.
So there is definitely incentive to focus on lowering insulin levels as a method of cancer treatment and prevention!
DIETARY MEASURES FOR PANCREATIC CANCER PREVENTION
- Avoid high glycemic foods which contain lots of starches and sugars, but not much fiber.
- Try to follow a Low-carb / Paleo diet focusing on healthy fats, moderate amounts of animal protein, nuts, seeds, and a variety of colorful veggies.
- Keep grains to a minimum, particularly grains that have no fiber such as white flour and pasta.
- Avoid preservatives, especially the nitrites and nitrates contained in cured meats such as lunch meat, bacon, and hot dogs. Once these preservatives mix with the acid in your stomach, they form nitrosamines which are directly linked to pancreatic cancer.
- Avoid grilled meats and deep-fried foods which contain toxic substances called HCAs – heterocyclic amines – that are not only linked with pancreatic cancer but also stomach cancer and other gastrointestinal-related cancers.
NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR PANCREATIC CANCER
Curcumin is a compound found in Turmeric (responsible for that lovely golden hue!).
A study was performed wherein mice with pancreatic cancer were divided into separate groups. The control group was given olive oil, another group was given the human equivalent of ten grams of curcumin with Gemzar/Gemcitabine (a popular chemotherapy drug) and yet another group was treated with Gemzar/Gemcitabine only.
After thirty-one days, the tumor volumes were half the size in the group of mice given a combination of curcumin and Gemzar/Gemcitabine versus Gemzar/Gemcitabine alone! Even more, the cancer cells weren't replicating as quickly in the group using curcumin!
Furthermore, it was found that curcumin decreased NF-kappaB which activates and causes cancer to become resistant to chemo.
Small, frequent doses of curcumin taken with food seem to be a very beneficial treatment against cancers, and when used in conjunction with chemotherapy might make the therapy more successful!
Zyflamend is a combination of natural compounds - turmeric, rosemary, green tea, holy basil, ginger oregano, and many more - that is being studied to increase the effectiveness of Gemcitabine.
When used in tandem, Zyflamend and Gemcitabine decreased tumor sizes by 1/9 the size of the control! So this treatment has proven very effective at enhancing chemotherapy!
It's important to note that a human equivalent of seven grams of Zyflamend were used in the study. That's roughly eighteen pills if you were to purchase a bottle of this product! So dose is a crucial factor when considering natural treatments.
Green tea has been found to cause cancer cell death, inhibit blood vessels, and influence multiple growth pathways found in pancreatic cancer.
The active compound that is having this positive impact is thought to be EGCG.
A pharmacological dose of EGCG was given in an animal study and after twenty-eight days, tumors had shrunk by twenty-five percent!
Genistein is an isoflavone found in the soybean.
A study published in Cancer Research in 2005 gave mice with pancreatic cancer the human equivalent of 1,500 mg daily of genistein. In just thirteen days, the cancer had reduced by 75% as compared to Gemcitabine which only resulted in a 27% reduction!
Genistein seems to work by inhibiting the AKT signaling pathway, causing resistance to the cancer.
Pao Pereira is a tree native to the Amazon rainforest and has proven extremely effective against cancerous tumor growth!
Studies conducted using mice, both in vitro and in vivo, showed up to a 72% reduction in tumor size!
This South American herb has been shown to work in a surprising and distinctive way than chemotherapy. An in vitro and in vivo study found that Graviola works against cancer by affecting the energy of the cancer cells!
In order to replicate, cancer cells use a nucleotide called ATP (Adenosine-5'-triphosphate) which is basically their form of energy. Graviola takes away this energy source from the cancer and doesn't create DNA damage or interfere with DNA replication the way chemotherapy does.
That's right! Chocolate.
The polyphenols in the cacao bean have been studied with noteworthy results. The human equivalent of 240 mg of polyphenols were given to animals, and in just six weeks - the tumor weight had shrunk to 1/5 the size of the control!
As we mentioned before, dose is everything. It's not a good idea to go out and eat a lot of chocolate. Instead, you want to seek out the superior products on the market such as Resverage CocoaWell powder which ConsumerLab found to have the highest levels of polyphenols.
Qingyihuaji is a Chinese Medicine formula that was discovered to inhibit Interleukin 6 – a pathway that is often upregulated in pancreatic cancer patients and leads to cancer growth.
When this Chinese formula was combined with chemotherapy, the five-year survival rate jumped from 5% to 8.4%!
THE IMPORTANCE OF BLOOD TESTING FOR PANCREATIC CANCER TREATMENT
For a more targeted treatment plan, it's crucial for pancreatic cancer patients to have comprehensive blood tests performed. This allows for a therapeutic approach that is formulated specifically for the patient.
For example -
If Interleukin 10 is found to be elevated in a patient, efforts need to be made to lower the level. A form of Vitamin E called Tocotrienols has been found to be an effective inhibitor of Interleukin 10 while also making chemotherapy more effective.
Another noteworthy example of the importance of testing is the RGCC lab in Greece. This cutting edge test actually takes the cancer cells out of the patients blood and tests them to determine which therapies will be most effective for this particular patient.
This test can be ordered anytime and simply requires about twenty millilitres of the patients blood to be sent to the lab in Greece where it is then put through the OncoQuick procedure to isolate the cancer cells. The professionals at RGCC labs then grow these cancer cells until there are enough to test a variety of chemotherapy drugs. This test provides the patient with the highly beneficial information of which chemotherapy drug is most effective for them.
These advanced forms of testing help sort the wheat from the chaff when determining the best, most effective approach for each individual patient.
There is still much to learn about treating pancreatic cancer, and as you can see – natural therapies, including diet, seem to be a large part of enhancing the outcome for patient survival.