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Vol. 25 No.4. APRIL 2010

online magazine of the Cancer Support Association

wellness news

Patron – His Excellency Dr. Ken Michael AC, Governor of Western Australia

environment, wellness and healing

TAKING THE PATH OF NUTRITION AND NATURAL THERAPIES TO CANCER WELLNESS & HEALING Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc.


editorial...

wellness news monthly online magazine of the Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc.

Wellness News e-magazine is published online and distributed free to members of the Cancer Support Association. Wellness News magazine is dedicated entirely to environment, wellness and healing. The magazine is for people with cancer or serious health issues; for people who are well and want to maintain their good health naturally; and for complementary, alternative and integrative health professionals. Please enjoy your Wellness experience!

news team... Editor Mandy BeckerKnox editor.wellness@yahoo.com.au Editorial Consultant Dr. Peter Daale

The power of love connects us all together with everything that exists. Dear Readers,

Everything in life is interconnected. This becomes

apparent to the person with cancer who adopts an alternative or natural approach to healing. Unfortunately, there is no one panacea or miracle therapy which will cure cancer – rather it takes a combination of different therapies tailored to the individual and a quantum leap in lifestyle, beliefs, diet and more. Healing involves bringing every aspect of your being into balance and equilibrium. It may sound like a huge amount of effort – and chances are if you have cancer you may be low on energy and enthusiasm – but once you firmly resolve with your whole being that you are going to recover and be well again, then you find that it becomes effortless and natural to make the required changes and do whatever needs to be done. It helps if you have the love and support of your family and community to keep you on track. It helps if you have an unwavering faith and belief in your ability to self heal. This edition of Wellness News is an exploration of some natural and alternative approaches to cancer with a particular focus on nutrition to give you the inspiration you need on your cancer wellness journey. ✦ Love and peace this month, Mandy

MEETING THE CHALLENGE!

one day cancer wellness workshop

NEW CSA members can attend free!

...remember, nothing works all by itself! You must look at healing in a holistic way! Much literature exists on this interesting subject. Again – no therapy is either effective nor valid all by itself without considering a change in diet, life style and emotional outlook on life. You can’t eat like food is going out of style, hate and criticise all of Nature’s creation and take a couple of herbs and hope to heal in 24 hours or less! Nature takes a long time to break down and takes a long time to restore perfect health. Absence of symptoms does not necessarily mean a complete return to health! Dr. Jürgen Buche, Preventorium Institute

Life Changing Information for people with cancer presented by Dr. Peter Daale, Paul Alexander & Michael Sandford One day seminars for people living with cancer and their carers with a special focus on accessing key cancer information online, nutrition, and meditation. Held on the first Friday of every month. Upcoming 2010 dates: 7th May; 4th June, 2nd July from 9.30am-4.30pm.

To book phone CSA 9384 3544


insp

in this edition... features DON’T GET CANCER the antidote to cancer is 6 information 8 12 16 19

22

CURES FOR CANCER ALREADY EXIST (but not in the realm of chemical-based medicine) ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO PROSTATE CANCER NATURAL NUTRITION Nutritional cancer therapies

awakening

NUTRIGENOMICS what you eat now can prevent future disease

WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED Tips on caring for a loved one with a serious illness

regular 2 EDITORIAL together 5 IN THE NEWS CT scans overuse causes cancer 20 RECIPES Miso recipes: healthy and anti-ageing

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irations

FOOD NEWS Miso Soup: delicious, warming and healthy

As we begin to be mindful, living in the “now” and directing our attention to the smallest fraction of the present instant, something extraordinary takes place. We begin to relinquish our fascination with both the past and the future. We stop living in fantasies, fears, and anticipation of the future, and we learn to let go of time-consuming preoccupation with what was or might have been. As we learn to let go, we see our energy returned to us. All that wonderful energy that was being expended and leaked out in fantasy, bitterness, and regret is, once again ours! We are returned to our natural state of “pure nowness”. This is authentic being.

trust Don’t waste your life for that which is going to be taken away. Trust life. If you trust, only then can you drop your knowledge, only then can you put your mind aside. And with trust something immense opens up. Then this life is no longer an ordinary life, it becomes full of God, overflowing. When the heart is innocent and the walls have disappeared, you are Bridged with infinity – And you are not deceived; there is nothing that can be taken from you. That which can be taken away is not worth keeping – and that which cannot be taken from you – why should one be afraid of it being taken away? It can not be taken away, there is no possibility. You cannot lose your real treasure. ~ Osho Michael Leunig

Meditation Made Easy weekly meditation classes with Bavali Hill Every Monday at CSA from 10am to 11.30am. Newcomers welcome. Cost: Free for CSA Members, $5 for non-members. No booking necessary.


CSA weekly program...

April /May 2010 MONDAY Meditation Made Easy .................................................................................10.00 – 11.30am Ongoing Lessons with Bavali Hill. FREE FOR MEMBERS (non-members $5) No bookings necessary.

About the Cancer Support Association of WA Inc The Cancer Support Association of Western Australia Inc is a nonprofit charitable organisation which was established in 1984. CSA’s key intention is to help people become informed, empowered and supported on their cancer and wellness journeys. CSA encourages an integrative, well-informed understanding of health and treatment options and strategies, and is committed to supporting all people, regardless of their treatment choices. CSA supports individuals who are living with cancer, their families, carers and the wider community through the services we provide, as well as through our widely distributed publications and unique cancer information website.

TUESDAY Yoga with Sydel Weinstein ($10 / $5 members) ...................................... 9.30 – 10.30am Wellness and Healing Open Support Group ............................... 10.00 – 12.00noon with Dr. Angela Ebert Carer’s Wellness and Healing .............................................................. 10.00 – 12.00noon Open Support Group (1st and 3rd Tues) Reiki Clinic .....................................................................................................12.15pm – 1.30pm

WEDNESDAY Laughter Yoga with Kimmie O’Meara ($3.00) ...................................11.00am – 12.00pm Grief and Loss Open Support Group ................................................... 1.00pm – 3.00pm last Wednesday of each month Chinese Medical Healthcare Qigong ($10/$5 members) ........... 1.30pm – 3.00pm with Master Andrew Tem-Foo Lim

FRIDAY Meeting the Challenge 1 Day Seminar ................................................9.30am – 4.30pm 1ST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH with Dr. Peter Daale (and others).

DAILY Wellness Counselling and Information Sessions with Dr. Peter Daale ........................................................................................... by appointment General Counselling with Dr. Angela Ebert .................................................. by appointment Phone direct on 0414 916 724 or 9450 6724 or email a.ebert@murdoch.edu.au

Please phone CSA on 9384 3544 or check our website for further information. We can help you with information packs, course prices, confirm course times and make bookings.

CSA’s workshops, courses, groups, and complementary therapies are advertised throughout this publication and are held at CSA’s premises in Cottesloe unless otherwise stated.

at CSA with Master Andrew Lim Every Wednesday from 1:30pm to 3pm in the Sun Room at CSA. Cost $5.00 (CSA members) or $10.00 per class Phone CSA reception for more details on 9384 3544. Bookings not necessary.


April 2010

WELLNESS NEWS 5

in the news...

CT scans overuse causes cancers Senior radiologists have called for doctors to stop the indiscriminate ordering of CT scans, which can cause cancer.

Medical research has found that more than 400 new cases of cancer a year in Australia are attributable to diagnostic radiology. Despite this, the number of computerised tomography scans, which generate far more radiation than X-rays, is growing about 12 per cent a year, Fairfax newspapers say. The prevalence of CT scans has led the director of the Professional Services Review, Tony Webber, to take the unusual step of publishing an expert’s call for doctors to reverse the trend towards use of CTs as a first-choice diagnostic tool for such conditions as lower-back pain. “I have been alarmed at the number of these scans ordered without clinical justification,” Dr Webber says in his Report to the Professions issued on Monday. Dr Webber, whose agency investigates doctors suspected of abusing Medicare payments, told Fairfax he was surprised at how often he came across inappropriate CT referrals by doctors under investigation for other reasons. In his report he cites several cases of doctors referring patients for CT scans without clinical justification, including one who “regularly ordered CT scans on any patient presenting with back pain”. The Report to the Professions includes an appeal from a leading radiologist, Richard Mendelson, who said most authorities on radiation accept there’s no dose of ionising radiation deemed to be without risk.

Most authorities on radiation accept there’s no dose of ionising radiation deemed to be without risk.

But Professor Mendelson, who heads radiology at Royal Perth Hospital, said that in the past 20 years there’s been a marked increase in the population’s exposure to medical ionising radiation, largely due to the increased use of CT. ✦ Source: AAP March 15, 2010

Meditation eases pain

Meditation can help enhance the ability to moderate reactions to pain, according to new study.

In the study, published in The Journal of Pain, boffins from the University of North Carolina measured pain ratings in students interested in learning meditation who recruited for the study. Subjects were trained in meditation for three consecutive days and were given experimental pain stimuli. Results of the trial showed that relaxed states promoted by the brief mindfulness meditation sessions reduced the reported pain ratings. Participants had less pain to both low and high pain intensities and showed significant reductions in anxiety after each meditation stimulation. The authors concluded that decreases in anxiety and increases in the ability to sustain personal focus can attenuate the feeling of pain. In assessing their findings, the authors noted that the analgesic effects of meditation can be realized even after a short period of time learning the technique. Also, the results provide additional validation of the benefits of cognitive techniques for controlling pain. ✦ Source: ANI March, 2010

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au


6 WELLNESS NEWS

April 2010

One antidote to cancer is information By Simon Mitchell

“It’s never a good time to get cancer but there are more options than you might think or even be advised from orthodox treatment centres.”

The World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) is promoting prevention as a better option than treatment and particularly

targeting smoking as the highest recogniseable risk area. The Cancer Research Institute (C.R.I.) is seeking vaccines that support the body’s own ability to heal. Alternative and holistic approaches seek to do the same with diet, nutrition, lifestyle and other choices. Different philosophies of medicine achieve ‘immune support’ in various ways not considered by orthodox Western medicine, which concentrates mainly on ‘drugs and surgery’ as an afterthought to disease, often just adding more toxins and stress to an overloaded system. Alternative treatments take many forms to support the body in its own healing process. Although we have constant new biological treatments promised, they usually only apply to a small percentage of cancer types. Change in this field is agonisingly slow and in some cases utterly stuck. Medical science is failing to adapt to the new ‘quantum theory’ sciences that see the human body from an energy or ‘vibrational’ perspective. Western ‘allopathic’ medicine continues to refuse integration with other, older medical philosophies such as Chinese, Ayurvedic, Tibetan, Homeopathy, Herbalism or vibrational treatment. In truth we don’t even have a research methodology that will cope with assessing different treatment forms and levels tuned to an individual patient. So far it is much easier for the orthodox to just deny the effectiveness of alternative ways of healing because they do not make rational scientific sense, than it is to extend their model to include other healing models. The fiscal interest of pharmaceutical companies is also a factor in our lack of access to holistic treatments The complex cancer situation effects us all directly. One in three people in the ‘West’ now gets cancer at some point. Many factors are combining to aggravate acute degenerative disorders such as cancer or heart disease, the two top killers in the Western World. These expose the unwary to dangers and this includes the toxic side-effects of allopathic treatments – it is emerging that the third biggest killer may be ‘allopathic medicine’ itself .

The Cancer Research Industry

Research shows that in UK every year somewhere between £450 to £500 million is spent on cancer research by the pharmaceutical industries, charitable organisations and government. In US an estimated $14 billion dollars (£7.72 billion) are spent. A hard-hitting report published in March 2004 by Fortune, an American business magazine and written by Cliff Leaf, himself a cancer survivor, suggests that for several reasons much of this funding and research is misdirected. He claims that despite a total of $200 billion spent on cancer research since 1971 that mortality rates are basically unchanged. The report was all but ignored by mainstream media. What if he’s right? What is much of this money is wasted? What if the research is misdirected? What if much of the work serves no real purpose beyond the generation of profit? That would mean that the cancer research industry is one of the biggest bandwagons ever. Despite many more billions spent world-wide on cancer research there seems very little to show for it. After seeing friends and family cut down in their prime by cancer, and its allopathic treatments, this researcher believes that there is something seriously wrong with accepted wisdom on cancer treatment. The author’s local health authority has a twelve million pound overspend this year – the major expenditure? The cost of cancer drugs. Several situations are combining to make cancer a big risk for us all at this time, despite the hard work of many dedicated health service professionals.

Cancer and Orthodox Medical Science

Although medical science has created miracles in dealing with infectious diseases, solving many of the medical problems of the 1940’s and 50’s, the new weapons against acute degenerative disorders are not yet ready. Genetic testing and counselling, gene therapy, nutrigenomics, advanced (subtle and tuned) radiotherapies, cell therapies,

www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing


April 2010 therapeutic cloning, cancer vaccines and even anti-aging therapies are a seemingly constant 10 – 15 years away. This is the 21st century and we are still getting 20th century treatments. This leaves us at the moment in a time of high cancer risk with treatments that are often the medical equivalent of cracking a nut with a sledgehammer. The orthodox treatment of cancer is too often as dangerous as the disease itself. Alternative treatments for cancer are not given a fair hearing. Information is still actively repressed or marginalised from many sources. The subject of Cancer and alternative treatment must be the original can of worms! Its never a good time to get cancer but there are more options than you might think or even be advised from orthodox treatment centres. For example there are many things one can do to supplement (and ease) orthodox treatments with complementary ones. It is unlikely you will be given information on this unless you seek it out yourself.

WELLNESS NEWS 7

3 Steps to Uplifting the Health of Those Around You Step 1 Keep your goals private (at first). Even though you may

Although much research on alternatives is often suppressed there are people who can guide you through the minefield of misinformation, disinformation, ignorance, applied self-interest, politics and other complexities in the field of cancer, whatever choices you make. Support is a central issue in any disease and there are increasing options here with many groups ‘online’ helping each other with a variety of treatment forms.

have a goal of losing a certain number of pounds, or overcoming a specific disease, or improving your health in some noticeable way, don’t necessarily announce that to the people around you. Why? Because if they’re not aligned with your health goals, they will immediately dismiss the idea or even attack you for daring to pursue such a thing. By keeping your goals private (at first), you’ll be able to keep them present in your own consciousness while you experiment with new choices in food and lifestyle habits to find out what’s working for you – without the pressure of everybody watching over your shoulder to second guess what you’re doing.

An Integrated Approach to Cancer

Step 2 Pursue your health changes with an attitude of

The cancer discussion needs opening towards a more integrated medicine that is centred on the patient, but even this discussion is presently marginalised. People are finding each other online and comparing notes, even the drug manufacturing industries are predicting that ‘patient advocacy’ forms a strong part of future medicine. But for true patient advocacy to happen, medical consumers presently need to be at least as, if not better informed than their medical doctors. There are many options in cancer treatment that are not generally discussed through orthodox medicine. For example group therapy is not widely prescribed or accessible for cancer patients despite the fact that studies show it can actually double survival time. There is mounting evidence of the validity of herbal and nutritional regimes that support the immune system and may complement the sledgehammers of traditional, orthodox treatment, chemo and radiotherapy. Sometimes complementary therapies are allowed with orthodox treatment but are still limited to only accepted medical philosophies – or that which can be measured through double-blind testing methodologies that basically view every person as the same. The different philosophies of ‘medicalism’ and ‘holism’ – which puts people central to their treatment – are still far apart. This is not a situation that is in any way advantageous for those of us who become patients. Alternative approaches are viewed at best as unproven and are unresearchable using ‘quantitative research methodologies’. There are many people wanting a more integrated approach to health care than the drugs and surgery promoted by orthodox allopathic medicine. This is shown by the huge number of people who seek complementary and alternative medicines without the knowledge of their doctors. The main research into treatments that address every aspect of disease and patient still takes place in secret because practices that fall outside of standard medical practice and physicians who offer unconventional cancer treatments may be vulnerable to the civil charge of malpractice. Given the modern quantum sciences and other feasible medical models such as those mentioned there are many more realistic options for treatment than we are presently being offered. It is easy to be overwhelmed in this field, different people giving different information, which you may need to filter, understand and act upon, often ‘against the clock’. What is needed is an overview that presents comprehensive information from wide sources in an objective manner. ✦ Article from the e-book Don’t Get Cancer by Simon Mitchell: www.simonthescribe.co.uk. Simon Mitchell is part of the ‘green wave’ working in Cornwall UK researching, writing and publishing his own and other people’s media on the themes of green living and ecology. His website: www. simonthescribe.co.uk supports positive change for a sustainable future.

enjoyment. Simply start making the dietary changes you have decided are good for you – and the exercise changes you might need – and when you’re asked by anyone why you’re making these changes, just answer, “Because I enjoy doing this.” Or you can say, “I like this!” You don’t have to explain more. Simply enjoying it is reason enough.

Step 3 Be the example that others admire. As you pursue these

new health habits for yourself, changes will begin to occur over time. You may notice improved skin, a reduction of excess body fat, enhanced energy or stamina, improved mood, a reduction in the symptoms of degenerative disease and so on. As this happens, the people around you will take notice. That’s the point where they will begin to get curious about what you’re doing that’s working so well. And at some point they will ask you questions like, “Hey, you’re looking younger and more energetic these days. What’s your secret?” Everybody loves to hear a secret. Especially if it’s a secret that makes them look better or feel better. So you can say something like, “Do you really want to know the secret? Because it’s so simple, and so easy, and anybody can do it, and it’s really working. But are you sure you want to know it?” No one can resist the temptation to learn the secret. So they’ll lean in and say, “Yes! I want to know the secret!” That’s when you whisper in their ear, “Juicing” or “daily walking for one hour” or whatever your secret has been. At this point, they will tend to greatly value the information you’re sharing with them. You see, if you came out and simply told them all this without waiting for them to ask first, they might have discounted the information. But because they noticed something in you that they wanted to experience for themselves, and because they asked you, they will now value the information so much more. So the secret here is to refrain from pushing information onto others. Let them come to you and ask, and then be ready to give them good information about what’s working for you so that they can try it out for themselves. ✦ By Mike Adams, www.naturalnews.com

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au


Cures for cancer already exist!

8 WELLNESS NEWS

April 2010

(but not in the realm of chemical-based medicine) By Mike Adams

Our most common so-called ‘diseases’ like cancer, diabetes and heart disease are actually metabolic disorders. They are the end result of specific causes, and when those causes are allowed to work their destruction over a long period of time, they create a series of effects. Those effects are diagnosed by doctors and given a name. And the name is something like ‘cancer’ or ‘heart disease’ or ‘diabetes’.

www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing


April 2010

A lot of people ask me, “Mike, how can you say that chronic disease is reversible? The American Medical Association doesn’t say it’s reversible. The American Cancer Society says there’s no cure for cancer. How can you say that these diseases are reversible?”

The answer requires an understanding of a much more advanced framework for health and the underlying causes of disease. Fundamentally, these diseases are fictitious in the sense that they are not caused by invading microbes – thus, they are not diseases in the way we typically think of infectious disease like smallpox, malaria or influenza. Rather than being such types of diseases, our most common so-called ‘diseases’ like cancer, diabetes and heart disease are actually metabolic disorders. They are the end result of specific causes, and when those causes are allowed to work their destruction over a long period of time, they create a series of effects. Those effects are diagnosed by doctors and given a name. And the name is something like ‘cancer’ or ‘heart disease’ or ‘diabetes’. If you’d like to verify this yourself, just ask any doctor for the name of the virus that causes osteoporosis. Or ask them: “What’s the name of the bacteria that causes heart disease? What’s the infectious agent for cancer?” And in all three cases, the answer will be “Well, there are none – these diseases aren’t caused by infectious agents.” So what are they caused by? Frankly, conventional medicine can’t really give you a satisfying answer on those questions. They don’t know the causes. Sure, they can tell you what they think are causes, such as saying that diabetes is caused by insulin resistance. But all they’re actually doing is describing another symptom. The cause of diabetes is not insulin resistance, that’s just one of the cascading symptoms that leads to the ultimate diagnosis of the disease. The real question is: “What causes insulin resistance?”

WELLNESS NEWS 9

The only time cancer gets diagnosed in your body is when your immune system is unable to do the job it already knows how to do. And the way your immune system fails is if you don’t give it the tools it needs.

So you see, if you backtrack from conventional medicine’s explanations about the causes of disease, and you keep seeking deeper and deeper causes for the symptoms, then you fairly quickly get to a point where conventional medicine has no clue, because they can’t tell you what causes insulin resistance. Yes, they can describe the biochemical mechanisms, but they can’t tell you what causes that biochemistry to take place. The bottom line is that the leading thinkers in conventional medicine don’t understand the causes of these diseases at all. They keep looking for the biochemical interactions, and by doing so they’re lost in the forest. They’re looking at a microscopic level and losing sight of the big picture. It’s classic myopia, and they reinforce that tunnel vision by automatically discrediting anything that might offer an alternative perspective. What they really need to do is to zoom out and look at the holistic picture.

Welcome to the big picture of health and healing They need to look at the whole action of the human body and everything that impacts it, including environment, mind-body interactions, nutrition, chronic stress and things like natural sunlight. When you look at the impact of all of these factors on human health, you begin to get a much clearer picture of the true cause of chronic disease. And once you do that, you understand that these diseases are simply a cascading domino effect. They are a result of nutritional deficiencies, chronic stress, environmental toxins found in the air, the water and even personal care products like shampoo, deodorants and anti-static dryer sheets. You see, when a person has a cancer tumour, it’s something that the body actually built. Conventional medicine tends to think of a tumour as some sort of alien invader, as if it swooped down from the continued on next page...

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au


10 WELLNESS NEWS

April 2010

...from previous page

sky and latched on to your body. But in fact, your body built the tumour. Cancer comes from within the body. There’s no microbial invader responsible. Cancer is fundamentally a failure of the body to regulate its own metabolism and clean up unhealthy, mutated cells. In fact, the very process of cancer – the seemingly uncontrolled duplication of cells – is quite natural. It is much the same process that a fetus undergoes when it is forming in the womb. Similarly, whenever you injure yourself, and your body has to heal that injury by rebuilding skin cells or other tissues, it is involved in a cancerlike action. In fact, cancer is just a name given to a normal metabolic function that has become abnormal in the fact that it is no longer restrained. Cancer, then, is really a normal biological process taking place in the wrong context. When cells are duplicating like crazy in a fetus, it’s called a miracle of life. When cells are duplicating like crazy in the pancreas of a senior citizen, it’s called a disease. Same process, different context. As you can see, cancer is not caused by some outside invader. It is a normal human physiological function that’s simply out of control and unable to be regulated by the body. Well, if the body has regulated and managed this process in the past (you’re still alive, aren’t you?), it only makes sense that the body is capable of figuring out how to regulate it again. And hence the claim that there are cures for cancer.

You can cure cancer in your sleep In fact, such a claim is not at all outrageous. It’s not even extraordinary. I have cured cancer thousands of times in my own lifetime, and so have you, if you’re still alive. Every living human being cures themselves of cancer over and over again as their immune system locates and deals with cancerous cells in the body. Your immune system already knows how to cure cancer, and it has done so for decades. The U.S. medical establishment claims there’s no such thing as a “cure” for cancer, and yet every person alive today is a walking cancer curing machine. I suppose next, the FDA will arrest people for exercising healthy immune system function because, to them, curing cancer is considered some sort of crime. (Read “When Healing Becomes A Crime” by Kenny Ausubel to learn more about the FDA’s longstanding crusade to oppress and outlaw legitimate cancer treatments.) The only time cancer gets diagnosed in your body is when your immune system is unable to do the job it already knows how to do. And the way your immune system fails is if you don’t give it the tools it needs: if you’re suffering from nutritional deficiencies or chronic dehydration, for example. It could also mean that you are poisoning your body with cancer-causing substances such as sodium nitrite or chemical sweeteners, artificial colors, refined carbohydrates and environmental toxins such as the toxic chemicals found around your home. Common antibacterial soaps, for example, contain a chemical ingredient known as triclosan that, when combined with chlorine in tap water, generates highly carcinogenic fumes. Merely eating processed meats, recent studies show, boosts your risk of pancreatic cancer by 7600%!

Conventional medicine remains clueless on cancer So to say that there is a cure for cancer isn’t even a stretch. In fact, the bewildering belief is the one held by conventional medicine, which insists that there is no cure for cancer. That is absolutely

stunning in its ignorance, because every person alive has already cured cancer. And the body is preprogrammed with the ability to cure cancer on its own. (Drug companies, of course, don’t want you to realize this. If people figure out they can already cure cancer, then anti-cancer drug sales might plummet!) It is astonishing that conventional medicine fails to recognize the true nature of cancer. To say that there’s no cure for cancer is to deny the healing potential of the human body. It is, in a sense, to deny one’s very own human nature. It’s not surprising to hear this, though, since conventional medicine is often about separation from nature, or even separation from self. If you think about the way conventional medicine looks at the body, it’s all about separation and isolation. We see doctors dealing with body parts: we have foot doctors and eye doctors and ear doctors, but we have very few holistic doctors who look at the whole person – the body, the mind and the spirit – and then prescribe a healing strategy that takes into account that holistic existence. At one level, though, I agree with the defenders of conventional medicine, because when they say that there is no cure for cancer, what they mean is that there is no “cure” if you continue to look at human beings as an accumulation of isolated parts. You can’t cure cancer if you keep peering through your microscopes trying to understand the subtle biochemistry of angiogenesis and tumourigenesis. That’s why the whole “cure for cancer” fundraising system in this country is a sham. What they’re seeking is more research dollars to become even better-funded technicians who attempt to tear apart the secrets of biochemistry... but yet who have no knack for seeing the big picture. The scope of so-called “cancer research” as practiced today is far too narrow to have the necessary understanding to even believe in a cure for cancer. Thus, from their point of view, they are indeed correct: there is no cure for cancer if you view the body as a collection of parts. Similarly, some doctors think human behavior is fully accounted for by nothing more than varying levels of neurotransmitters. In contrast to all this, if you believe that the universe is holistic in nature; if you believe that a human being is more than the sum of body parts – that we’re more than Frankenstein monsters who happen to stumble into doctors’ offices with various complaints, then it is not difficult at all to understand that the cure for cancer is within each and every one of us. And in fact, it’s built right into our DNA. The very blueprint of life on which our biological systems are based is, in fact, imprinted with the cure for cancer. In a very real way, we are pre-programmed to be cancer-free.

Beyond the biochemistry We are healing machines. The human body is a miracle of nanotechnology that far exceeds the advances of modern science. And even if you were to understand all the physical structures and chemical interactions of the immune system, I still don’t think you would grasp its complexities, because there are many interactions in the immune system that are energetic in nature. That’s why cancer researchers can run lab tests for a hundred years and burn through a billion dollars in funding and still not uncover the mythical “cure for cancer.” Trying to find a chemical cure for cancer is sort of like asking some poor sop to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. If he thinks the rainbow is physical (and not made of light energy), then he’s going to chase that rainbow endlessly. Sure, the rainbow looks real, but it’s actually a projection of vibrational energy.

www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing


April 2010

WELLNESS NEWS 11

A holistic view of health is much like recognizing the true nature of a rainbow – the interaction between sunlight and small particles of water, and the varying angles of refraction that split full-spectrum light into strands of visible colors. But organised medicine (pharmaceutical companies, medical doctors, the FDA, and other similar players) still think there’s a pot of gold at the end of that research rainbow. They think they can understand the rainbow by building bigger and better tools of observation to measure rainbow properties at a microscopic level. And in time, they will create all sorts of new technical terms to describe all the rainbow observations they have made, and they will justify huge budgets to continue the rainbow research, and yet all along, they’ll still miss the fact that the entire rainbow isn’t physical at all.

Human beings are vibrational energy In humans, the big picture is that we, too, are vibrating energy. In fact, you could argue that every chemical interaction is energetic at the molecular level. From a physics point of view, there are no atoms, there are no electrons, we are all just vibrating energy and no physicist worth his salt would deny that. It is this subtle energy that I believe will be the primary focus of the future of medicine. It’s called vibrational medicine, and it encompasses not just the energetic nature of matter itself, but also homeopathy and the energies exhibited by water as well as acupuncture, sound therapy, phototherapy, non-local healing and many other energy-based therapeutic modalities with proven healing benefits. In the holistic medicine world, curing cancer is an everyday event. Not because we’re better technicians than those in organised medicine (we aren’t), but because we operate at a deeper level of understanding about the nature of disease, the nature of human beings, and the “big picture” of healing. If you have cancer and you want a highly technical explanation of the biochemistry of your disease, visit an M.D. or an oncologist. If you want to actually heal, on the other hand, visit a naturopath. Don’t let organised medicine send you on a fool’s errand chasing rainbows. Cancer is not a pharmacological problem. It cannot be solved by applying more synthetic chemistry (prescription drugs) to the body. And it most certainly cannot be solved by poisoning the body (chemotherapy). ✦ From: www.newstarget.com. Mike Adams is a natural health author and technology pioneer who has published thousands of articles, interviews, reports and consumer guides, reaching millions of readers with information that is saving lives and improving personal health around the world.

In the holistic medicine world, curing cancer is an everyday event. Not because we’re better technicians than those in organised medicine (we aren’t), but because we operate at a deeper level of understanding about the nature of disease, the nature of human beings, and the “big picture” of healing.

A weekly group held every Tuesday at CSA 10am – 12noon. Anyone who’s life has been affected by cancer or other life threatening illnesses is welcome to attend.

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au


12 WELLNESS NEWS

April 2010

Alternative Approaches

to Prostate cancer By Michael B. Schachter, M.D.,

Before beginning this outline, let me first give you my conclusion. All prostate cancer patients should use alternative cancer therapies. In general, they should be used prior to beginning conventional treatment. When the prostate cancer patient is receiving conventional treatment, he should also incorporate alternative therapies in order to reduce the side effects of conventional treatment, improve the results, and possibly allow the patient to be able to discontinue the conventional treatments.

The complementary approach to the management and treatment of prostate cancer is quite different from the conventional approach and perhaps more beneficial for some patients. In this article I will discuss the prostate gland, describe the nature of prostate cancer including how it is diagnosed and classified, discuss conventional treatment approaches and the controversies associated with the conventional treatments, and finally, outline some alternative treatments we utilise.

The prostate gland-that’s prostate, not prostrate, is found only in males and is normally about the size of a walnut in men. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Urine formed in the kidneys passes to the bladder in tubelike structures called ureters. From the bladder, urine passes to the outside through another tubelike structure called the urethra. The urethra passes through the middle of the prostate and the part of the urethra located in the prostate is called the prostatic urethra. When a portion of the prostate enlarges, it may impinge upon the flow of urine. This condition when it is benign, that is not cancerous, is called BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. The other major conditions involving the prostate are prostatitis and prostate cancer, which will be the subject of this series. Just how much of a problem is prostate cancer? It is a major health problem for many reasons. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States one in six men will eventually be diagnosed with prostate cancer – that’s one in six men. In 1995 in the United States, 244,000 men will be diagnosed and 40,400 will die from the disease, making it the second leading cancer killer in men, behind lung cancer. More men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer than women with breast cancer, although the number of deaths of each will be about the same. Prostate cancer in men is quite analogous to breast cancer in women. In spite of this high incidence, the problem is even greater because with prostate cancer, one must distinguish between clinical and microscopic cancer. Much of the prostate cancer that occurs in men is never diagnosed because many men with prostate cancer die of other causes, never knowing they ever had it. For example, a recent study involving careful pathological examinations of the prostate glands during the autopsies of men killed in accidents revealed some alarming figures. The incidence of microscopic prostate cancer was 80% in men between the ages 70 and 80 years old, 40% in men between 50 and 60 years old, 34% in men between 40 and 50 years old, and 27% in men between 30 and 40 years old. To me these statistics were truly amazing. Keep in mind, however, that these statistics refer to microscopic prostate cancer and not to clinical prostate cancer, which is diagnosed while the person is alive.

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April 2010

How Does a Doctor Diagnose Prostate Cancer? Several years ago, the major way of diagnosing relatively early prostate cancer was through a digital rectal examination, in which the physician inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels a hard nodule on the prostate. A biopsy of the nodule would confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes the diagnosis would be made of advanced prostate cancer when the patient presented to the doctor with bone pain and further workup revealed that he had prostate cancer with spread to the bone or bone metastases already. Today, however, the diagnosis of prostate cancer is being made much earlier most of the time because of a simple blood test called the prostate specific antigen or PSA. Next week I’ll discuss the pros and cons of the PSA, another procedure called the transrectal ultrasound of the prostate, the pros and cons of biopsy of the prostate and the staging and grading of prostate cancer.

Diagnosis, Staging and Grading of Prostate Cancer The widespread use of the Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA test has resulted in more frequent and earlier diagnosis of prostate cancer. The PSA is a protein produced by both benign and malignant prostate cells. In general, its value will relate to the presence of prostate disease and to some extent the type of prostate disease. Values of 0 to 4 are considered normal. Values between 4 and 10 are usually BPH or prostatitis, but may also be prostate cancer. Values of 10 to 20 are highly suspicious for cancer and values above 20 are most likely cancer. However, there is tremendous overlap and 30 per cent of prostate cancer patients have normal PSA’s. The presence of an elevated PSA usually results in a urologist recommending a prostate biopsy or series of needle biopsies. The controversy surrounding routine PSA screening of middle aged or elderly men has to do with what I mentioned previously about the usual course of prostate cancer. Many men die of another disease never knowing they had a prostate problem. If prostate cancer is found in some of these men as a result of an elevated PSA, they may be urged into unnecessary and dangerous treatments that may actually shorten their lives or at least reduce quality of life. If, however, the PSA is used to alert the physician and patient that lifestyle changes and other complementary prevention and treatment steps need to be taken, the PSA can be very useful, in my opinion. The presence of prostate cancer on biopsy usually results in a search to determine if the cancer is confined to the prostate gland or has spread beyond it. An ultrasound of the prostate gland or other imaging procedures may help to answer this important question. The type of conventional treatment recommended is dependent on the location of the cancer, which is described by the stage of the disease. Prostate cancer has 4 stages. In Stage A, the prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland and their is no palpable hard swelling on the physician’s digital rectal examination. Stage is A is usually discovered when a biopsy is done because of an elevated PSA, in spite of no prostate nodule on physical examination or when the surgical specimen for BPH turns out to have some cancerous cells. In Stage B, the cancer is also confined to the prostate gland, but there is also a palpable nodule on rectal examination. In Stage C, the cancer has spread beyond the prostate capsule to one or more neighbouring structures like the seminal vesicles. Finally, in Stage D, the cancer has spread or metastasized to more distant structures, such as lymph nodes, the bones, the lungs or the liver. Generally, the more the cancer has spread the worse the prognosis and the less likely the disease will be controlled. In contrast to the staging of the disease, which refers to the location of the cancer, the grading of prostate cancer relates to how the cancer cells look under the microscope. The higher the grade, the more abnormal the appearance of the cells and the more likely a poor prognosis. The conventional treatment for stages A or B is usually either a radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation. These procedures are both highly invasive and result in significant complications and adverse reactions. For stage C or D, the appropriate conventional treatment is some type of anti-hormonal therapy, which reduces the effects of the male hormone

WELLNESS NEWS 13

The Gawler Foundation 12 Week Cancer Self-Help Programme

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14 WELLNESS NEWS

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...from previous page testosterone because the removal of the effects of testosterone usually results in improvement of the patient, although this effect is generally only temporary.

Conventional Treatment of Prostate Cancer As I implied last time, for stages A and B of prostate cancer, when the cancer is confined to the prostate gland, a radical prostatectomy is most often recommended by urologists. This surgery involves the removal of the entire prostate gland and capsule and surrounding structures, such as the seminal vesicles. The surgery results in considerable pain post-operatively, as well as many complications. Most patients will be permanently sexually impotent following the surgery and 5 to 30% will suffer from some degree of urinary incontinence. Recovery time, which is rarely complete, takes at least 6 months. Although a high cure rate is claimed by the urologists, especially for stage A, the question becomes what would be the survival rate of these patients if they had no procedure whatsoever? The answer is not clear. It is difficult to evaluate the effects of conventional treatment for prostate cancer for the following reasons. 1) It is usually a slow growing disease and therefore it takes many years to evaluate treatment results. 2) The disease is often dormant for years and may never manifest itself during the life of the patient, who may die from an entirely unrelated cause. 3) Today the diagnosis is made more often and earlier because of the PSA test, which was introduced only a few years ago, prostate ultrasound procedures and multiple biopsies. 4) Both radical prostatectomy and external beam radiation, the two most recommended procedures have many side effects and result frequently in a poor quality of life after the procedures. And 5) 25 to 50% of clinically diagnosed stages A, B and C actually turn out to be stage D after the procedure is done. Surgery or radiation are useless for stage D. All of this has led the well known urologist from Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Willet F. Whitmore to ask the question: “ Is cure possible in those for whom it is necessary and is cure necessary in those for whom it is possible?” External beam radiation is usually recommended for stage A and B when the patient is elderly or frail or would be a poor surgical risk. During and following this treatment at least 30 to 50% of patients experience inflammation of the bladder or rectum with diarrhoea and other bowel symptoms, urinary retention and swelling of the penis and scrotum. Long term effects include sexual impotence in 40 to 75 per cent and a continuation of the acute side effects in less than 10 per cent of the patients. The problems with surgery and radiation have led to alternative conventional approaches. The conventional treatment usually recommended for stage A or B prostate cancer is usually either a radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation. The appropriate conventional treatment for stage C or D is usually an anti-hormonal treatment. As early as 1941, Dr. Huggins found that when the supply of the male hormone testosterone available to the prostate is reduced or eliminated, prostate cancer would regress, often dramatically. This was done either by surgically removing the testes of the patient, which greatly reduced available testosterone, or by giving synthetic oestrogen drugs, such as DES. This latter treatment would inhibit the pituitary from secreting hormones necessary for production of testosterone from the testes. Because of the significant cardiovascular side effects associated with synthetic oestrogen drugs, new drugs have been developed to accomplish the same thing. The most commonly used in the United States is Lupron or Leuprolide, which is given as a long acting injection once a month. Although Lupron is effective for reducing testosterone, some testosterone is still present because the adrenal glands produce the hormone DHEA, which can be converted to testosterone. In order to further reduce testosterone effects, another drug is frequently given. This drug is called flutamide or Eulexin. Two capsules are taken orally every 8 hours. This drug prevents testosterone from combining with its protein receptor,

thus effectively stopping any residual effect from testosterone on the prostate cancer. This combined treatment is called either the complete hormonal blockade or combined hormonal blockade. It is abbreviated CHB. This method of treatment was championed in the early 1980’s by Dr. Ferdinand LaBrie, a physician in Canada. During the early 80’s I occasionally sent a patient to Canada for this treatment because it wasn’t available in the United States. However, in 1989, the FDA approved the use of this approach here in the United States. The combined hormonal blockade treatment has a number of side effects, including hot flashes, nausea, anemia, and complete sexual impotency. However, if the treatment is stopped sexual potency may return. The major problem with this treatment is the fact that it is usually temporary. Prostate cancer eventually escapes the inhibition by testosterone deficiency in a few years. When it does, the disease is hard to treat and the patient often does not recover. Because of the characteristics of prostate cancer that I’ve described previously related to its tendency to be slow growing and often not be fatal as well as the harshness of the available treatments of radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation, some physicians have taken the position that a reasonable alternative to therapy is “watchful waiting.” In other words, once early prostate cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy, rather than operating or giving external beam radiation, the patient is simply followed and observed. Treatment is only given if symptoms develop or if the patient shows evidence of spreading of the cancer. In one study carried out in Sweden, this method was used. The survival rate was no worse than in studies in which prostate cancer patients received immediate treatment. Another approach, which is generally supported by a prostate cancer support group known as PAACT, is to administer the combined hormonal treatment early to prostate cancer patients in stages A and B, rather than in just C and D. At the end of 6 months to a year, the patient goes off the hormonal therapy and his PSA’s and clinical examination are watched closely. If their is no evidence of cancer, the patient is left alone. If their is evidence of cancer progression, then several options are considered including radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation, brachytherapy, which involves inserting radioactive implants into the prostate, and cryosurgery, a type of freezing of the prostate. Whether or not this approach of using combined hormonal blockade in the early stages of prostate cancer turns out to be useful, remains to be seen. I give my patients the opportunity to choose a different path to “watchful waiting”. I suggest that they use an elevated PSA or a positive biopsy for prostate cancer as an opportunity to go on an alternative cancer therapy program. The patient is told that something is out of balance in his body and needs to be changed. The nature of prostate cancer, the various tests, the various conventional approaches to prostate cancer and the various options related to alternative cancer therapy for prostate cancer are discussed with him. A variety of DVDs and books are suggested for the patient to review. Then we come to an agreement as to what would be reasonable for him to do.

Alternative Therapy for Prostate Cancer The elements of an alternative cancer therapy are outlined to the patient and include: our avoid list, dietary changes, oral nutritional supplements, possible hormonal balancing, possible intravenous vitamin and mineral drips, an exercise program, fresh air and some sunlight exposure, stress management training if necessary, detoxification, possibly homeopathy, and possibly various other immune enhancing activities, such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture or dental treatment. Certain medications, such as hydrazine sulfate are considered. If there is evidence the program isn’t working, the combined hormonal blockade therapy may be added to the alternative program. In my patients who have combined the two, the positive effects of the combined program seems to last longer than the conventional combined hormonal blockade alone. I’ll go into a little more detail on a few of the components. Regarding

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April 2010

WELLNESS NEWS 15

the avoid list, the patient is asked to reduce or eliminate as much as possible: exposure to tobacco-either active or passive, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar and starch, hydrogenated fats, impure water-including unfiltered chlorinated or fluoridated water, artificial chemicals including pesticides, preservatives and artificial sweeteners and amalgam mercury fillings. The dietary program stresses organic whole foods with an emphasis on plants including fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, some nuts and seeds, fresh organic vegetable and fruit juices and modest amounts of animal proteins, including fish, organic eggs and chicken.

Dietary Supplements in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer The oral supplements include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, herbs, amino acids, accessory food factors and special therapeutic foods. The vitamins we emphasise are high doses of vitamin C, antioxidants A and E, vitamin D, the B3 vitamin niacinamide, and modest amounts of other B vitamins. I consider amydalin or Laetrile to fall into the category of B vitamins and recommend it for all cancer patients. It is available in a number of foods and in tablet form from other countries. Patients are usually able to get their own supply. Although all minerals are important, the mineral supplements we emphasise because of their strong anticancer properties are selenium, calcium and magnesium. Modest amounts of zinc are recommended and balanced with copper. A wide range of trace minerals, preferably in colloidal form are also prescribed. Enzymes help to digest food when taken with meals. When ingested in between meals, they have many therapeutic functions including anti-inflammatory activities and anti-cancer activities. They seem to help prevent metastases. Pancreatic enzymes and some plant based enzymes, such as bromelain from pineapple, are used. Enzymes may be given as rectal retention enemas as well. Oral herbs include the use of a mixture suggested by the late Canadian cancer nurse, Rene Caisse, called Essiac. The brand name that we have been using is FlorEssence. Another herbal mixture we’ve used extensively is a purple mixture called Vitae Elixxir. We try to balance the essential fatty acids with flaxseed oil to increase omega three fatty acids and primrose oil to supply gamma linolenic acid, both of which have strong anti-cancer activities. We also recommend various flavonoids, coenzyme Q10 and pycnogenol. Among the specialised therapeutic foods we consider are: shark or bovine cartilage, soybean preparations, maitake mushrooms and others. Our intravenous programs consist of large doses of vitamin C, minerals, a few other vitamins and amygdalin or Laetrile. Exercise, detoxification and homeopathy are individualised. Next week I’ll conclude this series with a few case histories.

Prostate Cancer Patients Using Alternative Therapies The first patient CS is using our program along with combined hormonal blockade. He was first seen at the age of 74 years old with a hard prostate nodule was felt on rectal examination. He was given 35 external beam radiation treatments. However his PSA began to rise and biopsy revealed residual cancer in both lobes of the prostate. A CT scan showed enlarged lymph nodes, suggesting CA spread to them. He was started on complete hormonal blockade, after his PSA reached 53. Within a few months, his PSA was down to zero. He then started our program, which included amydalin, shark cartilage, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C and other oral nutrients. He also began IV infusions of vitamin C, minerals and amygdalin. Now, years after starting our program, he feels great and his PSA is normal.

The elements of an alternative prostate cancer therapy include: an avoid list, dietary changes, oral nutritional supplements, possible hormonal balancing, possible intravenous vitamin and mineral drips, an exercise program, fresh air and some sunlight exposure, stress management training if necessary, detoxification, possibly homeopathy, and possibly various other immune enhancing activities, such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture or dental treatment.

Another patient EH has been receiving our alternative treatment program instead of combined hormonal blockade. Here is his story. He had a nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer and was well for five years, when his PSA began to rise. He was given external beam radiation – 37 treatments, but soon after completion, his PSA began to rise again. Either combined hormonal blockade or removal of his testes was offered as treatment. Instead he chose our program and has felt great since that time. His PSA has decreased and he seems to be stable. Two other patients LG and SR have chosen our treatment program instead of conventional treatment. They are being monitored closely. SR is a 67 year old married, vigorous, retired letter carrier. He was diagnosed with a stage II prostate cancer. Two urologists recommended a radical prostatectomy. Instead he started an intensive program of amygdalin, FlorEssence, shark cartilage, selenium, Vitamin C, CoQ10, Vitamin E, niacinamide and others. He is also receiving IV infusions of C, minerals and amygdalin. On this program, so far, he appears to be doing great. The same is true for LG, a 60 year old engineer, for whom surgery was recommended, but declined by the patient. Since he has been on our program he has had a reduction of symptoms and improvement of his PSA. These are just a few examples of prostate cancer patients who are benefitting from alternative treatments. ✦

From: What Doctors Don’t Tell You (Volume 14, Issue 1) Director of the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine, Michael B. Schachter, M.D., is a 1965 graduate of Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. He is board certified in Psychiatry, a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and has obtained proficiency in Chelation Therapy from the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM).

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Natural

Nutrition

Nutritional cancer therapies By Michael Lerner In any discussion of the nutritional approaches to cancer, it is useful to develop a typology that clarifies the basic differences between these various approaches. For example: Most nutritional cancer therapies are vegetarian, but some are not. Some nutritional cancer therapies involve primarily raw foods (such as the Gerson diet and the Hippocrates wheat-grass therapy), while others (such as macrobiotics) involve primarily cooked foods. Many nutritional cancer therapies use nutritional supplements as well as diet (such as the Livingston program), but others (such as macrobiotics) do not use supplements. Some nutritional cancer therapies place major emphasis on the inclusion of specific foods known in scientific studies to have anticancer effects (such as Keith Block’s nutritional program), while others do not. Some therapies place emphasis on different foods believed in traditional medicines to have anticancer effects, but these recommendations – as in macrobiotic and Ayurvedic cancer diets – may often be directly contradictory. Some therapies (such as the Gerson diet) place a major emphasis on low sodium, high potassium foods, while others (such as macrobiotics) do not. Some therapies (such as the Gerson diet) place a stringent emphasis on organic foods, while others do not. Some therapies are protein-restrictive, while others are not. Some therapies include detoxification measures (such as the Gerson and Hippocrates program enemas), while others do not. Some therapies are purely nutritional, while others integrate nutritional, psychological, spiritual, immunosupportive, and other forms of treatment.

From the great variety of nutritional approaches, certain commonalities emerge. Most

nutritional approaches to cancer involve fresh, whole foods eaten in nutritionally balanced combinations with a strong emphasis on a primarily vegetarian diet. Fundamentally, they shift the diet in directions known from epidemiological studies to be helpful in lowering the incidence of many of the common cancers. If they sometimes recommend drastic dietary changes, it is because reversing an established cancer is obviously a much more difficult proposition than preventing the development of cancer. A critical distinction for cancer patients exists between nutritional programs known to be nutritionally adequate and other programs which apparently work, when they do, by the cancer-inhibiting effects of selective nutrient restriction. These latter approaches, like chemotherapies, involve a real element of danger: they assume that the cancer is more vulnerable than the host organism to nutrient restriction, and that the cancer will be controlled before the patient loses too much weight. In reality, different patients respond very differently to all nutritional cancer therapies, including both those known to be nutritionally adequate for most people and those that are severely nutrient-restrictive. A specific cancer patient may find even the nutritionally adequate diet personally inadequate for him, as shown by continuing weight loss without stabilisation at some healthy level. Yet another person with cancer may stabilize at an adequate, if low, weight on a quite restrictive diet. But the restrictive diets clearly involve additional risk. These are excellent reasons why intensive nutritional therapies for cancer should, in the ideal world, be medically supervised by broad-minded, nutritionally trained oncologists who are aware of how to modulate a nutritional program according to the individual patient’s responses and nutritional needs. One of the unfortunate realities is that such broad-minded nutritionally trained oncologists are extraordinarily rare. So the patient is usually left to his own devices, or to supervision by a physician with at best broad practical nutritional experience. The tragic cases are when self-supervision, or supervision by an untrained practitioner, leads to progressive weight loss, decisive weakening of the patient, and death.

The Problem of Weight Loss in Nutritional Cancer Therapies I want to tell the story of Luis, a wonderful South American man with metastatic prostate cancer who came as a participant to the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. He had done extremely well with the support of a gifted mainstream doctor using a hormonal therapy and a macrobiotic program. His cancer was in remission for several years. One day I had a call from the macrobiotic practitioner who had taught Luis the macrobiotic diet. He described how, with a recurrence of his cancer, Luis had gone to a Mexican clinic where he had been put on a highly restrictive raw foods diet. He grew progressively weaker, but his symptoms of physiological decline were interpreted to him by the staff at the clinic as “healing crises.” He finally grew so weak from the diet that he died. The macrobiotic practitioner was distraught. It was, he said, a profound lesson to him about the dangers of

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April 2010 some nutritional therapies. While he believed that “healing crises” (in holistic health theory, the temporary augmentation of some symptoms as the body detoxifies and begins to recover) are a reality in many holistic treatments, he saw how destructively the term had been used at the Mexican clinic where Luis had gone: how in fact this nutritional program had cost Luis his life. The experience of Luis is not a common one. But it is not, unfortunately, entirely uncommon. I also knew the wife of a senior American scientist, who described to me how her husband, with a liver cancer, had gone on the Hippocrates wheat-grass program. There are many people with cancer who believe that the Hippocrates program has been a benefit to them, particularly as a short-term detoxification program. But this man followed the highly restrictive raw foods diet rigorously despite the fact that with his particular physiology and condition he experienced progressive weight loss without any sign of stabilisation. His wife had supported him wholeheartedly in undertaking the program, given that conventional medicine had nothing to offer him. But as he became progressively more emaciated, she became more and more concerned. She was convinced, she told me, the diet was a significant contributor to his death. In still another case with which I am familiar, a man with prostate cancer and his woman partner undertook a macrobiotic diet together. The man did very well on the macrobiotic program, but his partner, seeking in solidarity to eat exactly what he ate, progressively lost weight until friends became very concerned for her. The friends convinced her that she simply was not physiologically the same as her mate and that she needed to broaden her diet. She did so, while remaining primarily macrobiotic, and stabilized at a healthy weight. My point is that nutritional approaches to cancer, while characteristically nontoxic and generally health-promoting, can be dangerous if not appropriately supervised or if not undertaken with self-awareness and common sense. The razor’s edge with nutritional therapies is with those nutrient-restrictive therapies which – like chemotherapies – require finding the margin where life is sustained but the cancer is, in theory, inhibited. This usually requires a carefully supervised course of treatment. The critical question appears to be whether or not an individual’s weight stabilizes – often at his college or high-school weight – after a few months on the program. If there is no stabilisation, and weight loss is progressive, the patient is almost certainly on a diet that is nutritionally inadequate. On the other hand, it is important to point out the fact that moderate weight loss is what many cancer patients need, especially in breast cancer and other cancers in which obesity is a known risk factor. Nor should we be surprised that a given nutritional therapy can produce positive results for one person and negative results for another. Just as different people with the same cancer have different responses to a specific chemotherapy, the same is true with nutritional approaches. Because few clinical trials of these therapies have been conducted, both the physician and the patient should carefully watch for any changes brought about by the diet.

Ian Gawler’s Approach to Anticancer Diets Ian Gawler, an Australian veterinarian, has developed a good example of a reasoned integral approach to cancer that utilizes diet, meditation, and some of the other therapies that we have already discussed. Following the amputation of his leg and the development of inoperable and highly visible chest wall tumours extruding from his chest, Gawler recovered from an advanced metastatic osteosarcoma.

WELLNESS NEWS 17

He worked with the late Ainslie Meares, an Australian psychiatrist, who wrote up his recovery as an example of the effects of intensive meditation. Subsequently, Gawler became one of the leading exponents in Australia of holistic approaches to cancer. Although his nutritional perspective is not well-known in the United States, he serves as an example of someone who developed a highly intensive holistic nutritional-psychological program based on sane principles and inferences from the nutritional and psychological literature. To begin with, Gawler makes a sensible overview of the main dietary options. There are, he suggests, basically four alternatives: First, you may not wish to make any changes in your diet. This, as Gawler emphasizes, is fine for some people. And it is true that exceptional recoveries from cancer do take place without any dietary change. At the same time, as Daan C. Baalen and Marco J. de Vries of Erasmus University found in their study of remissions from cancer in the Netherlands, dietary change is one of the most frequent concomitants of spontaneous regression of cancer.1 Second, you may adopt a maintenance diet that is basically a healthy, whole-foods diet that avoids foods and substances known to be injurious to health. This is a beneficial step and, as Gawler points out, a major one for some people who have eaten poor diets in the past. Simply starting to eat a healthy whole-foods diet – such as that recommended by the National Academy of Sciences – can make a major contribution to health. Third, you may develop an individualized nutritional program of any level of vigour and intensity. This is what Gawler himself finally did, based on experience he developed after following the Gerson diet for 3 months. The sensitivities he developed to foods that helped or hurt him on the Gerson diet led to an awareness of how to individualize his own nutrition optimally. Fourth, you can commit yourself to one of the intensive programs, such as the Gerson diet, macrobiotics, or the Bristol diet program, preferably seeking professional help to undertake it.2 From his years of dietary experimentation, Gawler proposed four basic principles for nutritional cancer therapy: 1. the body should be detoxified; 2. any vitamin and mineral imbalances need to be corrected; 3. digestion should be restored and the diet made up of only fresh, vital, pure, and suitably prepared food; and 4. the patient needs to develop and maintain a positive attitude, both in general and toward his diet in particular.3 Let us discuss each of these briefly.

Detoxification It is fascinating that the concept of detoxification – the removal of existing toxins from the system – and the avoidance of introducing new toxins – have virtually no credibility in mainstream nutrition despite the fact that the carcinogenic impact of toxic substances in human biology is well known. Yet detoxification is a fundamental practice in many forms of traditional medicine, especially naturopathic medicine. Writes Gawler: It makes good sense to remove any toxins in the system and then avoid introducing any new sources of toxic material. The latter is easier than the former, and can be done by avoiding those things incriminated as having an increased risk of cancer. continued on next page...

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...from previous page

Removing toxins from the body is not such a simple business in theory or practice. It is certainly more open to medical debate. Again, these principles do work, and I suggest they can be validated. ... What is not so reasonable is the emphasis some patients put on detoxifying [e.g., through excessive emphasis on enemas]. Perhaps this is because of feelings of uncleanliness that sometimes accompany disease, but it disappoints me to see some people seeming to delight in detoxifying through cleansing and purging in a rather violent way. Detoxifying is not just cleansing the bowels with gusto! It is a thorough spring cleaning for the whole body and can be done gently.4 Gawler recommends “eating a lot of fresh, vital foods [to] get the process in motion.” He agrees with Gerson on the use of freshly prepared vegetable and fruit juices, but does not agree that these juices are always needed hourly 12 times a day. He also accepts Gerson’s concept that raw organic liver juice may help build the blood. He also found Gerson’s coffee enemas effective as a liver stimulant.

Nutritional Supplementation in Vitamin and Mineral Imbalances There is good evidence that modern American diets are often nutritionally unbalanced, that cancer patients specifically often demonstrate nutritional imbalances both prior to and after development of cancer, and that, in laboratory and animal experiments, specific nutrients can slow, stop, or reverse the progress of some cancers. This research raises the issue of whether cancer patients should use nutritional supplements. This, Gawler correctly concludes, is one of the most difficult nutritional areas in which to say anything definitive. His view is that the Gerson diet and some other intensive regimens provide very high levels of needed nutrients in natural forms and balances. But many cancer patients on intensive programs still use supplements despite the fact that the proponents of the therapies often, in principle, recommend against them. Gawler tried megavitamin therapy but found it did not help him, although “at specific times I have felt the need for specific supplements and benefitted from them ... supplements are a difficult question, the one I find the hardest to be clear about and I make no definite recommendations.”5

Digestion and Fresh Food With regard to restoring the digestion and switching the diet to fresh, vital, pure, and suitably prepared food, there is good evidence for the higher nutrient values of such foods. At the same time, one rarely finds mainstream physicians or nutritionists speaking in these essentially holistic terms about the quality of food patients should eat. Gawler observes: Here again the idea of supplementing the digestive functions is medically questionable. I find this easier to put forward [than recommendations for nutritional supplements] as there is little doubt that most cancer patients initially do have an impaired digestion. Gerson recommended supplementing stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes. There have been several claims that pancreatic enzymes can actually attack cancer cells and digest them. I find the evidence for this to be sketchy. It is hard to imagine such supplements doing harm, however, and there is a body of circumstantial evidence which suggests that they might do good.

I took them while I was on Gerson’s therapy but they were one of the first things I discontinued.6

Positive Attitude toward Food The idea that it is important to develop and maintain a positive attitude in general and toward a healthy diet in particular is virtually never discussed in mainstream nutrition but is one that Gawler emphasizes: This whole area of diet is full of excitement, controversy and the definite prospect of being helpful. It is essential to be clear in your own mind as to the relevance it has for you. You should feel good about your choices. It is very necessary to think about the whole area and come to definite conclusions. In the final analysis, food should be a happy thing. You should be able to sit down before it, give thanks for what you have to eat, know that it is appropriate for your situation, and eat with a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!7 In short, the four basic nutritional-psychological concepts that Gawler discusses – which are broadly representative of many alternative cancer therapies – are not inconsistent with any scientific evidence but do go beyond science in proposing that such a diet and attitude may assist in recovery from cancer. What is particularly valuable about Gawler’s contribution to the field of holistic nutritional-psychological approaches to cancer is that his position is not doctrinaire. He personally has experienced a documented recovery from an advanced cancer from which he was expected to die. He achieved his recovery while using intensive nutritional and psychological measures. And yet he did not come out of this recovery experience – as many understandably do – a true believer and zealot for a specific nutritional program as the answer for everyone with cancer. Rather, he takes a balanced and at the same time very vigorous perspective on nutrition as a key for some people to cancer recovery. He carefully notes that detoxification is not discussed in the contemporary mainstream medical literature, and that nutritional supplementation represents a problematic area. He allows everyone room to choose his own type and level of nutritional intervention. He personally undertook one of the most rigorous nutritional programs – the Gerson diet – and then continuously modified it until he reached an individualized program. ✦

References 1 Daan C. van Baalen, Marco J. de Vries, and Marjolein T. Gondrie, “Psycho-Social Correlates of `Spontaneous’ Regression in Cancer.” Monograph, Department of General Pathology, Medical Faculty, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, April 1987, 6. 2 Ian Gawler, You Can Conquer Cancer (Melbourne: Hill of Content, 1986), 99. 3 Ibid., 90-1. 4 Ibid., 91. 5 Ibid., 97. 6 Ibid., 97. 7 Ibid., 9.

This article is from the book: “Choices in healing: integrating the best of conventional and complementary approaches to cancer” by Michael Lerner. ISBN 0-262-12180-8 1. Michael Lerner is President of Commonweal. Commonweal is a nonprofit health and environmental research institute in Bolinas, California. Founded in 1976, Commonweal conducts programs that contribute to human and ecosystem health and to a safer world for people and for all life. Web: www.commonweal.org

www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing


nutrigenomics

April 2010

WELLNESS NEWS 19

what you eat now can prevent future disease By S. L. Baker Kansas State University (K-State) researchers have joined a growing number of scientists who say a relatively new medical field known as nutrigenomics could change the future of public health forever. How? By tailoring strategies to prevent diseases before they can happen – diseases that might otherwise be in a person’s future because of his or her genetic makeup. The key to this revolutionary stop-disease-before-it-happens strategy isn’t a new drug, vaccine or sophisticated gene therapy. Instead, it is eating specific foods. K-State researchers recently published an academic journal article in Food Technology outlining the potential for nutrigenomics, a field that studies the effects of food on gene expression. Simply put, scientists could eventually recommend specific foods for an individual based on his or her genetics that will prevent future diseases – especially those that tend to “run in families”, such as certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even obesity. “Nutrigenomics involves tailoring diets to someone’s genetic makeup,” Koushik Adhikari, K-State assistant professor of sensory analysis, said in a statement to the media. “I speculate that in five to 10 years, you would go to a genetic counselor or a physician who could help you understand your genetic makeup, and then a nutritional professional could customise your diet accordingly.” Nutrigenomics combines molecular biology, genetics and nutrition to pinpoint how gene expression can be regulated through specific nutrients. That’s important because nutrients have been shown to affect gene expression through transcription factors (biochemical entities that bind to DNA and either promote or inhibit transcription of genes). Nutrigenomics does not involve genetically modifying a food’s DNA by splicing and adding genes. Instead, nutrigenomics focuses on using foods’ natural phytochemicals, nutrients and other components to promote better health. And while current mainstream medicine’s preventive recommendations that involve diet – such as eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to lower the risk of cancer – are generalities for the overall population, nutrigenomics research involves developing specific health recommendations that can be modified to an individual’s needs. “Scientists are looking at the molecular mechanisms in the body,” Adhikari explained in the media statement. “At the molecular level, you can look at what specific nutrients can do to your body that would trigger genes to act properly, in a healthy way.” “That is where I think the main focus of nutrigenomics is going to be in the future,” Adhikari said. “It could tell you that you have the propensity for certain chronic diseases so that you could modify your diet accordingly.” He added, for example, that with a better understanding of how nutrients alter gene expression, there is a potential that food could be used instead of medication to combat problems like high cholesterol.

“Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favour compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.” T. A. Edison

K-State researchers in human nutrition are currently working on these kinds of studies. For example, they are investigating the impact plant chemicals have on preventing different types of cancers. They are also studying how the Chinese fruit known as wolfberry could be used to improve vision. These research projects are designed to not only answer whether specific nutrients prevent a disease, but also how they exert their health benefits. ✦

From: naturalnews.com 25th March 2010.

CSA Laughter Club with Kimmy O’Meara

HE WHO LAUGHS LASTS!

At the CSA every Wednesday morning 11.00am to 12.00pm (note: new time for 2010) Cost: CSA Members $3; Others $5. For enquiries phone CSA on 9384 3544.

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20 WELLNESS NEWS

April 2010

ipes c e r o s i m anti-age

and y h t l a he

Email your healing recipes and food news to the editor: editor.wellness@yahoo.com.au

in g

Traditional Miso Soup Ingredients

5-inch strip wakame (sea vegetable), or 2 teaspoons dried wakame 1 large onion (about 1 cup) 4 cups purified water 2 to 8 Tablespoons light miso depending on the richness desired

Method

This versatile bright green pesto is an east/west fusion food that makes an inviting holiday appetizer served with sweet red and yellow bell pepper strips or crackers and chips. For a festive finger food, fill bite-sized pastry shells with this quick and easy pesto. From the first time I put it together, it became a frequent addition to daily menus. Try tossing Cilantro Miso Pesto with hot pasta or add a little more oil and some vinegar or lemon juice to make a tasty salad dressing. Hempseed has a unique nutty flavour plus all the essential amino acids and both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Cilantro Miso Pesto Quick and easy to prepare, it makes a great last minute addition to any party fare. It can be made a few hours ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Soak the wakame in water for 10 minutes and slice into 1.5 inch pieces. Thinly slice onions. Put water, onions and wakame in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes, until tender. Remove 1.5 cups of broth from the saucepan and place in a bowl. Allow water in the bowl to cool a bit and add the miso, mixing it into the water (the water should be cooled to a temperature of 105 degrees or lower so the beneficial microflora and enzymes in the miso remain in tact). Turn off heat, allowing the remaining water in the saucepan to also cool to 105 degrees or below. When it has cooled, add the miso broth to the soup in the saucepan. Add chopped parsley, green onions, ginger or watercress for garnish. This is a vegetarian version of miso soup. Dried bonito fish flakes found in Asian markets can be added to this soup to make a more substantial broth. Simmer one tablespoon of bonito flakes in the soup water for 10 minutes and strain. Recipes by Louise Hagler. Louise Hagler is a pioneer in creating vegan cuisine with tofu and other soyfoods to satisfy the western palate. For over 30 years, she has continued to create vegan cookbooks that present a wide variety of tasty, easy-to-prepare, familiar dishes incorporating soy and vegan foods of all kinds. Louise’s books in print include Tofu Cookery 25th Anniversary Edition, Miso Cookery, Soyfoods Cookery, Lighten Up! With Louise Hagler, Meatless Burgers, Tofu Quick & Easy, and The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.

Ingredients 3 ounces (1 1/2 cups chopped) cilantro 2 to 4 cloves garlic (to taste) Add and process until well blended: 1/2 cup raw cashews, walnuts, or hulled hempseeds 2 tablespoons sweet white, mellow white, or sweet barley miso 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

Method Process in a food processor until minced.

www.cancersupportwa.org.au environment • wellness • healing

Miso – A Live Food for All Occasions Traditional unpasteurised miso is a live food that can enhance both daily fare and special holiday dishes. Along with being a tasty treat, it contains beneficial bacteria to aid digestion and can bind with toxins in the body and carry them out.


April 2010

Miso Soup

WELLNESS NEWS 21

Delicious, warming & healthy! Miso is a delicious fermented food that has been eaten in China

and Japan for many centuries. Today it is a favourite of health minded people in the West because of its many anti-aging benefits. Miso and other fermented foods and drinks help build up the inner ecosystem and assure the digestive tract is amply supplied with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria help digest, synthesize, and assimilate nutrients so necessary for good health and anti-aging. They also strengthen the immune system, keeping it at the ready to fight infection and cancer. Miso is a fermented soybean paste with a salty taste, a buttery texture and a unique nutritional profile that make it a versatile condiment for a host of different recipes, and a foundation for traditional miso soup. In addition to soybeans, miso can include rice, barley or wheat. Miso is made by adding a yeast mould known as koji to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment for a period of time ranging from months to years, depending on the specific type of miso being produced. When the fermentation process is completed, the mixture is ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter. The colour, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depend on the exact ingredients used and the duration of the fermentation process. Miso can range in colour from white to brown. The darker the colouring, the more robust the flavour and saltiness. The six popular types of miso are: Hatcho miso (made from soybeans only) Kome miso (made from white rice and soybeans) Mugi miso (made from barley and soybeans) Soba miso (made from buckwheat and soybeans) Genmai miso (made from brown rice and soybeans) Natto miso (made from ginger and soybeans) Miso making is complex and is esteemed as an art form in Asia. In the U.S., interest in miso is increasing due to the growing interest in health and the popularity of Asian food culture stimulated by research suggesting it has numerous health benefits. Miso is available at health food stores and many traditional markets, particularly those that stock foods from around the world. Because the lighter coloured misos have a more delicate flavour, they are better suited for soups, dressings and light sauces. The darker varieties go best with foods having pungent flavours. If stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container, miso can be kept for up to a year. Certified organic miso made with sea salt is the best choice if available. Miso should ideally have a fermentation time of between six months and two years. Miso-tahini sandwiches are delicious. Spread miso on a piece of bread and top with tahini. Sprinkle on slivered almonds or slivered radishes. Miso can be added to marinades for meat, fish, poultry or game. Use it in baked potatoes after they are cooked and spice them up with some herbs. Add miso and herbs to warm or cold rice dishes.

colon cancer, and protection from radiation. Researchers have found that consuming one bowl of miso soup per day, as do most residents of Japan, can drastically lower the risks of breast cancer. Miso has a very alkalising effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant activity gives it anti-aging properties. Miso helps the body maintain nutritional balance. It is loaded with other nutrients along with its beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Miso provides protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, linoleic acid, lecithin, and dietary fiber. Its high content of the amino acid tryptophan makes miso a good choice right before bedtime. Tryptophan is nature’s sleep inducer. Miso helps preserve skin beauty through its content of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps skin stay soft and free of pigment. Miso is a good choice for women with menopausal complaints because it is able to fill estrogen receptors and produce some of the actions of estrogen in the body. The long, slow process of fermentation needed to break down soy requires more hardy bacteria than is used for other fermented products, contributing the special health benefits of miso. Dr. Hiro Watanabe, an expert in developmental biology and cancer prevention in Japan, conducted several animal and human studies using freeze dried rice miso. His goal was the understanding of how miso protects against cancer, radiation and other diseases. Dr. Watanabe’s studies showed that for cancers like those of the breast and prostate, the ideal length of fermentation was between 6 months and 2 years. He found that miso fermented for 180 days is typically a rich colour and has plenty of healthy microflora. According to Dr. Watanabe’s studies, the sodium in miso did not produce adverse effects in people with salt sensitivity and hypertension. For cancer, Dr. Watanabe recommended 3 cups of miso a day. For high blood pressure, he recommended 2 cups, and for relief of menopausal symptoms, he recommended 1 to 3 cups per day. His maintenance amount is 1 cup per day. He noted the beneficial effects of replacing the salt used in food preparation with miso.

Sources:

Combine miso with olive oil, ginger and garlic to make a delicious dressing that can be used on salads, cold grain dishes, or pasta.

Miso, The World’s Healthiest Foods. Miso Soup: A Delicious Bowl of Health and Anti-Aging Power, Body Ecology. Scott Kessman, The Health Benefits of Miso Soup: Japanese Chicken Soup, www.associated content

Many studies have shown the health benefits of miso on humans and animals. Benefits include reduced risks of breast, lung, prostate, and

By Barbara L. Minton. From www.naturalnews.com

of the Cancer Support Association of WA September 2008 Cancer SupportMagazine Association www.cancersupportwa.org.au


What the doctor ordered? By Leanne Hudson

By Melanie Arcudi

“Have the courage to get up close and personal, to feel their pain, their doubts, their fears, their vulnerabilities” Christine Lister

Don’t focus solely on potions and pills when a loved one falls ill. There’s a different kind of medicine that’s freely available to all and just as important as any prescription. It’s hard to stand by and watch when someone gets sick. You want to help, to make the illness go away. It’s easy to feel helpless, especially if you’re not a doctor or miracle worker. But love and support are just as important for someone coping with illness, so provide plenty of that and you’ll help more than you realise.

Listen

“This is so important,” says Jane Gillespie, counsellor, breast-cancer survivor and author of Journey to Me. “People need to tell their stories as a way of coming to terms with changes in their life. You may hear the same story again and again, but be patient. Telling stories is part of emotional healing.”

Don’t judge

“Try not to pass judgement or offer advice if you’re not asked for it,” says Christine Lister, who lost her husband to melanoma four years ago and wrote a book about their experience, The Hidden Journey: Melanoma up close and personal. If someone tells you their problems it’s easy to think they want you to fix them, but often they just need to unload.

Get close

If someone puts a brave face on, try to get beneath that tough exterior. “Have the courage to get up close and personal, to feel their pain, their doubts, their fears, their vulnerabilities,” Lister says. Let them know they’re not alone and they are allowed to feel afraid. But if they don’t want to talk, be happy to sit quietly and keep them company.

Be happy

“Smile, laugh, sing, tell jokes, celebrate special events like birthdays,” Gillespie says. “Fill the room with signs of joy and life.” A positive attitude is catching and, if you team it with news of the outside world and future plans, you give someone something to focus on besides their illness.

Feel

“Let your instincts guide you when you’re caring for someone,” Gillespie says . “There is no perfect way to care. Perfection isn’t the goal — love is.” Every person is different, and what is right for one might be wrong for another. Feel your way each day and work out what is best.

Ask

“Don’t guess what is helpful to others,” Gillespie says . “Ask what would be of most benefit to them right now. Their needs may change from moment to moment, from day to day. Be flexible and open.” And don’t try to make a person’s decisions for them. Just because someone is physically frail it doesn’t mean they can’t think for themselves.


April 2010

WELLNESS NEWS 23

Get physical

Never underestimate the power of touch. “A well-timed hug, a light touch on the arm or shoulder, or even a gentle massage can provide support and connection,” Gillespie says . And it goes even further than that. Studies from the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami have shown that simply being held can lower stress levels, while massage can boost immunity.

Do You Know A Young Carer?

Remind

Make sure the patient knows they are valued. Too often they feel useless or like a burden. Thank them for everything they’ve done for you, and be specific. Recalling particular moments will help them see you’re being sincere about how they’ve helped you, and not just trying to make them feel better.

Be there

Unless they’re contagious, don’t avoid someone who is ill — be the friend you always have been. If you’d usually go for dinner together, cook their favourite dish and take it round instead. If you’d usually catch up over the weekly shop, do their shopping for them, and then chat while you unpack it.

Two Young Carers and Stephanie from Nutrition Australia preparing food for the group.

Did you know that there are approximately 40,000 Young Carers in WA?

Get practical

Illness takes away a person’s health, but not the chores of daily life. Can you look after the kids, provide a lift to the doctor, clean the house, and do the laundry, water the plants? Taking care of the little things leaves them free to focus on feeling better. ✦ From: www.ninemsn.com.au, 9th April 2010

Young Carers are people under the age of 25 who regularly help or support a family member or friend who has an ongoing disability or health condition. The Independent Living Centre WA gives Young Carers access to practical support. For example in February this year we held a cooking demonstration for Young Carers and their families. The night focused on fun, easy, healthy and tasty meals the whole family could make and enjoy! For more information contact your local Carelink and Respite Centre on 1800 052 222 or visit our website for more information www.ilc.com.au

“There are times when I need to lean on somebody else, and I have found that shoulder to cry on – that strong person to lean on.” Graca Machel

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