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Volume IV, No. 4
By Frank M. Jordan
Read an important Health Treatment Notice about personal health issues.
Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments -
Truth and Consequences Plus Nutritional Aids
Chemotherapy and Radiation as Cancer Treatments
Cancer cells lose their ability to be controlled in natural growth and reproduction by the body and multiply very fast, often migrating to other parts of the body in addition to the original site. Normal cells know when to stop growing, particularly in repair situations, but cancer cells are different from normal cells in ignoring the body’s signals to stop growth. The cancer cells become erratic and keep multiplying rapidly and, if not controlled or killed, the cancer cells disrupt normal and essential cell functions, crowd out normal tissue of organs and eventually, if not stopped, cause organ failure resulting in death.
Chemotherapy (chemo) and radiation are two of only three sanctioned medical procedures (surgery is the third) utilized in the treatment of cancer. Chemo involves antimetabolites that attempt to disrupt cancer cell growth and reproduction and cytotoxic (cell poisoning) drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemo and radiation are also utilized to shrink the cancer tumor size prior to surgery, with an objective to make removal both less invasive to the patient and more effective in removing the cancerous tumor or tumors.
Chemotherapy was first developed as a U.S. Army poison gas program during World War II, a fact seldom revealed to those in treatment. Chemotherapy is the chosen sanctioned therapy when cancer has metastasized, or spread beyond the original site of origin. Cancer has metastasized in cancer patients in 50-70% of diagnosed cancer cases, a condition status that unfortunately reduces success statistics for "cure." Control by reduced reproduction of cancer cells and tumor size shrinkage are much more frequent results than a factual "cure" and are positive developments in cancer treatment.
Success rates for chemotherapy have been highest in ovarian, testicular and Duke’s C cancers. Cures by chemotherapy and radiation regimens in other cancers are less successful involving all-to-often misleading statistics. As an example, cancer is considered cured if a patient is cancer-free for 5 years after treatment; even if cancer reoccurs in year 6. This equates cancer remission for a 5 year period with cure and, while certainly a positive development, the word "cure" should equate to "gone" or cancer being no longer present to any extent in any amount. While approximately 50% of cancer patients receive chemotherapy in some form, the success rate according to Dr. Ralph Moss, author of Questioning Chemotherapy, is only 2 to 5% for a cure. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and organized medicine present more optimistic industry success rates at about 25%, with rates varying by type and stage of the form of cancer treated and the definition of "cure." If cancer, particularly breast cancer, is "cured," why do most Oncologist insist on a post-operative "chemotherapy" treatment plan that is debilitating due to side effects and financially a heavy burden even though they, "got it all?".
Radiation treatments for cancer, or radiotherapy, involve the use of radioactivity including ionizing radiation from Gamma-rays, X-Rays or Cobalt-60 as killing agents in therapy. Approximately 60% of cancer patients receive radiation in some form. Radiation is aimed at killing the malignant cells and tissues involved in cancer. Radiation can in fact damage cancer cells, but radiation can also cause secondary cancers after the primary cancer has been treated; thus being classified as a carcinogen defined as a cancer-causing agent.
In addition to being carcinogens, chemotherapy drugs and radiation are in many instances classified as free radicals responsible for cancer-causing mutations to the body's deoxyribonucleic acid, better known as DNA. Free radicals are in actuality molecules that have lost an electron and are therefore "unpaired," similar to a sparking wire uncontrolled in the body. The "unpaired" molecules "steal" an electron from any nearby molecule in an attempt to replace their missing electron, leading to the creation of more free radicals and initiating a chain reaction. Excessive free radicals in the body are to be avoided and a serious detriment to attaining and maintaining good health.
As with any
prescription pharmaceutical drug, the prescribing physician must evaluate risk
versus reward of the drug or drugs prescribed, with the presumption the reward
of curing the treated disease is more beneficial than the risk of the
prescription drug's known bad side effects in the body. In prescribing
post-operative chemotherapy after claiming "we got it all," especially with
breast cancer patients, it is hoped a thorough evaluation of the risk of
injecting a patient's body with additional poison carcinogens known to cause
serious side effects such as fatigue, a suppressed immune response and even
cancer, is conclusive in determining the possible reward of killing cancer cells
that supposedly are no longer present more than offsets the certain and serious
negatives from the treatment itself!
Chemotherapy Drug Types and Purpose
Chemotherapy drugs are classified in five categories:
Ø Alkylating cytotoxic agents: The genetic material or DNA of a cell is composed of molecules named bases. These bases must be duplicated and paired precisely when the cell divides. Alkylating agents interfere with the orderly process of bases pairing, thus preventing successful cell division. The drugs Cytoxan and L-Pam are in this category.
Ø Antimetabolites: Antimetabolites are chemical compounds absorbed by the cell, similar in fact to vitamins and other nutrients. Antimetabolites disrupt the cell metabolic process. Methotrexate, 5-FU and 6-MP are examples.
Ø Antibiotics: Antibiotics are designed to fight bacterial infections by disrupting the synthesis of RNA, a substance the cell needs to make essential proteins. Cancer therapy antibiotics include Bleomycin and Adriamycin.
Ø Steroids: Prednizone and estrogen supposedly work in cancer treatment by preventing production of proteins and key enzymes, but the exact process is unknown to date.
Ø Miscellaneous: Vinblastine and Vincristine actively prevent cell replication or doubling. L-Alparaginase is an enzyme that destroys asparagines, an amino acid some cancer cells must source from the blood stream and cannot produce.
More chemo drugs are developed almost daily, with advances hopefully being made to make the drugs more targeted in killing cancer cells without nausea and hair loss, and less damaging to the bone marrow, immune cells, nutrient delivery and creation of other cancers.
Chemotherapy and Radiation Status Today
What is most disturbing is mainstream medicine dictates only chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are currently accepted treatments for cancer, with even nutrition unbelievably considered an alternative form. Cancer is a disease that destroys normal cell function and in turn tissue and organs; i.e. a disease of abnormal metabolism. Up to 40% of cancer patients are dying of malnutrition, but this aspect of cancer and the contributions to malnutrition due to treatments of chemotherapy and radiation are all but ignored.
Why can’t the main stream medical establishment embrace the contributions of nutrition, vitamin therapy (Vitamin C particularly) and immune response enhancement to fighting cancer, in addition to other effective alternative methods? Dollars? This should not be an "us versus them" or "pharmaceutical/surgery versus natural" or any other ridiculous focus other than taking the best of all health sciences to cure the cancer of the patient. Why should anything be excluded that can be beneficial simply because it is natural versus synthetic and cannot be patented to produce billions of dollars?
If chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are so successful after hundreds of millions of dollars in research, why has the cancer death rate per 100,000 population TRIPLED since 1900? All but ignoring the source of food for cancer is sugar and the destructive effects of chemotherapy and radiation on the immune response is unexplainable. Hopefully extensive research will be done in the future to reduce or eliminate the negatives of the treatments and statistics relating to success will be accurate, without marketing gimmicks to make results appear better than reality. Cancer patients deserve the truth and access to any treatment or substance that can be beneficial to managing symptoms or contribute to a cure.
Dangers of Chemo and Radiation
Chemotherapy patients are 14 times more likely to develop leukemia than patients who have not undergone chemo and chemo patients are 6 times more likely to develop cancer of the bones, joints and soft tissue.
Chemotherapy causes the barrier of the intestine to become permeable and leaky, allowing detrimental bacteria and fungi to enter the bloodstream (fibromyalgia possible cause?). Nutrient digestion is impaired by destruction of the villi in the intestinal wall of the small intestine. Chemo suppresses the immune response while severely depleting Taurine, a key ingredient of bile needed for fat-soluble vitamin absorption, cell membrane integrity and calcium/sodium balance.
Most forms of chemotherapy cause depletion of Vitamin A and interfere with intestinal absorption of Vitamin K, needed for proper blood density. Dermatitis on the skin is common, while hemoglobin (red blood cell) levels are lowered after chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy damages bone marrow by X-ray or Gamma-ray emission, while causing a severe decline in needed Vitamin C concentration in the bone marrow and the body’s sodium/potassium balance. Further, radiation therapy shrinks the spleen and thymus gland, while causing a reduction in white blood cell counts known as lycopenia. Regarding the immune response, both helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells are reduced.
Bottom line, risk versus reward is a major question in using chemotherapy and radiation in cancer treatment. Many have benefited in increased life span, but too often with limited cure achievement, but there are aids to making these treatments more effective while reducing negative side effects many times ignored.
Can Chemotherapy and Radiation Be More Effective?
Are there ways to make radiation and chemotherapy more effective against cancer and less destructive to white cells and red cells produced by the bone marrow that are essential for oxygen and nutrient delivery in the body and thus energy itself?
A study by D.J. Allendorf and associates presented at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine Comprehensive Care Symposium in 2003 reported, “Oral treatment with whole glucan particles may be a useful therapeutic intervention following radiation exposure to accelerate myeloid [bone marrow] recovery and increase survival after radiation exposure.”
Dr. Myra Patchen and associates from Harvard U. published the following results, “These studies suggest that glucan, a macrophage activator, can synergize the G-CSF to further accelerate hemopoietic [formation of blood cells] regeneration and increase survival following radiation-induced myelosuppression [bone marrow suppression].”
As to chemotherapy, A. A. Tohamy in a peer reviewed article in November 2003 published: “This protective effect of beta-glucan could be attributed to its scavenging ability to trap free-radicals produced during the biotransformation of these anti-neoplastic [abnormal tissue growth chemotherapy] drugs.
Beta-glucan also markedly restored the mitotic [cell division] activity of bone marrow cells that had been suppressed by the anti-neoplastic drugs.
These results indicate that in addition to known immunopotentiating activity of beta-glucan, it plays a role in reducing genotoxicity [capability to cause cancer] induced by anti-neoplastic [abnormal tissue growth] drugs during cancer chemotherapy.”
These research studies and presentations translate to mean Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan helps protect against free radicals produced by chemotherapy drugs and radiation attempting to stop cancer cell multiplication.
A major damage factor from chemotherapy and radiation is in inhibiting and damaging bone marrow and spleen production of blood cells – white and red. Dr. Myra Patchen in peer-reviewed publications further reported,
“Both glucan P [particulate taken orally as a supplement] and glucan-F enhanced the recovery of peripheral blood white cell numbers, platelet numbers and hematocrit [red blood cell concentration] values. In addition, both agents increased endogenous pluripotent hemopoietic stem cell numbers in sublethally irradiated mice. … In the spleen, all aspects of hemopoiesis [formation of blood cells] increased after glucan administration.”
Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan and the potent form of MG Glucan ingested orally:
Ø Nutritionally aids in protecting the white immune cells from damage from the cytotoxicity (cell poisons) of chemotherapy and radiation.
Ø Nutritionally aids in replacing needed white immune cells, red blood cells and platelets in the bone marrow after treatment.
Ø Nutritionally aids “Phagocytosis” by white immune cells that ingest and devour dead or damaged cancer and other cells, thus removing toxic damaged and dead cells from the body.
Ø Nutritionally helps promote an improved immune response to enhance God’s protection for us against other health invaders including fungus, bacteria and viruses.
Ø Nutritionally promotes replacement of red blood cells in the bone marrow to orally aid in restoring energy and reducing nausea by enhancing delivery of oxygen to cells.
A sick mind cannot help a sick body. Fran Di Giacomo, author and cancer survivor says, “Laughter frees the mind from the shackles of despair and, in turn, empowers the body.” Where there is humor together with a spiritual promise, there is hope for the present and future in cancer and life.
MG Glucan oral intake is suggested at minimum two weeks before beginning chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments and to continue for at minimum 60 days afterward. In summary, make informed decisions and utilize all potentially beneficial sources.
For detailed research sources go to www.betaglucan.org, a non-commercial website dedicated to beta glucan research and information and go to the sections on "chemotherapy", "radiation" and "cancer".
About the Author: Frank Jordan has a post-graduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is a co-patent holder on U.S. patents issued or in application related to the immune response in conjunction with researchers at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Dept. of Microbiology. Frank Jordan's most recent book is "Frankly Speaking, Vol 1" which reviews 50 different common medical conditions with thoughts and suggestions. Jordan also hosts his "Frank Jordan Commentaries" on Ch 131 on Sirius/XM national satellite radio heard weekdays at 4:26 pm EST. Learn more about Frank Jordan on the web at www.hwwshow.com .
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