A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Among the most common form of cancer is lung cancer. More than 50,000 women and 100,000 men in the United States suffer from lung cancer. Smoking is the most significant reason behind lung cancer. If a person smokes two packs a day for a period of twenty years, chances of occurrence of lung cancer increases by more than 70 times. In case of passive exposure towards smoke, chances of occurrence of lung cancer increases by 50 percent. If a person is exposed to industrial metals, pollutions, and asbestos, the chances of occurrence of lung cancer increase. Also vitamin A deficiency, tuberculosis and use of marijuana can increase lung cancer.
Major symptoms of lung cancer are hoarseness, sputum (bloody or rusty), cough and wheezing. Some patients suffer from chest pain, pain in arms, shoulder, fever, as well as loss of appetite, shortness of breath and loss in weight. The symptoms often appear in the later stages of the disease. The lung cancer takes one of the following forms: oat cells or small cells, large cell, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell. Sometimes the cancers originating in other parts of the body also spread to the lungs. X-ray of chest can detect lung cancer. Sometimes, CAT scan is required for finding small tumours. Further it requires a biopsy which finally confirms the lung cancer. Classification of cancer depends on the size of tumour and the extent up to which it has spread. Among the treatment methods for lung cancer includes surgery for small tumours. Most of the times, lung cancer spread before it is detected. Chemotherapy is the main treatment method for lung cancer. Other treatments include medications and radiation therapy.
Supplements and herbs
Aloe juice stops the process of conversion of tobacco chemicals into carcinogens, 60 ml i.e. 1/4 cup of aloe juice should be taken daily. However if you are suffering from diarrhea, you should avoid aloe vera juice.
Astragalus capsules stimulates T and LAK cells (Iymphokine-activated killer), these cells attack lung cancer. Take 1,000 mg three times daily.
Cat's claw tincture: Prescribed dose of the medication is mixed in 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp lemon juice. The medication stimulates the immune system. Patients of diabetes taking insulin should not take this medication. Pregnant women should also avoid this medicine. This medicine should not be prescribed to children below the age of six.
Cayenne powder: 1 tbsp of cayenne powder is to be used daily. This stops conversion of tobacco chemicals to carcinogenic form.
Espinheira santa tincture: This should be taken as per the direction. The medicine is toxic to different kinds of lung cancer cells.
Lentinan intramuscular injection: The injection is taken as per the guidelines of physician. It increases the survival time in secondary lung cancer.
Bu gu zhi or psoralea seed capsules: The capsules should be taken thrice a day and dosage must not be more than 1000 mg. The medicine should be taken under supervision of a doctor. The medicine has compounds which inhibit lung cancer. However psoralea seed increases the sensitivity of a patient towards sunlight. Exposure towards sun should be avoided or sunscreen should be used.
Scutellaria capsules: The capsules should be taken thrice a day and dosage must be in between 1,000-2,000 mg. The medicine has compounds which stops the inflammatory processes, thus providing relief from cough. Donít use the medicine in case if you are suffering from diarrhea.
Soy isoflavone concentrate tablets should be taken once a day and dosage must not be more than 3,000 mg. These tablets help in destroying lung cancer cells.
Turmeric curcumin tablets: These tablets should be taken thrice a day and dosage must not be more than 250 mg. These herbal tablets activate the p53, a cancer-disabling gene to fight against small-cell lung cancer.
Homeopathic medicines act as palliative medicine in the treatment of patients suffering from lung cancer. Homeopathic medicines reduce the severity and intensity of symptoms, thus providing relief to the patients suffering from lung cancer. The distress and pain of the patients can be reduced by the homeopathic remedies. These medicines do not have any kind of side effects and when homeopathic medicines are used with chemotherapy, they make the chemotherapy more bearable by controlling the negative effects of chemotherapy drugs.
Homeopathic medicines help in improving the immunity of a patient resulting in increase in self healing capacity of an individual. Improved immunity of a patient helps him/her in becoming more defiant to secondary infections and stops further spreading of the disease. After the surgery, homeopathic medicines help in faster recovery and reduce the chances of recurrence of disease. Thus homeopathic medicines make the life of a patient better and help him in living a healthier life. Following are the common homeopathic remedies used for treatment of lung cancer: Euphorbium officinarum, Bryonia, Chelidonium majus, Arsenicum iodatum, Acalypha indica, Phosphorous, Sulphuricum acidum, Bromium, Methylene blue, Crotalus horridus, Conium maculatum and Aranea diadema.
Additional things you may do
The best step to avoid lung cancer is to stop smoking and avoid tobacco smoke from both active and passive sources. In case if a patient has constant exposure to tobacco smoke, it becomes hard for the patient to overcome cancer, instead could lead to other disorders of lung resulting in reduction of lung capacity. A patient should regularly take parsley. Parsley is rich in myristicin which is found to activate the detoxifying enzyme GST, thus reducing lung tumour formation.
Supplements of folic acid should be daily taken as per the recommended prescription of a doctor. In case a patient is undergoing chemotherapy with MTA, tegafur, or fluorouracil and UFT, he should avoid taking folic acid. A recent study conducted at New England Medical Center revealed that the lung-cancer patients who took supplements of folic acid had a forty one months cancer-free period. In comparison, the patients who did not take supplements of folic acid had an eleven month cancer-free period. Consumption of vitamin B12 (500 milligrams) will provide additional benefits to patients. Vitamin B12 helps in preventing damage to lungs.
GLA i.e. gamma-linolenic acid promotes the growth of healthy cells and decays the growth of lung cancer cells. GLA works together with cisplatin and kills lung cancer cells. Consuming natural sources rich in GLA like evening primrose oil or borage seed oil helps in improving the patientís condition. However GLA should not be taken in case of chemotherapy with cisplatin.
Exposure to sunlight helps a patient to get the required vitamin D. Vitamin D is manufactured by skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays present in the sunlight. In case the supply of vitamin A is adequate, it results in cellular suicide or apoptosis of cancer cells in lungs. Thus a patient should sit in sunlight such that hands and face faces the sunlight for about twenty minutes and this should be a daily routine. Patients should avoid wearing sunscreen as this blocks the required UV rays of sunlight.
When a patient is undergoing chemotherapy, he should avoid taking vitamin E as it protects cancer cells and turns them sensitive towards Adriamycin (doxorubicin hydrochloride) and Velban (vinblastine sulfate). A diet rich in vegetables and fruits helps in reducing the chances of lung cancer occurrence.
Diet should be rich in black tea, apples, carrots and tomatoes as these help in preventing lung cancer. A study was conducted in Sweden which revealed that carrots help in avoiding lung cancer in people who have never smoked. For women, tomatoe is the best food to avoid lung cancer, it has a chemical named lycopene which lowers the risk of lung cancer. Black tea is also found to reduce the risk of lung cancer development; light smokers should drink at least two cups of black tea. Eating apples also reduces the risk of lung cancer development by 50 percent.
Women should especially avoid eating fried red meat. According to a study conducted by National Cancer Institute, every 1/3-ounce of fried red meat consumption increases the chances of lung cancer by about 9 percent. Increase in fried red meat consumption in a diet increases the risk of lung cancer.
Diet can help in reducing the risk of lung cancer development. Also it can affect where the development of cancer takes place. In lower part of the lungs, it is easier to treat cancer while in upper lungs it is very difficult to treat cancer. It is advised to take at least five meals of food having orange and yellow vegetables, thus reducing the likelihood of cancer cell development in the upper part of lungs.
In case of regular smokers, consuming 150 mcg of selenium daily is very helpful. Combination of low levels of vitamin E, heavy smoking and selenium increases the risk of lung cancer occurrence. However supplements of beta-carotene should be avoided by smokers. It has been proved by studies that supplements of beta-carotene do not help in preventing lung cancer, instead increases the chances of lung cancer occurrence in smokers. This is attributed to the fact that beta-carotene leads to conversion of tobacco smoke into carcinogenic form. This gets worsen in case if the beta-carotene consumption is not balanced by the use of other carotenes found in vegetables and fruits. It is advised to take more vegetables and fruits rather than taking beta-carotene supplements.
Other beneficial herbs
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