Using Diet and Herbal Supplements to Fight Breast Cancer

Using Diet and Herbal Supplements to Fight Breast Cancer

A diagnosis of breast cancer is one of the most frightening, and life changing events for any woman and her family. Though available treatments continue to improve, and survival rates continue to rise, it remains as traumatic and life threatening as ever. That is why regular self-exams and healthy lifestyle choices are so important to women of all ages. Early detection and treatment greatly increases a patient’s chances of survival, and of returning to a positive healthy life. Women facing the breast cancer battle have few options when it comes to possible treatments, and conventional medicine still turns to surgery and chemotherapy as the best tools available to beat the cancer. Adding complimentary therapies however, have been proven to improve a patient’s prognosis while helping to alleviate some of the more unpleasant side effects of conventional treatments. For many women facing the battle against breast cancer, the right supplementary therapy can offer relief from the pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy and can help strengthen their bodies for the all-important fight.

Diet and the Battle against Breast Cancer

A healthy diet is integral to the well-being of any person, regardless of sex or disease. But making precise dietary changes can help women augment their body’s natural cancer fighting abilities. Much of the food that we ingest on a regular basis is treated with pesticides, hormones and other chemicals intended to increase yield and shelf stability. These chemicals can act like estrogen in the body, and can lead to the growth of hormone dependent tumors. This is particularly harmful when a woman’s body is already compromised by breast cancer and chemotherapy. Step one in altering your diet to fight breast cancer is to increase the intake of wholly organic foods, and eliminate as many of these harmful chemicals from your diet as possible.

As patients begin to redesign their diets, it is important to begin adding foods that help the body to perform well, and to heal itself. Dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, water cress and daikon help to stimulate the kidneys and liver which are vital to the elimination of toxins from the bloodstream. This is particularly important for women undergoing chemotherapy, as once the drugs have done their work it is vital they be eliminated safely from the body. Adding probiotics also help to strengthen the digestive system, which in turn will help the body absorb much needed nutrients from the organic foods being added to the diet. Holistic clinicians and alternative cancer treatment centers also suggest that breast cancer patients increase the amounts of anti-inflammatory foods such as garlic, curcumin, flax seeds, hemp seeds and green leafy vegetables in their diets. These foods help to prevent the formation of new blood vessels, which in turn may prevent tumors from metastasizing.

Using Diet and Herbal Supplements to Fight Breast Cancer

Vitamins and Dietary Supplements

Women battling breast cancer, and struggling with the side effects of chemotherapy, should also consider adding a regimen of dietary supplements to their normal routine. The right mix of vitamins and herbal supplements can aid the body in it’s fight against cancer, as well as provide a bulwark against the nausea and discomfort that follows intense chemotherapy.

The vitamins found to be most effective in alternative cancer treatment for breast cancer therapy are D, E, C and A. These vitamins are particularly important to cancer survivors who are rebuilding their immune systems after intensive chemotherapy. Additionally, mineral supplements such as selenium and zinc help to boost the body’s innate health and ability to combat and ward of future cancer occurrences. These vitamins are all naturally occurring, and ideally patients will want to derive as much of their vitamin intake as possible directly from their diet. But for many cancer patients suffering with nausea it is increasing difficult to eat a well balance diet, and in these instances a regimen of vitamin supplements can help to offset any loss of nutrients from lack of appetite.

Using Diet and Herbal Supplements to Fight Breast Cancer

Herbal supplements also play a key role in the battle against breast cancer. Saw Palmetto, sulforaphane and bitter melon have all been shown to have anti-cancer properties, and can help to retard the growth of breast cancer cells. Likewise milk thistle has been shown to have an adverse effect on cancer cells, retarding their growth. For those patients struggling with the effects of chemotherapy, the use of ginger is suggested to help quiet the accompanying nausea and to increase appetite, while melatonin can help to ease sleep and allow patients to rest less fitfully.

Any cancer diagnosis is traumatic for the patient and their loved ones. Breast cancer survivors agree that attitude is paramount in beating the disease. Part of a healthy attitude to the cancer fight, is knowing you are doing everything you can to strengthen your body so it can fight the cancer. Through a holistic and alternative cancer treatment approach to diet and dietary supplements, breast cancer patients can take an active part in the fight against their cancer. Any complimentary cancer treatment should, of course, be only a part of the whole cancer treatment, and patients should coordinate all of their dietary changes, including vitamin and herbal supplement regimens, with their physicians and holistic clinicians.

Using Diet and Herbal Supplements to Fight Breast Cancer

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