During a shower one day you notice a lump that was not otherwise there. The next day you see a doctor. The lump you have identified is diagnosed as cancer. Now you need to figure out what to do. There is no absolute cure for cancer, but there are different ways to treat it. One treatment is the traditional from by seeing a doctor who possibly could use radiation, chemotherapy or other drugs. Another way of treating cancer is with alternative forms of medicine by using acupuncture naturopathic and homeopathic doctors who prescribe more natural forms of healing using a combination of the two. When using the combination of the two treatment techniques, one can receive the full benefit of all available options. The medical profession should acknowledge allowing alternative medicines in conjunction with traditional medicines to ease suffering as well as prolonging the lives of cancer patients. In order to make a decision on a treatment for cancer, one must understand what cancer is and the current treatments used. Cancer starts when a cell ceases to function properly, mutates and begins to multiply rapidly. A cancer cell has an abnormal chromosome which sends ‘ the wrong ‘ message to the other parts of the cell, which causes the cell to grow rapidly as it multiplies. These multiplied cells form a lump called a malignant tumor which is the cancer. “[Cancer] knows no boundaries and plays no favorites; it can be found among people of all races and ages, both rich and poor, black and white, male or female (Fine 9).” Cancer is a very serious disease many people live with. On average ” about 1.2 million people are diagnosed with [cancer] every year (Noonan A3).” Cancer is not a contagious disease; it can not be passed form one person to another. Like the statistic from above, imagine the fact that ” cancer kills more than 500,000 Americans every year -approximately one person per minute (Noonan A3).” Many people each year are killed by cancer, yet there are more who continue to live with this disease. There are many different kinds of treatments to ease the pain and sometimes even kill the cancer. The most accepted form of treatment is through traditional medicine. This includes radiation ,chemotherapy, surgery and also improving ones lifestyle to prevent future episodes of cancer. Radiation is a method that uses ” high-energy x-rays, electron beams or radioactive isotopes to kill cancer cells without exceeding safe doses to normal tissue ( Dollinger 48).” There are two different types of radiation therapy, externally and internally. When giving externally the medical profession uses Orthovoltage equipment that treats external types of cancer like skin cancer. Internally giving radiation involves one of the following treatments, Internal (Systemic ) Radiation therapy, Interstitial Radiation Therapy, Intracavitary Radiation and Intrauminal Radiation therapy. Radiation can be giving Like chemotherapy radiation therapy has similar side effects like nausea, vomiting, a burn some what like a suntan that tans then peels and ulcer may develop as well. Chemotherapy can cure some types of cancer. This form of therapy is given in many different ways. It can be taken orally with a capsule, pill or in liquid form. Other ways it can be taken is through a syringe into a vein, artery or the muscle. The most commonly known form of chemotherapy is given intravenously through IV drip devices. Chemotherapy is a very risky method to heal for the drugs used are so dangerous that if an unprofessional or unqualified doctor mixed the wrong dosage it would be fatal. This therapy does have some side effects. When taking chemo treatment there is a possibility of ” nausea, vomiting, hair loss, sore mouth, diarrhea and/or depressed blood counts (Dollinger 480).” Another form of treatment is surgery, to remove the cancer. This involves removing cancerous or possibly cancerous cells known as tumors. Other times surgery is the only option after using chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment. Changing ones’ lifestyle maybe necessary for both pre and post cancer. According to the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research is there has been developed a new dietary recommendations list to improve ones’ chances for avoiding cancer in the future. To name a few; one ” should have 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily and pass up high salt foods that increase stomach cancer risks ( Napier 118 &120).” Generally one should eat right because it is proven a good diet means a good healthy life. Although traditional medicine can help and sometimes kills the cancer, it is not the only outlet to be considered. Alternative medicine has been know world wide for thousands of years. The chines, Scandinavians and even the Mexicans have had home remedies to reduce the suffering of cancer patients. Some of the many techniques have been used for many generations, and together with traditional medicine they can each help solve to purpose to eliminate the cancer. Shark liver oil is a good example of the alternative treatment. Shark liver helps in the in the ” regression of tumor growth in cancer and [gives] protection from radiation ” when used with this traditional form of treatment (Solomon 11). The Squalamine in the ” shark liver oil stimulates production of the red and white blood cells” which help destroy tumor growing ability (Solomon 137). The majority of clinical doctors don’t recognize the use of the less traditional medicine. Even in the cases when alternative medicines prevent some of the side effects known from methods such as chemotherapy. An example of this is Una de Gato or cat’s claw. This herb is used to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. Another form of a alternative treatment method for cancer is using a Modified Citrus Pectin. This method is said to make ” sugar molecules attach themselves to cancer cells in the blood stream which prevent cancer cells from attaching to the body’s organs (Citrus 3).” Todays’ medical profession needs to not focus on one type of medicine and one type of treatment, but the whole retrospect of all that is available in all fields of study. ” Once dismissed a quackery, such alternative treatments as acupuncture, massage therapy, whole-foods nutrition and herbal remedies are now being invited wholesale into that innermost sanctum of conventional medicine, the hospital (Suzukamo 1).” There has been an increasing interest in alternative medicine in the last decade which is why all doctors need to be informed of other options. Hospitals are now beginning to accommodate these needs because some ” hospital officials said they are taking this step because patients speaking with their wallets are demanding it (Suzukamo 1).” Todays’ society is changing fast and with the doctors of today being reeducated about alternative methods people that suffer from diseases such as cancer will have a better survival rate compared to in the past. Dr. Dan Foley, vice president of medical affairs for a hospital said it is ” probably in the last 50 years, we’ve spent to much time looking at high-tech stuff, but it’s time to get back to treating the patient (Suzukamo 2).” Many still believe that alternative medicine is not right for them, but it is now and should be offered as a assessment to how cancer patients are being treated now. The window of opportunity needs to be open to everyone and every hospital around the world not just a selected few. A more traditional, newly used treatment for cancer is GLI-328. GLI-328 is and experimental method of gene therapy which ” is being tested in 44 hospitals world wide (Goldberg 71).” How GLi-328 works is by ” cutting out a portion of the tumor and implanting it with ‘suicide’ genes, from mouse skin cells containing altered mouse leukemia virus, and this will cause the tumor to begin to self destruct (Goldberg 71).” Once the virus is inside of the tumor it begins to infect the rapidly dividing cells and not the normal functioning cells. This makes the vulnerable to the antiviral drug Ganciclovir. ” Ganciclovir is used to treat a disease of herpes called cytomegalovirus ( Goldberg 72).” This new treatment has been ” safe and effective in four out of ten patients; reducing tumor fifty percent (Goldberg 73).” This new, modern medicine can be used effectively with other more natural methods to treat the on going battle for cancer. According to Marie Cargil ” the combination of [the] two medical systems acupuncture and modern medicine [will] help cancer patients (Cargil 86).” Chinese forms of medicine like acupuncture are strengthening to the body to protect it against other pathogens. When acupuncture is used in combination with ” surgery, drugs and radiation” there is an ” fifty percent improvement” among the involved patients (Cargil 86). ” If you look at tumors like a bunch of grapes on a vine, you could say current drugs and chemotherapy treat the grapes, but these new drugs treat the vine so the grapes will wither and die (Noonan A3).” The above quote was said by Dr. Judah Folkman who also believes using new technological advances and more natural alternative treatments can help more than just traditional forms of recovery. Traditional, modern techniques for treating cancer has made a significant impact on todays’ society. When diagnosed with this deadly disease using the more advanced medical treatments in conjunction with more natural medicine one can obtain the most beneficial treatment to accommodate to whole person. Clinical doctors do not openly recommend alternative uses of medicine, but it is very good thing to discuss with ones’ doctor to get as much help to overcome the cancer. Todays’ medical profession needs to be more open to societies greater need to live longer and suffer less from one of the most painful diseases known to man, cancer.
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