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10 Effective Alternative Cancer Treatments Backed by Science

The official standard of care for cancer is chemotherapy and radiation. However, there’s a secret in the cancer research world that most people don’t know about. Believe it or not, there are at least 10 different treatments for cancer that either augment, or replace, the standard chemo and radiation protocol. If you, or someone you know, is facing this terrible illness, here’s what you need to know about alternative cancer treatments.

#10 Hemp CBD Oil

CBD, or Cannabidiol, derived from Hemp is showing to have amazing benefits to those fighting Cancer, and also the side effects from many Cancer treatments. CBD is extracted from hemp and marijuana, which are both Cannabis, and its main components help feed the endocannabinoid system in the human body. This is also showing to boost the Immune System as well, and help your body do what it was meant to do, fight and heal from disease. There are people all over the world who report complete healing from using CBD, to those who say they are in remission from their Cancer, or that CBD is helping them greatly when coping with Cancer treatments.

Noted Dr’s like Sanjay Gupta of CNN and Dr Oz, have touted the benefits and the results of people they profiled for TV specials and programs who claim to be healed from Cancer by taking CBD oil from Cannabis.

CBD derived from Hemp is very potent in CBD and because it does not have illegal amounts of THC it does not get you “high”, and it’s legal in all 50 states.

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#9 Vitamin C

Vitamin C isn’t the most interesting treatment on this list. It’s actually pretty boring. Popularized by the late Linus Pauling, vitamin C is best-known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to cure scurvy.

And, while there are numerous “quack-busting” websites on the Internet claiming that vitamin C isn’t an effective treatment for cancer, the National Cancer Institute doesn’t agree. Neither does the published research.

According to current research, intravenous vitamin C slows the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, and colon cancer.

With some cancers, combining chemotherapy with intravenous vitamin C enhances the effect of chemotherapy.

Research also suggests intravenous vitamin C works as a pro-oxidant, helping to create hydrogen peroxide in the body which kills some cancer cells.

Does this mean you should stock up on oranges if you come down with a killer case of cancer? Not exactly. All current research shows that vitamin C needs to be administered in very specific doses, and each cancer responds differently to the vitamin. Some don’t respond at all or make chemotherapy less effective.

And, of course, the FDA does not approve vitamin C as a stand-alone treatment for cancer.

#8 The Gerson Method

The Gerson method was created by none other than Max Gerson, a German-American physician. His book, A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases, documents Gerson’s controversial approach to cancer treatment.

When Gerson first began prescribing his diet for his patients, he didn’t think it would cure their cancer. Instead, he believed it could support other therapies available at the time.

Basically, Gerson promoted a mostly vegan diet free of salt, meat, and dairy. The patient would eat copious amounts of fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices.

Sounds like hokum?

While evidence is scant, there is at least one study showing that the Gerson diet therapy works for patients with stages I and II localized melanoma. One-hundred percent of the test subjects survived for 5 years on the diet.

#7 Alpha Lipoic Acid With Low-Dose Naltrexone

Following in the same vein as vitamin C, this controversial combo relies on the antioxidant power of alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and the opioid antagonist drug, naltrexone.

In a study, titled “The Long-term Survival of a Patient With Pancreatic Cancer With Metastases to the Liver After Treatment With the Intravenous α-Lipoic Acid/Low-Dose Naltrexone Protocol”, a patient who presented with metastatic pancreatic cancer was told by oncologists that there wasn’t much hope. This was in 2002.

However, in 2006, the man was still alive, thanks in part to an ALA + low-dose naltrexone therapy. A followup study in 2010 showed the man was still alive and doing well.

#6 DCA: dichloroacetate

Unlike a lot of treatment protocols that are considered “alternative,” dichloroacetate (DCA) is a somewhat low-tech solution to the problem of death. It’s a small molecule generic drug that causes cancer cells to commit suicide (called apoptosis), thus suppressing tumor growth.

#5 Clioquinol

Clioquinol started out life as an antifungal and antiprotozoal drug, and was later used as a metal chelator and potential treatment for Alzheimer’s. Unlike a lot of alternative cancer therapies, this one has a long history of use as a drug for other illnesses.

However, some studies have shown that it’s capable of torpedoing prostate tumors, targeting the cancer cells in humans.

#4 Curcumin

Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric. Turmeric is that orangish-yellowish stuff that Indians use in a lot of their cooking that instantaneously stains your hands, clothes, and pretty much anything else it touches.

It seems weird that a food could prevent or treat cancer, but vitamin C does so why not?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there isn’t enough evidence to recommend curcumin as a primary treatment for cancer, but there are studies showing that the substance may prevent cancer or slow its spread. It can also make chemotherapy more effective and protect against damage caused by radiation therapy.

Other studies show that curcumin controls the growth of tumor cells through various mechanisms like cell proliferation pathway, cell survival pathway, caspase activation pathway, and a bunch of other geeky-sounding science pathways.

The bottom line is that curcumin is able to selectively kill tumor cells while leaving normal, healthy, cells unscathed.

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#3 Heat Therapy

Heat therapy, or hyperthermia, is a method of killing cancer cells by increasing their temperature until they go “boom”. Think of it as cancer cells dying from heat exhaustion.

This is done one of several ways. Tumors can either be heated directly using external methods (applicators around the tumor), indirectly using probes, or interstitially using probes or needles.

And, as the old saying goes, “If you can’t stand the heat, die”. Cancer cells can’t stand the heat.

#2 Viral Treatments

Imagine you’re a mad scientist that wants to infect people with a virus for no good reason, but you need a good cover. Cancer is that cover.

Except for the mad scientist part, that’s exactly what’s happening in some laboratories. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are using an approach they call “oncolytic virus therapy” to engineer viruses that they hope will target cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

So far, a 49 year-old woman has been cured of myeloma (blood cancer) using a genetically modified measles vaccine. Another success story involves a modified HIV-type virus to treat leukemia.

These therapies share similarities with a very old type of cancer treatment: mixed bacterial toxins.

#1 Coley’s Vaccine

If you’ve ever had Strep throat or had to scrub pink slime off your bathtub, you’ve come into contact with the 2 strains of bacteria responsible for treating over 1,000 cancer patients during the late 19th Century: Streptococcus pyogenes and Serratia marcescens.

Imagine that. A potential cure for cancer living in your bathtub. Kind of cool, but also a little bit gross.

The brilliant doctor behind this invention? Dr. William B. Coley.

In 1891, Dr. Coley was the head of Bone Tumor Service at what is today Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The good doctor was inspired to create a new cancer treatment when he stumbled onto the case of a patient who had contracted a nasty skin infection (erysipelas) after being diagnosed with an inoperable malignant tumor.

The patient survived the infection, but also survived the cancer. When Coley finally tracked the man down, there was no evidence of a tumor or residual cancer.

Coley wondered why, and he started formulating the hypothesis that the infection was somehow responsible for the cancer’s regression.

He began infecting his patients with live bacteria and noticed an improvement in survival rates for bone cancer patients. Over time, he refined his protocol to use heat-killed bacteria, which was safer than live bacteria and just as effective. Also, slightly less gross.

His treatment became known as “Coley’s vaccine” or “Coley’s toxin” and was the first method to utilize the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

This naturally raises the question: If Coley’s vaccine worked, why do doctors use radiation and chemotherapy today?

There are a number of reasons why it fell out of favor. First, not everyone believed in Dr. Coley’s cure.

At that time, not only were the toxins difficult to make and administer, Coley didn’t have the kind of advanced laboratory equipment available today. Because of this, batches of his vaccine would vary in potency. This led to inconsistent results and skepticism about his treatment protocol.

He was also experimenting with different bacterial strains to try to improve outcomes. Not all bacterial mixes were equally effective.

Finally, a doctor who wanted to replicate his success had to individualize the injection schedule for each patient to induce a sustained fever. This isn’t an easy thing to do, and fevers can be dangerous if they’re not carefully monitored. But, the fever was thought to be an important part of how the vaccine worked.

All of this complexity led to varying results in patients, probably because not all doctors were as rigorous or able to recreate his vaccine exactly.

Meanwhile, X-rays had just been invented. By 1896, radiation therapy was being used to treat cancer, and treatments produced clear and consistent results.

Things didn’t look so good for Coley, and his boss (James Ewing) believed that radiation therapy should form the backbone of every cancer treatment.

Chemotherapy followed the success and popularity of radiation therapy, pushing Coley’s protocol further into obscurity.

However, recent studies on Coley’s toxins show that they do, in fact, work and can shrink or potentially destroy cancerous tumors.

The biggest hurdle to alternative cancer treatments is regulation.

Inexplicably, after 70 years of safe and effective use, the U.S. Food and Drug administration reassigned Coley’s Vaccine to “new drug” status, requiring any company or individual interested in this treatment to go through the expensive testing protocols required by the agency for new drugs.

Not surprisingly, Coley’s toxins are not used today as the standard of care.

If you’re facing a cancer diagnosis, you have many choices. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor. However, don’t be afraid to travel outside of the U.S. or to countries that allow innovative alternative therapies.

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