Cancer! What is it about cancer that engenders such fear and misunderstanding? Nearly everyone has felt its touch …a friend, a family member, a loved one. Cancer appears daily in the media …a new treatment tried, a new cause uncovered. “If it doesn’t cause cancer it might cure it.”
The medical profession seems to have a problem dealing with cancer. There are polio vaccines and kidney transplants. Repairing a heart seems almost as routine as repairing an automobile, yet cancer seems to evade our doctors. Statistics over the last20 years do not seem to show that medicine is “winning the battle” against cancer. No consistent pat-tern of success in cancer treatment is apparent. Re-searchers even argue about the definition of the word “cure” when dealing with cancer. What’s the problem with cancer?
A convention of FACT (Foundation for Alternative Cancer Therapies) was recently held in Philadelphia. Serving as an information center for biological and non-toxic approaches to cancer treatment, FACT provides a range of information and support to those seeking to take an active role in their treat-met. FACT also serves as a referral agency, direct-in patients to practitioners who can provide appropriate care. Speaking to laymen and practitioners alike, FACT seeks to treat the whole cancer patient,not restricting the focus to the symptomatic “tumor.”In contrast to conventional treatments, FACT’s alternative approaches stress the individual’s participation.The question heard over and over again was “What shall I do?” “Tell me what to do.” “Give me the diet,the name of the clinic, the magic remedy.” The answers had a common thread; you must be part of your own cure, you must take charge of your treatment.
“Wait a minute!” you say. “When I’m sick I go to the doctor and he or she prescribes the necessary treatment. The proper medicine is administered or have the operation performed…what do you mean I’ve got to be part of the cure? What choices do I have? Do you mean chemotherapy or radiation or surgery? You don’t mean oddball stuff like Laetrille,do you? I’m no doctor…how am I supposed to make treatment decisions?”
How do you take care of your car? Some people simply accept that their car will start each morning and get them where they want to go. It might be little noisy and temperamental: some smoke here or a drop of oil there. Sure it idles rough and the brakes squeak, but it’s still O.K. Then, one day, something fails. The car’s towed to the mechanic who tries toxic what’s broken. If you’re lucky, he just gives you a bill and you drive home again.
Perhaps you’re the kind of person who regularly takes the car to a mechanic for maintenance every 5,000 miles for an oil change; every 10,000 a tune-up. You pay to have the mechanic check everything out for you. You tell him about the spots on the ga-rage floor, and the time it wouldn’t go into gear. You expect him or her to make everything right.
Some people try to understand their machine. They get involved in the maintenance of the car. They do some of their own repair work. Parts might be re-placed before they break, and small problems caught before they become big trouble.
A lot of people treat their bodies like their cars.It’s a wonderful machine that runs a long time be-fore something breaks. When it does, call in a doctor to repair it and go on about your business. As long as you can pay the bill, everything’s fine.
No, FACT maintains, everything is not fine. You can’t treat cancer like a broken fan belt. Cancer is more like the wear building up on each piston and gear until the car can’t run anymore. No single part is defective, yet ‘the car doesn’t work smoothly. The symptoms of cancer are like the rattles and oil leaks that indicate a neglected engine. Something is out of balance in the body chemistry; a gradual erosion of the system has allowed cancer to appear. Doctors,like auto mechanics, can deal with split hoses and dented fenders. It’s much harder to rebuild a worn out transmission. The car might have to be scrapped.
There doesn’t seem to be a precise biological definition of cancer, yet the view outlined at the F.A.C.T .convention makes a great deal of sense. Just as the oil in a car breaks down and collects dirt that must be removed from the engine, so cancer is the result of the body’s inability to rid itself of toxins which accumulate ‘over time. There are natural excretory paths to remove waste material, but sometimes the body must “wall off’ a collection of material to pre-vent its spread throughout the system. Such a “tumor”is a symptom of the underlying problem. It is an in-diction that there is an imbalance somewhere in the system; a breakdown that is allowing the invasion and spread of dangerous substances. There is strong evidence that our bodies form little “cancers” from time to time…but the body is usually strong enough to control these “tumors” and eventually eliminate them.It is when our biological “defenses” are weakened that cancer gets the upper hand and rages out of control. The cancerous growth can be likened to the dirty oil filter which must be removed from the car. Unfortunately, a doctor can’t just “lift the hood” and “change the oil.” What we eat, how we-live, our level of stress, our environment, etc…it all affects howell our body functions. Our body is a biological “machine.” We repair and maintain it using biological techniques modifications of our dietary pattern sand lifestyle. Each individual must take ultimate responsibility for his/her own body maintenance.
Conventional cancer therapies seek only to remove the dirty “oil” from our bodies. There is no cure for the wear of our “motor parts,” no rebuilding of our “transmissions.” They do not prevent new impurities from contaminating the system. A lead-footed driver will wear out one clutch after another until his or her driving habits change. Cancer cannot be “cured” unless the pattern of poor maintenance is changed. The treatment must include the entire per-son .. . FACT’s wholistic approach includes elements touching every phase of a patient’s life.
What “alternatives” were suggested? In the simplest terms: put good stuff in and get the bad stuff out Changing the diet is one major aspect of alternative therapies, as the old saying goes: “you are what you eat.” The human body has an amazing capacity for self-repair; we must give it the necessary “raw materials” to rebuild its damaged parts. The imbalance that “set off’ the cancer must be corrected,so that the body will be able to fight its return.The emphasis on proper nutrition was strong at the FACT convention, but there were other aspects rep-resented. “Detoxification,” the removal of the accumulated toxic material through stimulation of the body’s natural excretory functions, was also stressed. Pouring fresh oil into your engine while leaving the dirty oil filter in place just spreads the dirt around.
It only makes sense to remove the dirt…but removing the body’s toxins isn’t as easy as replacing an oil filter. The body isn’t able to deal with the stuff in the first place; dealing with the accumulation of years must be done slowly and carefully. The “alternative”approach can be likened to the loving restoration sofa fine, old house which has suffered years of neglect .Rotten parts must be torn out, damaged parts replaced, weakened structures strengthened…alin balance. A broken beam can’t be removed until alternative supports are in place. The house will ha veto be cleaned and cared for, or it will slide back into decay. The aspects of lifestyle which apply stress to the system need to be modified. There is a strong psychological component in cancer therapy. Mental and emotional problems can “open the door” to can-er they can divert vital energy from the body’s cleansing and rebuilding processes. A positive state of mind improves the chances for recovery. Speakers told of the support of family and friends, religious faith,inward strengths. They also told of how difficult it can be to rebuild a life.
The variety of cancer therapy options can be both bewildering and frightening. These are literally “life and death” decisions…try this diet, that clinic,some drug discussed on TV. There are many contradiction sand few hard facts. A cancer patient is tempted to give up hope of understanding it all, and to simply entrust his or her life to the doctor. This seems the easiest way…but as in the case of caring for your car, it doesn’t always yield the best results. We are not all trained auto mechanics we may need a skilled professional to help us through difficult procedures but our knowledge of automobiles can help us to choose a capable mechanic and to communicate the “symptoms” we see and how the recommended “therapies” are working. FACT helps patients thread their way through the claims and rhetoric. The publications available through FACT’s booklist can help chart a consistent course of treatment .FACT publishes a magazine, and many taped talks(including the talks given at FACT conventions) are available. This is not to suggest that a patient should try to design his or her own therapy. A “pinch of this and dash of that” approach can be very dangerous .FACT’s aim is to refer the patient to a practitioner whose method of treatment is appropriate to the pa-tent’s individual needs. FACT personnel have care-fully investigated the options and can provide a realistic and unbiased view. They provide a sympathetic and knowledgeable ear, helping the patient along the path to recovery. There is still the challenge of taking charge…of being an active participant in one’s treatment. It isn’t easy talking responsibility for one’shealth…no easier than doing your own auto repairs.
You can get away with poor car maintenance; it’s simple enough to buy another car after the first breaks down. If your mechanic doesn’t do the repair job properly the first time …bring the car back.You can tear down a disintegrating house to erect anew one…bilt each of us must live within the sin-guar body we received at birth. In the final analysis, each person must take responsibility for their own “maintenance program.” No doctor or mechanic can rebuild us. Also, since each person is unique, there is no single “handbook” that can tell you in detail how to care for yourself. (Would you expect a Chevrolet repair manual to cover Volkswagens?) F.A.C.T .serves as a clearing house for valuable treatment information; it is up to the individual to make good use of the information provided. After all, your body didn’t come with an “owner’s manual.”