According to the American Cancer Society, the odds you’ll develop cancer in your lifetime are one in two, if you’re a man, and one in three, if you’re a woman. But an experimental cancer drug shown to shrink tumors by correcting metabolic oddities in cancer cells shows promise in the fight against this deadly disease. The synthetic drug DCA (dichloroacetate) DOES indeed kill cancer cells, both in the lab and in human beings. However, whether it can reverse tumor growth without harming you in other ways remains to be seen.
The first clinical trial, although small, involving patients with brain cancer (glioblastoma) was encouraging, and the results were published in Science of Translational Medicine in 2010. However, there is still a great deal more work to be done before DCA can be pronounced a safe and effective cancer treatment.
An interesting aspect of DCA is that it’s an inexpensive, non-patentable molecule, which makes it of minimal value to pharmaceutical companies that profit by patenting expensive new drugs. Therefore, clinical trials are slow to get going due to lack of funding by Big Pharma. Researchers must await sufficient money to trickle in from government sources and public donations before moving forward.
DCA has been used successfully in children with metabolic disorders, with no signs of toxic poisoning. But adults appear to suffer more adverse effects—especially peripheral neuropathy and encephalopathy, such as the case described in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Neurology. According to a survey performed by The DCA Site, there are a fair number of serious side effects reported by those taking DCA, many of them neurological. Research suggests the side effects are at least somewhat dose-dependent, but safe dosing guidelines have not yet been established.
A Safer Alternative: FOODS that Cause Cancer Cells to Self-Destruct
What if there were natural agents that induced cancer cell suicide, without the side effects of DCA? As it turns out, these agents DO exist—and you may already have some in your kitchen pantry or supplement cabinet. Here are a few:
- Curcumin (the active agent in the spice turmeric)
- Capsaicin (the compound that makes hot peppers hot)
- Se-methylselenocysteine aka methylselenocysteine (found in garlic and broccoli)
- Ellagic acid (from pomegranates and other fruits)
There are many all-natural cancer-prevention strategies, and research shows they may cut your risk in half. Consequently, by implementing multiple strategies, you can radically lower your risk of cancer as well as other chronic diseases.
Lifestyle Factors that Influence Your Cancer Risk
A healthful lifestyle encourages proper gene expression, as the science of epigenetics has shown. We now know you are in control of your genes, instead of being controlled by them. You actually have tremendous power to shape and direct your health! Your thoughts, your environmental exposures, and your food choices all directly affect your gene expression.
The best “cancer cure” is to prevent it from taking hold in the first place. Cancer cells are circulating in everyone, all the time. The stronger your immune system is, the less likely your cellular function will run amok. Your diet is extremely important in keeping your immune system strong. One of the primary cancer-promoters is sugar. Cancer cells love sugar and use it to fuel their rapid proliferation (by glycolysis, as discussed earlier). This includes ALL forms of sugar, including fructose and grains. The higher your blood glucose level, the more prolific the cancer cells will be.
Your diet is the one of the best ways to either feed or prevent cancer. Processed foods, soft drinks, red meat from CAFO-raised animals, trans fats, and any food containing or contaminated with xenoestrogens promote cancer growth. Plant foods, particularly cruciferous vegetables and flax seeds, as well as many herbs and spices are cancer-preventive. Beneficial fats of particular importance for cancer prevention are omega-3 and omega-9, which effectively slow down tumor growth in estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as those of the breast, prostate and colon.
Generally speaking, your diet should focus on fresh, whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as small organic farms. For the highest nutrient content, you will want to make raw food a significant portion of your diet.