By Sandra G. Malhotra, Ph.D.
Greetings, All! I hope you had a fabulous, regenerative summer. Are you ready now for beautiful fall colors and a nip in the air? I sure am! We also have a couple of important months upon us — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Certainly awareness of these diseases needs to increase, but let’s take a step back for a moment. Why do so many people get, and die from, cancer?
Imma go Beast Mode now and declare that, IMHO, the Cancer Industrial Complex (henceforth, CIC) is missing the mark with the prevention and treatment of this disease. To date, billions have been spent by the government and mega-charities to find the ever elusive “cure”. Why has it not been found? Perhaps because with their reductionist viewpoint, they believe the answer lies in identifying the critical gene, magical vaccine, or miracle pharmaceutical. Perhaps that viewpoint is not the best one for preventing, and healing from, this disease? (Certainly it’s a great viewpoint for proliferating the CIC, but I digress!)
For example, something that steams my organic rice is the lack of nutrition advice that is given to cancer patients. Patrick Quillin, PHD, RD, CN sums up this situation quite well in an article he wrote for Nutrition Science News . He states that “Of the 4 million cancer patients being treated in America today, hardly any are offered any scientifically guided nutrition therapy beyond being told to just eat good foods. Most patients I work with arrive with a complete lack of nutritional advice.” Particularly regarding the role of sugar in the diet. I have heard of instances where those on chemo are told to eat whatever they want to gain weight, including doughnuts and ice cream. (Hence our cheeky doughnuts on the cover.) The CIC’s lack of focus on eating organic, nutrient dense foods to support the body’s healing is appalling.
Additionally, we know from the field of epigenetics that genes can be expressed or repressed, depending on lifestyle; what you feed your mind, body and spirit. If you’d really like your socks blown off, read Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. Bruce is a cell biologist, and he describes how the cells of your body are affected by thoughts. This is not WOO WOO junk…this is SCIENCE… just not the kind that keeps the CIC in rolling in the dough.
Another viewpoint is the holistic or integrative one, which believes that chronic disease, like cancer, is due to the complex interplay of physical, mental and spiritual causes; that it’s a multi-variable problem that will not be fixed by a silver bullet “cure”. The variables include the state of our body (is it toxic or being fed with nutrient-dense, clean foods?), mind (is it toxic or being fed with positive, affirming thoughts?) and spiritual evolution (what lesson is our soul in the process of learning?). This complexity is what we are going to address in this issue.
There are no easy answers, but there are things we can do to give ourselves the best chance at sustained health. Most importantly, if a chronic disease, like cancer, does occur, it’s not because you’re being punished or are a bad person. It’s highly likely that deep introspection is needed and that the experience is an important part of your soul’s evolution.
So here’s a bat shit crazy idea — let’s not wait for someone else to rescue us by finding “The Cure”. How about we, to the best of our ability, take charge and Live The Cure by nourishing our minds, bodies and spirits every day. By never playing the victim and realizing that bumps in the road are part of our soul’s journey. Let’s not wait for the CIC to put itself out of business, because it never will. Only we can do that. Who’s in?
P.S. I am not “that kind” of doctor (a Ph.D., not an M.D.) so I do not attempt to give medical advice with this issue. If you are dealing with cancer and working with a medical team, continue to do so, because all of the information provided in this issue can be used in conjunction with conventional treatments. There is no either/or implied. My goal is to provide an integrative viewpoint and my hope is that this information will help you make better daily decisions and achieve a better state of well being. As Maya Angeliou said, “When you know better, you do better”. So let’s never stop learning and doing better.
Retraction: In the print version of September/October issue of Regenerate Magazine, I made an assumption and incorrectly referred to acupuncturist Terry Fox as Dr. Terry Fox.