Alternative cancer therapies are an emotive subject. In this Summative assessment the main events in a hypothetical case history are recounted from a naturopathic point of view and an effective management plan for the final part of the nutritional treatment is described. To support the given treatment strategy an attempt is made to subjectively consider a critique of nutritional therapies in general and the Gerson cancer therapy in particular, written by Saul Green PhD, biochemist and science editor of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine. The argument for the use of the Gerson therapy is considered mainly by the review of several papers written by Hildebrand, Chairman of the Gerson Institute, and a more recent version of this therapy by reviewing the notes from the Aloe thing by L. Plaskett biochemist, and the Nutritional medicine course principle at TVU University.
Interpretation of events
Eileen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999; however, she would at this time have had cancer for many years (maybe even ten's of years). The naturopathic view of cancer is that there is an inherent ability for the body to heal itself, and treatment therefore focuses on supporting the subject's immune system. From naturopathic standpoint the initial lumpectomy could be seen as a negative event due to the toxic effect of anaesthetic and physical trauma to body tissues, however, removal of the main bulk of tumour cells can be extremely helpful in reducing the work' the immune system has to do, whilst at the same time preventing toxins from the dying tumour being released into the bloodstream. The net effect of the initial operation is therefore positive.
The subject showed advanced dissemination of the cancer cells as there was a second tumour in her breast and malignant foci in her spine, rib, pelvis and shoulder. This is indeed a bad sign as the secondary tumours are more difficult to eliminate due to the way they are formed by natural selection to be more resist to host immune attack.
The subject started on a nutritional programme on the 1st of June 2001. By rejecting the chemotherapy the subject was able to avoid lowering her immune system further and her positive attitude can only have had a beneficial effect on the potential outcome.
According to the NCTT , there are distinct stages of therapy progression when undergoing nutritional treatment. During Stage 1' the body is detoxifying. Eileen started to show aggravations (digestive discomfort, nausea, indigestion and wind) after about 2 months treatment, suggesting that her cells had started to detoxify at this time. These aggravations reached a peak after 14 weeks due to the strong eliminative pressure being applied at a time when routes of elimination are not fully open. Due to the urgent need to rid the cells of toxins, the treatment intensity is not reduced at this time and this can have a negative effect on the subject's mental state as was seen in this case. It is quite usual for the patient to become depressed and lose up to two stone in weight during this stage and this is in fact what happened.
From week 18 onwards the patients seems to have gone into Stage 2' the tumour killing' stage. Although a scan at week 21 confirmed the presence of secondary tumours, Eileen's appearance mental attitude was improved. It is thought that during this stage the tumours disintegrate and cancer cells are passed out into the bloodstream to be dealt with by the immune system. This supposition seems to have been validated by a scan showing bone deposits becoming clear and a reduction in the size of the breast tumour.
It is a common observation by the NCTT therapist that after Stage 2' all tumour cells have died. However, at week 37 Eileen was found to have an expanded tumour mass at the base of her spine. At week 39 the pain suffered by the subject was enough to interrupt her daily life and hinder the progression of the treatment. The pain was probably...
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