Cancer is not a single disease with a single cause and a single type of treatment. There are more than 200 different types of cancer, each with its own name and treatment. Although cells in different parts of the body may look and work differently, most repair and reproduce themselves in the same way. Normally, cells divide in an orderly and controlled way. But if for some reason the process gets out of control, the cells carry on dividing and develop into a lump called a tumour. Tumours are either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Doctors can tell if a tumour is benign or malignant by removing a piece of tissue (biopsy) and examining a small sample of cells under a microscope.
In a benign tumour the cells do not spread to other parts of the body and so are not cancerous. However, they may carry on growing at the original site, and may cause a problem by pressing on surrounding organs.
In a malignant tumour the cancer cells have the ability to spread beyond the original area of the body. If the tumour is left untreated, it may spread into surrounding tissue. Sometimes cells break away from the original (primary) cancer. They may spread to other organs in the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system – the body’s natural defence against infection and disease. It’s made up of organs such as bone marrow, the thymus, the spleen, and lymph nodes. The lymph nodes throughout the body are connected by a network of tiny lymphatic tubes (ducts). The lymphatic system has two main roles: it helps to protect the body from infection and it drains fluid from the tissues. When the cancer cells reach a new area they may go on dividing and form a new tumour. This is known as a secondary cancer or a metastasis.
Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer.
The lungs have two main purposes:
- to transfer oxygen into the blood when you breathe in
- to expel carbon dioxide out of the blood when you breathe out
The lungs are made up of a series of sections called lobes. The left lung consists of two lobes. The right lung is larger and consists of three lobes.
Types of lung cancer
Cancer that begins in the lungs is called primary lung cancer. Cancer that begins in another part of the body and spreads to the lungs is known as secondary lung cancer.
There are two main types of primary lung cancer. These are classified by the type of cells in which the cancer starts. They are:
- non-small cell lung cancer (of which there are three different types, called squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinoma)
- small cell lung cancer
Non-small cell lung cancer
This is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for around 88% of all cases.
Squamous cell cancer
Squamous cell cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. It develops from the cells that line the airways and it is often found near the centre of the lung in one of the main airways (the left or right bronchus). This type of cancer is often due to smoking. The number of people developing squamous cell lung cancer is going down in the UK.
Adenocarcinoma also develops from the cells that line the airways. But it develops from a particular type of cell that produces mucus (phlegm). It is often found in the outer areas of the lungs. The number of people developing adenocarcinoma is increasing and it may soon become more common in the UK than squamous cell lung cancer.
Large cell carcinoma
Large cell lung cancer is called this because the cells look large and rounded under a microscope. This type of lung cancer tends to grow quite quickly.
Small cell lung cancer
This accounts for around 12% of all cases. Small cell lung cancer is more aggressive than non-small cell lung cancer, and it usually spreads faster.
Cancer that has spread into the lung
Cancer that has spread from somewhere else in the body is called secondary cancer. Quite a few different types of cancer can spread to the lung, including breast cancer and bowel cancer. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer and have already had another type of cancer, check with your doctor whether the cancer started in the lung or has spread into the lung. It is important to know this so that you can find the correct treatment information.
If you have secondary cancer you need to look at the section about where the cancer started. For example, if you had breast cancer that has spread to the lungs, then you need to look at the section about breast cancer. It is important to know which type of cancer you have so that you can find the right information. The choice of cancer treatment depends on where the cancer started. When cancer spreads to the lung from the breast, the cells are breast cancer cells, not lung cancer cells. So they respond to breast cancer treatments. And cancer that has spread from the bowel should respond to bowel cancer treatments.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the covering of the lung (the pleura). It is often caused by exposure to asbestos. It is very different to lung cancer.
How common is lung cancer? Lung cancer is the second most common cancer (after breast cancer) in England and Wales. An estimated 40,800 new cases are diagnosed every year. In the U.S. in 2008 (the most recent year numbers are available) 208,493 people were diagnosed with lung cancer, including 111,886 men and 96,607 women. The estimated number of lung cancer deaths for 2012 is 160,000 – the same number as deaths from prostate, pancreas and breast cancer put together. Lung cancer mainly affects older people. It is rare in people under 40 years old, but the rates of lung cancer rise sharply with age. Lung cancer is most commonly diagnosed in people who are 70–74 years old.
Lung cancer does not usually cause noticeable symptoms until it has spread through much of the lungs or into other parts of the body. This is known as advanced or metastatic lung cancer. This means that the outlook for lung cancer is poor compared with other types of cancer.
Only 27% of men and 30% of women with lung cancer will survive for at least a year after being diagnosed. Just 7% of men and 9% of women will survive for at least five years.
However, survival rates can vary widely depending on how far the cancer has spread (the stage of the cancer) at the time of the diagnosis. Early diagnosis can make a big difference.
There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer. However, symptoms develop as the disease progresses.
The main symptoms of lung cancer are listed below. If you have any of these, you must see a licensed practitioner:
- a cough that doesn’t go away after two to three weeks
- a long-standing cough that gets worse
- persistent chest infections
- coughing up blood
- unexplained persistent breathlessness
- unexplained persistent tiredness or lack of energy
- unexplained persistent weight loss
- persistent chest or shoulder pain
Less common symptoms of lung cancer include:
- changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger (this is known as finger clubbing)
- a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
- difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
- a hoarse voice
- swelling of your face
Smoking cigarettes is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer. It is responsible for about 90% of all cases. People who smoke are 15 times more likely to die from lung cancer than people who have never smoked. Tobacco smoke contains more than 60 different toxic substances, which can lead to the development of cancer. These substances are known to be carcinogenic (cancer-producing).
If you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day, you are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker. While smoking cigarettes is the biggest risk factor, using other types of tobacco products can also increase your risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer, such asoesophageal cancer and mouth cancer. These products include:
- pipe tobacco
- snuff (a powdered form of tobacco)
- chewing tobacco
Smoking cannabis has also been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. Most cannabis smokers mix their cannabis with tobacco. While they tend to smoke less than tobacco smokers, they usually inhale more deeply and hold the smoke in their lungs for longer.
One researcher has estimated that smoking four joints (homemade cigarettes mixed with cannabis) may be as damaging to the lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes.
Even smoking cannabis without mixing it with tobacco is potentially dangerous. This is because cannabis also contains substances that can cause cancer.
Even if you do not smoke, frequent exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke (passive smoking) can increase your risk of developing lung cancer.
For example, research has found that non-smoking women who share their house with a smoking partner are 25% more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smoking women who live with a non-smoking partner.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep up from the ground into buildings. If radon is breathed in, it can damage your lungs, particularly if you are a smoker. Radon is estimated to be responsible for about 3% of all lung cancer deaths in England. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Scientists estimate that 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year are related to radon.
Exposure to certain chemicals and substances that are used in several occupations and industries has been linked to a slightly higher risk of developing lung cancer. These chemicals and substances include arsenic, asbestos, beryllium, cadmium, coal and coke fumes, silica and nickel.
If you do the Jeff McCombs Candida Protocol you will already be avoiding all of the foods that trigger cancer. However here are the foods to avoid at all costs.
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food or chain restaurants and all processed food.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eat mostly fresh, organic vegetables and fruits.
Avoid all foods that are high in unhealthy saturated and trans-fats, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated fats and oils, margarine, and shortening. Eliminate refined white flour, which is found in the majority of foods found on a typical grocery store shelf, including bread, bagels, crackers, cakes, cookies, and other baked good, pasta. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, simple carbohydrates, sugars and sugar products, foods that are overly spicy, and all processed and commercial “junk” food. Stay clear of all inorganic pasteurized milk and dairy products, including yogurt and cheese; best to eat only raw, organic dairy products.
Empower yourself, and choose a diet emphasizing organic whole foods, including plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, oats, whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Include a variety of preferably soaked, nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Minimize your intake of red meat; though be sure to consume adequate amounts of organic, free-range poultry, bison and wild-caught fish. Eat generous quantities of both raw and lightly steamed organic vegetables and large fresh salads daily. Preferably, cook with virgin coconut butter/oil and use extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil and hemp seed oil as condiments on veggies and as the base for your daily salad dressing. Throughout the day, drink plenty of pure, filtered water, and avoid drinking—as well as bathing, and showering in—unfiltered tap water, as tap water contains heavy metals and pesticide residues that can settle in high concentrations in the body.
The raw food diet is a food plan that can be of great benefit if you suffer from breast cancer. Using the guidelines outlined above as a base camp for a clean and healthy diet, one can then transition into a raw food diet as desired. Raw food generates rapid results because of its ability to thoroughly detoxify and liberate your body’s previously untapped energy.
The diet mainly consists of raw fruits, vegetables, and soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds, supplemented with daily consumption of fresh green juices made from a variety of vegetables such as celery, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrot, kale, parsley, and an ever rotating seasonal selection of other organic veggies. Raw foodists enjoy salads, dehydrated flax crackers, seed and nut patés, blended soups, smoothies, and marinated veggies, often mixed with soaked sea vegetables. Since little to no cooked food is consumed, the raw diet has the advantage of instantly eliminating many common allergens. No cooked wheat or wheat by-products are consumed, and generally dairy is omitted, though some might choose to eat moderate quantities of raw goat or sheep milk products, often in the form of a fermented food, such as homemade raw kefir or yogurt.
- Coral Calcium – Coral calcium website
- Vitamin D has been shown to be a key factor in healing cancer. Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day http://nc.vitaminstrength.com/ for a period of up to 4 weeks.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Omega 3s
Hemp Seed Oil
- Selenium – an essential trace vitamin which acts as a deterrent against cancer in general.
- Garlic – can help lower the risk of tumours in the colon, stomach, lungs and oesophagus.
Research now shows that massage can be very beneficial to those with cancer, specifically for managing pain and depression. The gentle massage used during an aromatherapy massage promotes relaxation and helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Even a simple hand massage can have a positive effect.
The essential oils of grapefruit (citrus paradisii), orange (citrus senensis) and lemon (citrus limonum) contain D-limonene, which has shown to have anti-tumor properties, chemotherapeutic activity and low toxicity. It is particularly beneficial for breast and colon cancer. Note that these citrus oils are photo-toxic and should not be used topically on people with skin cancer. When possible, organic essential oils should be used. These citrus oils, as well as neroli essential oil, are also antidepressants and help with anxiety. The hydrosol of neroli can be used as a body, room or linen spray. In addition to the citrus oils, other essential oils and hydrosols, which aid with killing of cancer cells include ginger (zingiber officinalis) essential oil which can be inhaled or taken internally in water, to ease nausea.
The essential oil and hydrosol of frankincense (boswellia carteri) has shown anti-cancer, antimicrobial and antioxidative activity. Frankincense can also distinguish between normal and cancerous cells and suppress cancer cell viability. Sweet fern (comptonia peregrina) and sweet gale (myrica gale) hydrosols can be combined and used topically as a compress or diluted in water and drank throughout the day. Both plants have shown to be cytotoxic (toxic to cells) against human lung and colon cancer cell lines.
Greenland moss, aka Labrador Tea (ledum greonlandicum) is one of the most powerful therapeutic hydrosols and only needs to be about 10% of the blend to be effective. It is currently in experimental stages for use with liver cancer and has shown anticancer activity against malignant lung and colon tumours.
Essential oils known to help strengthen the respiratory system include eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, rosewood, peppermint and white fir.
Herbs that have proven to be beneficial in easing cancer symptoms include Artemisia, pokeroot, periwinkle, mistletoe (Viscum album), colchicines, hemlock, Berberis aquifolium, foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), and burdock root. Hoxsey formula (an herbal formula, developed by the late Harry Hoxsey, N.D.) is recommended, as is Essiac, a traditional cancer remedy of Native Americans. The herbal spice tumeric, which contains curcumin, an anti-cancer agent, can also be helpful, as can astragalus and maitake, a medicinal mushroom. Fennel tea can help to reduce the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Other useful herbs for helping to address co-factors related to cancer, such as immune deficiencies, include Cat’s claw (uno de gato), Echinacea, garlic, green tea, oregano oil, Pau d’arco, and nettle root. Milk thistle can be helpful because of its ability to detoxify the liver and improve hormone balance. Also consider Chimaphila umbellata, or pipsissewa, (an evergreen plant) horsetail, and uva ursi, which all have potent antiseptic properties. Betulinic Acid from Birch trees has been shown to block the growth of melanoma and thuja tincture has served as a successful therapy for many cancer cases, as has bromelain, phenolic antioixidants from mint, centella extract from gotu kola (hydrocotyle centella), perillyl alcohol from lavender flowers, pollen from honeybees, pearl barley (hordeum vulgare), reishi mushroom (ganoderma lucidum), shiitake mushroom (lentinula elodes), cauliflower (brassica oleracea), wax gourd (benincasa hispida), calendula (calendula officinalis), chaparral (larrea divaricata and larrea tridentate), white mulberry (morus alba), Japanese pepper (piper futokadsura), thyme (thymus serpyllum), Chinese cucumber (trichosanthes kirilowii) and stinging nettle (urtica dioica.)
Combine red cabbage, celery, and lettuce juice, and drink 8 ounces twice a day. Carrot, cucumber, beet, radish, and garlic juice can also be helpful Combine grape, black cherry and blackcurrant. Wheatgrass juice is also beneficial, as is asparagus juice and fresh apple juice. Fresh green juices are an important nutrient dense boost to the diet; create new combinations of vegetables, and discover your personal favourites.
Exercise regularly, at least three times a week for 45-60 minutes each session. If you smoke, stop, and keep away from exposure to second hand smoke. Also avoid drinking alcohol, coffee, and all products that contain caffeine. Take care to properly manage stress and reduce your overall stress levels, as stress can negatively affect healthy immune function. In addition, drink an 8-ounce glass of pure, filtered water every two hours during the day to help flush out your urinary tract and keep properly hydrated.
Soybeans and other legumes contain diadzein and genistein, naturally occurring phytoestrogens which block the action of oestrogen in the body, slowing the growth of hormonally-dependent tumours. Genistein also blocks the activity of certain oncogenes (chromosomal genes believed to initiate cancer.)
Curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper re anti-cancer, immune-stimulating, anti-oxidant and cholesterol-lowering and have a multitude of health-enhancing effects.
Broccoli does two jobs as a cancer fighter. It contains the anti-tumour compounds found in cruciferous vegetables as well as a fair amount of folate, a B vitamin that protects cells from DNA damage.