Alternative Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Alternative Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Treatment options

SurgerySurgery: Where the cancer is in its early stages, surgery may just be enough to clear the cancer out of your intestines. Then, with an improved lifestyle and sensible monitoring, you can hope to remain cancer free for a very long time, if not forever.

Surgery may also be used to clear blockages.

Since you may have one or more  cancerous locations, you must ask your surgeon in advance exactly how much (in percentage terms) of your intestine he thinks he will be removing. And whether he will be taking lymph nodes as well from surrounding areas.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may be given in advance of surgery in some cases of colon or rectal cancers, where the surgeon would like the tumour shrunk prior to removal.

It is most usually given when the cancer has passed across the muscle tissue and there is risk of spread, or when spread has occurred already. Drugs commonly used are Fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, capecitabine, gemcitabine, mitomycin, and innotecan. Monoclonal antibodies are in development as a treatment too. Your doctor should be able to give you detailed information sheets on these drugs, and their side effects. You can also access our kiddies guide to drugs by going to the Treatments section of this web site and looking under chemotherapy. You will also find a highly useful article on Doctorspeak there (where we translate all those long words into English!!) and another article on a Diet for Chemotherapy

The chemotherapy drug type used will depend on how far the cancer has spread. Doctors may use drugs more specific for, say, a lung tumour or liver tumours where there has been spread. For information on your Cancer Drugs and chemotherapy click here.

Liver Secondaries: You should look at our article on secondary Liver cancer. If you have concerns please ensure that you are taking adequate vitamin K  supplementation. Vitamin K has been shown to reduce and even stop liver cancer growth. (Washington Uni, and Tokyo). But vitamin K is released from your greens by the action of beneficial bacteria in the intestine. If you have taken drugs and your intestine is impaired it is very likely that you will not be making and absorbing adequate levels of vitamin K.

Radiotherapy: Rarely used for colon cancer because of the dangers to other nearby organs. Sometimes it is used with rectal cancers. You can find a useful article on how to get the most out of Radiotherapy in the Treatments section of this web site. US experts are adamant: You should keep taking your vitamins especially antioxidants and fish oils and vitamin D they improve success rates of radiotherapy.

Metastatic Colorectal cancer

If your cancer has already moved on to your liver you may need to clear your liver of the blockages it will undoubtedly now have.

The liver is the largest detox organ in the body but in cancer it fills with dead cells

The liver is the largest detox organ in the body but in cancer it fills with dead cells, fats (this combination often produces gall stones), lactic acid and is anyway overworked trying to clear away the poisons from the cancer and the drugs. If the liver becomes blocked you will create a log-jam debilitating the whole immune system all over the body.

If your cancer has spread beyond the colon you will need to look at the cancer as a whole body problem and think in terms of a whole body solution. There are many things you can do the issue is choosing the best from the available research information for your individual case.

Treatment for anaemia: Managing and counteracting anaemia can reduce death from anaemia by 50 per cent. Research published by the Cochrane Collaboration showed that epoetins (alfa and beta epoetin) show significant survival benefits. Particularly striking were the results for patients with solid tumours (Breast, lung, colon) where risk of death decreased by 51 per cent).   In a second study (European Soc. For Medical Oncology- 31st Oct 2005) epotin beta was shown to reduce risk of tumour progression in patients with anaemia. 

Other Useful Information

UCLA Berkeley has a wellness letter ( available to subscribers for free. Their sister journal from Johns Hopkins cancer center features colon cancer and will send you regular alerts.

people who had taken multivitamins at least 4 times per week had 30 per cent less risk of colon cancerThe American Cancer Society reported in 2003 on a study that ran from 1992 to 1997, looking at over 148,000 and their use of multi-vitamins. Those who had taken multivitamins during the 1980s at least 4 times per week had 30 per cent less risk of colon cancer. This was thought due to addition of vitamin D  and folic acid in multivitamins.

Several studies from Germany and the USA have noted that Tumeric or Curcumin (See Nutritionals  section of this web site) is highly potent in the prevention and treatment of colon cancer.

Science (2005, 308) reports on the role played by parasites in colon cancer. Apparently increased colon cell activity is reported in order to displace the parasites, and this causes increased production of certain cytokines, interleukin, and interferon, all of which were associated with higher levels of the cancer. 

A study involving 148,610 men and women in the USA between 50 and 74 years of age (Journal of the American Medical Assn) confirmed that the group who consumed most red meat had 30-40 per cent more distal colon or rectal cancer risk, when compared to the lowest consumers.

A study from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden amongst 61,000 women showed that those with the highest magnesium levels had the lowest risk of colorectal cancer those with the highest magnesium levels had the lowest risk of colorectal cancer  (40 per cent of adults are known to be magnesium deficient).

French scientists at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Strasbourg have shown that procyanadins and polyphenols in apples help to prevent colon cancers. Other research studies have shown benefits for similar polyphenols in green tea and olive oil.

Other influences

In the Boston Nurses Study, which finished in the mid 1990s after more than a decade of study, HRT was implicated in increased breast cancer risk. After further analysis longer-term use was implicated in other oestrogen-driven cancers like ovarian.

Birmingham University (2001) showed that colon cancers were driven by localised oestrogen and this seems to be borne out by research from Wang at British Columbia, who in November 2004 looking at stomach/intestinal cancers, came out with a revolutionary new theory on cancer formation that it was due to the effect of  oestrogen  on stem cells from the bone marrow. Traditional theories almost always involve genetic mutation of cells. Here Wang was saying that your healing cells rushed round to repair inflammatory damage in your stomach/intestine but under the influence of oestrogen, they did not convert to normal healthy cells but stayed as rapidly dividing cells cancer cells because of the presence of oestrogen.

The Diet factor

There is probably no cancer more logically attributable to diet. Research carried in icon Cancer Watch recently from Japan indicated that a doubling of salt consumption doubled risk; other research we have carried indicates red meat consumption and animal fat consumption goes hand in hand with risk, as does alcohol intake.

The prime group of sufferers is concentrated in the 60+ age group; but then 85 per cent of all cancers are. However a growing number of pregnant women seem to be succumbing and research amongst sufferers has indicated a higher prior incidence of irregular bowel movements and that prior (often chronic) bowel inflammation, Crohns disease, severe ulcerative colitis and IBS may also be precursors, as we covered above.


Some foods are known to reduce risk.  A diet high in natural fibre is shown as a benefit in research mammalian lignans are made from plant lignans in the intestine with the help of beneficial bacteria, and these lignans reduce localised oestrogen levels - as is a good level of garlic  intake (Boston Nurses Study). And here the clues become interesting via two routes.

Irritation and Inflammation a precursor

Firstly, in 1982 John Vane won his Nobel Prize for the finding that aspirin could reduce the level of harmful eicosanoids or localised inflammatory hormones produced at the cellular level and lasting barely one and a half seconds.

One effect of these bad eicosanoids is to cause inflammation and irritation particularly the formation and growth of polyps; this can occur via this eicosanoid, or localised oestrogen pathway, and/or via a carcinogenic bile acid that you actually make yourself.

A great number of studies have shown that garlic, ginger and long-chain omega 3 (fish oils) also have this anti-inflammatory effect not merely salicylin. (Aloe Vera  would also be a good source of natural anti-inflammatories and is known to be very calming). All seem to reduce bad eicosanoids and reduce the effect of a negative enzyme, named Cox-2.

And, as we keep saying, inflammation is a precursor to CRC.

Long chain omega-3 and  vitamin D  have also both been shown to directly reduce the production of this carcinogenic bile acid (produced most frequently by the excesses of animal fats and alcohol). Research shows that low magnesium levels are also a risk factor. The vitamin D and low magnesium issues may explain why there is some research indicating that dairy, milk and calcium products can reduce risk. Vitamin D, magnesium and calcium have a strong biochemical inter-relationship in the body. It is more likely that the calcium is having an effect through altering levels of vitamin D. (NB Vitamin D is produced by sunshine acting on your skin. A little can be obtained from oily fish and far behind that comes dairy. If you cannot get regular amounts of safe sun then you must supplement)

Click here and read our article "What is Cancer"

Secondly, as we have reported above, one theory of CRC is the negative presence of microbes in the gut, coupled with a lack of good bacteria. In icon Cancer Watch March 2006 we have covered recent US research (Science 2005, 308) about microbes and other parasites as the cause of CRC. Microbes, yeasts, viruses are all parasites that can produce toxins causing inflammation, whilst draining you of key nourishment.

Building a Total Integrated Therapy programme

So what can you do about all this?

As we said out the outset, one estimate puts the lifetime risk for Europeans of developing this disease at 2% (Cappocaccia et al 2002). But other figures suggest in the EU, 6% of men and women may be affected by age 75.

The harsh facts are that mortality from this cancer is rising

The harsh facts are that mortality from this cancer is rising (Boyle & Langman 2000) and that the current chances of long-term survival using existing orthodox therapies are poor.

But readers should know that US research, covered in the American magazine Integrated Cancer Therapoies indicates that people taking complementary therapies like exercise can improve survival rates in general by 50 per cent. Other experts in the UK have suggested even more.  We can help you put the very best complementary therapies together with your orthodox treatment programme.

Below you will see why we believe that orthodox treatments may even be making matters worse!
The Crucial and often ignored role of Beneficial Bacteria

On this web site we have three articles that are must read articles if you have colorectal cancer:
1 Can candida cause cancer?
Beneficial Bacteria
Beneficial bacteria and colo-rectal cancer Probiotic

A lack of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine:

  • Weakens the immune system of cytokines, immunoglobulins and NK (Natural Killer) cells.

  • Weakens the whole digestive system, which is a symbiotic relationship between your own enzymatic and digestive processes and those of the bacteria

  • Restricts the ability of beneficial bacteria in doing their job. For example, some normally break down indigestible fibres and long carbohydrate molecules in the colon to produce useful by-products: like short chain esters (which lower bad cholesterol in the blood stream); or B vitamins like the essential B-12 and folic acid. And they produce vitamin K from your greens, which you cannot do on your own.

  • Reduces the ability of your body to remove toxic chemicals like oestrogenic products and nitrosamines (both linked to colorectal cancer)

  • Reduces the ability of your system to eliminate heavy metals Beneficial Bacteria can chelate and eliminate toxic heavy metals

At nighttime when you sleep they also attack and digest  foreign and potentially dangerous microbes and yeast products, quite possibly the ones identified in the US research. If you dont have enough good bacteria in your colon you are more likely to have yeast infections in your colon, passing (if there are holes in your gut) into the blood stream and colonising other areas of the body.

Finally, in discussing this theory with two top colon cancer experts they both confirmed that when they operated on colon cancer there were almost always colonies of yeasts present.

Beneficial Bacteria have been shown in Clinical Trials to repair a damaged intestinal lining and reduce inflammation.

In total then they strengthen the immune system and provide essential DNA and cell replication enhancing vitamins and reduce the levels of toxins in the colon and blood stream and control yeast and microbial infections.

What kills the good guys?

Well, everything from chlorine in your tap water, to antibiotics in your chicken breast to high levels of salt and alcohol altering the pH (the acidity) of the intestine.

And the chemotherapy drugs, and the anaesthetics, and the antibiotics and steroids you may be given in your official treatment programme. Even mercury in vaccines.

And herein lies the rub - Catch 22

If you undertake standard orthodox medical therapies, the surgery and the drugs will further destroy your beneficial bacteria levels. 

Some beneficial bacteria strains can be restored by the supplementation of  Probiotics. (A Probiotic may only be called by that title if it can pass to the area of the intestine where it can do its job without being killed en route, and it has benefits that have been proven in clinical trials.)

You may have also heard of Prebiotics. These are natural food compounds that feed and thus stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in their natural environment. They can also be found as supplements.

Prebiotics are available naturally in certain foods: for example fibres, lignans, the Allium group of plants (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks), asparagus, chicory, and Jerusalem artichokes, and to a lesser extent in beans and pulses and some cereals such as oats. Inulin, a pure form of the sugar fructose that is at the core of many prebiotic carbohydrates, is often used as a prebiotic supplement with certain manufactured food products. It stimulates Bifidobacteria. Again readers will see the importance of diet.

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