American Cancer Society and Complementary and Integrative Cancer Therapies

American Cancer Society and Complementary and Integrative Cancer Therapies
The American Cancer Society urges three complementary therapies as crucial to cancer patients
The American Cancer Society has published an important report detailing how extensive research since 2006 shows that Diet and Exercise are two essential complementary therapies for people who have had cancer. A third, a little way behind is ’Weight control’.
The report (the Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors) published in May 2012, states that there is strong evidence that an active lifestyle and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can HELP CANCER SURVIVORS LIVE LONGER AND STAY CANCER_FREE. 
"There’s just been an explosion of research in this area that gives us the confidence that these things matter" said Colleen Doyle, Director of nutrition and physical activity for the ACS.
The report, published online in A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, provides guidelines, based on the results of more than 100 studies released since 2006. Weight control is another essential part of the complementary plan, which has three parts:
1. Get regular aerobic and resistance exercise;
2. Eat a diet low in red meat and saturated fats, and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains;
3. Use other weight-management strategies, such as portion control, to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
The research evidence was said to be ’overwhelming’, and people who have had cancer are urged to build these three therapies into their Complementary and Integrative Treatment programme. 
CANCERactive has always been a strong advocate of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, or CIM, in the treatment of cancer and we have been publishing this research data here in Cancer Watch since 2004.
Ed: A report like this is very important since they have clearly reviewed a large number of separate research studies before coming to their conclusions and the American Cancer Society is both authoritative and independent.
The report debunks a frequent medical myth of UK oncologists that ’changing your diet, if you have cancer, doesn’t make one jot of difference’ as one oncologist Professor claimed in a top UK medical journal a couple of years ago. It actually provides reassurance to patients who do change their diets that they are empowering themselves positively and increasing their personal odds of survival.
We have ourselves been in the very forefront of this movement in the UK and published a stack of research in
icon magazine on diet. Yet we have been attacked by skeptics with links to Big Pharma, and who openly mislead the public. For example, there is so much research that shows that you must cut your glucose intake (as glucose causes cancer and encourages cancer cells and tumours to grow  - people with the highest blood glucose levels survive the least); and cut all cows’ dairy (as this increases levels of IGF-1 a cellular growth hormone in the body).  
Frankly, I hope you take this report and give it to any oncologist who is a diet doubter.
The report goes further than diet.   
In line with all the research CANCERactive has presented, exercise works like a secondary treatment ’drug’; after all, it does increase hormones in your body that negate dangerous stress hormones like cortisol. We have reported research from UCLA that Stress Management increases survival in cancer patients.  There are now so many (usually American) studies that show Light Daily Exercise (from yoga to jogging) can increase survival times by 50 per cent or more.
And again we have told you of research about weight control - we told you that research by Northwestern Medical School said that it was never too late to start. 
If only UK oncologists would understand that these three complementary therapies can help their patients survive longer they would realise the benefit to the patient and, ultimately, to the NHS, as the need for further treatment would be lessened, along with the costs. The report talks of preventing the return of cancer!
It’s a win-win situation. 
Finally, the report makes those people who like to decry all complementary therapies look positively dangerous to your health. We know of one Professor who always writes on complementary therapies putting no-evidence in brackets after the term. Admittedly he is a chemist or pharmacologist or something non-related so he has some excuse as cancer complementary therapies are probably not his strong suit, but he is just an example of the uninformed, negative nonsense talked in Britain today. And if one patient desists from using a complementary therapy because of this propaganda and the therapy could have increased their survival time then you have to be worried for patients.
Just as we have maintained at CANCERactive, the ACS are saying that there has been ’an explosion’ of research and ’overwhelming’ evidence. 
Ignore it at your peril.

 

April - June Cancer Watch 2012
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