Oesophaeal Cancer

Originally published in Issue 2 2006 icon


Q:

"I’m a 56-year-old woman and I have developed a grade 3 oesophageal cancer in the lower part of the oesophagus (known as an ’Adenocarcinoma’). I went to my oncologist with my friend, and when I asked him what might have caused it, he said, ’Bad luck’. I seem to be getting worse by the day."


Personal Prescription



A:

Oesophageal cancer is rapidly growing in the UK population and is very dangerous. At the upper end of the oesophagus there is some evidence that alcohol and smoking, especially if combined, can increase the risk. Some people seem to think that drinking alcohol late/last thing at night might have some causal effect - it’s possible but tenuous.

Increasingly though, people who develop oesophageal cancer seem to have had acid reflux at some point in their lives, and some experts believe this is the cause. However acid reflux is an effect of another cause, and that may well be the bacterium helicobacter pylori.

First this was implicated in the cause of stomach ulcers. Over the last five years studies have linked it directly to stomach cancers, and its actions also seem to lower folic acid and vitamin B-12 levels, both of which are essential in the DNA replication process and the normal healthy body.

Deficiencies of these two vitamins may cause cancer.

Let me explain. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium which is normally killed off by stomach acids and friendly bacteria like acidophilus.

However, modern diets which regularly combine protein and carbohydrate in the same ’mouthful’ confuse the stomach. An alkaline stomach is required for carbohydrate digestions; an acid stomach for protein digestion. So levels of acid pumped into the stomach are reduced.

The levels of stomach acid reduce anyway as we age.

Levels of friendly bacteria are also reduced in the modern body; antibiotics being the root cause. Antibiotics may be prescribed but are also found in mass-market poultry and other meats, for example.

So helicobacter pylori has a friendlier environment than ever before. It burrows through the mucous membrane of the stomach and sits next to the stomach wall where it causes a little inflammation.

White cells then rush round to repair the damage to the stomach lining and attack the intruder, but they cannot ’get at it’ as it’s on the other side of the lining. Result, more and more inflammation and a likely ulcer.

Worse, in extreme cases this can become a cancer. This effect has been studied by a number of scientists (we carried the results by Wang and his team at Columbia in icon, Cancer Watch).

This battle in the stomach is known to be a cause of acid reflux.

It is important to be clear that whilst helicobacter pylori has been proven to be a cause of stomach cancer, and is known to cause acid reflux, the next step (that therefore it causes oesophageal cancer) is unproven.


What Can You Do?


Two years ago Chris was approach at a Health Convention by a 40 year old American asking about his acid reflux. After talking to Chris he did the following:

  • He stopped alcohol consumption after suppertime.

  • He took aloe vera, sipping it last thing at night and first thing in the morning. (Aloe contains a number of anti-inflammatories).

  • He took a parasite purge called Neways Parafree (call 01280 821211 for details) and wormwood.

  • He took Goldenseal and bismuth (in the form of Bisidol). Both Goldenseal and bismuth kill helicobacter pylori, but your doctor also has a three-drug combination that can do the job.


He rang six months later to say that his acid reflux had completely disappeared.

Acid reflux is not a cause. It is a symptom of some deeper causes. And we note from your form that you do have acid reflux.

We are slightly alarmed that you record on your form that you have been taking Diclofenac Sodium (which is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug) for almost ten years. It is used to relieve pain and inflammation in a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis, gout, fractures, tendinitus and frozen shoulder. It is also used to relieve pain and inflammation following dental, orthopaedic (bone) and other minor surgery. However, it should not be taken for any prolonged periods and its side effects include indigestion, ulceration and bleeding of the stomach or intestine, inflammation of the liver, decreased kidney function and more. Although we do not normally comment on orthodox medicine, we do feel it is important that you query this with your doctor.

In the fullness of time, a visit to an expert naturopath may well be advisable, to treat that issue.

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