Natural Treatments for Breast Cancer

PJ Hamel Health Guide
  • There’s no official governmental definition for “natural;” but it’s understood that in dealing with cancer, the term applies to treatment not involving surgery or drugs, often referred to as “alternative treatment.” Whether it’s St. John’s wort taken in pill form, or vinegar drunk straight from the bottle, there are a number of “natural” ways out there purported to cure cancer (or reduce its risk of recurrence). Are any of these worth considering? In the end, it’s up to you.


    The amount of information of all kinds on the Internet is stunning. 


    And that includes the amount of misinformation. Or half-truths. Or wishful thinking laid atop preliminary research, which then yields “facts.” 

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    This third category is often where you’ll find “miracle” cures for cancer. Borne of desperation, perhaps as a loved one fights for life, many people are prone to believe that cornmeal, or Laetrile, or a special combination of herbs will succeed where traditional cancer treatments haven’t. 


    And it’s not hard to discover information about these non-traditional cancer treatments online. Sometimes inspired by true caring, but often fueled by greed, you can find Web site after Web site offering cancer treatments – even cures – outside the mainstream.


    If you’re considering trying one of these little-known treatments, especially those purporting to cure, stop and think: If there was a cure for cancer, don’t you think the vast community of cancer researchers would jump on it and make it accessible to the millions of people facing death from cancer?


    Even if you’re more of a cynic, you might expect drug companies to ferret out any kernel of truth in a “cancer cure,” and turn it into a money-making proposition. 


    So far, that hasn’t happened. Which leads me to believe no one has discovered a cure for cancer. 


    If you or the survivor you care about has exhausted all proven treatments, and death is looking more and more certain, then it might make sense to consider other avenues. With nothing to lose, why not try something unproven?


    But, as the National Cancer Institute’s Web site advises about products advertised as cancer cures: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”


    That said, there may be a natural way to beat breast cancer. But it’s fraught with uncertainty, and potential danger.


    Several years ago, a Norwegian breast cancer study involving 129,000 women yielded some surprising results, to say the least. Bottom line, the study authors concluded that as many as 66% of both invasive and non-invasive breast cancers may be termed “pseudo-cancers:” cancers that, if left on their own, would grow, then shrink, then disappear over the course of several years.


    Now, this isn’t some fly-by-night study from unknown researchers; it was undertaken by a group of Norwegian scientists working in conjunction with researchers at Dartmouth Medical School, one of the top cancer research facilities in the country.


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    And the takeaway these researchers offered was in no way an endorsement of the “no treatment” approach to cancer. Instead, they used the results to propose that perhaps breast cancer is being over-treated, due to better and better detection methods yielding earlier and earlier cancers.


    Waiting out cancer isn’t a course of action many of us would choose, I’d wager. The study hasn’t been repeated, mainly because, as you can imagine, it’s hard to set up and carry out a study that involves NOT treating women for breast cancer. 


    Still, if you’re seeking a natural cure for breast cancer, your best bet might just be this: do nothing. 


    Not if your cancer is advanced, of course; not if you’ve already undergone unsuccessful treatment. There’s no evidence that advanced cancer cures itself. 


    But with a very early cancer, especially one that’s non-invasive, the watchful waiting approach might be something to consider, if you’re completely unwilling to undergo the traditional, proven treatments: surgery, drugs, and/or radiation.


    Bottom line, I believe in science, and based my cancer treatment plan on proven data. That’s my choice; yours may be very different. 


    And that’s OK; it’s your body, and you can choose to deal with your cancer any way you like, understanding that claims you hear about alternative cancer treatments almost certainly haven’t been proven over the course of time.


    That said, I’m a big proponent of complementary cancer treatment; for more information on this, and the difference between complementary and alternative treatments, check out Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Breast Cancer.


    In addition, The National Cancer Institute’s Thinking About Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Guide for People With Cancer is an invaluable online guide to non-traditional cancer treatments.  




Published On: September 12, 2011