Cancer is a by-product of the growth and repair processes within the human body whereby 500 billion new cells are formed each day. Inevitably, some of these cells are defective, and their growth may become out of control. Defective cells are usually destroyed by the body’s immune system,
but if this does not occur, a rapidly dividing colony of defective cells becomes a tumor. This tumor may grow and spread into adjacent body tissue. Cancer may affect major organs, bones, glands, skin, or muscles. The symptoms vary from site to site.

• Lumps or changes in the color or other features of the skin.
• Symptoms of obstruction in the digestive tract, or hoarseness.
• Bleeding from orifices such as the mouth or anus.
• Severe, recurrent, or constant headaches.
• Ulcers or sores that do not heal.
• Changes in bowel habits.
• Changes in the breasts.
• Painful, numb, or tingling nerves.
• Rapid, unexplained weight loss.

The exact causes of cancer are unknown. Most experts agree that probably at least two factors, such as genetic tendency and diet, or pollution and infection, combine to create a disturbance within a cell. Chromosomes may be damaged before birth, as a result of inherited or acquired defects of the immune system, or by radiation, viruses, tobacco smoke, carcinogenic substances such as asbestos, a lack of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, and selenium, other dietary
deficiencies, or aging. Complementary medical practitioners believe that other factors are significant too, such as food intolerance, carcinogens in food—for example, preservatives, other additives, and pesticide traces—and psychological factors, particularly suppressed emotional shock or great stress.
It has also been postulated that some people are more than usually sensitive to geopathic stress (natural radiation emitted by the Earth), or emissions from buildings or power cables.

Conventional care
Cancer can be detected by cytology tests such as pap smears, X-rays, imaging techniques such as mammograms, and chemical markers in the blood—for example, prostate-specific antigen, which can identify otherwise undetectable prostate cancer. Often, however,diagnosis of cancer follows the appearance of symptoms, and is confirmed by a biopsy.In most cases, treatment involves radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or surgery, or a combination of these. Radiotherapy uses radiation to reduce and destroy tumors and cancer cells that have spread beyond the original tumor or traveled to other parts of the body (metastasis). Chemotherapy has the same aim, but uses anticancer drugs. Surgery removes the primary tumor. The principal aim of conventional methods is to suppress the rate of growth of the cancer. They are more effective with cancers in certain parts of the body than in others.

Homeopathic medicine
Most homeopathic practitioners would agree that a combination of homeopathic and conventional techniques, along with dietary and other lifestyle changes, is the best program of treatment. The ability of a cancerous growth to destroy the surrounding healthy tissue has to be dealt with quickly, and conventional medicine can do this. Homeopathy, on the other hand, attempts to address the underlying causes. As with other chronic ailments, this takes the form of constitutional assessment. Of particular interest is the psychological makeup of a person, especially signs of severe emotional stress that might have impaired immunity. Constitutional remedies will be largely determined by an individual’s symptoms , but Arsen. alb. is often indicated for cancers with burning pain and in any location. Bromium, on the other hand, is effective for breast cancer in particular. Carbo an. is used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, uterus, and glands in the later stages, while Nitric ac. is associated with cancer of the
breast, uterus, vagina, and rectum. Other constitutional remedies often used to treat cancer are Conium, Lycopodium, Phosphorus, and Silica. Those associated with cancer in particular organs include Phosphorus, Calcium, Fluoric ac., Conium, and Hekla for bones; Crotalus and Kali. mur. for connective tissue; and Carbo an., Conium, and Aurum mur. for glands.

Other treatments
It is generally acknowledged that dietary excess or deficiency may predispose an individual to the formation of cancer. Controversy surrounds the use of dietary treatment for the disease, but it can play a supportive role. Most therapies have their origins in the Gerson treatment based on an initially vegan, then lacto-vegetarian diet, along with fruit and vegetable juices and coffee enemas to detoxify the liver.Many nutritional therapies include high doses of antioxidants to counteract cellular damage inflicted by free radicals in the bloodstream. These are absorbed from the environment as well as foods. Other complementary therapies use combinations of herbs or substances such as extractions of mistletoe and shark cartilage, but many await further trials.

The diet should include plenty of unrefined carbohydrates and fresh fruits and vegetables, but few animal fats or animal proteins. Nutritional supplements prescribed by a doctor may safely be accompanied by over-the-counter antioxidants, and are advisable during radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Adequate physical exercise is desirable, although symptoms may restrict choice.
Emotional or other psychological problems need to be tackled. Meditation, prayer, and relaxation may help to establish a positive outlook and strengthen the will to live. Visualization techniques can be used to encourage the destruction of the cancer by treatment, and to focus on a fully functioning immune system.

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