Barnwell, Kathleen | Surviving Mesothelioma

Barnwell, Kathleen

Taking A Look at Alternative Therapies

Sometime in your life, you will be effected by cancer. Wether it be a relative, a friend, or yourself that has been diagnosed with cancer, the prognosis, treatment, and end result effects everyone. “Rhio” O’Connor was one such person diagnosed with an extremely aggressive, “incurable” cancer called Mesothelioma, and given one year to live. Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that attacks the lining of many organs in the body, and has been linked to asbestos inhilation. When faced with the prospect of only one more year of life, he decided to actively research this rare type of cancer and treatments for it not only for himself, but for those who would be diagnosed with it in the future.

He went to doctors, friends, family, researchers and spent hours upon hours in the library researching treatments for mesothelioma. Surgery and Radiadion have proved mostly unsuccessful for this type of cancer, but types of Chemotherapy have been successful, although only increasing life span by a few months. But Rhio didn’t just want to think about the usual treatments, he wanted to really research all of the options and get alternative treatments too.

In Rhio’s situation, It is hard to say what treatment I would decide upon, but I would definitely look into alternative treatments as he did. Not only for myself, but for all other people that will be diagnosed with cancer, I would feel that I needed to research fields that are often overlooked, especially diet. That is not to say I would not consider radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, but I have seen the effects of these treatments first-hand, and I believe there is simply a better option.

Diet is often completely overlooked in the treatment of cancer, but is extremely important. This is why I would, along with consulting my doctor and other researchers, consult dieticians and herbalists. We often forget the power of diet. It is the fuel that your body runs off of, and can play an essential role in either hurting or helping your body to heal itself.

The rain forest herbalist Leslie Taylor has used cat’s claw, an vine found in South America, to treat cancer and HIV with remarkable success. Its immune stregnthening effects have been so effective that now more research is being done about its role in the treatment of cancer. I would seek out the people that have had experience treating cancer with this, and get their perspective.

Another herb of interst is turmeric. Used as a common spice, the powers of turmeric are just coming to light. Turmeric potentially helps prevent new cancers that are caused by chemotherapy or radiation. The curcumin in turmeric turns on a gene named p-53. This gene is thought to deactivate cancer cells. Along with the use of herbs, fasting has been used on certain kinds of rare cancers with some success. By giving the digestion system a rest, the body is able to focus its energy on releasing toxins from the body and shrinking cancer.

Unfortunately, natural medicine is currently not well researched, but its potential for viable treatments is limitless. These treatments work with the body to fight off cancer. They do not have the extremely unpleasant side effects that surgery, chemotherapy and radiation have, and don’t destroy the body’s immune system, leaving the body very succeptible to other harmful things after these treatments. They are quite simply smarter treatments, but a push for more research in needed. Just as Rhio O’Conner did, we need to think outside the box, and often outside the normal medical treatments, to get more, and better, treatments for all types of cancer.

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