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Maria Augustyn

(Naturopath)

Maria Augustyn - BLOG

Blog

CANCER - The Fear Word

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 2:54 AM Comments comments ()
The FEAR Word...
Cancer is a life altering experience for the person involved, as wellas their close family and friends. However, it doesn’t occur over night. Inreality, cancer is the manifestation of chronic disease that has beendeveloping over time, with many factors contributing to its onset andprogression. The good news is that there is a multitude of supportive andpreventative measures available that can help you transform fear intounderstanding and empowerment, leading to a happier, healthier state of wellbeing.
 
The Seed and Soil of Cancer
As far back as 1889, an English surgeon, Stephen Paget proposedthe ‘seed and soil’ concept - that the spread of cancer depends on cancercells, “the seeds”, and the environment in the body, which he called “the soil”.It can take the body many years to produce the “soil” or environment that isjust right for cancer to flourish. Cancer may develop when changes occur insidethe cell and when coupled with the appropriate internal environment, the cancercell can proliferate in an uncontrolled manner.
More than 100 years later, the “seed and soil” concept still holdstrue; it is both the health of individual cells and the environment in the bodythat may determine whether a cancer may develop or not. By taking active stepsto improve our health, we have the potential to alter the environment in our bodies,reducing the risk of chronic disease and maintaining long-term health.
 
Prevention is Best Practice
You may be surprised to hear that genetics accounts for only
5-10% of cancers.1Research studies have shownthat healthy
diet and lifestyle factors have favourable effects in reducing
the incidence of many cancers, challenging us to modify our
diet and lifestyle for disease prevention.
The Protective Power of Herbal Medicine
The protective actions of particular herbs used in disease preventionare well documented. Key herbs can support the body’s resistance and resilienceto chronic disease such as cancer. They provide anti-inflammatory,anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant actions which are all beneficial insupporting the
health of our cells:
  • Green tea: Oxidative stress has been shown to damage the DNAin cells and can play a role in promoting cellular dysfunction implicated intumour development. EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is found in the leaves ofgreen tea and is a powerful antioxidant which can protect against degenerativediseases. It may also be beneficial in preventing the cellular changes seen incancer development.
  • Turmeric: Curcumin is the active constituent of turmeric. Thispowerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb has been widely researched forits anti-carcinogenic actions.
  • Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a phytochemical that is found in certainplants, in particular grapes. It has been shown to be an effectiveanti-inflammatory and inhibits the growth of a wide variety of tumour cells.
  • Yerba Maté: This herb has a long history of use as a tonic andstimulating drink in South America. It protects against oxidative damage, canpromote energy production and increases antioxidant defences.
 
Food Can Produce or Reduce Inflammation
The typical Western diet may actually promote inflammation; highamounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates break down quickly into glucose andhave been shown to induce inflammatory changes that are linked with manychronic diseases. In some susceptible people, foods such as dairy products andgluten-containing grains can trigger an inflammatory response.
 
Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Long-Term Health
The following diet and lifestyle recommendations can help keepyour cells and your body healthy for the long-term:
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is carcinogenic so make it apriority to quit smoking for disease prevention and anti-aging.
 
  • Minimise exposure to environmental toxins in thehousehold and workplace.
 
  • Make stress management a priority and ensure youare getting a good night’s sleep. Ask us about our Stress Less program forsupport during stressful periods.
 
  • Obesity and inactivity have been linked withcancer, so stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
 
  • Get moving! Just 30 minutes of movement andexercise enhances wellbeing and can help with disease prevention.
 
  • Cancer cells are said to be ‘addicted’ to sugar asthey are fuelled by glucose. Minimise your intake of processed, refined foodsto maintain healthy blood sugar balance.
 
  • Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables andcancer preventing antioxidants. Choose organic food where possible as it provideshigher levels of protective nutrients.
 
  • Drink pure, filtered water preferably from glass orBPA free bottles.
 
Empowered for Health
Consider cancer in a new light and accept the challenge to takeresponsibility for your health. Herbs and nutrients, together with a healthydiet and lifestyle may well be the ultimate tools for disease prevention.
Make anappointment soon and take charge and responsibility for your own health.
 
MariaAugustyn ND
 
Healt World Newsletter
 

Cancer treatments and prevention

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 2:34 AM Comments comments ()
Cancer
Facts
Cancer sufferers are taking doses of expensive and potentially toxic treatments that may be well in excess of what they need…”
“…because pharmaceutical companies were the only group who could afford to fund trials of expensive drugs, they had enormous control the scientific evidence that dictates how much should be used”
Dr. Ian Haines cites evidence that many of these new and expensive cancer drugs are just as effective when taken in smaller quantities and for a shorter time. He says “it would seem that pharmaceutical companies are attracted to studies looking at maximum-tolerated dose…”
“Not only was our health system acquiescence in industry-manipulated trials wasting taxpayer’s money but the failure to link… data was risking patient’s lives”
Journal of Clinical Oncology Aug 2007 as reported in SMH
Panaxea Education
 
Inflammation and cancer
Recent data have expanded the concept that inflammation is a critical component of tumour progression.
Many cancers arise from sites of infection, chronic irritation and inflammation. It is now becoming clear that the tumour microenvironment, which is largely orchestrated by inflammatory cells, is an indispensable participant in the neoplastic process, fostering proliferation, survival and migration.
In addition, tumour cells have co-opted some of the signalling molecules of the innate immune system, such as selectins, chemokines and their receptors for invasion, migration and metastasis.
Nature 420, 860-867 (19 December 2002)
 
A fairly recent study reported in the journal Cancer emphasizes the importance of this connection between diseases associated with increased free radicals and cancer risk. In this study, researchers looked at the number of cancer patients who also has chronic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes.
 
They found that almost 69 percent of the cancer patients also had one of these degenerative diseases.
Panaxea Education
 
Stress and Survival
Few events are as stressful as a diagnosis of cancer. As the stress level increases, the outpouring of the adrenal cortex hormone (cortisol) also increases. Women with breast cancer who had abnormal cortisol rhythms survived an average of 3.2 years, while those with normal rhythms survived an average of 4.5 years (more than a year longer).
 
The difference in survival times began to emerge about 1 year after the cortisol testing and continued for at least 6 additional years (Richter 2000).
Animal studies, mostly involving rats, demonstrated stress as a causal factor in cancer.
The onset of cancer appears similarly allied in humans, with the immune system highly responsive to emotional pitfalls.
 
It is well established that when the individual is emotionally challenged, cancer has a significant advantage
(Levy et al. 1987).
Panaxea Educaation
 
Supportive Programs
     Lifestyle Changes
           Preventative Medicine
 
Blood Type Diet
Reducing lectins reduces inflammation and the antigen load. This both protects the tissues and enhances recovery.
 
LIVER HEALTH - Detoxification Program
A comprehensive integrated detoxification program involving both gut repair and liver regeneration may assist in management and prevention by improving the ability of the liver to clear hormones and toxins.
 
Getting Slimmer and Healthier 
A carbohydrate-controlled, Ketogenic fat loss program is an essential approach for those with severe insulin resistance, who will usually also be overweight or obese.
Reducing dietary glycaemic load will reduce insulin release and help patients lose fat, particularly visceral adipose tissue, thus helping to minimise the risk of many chronic illnesses.
 
Your Guide to Wellness
This program is for those of relatively normal weight (i.e. fat percentage) and activity. The whole purpose of this particular dietary approach is to control insulin levels, keeping them ―in the zone and provide essential nutrients for the immune system and for repair.
 
Depression, Anxiety and Stress
Are you getting all the nutrients that you need to control mood disorders? Did you know that there are many herbs that can be used to help you go through it? Counselling and conventional medication are sometimes needed, but good nutrition can provide the rest of the support and wellbeing that you need. Be helped and supported gently and efficiently.
 
Make an appointment today. Start using Preventative Medicine to avoid inflammation and serious chronic illnesses.
 
Your health is your greatest asset. What can you do today to optimise this?          Email inquiry

Anti-cancer curries

Posted on May 30, 2011 at 10:36 PM Comments comments ()
Curcumin compound boosts
head and neck cancer therapy
 
The May, 2011 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery published the finding of researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center of a benefit for a derivative of curcumin, which occurs in the spice turmeric, in the treatment of head and
neck cancer with cisplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapeutic drug. The development of chemotherapy-resistant tumor cells is a major cause of treatment failure in head and neck cancer, resulting in relapse or metastasis.

University of Michigan professor of otolaryngology and pharmacology Thomas Carey, PhD and his associates evaluated the effects of varying doses of cisplatin or cisplatin combined with the 
curcumin-derived compound FLLL32 on cisplatin-sensitive and cisplatin-resistant cultured head and neck cancer cell lines. FLLL32 added to a low dose of cisplatin was found to be as effective at inducing programmed cell death in cisplatin-resistant cells as four times as much cisplatin alone. The team found that FLLL32 reduced activation of the protein known as signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), which is elevated in approximately 82 percent head and neck cancers and has been associated with cisplatin resistance.

"Typically, when cells become resistant to cisplatin, we have to give increasingly higher doses," explained Dr Carey, who is the codirector of the Head and Neck Oncology Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "But this drug is so toxic that patients who survive treatment often experience long-term side effects from the treatment."

"This work opens the possibility of using lower, less toxic doses of cisplatin to achieve an equivalent or enhanced tumor kill," he remarked.

"The absence of dose-limiting toxic effects seen with curcumin, the compound on which FLLL32 is based, suggests that STAT3 inhibitors may have a clinical role in the future," the authors conclude. "Continued investigation of the JAK/STAT pathway and the design of novel inhibitors, like FLLL32, that are capable of targeting this pathway may herald new therapeutic approaches that enhance or obviate the need for currently used chemotherapeutic agents."
Panaxea
 
Curcumin, commonly known as Turmeric is a very powerful antioxidant, anti-cancer herb/condiment.Turmeric is used in Indian and Thai cooking. Turmeric is the herb that gives the yellow colour to curries.
Enjoy your food as medicine, including turmeric as often as possible.

Ovarian Cancer...how can you tell if you have it?

Posted on May 9, 2011 at 5:11 AM Comments comments ()
 New guidelines for early detection of ovarian cancer
 
Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality of any gynaecological cancer. Because the physical signs are not readily detectable and the symptoms are vague and non-specific, most cases are detected at advanced stages and have a very poor prognosis.
One of the aims of the guidelines is to facilitate early diagnosis by increasing awareness of symptoms and signs.
The advise in the UK, is for primary care professionals to measure serum concentrations of the protein CA125 if a woman (especially if older than 50 years) presents on a persistent or frequent basis with abdominal distension, feeling full or loss of appetite, pelvic or abdominal pain, or increased urinary frequency.
If the blood test is positive, an ultrasound of the abdomen or pelvis should be done and, if ovarian cancer is suggested, the woman should be referred to a specialist.
Although not perfect, by increasing the number of blood tests and ultrasounds, this new strategy should raise awareness and promote early diagnosis in primary care. 
(The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9777, Page 1544, 7 May 2011)
 
Don't ignore the following symptoms:
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty eating (getting full very soon)
  • Constipation
  • Increase in abdominal size
  • Lower back pain
  • Abdominal/pelvic pain
Any of these symptoms if it is new to you and persists more than 2 weeks, see your Dr.
Many patients with ovarian cancer have been wrongly diagnosed as having:
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Stress
  • Depression
Don't ignore the signs, you know your body better than any one else. Seek a second opinion.
When diagnosed early, you might loose an ovary, but you will keep your life and you could even have a child with your other ovary intact.
Better still, make sure that you have a life style that promotes health and you have an anti-inflammatory diet and eat foods that help prevent cancer.
 
Start with your breakfast:
 
 
 
 

Unnecessary deaths in Australia

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 3:48 AM Comments comments ()
Unnecessary deaths in Australia
Bowel Cancer
31/3/11
 
EVEN if the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is funded at the next budget it will take two years to be reinstated, resulting in more than 2000 unnecessary deaths, an Australian expert says.
Sydney colorectal surgeon Associate Professor Graham Newstead made the prediction in response to revelations from a government document obtained under freedom of information laws.

According to the briefing document,  once the government has made a decision regarding the fate of the screening program, it would take a minimum of 10 months to “implement transition arrangements”.

But Professor Newstead said the whole process would take closer to two years.

In that time, 8800 people would die from bowel cancer – a quarter of whom could have been saved by screening, he said.
 
What are some of the symptoms of bowel cancer?
 
Caecum and ascending colon—neoplasms occurring here may be quite large and ulcerative, leading to intermittent blood loss. Many of the signs and symptoms are related to that insidious bleeding, including hypochromic, microcytic anaemia from iron deficiency, weakness and fatigue, dyspnoea, palpitations, angina pectoris and intolerance to exercise
 
Transverse colon—more water is absorbed as faecal matter passes through this part of the large bowel; tumours in this location may cause:
Flatulence, abdominal cramps, obstruction, perforation
 
Descending colon—tumours can lead to the following symptoms, particularly when there is partial blockage:
Abdominal distension or pain, painful defecation, change in bowel habits with reduced calibre of stool
 
Rectosigmoid
Hematochezia (rectal bleeding) (generally, diagnosis is made before anaemia develops), tenesmus (ineffective and painful straining), narrow stool.
 
What can you do to protect yourself?
 
Diet and Lifestyle
       Vegetarians are at lower risk than meat-eaters.
       High rates of alcohol consumption significantly increase risk, particularly in men.
       Sedentary lifestyle and obesity appear to increase risk (Giovannucci et al. 1995a; Giovannucci et al. 1996).
       Moderate physical exercise and control of energy intake are suggested.
       Olive oil consumption appears to be associated with reduced risk.
       High consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids appears to reduce risk of colorectal cancer (de Deckere1999). http://www.food2live.org/
       High dietary intake of calcium may reduce risk (Holt 1999).
      Anti-inflammatory actives such as ginger, turmeric and others may reduce cancer development
      Tobacco smoking is associated with a higher risk of colon cancer, which appears to be mediated by induction of 5-lipoxygenase–associated angiogenic pathways.
       Hyperinsulinaemia (high insulin levels in blood) is associated with the development of many cancers, including bowel cancer.
       Management of obesity, visceral fat, a low carbohydrate diet (rich in plant materials, and low in refined sugary foods/drinks) and exercise may all help with reduction of insulin production.
       In men, a high waist circumference and high waist-to-hip ratio is an independent risk factor for colon cancer, regardless of weight.
 
A good diet and a healthy lifestyle will give you a considerable degree of protection against cancer, and also many of the modern diseases.
 
 
 
 

Cancer and Natural Medicine

Posted on March 27, 2011 at 3:58 AM Comments comments ()
 
CANCER TREATMENTS
 
Complimentary and Alternative Medicine use could hamper cancer treatment
 
The effectiveness of cancer drugs may be jeopardised by the rising use of complementary and alternative medicines, experts claim.
More than 80% of cancer patients are now thought to use complementary and alternative medicines, and almost 60% of these to do so without their doctor's knowledge, according to Professor Stephen Clarke of the University of Sydney.

He raised concern over the figures, noting that some complementary and alternative medicines had "significant risks of adverse drug interactions", which could lead to toxicity or cause conventional treatments to fail.
 
 "In many cases we just don't know if there is an interaction," Professor Clarke said.

His concerns are aired in a literature review, co-authored with pharmacist Professor Andrew McLachlan, published online today in Cancer Forum.

The review took in several Australian papers, including a recent study reporting that 65% of cancer patients used at least one form of complementary and alternative medicines.

Nutritional supplements were the most popular option, used by 47% of survey respondents, while 20% reported using "special diet and foods" and 12% Chinese herbal medicines.

The study did not report on whether patients had actually told their doctors about their complementary and alternative medicines use, but almost all agreed that doctors should be informed about CAMs and prepared to offer advice to cancer patients.

There was, however, a 50-50 split among survey respondents as to whether they felt that doctors disapproved of their patients using complementary and alternative medicines.

A 2008 Australian study, meanwhile, reported even higher rates of complementary and alternative medicines use among women with breast cancer, 87.5% of whom said they used complementary and alternative medicines - most commonly vitamin supplements, support groups, massage and meditation.
David Brill
Cancer Forum 2011; 35
Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology 2010; 6:
The Breast 2008; 17:387-94
 
My comment on this article:
My experience is that many specialist Drs are ready to communicate with the CAM practitioner, that is willing and able to report, to produce documentation on all the details of the prescription being used.
I personally think that is useful to provide the busy oncologist with relevant scientific data as to why the prescribed regimen is being used.
The modern Naturopath has the training that allows her/him to support the cancer patient in the different stages of the orthodox medical treatment by supporting the drug therapy when necessary; in fact the effect of the drug can be enhanced using natural medicine, and withdrawing some supplements in other stages of the chemo/radio therapy regimen.
The sad malaise that the cancer patient feels during treatment can be greatly alleviated with the appropriate regimen of Natural Medicine.
The body recovers quicker from the destructive drug therapy that is used to kill the cancer cells when supported appropriately with superior nutrition and antioxidant supplementation.
The most effective type of therapy for Cancer is Preventative Medicine.There is abundant information on all the things that we can do to prevent many forms of cancer:
1.   Don’t smoke
2.   Don’t drink in excess
3.   Exercise
4.   Control your weight
5.   Consume enough fibre in your diet
6.   Colourful fruits and vegetables are vital
7.   Relaxation and appropriate sleep are important
 

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