4 Natural Treatment Alternatives for Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma
Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers on Earth, and is responsible for 20% of all cancer deaths worldwide. Mesothelioma is a very rare form of lung cancer that affects approximately 3,000 people per year in the US, but the prognosis is typically quite poor.
Traditional therapies for lung cancer and mesothelioma often are effective for extending the life of the patient and in some cases even ridding the body entirely of cancer cells. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery are the typical treatments recommended by cancer doctors to reduce the cancer’s presence in the body and to extend life.
While you should always follow the recommendations of your doctor to treat your cancer, there also are natural treatment alternatives available for lung cancer that can improve your quality of life and prognosis.
The best natural alternative treatments for lung cancer and mesothelioma are as follows:
#1 Oxygen Therapy Coupled with Immunotherapy
Researchers have worked for decades to fight cancer by giving the cancer patient high levels of oxygen. However, by increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, this therapy provides not just more oxygen to healthy cells but to cancer cells as well.
However, if you provide the body with higher levels of oxygen and then stimulate the immune system with that oxygen, this can potentially improve the cancer fight in the body. But what exactly is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy stimulates the body’s immune system to produce more white blood cells to fight tumor growth in the body.
One of the challenges with immunotherapy is that cancer cells are not actually foreign bodies; they are the body’s own cells that are simply growing out of control. The immune system does not always recognize that cancer cells are a big problem. Also, our immune system is not always strong enough to take down cancer cells.
So, one of the major goals of immunotherapy, coupled with oxygen therapy, is to help the immune system get stronger and to give it the tools that it needs to kill cancer cells. Some of the most common types of immunotherapy are:
- Cancer vaccines that begin an immune response against the cancer.
- Laboratory-made antibodies that attack the cancer cells.
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors that reduce the inhibition of the body to kill its own cells, which are the cancerous cells.
There are other options available for immunotherapy which is effective for some patients when combined with oxygen therapy. Some patients like to use oxygen therapy and immunotherapy in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for best cancer treatment results.
#2 Gene Therapy
Gene therapy involves using your own genes to fight diseases in the body. Research has gotten to the point where genes can be used to fight some types of cancer. However, the research still is in the early stages and is not offered in regular cancer treatments yet. If you want to use gene therapy as an alternative, you need to go to a cancer center that participates in clinical trials.
A possible cancer treatment using gene therapy could involve taking out cells from the body and having them interact with a carrier of the genetic code that is desired. This interaction can cause the gene to be embedded in the cells’ code that were taken from the body. When they are put back into the body, they can then carry the information that fights the cancer all over the body.
#3 Chinese Herbs
Many Chinese cancer patients receive chemotherapy to fight their cancer, and also receive medicinal herbs. In some cases, some of these herbs have been found to improve the results of chemotherapy.
Research suggests that more than 130 Chinese herbs have been used over the centuries to treat lung cancer. Herbs used most often for lung cancer can have a healing effect on the lungs and also stimulate the immune system.
According to a recent review of two dozen clinical studies in China on lung cancer, these herbs were found to be effective for some patients:
- Astragalus, which has been shown throughout human history to boost the immune system. In fact, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s research has shown that this herb can reduce tumor growth and reduce the spread of tumors. It also can reduce the effects of chemotherapy that negatively impact the immune system.
- Gan cao, which is also called licorice root, has been shown to improve the secretion of mucus.
- Asparagus root, which has shown in mice that it has some anticancer activity that can be effective against lung cancer and leukemia.
#4 Other Therapies to Reduce Symptoms
Some patients also prefer to try alternative medicine which can reduce the symptoms of lung cancer and traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy.
- Acupuncture: This is the ancient Chinese technique of stimulating certain points in the body with tiny needles. This treatment can help to reduce nausea and vomiting that often comes from chemotherapy. It also can be effective in managing pain.
- Aromatherapy: The use of essential oils can stimulate the parts of the brain that deal with emotions. Clinical studies show that essential oils can improve mental and emotional well being by cutting down on stress, pain and depression.
- Meditation: This form of deep, silent inner reflection reduces outside distractions and quiets the mind from the chatter of daily life. It is very helpful in reducing tension and stress associated with cancer treatment.
As you are considering different treatments for your cancer, be sure to consult closely with your physician. It is important to continue to have your regular cancer therapies in conjunction with these alternative therapies.
About the Author
Michael Bennett is full time freelance writer. Michael received his Masters Degree in Nutrition from San Diego State University. He has more than five years of experience as as an alternative treatments specialist and firmly believes all disease can be healed naturally. He welcomes comments on this and other articles.