CISS relies strongly in its evaluations below on impartial analyses by the International Cochrane Collaboration and the British Medical Journal’s Clinical Evidence Group – two groups of researchers who specialise in Evidence Based Medicine.
Conventional medicine supports the paradigm that the tumour is the first stage of cancer, therefore, treating and removing the cancer should cure the cancer. Unfortunately statistics will show this is rarely the case. Conventional medicine also advocates treatment should only be used if supported by appropriate clinical trials showing efficacy. In fact evidence based medicine suggests that the only reliable evidence needs to come from properly run randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Again, with conventional cancer treatment, this is generally not the case.
The following is based on the conventional cancer paradigm.
Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the body’s digestive system. During digestion, food moves through from the stomach and small intestine into the colon. The colon absorbs water and nutrients from the food and stores waste matter (stool). Stool moves from the colon into the rectum before it leaves the body.
Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucous and other fluids). Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp, which may form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. Some polyps become cancer over time. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.
Deaths from colorectal cancer have decreased with the use of colonoscopies and faecal occult blood tests, which check for blood in the stool (National Cancer Institute)
Risks: Although some colorectal cancers are caused by genetic factors or other diseases, there are several, lifestyle choices that you can make every day to reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer.
Eating well, being physically active, limiting alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can all reduce your risk of developing bowel cancer. Simple steps you can take are:
- Aim for a healthy weight
- Eat plenty of fibre from wholegrain cereals and fruits and vegetables.
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol
- Limit red and processed meats
- Be physically active (NSW Cancer Council)
Other factors that may increase the risk of colorectal cancer include inherited genetic risk and family history and inflammatory bowel disease (Australian Cancer Council).
Signs and Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
- Change in bowel habits with diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying
- Thin bowel movements
- Blood in the stools
- Abdominal bloating or cramping
- Weight loss
- Unexplained anaemia (Australian Cancer Council)
Screening, using a non-invasive test for blood in the faeces, is available through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to Australians aged 50 and over. Through this program, many people at low-risk for bowel cancer can be sent a free faecal occult blood test (FOBT) kit to be used at home (Australian Cancer Council).
Randomised controlled trials evaluating colorectal cancer screening have not found any significant benefit from this intervention – CISS.
A number of diagnostic tests are used to diagnose colorectal cancer, these include:
Colonoscopy – The best test for bowel cancer is a colonoscopy, which examines the length of the large bowel. A camera on the end of the tube allows your doctor to look for abnormal tissue that is removed for further examination.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy is used to examine the rectum and left side of the lower colon. Any unusual tissue can be removed for further examination.
CT or MRI scan – CT scans can produce three-dimensional pictures of several organs at the same time and can be used to examine the bowel. An MRI scan produces detailed cross – sectional pictures of the body and can show the extent of any tumours.
Barium enema – Using a white contrasting liquid (Barium), a barium enema is a type of x-ray that will show any swellings or lumps.
PET scan – In a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, a small amount of radioactive glucose is injected into the body. When scanned, cancer cells will appear brighter.
Ultrasound – This is a test using soundwaves that echo when something dense is encountered such as a tumour. An abdominal ultrasound is used to see if the cancer has spread to the liver where as an endorectal ultrasound (ERUS) is done if other tests have shown cancer in the rectum or anus (Australian Cancer Council).
It is estimated that around 17,070 people will be diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015, which will be approximately 13.5% of all new cancer diagnosis (Australian Govt, Cancer Australia).
Tests that help show if you have cancer may also indicate how far the cancer has spread, which is known as staging.
Stage I is superficial, stage II is deeper and stage III is when the cancer has gone through the thickness of the wall or out into the tissues or lymph nodes beside the bowel. Stage 4 means the cancer has spread to other organs, commonly the liver.
A CT scan can be used to detect spread to the liver or lungs. A blood test to check if CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) is elevated can be used to monitor the progress of the disease.
Types of treatment
Stage I and II disease can be treated with surgery alone to remove the bowel and surrounding lymph nodes. Stage III disease requires surgery and additional chemotherapy to try to prevent recurrence. Widespread disease is treated with chemotherapy. More recently targeted therapies are being trialed in addition to chemotherapy (Australian Cancer Council).
Chemotherapy is the use of toxic drugs to kill the cancer cell or stop them from growing. Research by Morgan et al conclude that chemotherapy in colon cancer may give a 1.8% five year survival benefit and in rectal cancer chemotherapy may give a 5.4% five year benefit.
Please note: there is little evidence that surgery for cancer has any benefit on increased percentage 5 year survival except in cases where the tumour is in a life threatening position (The efficacy of surgical treatment of cancer, DJ Benjamin), the one exception may be in the case of early stage bowel cancer, where the cancer had not broken through the intestinal wall.
Before deciding on one of these treatments you would benefit from asking your physician three questions:
Question 1: What are my treatment options? – these should include doing nothing.
Question 2: What are the possible outcomes of those options? – including benefits and side effects.
Question 3: How likely is each of the outcomes to occur?
If your doctor or other health practitioner cannot answer these questions, or shows that he or she is not comfortable with you asking these questions, it raises the question as to whether they are practising evidence based medicine and you should consider getting another opinion.
These three questions can be expanded.
Alternative Cancer Therapies
As mentioned above, conventional medicine supports the paradigm that the tumour is the first stage of cancer; therefore treating and removing the cancer should cure the cancer.
Another paradigm believes that cancer is a systemic disease and the tumour is in fact a late stage symptom, element or manifestation of that disease. Therefore treating the disease should be systemic and wholistic (meaning treating the whole body) and should include the following principles:
- Treatment should cause no harm
- Treatment should be wholistic (ie consider the whole person – body, mind, emotions and spirit)
- The person with cancer needs to take control of their own health.
This latter paradigm is supported by CISS (See Introduction to CISS)
Alternative cancer therapies are generally consistent with the above principles. In fact those believed to be most effective in controlling cancer – psychotherapy and immunotherapy – also have strong evidence from randomised controlled trials.
There are approximately 200 other alternative cancer therapies that have been shown or anecdotally reported to help a person with cancer have reduced morbidity and mortality. What is important in any cancer treatment is to both understand and believe in your chosen therapy.
There are some alternative cancer therapies claimed to produce benefits with colorectal cancer. Those claimed to have the most benefits include:
One of the RCTs evaluating psychotherapy concluded the following: “The results of this study indicate that patients with gastrointestinal cancer, who undergo surgery for stomach, pancreatic, primary liver, or colorectal cancer, benefit from a formal program of psychotherapeutic support during the inpatient hospital stay in terms of long-term survival.”
Küchler T et al. Impact of psychotherapeutic support for patients with gastrointestinal cancer undergoing surgery: 10-year survival results of a randomised trial J Clin Oncol. 2007 Jul 1;25(19):2702-8. Erratum in: J Clin Oncol. (Sep 20) 2007; 25 (27): 4328.
In another RCT 48 inoperable cancer patients, including 10 with inoperable colorectal cancer, were randomised into two groups: one group received psychotherapy and the matched control group did not. Those who received the psychotherapy experienced a 64% increased survival overall, with a 72% increased survival among those with colorectal cancer.
Reference: (1. Eysenck, HJ & Grossarth-Maticek, R. Creative Novation Behaviour Therapy as a Prophylactic Treatment for Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease: Part II – Effects of Treatment. Behav Research and Therapy 1991; 29 (1): 17-31.)
Although RCTs with only 48 participants are rarely reliable because of the difficulty of ensuring properly matched groups after randomisation, those running this trial formed pairs of patients matched according to age, smoking, cholesterol level, blood pressure and personality type from a larger group before randomising them into pairs, thus ensuring properly matched groups after randomisation.
Several non-randomised studies have also shown increased survival after Iscador therapy on people with different stages of colorectal cancer.
Salzer G: [30 years of experience with mistletoe therapy in public health facilities]. In: Leroi R, ed.: [Mistletoe Therapy: A Response to the Challenge of Cancer]. Stuttgart, Germany: Freies Geistesleben, 1987, pp. 173-215.
Although not based on RCTs the most successful therapy for late stage cancers including breast cancer was Issels’ Whole Body Therapy that focussed on restoring the body’s immune systems.
It was estimated that a representative sample (252) of Issels’ patients with late stage cancers, 27 (11%) of whom had late stage colorectal cancer, showed a 16.6% five year survival following his treatment and 42 (15%) of the original 252 patients experienced a 15 years survival, including 5 of the original 27 with colorectal cancer.
References: Issels, J. Immunotherapy in Progressive Metastatic Cancer – A Fifteen-Year Follow-up. Clinical Trials Journal, August 1970: 357-365 – editorial by Phillips S. Dr Joseph Issels and the Ringberg Klinik. Clinical Trials Journal. August 1970: 355-56.
The above studies, that include RCTs, show that systemic therapies are much more successful than therapies based on the orthodox paradigm.
In Colorectal cancer, Ralph Moss (Cancer Therapy, The Independent Consumers Guide to Non-Toxic Treatment and Prevention) reports the following alternative therapies have been shown to benefit.
- Aspirin – was one of the first synthetic drugs ever manufactured, it may not only prevent heart disease but guard against colon cancer as well.
Three population studies suggested that aspirin has a protective effect on colon cancer. One was a study of over 1,300 patients with cancer of the colon or rectum. It showed that regular use of NSAID’s was associated with a 50 percent decrease in the risk of cancer at either site. A study from Australia showed a similar decrease in risk of colon, but not rectal, cancer.
Meanwhile, a California study of elderly aspirin users seemed to show a slight increase in colon cancer.
In 1991, statisticians at the ACS attempted to resolve these differences through a massive study of aspirin use and colon cancer. They found that regular use of aspirin was indeed linked to a 40 to 50 percent reduction in the risk of death from either colon or rectal cancer.
The ACS study involved more than 660,000 people. Those who regularly took more than 12 aspirin tablets a month had only 60 percent the death rate from colon – rectal cancer as those who did not use aspirin. Similar results had also been seen with other NSAID’s, such as Advil and Nupril.
ACS researchers concluded that “additional controlled trials of treatment with aspirin or other NSAIDs in people at high risk for colon cancer may be warranted”
Aspirin is not without side effects and has risks such as bleeding of the stomach, and should not be used without your doctor’s consultation.
Rosenberg L, et al. A hypothesis: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the incidence of large-bowel cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst.1991;83:355-8.
Kune G, eta l. Aspirin use and chronic illnesses, operations, and medications: case control results from the Melbourne Colorectal Cancer Study. Cancer.1988;48:4399-4404.
Paganini-Hill A, el al. Aspirin use and chronic diseases: a cohort study of the elderly. BMJ.1989;229:1247-50.
Pagainin-Hill A, et al. Aspirin use and incidence of large-bowel cancer in a California retirement community. J Natl Cancer Inst.1991;83:1182-3.
Thun M. Et al. Aspirin use and reduced risk of fatal colon cancer. N Engl J Med.1991;325:1593-1596.
Baron JA and Greenberg ER. Could aspirin really prevent colon cancer? (editorial). NEngl J Med.1991;325:1597.
- Beta-Carotene – is a natural chemical found in many fruits and vegetables, especially brightly coloured ones like carrots, mangoes, papayas and yams.
At the university of Pavia in Italy, 15 patients were given beta-carotene supplements (along with another food constituent) to prevent recurrences after lung, breast, colon, urinary bladder; and head and neck surgery. They had a “longer than expected disease-free interval”.
Reference: Santamaria LA and Santamaria AB. Cancer chemoprevention by supplemental carotenoids and synergism with retinol in mastodynia treatment. Med Oncol Tumor Pharmacother.1990;7:153-67.
- Calcium – is the most abundant mineral in the human body. About 99 percent goes to build and maintain healthy teeth and bones. The remaining helps nerves and muscles. One of calcium’s most important uses is to aid in the metabolism of Vitamin D.
As early as 1980, it was proposed that calcium, together with its partner Vitamin D, could reduce the risk of colon cancer in humans.
A study of nearly 2000 Chicago men found that a dietary intake of greater than 3.75 micrograms of vitamin D per day was associated with a 50 percent reduction in the incidence of cancer of the colon or rectum. Even more startlingly, an intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium a day was associated with a 75 percent reduction, according to scientists at UC San Diego. Clinical and laboratory studies support these findings. Blood serum drawn from over 25000 people showed that moderately elevated concentrations of vitamin D was associated with large reductions in the incidence of cancer of the colon and rectum.
A diet in which total fat makes up only 20 percent of calories and in which cereal fibres are high (about 30 grams per day) is widely believed to prevent colon cancer. Scientists say that such a diet most likely would also reduce the risk of colon cancer recurrences “in patients who have been treated by conventional means”.
Scientists at the American Health Foundation of Valhalla, New York add that regular intake of yellow and green vegetables, foods containing calcium, as well as selenium and other micro-nutrients further lowers the risk.
Scientists at memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, NY studied the growth and spread of cancer in the colons of ten people who had a high hereditary risk of colon cancer. Some of these tests subjects were given supplements of 1250 milligrams of calcium carbonate daily. Two to three months after supplementation had been started: they stated, “proliferation of cancer-like cells was significantly reduced”.
In fact, their colon cells now resembled those of people who were at low risk for this type of cancer.
Scientists at the free University of Brussels also gave nine patients at high risk of colon cancer 1500 milligrams of calcium for four to eight weeks. After this period, colon cells in six of these patients came to resemble those of patients at low risk of developing colon cancer. Biopsy specimens from such high-risk patients showed a decrease in proliferation when they were grown in the test tube.
Certain types of fats are known to damage the colon and lead to cancerous changes. The Belgian scientists also showed that calcium could block the toxicity of such fats when the supplement was given at the same time as the injurious agents.
Garland CF, et al. Can colon cancer incidence and death rates be reduced with calcium and vitamin D? Am J Clin Nutr.1991;54:193S-201S.
Weisburger JH and Horn CL. Human and laboratory studies on the causes and prevention of gastrointestinal cancer. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl.1984;104:15-26.
Lipkin M and Newmark H. effect of added dietary calcium on colonic epiyhelial-cell proliferation in subjects at high risk for familial colonic cancer. N Engl J Med.1985;313:1381-4.
Lipkin M, et al. Colonic epithelial cell proliferation in responders and non responders to supplemental dietary calcium. Cancer res.1989;49:248-54.
Buset M, et al. Inhibition of human colonic epithelial cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro by calcium. Cancer Res.1986;46:5426-30.
Buset M, et al. Injury induced by fatty acids or bile acid in isolated human coloncytes prevented by calcium. Cancer Lett.1990;50:221-6
- Calorie Balance – for many years, there has been great debate over what is the best diet for people with cancer.
In 1991, the relationship between energy intake, selected nutrients and cancer of the colon and the rectum was reported in Majorca. From 1984-1988, food frequency questionnaires had been given to 286 islanders with this type of cancer. Estimates were made of the intake of 29 nutrients as well as of total calories. Colorectal cancer was found associated with a higher dietary intake of total calories and cholesterol Increased risk was also found with increased intake of protein, especially animal protein, and carbohydrates. A protective effect was associated with the intake of fibre from legumes such as peas, beans and lentils and of folic acid (a B vitamin).
Reference: Benito E, et al. Nutritional factors in colorectal cancer risk: a case control study in Majorca. Int J Cancer.1991;49:161-7.
- Fibre – is a complex mixture of indigestible carbohydrates.
Colon cancer used to be a rare disease. But by the 1970’s in western countries it accounted for about two to four percent of all deaths. In 1982-1983, the age adjusted death rates from colon cancer was 50 percent higher in Luxemburg than it was in the United States and about 50 times higher than it was in El Salvador. Fibre is considered to be the connection, as the Luxembourgeois have an extremely tasty cuisine, but it is sadly lacking in fibre compared to the rice and bean diets of Central America.
There are good scientific reasons that fibre could protect against colorectal cancer, according to a scientist at the MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre in Cambridge, England. The faeces of some people contains mutation causing substances. Bran (a source of fibre) reduces these agents and may be an important way of preventing the onset of cancer.
Burkitt DP. Colonic-rectal cancer: fibre and other dietary factors. Am J Clin Nutr.1978;S58-S64.
Bingham SA. Mechanisms and experimental and epidemiological evidence relating dietary fibre (non-starch polysaccharides) and starch to protection against large bowel cancer. Proc Nutr Soc.1990;49:153-71.
- Fish oil – the low fat diet of the Japanese and the Eskimo, combined with their high intake of fish oil, seems to inhibit breast and colon cancer. This is attributed to the protective effect of fish to the omega-3 fatty acids.
Reference: Kaizer L, et al. Fish consumption and breast cancer risk: an ecological study. Nutrition and Cancer.1989;12:61-68.
- Krestin – or PSK is a mushroom extract which was patented in Japan in 1973.
Starting in July, in 1977 a very large study was carried out at 22 hospitals in Japan. Hundreds of patients recovering from stomach or colorectal cancer surgery were given Krestin and/or various drugs. Survival was significantly increased when patients received alternating doses of Krestin and the toxic drug carboquone, discovered by Japanese scientists five years earlier. Patients treated with this combination fared better than those receiving carboquone alone, or nothing at all.
“These differences were much more apparent among patients who received more than six courses of the regimen”, said gastric surgeons at the Aichi Cancer Centre in Japan. Results were then evaluated seven years after the start of the experiment. Again, the outcome was better for patients who received the immune stimulant in combination with the drug.
Reference: Ichihashi H, et al. (Clinical results of a randomised controlled trial on the effect of adjuvant immunochemotherapy using Esquinon and Krestin in patients with curatively resected gastric cancer – 7 year survival – Co-operative Study Group for Cancer Immunochemotherapy, Tokai Gastrointestinal Oncology Group) Gan To Kagaku Ryoho.1987;14:2758-66.
- Lentinan – is an immune booster, technically a polysaccharide derived from the edible shiitake mushroom. Its anticancer properties were first described in Nature in 1969.
In August 1979, scientists at Osaka University began a major study with lentinan on people with advanced or recurrent stomach, colon-rectal and breast cancer. For gastrointestinal cancers, small doses of lentinan were administered intravenously in combination with conventional drug treatments. As a control, some patients received chemotherapy alone.
Lentinan added to the chemotherapy made the patients live longer – the ultimate criterion for an anticancer drug. Patient’s immune responses were improved and blood abnormalities seen less frequently. Japanese scientists concluded that lentinan “should be effective for the patients with advanced or recurrent stomach or colorectal cancer in combination with chemotherapeutic agents”.
Reference: Taguchi T. (Effects of lentinan in advanced or recurrent cases of gastric, colorectal, and breast cancer). Gan To Kagaku Ryoho.1983;10:387-93.
- Levamisol – was introduced in 1966 as a broad – spectrum de wormer for animals, and sometimes people. While generally ineffective as a solo performer, when added to chemotherapy it enhances the effects and increases survival.
In one study, almost 1300 patients which had either locally invasive (stage B2) or regionally involved (stage C) colon cancer were given either levamisole, levamisole plus 5-FU or nothing. Treatment with levamisole alone had no effect.
Among the patients with Stage C colon cancer, “therapy with levamisole plus fluorouracil (5FU) reduced the risk of cancer recurrence by 41 percent,” according to the Mayo doctors. The overall death rate was reduced by 33 percent.” In the patients with Stage B2 colon cancer the results were “equivocal and too preliminary to allow firm conclusions”.
Reference: Moertel C, et al. Levamisole and fluorouracil for adjuvant therapy of resected colon carcinoma. N Engl J med.1990;322:352-358.
- Phototherapy – is the use of light in the treatment of diseases such as cancer. Phototherapy causes the destruction of tumours through the administration of a “photosensitising agent” that is retained in tumours. This relatively harmless substance is then activated by shining a light on the tumour in order to generate cell – killing agents on the spot.
Truly selective destruction of cancer cells can be produced in experimental colon cancers with a complete sparing of normal colon tissue. In addition, this procedure does not interfere with the “mechanical strength of the colon”, even when tissue is damaged or killed in some normal areas.
In contrast, laser by itself can seriously weaken the wall of the colon and may even perforate it. This is because the “submucosal collagen layer” is preserved after phototherapy, but is destroyed by the usual laser therapy. An initial clinical trial was carried out on 10 patients at the Walton Hospital in Liverpool, UK. All had inoperable tumours, with metastatic disease or severe medical problems. Phototherapy was shown to be safe.
All patients were given the HP – derivative 48 hours before starting phototherapy. Up to four parts of the tumour were treated with red laser light delivered through a flexible fiberoptic tube inserted into the tumour. Two patients had their small lesions “totally eradicated” and they remained tumour free for 20 and 28 months, respectively, after the start of phototherapy. However, one patient with an advanced tumour had a serious haemorrhage that may have been the result of the therapy.
Liverpool scientists concluded that phototherapy: “may be most suitable for the treatment of small tumours or for small areas of persistent tumour where the bulk has been removed by alternative techniques”.
Barr H, et al. Photodynamic therapy for colorectal cancer: a quantitative pilot study. Br J Surg.1990;77:93-6.
Barr H, et al. Photodynamic therapy for colorectal cancer: a quantitative pilot study. Br J Surg.1990;77:93-6.
- Selenium – is a non-metallic grey mineral of the sulphur family. A relatively high intake of selenium in the diet has repeatedly been linked to lower than usual incidences of cancer.
Associations of high selenium and low cancer rates have been seen with breast cancer as well as leukaemia, cancers of the intestines, rectum, ovary, prostate, lung, pancreas, skin and bladder.
Schrauzer G. Selenium and cancer: A review. Bioinorganic Chemistry.1975;5:275-81.
Schrauzer GN, et al. Cancer mortality correlation studies. III. Statistical associations with dietary selenium intakes. Bioinorganic Chemistry.1977;7:23-24.
- Sulindac – is a common prescription item, classified as a Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
In 1983, a surgeon named William R. Waddell announced in a cancer journal that sulindac could be used to eliminate polyps in cases of hereditary diseases of the bowel, such as Gardner’s syndrome or familial polyposis.
Conventional treatment of such conditions is the surgical removal of part of the colon or occasionally, high doses of radiation. This can be met with complications. Sulindac therapy can spare this. In one study, 11 patient’s with Gardner’s disease were treated with sulindac. Seven had had parts of their colon removed, another four had not had any treatment. “All polyps were eliminated”, surgeons at the University of Colorado in Denver said. And no cancers developed in the colon when later re-examined.
A 1990 French study assessed sulindac’s effectiveness in eradicating small polyps in eight patient’s with familial polyposis, another hereditary condition that can progress to cancer. These patient’s had undergone removal of parts of their intestines years before, but small polyps remained in the rectum. Between 200 and 300 milligrams of sulindac were given daily. In seven of the patient’s “eradication of micro polyps was obtained within 3.4 months” on average.
After discontinuing sulindac, there was a recurrence within three to four months of small polyps in four out of the seven patient’s. “A new eradication of micro polyps was obtained in these four patients with a second round of sulindac and cure was seen within three months,” gastroenterologists in Angers, France reported.
“Three patients with Gardner’s syndrome and multiple colonic polyps had complete regression of polyps after two to three months of sulindac therapy,” scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine reported.
Waddell WR, et al. Sulindac for polyposis of the colon. J Surg Oncol.1983;24:83-7.
Charneau J, et al. (Rectal micropolyps after total colectomy in familial polyposis. Efficacy of Sulindac). Gastroenterol Clin Biol.1990;14:153-7.
Friend W. Sulindac suppression of colorectal polyps in Gardner’s Syndrome. American Family Physician.1990;41:89-93.
- Vitamin A – an antioxidant that destroys harmful chemicals.
In 1992, Italian scientists reported that a combination of Vitamin A with vitamins C and E could correct abnormalities in the cells of the rectum in people who had polyps removed. Such abnormalities are believed to eventually progress to cancer in many cases.
Reference: Paganelli G, et al. Effect of vitamin A, C and E supplementation on rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal adenomas. J Natl Cancer Inst.1992;84:47-51.
- Vitamin D – is manufactured in the body by exposure to sunlight.
In 1974, the Garland brothers took blood samples from over 25000 people in Washington County, MD to investigate the relationship between this vitamin and the risk of colon cancer. Between 1975 and 1983, 34 cases of colon cancer developed in this group. The chances of getting cancer were 80 percent less in the subjects who had the highest levels of vitamin D. The Garlands concluded that vitamin D exerts a protective effect against colon cancer.
Reference: Garland CF, et al. serum 25 – hydroxyvitamin and colon cancer: eight year prospective study. Lancet. 1989;2:1176-8.
If you or someone close to you has just been diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer, it is important you research and understand your chosen treatment, whether that be conventional, alternative or a mixture of both. For the best results your treatment should include physical, mental, emotional/psychological and spiritual treatment.
If you don’t know where to begin in your journey to wellness then we suggest you read Where To Start. This provides an introduction to the alternative approach to treating cancer and also information about some evidenced based alternative cancer treatments.