What is breast cancer and why is it so dangerous?
Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, although women tend to be more susceptible to it because they usually have bigger chests than men.
It is a dangerous type of cancer, which is a disease characterized by cell growth that is out of control and can spread throughout the body quite quickly and aggressively, starving the major organs of blood and oxygen and, if left untreated, eventually leading to death.
Cancer, and particularly breast cancer, is a huge problem today and although there are very many different types of treatment, not all types of cancer can be cured in 100% of cases.
Every individual’s cancer is very different and can grow extremely quickly and aggressively. The most dangerous part of cancer of the breast is the fact that it usually grows very close to the lymph nodes below the armpits.
It is from here that cancerous cells can be transported throughout the body and can end up growing in and around other organs such as the heart and brain.
Why should you look into natural remedies for preventing, living with and treating breast cancer?
Most of the ways that modern science has come up with for treating breast cancer are invasive, painful and have a multitude of very serious side effects.
Whilst there is not yet any better way to get rid of cancer than undergoing some sort of operation (if the tumors that have formed are big enough to be extracted without causing irrevocable damage to organs and blood vessels around it) or without undergoing chemotherapy, there are ways to help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer as well as ways to help cope with the pain and side effects of treatments such as pain medications and chemotherapy.
With any alternative treatments and natural remedies, however, it is advisable to talk to your physician before you alter your treatment regime to ensure that none of the natural remedies that you are trying will affect your other treatments in a negative way.
What are the best natural remedies for breast cancer?
For those undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, a great deal will already be known about the side effects. Nausea is quite often experienced by those undergoing serious chemotherapy, as well as weakness, fatigue, headaches, depression and pain, to name just a few.
These are the sorts of side effects that natural remedies can help to alleviate or eradicate altogether. Additionally, there are a number of very effective ways to drastically reduce your chances of developing breast cancer during your life time.
Preventing breast cancer
Scientists and doctors do not yet know exactly what causes breast cancer. It seems as though there may be a number of different causes that can differ per patient. It is known that there can be various contributing factors to developing cancer all over the body.
Recent studies and experiments have suggested that some people may be genetically predisposed to developing breast cancer, particularly if other relatives have had it in their lifetimes, and yet further studies are linking breast cancer to dietary and environmental causes.
It is absolutely essential to know the best ways to protect yourself against developing breast cancer in the first place.
Cutting out excess fat, sugar and salt that often come in processed foods, fast foods and in desserts is a great way to start looking after your body. When your body has all the things that it needs – nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins, fiber and so on – then it can focus on maintaining itself.
Without adding too much extra fat and sugar into your diet, you are ensuring that the body isn’t having to store too much fat around essential organs, thus making it more difficult for them to function properly and efficiently.
If you are concerned about your diet, consult a physician or a dietician and get them to recommend portion sizes, tasty yet nutritious meals and get them to advise you on the best way to get as many vitamins and minerals from your food as possible.
Doing all these things will help to fortify your body not only against breast cancer, but against cancer in general.
Drink plenty of water
The body needs to be well hydrated in order to work properly. This means making sure that you drink enough water every day.
This could mean drinking glasses of water regularly throughout the day, or it could mean having a glass of water in the morning, a cup of tea in the afternoon and fruit juice with dinner.
All these fluids contain plenty of water and you need to be drinking plenty of it to make sure that your body is kept in tip top condition ready to help you fight against developing cancer.
Keep fit and healthy
Not only can exercise help to prevent cancer from developing in the first place, but doctors also say that it is much easier to treat people who are physically fit.
It is a lot easier for a surgeon to operate on someone who is a healthy size rather than someone who is obese, and there are added complications to any surgery that is performed on someone who is overweight.
The best chances of not developing cancer but also of surviving the treatment of cancer are to be fit and healthy. Running around and getting the heart pumping faster for at least fifty minutes three times a week is a great way to keep the body in tip top condition.
Helping to reduce the effect of breast cancer treatments
Those suffering from breast cancer are often scared, can feel isolated and experience a lot of pain while undergoing things like surgery to remove tumors and chemotherapy to kill cancerous cells throughout the body.
Alongside these medical treatments – which are the best out there are which are absolutely essential for those hoping to survive breast cancer – there are often a number of nasty side effects, including nausea, headaches and fatigue.
A doctor may recommend that you take certain medications to help cope with some of these side effects, but there are some alternative, natural remedies to help with these sorts of side effects that can be just as effective.
Just make sure to check with your physician to ensure that none of these natural remedies affect your treatments in any way.
Some people swear by homeopathy and some people think it’s nonsense. However, those who insist that it work are absolutely adamant that it rids them of pain without causing any horrible side effects.
It is, therefore, worth trying out if your doctor recommends it. Since the amount of the active ingredient including in tinctures and sugar pills that are used in homeopathic remedies is so microscopically tiny, there is absolutely no risk of overdosing on it.
Most often, doctors will admit that homeopathy, when it works, works as a placebo effect. However, this effect can be extraordinarily strong and can convince patients who should otherwise be in a great deal of pain that they feel absolutely fine.
These sorts of treatments can also help patients to feel less tired and more positive, as it affects the mental state rather than working on a physical level.
This treatment is more often used for those who are suffering from long term chronic pains and illnesses, but it can be used to alleviate symptoms and side effects such as nausea and fatigue.
The treatment of cancer can be an extremely painful process – chemotherapy in particular is well known to be extremely painful in certain circumstances, particularly when the cancer is advanced or aggressive – so seeking out acupuncture as a way of treating whole body pain is a great alternative to having to swallow endless morphine-based pills, which can end up getting addictive.
Eat smaller meals and drink regularly
Nausea is an exceedingly common side effect of the treatments of breast cancer, and many people find that they cannot get enough nutritional food into their bodies long enough for it to sustain them through the difficult recovery process.
However, by eating smaller meals more regularly and drinking smaller amounts more frequently, the nausea can be alleviated in most instances. Although this does not necessarily work for all patients, it has been proven to help most stop feeling nauseous for long periods of time.
Additionally, there are those who have tried ginger tea as a way of banishing nausea, which has had incredible effects.
Try managing your stress as much as possible
Stress will never help you recover from an illness, particularly not one as serious as breast cancer. It is advisable, therefore, to try and avoid stress as much as possible while going through cancer treatments.
Most people find it extremely useful to meditate. Spending just fifteen minutes or so every day sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing can be enough to reduce your stress levels and allow your body to concentrate on healing itself.
Meditation has also been proven to help with sleeping problems that often arise as part of the cancer treatment process (fueled in part by stress but also by medications and chemotherapy).
Meditation also has links to better abilities to cope with pain and depression that may follow the treatment of breast cancer.
Getting a full body massage can not only help you to relax (thus helping your body focus on healing itself and allowing the treatments to do their job and get you better) but it can also help you deal with the pain that typically follows cancer treatments.
There are specialized massage therapists who have trained to help those who are suffering with pains caused by breast cancer treatments, and it is best to try and find these rather than going to, for instance, someone who is more interested in helping those who have suffered sports injuries.
Ask your physician to recommend a masseuse who can help to reduce the amount of pain that you are in.
Another excellent bonus to getting regular massages is the fact that there is no way for them to have any negative side effects or interact negatively with other pain or nausea medication, for instance, which means that you can have as many as you want without worrying.
Gentle exercise such as yoga or t’ai chi
Many people suffering from cancer and undergoing some of the toughest treatments available want to keep active, but find it difficult because they are generally tired and in pain.
However, participating in slowly and more gentle exercise such as t’ai chi or yoga can be the perfect compromise.
These sorts of exercises can keep you moving, keep your blood pumping and your endorphins flowing (endorphins are your natural anti-depressant, and you shouldn’t be relying on chocolate to release them and make you feel better.
Exercise is a great way of making sure you feel great, and doing something gentle will ensure that you do not do further damage to yourself) and keep your mentality positive.
Those who keep active often feel more energized and positive than those who simply give up playing sports because they are too tired. Although you will find it increasingly difficult to play sports and participate in more fast-paced activities, yoga and t’ai chi present a happy alternative to just staying at home and feeling sorry for yourself.
Aromatherapy is often used as a complimentary treatment alongside surgeries, chemotherapy and pain medications. Like acupuncture and homeopathy, it does not work for everyone.
However, if it works for you, it is a great way to get yourself feeling less depressed, more relaxed and even more active.
In some cases, it has even helped patients to feel in less pain, which means that most people have absolutely nothing to lose just trying it out and seeing if it works for you.
It is advisable to consult your physician before starting a course of aromatherapy, but in the vast majority of instances, aromatherapy will not have any effect on any medications that you are taking or any other medical treatments that you need to have in order to beat breast cancer.
Some people do not want to use too many morphine-based painkillers as they are so easy to get addicted to.
If you are in pain but would prefer a more natural remedy against the pain of surgeries and chemotherapy, for instance, then it might be worth looking into vitamin supplements.
There are a great many plants and herbs that have natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, for instance, that are offered as supplements and that can be taken in addition to or instead of medicines prescribed by your doctors.
However, you must make sure to consult your physician before swapping your medicines around, as some medicines that doctors prescribe are for the direct treatment of the breast cancer.
Instead, make sure that you are only using the supplements to replace the painkillers. Also ask your doctor to check that the supplement you are planning on taking will not interfere in any way with the other medicines that you are taking.
Your doctor can advise you on the best supplements to take and which ones are the most effective.
Keeping positive is key
While there is no straightforward cure for breast cancer, the most important part of recovering from any sort of cancer is keeping as positive as possible.
There are so many options out there nowadays – with more and more breakthroughs coming every single day – that there is always something new to try.
Besides the surgeries and the chemotherapy, there are a great number of different natural therapies that can help with the side effects such as nausea, fatigue, general weakness, depression and pain.
When undergoing chemotherapy, some people find that they start losing their hair. There is nothing to be ashamed about if this happens, but it can make some people feel rather depressed.
It is therefore sometimes a good idea to look into wig makers and to make arrangements. After all, feeling positive about yourself and feeling good about what you look like can help to keep you happy even when things are at their most difficult.
Additionally, some women may have to undergo what is called a ‘mastectomy’ or even a ‘double mastectomy’, which is where one or both breasts are completely removed in order to prevent the cancer from spreading around the body.
There are plenty of options for those women who have to undergo this procedure to have breast implants put in if they should choose to.
Breast cancer can be aggressive and scary, but with modern medicine and the huge leaps that have been made in treating cancer, it need not be hopeless.
Additionally, there are some great ways to reduce the amount of pain and sickness that a patient feels while undergoing treatments for their breast cancer, so there is no need to feel as though you have to suffer in silence.