Herbal Medicine In Cancer Therapy Biology Essay


Cancer is a class of diseases in which a cell, or a group of cells display uncontrolled growth division beyond the normal limits, intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues, and sometimes metastasis and spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood. These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self-limited, and do not invade or metastasize. Most cancers form a tumor but some, like leukemia, do not.

There are many factors may cause cancer, such as environmental disease, lifestyle and environmental factors and genetics. Common environmental factors leading to cancer death inculde smoking,bacteria, viruses,diet and obesity, infections, radiation, stress, lack of physical activity, and environmental pollutants. These environmental factors cause abnormalities in the genetic material of cells.

Most of the cancer have classified as 1 to 4 stage, the stage of cancer is a description of the extent the cancer has spread. The stage often takes into account the size of a tumor, how deeply it has penetrated, whether it has invaded adjacent organs, how many lymphy nodes it has metastasized to, and whether it has spread to distant organs. First of stage the cancer cells only localized to one part of the body, very difficult to find and may without any symptoms. Stage two and three cancer cells are locally advanced, whether a cancer is designated as stage two and three can depend on the specific type of cancer. Stage four cancer have often metastasized, or spread to other organs or throughout the body.

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Also surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy remained to be conventional cancer treatments, but often have great side effects such as hair loss, weight loss, decreased immunity, loss of appetite,vomiting and radiotherapy may killed the cancer cell with normal cell. The three main idea of herbs as an adjunct treatment for existing cancer, first may offset the damaging side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, second may benefit the patients immune system, which biomedicine overwhelms and supplants with its powerful agents and third to aid in tumor reduction itself, potentially shortening the length of time the patinet needs to receive radiation or chemotherapy. Thus, herbal became one of the most popular option for cancer treatment in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Herbal medicine(Phytotherapy, Phytomedicine, Herbology, Herbalism, Botanical Medicin) uses plants, or mixtures of plant extracts, to treat illness and promote health. It aims to restore your body's ability to protect, regulate and heal itself. It is the world's most ancient form of medicine. Its use of plants for healing purposes dates all the way back to ancient times.

Herbal medicine also emphasizes on the principle of synergy, which is the idea that combining two or more herbs together can produce a greater effect than using only one single herb. In addition, while one herb can help another work better, it can also reduce or eliminate side effects of another herb. Such property is known as the buffering effect. As a result, unlike conventional drugs that only contain a single active chemical, herbal remedies often contain many different ingredients.

Herbal medicine treats the whole person rather than individual symptoms. Herbal practitioners often see the underlying cause of an illness in terms of balance. For example, Chinese herbal medicine is based on the concepts of yin and yang. A person's illness indicates the body's imbalance of yin and yang forces. Hence, targeted at excess or deficiency in either yin or yang in an individual, Chinese herbs are used, often in combination, to restore the balance of these two life forces. Thus, herbal medicine is intended to reestablish harmony and balance in a person's body because an imbalance in the body could lead to many illnesses.

By the way, herbal therapy is simply the relationship between plants and the body, is used and only plants. The concept of herbal therapy plants can be required to supply all the necessary human nutrition, from cells, tissues, organs and systems begin to help the whole body back to health. Such as variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, these five classes of plant have included a variety of nutrients needed by the body such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes. Thus, as a treatment for cancer, herbal medicine aims to bring the body back to a balanced state by strengthening its immune system. When the body is strong, it can fight against cancer, and thereby heal itself. This is different from traditional medicine which targets at removing the tumor through surgical procedures, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

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Herbal as a treatment of cancer for support conventional cancer treatments, although herbal cant killed cancer cells directly,but scientists are keep looking for some herbs can stop cancer cells growth. Here is some research have talk about one of the herbal how to changes in pancreatic cancer cells, modifying the cells DNA, changeing the DNA structure helping acetylation process can be important for genes to be read and translated into proteins to initiating programmed cell death.

Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer at Jefferson in Philadelphia have found that "thymoquinone", an extract of nigella sativa seed oil, blocked pancreatic cancer cell growth and killed the cells by enhancing the process of programmed cell death. She using a human pancreatic cancer cell found that, adding thymoquinone can killed 80 percent of the cancer cells by the triggered programmed cell death in the cells, then found that expression of the genes P53, a tumor suppressor gene, and Bax, a gene that promotes prograamed cell death, was increased, while bcl-2, which blocks such cell death, was decreased. At the same time, she found if adding thymoquinone to pancreatic cancer cells may reduced the production and activity of enzymes called histone deacetylases, which remove the acetyle groups from the histone proteins, halting the gene transcription process.

Another research found those anti-cancer herbs extracts exert their biological effect either through cytotoxic or immunomodulatory mechanisms. One of the active compounds responsible for the immune effects of herbal products is in the form of complex polysaccharides known asβ-glucans.

β-glucans act on several immune receptors including Dectin-1, complement receptor (CR3) and TLR-2/6 and trigger a group of immune cells including macrophages, neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells. β-glucans are potent immunomodulators with effects on both innate and adaptive immunity. The ability of the innate immune system to quickly recognize and respond to an invading pathogen is essential for controlling infection.

In conclusion, although herbal remedies has a long history, but the effectiveness of herbal medicine as a treatment for cance is not well understood yet. And although have lots of research has proof that herbal may cure cancer in many ways, but it is lack of strong evidence from clinincal trials. Without consistent evidences that come from well designed, carefully controlled, randomized, and clinical trials, it is very difficult to assess the safety and efficacy of herbal medicine. But I believe that very effective in herbal medicine as a complementary in cancer therapy, only lack of strong evidence from clinincal trials and systemic, therefore herbal medicine are unlimited possibilities in curing cancer.