In 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States, per the American Cancer Society. Across America, men and women are seeking both naturopathic medicine (also referred to as alternative medicine) and traditional medical care. Depending on the type medical condition or how far their diagnosis has progressed, approximately 50% of patients have found the use of naturopathic methods to be the more appropriate route for them and their families compared to the more traditional medical care (Issitt). As research progresses further into the new year’s with new medicines, Doctors are starting to see other patients and survivors choosing the Naturopathic method over the traditional chemotherapy, due to the overall effect it has on their health in the long run.
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It was once said by Joseph Addison that, “Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.” Joseph Addison is making a valid point with his statement. When a person acts or thinks in a positive manner, do they not actually feel better? Being cheerful will help you both mentally and physically. Laughing is the perfect example. When a person laughs, it releases chemicals within the brain that makes that person physically feel well. Those chemicals are referred to as endorphins and when released they help increase pain resistance in the body (Gorman). Why should any patient have to pay for antidepressants when they can already produce their own happiness? They just need to turn on the television and watch a comedic movie of their choice.
In the same way, traditional and naturopathic medicine specialized practitioners find ways in which to restore health by using safe and natural remedies to treat all aspects, whether it be physical or mental, of their patient. Even though many doctors and patients may not recognize the benefits of naturopathic medicine, the increase in their popularity is indisputable.
When a specialist, whether it be the patient’s’ primary care manager or whomever they were seeing, discovers cancer in the patient, an oncologist often provides the treatment options for them. Depending on the staging, the type of cancer, and the rate that is has spread, they will often recommend the best method to treat the ailment. Ultimately it is up to the patient as to the choice of treatment based off the doctor’s recommendations. Sometimes the patient even gets second opinions and gathers information through other qualified professionals (Tierra).
Treatment for cancer can be sought through several traditional methods. They include surgery as well as chemotherapy and radiation. Other options for treating this condition could be clinical trials, which are options for treating some patients but not all. Other patients may choose the more natural cancer treatments; some of which are not approved by the FDA.
Unfortunately, there are numerous amounts of patients who choose to use natural methods without performing the correct processes beforehand. The correct processes that are necessary include: research on the treatments and the illness, as well as having a consultation with the patient’s physician (Robotin). Doctors should really advise their patients to stop using naturopathic methods instead of traditional methods because of the dangers of using the naturopathic methods. Unlike traditional methods, naturopathic methods are unknown, they are not as effective as patients seem to believe them to be, and tradition methods have been proven to be the only known way to completely heal or cure a disease.
During a consultation, the physician should advise against the use of naturopathic methods. One reason being because of the dangers of the naturopathic methods may present, due to the lack of research on them (Eisenberg). Therapies, massages, herbal medication, and acupuncture are common naturopathic methods (Collinge). Any so called dangers to using natural treatments are known, but much is not because hospitals believe that conventional medicine is much more effective. There is evidence to prove the lack of research that has not been done on naturopathic treatments. Such is the case study done in Australia about natural treatments of cancer. There is information all throughout the article in regards to how natural treatments can be used to cure cancer (Mercurio). Unfortunately, there was limited information about the risks when using natural methods and where all the information came from (Mercurio).
In some cases, there are some users that say, “researching the treatments would involve chemically changing them and destroying what makes the naturopathic treatments natural” (Astin), they would be incredibly wrong. This would be due to the need of increased research of natural remedies to help prepare the physicians to be ready to treat the such problems that may be caused by ailments such as; hepatitis, dermatitis, and endocarditis (Niggemann). All of which are only known to be some of the dangers to the use of acupuncture because of the little research that was done. Therefore, most doctors should advise against the use of natural treatments due to the lack of knowledge and the research in what may happen to the patients who do use them.
A second reason as to why doctors should advise against the use of natural methods is because they have not been found to be more effective than traditional medicine. The effectiveness of traditional and natural medicine can be seen both ways: either medically or cost wise. Natural methods are not cost effective, despite the beliefs of users. This is partially due to the patient’s insurance will not willing to pay for or even help to pay for natural treatments (Crellin). Over time, that patient’s bill may increase substantially if they do not have the help if their insurance in paying for the treatments. Often times in this situation, patients may have to or have turned to, the black market to receive treatments. Other times the increase may be caused by the fact that patients will need more of their medication in order to affect their illness, like a drug. It really is not known if natural treatments are medically effective since not much research has been done on the subject. Traditional cancer treatments include; surgery, radiation therapy, and medication. Common natural remedies include; herbal medications, therapies, and acupuncture (Donsbach). When deciphering between the two types of treatments, it is known that surgery is a more effective way to treat cancer than traditional and natural methods (Hareyan). This is only due to the fact that surgery will completely remove all parts of the body that have been infected by cancer, whereas there is a risk that the herbal medications may actually mutate the cancer and cause it to spread (Hareyan). Patients should be advised to refrain from using the natural methods, since the natural treatments are not as effective as patients seem to think they are.
Lastly, a third reason for why doctors would advise against the use of natural methods is because traditional medicine is known to completely cure or heal an illness with limited risks. Where natural methods are only known for relieving but not fully curing an illness (Niggemann). There is evidence of this is in many stories about natural treatments and natural treatments for cancers. Many stories that involve natural treatments include patients complaining about the return of their symptoms or illnesses (Dansbach). There still are patients that use natural treatments that still believe traditional medicine is not the only way to cure an ailment; and that is do to the lack of proof or evidence of research in the subject. Since there has been little research on natural treatments, traditional medical treatments are the only known way to completely heal an illness and should be advised to patients by their physicians (Crellin).
More people today believe that the traditional, surgical method of treating cancer is the most acclaimed as well as the more vital approach. However, this traditional method does not completely cure the disease. After surgery, there are metastatic growths. The chances of having more metastatic outgrowths increases when the size of primary tumor becomes bigger.
This traditional method of cancer treatment increases the risk of damaging the tumor and it also penetrates many other cancer cells within the blood cells. In turn, it introduces new colonies of the tumor cells. This is one of the many reasons why the chemotherapy as well as radiation are not always applied traditionally. When combined with the surgical resection of the initial tumor, cancer patients that have used the traditional methods against cancer usually appear to have more tumors in different parts of the body. It then develops into polydysplasia (Tierra).
Naturopathic methods have been around for centuries and people continue to use them. So There must be some benefit to these methods. Naturopathic medicine has been proven to be effective in many cases and should be further researched and needs to be accepted in our healthcare system to better inform the patients who choose to use them.
Naturopathy is a goal where it seeks to engage in the body’s power to naturally fight diseases by utilizing the resources that are already available. Drugs and surgery are to be avoided, and the patient is to embrace the natural methods. Those are the naturopathic principles. The patient’s medical history is closely looked at and paid attention to. Also, lifestyle and environment is closely monitored. It is believed that naturopathy reduces the chance of the spread of cancer cells within the body.
Naturopathic medicine can be far less expensive, compared to traditional medicine (Verma). When it comes to any kind of herbs and vitamins, they are naturally available. They do not require any extra research to develop and therefore they are cheaper and easier to get a hold of. Yoga and diets can be done from the comfort of your own home; and do not require any hospital stays or constant doctor visits. These have been proven to help treat problems ranging from stress to side effects caused by traditional cancer treatments.
Multivitamins, supplements, weight loss pills, and more are forms of naturopathic medicine that can be found in stores and bought without any sort of prescription from the doctor. Accessibility to naturopathic medicine is much more convenient for those who live a busy lifestyle. Not everyone has time to schedule an appointment with a doctor. However, being that these products are so convenient to the patient and at low prices, they pose a danger of improper use. Which is why further study of naturopathic medicine is critical; the lives of patients could be in danger and they would not even know or consider it at the time.
Thanks to science and technology, naturopathic methods of treatments have become more enhanced with producing good effects in people who have chosen natural methods instead of traditional medicine. “In recent years medical research has indicated that some natural therapies produce a positive result in patients”(Issitt).
Ketogenic diets have been around since the 1920s and are one true form of effective natural therapy, with positive results. They were first introduced in epilepsy patients as a natural method of therapy and then was soon used in patients with brain tumors. Traditional keto diets have a 3:1 ratio of fat to nonfat. The breakdown of the diet is the patient would consume 29g protein, 23g carbohydrates, and 156 g dietary fats, daily (Nebeling).
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To get the diet started, most patients have to do a three to seven day water fast. That way it insures they get their ketone levels elevated and their glucose levels lowered before starting the diet themselves. There has been a link between glucose and cancer cells, in which doctors have figured out that if they were to lower the glucose within the patients bodies and increase the ketones, it will then confuse the cancer cells (Paoli). Since the cancer cells thrive off the glucose within the body, by confusing them with the elevating of the ketones, it will then ultimately starve the cancer cells within the patient’s body, riding the patient of the dreaded disease.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is used for patients who have lingering toxicity issues related to chemotherapy or radiation exposure. It is a type of medical treatment, also considered a natural therapy, which enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. It is used for a wide variety of treatments; usually as a part of an overall medical care plan. It helps with promoting tissue healing and to fight off infections. What it does is it increases the amount of oxygen that is dissolved in the patient’s blood stream. Once that is done, it allows the a new, “improved” oxygen to be delivered to the tissues.
Most often the type of disorders that patients tend to develop late after exposure to the common therapies, are hypoxia and ischemia. In many recent studies and findings, it has been proven that hypoxia aids in the progression of cancer (Moen). If left untreated, it can cause cellular damage and organ dysfunction.
To so many individuals, they think that traditional methods are the better route to go than alternative methods because it shows a significant improvement in a person’s health and also in their well-being. However, it is also very important to remember the negative side effects. “Research has confirmed that some alternative methods perform significantly better than most placebos in controlled experiments” (Issitt). This just means that placebos and side effects are both problematic to using traditional medicine and will only endanger a person more.
If those false medicines or placebos were provided to people who are very ill and are the wrong kind, it would hurt the individual; even if they took it and the only reaction were mild side effects. Unlike the traditional methods, naturopathic therapy provides a safe but easy way to heal and relax a person’s body. “First Alternative therapy often seeks to work with the body’s own natural healing process and it often seeks to engage the whole person, strengthening the connection between mind and body” (Badertscher). Alternative medicine and traditional medicine are very important because people will learn which one is safe and heals the body in a relaxing way and what ones only tricks a person and costs money.
Side effects from traditional treatments can often be quite taxing on the body. A few examples include but are not limited to: fatigue, myelosuppression, thrombocytopenia, anemia, GI concerns, and more (Held-Warmkessel). Each one bearing very little to major effects on the patient’s everyday life. If a patient is constantly fatigued, how are they suppose to carry out everyday normal activities and really live their life? Since chemotherapy mixed with other medications that they may on, are wiping out their neutrophils, it is causing more fatigue than normal in the patient, causing them to take naps more often and sleep longer than usual. Resulting in the patient missing out on many activities that others may take for granted.
Thrombocytopenia can cause severe bleeding in the patient, if not watched closely (Held-Warmekssel). The patient had to be very careful if they were to get a scratch or cut. Their platelet counts fall during chemotherapy and so clotting is either very minimal or non existent, running the patient at risk of bleeding out or bleeding to death. One reason why patients end up having to have platelet transfusions during traditional chemo treatments.
Constant nausea and vomiting are just minimal GI concerns. That is normally treated or “blanketed” with other medicines such as steroids, like prednisone. If a patient is unable to keep fluids or even foods down, they run the risk of losing very important nutrients that their body really needs to help heal and stay strong to fight off the cancer. Stomach ulcers and mucosal inflammation within the GI tract can occur from the vomiting or just from the chemotherapy itself, along with the side effects from the mix of all the medications the patient is taking. Another reason why traditional treatments are not the best option.
Finally, just the basics of what you and I take for granted; personal hygiene. Mouth sores, bleeding gums, the loss of taste buds, hair loss, not able to have fresh cut flowers in the house due to they harbor bacteria, not able to eat at a buffet due to bacteria, having to wear a mask out in public, limiting interaction in crowds, etc. These are all minimal things you would not think twice about but the patients themselves cannot do these simple things thanks to traditional treatments and the side effects that they produce.
Traditional methods involve medicines and treatments that are often chemically produced in labs which are specifically made for curing those with diseases. They are then offered to patients by hospitals. Traditional methods can include but are not limited to: chemical medications, radiation therapies, and surgeries. Alternative methods are naturally produced treatments for illnesses. They can include but are not limited to: herbal medications, acupuncture, therapies, and relaxation techniques.
The strong dislike of traditional methods from patients, has increased through the century (Astin). One reason for this increase is the belief that “alternative treatments offer more control over health care decisions, and alternatives are seen as more compatible with the patient’s values, worldview, beliefs regarding the nature and meaning of illness and health” or a person truly believes that they can be cured of their ailment by the use of only natural methods (Astin). Another list of reasons for the dislike to traditional methods may include: poor perceived health, family use of natural methods, recommendation by close social contacts, strong adherence to traditional health beliefs and middle age.
Even though within the last century the use of traditional methods has decreased, the usage of naturopathic methods has increased (Eberhardt). However, even with that increase, only less than thirty-percent of naturopathic therapy users stated that they had talked to their healthcare professional in the past twelve months, in regards to their use of the natural therapies (Eberhardt). About half of the patients that choose to use natural methods are diagnosed with a chronic disease. Some of those chronic diseases happen to be cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, and strokes.
Naturopathic methods are more often used to treat allergies. An example of these allergies that natural methods are used to diagnose and treat includes but are not limited to are: specific allergies, seasonal allergies, and asthma (Niggemann). There are a few other illnesses where traditional methods can only offer relief and not a cure, that natural methods can help treat (Niggemann).
“Some practitioners continue to develop alternative medicines to avoid surgery or the occasionally hazard effects of synthetic medicines” (Issitt). These alternative methods are extremely important because it saves money, are less invasive, and are less time consuming. They also have fewer side effects. This in turn is giving people positive reasons as to why they should choose the alternative methods over the harmful, invasive options. Rather than choosing to take part in invasive surgeries such as, internal surgeries, sports medicine surgeries and spinal surgeries, etc research has shown that men and women choose acupuncture.
These remedies have balanced men and women both physically and mentally. As stated before, alternative methods do not include the need for a placebo. Since that is a way in determining the effect of medications with traditional methods, for alternative methods it is already safe for them and approved with the law. There are people that argue that alternative methods are not useful to curing aggressive diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. But through further research and more understanding of alternative methods with how they have the potential to impact cancer and other diseases, people can begin to understand it more clearly. It is because of the new technology and the new treatments that positive results in the research and studies on patients, that prove that naturopathic methods really do work in the healing process.
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