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Cancer patients and caregivers
The chances of dying from cancer are, as an average, 1 in 3, which is roughly the same as the chances of dying from ischaemic heart failure. The chances of being diagnosed with cancer are 1 in 1.5 and the chances of survival after that are 1 in 2.

A person receiving treatment will most likely be domiciled in an urban area with chlorinated water. During and after cancer treatment that person will continue to consume chlorinated water. In short, cancer patients are not removed from the environmental factors which are causing their cancer to "present." Therefore, cancer patients must inevitably get their cancer back again after treatment. That the survival odds are as good as 1 in 2 is quite astonishing.

I strongly believe, on the basis of the epidemiology, that anyone diagnosed with cancer and being treated for cancer should be removed or remove themselves from the cancer stimulis, that is, they must drink water which has never been chemically treated and has a pH around 6.8. This is a big task for a cancer patient who has more than enough to concern themselves with, so the caregiver must be responsible for this task. Oncology will most likely approve of this practice on the proviso that the water is boiled, so water has to be boiled and then cooled in sterile glass jars or bottles.

Apart from untreated water, it seems reasonable to assume that vitamin C is beneficial during and after cancer treatment. Fresh fruit such as apples and oranges are a given here, but often during cancer treatment these are too "solid" to be easily eaten. In these circumstances dehydroascorbate is a viable option as it is part of the vitamin C recycling process and will do the same job. As far as I am aware dehydroascorbate is as rare as hen's teeth, so my suggestion is to peel and core an apple, slice it into a china cup and use a small stick blender to completely mash it up. Place it in a jar and leave the top loose so that air can get in. Within a short time the mash will turn brown, which is the vitamin C oxidising to form dehydroascorbate. A liquor will form, the volume varying with the type of apple, and around 4 - 6 teaspoonfuls can be expected. When solids are not on the menu, the liquor can be.

Baking soda is in the same vein, pardon the pun, and half a teaspoon before breakfast in a glass of untreated boiled water will certainly do no harm.

I am testing apricot kernels as an anti-cancer food by consuming three every morning with a teaspoon of honey. Kernels sometimes cannot be sold for human consumption as they are claimed to be poisonous. If I die I will let you know. Apricot kernels taste like almond icing on christmas cake, albeit with a bitter after taste. If apricot kernels go off the market altogether then I suppose there is no reason why a person couldn't grow apricot trees "for their own personal use." You never know, the Green Party might push to have it decriminalised.....

Make sure you talk to your doctor to avoid eating anything which might work against your treatment protocol.

                        Diet during cancer treatment

During cancer treatment it seems that diet becomes more important than would otherwise be the case.

Keeping up body weight is important and advice on this is given during treatment. There are, however, a few aspects of diet which might be worth considering which might be below the radar.

The first is salt. During treatment saline will be given along with cancer drugs but not all the time. There is a health fad which says that too much salt is bad for you and in practice this can sometimes equate to no salt at all. Salt is vital to good health. The sodium part of it is used to make the heart muscle work properly. If this is neglected for philosophical reasons by a cancer patient then responsibility falls on the caregiver to ensure that salt is in a cancer patient's diet. If a person has a grey palour, tremors of the hands, a racing heart and is perspiring then a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water should be given straight away. Then contact oncology.

Salt also acts to prevent cells becoming "leaky," for want of a better word. If you consider that the simplest way to destroy rogue cells is to make them leaky then it becomes clear that indiscriminately leaky cells are not a good idea.

In addition to maintaining a sensible intake of dietary salt it is also possible to take a magnesium glycinate supplement. Magnesium and calcium may be given intravenously during cancer treatment but magnesium alone can be taken as a tablet, such as Premier Magnesium which is available, here in NZ, through Health 2000 stores or in the simpler form of molasses from the supermarket. It is sometimes beneficial during menopause for the relief of symptoms including depression.

Cancer treatments can affect changes to bones. Maintaining a good intake of calcium (and magnesium supplement to balance it) makes sense.

There is another aspect of diet which I believe is worth considering. The gut is a funny thing. It can cause grief during cancer treatment. While the gut is able to cope with most of the foods we throw at it there is one type of "food" which the gut is not so good at dealing with, and that is starch (and modified starch in particular).

The gut contains the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae which lives on undigested starch and can set up an autoimmune response (where the body attacks itself). People with ankylosing spondylitis will know that joint and back pain (if you are a man) and irritable bowel syndrome (if you are a lady) can be triggered by the eating of starch. In these circumstances an extra gene, human leucocyte antigen B-27 (HLA-B27) and the Klebsiella act as causal and interactive factors both of which interact to cause pain. The starch is easier to remove than the gene! For people without the HLA-B27 gene, there is still a problem with modified starch which is much more difficult to digest than ordinary starch and results in the same condition of undigested starch in the gut. This undigested starch can result in an autoimmune response which can be a serious problem during treatment.

Foods with modified starch can be avoided. Check the label. Sometimes it says modified starch but there may also be a reference to the 1400 group of food additives which are also starches to be avoided.

Tablets and pills for pain relief and/or anti-inflammatories, such as Voltarin, have modified starch as a binder to hold the pill or capsule together. These tablets are prescribed to control symptoms but are both the drug and the cause of the inflammation all in one shot! These drugs in liquid form are OK, so don't be afraid to ask your doctor for a script specifying liquid forms of drugs rather than tablet forms.

Starch in foods can be avoided. The following is a broad outline:

Most meats are safe (except pork, corned meats and sausages).
Eggs and fish are safe.
Silver top milk is safe (all others are not).
Most veges are safe except potato and corn.
Rice is not safe.
Breads are not safe.
Cakes and biscuits are not safe.
Junk food is not safe.

Processed foods are the riskiest ones in that it is not always possible to know what is included. Avoid those with water, modified starch, starch, 1400 series or food colouring 110 (yellow).

Lastly, fruit juices are to be avoided (they are not an alternative to clean water!). These bottled juices will invaribly have chemically treated water added. Fresh fruit, on the other hand, is perfectly fine.

Maintaining or slightly increasing body weight is important during cancer treatment. Moving to a starch free diet is going to make that more difficult. One implication is that food is better cooked rather than boiled. Work in with your dietician.


Much cancer treatment today is a compromise between what is best and what is affordable. Cancer patients are discharged early simply because there is insufficient bed space. This means the caregiver, that is, husband, wife or parent, becomes the nurse - a task for which they (or you) are completely untrained. There is no tuition or advice on the job. Often symptoms of things going wrong are missed, compounded by the desire of many patients to ignore or hide those little signs which, if caught early, can make the difference between successful treatment or death.

Every decision a patient and caregiver make has risks. During the treatment process there will be numerous decisions to make, all of which individually will tip the balance of success or failure one way or the other. The medical profession generally takes a "process" or "one size fits all" attitude where their bible is the treatment protocol. The chances of success are known and you will be told if you ask. But those is averages.

To do better requires the caregiver to have their wits about them and weigh the risks.

For example, say your spouse has gone through induction and consolidation therapy. Then the protocol says that etopiside is to be used during maintenance. Etopiside is a known carcingen: do you agree to it's use or not? Are the benefits greater than the risks? Eptopiside is an enzyme disruptor and is useful prior to bone marrow transplant to help completely knock out a person's own marrow cells and, in this role, significantly improves a patients chances. Incorporated into a chemo-only regime, however, it works the other way to increase the chances of a patient coming out of remission. i.e. to get acute myloid leukaemia as a treatment side effect. So receiving etopiside is a risk: in each individual cancer patient it will either increase or reduce the chances of survival. The cancer patient is mentally overloaded and it is unfair to expect the patient to do the enquiry required to work out the risks. The doctors are too busy to be anything more than superficial. So it is the caregiver who has to extend the scope of care to do this essential enquiry and definition of risks. Welcome to the valley of death.

The biggest and easiest decision, of course, is water. If the average chance of treatment success is 1 in 2 then drinking clean, boiled roof or spring water will shift those chances to at least 3 in 4 for city residents and 7 in 8 for those from small towns with really high cancer rates. And once treatment is over, remember:

                                          You cannot go back
                                       to the crap from the tap.
Stephen G Butcher  (Redone 16/03/13)