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Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment

In Alternative Cancer Therapies, Anticancer foods, foods for colon cancer, foods for breast cancer, Epstein-Barr Virus, foods that target cancer stem cells, High Dose Vitamin C and Cancer, Uncategorized on July 11, 2018 at 8:01 am

The following is an excerpt of my recently published article, Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment. It was published in the journal Archives of General Internal Medicine (Arch Gen Intern Med 2018 Volume 2 Issue 3).

The current standard of care, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation has not proved to be highly effective and comes with significant side effects and costs. Although conventional cancer therapy can target certain cancer cells and sometimes prevent relapse of the illness, complementary and alternative therapies are required due to disadvantages of the current therapies such as low effectiveness, adverse effects, or availability. Moreover, a number of studies have found adjunctive therapeutic approaches to improve outcomes for cancer patients. One potential complementary method with conventional cancer drugs involves the use of medicinal herbs and phytochemicals. The possible therapeutic benefits include, but are not limited to, anti-proliferative, apoptotic, anti-metastatic, and anti-angiogenic effects, of which have been demonstrated in in vitro experiments and some clinical trials.

Studies have revealed beneficial effects of medicinal herbs and phytochemicals against cancer by providing anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, free radical scavengers in the form of cancer-fighting compounds. Phytomedicines have the ability to interact with signaling pathways that modulate cell growth, replication, and death of a wide variety of tumor cell types through diverse mechanisms. These phytocomplexes have the remarkable capability of affecting us on a cellular level – where diseases such as cancer originate. Many plant species are already being used to treat or prevent development of cancer outside of the traditional oncology environment, notably without harm to healthy cells.

During the last century, scientific knowledge about anticancer phytochemicals and herbs has remarkably progressed. Despite numerous reports of their effects on cancer, functional use for the prevention and treatment of cancer has been largely limited to self-care. Like most cancer drugs, the main mechanisms of action of plants include inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation, growth, and migration. But unlike conventional cancer drug therapies, phytotherapies are cytotoxic to cancer cells and relatively non-toxic to normal cells. Moreover, use of phytomedicines may be an option for the prevention and treatment of cancer both with and without conventional drugs. In the event that conventional cancer drugs are not accepted due to their side effects or low effectiveness, phytomedicines offer an effective and viable alternative as they are considerably safe and relatively affordable. It is worth recommending application of phytomedicines as alternative cancer therapies for patients who do not benefit or face side effects from conventional drugs or alongside conventional treatments to improve efficacy.

There are two sections in this review, phytochemicals against cancer and medical herbs against cancer. As it was impossible for me to address hundreds of different phytochemicals and medicinal herbs in this one paper, I only focused on a few examples in each category. To read the article in full, please read: Potential Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

You may also enjoy my article published in the Journal of Cancer Biology and TreatmentEtiology of Chronic Disease: A Discussion on Epstein-Barr Virus.

In your good health,

Elyn

~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

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Elyn Jacobs is a holistic cancer strategist and speaker specializing in the prevention and treatment of cancer. She is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn has written for numerous journals and publications. She was the former Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. To contact Elyn, visit www.elynjacobs.com. Elyn offers consults via Skype, phone, or in person.

 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not a recommendation to forgo anti-hormone therapy. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This post does not represent medical advice nor should it be considered to be medical advice or a replacement for medical advice.  I encourage you to discuss this information with your integrative oncologist, naturopathic doctor, or conventional oncologist and make your own decisions.  The information provided is from my research and not to be taken as scientific evidence.

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