28 October 2005

Surviving Cancer

Last weekend, I was invited to attend a wedding of a good friend of my soulmate. During the reception, I had the fortunate chance of talking with the parents of the maid of honor. The dad of the maid of honor was diagnosed to have a 6-8 centimeter tumor in the lungs a couple of years back. It was malignant, and the bad news brought too much anxiety to the family. I've lost touch since that time, and it was only last weekend's event when I saw them again.

I was surprised to see the dad, all smiles with rosy cheeks, walking confidently as he saw me. He shook my hand firmly. He was not the picture of a sick man. He looked very healthy.

It turns out that he survived his ordeal. He said he enroled at a holistic center somewhere in Subic where he underwent a nutritional program consisting of healthy food items like fruits and veggies for 1 month. After that, he underwent the usual chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He also said a lot of people prayed for and with him.

Months later, without surgery, the tumor shrunk to less than a centimeter, and has almost disappeared. The medical team caring for him called it a medical victory, but the man says he thinks it is the combination of treatment strategies that turned the tide over.

He is ecstatically happy with his victory. He goes to church more often now. He's very willing to share his magnificent journey to survival. I even suggested he write a book and go on speaking engagements.

Now, what could have cured this man? Today, I run into this article:
VEGETABLES from the cabbage family can reduce the risk of lung cancer for people with the right genes, research indicates.

Scientists at the International Agency for Cancer Research have identified certain genetic profiles that appear to enhance the cancer-fighting agents in vegetables of the cruciferous family, such as cabbage, broccoli, mustard, cress and sprouts.

Cabbage-like vegetables are rich in chemicals called isothiocyanates that protect against lung cancer. Normally, isothiocyanates are eliminated from the body by "clean-up" enzymes produced by the genes GSTM1 and GSTT1.

The research shows that people with inactive forms of these genes are most likely to be shielded from lung cancer by the isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables. [TIMES Online, Oct 28 2005]

Was it the cruciferous vegetables that saved him? Well, we need research to answer that. In my opinion, it appears that a combination of treatment strategies can indeed raise the chances of survival.

Being diagnosed with cancer is almost like getting a death sentence. Many lose the battle more than survive it. But the fact that there is a survival rate is reason enough for us not to give up.

3 reactions:

delish said...

Py already has lung cancer, but i'd still try and feed him more veggies like the ones you mentioned here...

Am also looking into other possible therapies for him...and support groups... :)

Dr E said...

Be creative, Mec. We all know how kids dislike veggies.

Toni said...

Oh my, thanks for the advice! Gotta load up on those veggies!