What is lung cancer?
Lung cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the lungs. It is particularly dangerous because cancers of the lung naturally grow very closely to the heart and other major organs, which increases the chances of the spread of the cancer to other areas of the body.
There are many different types of cancers that can occur in and around the lungs. Some are primary cancers that grow and change slowly, and others are cancers that increase in mass and size with alarming speed and aggression.
Some lung cancers are very more difficult to treat and diagnose, whereas others develop more slowly and can be treated with relative ease.
However, in all cases, the quicker the cancer is found, the more effective the treatment can be, and it is essential that if you notice anything strange in or around that area – if you start feeling pains in your chest, heart palpitations or difficulty breathing, for instance, that you consult your doctor so that they can diagnose you. Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment can begin.
Are natural remedies effective against lung cancer?
The most effective ways of battling against any type of cancer are usually medications, surgeries and radiation therapy. Any one or more of these may be recommended by your doctor and it is imperative that you listen to their wisdom and expertise.
Cancer can be extremely quick to develop and can cause death, so it is best to listen to those who have dedicated their lives to treating it.
Oncologists, those who treat cancer, have plenty of experience with various different types of cancer and a lot of money and research have been poured into finding out treatments for cancer, both of the lungs and elsewhere in the body.
However, there are ways in which natural remedies can also help. Preventing cancer from developing, pain management during treatment and elimination of stress and treatment for depression are all things that can be done naturally and safely.
Preventing lung cancer
It is not yet known exactly what causes lung cancer. In fact, research has shown that there may not be one simple cause for any sort of cancer, although eating, drinking and doing certain things can increase your chances of developing lung cancer quite drastically.
In particular, smoking has been linked to lung cancer and it has been proven that people who smoke cigarettes and cigars are much more likely to develop lung cancer later in life.
Taking measures to prevent lung cancer from developing is always preferable to treating the disease once you have it, so taking these few simple steps can help to build your body’s defenses against lung cancer in particular.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of lung, mouth and throat cancer, all of which can be transported all over the body and start growing in other areas.
This means that, by smoking anything at all – whether that is cigarettes, cigars or other drugs – your risk of developing cancer is much higher than those who do not smoke.
However, when you stop smoking, this risk decreases exponentially in just a few days. By quitting right now and never smoking again, you can decrease your chances of developing lung cancer exponentially, so there is no better time or reason to give up.
There are a number of great ways to motivate yourself to quit smoking, and plenty of methods that have been tested and proven to work.
Nowadays, because so many people are trying to quit, there are a great many options for those hoping to ditch cigarettes forever – including gum, the patch and even therapies like hypnosis – that are all proven to make quitting so much easier.
Talk to your doctor about the best way for you to quit smoking and take all the advice and support that they offer, as quitting and addiction like smoking can be very difficult.
Having a good diet can ensure that your body is getting all the essential nutrients and minerals that it needs.
Eating a wide range fresh fruit and vegetables every day, for instance, is a great way to provide your body with everything it needs and that it can get from nowhere else.
Also ensure that you stay away from fatty and processed foods, which are packed full of artificial flavorings, colorings not to mention fats, sugars and salts will get stored as fat and will cause a multitude of problems further down the line.
Eating the right amount and making sure that you get the essential foodstuffs that help your body maintain itself is essential to preventing diseases such as lung cancer, but also heart disease, heart attacks and liver disease, for example, as well.
Having a healthier diet has also been shown to help recovery times for those who are undergoing chemotherapy and surgeries for lung cancer, as the body is better able to fight off infection.
Get enough sleep and rest
Getting plenty of sleep is essential in allowing your body to repair itself after particularly stressful and trying radiation therapy and to start working again in a healthy way.
When going through chemotherapy, it can be difficult to get enough rest as the process is an exhausting one that drains you both mentally and physically.
However, it is essential to try and get the right amount of sleep from day to day, as it can help the body fight against dangerous diseases like lung cancer in the first place, preventing it from developing and making the body stronger against other conditions.
Most adults need between six and eight hours of sleep each night, which allows the body and brain to relax and recuperate.
Patients undergoing chemotherapy can often need more sleep, and it is recommended that, if you need extra sleep, that you nap in the day for around one to two hours.
Natural remedies for lung cancer
The most common treatments for lung cancer often have many side effects which include, but are not limited to, depression, pain (ranging from mild to extreme), fatigue and nausea.
Whereas doctors will prescribe medicines to help patients cope with some of the more difficult of side effects, some people will find that they suffer more acutely from side effects than others, and may need to find alternatives to get through the arduous process of surviving lung cancer.
This is where alternative, natural remedies can be very effective. Many of these natural remedies work holistically and very often do not affect other medications. This means that natural remedies can be used as much as needed without worrying about further side effects.
Start taking supplements
As mentioned above, having a good, healthy diet can help to prevent cancers of all sorts from developing as well as make it easier to treat. If you do develop lung cancer, you should continue to maintain your excellent diet in order to give your body the best tools to help it fight.
In addition to eating all the right food groups, however, there are a number of supplements that have been proven to help fight against some of the side effects of lung cancer treatments.
Green tea – green tea is really good for you and it tastes great. It has been proven to help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells throughout the body, including in the lungs.
For the best results, try to drink around four cups of green tea each day, but even if you only have one cup every once in a while, you can still be sure that you are getting plenty of goodness into your body.
Zinc and copper (either together or separately) – when undergoing chemotherapy, your immune system gets compromised, and many people find that they are a lot more likely to get ill.
This can be a very dangerous and difficult part of the treatment of cancer. This is why it absolutely essential to supplements such as zinc and copper, which are known to help improve the working of the immune system.
By giving your immune system a boost by taking these supplements, you can be more certain that you are protected against illnesses that might otherwise hurt your progress and recovery process.
Zinc and copper supplements naturally support and promote the healthy function of your immune system to help it battle against colds, the flu and other illnesses that you may come into contact with.
Melatonin – melatonin works perfectly alongside lung cancer treatments such as radiation therapy because it reduces the severity of side effects of both while also helping to inhibit the further growth of cancerous cells.
Taking 20mg of melatonin a day can help you to feel less sick after chemotherapy sessions and can also help you to feel less tired after long and grueling treatments.
Look into homeopathy
There are those who believe that homeopathy works and there are those that do not. Most doctors will agree that homeopathy can work for some people, although it usually works as a placebo without actually affecting the body in any physical way, and that the placebo effect can work extremely well in some cases.
However, it is no substitute for western medicine, and you will still need to stick to the medications that your doctor prescribes for you. Nevertheless, getting your doctor to recommend homeopathy can be helpful in a number of ways.
If the placebo effect works for you, it can help to reduce the pain that you experience when suffering from cancer or recuperating from surgery or radiation therapy; you may find that it is easier to stay alert and focused and that the tiredness that often follows chemotherapy starts to alleviate or get easier to live with; you may also find that the nausea starts to be less severe.
Because homeopathy remedies only use a very tiny amount of the active ingredient, they will not affect the other medications that your doctor has prescribed, and there is never any danger of overdosing on sugar pills or any other homeopathic remedies.
Acupuncture nowadays is very popular amongst patients dealing with chronic pain conditions.
The art of acupuncture has been practiced for many hundreds of years, perfected over all that time, for a wide range of reasons and problems, and is now being introduced into western medicine as a holistic practice.
Doctors mostly say that the treatment works as a placebo. However, it is definitely worth trying it out because it is extremely effective when it does work.
Acupuncture can be used to help patients deal chronic pain, tiredness and nausea, making it ideal for those undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments for their lung cancer.
Some people have even used it to help deal with depression that can come about as a result of going through cancer treatments.
Many people find that acupuncture works better when it is done over long periods of time, and many patients claim that it works better than having to take a variety of different drugs given to them by their doctor.
However, you should always consult your physician if you intend to come off of your medication, as some of the medicines that you will be taking will be to fight against the cancer, not just to help deal with the nausea and fatigue, for instance.
What’s more, acupuncture can be safely added to other treatments without affecting them, which means that you do not have to worry about further negative side effects.
If you do not already meditate, it is something that you might want to consider doing when undergoing treatments for lung cancer.
Undergoing chemotherapy, for instance, is one of the most stressful treatments out there, as is coping with a life-threatening disease. All this can take a toll not only on your physical health, but on your mental health, too, and many people who suffer from cancer also experience depression.
Meditation is a great way to help strengthen your mind against the mental difficulties of lung cancer. Taking just fifteen minutes every day to focus on your body and on your breathing can help to steady your mind.
As well as battling depression, meditation can help you to feel more alert and awake, thus fighting against the fatigue that many patients experience when undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Meditation need not take a lot of time, it is free and it is something that your friends and loved ones can do with you to offer their love and support.
Get frequent massages
Stress is a huge contributing factor to the difficulty of battling cancer, and it is one of the hardest parts of the battle to fight against because there are so many things to be stressed and scared about.
Not only are patients often in pain, but they are also worried about themselves, their health and the mental state of their loved ones as they got through their cancer treatments.
It can feel almost impossible to avoid feeling this way when faced with these sorts of situations.
However, treating yourself every once in a while to something that can help you relax both physically and mentally is a great way to combat your stress. In addition to meditation (as suggested above), getting frequent massages can be a great way to help you unwind.
Even if getting massages does not solve all your problems or banish all your stress and fear, there are absolutely no negative side effects, which means that it is always worth trying it out to see if it works for you.
Talk to your physician every step of the way
Your doctor or oncologist has a lot of experience dealing with cancer and their patients and knows that not everything works perfectly for everyone.
If you bring up alternative remedies with your doctor, they will make sure that you understand how important it is to undergo the more traditional treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery, for instance, and will make sure that you are taking the right medications.
However, they will also be happy to suggest alternative therapies such as acupuncture or homeopathy if you feel as though you could benefit from this sort of extra support.
These sorts of natural remedies are great for patients who feel that they need a little extra help coping with some of the most difficult negative side effects of the lung cancer treatments. Listen to your doctor, take their advice, and do not be afraid to ask questions.
Lung cancer can be extremely scary, particularly when it is aggressive or when it has spread throughout the body already.
However, by looking into one or more of the natural remedies suggested above, you may find that things start to become a lot easier, particularly in regard to the negative side effects from medications and radiotherapy.
There are many options to try, and if one does not work for you, you need not despair: every patient’s experience is different.