Let’s Be Proactive About Fighting Pancreatic Cancer!
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
Just recently, civil rights leader and U.S. Democratic Representative John Lewis announced that he is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
(Unfortunately, stage 4 means that the cancer has spread).
“Lewis, 79, said he was diagnosed following a routine medical visit with subsequent tests that reconfirmed the diagnosis. The long-time Georgia congressman will undergo treatment for the cancer,” according to this CNN report.
The human body has so many organs and systems. Other than common vital organs such as the heart and brain, many of us may not know exactly what are other organs do exactly. And I think that the pancreas is one of these organs.
So what exactly does the pancreas do?
The pancreas is located in the upper abdomen behind the stomach and has some important functions.These include the following:
The pancreas makes enzymes that break down food in the intestines.
It also makes hormones that regulate blood sugar levels.
“Pancreatic cancer starts in the type of cells that help break down food (exocrine cells). But there's another, less common type of pancreatic cancer that starts from the cells that make hormones (endocrine cells). If you've been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, ask your doctor which type you have. The two types of pancreatic cancer are treated differently and have different outlooks,” according to the American Cancer Society.
Reportedly, pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society reports that this type of cancer is slightly more common in men than women.
There have been many celebrities that have battled and lost the fight to pancreatic cancer including:
"While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance," said Lewis, in the CNN report referenced earlier.
So how can we be proactive about pancreatic cancer?
As I always say, prevention is better than cure. But with pancreatic cancer it is important to screen for it, because usually early pancreatic cancers do not show signs and symptoms.
“It can be hard to find pancreatic cancer early because the pancreas is deep inside the body, making it hard for the doctor to feel something wrong if the cancer is still small. If signs are pointing to pancreatic cancer, more tests will be done,” reports the American Cancer Society.
You can read about recommended tests for detecting pancreatic cancer here.
How else can we be proactive?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by lifestyle and dietary measures alone. For cancer prevention, it is important to get a daily adequate intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help reduce the damage from oxidative stress.
“Preclinical studies have shown promising results for vitamin A in pancreatic cancer prevention, with clinical trials showing intriguing responses in combination with immunotherapy,” says the NIH.
“For vitamin C, preclinical studies have shown slower tumor growth rates and/or increased survival when used alone or in combination with gemcitabine [a chemotherapy drug], with clinical trials with this combination revealing decreased primary tumor sizes and improved performance status. Preclinical studies with vitamin D analogues have shown potent antiproliferative effects and repression of migration and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells.”
Credible research suggests that a lower intake of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc appear to be connected to a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
“The results support measuring antioxidants in studies investigating the aetiology of pancreatic cancer. If the association is causal, 1 in 12 cancers might be prevented by avoiding the lowest intakes [of antioxidants],” according to one study discussing antioxidants and pancreatic cancer.
And it is really important to understand that the pancreas is the most alkaline organ in the body, and you want to keep it this way in order to keep the pancreas healthy and disease-free.
"The tissues of the pancreas (acinar cells) produce a clear digestive fluid made up of bicarbonate, and enzymes. Bicarbonate is alkaline, and helps digestion by neutralizing the stomach acid containing the food as it passes into the duodenum [part of the small intestine]," according to one medical source.
A general rule of thumb is to always fill your plate with lots of antioxidant-filled, nutrient-rich fresh fruit and vegetables. Being overweight or obese is also linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. And eating whole, plant-based foods will help you lose weight (if you need to) or help you maintain a healthy weight. Of course, avoid smoking and if you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
Consider vitamin therapy.
As mentioned, not having an adequate intake of nutrients and antioxidants may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. And sometimes we may not be able to get all of the necessary nutrients and antioxidants from diet alone.
This is where vitamin therapy in the form of IV vitamin drips and injections may be very useful.
At the pH Drip Lab, we offer all sorts of vitamin “cocktails” that can help you avoid nutritional and antioxidant deficiencies. Not only may these vitamin injections and pushes help you with preventing different types of cancer, but they also may boost your immunity and help with other health issues and even pain.
Consider taking routine nutrient tests.
And don’t forget to schedule routine nutrient tests in order to identify any nutrient/antioxidant imbalances or deficiencies you may have. If the test reveals you have too much or too little of a certain nutrient, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on making the necessary dietary changes and recommend what vitamin drips or injections are appropriate.
By taking these proactive steps, we may be able to fight pancreatic cancer together. We wish the best of luck to Representative Lewis in his fight and are hopeful that he will win. He is definitely a fighter!
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.