Taking responsibility for one’s health involves more than depending on the decisions of medical professionals, especially when it comes to the management of cancer as a chronic disease. Stage IV cancer patients are told that their condition is treatable but incurable. Advanced cancer can be difficult and stressful to manage, but a multi-faceted approach may be effective in extending the life of a person with a terminal prognosis.
When it comes to stage IV cancer, patients are told that continuation of chemotherapy/hormonal treatments and/or other conventional treatments will hopefully prolong life but will not result in a cure. For some advanced cancer patients, adding to their “arsenal of weaponry” to fight their cancer through diet, supplements, enhancement of the immune system and exercise has helped them to live long and productive lives despite the poor prognosis.
Prolonging life with advanced cancer
In his book Anticancer: A New Way of Life, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, describes how pinning one’s hopes on conventional therapies alone may rob patients of their power to act, and keep them in a stage of helplessness. He speaks from experience. Dr. Servan-Schreiber managed to extend his life for 19 years, living as he did with an inoperable brain tumor. He describes several approaches to managing cancer as a chronic condition in his book, approaches which include enhancing the immune system, ingesting foods and spices known to fight cancer, reducing inflammation and becoming balanced in body, mind and spirit.
In the book Radical Remission, Dr. Kelly Turner, PhD, describes her quest to discover what exactly allowed people, some with seriously advanced cancers, to achieve a complete remission. Her dissertation research involved a year-long trip around the world during which she traveled to many different countries in order to interview cancer survivors and alternative healers about their techniques for healing cancer.
To quote Dr. Turner, her hope is that “Even if not everyone can be cured, healing is always possible. Healing simply means bringing more purpose, happiness and healthy behaviors into your life, which, in my opinion, are beautiful things to begin right now, regardless of how much time we each have to live.”
Her findings reveal that even in advanced cases, remissions are more common than generally admitted. Among other things, diet, supplementation, a strong will to live and positive outlook on life are some of the tools which have enabled advanced cancer patients to survive the disease.