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Helping Blood Cells Regenerate After Radiation Therapy

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Radiation therapy is a treatment that most cancer survivors are familiar with, and the seemingly unending feelings of fatigue are some of the known side effects. With leukemia and lymphoma patients who have had their bone marrow irradiated to destroy the cancerous cells, the fatigue comes as new blood cells grow back.

In an effort to speed up this process, MIT researchers have been looking at ways to “prime” the cells and stimulate development of additional healthy cells, quicker. According to MedicalXpress, if the process works, researchers hope they could use similar techniques to target other diseases, such as Parkinson’s and rheumatoid arthritis.

Surgery, drugs and radiation — aka the "cut, poison, burn" strategy — are typically the only solutions offered by most conventional oncologists to treat cancer, and upon receiving a cancer diagnosis most people are willing to do just about anything to get better. Unfortunately, the standard of care for cancer is not necessarily the most effective, if for no other reason than the side effects can be serious, with the fatigue mentioned above just one of them.

The good news is that cancer researchers are fully aware of this, and are constantly looking for new or different ways to approach cancer care. For example, with breast cancer therapy, Dana-Farber Cancer doctors said recently that they are backing off chemotherapy, and are using chemotherapy more selectively, as they’re finding that many breast cancer patients do not need chemotherapy, and have better outcomes without it.

In tandem, more cancer patients are electing to forgo chemotherapy, and to me, this is good news as it appears that more people are starting to take control of their own cancer treatment and care, which is encouraging.

When it comes to proactively addressing cancer of any kind, improving your nutrition through healthy food choices is one of the best things you can do for yourself. To that end, optimizing your body's ability to burn fat as its primary fuel by eating a cyclical ketogenic diet and/or fasting is a foundational aspect of both cancer prevention and treatment.

I talk about this in depth in my article, "Metabolically Supported Therapies for the Improvement of Cancer Treatment," in which Travis Christofferson and Dr. Abdul Slocum discuss how nutritional ketosis and fasting can radically improve treatment outcomes and minimize the need for chemo, even in advanced-stage and hard to treat cancer cases.

Optimizing your vitamin D is another essential step, both for prevention and as an adjunct to treatment. Numerous studies have shown people with higher vitamin D levels have a far lower risk of a wide variety of internal cancers.

Generally speaking, research has shown that once you reach a serum vitamin D level of 40 ng/mL, your risk for cancer diminishes by 67 percent, compared to having a level of 20 ng/ml or less. Vitamin D also increases your chances of surviving cancer if you do get it, and this includes melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

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