Breast Cancer

You hear about breast cancer all the time in the news. How to check for it, treatment options available, and even support groups. But it takes on a whole new meaning when it happens someone you love. My sister was diagnosed about two years ago. We went through all the stages of dealing with this news. Anger, fear, sadness, and eventually acceptance. I went with her to the doctor to discuss various treatment options.

Breast cancer

There was the basic chemotherapy regiments along with surgical procedures offered. In my sister’s case the doctor recommended an initial round of radiation therapy. He said that after the results of that phase were compiled, then it would be easier to see what other treatments would be necessary. He was successful using this method, because he stated that if the radiation reduces the tumor by a significant amount, then any additional surgical procedures would be minimal.

That way the patient would be exposed to as little radiation as possible as well as undergoing a minimal invasive trauma to the body. We decided to go with his advice, and she started her first round of treatment. It was spread out in stages to give her body time to adjust in between. I had images of people inside large machines being zapped with radiation. But these days it’s a little different. She was sat in a nice comfortable chair, and the radiation treatment was given through an IV line into her arm. They even let her bring in a DVD of her favorite shows to keep her in good spirits.

So we asked what we could do to assist in this process. The doctor told us the best way to help fight cancer and the subsequent treatment is through food. I was a little surprised by this, and asked him to elaborate. He said that the body’s best treatment system was its internal cell system. And the best way to keep the cells healthy and strong was to give them good food. He said it was just common sense and a proven method for his patients. The body becomes weak due to the cancer and the therapy, so it needs all the vitamins and nutrients it can get.

fruits and vegetables

So we immediately went out that day and got a vegetarian cookbook. Along with a juicer and blender. Every morning I made her a 32 ounce glass of raw vegetable juice. She also got an additional glass at lunch and dinner. So that’s 96 ounces of raw nutrients every day. While I was doing this I thought to myself, “we should be doing this anyway”. It’s a shame that it took a tragedy to introduce us to healthy living. On top of the juicing, we prepared meals made strictly from vegetables, whole grains, and fruit. In less than a week her energy level increased, her mood lightened, and her skin just began to glow.

We stayed on this routine throughout her entire breast cancer treatment. Needless to say, she came through it just fine. In fact the doctor said, she was able to deal with the physical pressures on the body so much easier when she was fortified with the proper diet. Today she is still cancer free, and sticks to the diet that got her through those trying times. I’ve even gotten on the vegetarian wagon myself, and I feel hundred percent better than I did before. The doctor stated that this was key to keeping her ailment from returning, and on top of that she would live a longer and healthier life all around.

What is a Bone Marrow Transplant?

The soft material inside your bones is known as bone marrow. It is the foundation for red blood cells. The cells in the marrow turn into red cells and help bring oxygen to all parts of the anatomy. Also a by product are white blood cells that go to work when an infection enters or is created in the body. When the marrow is weak or not working properly, a bone marrow transplant is in order. It will get to the point where the blood fails to clot.

bone marrow up close

The importance of restoring marrow is that it fights ailments that are otherwise fatal. One of the prime illnesses that the marrow assists in immune deficiency diseases. The procedures have been performed since the mid-60s. The surgery is so complex in nature. The stem cells are taken out of the patient and then very scientifically filtered and placed back in. It can also be done where a donor gives up his/her marrow to be transplanted in another after it has been filtered. One of the first doctors to research this work came out of the Scranton Orthopaedic Injury Center. It has been improved upon since and is now a more common procedure.

When such cancerous diseases affect the human body, the cells are weak or entirely defective. Other treatments such as radiation may destroy the invading cells, but replacing them with strong healthy ones is a more promising treatment. It allows the new healthy cells to fight the invaders, and makes the individual stronger. The stronger the patient gets, the more healthy blood cells are produced and it becomes a domino effect.

blood cells

Later during the history of the procedure, India became one of the hotbeds of medical activity in this field. The cost there was much lower, and doctors from all over the world were given the opportunity to go and study there. The knowledge filtered back to the rest of the world, and people all over were given the chance to heal.

As the procedure became easier and more successful, more donors came forward to help the cause. People with painful, terminal conditions were given a new lease on life. Even government agencies saw the benefit of funding these projects when they saw the growing success rate. Pennsylvania has been a hub of a number of success stories sprouting through the earlier work in Scranton, straight through to the miraculous work that is being done today at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. CHOP for short. Young children are coming in sick, and after the proper treatment, going back to their lives and the joy of growing up again. It amazes me even today, and the wonders that modern medical science has done to alleviate some of the world’s deadliest diseases.