116 Every cancer patient should hear from their oncologist when they are first diagnosed. They should be told that by making certain dietary changes, they could increase their chances of healing from cancer dramatically, no matter what course of treatment they pursue. Cancer patients should be informed that nutrition is their first and best defense when starting down the path of healing from cancer. Information should be provided about how to switch to an alkaline diet,[i] composed of primarily vegetables, with a small amount of fruit, grains and protein. This diet is similar to the ketogenic[ii] diet, which is much discussed in the oncology press, but with further reduction in total protein consumption as well as grains, processed fats and sugar, to help control inflammation in the body.
Instead, the dietary information provided to cancer patients is an afterthought, and amazingly, usually includes foods and meal preparation techniques that are known promoters of cancer progression.[iii] Clearly, there is a disconnect between very well documented information on diet and cancer progression and those who communicate most often with cancer patients – the oncology teams. The modern way of life, particularly in fast-paced Western countries, does not lend itself to an anti-cancer, alkaline diet. Convenience food products, microwave meals, packaged snacks and fast food dominate many people's daily menu. It should come as no surprise that these foods are not optimal if you are battling cancer. But what should a newly diagnosed cancer patient do, right away, to help themselves prepare for the treatments to come and increase their chances for healing?
112 In the 1880's, Louis Pasteur published his work on cellular aerobic respiration and glycolysis. In 1931, Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for his work on the metabolism of tumors and the respiration of cells, which was later summarized in his 1956 paper, On the Origin of Cancer Cells. His work on cancer expanded upon Pasteur's findings and described respiratory insufficiency and a cellular metabolism of glucose fermentation as the primary trigger for cancer progression.
Warburg's conclusions on cancer were much discussed in scientific circles, as they are academically elegant, but were not accepted by most members of the scientific community engaged in cancer research. Most cancer researchers in the late 1950's believed that the anaerobic metabolism of cancer cells and their accompanying output of lactic acid was a side effect or an adjunct effect of cancer, not a cause. Cancer research since the 1960's has focused primarily on genetic aberrations as causative for cancer, and has ignored the body of research on cancer pH and its implications for therapeutic approaches. Warburg's work was a catalyst for yet another research effort on the nature of cancer cells, beginning in the 1930's. A. Keith Brewer, PhD (physicist) performed experiments on the relationship between energized, oxygenated cell membrane and elemental uptake, vs. cellular membranes in an unenergized state such as cancer cells exhibit. He wrote a number of papers discussing the cellular mechanisms of cancer cells and the changes in metabolism induced or indicated by the lack of or presence of oxygen in combination with other elements, particularly potassium and calcium. He noted that cancer cells share one characteristic no matter what type of cancer: they have lost their pH control mechanism.