(StatePoint) New cancer cases and deaths are both predicted to rise over the next two decades, according to the latest World Cancer Report. Despite billions of dollars of investment in research, survival gains for the most common forms of cancer are still measured in additional months of life, not years.
Can cancer be cured? Some experts say the answer is yes, but that it will require reversing course on the way itâ€™s researched and treated.
â€œIntegrative medicine may allow us to win the war on cancer if done intelligently,â€ says Sylvie Beljanski, author of the new breakthrough book â€œWinning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure,â€ which reveals the discoveries of her late fatherâ€™s suppressed research -- Dr. Mirko Beljanski, a biologist-biochemist at the Pasteur Institute who spent over 40 years studying the environmental impact on DNA replication and transcription.
â€œWhen my father started to rethink the origin of cancer and to develop molecules able to selectively block cancerous cell multiplication without killing healthy cells, he ran into major opposition,â€ remarks Beljanski. â€œThe conventional oncology community ostracized him, despite the fact that his theories were aimed at complementing chemotherapy and radiation, not replacing them.â€
Beljanski, founder of The Beljanski Foundation (www.beljanski.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering her fatherâ€™s research, says that in order to beat cancer, the following ideas and processes need to be adopted:
â€¢ Patent Law Review. There is a need for powerful drugs, but there is also a need for a gentler, holistic approach. Under the current status quo, pharmaceutical companies are rewarded for creating synthetic and highly toxic drugs when elements of nature could be used safely and effectively in many instances, say experts.
â€¢ Funding for Alternative Science Research. â€œMy father had the idea that if nature came up with carcinogens, nature had also come up with anti-carcinogens. He discovered two of them: the bark of a tree from the Amazon rainforest and an extract from a bush in West Africa. Research confirmed their efficacy on a large array of cancers and their ability to work in synergy with chemotherapy,â€ says Beljanski.
â€¢ Law Reform. Law reform that would allow legitimate dietary supplements to promote and highlight their benefits would help educate consumers. Furthermore, insurance companies should cover supplements, she urges.
â€¢ Government Audit. The government should conduct an audit of its success and failures in funding cancer prevention and treatment research.
â€¢ Data Sharing. â€œAs long as pharmaceutical companiesâ€™ quest for innovation is solely driven by intellectual property rights, they will keep failing in the war on cancer,â€ says Beljanski, who advocates for a shared, centralized database and open collaboration from the best scientists, doctors and researchers.
â€¢ Prevention and Education. In the long-run, the smartest approach is prevention. Citizens must continue to become informed, active consumers, taking the initiative to read labels, avoid junk food and addictive substances, relieve stress, exercise and eat balanced meals. â€œThe mind-body connection is strong and individuals have the power to create a healthier life for themselves,â€ says Beljanski.
More information on cancer and Beljanski's new book, is available at winingthewaroncancer.com. All of the author's proceeds are being donated to help fund anticancer research.
While the war on cancer will be long and hard-fought, experts say that a shifted approach to prevention, treatment and research will ultimately mean lives saved.
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