What is Cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body that occurs when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. There are many different types of cancer, with the most common being:
- Non-melanoma skin cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon and rectal cancer
- Bladder cancer
Cancer affects 1 in 3 people in the United States. In 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 606,520 people will die from the disease.
Causes and Risk Factors for Cancer
There is no single cause for cancer. Many possible risk factors that may contribute to cancer include:
- Family history
- Lifestyle factors
- Genetic disorders, such Wiskott-Aldrich and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
- Environmental factors, such as pesticides, fertilizers, and power lines
- Some forms of high-dose chemotherapy and radiation
- Exposure to certain viruses
Traditional Treatments for Cancer
The type of treatment will depend on the type of cancer a person has and how advanced it is. Some individuals will only have one line of treatment, while others have a combination of treatments.
Surgery is a procedure in which a surgeon will remove the cancer from the patient’s body. The surgery will depend on the part of the body that requires surgery and the amount of tissues that needs to be removed. Surgery may be used to:
- Remove the entire tumor
- Debulk a tumor
- Ease cancer symptoms
Chemotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells. This type of therapy is used to treat cancer and/or ease cancer symptoms. Unfortunately, chemotherapy doesn’t only kill fast-growing cancer cells, but also kills or slows the growth of healthy cells in the body.
Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells. Everyone reacts differently to treatment, and side effects will depend on the type and location of cancer, the dose of radiation being given and the patient’s general health. Common general side effects include:
- Skin problems
- Hair loss
- Low blood counts
- Trouble with memory and speech
Lifestyle changes can be an essential part of cancer treatment and may help prevent certain cancers or ease symptoms. Lifestyle modifications can include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Minimizing emotional stress
- Frequently exercising
- Adopting a Keto lifestyle
How Ketosis Treats Cancer
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that allows your body to burn fat for fuel. During ketosis, your body produces ketones from your fat stores, which can be used for energy when there are no more carbohydrates left to burn. Although you always produce a small amount of ketones, you can dramatically increase your ketones (and the fat you burn) by reducing the calories you eat, fasting, reducing carbohydrates in your diet, or increasing your activity with exercise.
When practiced regularly, entering ketosis has countless benefits, including weight loss, decreased inflammation and improved mental clarity. Maintaining a state of ketosis may even help treat some types of cancer.
Research has found that combining a ketogenic diet with standard chemotherapeutic and radiotherapeutic options may help improve tumor response, although more research is needed. This study found that ketogenic diets also amplify adenosine monophosphate, which inhibits aerobic glycolysis and suppresses tumor proliferation, invasion and migration.
Research on cancer treatment is ongoing. Stay up-to-date on the latest studies that
test how ketosis and autophagy may affect cancer growth.