Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fasting and treating cancer

I'm back at home sweet home, embracing Ramadhan with the family. A little bit better, 13 hours compared to 17 hours in the northern hemisphere :-)

I was wondering on the relation between fasting and cancer - will it be good in treating cancer? We are not allowed to eat or drink anything from dawn to dusk, will it be good in starving the cancer cells? Well, here is what I found out.

Available scientific evidence does not support claims that fasting is effective for preventing or treating cancer.
Practitioners of a type of alternative therapy called metabolic therapy (see Metabolic Therapy) believe the body contains environmental toxins and other harmful substances that can be removed by fasting or detoxifying the body. They claim that fasting allows the body to focus energy on cleansing and healing itself. According to these practitioners, fasting helps the immune system work more efficiently, allows more oxygen and white blood cells to flow through the body, helps the body to burn more fat, helps increase energy, and allows other healing functions to improve. Some supporters claim that fasting by a person who has cancer can "starve" a tumor, leading to cell death.

My personal opinion, it feels really good to fast, so as to relax the stomach for a month. I have done it since I was six and I don’t see any problem in it. In fact, I’m pleasantly surprised that I don’t have any gastric pain even though I had 17 hours of fasting when I was in the UK. Could this be the after effect of the chemo? I notice that I can really eat hot food like cili padi and didn’t encounter any stomach ache or anything. Could it be that the new cells developed have improved my whole body system? Well, I should be really thankful for it :-)

I have one more question that is lingering in my mind – about the dates (kurma) that we often have during iftar. I usually have like 3 to 7 of it during breaking off the fast. It is good in that it will increase the sugar level. But isn’t it food for the cancer cells too? Well, to counter it, I’d have my baking powder and honey during iftar, this will certainly distress my cancer cells :-)

This Ramadhan month is the month of rebuilding our spiritual strength. I haven’t had the chance to join the crowd at the masjid yet. My husband is working and the kids are schooling, so we decided to have or tarawikh prayer at home instead. Day and night I pray that the BC will not recur and I’d be able to live my life to the fullest, amin…

Monday, August 16, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Travelling 10,000km to UK was a fruitful one. On top of conference & PhD work, I had a chance to share my experience at Helwa gathering in Sheffield, during their Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.

Sheffield is around an hour drive from Nottingham, and last Saturday, my friend drove my there with the help of Tom Tom. Their Helwa group is an active one, with participants more that 20. I'm glad that I could share my experience with them. They were very responsive in terms of probing whatever they need to know about BC. A few worried that they might have the symptom, and my message to them was - get it diagnosed. The sooner we know about it the better.

We had a medical doctor as well in the panel. Hopefully the group got our message - be aware of your body, do self-examination often, eat lots of food which contain anti-oxidants, eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, manage stress, have enough sleep and the most important thing - be happy :-)