Should You Do a Cleanse If You Have Cancer?

Cleansing is a popular trend.

From celebrities to our next-door neighbor, it seems like every one has tried a cleanse. Many holistic health practitioners recommend cleansing routines to help purge the body of accumulated toxins, metabolic waste, and dead cells, which they believe contribute to the development of disease.

Our bodies produce and eliminate waste daily and several key organs, including the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, intestines, and colon play a role in this critical support function. Our skin, the body's largest organ, eliminates approximately 30 percent of our body's waste through perspiration. However, as Americans consume more processed foods, and we're exposed to a growing array of toxic substances, it's becoming more difficult for our body to rid itself of waste. 

In addition to clearing waste, cleansing routines help detoxify our body. Advocates of cleansing believe it may even help prevent or treat serious diseases, such as cancer. There are numerous ways to cleanse, including colonics and enemas (which flush the colon), massage, fasting, and special diets.

Cleansing and Cancer

People with cancer have a compromised immune system and need special nutritional requirements. Cleansing or detoxifying might adversely affect cancer treatments. Cancer patients should only undergo a cleansing routine under the guidance of a health professional who knows the challenges of cancer. For example, Liesa Harte, MD, recommends supporting the liver during detoxification with high levels of B vitamins, especially B12.

You can reap many of the benefits of cleansing programs by incorporating elements of them into your daily routine. You can adjust your diet to help your body dispose of toxins faster than you accumulate them by doing the following:

  • Eliminate processed foods, which contain artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and preservatives.
  • Add more raw and fermented foods, which are a good source of healthy bacteria, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Incorporate fermented foods to your diet. They make food more digestible and help you maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.
  • Have juice vegetables (especially green ones). Juicing helps pre-digest vegetables so you get more nutrition from them.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water.

Other activities that help eliminate toxins in your body also include the following:

  • Use a soft brush and vigorously brush your skin, directing strokes away from your heart.
  • Use plants, such as peace lilies, devil's ivy, Pleomele, and ficus, to filter toxins from the air.
  • Stimulate the lymphatic system, your body's cellular waste removal system, through movement, such as walking or jumping on a trampoline, or massage.
  • Wash your hands frequently to eliminate germs.
  • Replace personal care products with all natural or organic products.

Not all traditional health practitioners embrace cleansing. If you have cancer and are interested in exploring cleansing options, be sure to work with a qualified health professional and discuss all alternative therapies with your physician.

Liesa, Harte, MD, reviewed this article.



Sources: "Detoxification to Support the Healing and Prevention of Cancer and Other Illness." Web. "Cleansing for Cancer and Disease." Web. "Healing Strategies - Body Detox." Web.

Mercola, Joseph, MD. "The Cancer Treatment So Successful - Traditional Doctors SHUT it Down." Web. 23 April 2011.

Mercola, Joseph, MD, and Droege, Rachael. "How to Spring Clean Your Body." Web. 1 May 2004. Web.