In recent years, statistical cancer death rates have been showing decreases for some cancers in some parts of the world, which has led some people to optimistically report that cancer is getting easier to beat. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

As noted in " Hiding the Truth about Losing the War on Cancer ", statistics can be manipulated and often have been by those with vested interests in maintaining the illusion that we are turning the corner, or that a cure is just around that elusive corner, in the decades long and mostly failed war on cancer.

The statistics which tell the real story are those which clearly show that the incidence of cancer continues to grow alarmingly, as does the expected worldwide cancer deaths. Between one in two and one in three people are now expected to encounter cancer in their lifetimes.

According to the WHO's World Cancer Report, considered to be the most comprehensive global examination of the disease to date, cancer rates could further increase by 50% to 15 million new cases in the year 2020.

Many people, including this author, believe that a great deal of the credit for declining death rates is a result of more people looking outside the failed mainstream therapies box and relying on natural and alternative means to address their cancers. As the aforementioned WHO report also noted, there was "provides clear evidence that healthy lifestyles and public health action by governments and health practitioners could stem this trend, and prevent as many as one third of cancers worldwide."

The good news is that, thanks to websites like this one and the writers and natural health advocates who are spreading the good word, an increasing number of people are learning about, and turning to, natural and alternative therapies. The bad news is that alternative, non-mainstream, non-toxic and non-invasive therapies continue to be repressed and misrepresented in mainstream studies. The further bad news is that even those who do learn the truth about alternatives are often finding cancer is getting harder to avoid and beat. Though this article is primarily about cancer, the same is true for heart disease and other major chronic illness, and for pretty much the same reasons: we continue to become exposed to more and more toxins and pollution, live unhealthy lifestyles and eat diets that are less nutritionally sound. As a result, our immune systems and our vitality continue to decline and regardless of any treatment, herb or therapy, mainstream or otherwise, it is our immune system, nature's first line of defense against illness, that is the most important key to beating and avoiding cancer.

People do not beat and avoid cancer nor get other illnesses due to a deficiency in chemotherapy or deficiencies in mainstream medicine. They get cancer and become ill because toxins and diseases beat their immune systems. As data from the CDC and other have shown, our immune systems are becoming progressively weaker, the same as male sperm count is progressively declining. In 1981, Dr. H. F. Pross did a study of the average Natural Killer (NK) count of average Americans. NK count is measured in lytic units (LU), and Dr. Pross found that the average LU count in 1981 was 152. In 1991, Dr. R. B. Herberman did a similar study and found that the LU count had dropped to 135. In 1997, Dr. Gerald See did another study and found the count had dropped to 108. In other words, we are dropping at about the rate of 1 LU per year. Which means that the average LU count in 2009 is likely to be somewhere around 96 which would be an alarming drop of 37% in less than three decades!

Other than earlier detection and including some easily remedied forms of cancer that were once considered simply pre-cancerous conditions, little real progress has been made by the use of mainstream invasive and toxic therapies of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation - all which have been shown to increase the spread of cancer and weaken the body to pave the way for further cancer, particularly the latter two (chemo and radiation).

Most people are likely unaware that virtually all chemotherapy drugs are themselves classified as Class 1 carcinogens! And radiation merely destroys our bone marrow that is the heart of our immune system.

A strong immune system from proper diet and nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, elimination of stress, and proper supplementation and nutrition, is still the best way to avoid and beat cancer, especially when buttressed by herbal immune boosters and cancer fighters. But it takes diligence and effort more so now than ever before.

Cancer and the world we live in have changed a lot during the past 50 years and for that reason we do not seem to see the same successes with some of the famed treatments of prior decades, like the outstanding Budwig Diet protocol, Essiac tea, Hoxsey, Gerson, etc. Cancer appears to be getting harder to avoid and harder to beat once acquired. That is likely due to a number of factors.

One problem, and a very big one, is one we will likely have to live with for centuries: the amount of radiation now found in virtually every square inch of the earth's surface as a result of the atmospheric atomic bomb blasts that spewed millions of tons of radioactive material into our environment. Two time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling warned of millions of deaths and injuries that could be expected as a result of atmospheric bomb tests. He was rewarded by having the State Department pull his passports. A pre-eminent Russian scientist and later Nobel Laureate himself, Andrei Sakharov, predicted between half a million and one million deaths for every 50 megatons of atmospheric bomb tests (ultimately the tests of the United States and Russia combined to produce fallout equivalent to 40,000 Hiroshimas). Instead of having his passports pulled, Sakharov received a free trip and vacation from the state an exile to a Siberian Gulag for the next 20 plus years, that is.

In addition to the radiation from nuclear bomb tests that will stay with us for ages, we are increasingly being bombarded with microwaves and high power transmission lines, which industry is recently beginning to lose their decades long cover up of the dangers they have known such technology presented.

Add to that the fact that our industrial age has added no fewer than 80,000 unnatural chemical compounds to our environment, less than 1,000 of which have been tested individually in any way for safety and almost none of which have been tested in combination with one another.

Next, you have about 20,000 FDA approved medications (both prescribed and over the counter) which have been mostly poorly tested for safety individually, scarcely tested for carcinogenic/mutagenic short or long term dangers, and almost none of which have been tested in combination with each other. Over 95% of all FDA approved medications have known side effects by themselves. In combination, one can only imagine what short and long term side-effects could result and one is reminded that many chronic conditions are years in the making. Some cancers, for example, take eight years after they have gained a foothold to grow to the size of a pinhead (after which, the doubling rate increases their size much faster).

Then there are the foods and nutrition we tend to consume (or not consume as the case may be). The food products on the grocers shelves have by and large had the nutrition processed out and additives processed in for added shelf life, flavor, color and texture. The ones that claim to be "enriched" with vitamins and minerals are enriched mostly with synthetic petro-chemical vitamins and crushed rock minerals - not natural ones or ones that have been pre-digested by plants to be bio-available for human benefit.

Our fruit and vegetables are picked early and artificially ripened/preserved with chemicals - plus they often contain pesticides and/or herbicides and come from over-farmed soils which severely lack the major and trace minerals needed for optimum nutrition. Increasingly, our major food crops are being genetically modified to enable them to withstand more and more of such pesticides and herbicides. Increasingly, vital enzymes and other natural compounds are being destroyed by irradiation to "protect us" from natural crops.

Our mineral depleted and over-farmed soils usually they have just a few petro-chemical synthetics added back to the soil which produce the best growth, but lack the best nutrients. Pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals have killed off the vital soil micro-organisms needed to convert what minerals do remain to usable forms to be taken up by the plants. Those micro-organisms which do remain seldom have adequate time to perform their vital roles thanks to over-farming and lack of proper crop rotation.

Today, most of us are deficient in most vital trace minerals needed for optimum health and many major minerals and vitamins as well. Thanks to the totally overboard scares about the danger of exposure to the sun, most of us are woefully deficient in Vitamin D3 - instead slathering on sunscreens which block out the beneficial rays, let in the harmful ones and contain carcinogens to boot. Most of us are similarly lacking in iodine, and many are lacking in selenium which, besides many other health benefits, is an important co-factor for iodine to be properly utilized. While many people diligently supplement with calcium via milk or supplements, as many as 95% of us are deficient in magnesium - and without magnesium being consumed/supplemented on a 1 to 2 or 1 to 3 ratio with calcium, the calcium does not work.

In great part, cancer is a defense mechanism where the cells mutate to protect themselves from a heavy metal, chemical compound, or other irritant/toxin. One of the things they do is form an outer protective shell which prevents the body's natural immune system from recognizing and killing off the cancer cells. Some have observed that this protective layer is getting thicker in many forms of cancer, possibly as a result of all the added toxins and other factors listed above. The end result is that cancer is more hardened against attack and is harder to recognize and defeat by immune systems that are most often in less than optimum condition to begin with.

In addition, the body's great toxin removal organ, the liver, is also often compromised and operating at far less than peak efficiency. Instead of a toxin removal organ, many people have developed fatty livers which are fat and toxin storage organs and which have bile ducts that fail to eliminate toxins but instead serve to recycle them through the bloodstream.

Perhaps the best of all the Mexican Clinics is the one established by Harry Hoxsey's protg and partner, Mildred Nelson, an angel of healing who passed on in 1999. In her later years, she observed that their clinic was still having wonderful results with most forms of cancer, but cancers which once had been able to cured in only three weeks or so were taking up to six month or longer. I believe that what she observed is a perfect illustration of what I outlined above.

My own suggested anti-cancer protocol (see " A Natural Anti-Cancer Protocol ") may be overkill for many people. But I think it takes more than just one cancer preventative or cancer fighter these days. That is why the wonderful Budwig protocol, once an almost sure cancer beater and still very successful, is considered an essential part of what I recommend, but far from the ONLY element.

With declining immune systems in an increasingly polluted, poorly nourished, overmedicated and toxic world, cancer is not getting easier to avoid and neither is it getting easier to beat. Cancer may be easier to beat than most people think, but that is only because most people still do not know a fraction of what good diet, nutrition, herbal supplementation and alternative treatments have to offer.

The more people who educate themselves about alternatives to ineffective and toxic therapies, the more that will be saved.

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