General Health

Nutrition as a complementary therapy for cancer treatment

Cancer is generally considered to be a disease of death for the common people in India. The moment we hear about cancer, we feel that the patient’s days are counted. Overall, the scenario has changed globally because there is immense development in the medicinal aspects of the therapy and cancer disease management aspects. India has been quick to adopt the drugs and therapies which have been innovated worldwide.

The incidence of cancer has not much to do with the development of the drug. The therapy for cancer has become curative as the mindset changed due to transformation in the medicinal aspects in the last 10 years. This means that if cancer is detected early it can be cured. That’s a big relief. The focus has shifted entirely from disease management to the detection of cancer at an early stage so that it can be cured.

Late-stage diagnosis

If we compare the mortality rate in cancer-related worldwide to the deaths in India, it becomes clear that detections are not as acute as in other countries. This also signifies that most of the cancer patients are coming out at a later stage. The cancer drugs are not being very much utilised, because the patients are coming late in India and second and the cost of the drug is very high since it is imported and patented. A majority of people in India live below the poverty line so that even the therapies available or the innovation that has happened in the field of cancer is not of very much use to that bigger mass.

A significant number of cancer-related deaths happen because of malnutrition in India considering the huge diversity in food and culture and infrastructure of healthcare. Apart from malnutrition, the lack of accessible and affordable medicines for cancer adds to our woes. 

Nutrition as a complementary therapy

Malnutrition is not only about not being able to get food but also about the right kind of food. For example, if a person is getting food but does not get enough calories then the person is not taking the right food and this is where diabetes, cancer all those diseases crop up. 

Complementary cancer therapy can bridge up this gap especially in a country like India. Nutrition as a complementary therapy to support cancer disease management is increasingly getting acknowledged. Nutrition therapy cannot cure cancer but can bring the optimal outcome of the drugs which has been used to treat cancer. “We found that different stages of cancer need different kinds of nutrition. So, we developed a formula that addresses the different stages of cancer. Also, different types of cancer need different nutritional interventions. So, lung cancer and breast cancer will have different nutritional interventions,” says Raktim Chattopadhyay Founder & CEO, Esperer Onco Nutrition

During cancer treatment, all the chemotherapy agents that are cytotoxic, kill the cancer cell as well as the normal cells. Thus the patient becomes weak. If a nutrient is provided to make the patient stronger, it will reach the normal calls as well as the cancer cells or tumour cells, and it will help to proliferate them also. So, a formula is required where you give the nutrient to the cancer patients, and that nutrients do not be benefit cancer cells but only normal cells. That’s how cancer cells are starved and weakened.

Malnutrition is bound to happen in cancer patients because the tumour eats all the nutrients of the patient and the treatment which is given to the patient also depletes the normal cells of nutrients.

What is EON Therapy?

There are three basic phases in the cancer treatment cycle. The first phase is when the patient is detected with cancer till the time he starts with his treatment like chemotherapy radiotherapy. This duration depends on the condition of the patient and the diagnostic tests that the doctor has to perform. In India, the duration generally ranges from one week to four weeks. So, this is a condition where the tumour is there in the body, but treatment has not started. In the second phase, the treatment starts and continues for a full cycle. In the third phase, the patient goes for recovery after all the cycles of chemotherapy or radiotherapy when it is completed. So, that generally lasts up to nine months.

EON therapy is the world’s first condition and stage-specific Cancer Nutrition Therapy provided by Esperer Onco Nutrition (EON), which is a research-based nutraceutical firm pioneering critical disease prevention and management.

“Nutrition requirements are different in these three conditions, this is the research we have established. So, we are seeing the first phase which is the pre-conditioning phase, we call it the nutritional preconditioning. This means that the body is gearing up for chemotherapy. So, there are some preparations the body has to do by receiving the right nutrients. We give a carbohydrate deprivation therapy in this condition, we call it a nutritional preconditioning form. We are giving the energy, not from the carbohydrate sources, but from the other sources. The reason is that if you give energy from a carbohydrate source the cancer cell can also utilise it, but if you give the energy from a non-carbohydrate source normal cells can produce the energy but cancer cells cannot. Now, during the next phase, when the therapy is going on, there is evidence of drug-nutrient interactions. So, the outcome of the therapy is directly proportional to what the patient is drinking or eating during therapy,” Raktim Chattopadhyay further says.

The supplement has been made in such a way that it does not have any interactions with the ongoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy but it keeps on feeding the normal cells gives the required nutrients. The third phase is the recovery phase. 

The immunity of the patient is very low during the therapy. It’s not only because of cancer cells but also due to the drug which that is used for therapy. So the chances of infections are very high immediately after chemotherapy cycles. That’s how the majority of the relapses happen within nine months of completion of cancer treatment. There has to be a formula that is specifically designed and validated clinically to address the chances of infections among the patients, relapses, and works to improve immunity.

 

Note: The article is based on inputs from Raktim Chattopadhyay Founder & CEO, Esperer Onco Nutrition.

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