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    Friday, November 16, 2018-3:20:21P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Coping with cancer

TODAY, many cancer patients resort to alternative medicine, including biofield healers, magnetizers and medicinal plants.

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Jun Dy, fourth left and friends.  Photo by Liza Blesoch

As for radiation therapy, a recent Ohio State University-Wexner Medical Center study indicated that “cancer cells require high levels of oxygen to fuel their rapid growth, which can be so great that it outpaces the delivery of oxygen from the blood supply. Poorly formed blood vessels in the tumor are not efficient at delivering oxygen and other nutrients. Insufficient oxygen causes pockets of dead, necrotic cells surrounded by areas of hypoxia [or deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues]. Cancer cells in hypoxic regions at a distance from the blood vessel can be beyond the reach of chemotherapy and be resistant to radiation.”

According to the study, one dose of papaverine — an opium alkaloid antispasmodic drug — prior to radiation therapy reduces mitochondrial respiration, alleviates hypoxia, and greatly enhances the responses of model tumors to radiation. “Rather than attempting to increase oxygen supply, researchers reduced the oxygen demand, and these findings suggest that papaverine or a derivative is a promising metabolic radiosensitizer.”

For more information, consult your doctor.

Saipan resident Jun Dy’s wife is currently undergoing radiation therapy in the Philippines. “It is costly,” he said. “Sometimes instead of focusing on my wife’s treatment, I worry about the costs. I am hoping local and traditional medicines and treatments can also help her and other cancer patients.”

But he said he is also grateful to family and friends who are helping him and his wife cope with her ordeal.