What is Thyroid Cancer?

Thyroid cancer is a group of malignant tumors that originate from the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid gland absorbs iodine from the bloodstream so it can produce thyroid hormone (it regulates body metabolism and temperature, it affects the heart rate, and its lack is associated with decrease in energy levels or fatigue). The thyroid gland contains two types of cells: follicular cells, which are responsible for the production of thyroid hormone; and C cells, which make calcitonin, a hormone that participates in the calcium metabolism.

A healthy thyroid gland is barely palpable. A normal gland has two lobes on each side of the windpipe, joined by a narrow strip of tissue called the isthmus. If a mass develops in the thyroid, it is felt as a lump in the neck. A diffusely swollen thyroid gland is called a goiter, which may be due to iodine deficiency. The gland is located on the trachea (windpipe) just below the larynx (voice box) Thyroid tissue growths are known as nodules. Ninety percent (90%) of all thyroid growths are benign and ten percent (10%) of thyroid nodules are malignant. Cancer cells can spread into neighboring tissues and organs, and enter the lymphatic system and the bloodstream.

Here are four types of thyroid cancer:

Papillary Thyroid Cancer – Papillary cancer develops in the follicular cells and grows slowly. It is usually found in one lobe; only 10% to 20% of papillary cancers appear in both lobes.

Follicular Thyroid Cancer – Follicular cancer also develops in the follicular cells and grows slowly, yet is less common. When detected early, it can be treated successfully.

Papillary and follicular cancers make up 80% to 90% of thyroid cancers, and are grouped under the term differentiated thyroid cancer. When detected early, especially in people below the age of 45-50 years, it can be treated successfully.

Medullary Thyroid Cancer – Medullary cancer develops in the C cells. It can be controlled if it is found and treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. Medullary cancer accounts for 5% to 10% of thyroid cancers.

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer – This is a very rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer that takes its origin from differentiated thyroid cancer or other benign tumors of the gland, and in its giant cell variety is often rapidly fatal.

As we well know, there are many kinds of cancer; unfortunately they all come about because of the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells.

Healthy Cells vs. Cancer Cells

Healthy cells are like a cat.  They need structure to determine the size of bones and shape of the body, tail and whiskers. The DNA in genes and chromosomes determine this. They need energy to play and prowl and sustain life. This is derived from chemicals in food. Cats need a system to deliver chemicals (food nutrients like amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals) to all parts of their body. These are the blood vessels. Growth factors take a kitten into a lazy old cat, all the while helping it to function normally.

The body and its cells are mostly made up of protein. The building blocks of proteins are substances called amino acids that in the form of enzymes and hormones literally control every chemical reaction within the cells. When these are modified, different messages are sent to a complex control system that can alter their function. There are twenty different kinds of amino acids that are essential to life. Twelve of these can be synthesized within the body however; eight must be supplied by the daily diet.

 

Structure
Normal Cells
Cancer Cells
DNA in genes and chromosomes go about their business in a normal way.
Cancer cells develop a different DNA or gene structure or acquire abnormal numbers of chromosomes.
Cells divide in an orderly way to produce more cells only when the body needs them.
Cells continue to be created without control or order.  If not needed, a mass of tissue is formed which is called a tumor.
Energy
Normal Cells
Cancer Cells
Cells derive 70% of their energy from a system called the “Krebs Cycle.”
Cells have a defective “Krebs Cycle” and derive little or no energy from it.
Cells derive only 20% of their energy from a system called “Glycolosis.”
Cancer cells derive almost all their energy from “Glycolosis.”
Cells derive most of their energy with the use of oxygen.
Cells derive most of their energy in the absence of oxygen.
Blood Vessels
Normal Cells
Cancer Cells
Cells have a built-in blood vessel system.
Cells do not have a built-in blood vessel system.  They require more of certain amino acids to grow.
Growth Factors
Normal Cells
Cancer Cells
While similar to cancer cells, the amount of them is more in balance to produce a more normal level of activity.
These cells have over produced, require more chemicals (food) and are over active.
Functions
Normal Cells
Cancer Cells
The enzymes and hormones go about business in a normal balanced manner.
The enzymes and hormones are either over active or under active.
Tumors are Different
Benign
Malignant
Benign tumors are not cancerous.  They do not invade nearby tissues nor spread to other parts of the body.  They can be removed and are not a threat to life.
Malignant tumors are cancerous.  They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs and they can break away and enter the blood stream to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
TREATMENT OPTIONS

The type of treatment will depend on various factors including the type of cancer, nodule size, the patient’s age, and whether the cancer has spread.

One or a combination of treatments, including surgery, radioactive iodine, hormone treatment, external radiation, chemotherapy and our integrative biological protocol, Controlled Amino Acid Therapy (CAAT), treats thyroid cancer.

Surgery
Surgery is the main treatment for most thyroid cancers. Depending on the size of the nodule, the surgeon will either remove the entire thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy) or the lobe with the cancerous nodule (lobectomy). If there is evidence or risk for spread of cancer to the lymph nodes in the neck, the surgeon may remove these lymph nodes (neck dissection) as well as any other neck tissue or tissues involved by tumor.

Lobectomies are performed on some patients with papillary or follicular cancer.

Complications of surgery may include temporary or permanent hoarseness, damage to the parathyroid glands (which help regulate blood calcium levels), and excessive bleeding or wound infections. If the nerves to the larynx are damaged or severed during surgery, this may cause temporary or permanent hoarseness or a “breathy” voice.

Without the thyroid gland, the body stops producing thyroid hormone. Hormone replacement by a pill is the best solution. The patient may also have to take vitamin D and calcium supplements if the parathyroid glands are removed or stop functioning.

Radioactive Iodine (radioiodine) Therapy
The thyroid absorbs almost all of the body’s iodine. Radioactive iodine (I-131) is used to destroy cancer cells not removed by surgery and those that have spread beyond the thyroid. Patients with medullary or anaplastic thyroid cancers are not treated with I-131.

Therapy is given in either liquid or pill form. Patients receiving usual or high dosages are hospitalized for two to three days; those receiving small doses are not.

Patients are encouraged to drink lots of fluids to help the I-131 pass quickly through the body. Within a few days, most of the radiation is gone.

In preparation for radioactive iodine treatment after total thyroidectomy, patients are usually asked to stay off an iodine-rich diet and abstain from taking any thyroid hormone supplements. Sometimes the radioactive iodine testing is done before radioactive iodine treatment is given. This testing sometimes is performed under stimulation of recombinant thyroid-stimulating hormone.

Hormone Treatment
Patients who are treated for papillary, follicular, and medullary thyroid cancer require hormone therapy after thyroid cancer surgery. In addition to replacing the hormone, the thyroid hormone pills slow down the growth of the remaining cancer cells (differentiated cancers only), thus the administration of thyroid hormone serves a double purpose.

Radiation Therapy (radiotherapy)
Radiation uses high-energy x-rays to kill cells. Treatment is concentrated on a specific area, only affecting cancer cells at that site. Radiation therapy is used only in certain circumstances, for patients with advanced thyroid cancer that has not responded to radioiodine therapy. Radiation therapy is usually given after completion of surgery for the cancer.

Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is sometimes used to treat thyroid cancer. Chemotherapy drugs not only affect cancer cells, but also normal ones.

Controlled Amino Acid Therapy (CAAT)

The objective of CAAT is to alter or impair the development of cancer cells by interfering with the five basic requirements of cell formation (structure, energy, blood vessels, growth hormones and functions). This is accomplished by controlling the intake of the 20 different amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and cells, which the cancer cell requires for formation, growth and function. In essence, amino acids in the form of enzymes and hormones, control literally every chemical reaction that takes place in the cells of the body. (Source, text book, Practical Physiological Chemistry: authors; Harper, Rodwell and Mayes.) Thus, the name, Controlled Amino Acid Therapy (CAAT).

THE SCIENTIFICALLY FORMULATED AMINO ACID THERAPY CAAT is an amino acid and carbohydrate deprivation protocol. It is a three-phase program, lasting six to nine months, to control a patient’s amino acid intake. This is achieved by removing certain foods from a person’s food plan for a short time and by replacing them with particular amino acids. It is important to emphasize that patients needn’t abandon their conventional cancer treatment, nor is it recommended that they do so unless it has already failed them. Furthermore, CAAT works synergistically with chemotherapy and/or radiation, not only to enhance their benefits but also to lessen their toxic side effects. CAAT has also been proven to work successfully alone. The patient’s oncologist determines which drugs will be used. Oncologists and the patients in several U.S. states and other countries are now using CAAT.

Phase 1: CAAT Formulation

The crucial component of CAAT is the scientifically formulated amino acids. It is the core of the treatment because it replaces regular protein foods, which meats, fish, cheese, fowl, nuts, and beans normally occupy. The remainder of the regimen consists primarily of vegetables, limited amounts of grits or rice, certain fruits, small amounts of dairy, and vegetable and fish oils, if the patient’s cancer type allows. Patients usually take the formulation twice a day, at lunch and dinner.

Phase 2: Daily Food Intake

(DISCLAIMER: The food program described below SHOULD NOT be consumed without the amino acid (CAAT) formula and without consent from your doctor and our institute.)

Patients are allowed to eat vegetables and salads (depending on the type of cancer, medical information, and their blood work). Vegetables are generally low in carbohydrates, proteins, and especially in certain amino acids that are already reduced in the daily diet. CAAT’s amino acid formula (depending on the type of cancer) is designed to replace most animal protein in the diet.

Breakfast:
½ grapefruit or 1 orange or 6 ounces of fresh orange juice. Whey Enhanced Protein (vanilla flavor–Vitamin Shoppe brand) [approximately 10-12 grams of protein–read label carefully]
Grits or Cream of Wheat cereal or 1 slice of white toast or ½ plain bagel or ½ English muffin. (Butter is okay.)
1 cup of green or black tea (artificially sweetened if desired).
Explanation: ½ grapefruit or 1 orange or 6 ounces of fresh orange juice are rich in natural nutrients called limonene and citric acid. Limonene helps de-activate the Ras cancer gene, which is overactive in 90 percent of all cancers. Citric acid helps reduce the process of Glycolosis, which then helps starve cancer cells to death.

Whey Enhanced Protein (vanilla flavor–Vitamin Shoppe brand) [approximately 10-12 grams of protein– read label carefully]. Whey protein helps protect health of normal cells, maintain normal appetite, and fight edema (swelling or water build-up in legs or other sites in the body). Whey proteins are low in phosphorus, a nutrient that cancer cells must utilize in order to grow and reproduce.

Whey protein is included in the menu of all advanced or metastatic cancer patients. When treating cancers that are stable or have regressed in size, patients then may include other protein foods at their breakfast meals, such as cottage cheese, yogurt, or soy foods. Eggs are allowed in diets of patients with lymphoma and brain cancers. Grits or Cream of Wheat cereal or 1 slice of white toast or ½ plain bagel or ½ English muffin. (Butter is okay.) Grits is the preferred carbohydrate food at each meal. The other choices are options once the cancer is stable or reduced in size. Certain bland carbohydrates are included in the CAAT menu, instead of whole grains, to deprive cancer cells of a B-complex vitamin called pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Cancer cells require this vitamin to manufacture certain amino acids that we avoid through CAAT’s amino acid deprivation formula and diet. Grits is the preferred food at breakfast, lunch, and supper instead of rice because it helps deplete the body’s tryptophan, one of several amino acids that we reduce in the diets of all cancer patients.

1 cup of green or black tea (artificially sweetened if desired). These teas are rich sources of several compounds that help reduce Glycolosis and therefore the energy supply to cancer cells. Green or regular teas also help prevent certain hormones and tumor growth factors from stimulating cancer cells to grow and metastasize to other parts of the body.

Lunch:
Amino Acid Formula (3 1/2 level plastic scoops) with diet ginger ale soda or water, or lemonade artificially sweetened, or chicken or beef broth or V8 Juice
Two cooked vegetables (except peas, lentils, or beans of any type)
1 serving of grits or white rice
8 to 10 black or green olives
1 cup of green or black tea (artificially sweetened if desired)
Explanation: Amino Acid Formula (3 1/2 level plastic scoops) with diet ginger ale soda or water, or lemonade artificially sweetened, or chicken or beef broth or V8 Juice. This CAAT formula, combined with the special diet, allows the CAAT Protocol to reduce certain amino acids in the daily diet of cancer patients. To synthesize DNA, build new blood vessels, or duplicate their entire protein content, cancer cells require the amino acids called glycine, serine, glutamic acid, and aspartic acid. In addition, cancer cells require further amino acids in order to synthesize other proteins that act as growth-promoting hormones or tumor growth factors. CAAT also impairs the synthesis of a protein called elastin, which is essential to the manufacture of new blood vessels. CAAT’s amino acid deprivation formula, diet, certain phytochemicals, and herbs work efficaciously because, when combined, they become powerful forces that attack cancer cells on various biological fronts.

Two cooked vegetables (except peas, lentils, or beans of any type). The latter three foods are very high in either carbohydrates and/or proteins and when consumed, provide energy to cancer cells that prevents their self-destructing. This would thus counteract the benefits of CAAT’s deprivation protocol. Almost all other vegetables are low in carbohydrates and high in phytochemicals, compounds that help fight cancer.

1 serving of grits or white rice. These complex carbohydrate foods provide calories for normal cells and help regulate body weight. In the body, grits helps deplete the amino acid called tryptophan, which is one of several amino acids that the CAAT formula also reduces in cancer patients’ diets. Without sufficient tryptophan, cancer cells cannot duplicate the protein content necessary for them to divide and spread within the body. Grits or white rice can be seasoned with favorite spices and butter.

8 to 10 black or green olives. Olives are rich in squalene and oleic acid nutrients that have been reported to help fight cancer. The calories in olives also help control body weight and increase ketones in the blood. Ketones help fight cancer by impairing Glycolosis–the process on which cancer cells depend almost exclusively for their daily energy.

3 p.m. Snack:
2 ounces of chicken or turkey breast, 1 slice of white bread (no mayo)
1 cup of green or black tea (artificially sweetened if desired)
Alternate:
2 ounces of salmon or tuna, 1 slice of white bread (no mayo)
1 cup of green or black tea (artificially sweetened if desired).
Explanation: If the patient is underweight or has an albumin level below normal, s/he is allowed this meal. It should be eaten a minimum of 3 hours before or after the Amino Acid Formula. CAAT provides sufficient protein to maintain the health of normal cells and adequate amounts of calories to maintain desired body weight. Any proteins taken in excess of amounts recommended will counteract the benefits of our CAAT protocol.

Dinner:
Amino Acid Formula (4 level plastic scoops) with diet ginger ale soda or water, or lemonade artificially sweetened, or chicken or beef broth or V8 Juice.
Two cooked vegetables (except peas, lentils, or beans of any type)
½ avocado salad with lettuce, tomatoes, celery, garlic, and onions with lemon juice and olive oil.
1 serving of grits or white rice
1 cup of green or black tea (artificially sweetened if desired)
Mid-evening Snack:
1 serving of sugar-free Jello or 1 plum or one 6-ounce glass of orange juice
Explanation: 1 serving of sugar-free Jello or 1 plum or 6-ounce glass of orange juice. Jello helps appease appetite. Plums contain quinlic acid, which is converted to benzoic acid in the body and helps deplete the supply of the amino acid glycine (essential to the synthesis of DNA) and the proteins that cancer cells require to build new blood vessels and tumor-growth factors. Orange juice contains citric acid that fights cancer by helping to reduce Glycolosis and the energy supply to cancer cells. If underweight, take one ounce of light cream and one ounce of olive oil.

Carbohydrate Deprivation Diet: CAAT’s formulation provides approximately 20 percent of its calories as carbohydrates. Calories need not be a focal point or counted daily. It is recommended that all patients combat their cancer by keeping their body weight at normal to slightly below normal levels. Patients’ desired body weight is regulated by their rate of metabolism, which in turn is regulated by their blood levels of thyroxine, cortisone, and insulin, plus the amount of oils and fats in the diet. Studies with human cancer patients and laboratory animals show that reducing the calories from carbohydrates in the diet by only 10 percent actually shrank cancerous tumors. When the carbohydrate calories were reduced by 40 percent, the cancers disappeared. To increase the efficiency of the CAAT treatment, it is recommended that obese patients gradually and systematically lose excess weight. Those patients who are underweight shouldn’t gain weight, unless they are more than 15 pounds under normal levels. When a patient is underweight due to anorexia or cachexia, such illnesses must be addressed before treatment can begin.

We suggest that any patient considering enrolling into CAAT make a three-month commitment, in order to give CAAT the time it needs to fight your cancer. If scans or tests then show CAAT is helping, we would suggest following CAAT for an additional 3 to 6 months. The total time on CAAT should be only 6 to 9 months.

Phase 3: Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements are based on each unique situation. For example, slow-growing cancers produce low levels of toxic free radicals. Tumor cells that grow aggressively produce large amounts of toxic free radicals. The patient will be instructed whether or not to take anti-oxidants (in a nutritional supplement), and at what dosage, according to the levels of toxic free radicals produced in the cancerous cells.

An example of how nutritional supplements can help manipulate cancer cells involves vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). There are four amino acids essential to the synthesis of DNA. However, those amino acids cannot be synthesized without a certain enzyme, which includes vitamin B-6 among various components. CAAT patients are forbidden from taking any supplement that contains vitamin B-6 during the first two months of treatment.

The patient will be instructed about which nutritional supplements to purchase and at which dosage strength. Keep in mind that each supplement alone provides only minimal benefits. However, when combined, they augment the therapeutic benefits of the CAAT Protocol.

Superoxide dismutase: Taken sublingually (under the tongue), this enzyme can reduce or de-activate Ras, the growth-promoting cancer gene. It is also crucial in causing cancer cells to self-destruct.

Curcumin: Helps reduce activity of the enzymes called tyrosine kinaseand protein kinase, which otherwise stimulate the growth and spread of cancer. In this respect, curcumin complements CAAT, which inhibits the production of these enzymes.

Parsley: Contains ingredients that can help reduce activity of enzymes called epithelial growth factors, which also stimulate the growth and spread of cancer. CAAT’s amino acid deprivation diet works similarly.

Quercetin: Like parsley, this herb can also help retard activity of the enzymes that cause cancer growth and spread.

Lycopene: Also decreases activities of cancer-promoting enzymes.

Vitamin D: Helps promote production of enzymes called phosphotases, which help de-activate other enzymes called kinases, essential to growth and reproduction of cancer cells.

Green tea extract: Phytochemicals in tea reduce Glycolosis (cancer cells’ main energy supply), thereby helping starve cancer cells to death. These effects complement CAAT’ s carbohydrate deprivation diet.

Anti-oxidants: The controversy about whether to treat cancer with anti-oxidants is slowly resolving with the newer understanding of how they affect the activity of genes and enzymes in cancer cells. The prevailing data shows that the benefits, or lack of benefits, depend upon the oxidative state the cancer cells are in. Anti-oxidants taken when the cells are in a very high oxidative state may prevent them from entering apoptosis or from committing suicide. When oxidative stress in cancer cells is only slightly above normal, however, then anti-oxidants are expected to stop their growth and reproduction.

Blood chemistry: Blood tests are usually done each every 6 to 8 weeks, depending upon the results of each test. Not only is it important to monitor the tumor markers but equally important to evaluate the overall health of normal tissues and organs. For example, it is crucial to determine the health of kidneys and liver and see whether the body is producing sufficient red and white blood cells, etc. Low albumin levels often indicate insufficient intake of proteins, which requires some change in diet.

CAAT is designed to attack cancer, while keeping normal cells and tissues functioning harmoniously.

* When considering any type of complementary cancer treatment or alternative cancer treatment, always consult with your physician first, as possible interactions could reduce your regimen’s efficacy.
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