There was a recent report of a women from Colorado that died after self prescribing cesium chloride as an alternative cancer treatment. She was taking an oral cesium supplement along with injecting it into her breast tumor. A short time after one of these injections she was admitted to hospital and later died. There were high levels of cesium found in her blood stream and the apparent cause of death was cardiac failure. In the case of cesium, it displaces potassium and long term supplementation can cause severe electrolyte imbalances, arrhythmias, and death. So despite it being an "alkalizing" mineral it can disrupt the rest of your key electrolytes off and possibly causing heart issues.
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She was taking the cesium as an alkalizing agent since some people believe that cancer cells thrive in a acidic environment and do poorly in an alkaline one. The research on this theory is still very preliminary. The area around cancer cells is more acidic than surround tissue but that is due to the lactic acid created by the cancer cells using anaerobic respiration (an inefficient pathway of energy production). While reducing the overall acidity in your body is a good idea (through eating vegetables and consuming minerals such as magnesium) there really is no evidence that "alkalizing" the area directly around the cancer cells will reverse or slow the cancer growth.
Interestingly, alkalizing minerals such as cesium, rubidium, potassium and magnesium are found in the high concentrations in medicinal mushrooms such as chaga. Mushrooms have a large amount of evidence showing they are both safe and effective in support of conventional cancer therapies. One theory suggests that these minerals may be responsible for some of the anti-cancer effects of mushrooms however it is apparent that they are safest and most effective when consumed from a mushroom or food rather that directly supplementing ultra-high amounts.
Caution is needed whenever you take any drug or natural substance. It is especially dangerous when a person attempts to self-diagnosis and self-prescribe based on what they read on the internet and hear from friends. There may be numerous factors that may make a seemly safe natural substance harmful. The best approach is to speak to a registered Naturopathic doctor especially when dealing with cancer. Some natural substances have been studied and proven safe and effective in supportive cancer care (i.e. mistletoe, vitamin C, medicinal mushrooms etc.) but there are many that have not been studied well and may not be safe. I look at this case report as a good opportunity to again reiterate that natural therapies need to be used with caution since they have a potent effect. When in doubt discuss each supplement with your Naturopathic doctor.
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