The royal fern shown to be effective in treating head and neck cancers

Head and neck cancers account for only four percent of all cancer cases in the U.S., making it a rare form of the disease. However, for something so uncommon, it has a shockingly disturbing survival rate of only 27 percent. This type of cancer is diagnosed more often among people over the age of 50; however, researchers are now saying that due to unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and excessive drinking, younger people are being afflicted with this disease as well. The cure for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is dependent on the stage of metastasis the cancer is in. HNSCC is notorious for having a fast metastasizing rate, working its way into the locoregional lymph nodes rather than to other organs.

Standard treatment for HNSCC is the combined use of chemotherapy and radiation. Paclitaxel, a standard chemotherapy medication, has been observed to be ineffective for HNSCC, having failed to reach local-regional tumors in around 12 percent of patients, according to a 2003 study.

A new study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine revealed that royal fern (Osmunda regalis) may be a safe, natural, and effective way to inhibit the growth of HNSCC. To reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed several mechanisms of royal fern:

  • Proliferation inhibition was measured with the MTT assay;
  • Invasion inhibition was tested in a spheroid-based 3D migration assay;
  • Gene expression changes were analyzed by qRT-PCR assay;
  • Induction of apoptosis was measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS); and
  • Anti-angiogenetic activity was determined by the tube formation assay.

The plant was also analyzed as a whole using preliminary phytochemical tests, liquid chromatography/mass spectroscopy (LC-MS), and thin layer chromatography (TLC).

Results showed the royal fern extract had a significant inhibiting effect on the growth of HNSCC. Further, researchers noted that the plant triggered apoptosis in HNSCC cell lines and inhibited tube formation of endothelial cells. These effects were believed to be caused by the synergistic qualities of the different compounds found in royal fern.

Other studies show efficacy of natural medicine in treating HNSCC

Chemotherapy is not effective against cancer, as strange as that may sound initially. Mainstream media has conditioned all of us to believe that injecting our bodies with toxic chemicals is the only way to cure the disease. This isn’t natural, nor should it ever be considered as the first line of defense when it comes to treating cancer.

Current studies are proving what Natural News has always said: Cancer can (and should) be treated using natural medicine.

A study in 2012 concluded that grape seed extract killed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. What is remarkable about this study is that the effect of the grape seed extract was almost immediate — an advantage, considering how fast HNSCC can metastasize.

“Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” Dr. Rajesh Agarwal, one of the authors of the study, wrote. “Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can’t grow, they die.”

Grape seed extract was observed to create conditions that are unfavorable to growth. Specifically, the extract damaged the cancer cell’s DNA and stopped the pathways that allowed for cellular repair.

More people are opting for more natural ways to cure their cancer. One study found that around 20 percent of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer try some form of alternative medicine. This number could have been higher, but another study concluded that many patients often feel uncomfortable discussing these therapies with their physicians. Similarly, many physicians are unaware of or are underequipped to evaluate or discuss the use of alternative cancer treatments with their patients.

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