Femtalk USA - Cancer Section
live in our bodies without causing any problems. But if a fungal infection
occurs when your immune system is weak, it can cause problems. The most
common fungal infection in people with cancer is Candida, often called
"thrush." If you have a sore mouth from chemotherapy or radiotherapy
treatment you are more at risk from thrush. You may notice white patches
with red and sore skin underneath. It is treated with mouthwashes that
contain an anti fungal drug. Women can also get vaginal thrush, which is
treated with anti fungal creams or pessaries.
Less common fungal infections are aspergillosis and pneumocystis. These
infections may be a serious problem for people who have very weak immune
systems, for example after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
Aspergillus can cause a serious chest infection that needs treatment with
anti-fungal drugs through a drip. And the pneumocystis bug can cause a
serious form of pneumonia called "PCP." This stands for pneumocystis carinii
pneumonia. Doctors use the drug co-trimoxazole (Septrin) to help prevent or
fungal infections are a common sign of depressed immune function. The
people most likely to be affected are those who have diseases such as
diabetes or cancer, those who have been on chemotherapy treatments or who
are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Women who use oral
contraceptives and people taking antibiotics are at higher risk as well, as
are people who are obese and/or who perspire heavily.
types of fungi (most commonly candida and tinea) can infect the skin and/or
mucous membranes; they can also grow under the nails, between the toes, or
on internal surfaces of the colon and other organs.
infection of the skin is most common in places where skin tends to be moist
and one skin surface is in contact with another, such as the groin area ("jock
itch") and between the toes ("athlete's foot"). A type of scalp
infection known as tinea capitis is found mainly in schoolchildren,
although adults also may be affected. Moist, possibly itchy, red patches
anywhere on the body can indicate fungal infection. In babies, a fungal
infection can manifest itself as diaper rash that makes the skin bright red
in light-skinned babies and darker brown in dark-skinned babies.
infection of the mouth is referred to as oral thrush, a condition in
which creamy-looking white patches form on the tongue and the mucous
membranes of the mouth. If the patches are scraped off, bleeding may
result. This condition is most common in infants and in those with
compromised immune systems.
under the nails (paronychia) or between the toes may cause
discoloration and swelling, and the nails may become raised above the
surface of the nail bed. In fungal infection of the vagina (yeast
infection), a cheesy discharge is present, usually accompanied by
Cancer cures and advice Index
Ringworm, also known as tinea infection, is a fungal infection of the
skin or scalp. Caused by various species of fungi - mainly microspora,
trichophyta, and epidermophyta, it is characterized by the development of
small red spots that grow to a size of about one-quarter inch in diameter.
As the spots expand, the centers tend to heal and clear while the borders
are raised, red, and scaly, giving them a ring-like appearance. Like other
fungal infections, ringworm can be very itchy.
Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that usually affects the lungs,
but can also settle in the ear canal or the sinuses. Sometimes the infection
causes no symptoms and is discovered only with a chest x-ray. But the
disease can cause alarming symptoms such as coughing up blood, fever, chest
pain and difficulty breathing. The fungus that causes the disease is very
common and is associated with decaying organic matter - it is found in
compost heaps, air vents and airborne dust; it has even been isolated in
swimming pools and saunas - but it doesn't usually affect healthy people.
You are more vulnerable to aspergillosis if you have a weakened
immune system. Infections can be quite serious and hard to treat, even
fatal. However, if the infection is localized to a single spot in the lung,
it usually progresses slowly. Because pulmonary aspergillosis can
be a very serious infection, you should be treated by a pulmonologist, a
doctor who specializes in lung diseases.
|Eat a diet of 60 to
70 percent raw foods. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and moderate amounts
of broiled fish and broiled skinless chicken. |
|Eat plenty of raw
garlic, up to 6 cloves a day.|
|Do not eat any
foods containing sugar or refined carbohydrates. Fungi thrive on sugar.
foods from the diet that tend to promote secretion of mucus, especially
meat and dairy products. |
|Avoid cola drinks,
grains, processed foods and fried greasy food. |
|There are some
reports that gargling with tea tree oil diluted with water can help treat
oral candidiasis. Generally these gargles (two drops of oil in a
tablespoon of water) are used in the morning, night and after meals. They
are sometimes swabbed directly on mouth sores (one drop of oil to one drop
of water). |
extract and 1% hydrogen peroxide may also be used in a similar way, but
must be more heavily diluted and should NEVER be swallowed. However, these
approaches (especially grapefruit seed extract) may irritate the mouth and
promote infection. Moreover, they only address the local symptoms of yeast
growth and not the underlying causes.|
|Use tea tree oil
Overall, the best way
to naturally treat and prevent fungal infections is to eat healthfully and
regularly, avoid excessive sugar intake and avoid or decrease alcohol and
Because many fungal
infections develop slowly, months or years may pass before people seek
medical attention. But in people with a weakened immune system, fungal
infections can be very aggressive, spreading quickly to other organs and
often leading to death. The immune system may be weakened by taking drugs
that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants), such as chemotherapy
drugs or drugs used to prevent rejection of an organ transplant, or by
having a disorder such as AIDS.
effective against fungal infections are available, but the structure and
chemical makeup of fungi make them difficult to kill. Antifungal drugs may
be applied directly to a fungal infection of the skin or other surface, such
as the vagina or the inside of the mouth. Antifungal drugs may also be taken
by mouth or injected when needed to treat more serious infections. For
serious infections, several months of treatment are often needed.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug
Administration. The products and information contained herein are not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases
or medical problems. This is not intended to replace your
doctor's recommendations. The information is provided for educational
purposes only. Nutritional benefits may vary from one person to another.