A Diagnosis of Cancer is Not a Death Sentence, it is a Call to Action!

By making changes appropriate for you as outlined by your naturopathic doctor, you can maximize your chances of beating cancer, and minimizing future recurrence.

There are several approaches that must be considered in the treatment of cancer. First, is the patient’s decision to use conventional chemo or radiation therapy, or to use alternative therapies, or combine them both. We wholeheartedly support the patient’s right to choose, and strive to provide complete information to help with their decision. There is a lot of controversy regarding the use of alternative treatments with conventional therapies. Much of the science is so recent that even oncologists have a hard time keeping up with it. Often it is easier for medical doctors to advise patients to stay away from it all, or state that more research is needed. But there is plenty of scientifically rigorous published proof of the effectiveness of some alternative treatments. Complementary treatments can increase the effectiveness of some radiation and chemotherapies, while others can minimize side effects without reducing the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. There is a lot of valid, scientific information, but time must be taken to stay on top of the research, and understand the individual needs of the patient. As Naturopathic Doctors, we specialize in the scientifically informed integrative or complementary approach. By taking the time to understand the patient’s situation, we can advise accordingly.

The second, but critical consideration in the treatment (and prevention) of cancer is diet. Everything we eat affects the immune system, and it is the immune system that recognizes cancerous cells and mounts an attack on them. A plethora of scientific research shows that certain foods can increase the strength and effectiveness of the immune system. Also, there is plenty of evidence that shows that many foods weaken the immune system, and create the acidic environment in which cancer thrives. In addition, sensitivities to certain foods can cause a chronic overreaction in the immune system, leading to attacks on the body’s self while letting cancer cells multiply. Each individual patient has different food sensitivities, which can be evaluated by IgG blood tests at our clinic or a through 1 week specific diet. Different patients and cancers respond to different foods, thus an individualized approach provided at our clinic is critical.

The third part of treatment focuses on scientifically based supplementation. There are many supplements for various cancers that simply do not work, or worse, can be harmful. But there are also volumes of published, scientific proof that certain herbs, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids are very effective in the treatment of cancer. Some increase the effect of radiation and chemotherapy, others help with it’s side effects. Still other supplements are proven to stop the growth of cancer cells, induce apoptosis (the death of cancer cells by implosion), or stop the production of new blood vessels that feed cancer. Plus there is the huge potential of some supplements to increase the effectiveness and activity of the immune system. However, these supplements must be prescribed carefully, with full consideration given to the patients health needs, the specific type of cancer in question, and the type of treatment the patient is undergoing. Many patients we see during the initial visit come in with bags of supplements, taking a little of this, and a little of that without really knowing what is effective. It is much better to take 3 or 4 specific supplements at effective dosages than spending the money on 20 potentially useless or harmful supplements, taken at doses too low to provide any benefit. The Naturopathic Doctors at our Mississauga naturopathic health clinic are scientifically knowledgeable, and will provide detailed research based supplement recommendations specific to your needs.

A thorough discussion of all the various supplements effective for cancer is not possible here. However, the use of intravenous or IV vitamin C for cancer should be examined. Our clinical experience, and rigorous and ongoing scientific reviews of the literature prove that vitamin C in the treatment of cancer is effective (Null). At doses greater than 200 to 400 mg/dl achievable in the human body only by intravenous or paranteral infusion, vitamin C is toxic to tumor cells (González). Vitamin C is selectively transported into cancer cells at much higher concentrations than normal cells (Chen). Inside the cell, the vitamin C generates hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which then induces cell death by apoptosis (a programmed implosion) (Chen). These effects are specific to cancer cells, and do not affect normal tissue. Thus vitamin C does not cause any of the side effects typical of radiation and chemotherapy. Additionally, vitamin C is proven to strengthen the immune system by increasing T cell mediated immunity, and by enhancing interferon production (Siegel). Interferon activates the Natural Killer cells of the immune system which kill cancerous and tumor cells. Vitamin C is also critical for the building and maintenance of cartilage. Depending on the type of cancer, the body often uses cartilage to build a wall around the tumor to prevent metastatic spread. Thus, the use of ascorbic acid or vitamin C for cancer can help in the production of a wall around the tumor to encapsulate it. There are over 3190 studies evaluating the use of vitamin C in cancer. Many of these studies are positive, but some are also negative. When examining the published trials, one must be careful to recognize that all of the negative trials have used oral doses of vitamin C (Padayatty). Oral doses of vitamin C do not raise the vitamin C blood concentrations to the 200 or 400 mg/dl required to induce cancer cell death. Dr. Gary Null provides an excellent review of the use of vitamin C for cancer treatment. When deciding on the applicability of this treatment for patients, each patient’s current and past treatments, the type of cancer, and the individuality of the patient must be assessed.

The discussion above provides an outline of our approaches and treatments of patients with cancer at the Noumena Naturopathic clinic. We feel that a rigorously scientific approach utilizing diet, supplementation, and specific cancer killing treatments is most effective and can be used in conjunction with standard treatment. However, the treatments must be tailored to each individual patient, their cancer, and their treatment preferences. We provide a different, alternative perspective on the treatment of cancer, by providing effective treatment leading to improved quality or life, increased length of life, and remission of cancer. When the patient heeds the call to action, these goals can be achieved by providing effective, individualized treatments in harmony with the patient’s needs.

Further references

  1. Null, G; Robins, H; Tanenbaum, M; Jennings, P. “Vitamin C and Treatment of Cancer: Abstracts and Commentary from the Scientific Literature” Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. May 1997.
  2. González MJ, Miranda-Massari JR, Mora EM, Guzmán A, Riordan NH, Riordan HD, Casciari JJ, Jackson JA, Román-Franco A. “Orthomolecular oncology review: ascorbic acid and cancer 25 years later” Integr Cancer Ther. 2005 Mar;4(1):32-44. Review.
  3. Chen, Q; Espey, MG; Krishna, MC; Mitchell, JB, Corpe, CP; Buettner GR; Shacter, E; Levine, M. “Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells” Procedings of the National Academy of Sciences. September 2005; 102(38) p.13604-13609.
  4. Siegel, BV; Morton JI. “Vitamin C and immunity: natural killer (NK) cell factor” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 1983; 53(2):179-83.
  5. Padayatty, S; Riordan, H; Hewitt, M; Katz, A; Hoffer, J; Levine, M. “Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases” Canadian medical Association Journal. March 2006. 174(7): 937-942.

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