Cancer Treatment Options
The treatment of cancer today is limited to mainstream therapies that include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In some states like California it is a felony to use integrative CAM therapies. Often times patients have to travel to other states or countries to obtain the treatment they want.
Living a healthy lifestyle is usually more powerful treatment than conventional approaches, but it is usually only given lip service. There are also a wide range of CAM therapies that are safe and worth a try with conventional treatment or alone.
Integrative Cancer Strategies
When you have a diagnosis of cancer, choosing a treatment is very challenging. We cannot go to a single practitioner most of the time because they know either mainstream or CAM approaches. The major mainstream approach is to fight the cancer, to kill it. The major approach of CAM practitioners is to strengthen the body so it can deal with cancer itself. Many of these approaches are reviewed. The value of lifestyle management is highlighted. We need to develop a cancer management program that takes the best from mainstream and the best from CAM for the best outcomes.
Cancer Prevention and Options for Treatment
The definition of cancer means that cancer cells don't die as they are programmed, they lack apoptosis. The reasons for this range from genetic defects to overgrowth of chromosomes. Cancer is believed to be caused by genetic and epigenetic factors that include poor lifestyle, radiation exposure, infections, pollution, and more. The spread of cancer is complicated; it is not haphazard.
Combining mainsteam and alternative strategies provides the best outcomes, but is rarely available. Early detection is discussed. Diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and weight have a powerful effect on whether or not you'll get cancer.
Take Dr. Saputo's Free Cancer Health Assessment
All of the Health Assessments on DoctorSaputo.com have been developed to provide you with integrative and holistic medical information that may help you understand your health condition more fully and share our opinions about possible treatments you may choose to consider with your healthcare practitioner. All of our Health Assessments have been created by Dr. Saputo with the intent of taking just a few minutes of your time and, upon completion, providing instant emailed information in short audio and video files that are specifically related to your unique health condition as determined by the way you answered our simple questions.
Once you have cancer you want to know what you can do to get rid of it and keep it gone! In this Health Assessment we will ask you questions about what treatment(s) you have undergone, which complementary and alternative treatments might be of interest to you, what lifestyle factors could help slow down or prevent a recurrence, and what you might want to consider if your cancer is causing pain or if your situation is terminal.
Artemisinin: A Cancer Smart Bomb
There is an epidemic of cancer in the world, and this epidemic is not under control. With the signing of the National Cancer Act of 1971 by then US President Richard Nixon, the war against cancer was officially declared. Some 40 years later, we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on cancer research and the return on this investment has been negligible. Cancer remains a major killer for more than 500,000 US citizens every year and nothing on the horizon looks promising to change this scenario.
Part of the reason for this is that cancer treatment has become more of a business manipulated by Big Pharma than a service that cures cancer. The bottom line is about return on investment, not about service or helping people.
There are a wide range of natural products that cannot be patented that have potential to treat cancer. You would think that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would sponsor research on these chemicals because it is supported by public funds and should therefore be responsive to public need. It may surprise you that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research represents less than 1% of the research dollars spent by the NIH. Who, then, is committed to doing the research of the people that Big Pharma will not support because it has no return on investment? Also consider that Big Pharma spends twice as much ($92 billion per year) as NIH.
One of these natural products is wormwood extract, or artemisinin. This herb had been used by the Chinese for thousands of years for treating malaria before it was lost. It was rediscovered in 1970 and has slowly returned to clinical use, especially for drug resistant falciparum malaria, but also for treatment of most cancers.
Artemisinin contains two oxygen atoms hooked together that break down in the presence of iron, by creating very reactive free radicals that kill malaria parasites and cancer cells. Both cancer cells and malaria parasites sequester iron, accumulating as much as 1000 times what normal cells store. Giving artemisinin to people with malaria or cancer results in destruction of these abnormal cells and leaves normal cells unaffected. Artemisinin is a cancer bomb!
Generally, chemotherapy is toxic to both cancer cells and normal cells. In the case of artemisinin this is not true; only the cancer cells are damaged. In more than 4000 case studies, no significant toxicity from artemisinin has been found, which makes it far different than conventional chemotherapy.
Results from clinical trials are conspicuously absent. However, there a numerous individual case reports suggesting that artemisinin works in vitro (in test tubes) and in both animals and human beings with far advanced cancer. I would suggest reviewing the work of Christina L. White's two part series on Cancer Smart Bomb at http://www.mwt.net/~drbrewer/canart....
There are three forms of artemisinin: artemisinin, artesunate, and artemether. All are absorbed well after oral intake and cross the blood brain barrier. They are best absorbed on an empty stomach. The intestine builds up resistance to absorbing, so it is wise to only take the drug for a few days and then stopping for a few days as this resistance is reversible.
Artemisinin and its derivatives offer the possibility of using a non-toxic form of chemotherapy that is inexpensive and readily available. Because of its excellent safety profile, it should be a consideration for cancer treatment when conventional treatments have failed or when people refuse conventional therapies
Artemisinin Part 2: How to Use It
I have had nearly 500,000 views on the YouTube video on artemisinin over the past three years. Hundreds of people have contacted me asking for more information about where to get it and how to use it. This is the reason for making this video called Artemisinin Part 2: How to Use It. I've also provided considerable research from reliable sources to back up the statements I've made about this herb. These references are listed below.
We recommend you take the Cancer Assessment on DoctorSaputo.com to learn about more integrative options to treat cancer. This site is a public service with no conflicts of interest or profit and is 100% free. It has more than 2600 audio and video files that Vicki and I have made that are organized into 34 health assessments. We don't sell products. Enjoy!
The Importance of Iron in Infections and Cancer
According to the December 2012 issue of PLOS ONE, Iron plays a key role in metabolism that leads to bacteria and human beings competing to prevent the other from obtaining it. Bacteria are obligated to acquire iron to gain foothold to grow in host tissues. Cancer cells also sequester iron more effectively than normal cells. This is one of the reasons why artemisinin may be effective as chemotherapy.
Everyone should have their iron level measured, especially if they have a bacterial infection or cancer. About 5-10% of the population has excessive iron stores, which can have a powerful effect on the risk for making infections more dangerous, contributing to the aggressiveness of cancer, and causing premature aging.
One of the ways of enhancing the sequestration of iron is through the use of lactoferrin.
Methyl Jasmonate as a Treatment for Cancer
Methyl jasmonate is a plant hormone that is able to disrupt the mitochondria of cancer cells, but not normal cells. This would add to the abilitiy of cancer cells to produce energy and perhaps help destroy cancer cells. We clearly need more research on this inexpensive and readily available treatment. Hopefully the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would fund research on this as there is no incentive for Big Pharma to become involved because they cannot patent their research on natural substances.
Mitochondria: The Achilles Heel of Cancer Cells
Cancer cell mitochondria are the powerhouse and Achilles heel of tumor growth and metastasis. Cancer cells consume more than 5 times the energy than normal cells. This is contradictory to Otto Warberg's Nobel Prize winning thesis that cancer cells produced only limited amounts of ATP by burning glucose (glycolysis). Apparently, Warberg was measuring the combined energy production of both cancer cells and their surrounding stromal cells. Warberg believed that cancer cells derived their energy from sugar, but it turns out that it is the mitochondria that is making ATP.
This effect may also explain why cancer patients lose weight as they get closer to dying. There are drugs such as Metformin and methyl jasmonate that can preferentially destroy mitochondria from cancer cells and leave normal mitochondria alone.
Cancer Breakthrough? Liver Nutrient Selectively Kills Cancer Cells
Lithocholic acid (LCA) is a liver bile acid that has the ability to selectively kill cancer cells while not affecting normal cells. It works by causing cancer cell mitochondria to self-destruct. LCA also activates the vitamin D receptor site. It prevents whole tumor growth and slows down the development of metastases. In tests it has been shown to work on brain cancer cells and on breast cancer cells. We clearly need more work to see if this is a good treatment in human beings.
How Vitamin D Affects Cancer
Vitamin D may increase longevity in people with cancer according to an article from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinoloogy and Metabolism. Scientists measured vitamin D levels in more than 17,000 patients diagnosed wth cancer and found that those with higher levels had better survival rates and remained in remission longer. Their data came from a meta-analysis of 25 individual studies.
Results demonstrated that for every 10 nmol/L increase in vitamin D levels there was an associated 4% increase in survival in these cancer patients. It is becoming clear that it is important to get sufficient sunlight or to supplement with vitamin D. Because of the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency, everyone should have a level determined by laboratory testing.
Low Dose Naltrexone
Low dose naltrexone (LDN) has been implicated to help with cancer, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune diseases, and much more. Now it has been shown to have a potent antitumor effect on human ovarian cancer in both tissue culture and in animal xenografts. Naltrexone (NTX) is a general opioid receptor antagonist that results in compensatory elevation in endogenous opioids and opioid receptors. It has a powerful inhibition of cell proliferation. Studies showed that LDN could also increase the effects of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.
Is Melatonin a Effective Cancer Treatment?
Melatonin has a wide range of benefits in people with cancer. It is an immune booster (increases NK cells that fight cancer), inhibits angiogenesis, increases apoptosis, alleviates many of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation thereapy, and is safe, affordable, and available.
Research from Cancer Treatment Centers of America shows that melatonin in a dosage from 10-40 mg per day increased the one year survival of state 4 cancers by 45%. The five year survival rate for stage four cancers using conventional therapies in the US is about 2%.
Melatonin has many other metabolic effects. To learn more about this click here.
Is Mistletoe an Effective Cancer Treatment?
A century ago Rudolph Steiner developed anthroposophical medicine. It is based on intuitive thinking about associations the 4 aspects of the human body--physical, etheric, astral, and ego--and plants, minerals, and the cosmos. Steiner's intuition was based on the fact that mistletoe is a parasitic growth that eventually kills its host. Inspired by Hahnemann's "like cures like" homeopathic principle, Steiner believed that an extract of mistletoe could cure cancer.
Test tube experiments have validated Steiner's hypothesis and there are about 1000 in vitro studies showing that mistletoe extracts indeed have anticancer properties. Presently there is an NIH funded study testing this in humans at the present time.
Depending on what you read in the mainstream literature there are different opinions about the safety of mistletoe and on its effectiveness. Treatment with mistletoe for cancer is approved in Germany and insurances there reimburse for its use. There are more than 30 different preparations of mistletoe. It is used to fight cancer but also to improve quality of life.
Bioelectric Fingerprint of Cancer Cells3
Can changing bioelectric signals halt tumor growth? Biologists at Tufts University discovered a bioelectric signal that identifies cells that are likely to become cancerous. And by altering the membrane charge can block the development of cancer! Tumor sites had a unique level of depolarized membrane voltage relative to surrounding tissue that can be recognized by their distinctive signal.
These scientists went on to show that by changing the bioelectric code and hyperpolarize tumor cells that they could suppress their abnormal growth.
Fish Oil Derivative Cures Cancer
An article published in the journal, Blood, reported that a compound from fish oil targeted and killed stem cells of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in mice. They were completely cured of CML and with no relapse with a daily injection for just one week! The compound stimulated the p53 tumor suppressor gene that regulates the response to DNA damage and maintains genetic stability. Studies may soon be done of human patients with a blast crisis; a condition that is fatal.
Managing Cancer With Lifestyle
Lifestyle is the most potent treatment we have for cancer. Exercise, weight control, and vitamin D levels may lower the risk for getting cancer and also prolong life. Increasing our "wellness buffer" is one of the best kept secrets in cancer prevention and treatment.
Rice Bran May Prevent and Treat Cancer
The December issue of Advances in Nutrition reports that rice bran has cancer preventing properties and may also work to slow the progression of colon cancer. Its activity includes slowing down cell proliferation, altering cell cycle progression, and stimulating apoptosis.
Only brown rice, not refined white rice, works. It also stimulates the development of healthy gut microflora.
Exercise Boosts Immunity Against Cancer
Exercising after completing chemotherapy boosts immunity by replacing senescent NK cells with vibrant, healthy NK cells that can fight against the progression of cancer according to an October 2012 article presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise in October of 2012. This study out of the University of Nebraska studied people who participated in a 12 week exercise program and looked at NK cell activity before and after the 12 week period.
Previous studies have repeatedly shown the exercise can decrease the chance of developing several cancers that include prostate, breast, and colon cancer. It can also improve the prognosis of people with cancer and can decrease the chance of cancer recurrence.
You would think that oncologists would be more interested in promoting lifestyle medicine than chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery because it often works better and is far less toxic.
How Oncologists Let Their Patients Down
There is a turf war between mainstream oncologists and CAM doctors that leads to an adversarial and competitive stance that is not in the patient's best interest. There is enough cancer around, but there aren't enough cures! Integrative oncology is sadly needed, but greed has gotten in the way of working together for the best interest of the patient. The September 2014 issue of Current Oncology reports that "Doctors need to understand why patients with cancer use dietary supplements in the first place." Of course, this issue goes far beyond just supplements!
What kind of doctor would you like to take care of you if you had a serious disease such as cancer that is not easy to treat? Wouldn't you want someone with a broad range of skills that might go beyond the boundaries of their conventional training? Until we have solutions that work and are safe and affordable, we need all the resources we can get. Obviously, we should be working together to give our patients the advantage of all therapeutic approaches that could have value. It is time we think of our patients above ourselves and do whatever it takes to provide the best treatments possible!
Oncologists Admit Income is Linked to Treatment
A survey of 480 oncologists published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that they get paid more when they administer and sell chemotherapy and other drugs to their patients. This has been previously shown to account for up to 65% of their income in some instances. Yet only 27% of these oncologists acknowledged this was true for their practices.
The problem with this, of course, is that there would be a temptation to overtreat with drugs that are expensive and perhaps not especially beneficial.
Stage 4 Chemotherapy Benefits Over-estimated by Patients and Doctors
Patients with advanced cancer have the mistaken belief that chemotherapy can cure their illness according to a New England Journal of Medicine article published in October of 2012. This Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study showe that 69% of advanced lung cancer and 81% of advanced colorectal cancer did not understand that chemotherapy was not at all likely to cure their cancer. The five year survival rate for stage 4 cancers is 2.3%.
Conflicts of interest created by oncologists getting what amounts to a kickback from Big Pharma for prescribing their drugs is likely part of the reason why oncologists readily prescribe chemotherapy for their patients but not so much for themselves or their family.
Managing Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
There is now a treatment for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy that is being tested in a clinical trial. The results in clinical practice have been very promising in reducing pain, numbness and improving proprioception (balance). Dr. Len recently participated in a pilot study on treating diabetic neuropathy using infrared light therapy.
A recent study published in Acupuncture in Medicine reported an 11 patient study with 6 patients who underwent 10 acupuncture treatments over 3 months and 5 control patients. The results suggest that acupuncture could be helpful in treating the pain and numbness.
We believe that all therapies that could help should be considered whether it be infrared light therapy, acupuncture, supplements, or pharmaceutical drugs.
Here at DoctorSaputo.com, we have over 300 media files that are related to Cancer and treatment options. If you would prefer to search through them yourself, without the aid of the health assessment, here is a link to get you to our content.