Integrative (i.e., Alternative, Complementary, and Supportive) Cancer Therapies

By Mila McManus MD

Photo courtesy Medical News Today

According to cancer.gov website, 38.4% of us will have a cancer diagnosis at some point in our lives.  That’s at least 1 out of every 3 people.  We should all be afraid.  When I hear the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the disease I always think about first is cancer.  If you do get (or have) a diagnosis of cancer, you should know that there are a lot of alternative and integrative/complementary therapies to consider exploring.

Some of what I’m presenting in this article are therapies I have had some experience with and/or offer at our facility, while others I’ve learned from colleagues, research, conferences, and patients. I make NO claims about the effectiveness of any of these therapies, and this list is, by no means, exhaustive. Furthermore, you can assume that most, if not all, of the items listed below are not formally FDA-approved. Also, I want to point out that “unproven” is not synonymous with “ineffective.”  Medical school focuses heavily of teaching us how to manage diseases with FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs. We aren’t trained on using nutrition, for example, to manage disease or treat illness.  Training us to use diet, vitamins, and other natural substances is a conflict of interest to Big Pharma’s bottom line.

When I discuss options with patients diagnosed with cancer, I never encourage them to choose conventional vs. alternative therapies. I only want to make sure the patients know what’s available, and I will support my patients’ decisions whichever treatments they choose.  Most of the time, my patients will choose some form of conventional treatments–surgery, chemo, and/or radiation, and I want to support their healing and mitigate their side effects using complementary therapies.

  • Mega doses of intravenous vitamin C
    • In 2019, I attended the IV C Academy at the Riordan Clinic in Kansas.  Dr. Hugh Riordan received a patent in 1997 for the treatment of cancer with IV Vitamin C.  You can read more about the benefits of mega dose vitamin C here.
    • To learn more about how vitamin C fights other diseases, I highly recommend Dr. Thomas Levy’s book Curing the Incurable.
  • Essiac tea is a blend of herbs that supports detoxification pathways and supports immune function.
  • Fucoidan is a component of seaweed that has been demonstrated to show the potential for anti-cancer effects, immune modulation, inflammation control, cardiovascular support, and stem cell activation.
  • Protocel is a non-toxic liquid formula that interferes with the metabolism (energy production) and cell membrane integrity of cancer cells, without harming normal, non-cancerous cells in the body.
  • Ketogenic diet (very low carb diet) is thought to help treat cancer because cancer uses glucose for energy rather than oxygen. Drastically reducing glucose availability in the body, therefore, should ‘starve’ the cancer cells to death.  Dr. Mercola wrote a great article about this in 2013 and you can read it here.
  • ONDAMED (biofeedback with PEMF) is an energy medicine device. It applies frequencies (‘signals’) to the body that jump start healing processes.
  • Emotional healing (is a necessary part of healing from any chronic disease)
    • Various forms of talk therapy
    • Tai chi, prayer, meditation, yoga
  • CBD/Hemp oil
  • InfraRed Sauna
  • Ozone therapy
  • Exercise -many studies show that an exercise program may help cancer patients live longer and have a better quality of life.
  • Essential Oils –in particular, frankincense, peppermint, and lavender for possible cancer benefit
  • CC cream -I very recently learned about this from a colleague. Information on this website is quite intriguing.
  • Melatonin -This is a link to a one-hour video presentation by Dr. Shallenberger discussing all the many ways that melatonin fights cancer.
  • Therapeutic Peptides –particularly thymosin alpha-1 (known as “Immune” in the article to which this link takes you)
  • Low dose naltrexone (aka LDN)
  • RGCC lab in Greece:

RGCC lab offers cutting edge testing and integrative therapies for all types of cancer. RGCC has facilities globally and I attended their conference in 2019 and was very impressed with what I learned.

Testing that they offer includes a vast blood panel that detects the number of circulating tumor cells, and also tests the cancer cells for sensitivity/resistance to natural substances (e.g. turmeric, vitamin C) as well as to conventional chemotherapeutic agents.

Simply having a clear scan and normal tumor markers does NOT mean you don’t have cancer stem cells in your body waiting to wreak havoc.  Besides using these tests for monitoring a known cancer, these tests can be used to also screen for cancer.

Once the cancer cells are isolated from a person’s blood, the lab can make cancer vaccines and a therapy called SOT (supportive oligonucleotide therapy).

  • Cancer vaccine, aka ATA (autologous tumor antigen)-Antigens are what the body’s immune cells use to determine what cells should be attacked and which cells should be left alone.  Specific antigens are found on the cancer cells in the patient’s blood, then given back to the patient intravenously or subcutaneously (under the skin).  This stimulates the immune system to attack the specific cancer cells in the body without harming the body’s normal cells.  This is administered over 9 weeks.  It’s given once a week for 3 weeks, then off for 3 weeks, and then once a week for another 3 weeks.  The protocol can be repeated, if needed, 3 months after the last injection.
  • SOT-this treatment effectively silences the genes within cancer cells that are allowing the cancer cells to live. Your chromosomes contain genes which are strings of nucleotides.  These nucleotides are ‘read’ by RNA.  The RNA is then translated into proteins and this is how genes are expressed.  SOT is called ‘anti-sense’ which means it creates a string of nucleotides which bind to the RNA, rendering it ineffective, and therefore it cannot be translated into proteins. This will cause cell death (aka apoptosis) of circulating tumor cells and cancer stem cells in primary and metastatic tumors.  There are some restrictions for using this treatment because it causes massive tumor cell destruction which can cause a potentially life-threatening condition called “tumor lysis syndrome.”  So if someone has wide spread cancer, or a large tumor burden in highly vascular areas such as liver or lungs, that person may not be a candidate for SOT until the tumor burden can be reduced by, e.g., the vaccine treatment, other alternative therapies, or conventional chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation.  SOT is administered intravenously as a one-time dose, every 4 to 6 months.  The SOT remains active in the body for 24-28 weeks. Maximum dose is 3 full doses (or 6 half doses) for every 12 months.  Even if a patient is unable to get his or her cancer cell count to zero, SOT can be used for years to control cancer.
  • Other nutrients, herbs, and options to explore include mistletoe, turmeric, vitamin D, hyperbaric oxygen, acupuncture, quercetin, and proteolytic enzymes.  (and the list goes on…)

In my opinion, if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to have an Oncologist as well as a Functional Medicine Specialist to partner with on your journey. As you can see, there is a lot of information out there and it can be time consuming, confusing, and overwhelming. Furthermore, nothing is going to help 100% of people 100% of the time. If you’d like more information, call our office (281-298-6742) to schedule an appointment. Also, on Thursday, February 20th, 2020 from 5:30-6:30pm, we’ll be hosting our monthly Happy Hour, Wellness Style, where I’ll be discussing some of the above information. RSVP@TWIHW.com

References:

Cancer.gov

RGCC lab

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-treatment/art-20047246

The Metabolic Approach to Cancer by Dr. Nasha Winters

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer by Dr. John Lee.

Knockout by Suzanne Somers

By |2020-02-12T05:55:42-06:00February 3rd, 2020|Articles, General, Recommended Reading|
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