Complementary Integrative and Supportive Cancer Care
Most Cancer patients these days investigate alternative and complementary therapies to augment their conventional cancer treatments. A common concern among oncologists is the potential for complementary medicine to interfere with conventional therapies such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. All too often we hear references to complementary medicine being “ineffective” and “unsafe” from conventional medical resources.
Complementary medicines have been and are continuing to be extensively studied with respect to integrative oncology care. I encourage everyone who is skeptical to spend 30 minutes, and visit the National Institute of Health’s public database of medical journals and abstracts (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) Once there, perform some basic searches such as Melatonin and Cancer, Curcumin and Cancer, Mushroom Extracts and Cancer to name just a few. What you will find will surprise you.
First, you will find literally thousands of articles and research studies showing the potential benefits of these therapies with respect to oncology treatment. Also take note of what journals these studies are found in. You will find they are in gold standard, highly regarded conventional medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of Clinical Oncology to name just a few. Unfortunately many of those who discredit the value of an integrative approach to cancer treatment, have never researched or investigated the benefits of such.
Dr. Woodworth has focused his clinical practice on immune related disorders since beginning practice. In practice, he very quickly realized the critical relationship between inflammatory disorders and increased risk for cancer. Also very apparent were beneficial effects of introducing safe anti-inflammatory therapies during and after conventional cancer treatments. He completed a two year learning sabbatical working in a state of the art Cancer treatment hospital in Chicago, Illinois. This time in Chicago solidified his understanding and belief in his unique approach to integrative cancer care. He has received extensive training in the safe and effective integration of various complementary therapies with conventional cancer treatment protocols.
The primary goals for an effective Complementary Therapy program are as follows:
Review all current Nutritional Supplements and therapies for safety and effectiveness for use with Conventional Cancer treatments
Many people begin taking supplements that have been recommended from internet sites and testimonials, friends and family, and health food stores to help in their fight against cancer. Many of these products can actually inhibit or enhance the metabolism and breakdown of chemotherapy in the blood stream, potentially limiting it’s effectiveness. We are trained in drug and nutraceutical and botanical medicine interactions and are able to recommend safe products for use with your Cancer treatment protocol
Recommend therapies which can potentially improve conventional Cancer treatments effectiveness
Curcumin (Turmeric) has been shown in clinical studies to potentiate certain chemotherapies such as Fluorouracil (5-FU) and derivative such as Capecitabine. It has also been show to have potentiation effects on radiation therapy protocols. If a cancer patient receives one of these therapies, and takes a natural product which has potential to improve the products effectiveness, we could expect a better response to that therapy in that patient.
Recommend therapies to boost and improve the bodies innate Immune system function against the cancer when appropriate.
Much of the research into complementary therapies and integrated Oncology focus on this area. There are several natural products which have substantial research supporting their safe and effective use during conventional cancer treatment for supporting immune and anti-cancer function. Just as importantly, we are trained to recognize serious concerns in using these types of therapies for certain types of cancers including hematological cancers (Lymphoma, Leukemia, etc.) Nutrition and Diet assessment also plays a critical role in both immune support as well as side effect management
Complementary therapies to manage and treat side effects of conventional cancer treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation
Research provides substantial evidence for the use of natural products to help limit and treat side effects of conventional cancer treatments. Side effects of treatment are the most common cause for cessation of treatments or alteration of treatments and dosages. Better side effect management can mean people can stay on treatment longer, often at higher doses, which can ultimately improve treatment and patient outcomes, a very logical idea.
Ongoing Quality of Life and Anti-Cancer and Nutrition support following conventional cancer treatments
Once your treatment has finished and your return to your normal day to day, we provide recommendations to continue to help your body keep cancer at bay and to improve any lingering effects of your treatment such as fatigue, pain, and tissue healing.
The Internet and Cancer Care
The internet is a wonderful thing for cancer patients, and can also be a nightmare for them. There is a ton of great information and helpful material for cancer patients. Unfortunately, mixed in with all this good information is substantially more information which can be misleading, based on myths, untruths and promoted by for profit companies and organizations.
Many in the complementary fields often talk about concerns about how the pharmaceutical industry is all for profit. What we sometimes don’t realize is the nutritional supplement industry is also entirely a for profit industry. And it is an industry with significant less control and regulation over what claims can be made about their products. There are an endless number of sites promoting conspiracy based theories on how a cure for cancer exists and Big Pharma doesn’t want it to get out. And sites promoting one single complementary therapy as being the CURE for all cancer. These sites are often backed by testimonials and forums promoting the product.
Cancer patients need to approach these claims with extreme caution and discuss any they many be considering with a physician trained in complementary medicine and research supporting it’s effectiveness and safety with conventional cancer care.
Sugar feeds Cancer, so avoid it…
Cancer cells are your own bodies cells, with a mutation in the genetic coding affecting their ability to control division and natural cell death (apoptosis). Every cell in the body feeds off sugar so yes, cancer cells will too. So why shouldn’t we avoid sugar to help fight cancer? Because all of your other healthy cells in the body feed off sugar too, including your liver cells, brain cells and immune system cells. Avoiding sugar entirely is not a logical strategy to help combat cancer. Too much sugar obviously has health effects and should be avoided for treatment, but zero sugar and carbohydrate programs can have significant detrimental effects
Cancer can’t live in an Oxygenated environment…
Cancer cells have adapted to metabolism sugar and function in an anaerobic (lacking oxygen) environment so it has been postulated that hyper oxygenation based therapies are the cure for most cancers. If cancer couldn’t live in an oxygenated environment, then there would be no such thing as lung cancers, hematological (blood born) cancers or other cancers in highly oxygenated tissues and fluids in the body. Oxygenation therapies may be helpful during treatment, but should not be regarded as the cure for cancer.
The point of these examples isn’t to discredit all the information one reads on the internet. It just serves to make a point that we should all read this information with caution and discuss things we are considering with a professional who is up to date and current with medical and complementary research on the therapies and treatments they are reading about.