Sam made an appointment at my clinic. When he came in, his first words were – I have cancer, and you have been nominated to assist me. It was a good start, and indeed it was a good positive start to the interview, but he did not disclose who recommended me? Sam was 79 years old and had a history of having cancer removed from the large bowel. He had chemotherapy and radiation, but unfortunately, the chemotherapy caused some eye damage and also caused some slowing of his mental agility. Although he was semi-retired, he was an inventor and had invented and patented some industrial machinery, so his faculties were of great importance to him. After his visit, he had scans that showed that cancer had migrated to his Liver and that more chemotherapy was required. According to him, other scans revealed secondary cancers on top of the kidneys and outside of the stomach. Sam said he felt exhausted and sick of all the chemotherapy and was not looking for anymore, but he was under pressure from his family to comply.
His Pharmaceutical medicines included: cholesterol meds, two different types of Antihypertensives ( due to the previous coronary bypass operation ), a drug for his prostate enlargement, a mini aspirin and a proton pump inhibitor ( gastric reflux medicine ) which he had been on for 20 years.
At no stage of his interaction with Doctors was diet or exercise, or lifestyle mentioned. His diet was not good – processed cereal and a cup of tea for breakfast, tuna and cheese for lunch and spaghetti bolognaise for dinner—no fruit or very few vegetables daily. Sam had a minimal idea of health and admitted he was more interested in his property investments. He said he had been on a seafood diet -see food and eat it!
We discussed his lifestyle and eating habits and some of his meds, which put a lot of stress on the liver. The Proton pump inhibitor was a big concern as its use has been linked to an increased risk of bowel and other cancers. PPIs also have a whole range of effects leading to sub-clinical malnutrition as they impair nutrient absorption.
Sam was also advised on meditation and Mindfulness and what supplements to take: not with the expectation of “curing “ his cancer but of life extension. In particular, I mentioned that it would be good for him to take Ribraxx, a mushroom derived immunostimulant used in Japan with some success in Hospital settings.
Sam followed some of my advice as best he could but did not get off the proton pump inhibitors as they caused a massive rebound and flare-up of his reflux and gastric pain. He cut down some of his other meds with his doctor’s permission but still had to take a few. He did attempt to make his diet a bit more nutritious and started walking daily. He could not get into meditation for some reason, even though he had time on his hands being semi-retired. His family pressured him to have more chemo, and indeed, a visit to his specialist said without Chemo, he may only have 12 months to live. He decided to have Chemo, although he was reluctant to do so, and also decided to take massive doses of Ribraxx and other supplements at the same time to see what would happen.
Fresh Scans this time is taken before chemo showed the presence of cancer in the liver. Chemotherapy was commenced. After three months of rest from having the round of chemotherapy, new scans were ordered. They found that cancer had receded about 20%. Another round of Chemo was initiated, and Sam still kept on his supplements and Ribraxx. Another three months of rest before another round of chemo to be scheduled. New scans showed a small area of cancer, and that cancer had receded a bit more. The specialist said this was a minor remission and but was very pleased with this result. Sam decided not to have more chemotherapy but keep on with the supplements. He will have scans when required to monitor the situation.
So what lessons do we learn from this scenario-
- Chemotherapy combined with the right supplements can be a good combination if correctly implemented. Chemotherapy can shrink cancer while the supplements boost the immune system and work synergistically with chemotherapy to facilitate better outcomes. Good supplementation will reduce the side effects of the chemo and make it more effective.
- If taken long term, certain medications can increase the risk of developing cancer, especially the Proton Pump Inhibitors and prolong recovery time due to malnutrition factors.
- A good diet is essential for maintaining good health, especially if one has cancer and undergoing Chemotherapy, and assists in maintaining daily energy. The correct diet is crucial as some diets may help to shrink cancer while others may promote it.
- Get a variety of opinions and especially on how to support one’s health naturally. If Sam had just believed his Family and Oncologist, he might not have been here today. Sam trusted his instinct. As an inventor, he was used to thinking laterally. Reading evidence-based research on natural medicine helped him determine the benefits of strategies to boost the immune system. If one can implement a few health strategies, there is a definite possibility of extension and quality of life.
For further information, please get in touch with http://ww.adelaidenaturopath.net.au for further discussion.
Peter Farnsworth N.D