Saturday, November 12, 2011

Acupuncture can prevent radiation-induced chronic dry mouth, study finds

ScienceDaily (2011-11-10) -- When given alongside radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, acupuncture has shown for the first time to reduce the debilitating side effect of xerostomia, according to new research.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Did Alternative Medicine Extend or Abbreviate Steve Jobs' Life

The biomedical evidence for alternative or complementary treatments for cancer, beyond acupuncture, remains thin, although it probably didn't harm Jobs

Monday, October 31, 2011

HEALTH WITH CANCER NATURALLY by Alex Berks L. Ac: Think Different - The Medical Lesson of Steve Jobs’ Cancer

HEALTH WITH CANCER NATURALLY by Alex Berks L. Ac: Think Different - The Medical Lesson of Steve Jobs’ Cancer

Think Different - The Medical Lesson of Steve Jobs’ Cancer

Apple had a wonderful advertising campaign which featured historical footage of great figures who thought different and changed history (link here to see advert.). For all of Steve Jobs' creative genius and drive his amazing ability to “think different” didn’t seem to serve him in his own health care.  There is a lesson here for us all.  

It is reported that Jobs died from a rare, less aggressive type of pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor.  This potentially could have been treated successfully with surgery.  He opted for acupuncture, herbs, and a vegan diet for 9 months rather than surgery because, according to his biographer, he did not want to be cut open.  Even Steve Jobs later regretted his decision not to choose surgery sooner. (See Forbes Magazine:  Steve Jobs Cancer Treatment Regrets)

There is an implication in this story that acupuncture, herbs and dietary changes are bad for cancer patients, and that if Steve Jobs would have just listened to his doctor he may have been cured.  This needs to be clarified. 
Common sense is not always so common.  Choosing natural cancer treatments over toxic or highly invasive treatments has a role, but it is generally not at the beginning stages of cancer treatment, when there is curative intent.  Conventional cancer therapies may be improved with greater insight into drugs, cancer growth pathways and the ways both natural and pharmaceutical work against cancer growth.  It must be emphasized there is scientific literature on the synergistic collaboration between natural and pharmaceutical cancer therapies, not just the potential of bad herb drug interactions.  (footnote)

Had Mr. Jobs opted for surgery, the role of natural medicine could have been to get him ready for surgery, help him recover, and then analyze tumor pathology, genetic markers, lifestyle factors and his constitution to create a personalized prevention program.  Natural Medicine is not against conventional care, rather they should be in collaboration.  This is the common sense that is not so common, and the “thinking different” that is more cutting edge than mainstream oncology.   

Fear of untimely and miserable death from cancer complications is a big part of having cancer.  This   can lead patients to make emotional decisions about invasive and toxic treatments which don’t involve a lot of common sense.  An example of this was a patient who called me with invasive breast cancer.  She wanted to do natural treatments first, and then if that didn’t work, have surgery later.  I told her that she was getting the order wrong.

The knowledge needed to make decisions in this environment is benefited by understanding the literature of conventional and non-conventional cancer treatments.   Treating cancer is about the specifics of the situation.   Below are three examples of ways where oncology standards of care can be questioned, and where natural medicine works with conventional drugs in specific situations.  
  • Herceptin, a drug used for Her2 Neu over-expression: Olive oil polyphenols was found to increase the effectiveness of the drug significantly.  link here.
  • Cisplatin:  Astragalus-based herbal formulas help ameliorate toxic side effects of  without blocking effectiveness of the drug, according to the Journal of Clinical Oncology. link here
  • Tamoxifen:  Some women do not have proper activity of the CYP2D6 liver enzymes to convert Tamoxifen into its active form yet are prescribed it anyway. link here.  There are natural medicine protocols for women who won't derive benefit from Tamoxifen.  
There are other examples in which completely non-pharmaceutical approaches may be appropriate, particularly in slow growing cancers and in stage IV disease when the goal is palliation of symptoms, rather than cure. 
I do not blame Steve Jobs’ acupuncturist for leading him astray down a natural medicine path that would eventually kill him.  I am confident that Mr. Jobs had a unique and willful personality that he brought to his personal care in the same way he brought his ability to “Think different" to his career.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Cancer Prevention

In mid June, 2011 I had a partial lobectomy which has been challenging to recover from.  Video assisted Thoracic surgery (VATS) is referred to as minimally invasive surgery. I call it "laparascopy for the lungs".  It was only minimally invasive on the outside and for my doctors.  On the inside; way more complicated.

I am left with a lingering cough which I am told will go away.  I am also told that as this surgery heals I will not feel the diminished lung capacity except at the high end of aerobic exercise.  That is not my main worry. 

Having had two major surgeries chemotherapy and radiation in a year changed me.  Frankly, I am much clearer emotionally about fear and death.  (Dying slowly is a problem dying quickly is not).  My quality of life remains excellent although I have been shy about exercising much and tend to rest more in the afternoon. 

The really exciting stuff is the anti-cancer plan that I have undertaken.  This is a grey area of mainstream medicine.  Taking a wait and see approach with frequent scans is not good enough for me. I would much rather avoid the life-saving heroics of event management (chemo. radiation, surgery).  Prevention is way more murky.  You only know for sure it is working when something doesn't happen.  However, it is not all shooting in the dark.  There are plenty of blood tests (not the standard tumor markers), that give ideas about the underlying cancer promoting terrain.  There is also the lens of genetic profiling of the tumor to see what the tumor is under or over expressing to promote its growth so that can be targeted.  This was part of my reasoning for doing surgery versus radiation for the lung nodules.  It is also the way herbs can collaborate with drugs to have a more broad cancer targeting strategy than uni-targeted pharmacologic agents.

Currently I am without any sign of disease (NED).  I also have a statistical 50-50 percentage risk of the disease returning.  This is a motivating factor to understand what real prevention can look look.  Currently I am on three drugs.  Celebrex for its effect on cancer, tetra thio molybdate to chelate copper and soon I will be on the MTOR inhibiting drug Rapamycin (Sirolimus) at half strength with grapefruit juice.  Grapefruit juice makes many drugs toxic because it slows down their processing through the CYP3A4 enzyme pathway.  However, if you lower the dose of the drug than this problem is avoided.  At the very least it is a way to save money by getting more "miles per gallon" of the drug. 

I am also taking a pile of targeted supplements to work on my overall vitality and the underlying terrain of how the cancer may grow.  This is part is about correcting what is out of balance and about optimizing aspects of cancer fighting immune function and fortfying adaptive reserves.  For a small part of what I am taking see my recent post on curcumin.  

It is worthy to note, there are  financial issues with prevention.  Chemo. radiation, surgery are pricey but covered by insurance.  Taking a few drugs at half strength, including one that is not patentable and is only purchased from a compounding pharmacy is not enough money to keep a hospital running or interest big pharma to generate the big research dollars.  Yet there are still plenty of effective anti-cancer strategies that fall out of that expensive comb.  They are just not so well known.  There is also a lot out there taking advantage of desperate people.  I have found the experts that really know this stuff and I am being treated and trained by them.  As you can imagine I have a passion and close personal interest in this field.  Donnie Yance founder writes about it this way:
Collaborative Oncology: An Introduction to the Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS), a Clinical Holistic Approach to Cancer Care Utilizing Botanical and Nutritional Medicine as Targeted Therapies.  This approach presents a multi-lens investigation, which examines the patient‟s constitutional energetics, endogenous and exogenous factors, and specific biomarkers from blood, pathology and tissue testing. This information is used to strategically design protocols to alter the individual‟s biological terrain, including gene behavior and expression, so that it is conducive to health and vitality while actively suppressing disease

He goes on to say:

The Eclectic Triphasic Medical System (ETMS) is an innovative system by which healthcare practitioners implement more effective, comprehensive treatment plans fortheir patients with chronic illness or cancer.  The beauty of the ETMS is that it provides a framework for supporting the patient using the fullest degree of botanical, nutritional, and biomedical principles. Without overlooking the human being‟s constitution and environmental influences—or their unique manifestation of disease—the ETMS aims for balance and harmony in executing optimal care. It was designed as a way to employ the oldest healing principles in conjunction with the most cutting-edge science in both assessment and treatment. This approach inherently relies upon the broadest assessment tools on behalf of patients‟“whole” health, and accordingly applies the most appropriate therapeutics.

Strategies I am employing include:  chelating copper.  This is an unpatentable anti-angiogenic strategy.  Another one is chelating stored iron.  Cancer cells sequester iron far more than normal cells.  Yet another is herbal strategies to prevent cancer from Chinese Medicine and support various aspects of the cancer fighting immune system.  One important approach to prevention is not just to fight cancer but to get healthier.  It does sound obvious.  The flashy and exciting part of prevention may be the genetic testing and then applying a combination of drugs and natural treatment strategies to the findings, but the bread and butter of  regulating digestion, improving blood sugar control, getting enough sleep, staying calm and modifying excesses in the diet to improve overall wellness are also important.

I am doing all that I can to ensure a long and healthy life.  In the meantime the road is clear If you know of people that need help with cancer prevention or side effects of treatment have them contact me. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Of The Most Researched Herbs - Curcumin

Curcumin is one of the most important well-researched cancer fighting herbs known.  It is a spice (think curry) and in its extract form a dye.  Plants with remarkable colors generally have potent medicinal properties.  Curcumin is an extract of Tumeric.  For health promotion and disease management it is best to have the highest potency curcumin extract.

A search of Medline reveals more than 1,500 studies describing the various activities of turmeric/curcumin.  What is it about curcumin that has so many scientists excited? The starting point is inflammation  but it is a whole lot more than that.  Inflammation is known to play a major role in the development of most diseases including: Cardiovascular diseases, Cancer, Pulmonary diseases, Neurological diseases (including Alzheimers), Autoimmune diseases, Arthritis and Diabetes.

Curcumin for a cancer patient is safe to take, acts as a chemotherapy and radio sensitizer while protecting normal cells.   It has multiple targets to down-regulate cancer growth pathways across multiple cancer types.  Cucumin has been found to suppress, retard, and even reverse cancer development at each stage of the disease. 

I recommend high potency extracts of curcumin in formulas as part of my base program for nearly all patients with cancer.   Curcumin needs to be taken with a little fat to help it absorb.  It can cause gas and intestinal upset at high doses. 

The following chart shows all the cancer targets that are up and down-regulated by curcumin.  If you think about drugs having usually 1 sometimes a few cancer targets, curcumin looks amazing for its 80 anti-cancer targets.   Curcumin (and herbs in general) are for me a part of the personalization of cancer treatment.   Finding in a particular tumor what is under or over-expressed and using herbs alone or in concert with drugs to treat cancer in a collaborative and intelligent manner.

I found the link to this chart in a 76 page paper called Curcumin: Indian Solid Gold

Bharrat Aggarawal is the prolific and innovative superstar in curcumin research.  Read an interview with him here.

For me Curcumin is part of what gives hope to treat and manage cancer.  Don't leave home without it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Study confirms safety, cancer-targeting ability of nutrient in broccoli

Sulforaphane, a primary phytochemical found in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, is an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, or HDAC enzymes. HDAC inhibition is an emerging field of cancer treatment and represents a promising pharmaceutical and dietary approach. Emily Ho, from Oregon State Un (Oregon, USA), and colleagues have investigated the effects of sulforaphane in normal, benign hyperplasia, and cancerous prostate epithelial cells. The team observed that 15 micromoles of sulforaphane caused cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in benign hyperplasia and cancerous prostate epithelial cells; and did not affect normal cells whatsoever.  Sulforaphane also selectively decreased HDAC enzyme activity.  The researchers conclude that: “[Sulforaphane] exerts differential effects on cell proliferation, HDAC activity and downstream targets in normal and cancer cells.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How Chronic Stress Reprograms Immune Cells to Facilitate Cancer Progression

( - Chronic stress acts as a sort of fertilizer that feeds breast cancer progression, significantly accelerating the spread of disease in animal models, researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found.

Researchers discovered that stress is biologically reprogramming the immune cells that are trying to fight the cancer, transforming them instead from soldiers protecting the body against disease into aiders and abettors. The study found a 30-fold increase in cancer spread throughout the bodies of stressed mice compared to those that were not stressed.

It’s long been thought that stress fuels cancer growth in humans. This study provides a model that not only demonstrates that stress can speed up cancer progression, but also details the pathway used to change the biology of immune cells that inadvertently promote the spread of cancer to distant organs, where it is much harder to treat.

The study appears in the Sept. 15, 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Research.

“What we showed for the first time is that chronic stress causes cancer cells to escape from the primary tumor and colonize distant organs,” said Erica Sloan, a Jonsson Cancer Center scientist, first author of the study and a researcher with the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. “We not only showed that this happens, but we showed how stress talks to the tumor and helps it to spread.”

In addition to documenting the effects of stress on cancer metastasis, the researchers were also able to block those effects by treating stressed animals with drugs that block the nervous system’s reprogramming of the metastasis-promoting immune cells, called macrophages.

Beta blockers, used in this study to shut down the stress pathways in the mice, are currently being examined in several large breast cancer databases for their role in potential prevention of recurrence and cancer spread, said Dr. Patricia Ganz, director of cancer prevention and control research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. If preliminary findings indicate benefit, early phase clinical trials are being considered at the Jonsson Cancer Center testing beta blockers as a means of preventing breast cancer recurrence. Other healthy lifestyle behaviors may also influence the biological pathways described in the study, such as exercise and stress reduction techniques.

“We’re going to be focusing on younger women, because they may have a multitude of things weighing on them when they’re diagnosed with breast cancer. Younger women have more significant life demands and typically are under more stress,” Ganz said.

Ganz said her proposed research will focus on “host factors,” or things affecting the patient, that may be aiding the cancer progression and could help explain why a group of patients with the same type and stage of disease have varying rates of recurrence and cancer spread.

“This study provides evidence for a biological relationship between stress and cancer progression and identifies targets for intervention in the host environment,” Ganz said. “Because of this study, we may be able to say to a patient in the future that if you follow this exercise regimen, meditative practice or take this pill every day it will help prevent recurrence of your cancer. We can now test these potential interventions in the animal model and move those that are effective into the clinic.”

In Sloan’s study, mice with breast cancer were divided into two groups. One group of mice was confined in a small area for a short period of time every day for two weeks, while the other group was not. The breast cancer cells were genetically engineered to include the luciferase gene, which is the molecule that makes a firefly glow. The growth and spread of the cancer in the mice was monitored using sensitive cameras that can pick up the luciferase signal and allowed Sloan and her team to observe both the development of primary tumors and the spread of metastases throughout the body, said Steven Cole, an associate professor of hematology/oncology, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and senior author of the study.

What was interesting, Cole said, was that the primary tumors did not seem to be affected by stress and grew similarly in both groups of mice. However, the stressed animals showed significantly more metastases throughout the body than did the control group. The cancer, in effect, acted differently in the stressed mice.

“This study is not saying that stress causes cancer, but it does show that stress can help support cancer once it has developed,” Cole said. “Stress helps the cancer climb over the fence and get out into the big, wide world of the rest of the body.”

Cole said Sloan detailed the biology of the stress-induced changes in the cancer cells along every step of the pathway, providing a road map by which stress promotes cancer metastasis. Additionally, she proved that using beta blockers in stressed mice prevented the same cancer progression seen in the stressed mice that did not receive medication.

When cancer occurs, the immune system sends out macrophages to try to repair the tissue damage caused by uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. The macrophages, in an attempt to help, turn on inflammation genes that are part of the normal immune response to injury. However, the cancer cells feed on the growth factors involved in a normal immune response. Blood vessels that are grown to aid healing instead feed the cancer the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow and spread, and the extra cellular matrix, which provides structural support for normal cells, is attacked during the immune response, In Sloan’s study, mice with breast cancer were divided into two groups. One group of mice was confined in a small area for a short period of time every day for two weeks, while the other group was not. helping the cancer cells escape from the primary tumor and spread to distant parts of the body.

“Many of the genes that promote cancer metastasis get turned on during the immune response by macrophages,” Cole said. “This study shows that stress signaling from the sympathetic nervous system enhances the recruitment of macrophages into the primary tumor, and increases their expression of immune response genes that inadvertently facilitate the escape of cancer cells into other parts of the body.”

Sloan showed that the beta blockers prevented the macrophages from hearing the signals sent by the sympathetic nervous system, and stopped them from infiltrating the tumor and encouraging cancer spread.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the Jonsson Cancer Center.

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2010, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named among the top 10 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for 10 of the last 11 years. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC): good for some things but dangerous with cancer.

High grade soft tissue sarcomas in one study exhibit high levels of glutathione, especially after Doxirubicin therapy.  This is my situation exactly.  Link to the study here

The article below comes from Jacob Schor a Naturopath specializing in cancer.  

NAC is the precursor to a chemical called glutathione.  Oral NAC is rapidly taken up by the body and quickly converted to glutathione.

Glutathione is the primary antioxidant within all of our cells.  It protects our cells from oxidative damage.  This is a good thing in healthy cells; we prefer that they are not damaged.  But in cancer cells we prefer the opposite.  We want cancer cells to be extra vulnerable to damage.  Cancer cells generate oxidative chemicals referred to in total as reactive oxygen species (ROS) in an attempt to destroy themselves.  Glutathione acts as a brake and prevents them from self-destruction or to use the scientific term, apoptosis. 

Raising glutathione stops cancer cell death. 
Most cancer therapies work to kill cancer cells by increasing the levels of reactive oxygen species within the cancer cells.  This includes radiation therapy, most chemotherapies and most natural therapies. 

Providing cancer cells with NAC, because it will increase glutathione, protects the cancer cells and prevents them from dying. 

We often see NAC being used in studies investigating the mechanisms of how anticancer agents work; they use NAC in a simple trick to see if the drugs are killing cancer cells through the common mechanism of increasing reactive oxygen species.  If adding NAC stops the action of the anticancer agent, than it is assumed it was acting through oxidative action.  Let me find a recent example.

In April 2010, Korean researchers reported on the action of NAC in combination with a proteosome inhibiting chemotherapy drug known as MG132.

 First they showed that MG132 increased the amounts of ROS in lung cancer cells and as expected, the drug slowed the rate of growth of the cancer cells. Then they treated the cancer cells with NAC.  The drug no longer slowed growth rates.  
The procedures followed in this study were not novel. They are routine when evaluating chemotherapy drugs.  First, measure how well the drug works against tumor cells and then measure whether NAC stops the effect.  This tells the scientists to what degree the drug’s action is via reactive oxygen species generation and whether other anti-cancer mechanisms are involved.

It’s not just the medical treatments that NAC will potentially interfere with.  A paper from December 2010 tells us that NAC ‘blocked the antiproliferative’ effect of curcumin, that is stopped it from hindering the growth of cancer cells. 

For the whole story click on the title to follow the link.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

'I'm a tumor and I'm over here!' Nanovaults used to prod immune system to fight cancer

UCLA scientists have discovered a way to "wake up" the immune system to fight cancer by delivering an immune system–stimulating protein in a nanoscale container called a vault directly into lung cancer tumors. The new method harnesses the body's natural defenses to fight disease growth.
The vaults, barrel-shaped nanoscale capsules found in the cytoplasm of all mammalian cells, were engineered to slowly release a protein — the chemokine CCL21 — into tumors. Pre-clinical studies in mice with lung cancer showed that the protein stimulated the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells, potently inhibiting cancer growth, according to the study's co-senior author Leonard Rome, a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA.
"Researchers have been working for many years to develop effective immune therapies to treat cancer, with limited success," said Rome, who has been studying vaults for decades. "In lung tumors, the immune system is down-regulated, and what we wanted to do was wake it up, find a way to have the cancer say to the immune system, 'Hey, I'm a tumor and I'm over here. Come get me.' "
The study appears in the May 3 issue of PLoS One, a peer-reviewed journal of the Public Library of Science.
Waking up the immune system
The new vault delivery system, which Rome characterized as "just a dream" three years ago, is based on a 10-year, ongoing research effort focused on using a patient's white blood cells to create dendritic cells, which are immune system cells that process antigen material and present it on their surface to other immune cells known as T cells, stimulating a response. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Interview With Alternative Cancer Doctor Nicholas Gonzalez

This is an interview of noted cancer specialist Nicholas Gonzalez by Joseph Mercola.  Dr. Gonzalez uses a system of metabolic typing diets, juicing, coffee enemas to detox colon and liver and very high doses of pancreatic enzymes.  The history of the development of this story is fascinating.  

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Alternative cancer treatments are a kind of "forbidden area" in medicine, but Dr. Gonzalez chose to go that route anyway, and has some remarkable success stories to show for his pioneering work.
He didn't set out to treat cancer at first however, let alone treat patients. His original plan was to be a basic science researcher at Sloan-Kettering; a teaching hospital for Cornell Medical College. He had a chance meeting with William Kelley, a controversial dentist who was one of the founders of nutritional typing. Dr. Kelley had been practicing alternative- and nutritional approaches for over two decades at the time, led him to begin a student project investigation of Kelley's work, in the summer of 1981.
"I started going through his records and even though I was just a second year medical student, I could see right away there were cases that were extraordinary," he says. "Patients with appropriately diagnosed pancreatic cancer, metastatic breast cancer in the bone, metastatic colorectal cancer… who were alive 5, 10, 15 years later under Kelley's care with a nutritional approach."
This preliminary review led to a formal research study, which Dr. Gonzalez completed while doing his fellowship in cancer, immunology and bone marrow transplantation.

The "Impossible" Recoveries of Dr. Kelley's Cancer Patients

After going through thousands of Kelley's records, Dr. Gonzalez put together a monograph, divided into three sections:
  1. Kelley’s theory
  2. 50 cases of appropriately-diagnosed lethal cancer patients still alive five to 15 years after diagnosis, whose long-term survival was attributed to Kelley’s program
  3. Patients Kelley had treated with pancreatic cancer between the years 1974 and 1982
According to Dr. Good, the president of Sloan-Kettering who had become Gonzalez' mentor, if Kelley could produce even one patient with appropriately diagnosed pancreatic cancer who was alive 5-10 years later, it would be remarkable. They ultimately tracked down 22 of Kelley's cases. Ten of them met him once and didn't do the program after being dissuaded by family members or doctors who thought Kelley was a quack.
The average survival for that group was about 60 days.
A second group of seven patients who did the therapy partially and incompletely (again, dissuaded by well-intentioned but misguided family members or doctors), had an average survival of 300 days.
The third group consisting of five patients, who were appropriately diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer and who completed the full program, had an average survival of eight and a half years! In Dr. Gonzalez' words, this was "just unheard of in medicine."
One of those patients included a woman diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic with stage four pancreatic cancer who had been given six months to live. She'd learned about Kelley's program through a local health food store. She completed his treatment and is still alive today, 29 years later.

Total Video Length: 1:42:22
Download Interview Transcript

In looking around the internet I found a clinic that gives a basic rundown of what Dr. Gonzalez is doing.

Dr. Kelley's original book is online here


Monday, April 11, 2011

Meats Not To Eat

You might have missed the media headlines last month which extolled hotdogs as better for you than chicken. If you click on the Time Magazine link above you can get a taste of this nonsense. This is a perfect example of how taking too narrow-minded a view can lead you astray from the truth about what's healthy and what's not.
Here, the researchers measured several different types of meats for levels of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and because hot dogs and pepperoni happened to have lower levels of HCAs than rotisserie chicken, MSNBC leapt to the conclusion that these processed meats are better for you because they're "relatively free of carcinogenic compounds."
WRONG! They're just relatively lower in ONE type of carcinogenic compound! But hot dogs and other processed meats contain OTHER compounds that put them squarely on the list of foods to avoid or eliminate entirely...

Friday, April 08, 2011

Researchers Create Better Ways to Spot Cancer Cells

Cancer can be notoriously difficult to spot, so scientists are working to develop new techniques to better detect tumors in the body. Such tools could potentially identify cancer cells more reliably and earlier than currently available methods, such as mammography, biopsies and magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. Improved detection methods could help speed up treatment decisions and monitor whether a therapy is working.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Root Cause of Cancer Almost Universally Ignored by Doctors...

In 1971 President Nixon and Congress declared war on cancer. So what's happened in the 40 years since? After weeding out the hype and filling in the actual statistics, it turns out, not much.
"These summary statistics show that the war on cancer has not gone well," says the article's author, Reynold Spector. "This is in marked contrast to death rates from stroke and cardiovascular disease (adjusted for the age and size of the population), which have fallen by 74 percent and 64 percent, respectively, from 1950 through 2006; and by 60 percent and 52 percent, respectively, from 1975 through 2006 (Kolata 2009a).
Cancer therapy is clearly decades behind."
Further down the article.  Dr. Mercola writes:  

Getting to the Root of the Problem

I strongly believe the cancer rates are escalating because they are in no way shape or form addressing the underlying cause of most cancers. Instead, most of the research is directed towards expensive drugs that target late stages of the disease and greatly enrich the drug companies but simply do not prevent cancer.
If ever there was an area in which an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure it is cancer. I strongly believe that if you are able to work your way up to the advanced health plan, that you will virtually eliminate the risk of most cancers.
Environmental- and lifestyle factors are increasingly being pinpointed as the primary culprits fueling our cancer epidemic.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Association of Integrative Oncology and Chinese Medicine

I and colleagues from many parts of the world are interested in creating a Society of Chinese Medicine practitioners interested in Integrative Oncology.  The endeavor to bring this Society to life is about creating community, and organizing standards and competencies and then teaching to those standards. 

For more information about the AIOCM click here

Mechanism for Link Between High Fat Diet and Risk of Prostate Cancer and Disorders Unveiled

ScienceDaily (July 16, 2010) — Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men with an estimated 192,280 new cases diagnosed in the US in 2009. Diet is considered one of the most important controllable risk factors for inflammation and prostate diseases including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and prostate cancer.
Sanjay Gupta, MS, PhD, Carter Kissell associate professor & research director in the Department of Urology and associate professor in the Department of Nutrition in the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and his team of post-doctoral fellows have focused on understanding the mechanisms of the deleterious effects of a high fat diet on the prostate. Previously, Dr. Gupta's team demonstrated that nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), a protein complex that controls DNA transcription which is activated as a result of inflammation and stress, is constitutively activate in human prostate adenocarcinoma and is related to tumor progression (Shukla S et al, Neoplasia, 2004).
In a new study published in the journal The Prostate, Dr. Gupta and his team demonstrate that a high fat diet results in activation of NF-κB in the abdominal cavity, thymus, spleen, and prostate. Non-obese NF-κB reporter mice were fed a high fat diet for four, eight, and 12 weeks. Compared with mice fed a regular diet, the high fat diet group had significant increases in prostate weight, and in the prostate expression of markers of oxidative stress (such as NADPH), and inflammation (such as the downstream targets of NF-κB: nitric oxide synthase, and cyclooxygenase [COX-2]) were increased. These studies provide direct evidence that a high fat diet causes proliferation, inflammation, and oxidative stress that can lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, and cancer of the prostate, some of the most common disorders affecting adult men.
"Our studies provide evidence that a high-fat diet increases the activation of NF-κB along with elevated levels of NADPH oxidase components which might lead to intraprostatic inflammation. This study strengthens the link between a high-fat diet -- typical of "Western style" high fat diet -- as a potential cause of prostatic diseases including BPG and prostate cancer," said Dr. Gupta.
This work was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Sullivan Foundation for the Study of Prostatitis.

Alex's note:  There are plenty of natural products to control NF-κB