VIDEO: How to Use Naturopathic Therapies to Complement Conventional Cancer Treatments
Breast cancer treatment is often thought to consist of chemotherapy, radiation treatment or surgery – or a combination of these. Rarely are people aware of and fully educated about the various stages of breast cancer and the treatment options and alternative therapies that exist for each.
In this post, we outline the stages and respective treatments and feature recent case studies to highlight how patients have used alternative therapies to treat their breast cancer, whether as a complement to conventional therapies or as an alternative.
The common concern about traditional therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery is that the side effects can be severe.
Natural and alternative treatments are highly desirable for those who wish to avoid the standard cancer treatments and their notorious side effects or wish to complement and reduce their side effects.
Alternative Medicine and Natural Breast Cancer Treatments in Canada
Regardless of the stage of breast cancer, a patient can benefit from working with a naturopathic doctor that focuses on cancer treatments.
There are five stages of breast cancer, though some have more than one variable regarding cancer growth and/or movement. The severity of the cancer is determined by various factors, including:
- Stage (0-4), meaning how big is the tumour and how far has it moved?
- Grade of the tumour, meaning how much is the tumour like a regular cell?
- The hormonal status of the tumour, meaning are there receptors for estrogen and progesterone on the tumours?
- The HER2 status which indicates if the HER2 protein is present and whether Herceptin immunotherapy will work.
While each patient’s treatment is unique to their situation and desired line of treatment, below are some common naturopathic therapies:
- Cancer diet planning
- Mistletoe therapy
- Heavy metal testing*
- Proper detoxification
- The use of supplements for specific cancer treatment
- Pre and post-surgery protocols with the use of naturopathic IV therapies and Oncotherm hyperthermia to prevent cancer spread after surgery
- Oncotherm hyperthermia
- Naturopathic IV therapy
- IVYGene Testing for the presence of cancer after surgery*
- Circulatory tumour cell (CTC), and genetic testing to determine the likelihood of the spread of cancer and genetic mutations*
- These tests are only performed by select naturopathic doctors.
IMPORTANT: that dealing with cancer is not a DIY project, and it is very important to see the professional opinions of naturopathic doctors with specific expertise in dealing with cancer.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer
Stage 1 is considered an early stage of breast cancer. It is when cancer is evident but contained to only the area where the first abnormal cells began to develop. This stage is divided into two parts: 1A and 1B.
Stage 1A breast cancer is when the tumour is 2 centimetres or smaller and has not spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage 1B is when lymph nodes have evident cancer with clusters of cells that range from 0.2 millimetres to 2 millimetres. In each level of this stage, no tumour is found in the breast.
Chemotherapy is not always used and we have had great success using naturopathic medicine alone to prevent the advancement and movement of stage 1 breast cancer.
With standard cancer care, it is common for patients to undergo surgery and radiation, or a combination of the two, however, we offer other treatment approaches with much fewer side effects.
To highlight the unique nature of each patient’s treatment plans and experiences, we’ve shared several case studies based on real patients, though their names identifying qualities have been changed to maintain their privacy.
Stage 1 Breast Cancer: Case Study
Mary was happily married for more than 50 years and was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer at 72 years old. She followed her doctor’s recommendations to undergo a full mastectomy and reconstruction surgery after the diagnosis, however, she sought a second opinion for treatment.
Mary was happy to learn that chemotherapy was not her only treatment option. Catching the diagnosis early and being proactive with alternative therapies, she was able to forego chemotherapy and focus on other forms of therapy with success.
Dr. Ceaser started her on a specific diet and natural supplements. He also tested her for heavy metal toxicity. With the results, he was able to design intravenous treatments to help her body detoxify from the heavy metals which would help with her recovery. She also received specific intravenous cancer support.
When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Mary’s inflammatory markers ESR (elevated sedimentation rate) and CRP (C-reactive protein) were elevated but we now see them within the normal range. This indicates the treatments are helping systemically to decrease overall inflammation. Similarly, a tumour marker, CEA (Carcinoembryonic antigen) was high at the beginning of treatment but is now within the normal range. Likewise, CA-125, which is another tumour marker, tested high near the beginning of her treatment and is now also within range.
Stage 2 Breast Cancer
Stage 2 is when breast cancer is growing but contained in the breast or has extended to the nearby lymph nodes. Much like stage 1, this stage is divided into two levels: 2A and 2B.
Stage 2A, considered early stage, is when there is no tumour associated with the cancerous cells and fewer than four axillary lymph nodes have active cancer cells, or there is a tumour that is less than 2 centimetres and fewer than four axillary lymph nodes have cancer cells.
Stage 2B, considered locally advanced breast cancer, is when the tumour is between 2 centimetres and 5 centimetres and has spread to no fewer than four axillary lymph nodes, or the tumour is larger than 5 centimetres but has not spread to any axillary lymph nodes.
Stage 3 Breast Cancer
Stage 3 is when the breast cancer has extended beyond the immediate region of the tumour and could have invaded nearby lymph nodes and muscles but has not spread to distant organs. The third stage, unlike the first two, is divided into three groups: 3A, 3B and 3C.
Stage 3A is when there is no actual tumour associated with the cancerous cells, or the tumour is any size and at least four of the nearby lymph nodes contain cancer. Or, stage 3A is when the tumour is larger than 5 centimetres and clusters of cancer cells found in the lymph nodes are up to 2 millimetres. Additionally, stage 3A is when the tumour is larger than 5 centimetres and cancer has spread to lymph nodes under the arm or near the breastbone.
Stage 3B is when cancer has spread to the chest wall or breast skin. It might also have affected up to nine nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 3C is when no tumour is found in the breast, or the tumour is any size and cancer might have invaded the chest wall or breast skin, affecting 10 or more lymph nodes under the arm. Or, stage 3C is when lymph nodes containing cancer extend to the collarbone area.
Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Stage 4 breast cancer is when cancer has spread to other areas of the body, such as the liver, lung, bone and brain. This is considered advanced breast cancer that might not always be cured, but it can be controlled for many years.
Are Natural Breast Cancer Treatments Right for Me?
Book an appointment or call our naturopath office today at (204) 775-4539 to discuss potential treatment options. Our experts will guide you in the right direction.
VIDEO: How to Use Naturopathic Therapies to Complement Conventional Cancer Treatments
Want More Technical Information?
How Does Breast Cancer Form?
In order for any cancer to arise, tissues must undergo three phases of cellular changes, called initiation, promotion and progression.
Entails irreversible structural changes to DNA through substances foreign to our body (Rous and Kidd 1941, Mackenzie and Rous 1941).
On the other hand, means that once an initiator has changed the conformation of the DNA, the cells with these changes are now susceptible to the action of promoters. Up until this point, the DNA changes were passed onto daughter cells but the cell line did not display any abnormal behaviour (Rous and Kidd 1941, Mackenzie and Rous 1941). However, once a promotor causes a genetic mutation; the cell begins to exhibit the characteristics of cancer (see our What is Cancer? page for more information).
Typically, our body will sense such abnormal activity and stop the progression of these cells to cancer (Rous and Kidd 1941, Mackenzie and Rous 1941). However, in the last phase of progression, the cell line accumulates more mutations that allow for a tumour to form despite our body’s defences.
How Can We Prevent Breast Cancer?
Toxins cause cancer by modifying DNA irreversibly in the initiation and promotion phases. These DNA changes lead to the proliferation of cells, recruitment of inflammatory cells, more reactive oxygen species that damage DNA, as well as less DNA repair (Coussens and Werb 2002). As such, enhancing the body’s ability to detoxify metals and chemicals transmitted from the environment using chelation, for example, may help prevent or reduce such changes to DNA and cells.
Chemo Can Cause Aggressive Cancer Progression After Treatment
As of 2000, the NIH recommends that patients with breast cancer, after primary treatment with mastectomy or lumpectomy, be given adjuvant chemotherapy (NIH 2000). These chemotherapies include: paclitaxel, docetaxel, doxorubicin, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, or flourouracil (5-FU). However, these chemotherapy agents cause aggressive return of cancer following treatment (Chrisanthar et al.2008, Hansen et al. 2015, Smith et al. 2006, Takahashi et al. 2013, Végran et al. 2006). Although many mechanisms are implicated in the formation of resistance, resistance mutations typically arise early on in breast stem cells (Dean et al. 2010, Lynch et al. 2006, Yagüe et al. 2007).
As well, the chemo-agent called paclitaxel is a first-line form of conventional treatment for breast cancer (Valvero and Hortobagyi 2003). However, tumours may become resistant to paclitaxel through NF-κB activation and as such, this drug is no longer able to treat advanced stages of breast cancers (Pianetti et al. 2001). Chemotherapy can be a powerful tumour inhibitor but it can cause a deadly backlash of the cancer after treatment that can lead to a more aggressive cancer with metastasis or spread later on (Aldonza, et al. 2017).
Holistic Breast Cancer Treatment to Deal With the Side-Effects of Chemotherapy
Although chemotherapy is a life-saving form of treatment, these drugs often have many side effects. A common side effect includes neurotoxicity, leading to peripheral neuropathy, which can be reduced using IV ALA therapy (Gedlicka et al. 2002 and 2003; Melli et al.2008). Furthermore, up to 50-80% of patients treated with chemotherapy will experience diarrhea (Stein et al. 2010). As such, using ALA prior to chemo-agents like methotrexate helps protect against intestinal toxicity and improve the consistency of stool (Dadhania et al. 2010). IV ALA also helps with cardiotoxicity (Al-Majed et al. 2002, Balachandar et al. 2003) and kidney damage (Malarkodi et al. 2003a, b, c, d; Murugavel and Pari 2004).
Cancer Treatments at Our Centre (International and Local Patients)
All of these naturopathic oncology treatments are available at the Centre For Natural Pain Solutions in Winnipeg, Canada. Out-of-town patients travel to Winnipeg and stay for a length of time in order to receive daily treatments at our centre. Please call our office for an appointment or to receive more information at 1-204-808-1878 or contact us via email using the contact form. We hope to see you at our centre!
Read More to Learn About These Breast Cancer Topics
- Breast Cancer Statistics
- Alternative Medicine and Natural Treatment for Breast Cancer
- Human study showing natural alternatives to chemo superior to chemotherapy in stage 4 breast cancer
- Stage 4 Breast Cancer in Remission Without Use of Chemotherapy: a case from our clinic
- Is This a Natural Cure for Breast Cancer?
- How Cancer Forms
- How Can We Prevent Breast Cancer?
- Chemotherapy can cause aggressive cancer progression after treatment
- Holistic breast cancer treatment to deal with the side-effects of chemotherapy
- Cancer Treatments at Our Centre (International and local patients). Contact our Cancer Clinic
If you’d like to discuss alternative breast cancer therapies for you or a loved one, please contact us today.
VIDEO: How to Use Naturopathic Therapies to Complement Conventional Cancer Treatments
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