In today’s blog, Dr. Joel Guilemen, a naturopathic doctor at the Centre for Natural Pain Solutions in Winnipeg, highlights chelation therapy and discusses how it relates to cancer care.
What is chelation therapy?
Chelation means to bind to and remove heavy metals from the body – metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and copper.
What is the risk of heavy metal toxicity?
Heavy metals can increase the body’s inflammatory pathways. They can affect the immune system and there are known carcinogenic properties when they’re in high levels in the body.
Chelation Therapy and Cancer
Cancer prevention can be an important aspect of chelation therapy. With heavy metal toxicities, this increases the free radical risk that DNA cells can undergo, further damaging them. There are also the carcinogenic properties of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Chelation therapy is used to bind to these heavy metals, thus reducing the risk of cancer.
During the treatment, the chelation is infused intravenously into the blood vessels. During this time, the chelation will bind to as many heavy metals and remove them via the kidneys through the urinary system. High heavy metals within the body are known as neurotoxins. They cause damage to nerve cells. During active cancer treatments, quite often, nerve tissue is compromised via the treatment protocol. This chelation therapy can be used as an assistant to remove the excess burden that the heavy metals might be playing alongside these other therapies.
In addition to cancer prevention, our clinic uses chelation therapies during active cancer treatments as an assistant in removing some of these heavy metals.
As mentioned, heavy metals will increase the body’s inflammatory markers, thus increasing the severity or the prognosis of the cancer. In addition to certain heavy metals, such as copper, it will increase something called angiogenesis, which is a build-up of new red blood vessels that supply cancer cells.
By lowering the copper levels in the body, we can reduce the blood flow to these cancer tumours. When copper is high in the body, it increases a process called angiogenesis, the formation of new red blood vessels to the tumour site itself. This is how tumours become more aggressive by supplying additional blood flow to the region. When copper levels are high, this process is more extreme. To prevent this from occurring, chelation therapy is used to deplete copper levels in the body.
A 2017 study looking at chelation therapy – specifically calcium disodium EDTA – was used here in the clinic. Within this study, chelation therapy is used alongside a number of different cancer lines, specifically melanoma cells. From this study, there were promising results and many indications for future research to be applied.
Cadmium is a heavy metal that is found in high-pollutant areas and in tobacco smoke. Cadmium is a known carcinogen that increases the risk of lung cancer, as well as breast, prostate, and kidney cancers.
Chelation Therapy Consultation
Prior to receiving chelation therapy, patients will have an initial consultation with a naturopathic doctor within the clinic. During that initial consultation, a chelation therapy challenge will be conducted, where a urine test will occur, determining what heavy metals are in the body and whether or not chelation therapy is appropriate.
The typical process to start chelation therapy involves setting up an initial consultation. During that consult, an intravenous chelation drip will occur followed by a urine toxic metal test. This test will determine what burden heavy metals are in the body and whether or not chelation therapy is appropriate. If heavy metals are high, the clinic might followup with regular chelation IV therapies.
For any questions regarding chelation therapy or if this is an appropriate treatment for someone, please contact our clinic.