Choosing To Stop Treatment Or Choosing No Treatment At All
For some people, when treatments have been tried and are no longer controlling the cancer, it could be time to weigh the benefits and risks of continuing to try new treatments. Whether or not you continue treatment, there are still things you can do to help maintain or improve your quality of life.
Some people, especially if the cancer is advanced, might not want to be treated at all. There are many reasons you might decide not to get cancer treatment, but its important to talk to your doctors and you make that decision. Remember that even if you choose not to treat the cancer, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms.
Clinical Trials To Test Cam Therapies
NCI and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health are currently sponsoring or cosponsoring clinical trials that test CAM treatments and therapies in people. Some study the effects of complementary approaches used in addition to conventional treatments, and some compare alternative therapies with conventional treatments. You can find a list of all cancer CAM clinical trials here.
Lifelines: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Dr. Jeffrey D. White, OCCAM Director, explains the use of complementary and alternative medicine in cancer.
Patients, their families, and their health care providers can learn about CAM therapies and practitioners from the following government agencies:
Why Stress Causes Cancer
Dr. Hamer is the founder of German New Medicine. He made an amazing discovery about the emotional connection to cancer. After his son died, he soon developed testicular cancer.
Hamer worked at a cancer clinic in Munich in Germany. He wanted to know if emotional problems caused cancer growth. Dr. Hamer obtained brain scans, of all his cancer patients.
Breast cancer patients experience an emotional shock before the onset of their cancer
He then compared the CT-scan with the patient’s medical records and history. All his patients experienced an unexpected shock before cancer diagnosis. Hamer found out that a particular area of the brain controlled a specific organ.
Each conflict shock affects a unique part of the brain that relays it to the organ. Every cancer has a distinct conflict shock.Hamer learned that diseases run in two phases. We have the active conflict phase that activates the moment we have the shock.
Cancer grows in the active phase. And at the moment we resolve that conflict, we enter the healing phase. In this state, the tumor stops growing. Cancer is not a disease but a biological conflict.
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Nature And Breast Cancer: The Plants That Saved A Botanist’s Life
Botanist Dr Sandy Knapp has studied plants for 40 years. When she received a breast cancer diagnosis, the natural world she knows so well was what saved her life.
Sandy has spent a career championing nature on an international stage, speaking up for the preservation of species all over the world. When a cancer diagnosis came in 2018, it was nature’s time to repay her. As she was treated with drugs originally derived from trees and soils, the great diversity of life on planet Earth became her literal support system.
In October 2018 Sandy was on a complicated overseas work trip for a museum review in Boston, a herbarium visit in Missouri and a conference speech in Ecuador. About halfway through she discovered a lump in her breast.
She says, ‘I thought it was nothing and carried on, but just to be safe I called my GP and made an appointment for when I got back. I returned and was referred straight away. Fast forward to the hospital and me feeling shocked to discover that the ‘nothing to worry about’ lump was quite probably malignant. Gulp.
‘The NHS is amazing. Like a juggernaut, it just went into action.’
The Pacific yew tree , pictured, is where the cancer-fighting drug Taxol originally comes from. Now, doctors use synthetic alternatives. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Are Complementary Therapies Safe For People With Breast Cancer
If you want to have a complementary therapy, speak to your specialist team first. Theres very little reliable research into complementary therapies, so its hard to judge how useful they are. Your specialist team may advise you to avoid certain complementary therapies if theres a chance they may affect how well your breast cancer treatment works.
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Dietary Supplements During Cancer Treatment
Are there any herbs that can be used to treat cancer?Many chemotherapeutic drugs used in cancer treatment are derived from plants. They are developed after rigorous clinical trials for safety and efficacy. Only a few oral herbal supplements, like turmeric, and some medicinal mushrooms have been tested this way. However, even those that showed promising results in lab studies may not have the same effects in humans. In addition, the optimal dosages are often not determined. More studies are needed before they can be recommended for general use.
Can I use herbs or supplements safely during chemotherapy?Most herbs and dietary supplements have not been studied together with chemotherapy drugs and their interactions remain unclear. Many oncologists advise their patients to avoid these products during chemotherapy.
How do herbs interact with chemotherapy drugs?Herbs can interact with chemotherapy drugs through different mechanisms. Some herbs can interfere with the metabolism of the drugs, making them less effective. Other herbs may potentiate the adverse effects, such as bleeding, of chemotherapy drugs.
While undergoing cancer therapy, do I have to avoid spices and herbs in cooking?Culinary herbs used in small quantities for flavoring are generally safe. However, consuming large amounts for prolonged period of time may have adverse effects. For example, there are reports of post-operative hemorrhage associated with use of garlic.
Additional Considerations Before Making A Treatment Decision
So, how do you go about evaluating treatment options youre comfortable with that will also provide you with the long-term outcome youre hoping for? Being aware of advances in conventional treatment and the importance of incorporating integrated therapies is an important first step.
Other recommendations include:
Ask questions of any provider youre seeing to be sure you understand your options and associated risks. Your care providers job is to make informed recommendations based on the best available science and your unique situation. You then have the right to accept them, refuse them or ask whether there are alternatives.
Consider getting a second opinion. Its perfectly fine to seek a second opinion before making such an important decision. In fact, a second opinion may be a good way to investigate a cancer center that provides advanced conventional treatment while also offering access to integrative care.
You need to feel comfortable with your care providers and confident in your treatment plan. If integrative care is important to you, and if youre interested in combining supportive care services with conventional cancer treatment, seek out a conventional oncologist who understands and appreciates the value of these options. Ask questions to ensure he or she is willing to work with the naturopathic and/or other members youve assembled for your healing team.
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Clinical Evidence For Cam Is Limited
While CAM therapies are becoming increasingly popular, its important to recognize the limited clinical evidence that these alternative therapies are as effective as conventional treatment. In a 10-year study, CAM therapy was shown to be associated with disease progression and increased risk of reoccurrence and death when conventional treatment, such as surgery, is delayed or refused.
A Couple Commonly Considered Natural Treatments For Breast Cancer
We understand that you may have concerns about conventional cancer treatment and may be looking for more natural ways to fight cancer. But even natural approaches may be harmful in certain amounts and in certain situations.
Below are two approaches were aware of patients using or considering to treat their breast cancer. Although some may be beneficial in helping you tolerate conventional treatment, there’s no reliable scientific evidence that theyre effective treatments on their own.
Medical marijuana:No scientific studies provide evidence that cannabis or CBD oil can cure, or even treat, cancer, and the NIH notes that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved cannabis as a medical treatment. FDA approved cannabinoid prescription medications, however, may help treat side effects of cancer and its treatment, such as loss of appetite, neuropathic pain, nausea and vomiting.
Research shows that patients who choose complementary medicine are more likely to delay or reject some types of conventional treatment, which results in worse cancer outcomes. Another study that included women with nonmetastatic breast cancer who initially chose alternative medicine instead of conventional cancer treatment showed those women had more than a fivefold increased risk of death.
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What Is Complementary And Alternative Medicine Or Cam
Treatment for medical problems typically fits into one of three categories:
Complementary treatment refers to any type of care that you use along with standard care.
Many complementary treatments may hold great value. But thereâs often a lack of research regarding their risks, benefits, side effects, and how they might interact with standard care.
But research into CAM is growing. Complementary therapies are becoming part of doctors’ treatment options. And more and more doctors are recommending them to patients.
Alternative treatment refers to care that you use to replace standard care as an alternative to the Western medical approach.
Alternative treatments have been used worldwide for centuries. But like complementary treatments, they haven’t gone through rigorous testing.
Natural Compound Found In Herbs Vegetables Could Improve Treatment Of Triple
More than 100 women die from breast cancer every day in the United States. Triple-negative breast cancers, which comprise 15 to 20 percent of all breast tumors, are a particularly deadly type of breast disease that often metastasize to distant sites. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that luteolin, a natural compound found in herbs such as thyme and parsley, and vegetables such as celery and broccoli, could reduce the risk of developing metastasis originating from triple-negative breast cancer in women.
Triple-negative breast cancers are cancer cells that lack three receptors targeted by current chemotherapy regimens. Because of this lack of receptors, common cancer drugs cant find the cells, and doctors must treat the cancer with extremely aggressive and highly toxic treatment strategies, said Salman Hyder, the Zalk Endowed Professor in Tumor Angiogenesis and professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. Women with this type of breast cancer also frequently develop metastatic lesions that originate from drug-resistant cells. Therefore, safer therapeutic therapies that are more effective are being sought for this deadly type of cancer in women.
The D.V.M. The Deans Video Message
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Stage 4 Breast Cancer In Remission Without Use Of Chemotherapy
This patient is a 66 year old female diagnosed with stage 4, ER/PR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer who had already undergone a full mastectomy when I had first consulted with her. She had bone metastasis to her lumbar and thoracic spine, as well as her ileum, left hip and rib. She was very leery of undergoing chemotherapy treatments. However, we worked with her oncologist to use non-chemotherapy options along with our naturopathic therapies and she was given letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, along with our naturopathic IV therapies, mistletoe injections, OncoTherm hyperthermia treatments as well as supplements and diet. She was followed using CT scans, tumour markers and circulating tumour cell testing.
She tolerated the treatment very well, remained fit and active, did not lose any hair and her blood counts remained normal throughout therapy. She suffered no fatigue or nausea. After 5 months of therapy, a repeat CT showed no evidence of disease, lab tests showed tumour markers for breast cancer were within normal limits and circulating tumour cell count was at 0. She has been declared in remission.
Circulating tumour cell and tumour marker testing show normal levels following treatment. These blood tests are used to show how advanced breast cancer patients respond to treatment. All of her tumour markers are within range and her CTC count is 0 showing no movement of breast cancer cells.
Holistic Options To Consider
There is no natural cure for breast cancer. But certain holistic therapies may help you cope with some of the side effects of whatever type of breast cancer treatment you are undergoingor have undergone. These options are often called complementary therapies because they are used in tandem with conventional treatment but arent conventional treatment by themselves.
The following are generally considered safe and potentially helpful for many people looking for something to relieve some of their breast cancer treatment side effects:
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Molecular Feature Of Breast Cancer Occurrence Progression And Treatment
The onset of cancer is a result of several sequential molecular events. Most common of them is a mutation in a DNA molecule that codes for a protein that either triggers cell division, proliferation, and growth or that signals termination of all these molecular events . Therefore, damage to DNA or a protein that regulates cell cycle may lead to uncontrolled division and growth of cells, the condition is cancer. It is a hyperproliferative disease that involves molecular alteration resulting in apoptosis dysregulation, proliferation, angiogenesis, and metastasis .
Holistic Breast Cancer Treatment To Deal With The Side
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 . Furthermore, up to 50-80% of patients treated with chemotherapy will experience diarrhea . As such, using ALA prior to chemo-agents like methotrexate helps protect against intestinal toxicity and improve the consistency of stool . IV ALA also helps with cardiotoxicity and kidney damage .
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Stage 3 Breast Cancer Case Study
Brenda, a 61-year-old woman was diagnosed with stage 3A breast cancer. After initial treatment with chemotherapy and a left-sided mastectomy.
Brendas case, being stage 3, was a more advanced cancer, but she started searching for additional naturopathic treatments. She had no desire to use further conventional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
She contacted the Centre for Natural Pain Solutions. Dr. Ceaser started her on a natural anti-cancer regimen specifically selected for her and recommended dietary changes. In addition to supplements and medications, she had regular IV therapy at the clinic. Her treatments included bi-weekly intravenous vitamin C and artesunate which have both been shown to increase the effects of chemotherapy and have anti-cancer properties.
Since her initial diagnosis, all of her laboratory tumour markers have come down while her energy and vitality have improved.
Since Feb. 18, 2018, her Ca 15-3 has dropped from an elevated 60 to within a normal range of 19 in June 2020. Her CEA has decreased from 2.7 to 1.8 and her Ca-125 has come down from 16 to 13. In 2018, her circulatory tumour cells were initially at one. When the test was run again in 2019 after naturopathic treatment, her CTCs were zero, signifying no circulatory tumour cells were detected. All lab findings show incredible improvements since her initial diagnosis.
There has been no progression of cancer with the use of our naturopathic treatments alone.
What Are The Benefits Of Complementary Therapies For People With Breast Cancer
Complementary therapies are thought to have a range of benefits for people with breast cancer. They can give you comfort and help you feel more relaxed when coming to terms with the physical and emotional effects of breast cancer and its treatment. Some people believe they help with the side effects of breast cancer and treatment. For others, its just about taking time to do something for themselves and feeling more in control.
With the right therapy and therapist you may find, as many people do, that complementary therapies can offer much needed extra support before, during and after your treatment for breast cancer.
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Cancer Research And The Scientific Method: How To Evaluate Alternative Treatments For Breast Cancer
When considering your treatment options, its important to understand that cancer researchers and doctors conduct their work within the rigorous framework of the scientific method. They systematically add to our knowledge of various types of cancer cells and how those cells respond to treatment by conducting carefully controlled experiments. At each stage of the process, they thoroughly document their methods and their results so other researchers at other institutions can copy, or replicate, the studies to verify or dispute the findings. The most promising results are published in peer-reviewed journals.
No matter who your provider is, you should ask for scientific evidence behind any strategies they suggest:
- Can they share published scientific studies that explain the effectiveness of the treatment?
- Were those studies conducted on animals, on breast cancer cells in the lab, or on humans in clinical trials?
- Are the treatments they provide approved by the FDA? If not, why not?
- Are the treatments they provide listed in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology? If not, why not?
Molecular Mechanism Of Anticancerous Activity Of Herbal Compounds On Breast Cancer
As discussed in the earlier section, herbal compounds show a verity of anticancer actionsincluding antioxidant, cytotoxic, antiproliferative, apoptotic activity, etc. Plant-based cancer agents broadly classified into five groups that includemethyltranferase inhibitors, DNA protecting agents, antioxidants, histone deacetylases inhibitors, and mitosis disruptors. Generally, plant-derived compounds contribute toward the anticarcinogenesis mechanism by their antioxidant, cytotoxic, antimitotic, and apoptotic activity . Others help in chemoprevention by preventing DNA damage, modulating carcinogenesis signaling, and inducing apoptotic cell death . Several in vitro and in vivo investigations support the activity of herbal compounds that linked with their anticancer activity. Heres is a few examples of the anticancer mechanism of herbal compounds.
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