2011 AANP Physician of the Year
|Photo by esmtll via Flickr, used|
under the Creative Commons License.
However, there are definitely things that you can do to improve the outcomes and help the survival of cancer patients. I am focusing on one of those treatments, below. If you are like me, you probably see many patients who have cancer. Some of you choose to treat people with cancer and some of you don't. I encourage all of you to treat these patients because there is so much that we can do to help these patients have better outcomes. Sometimes EXTREMELY better outcomes. That is what I want to share with you now.
As you may know, (if you have attended any recent Clinical Anecdotes sessions that I have moderated at either the AANP or NHAND conferences) I am very interested in periodic fasting for health improvement. I am particularly interested in periodic fasting to improve outcomes of patients who are undergoing cancer treatments, specifically chemotherapy. There is emerging research that doing alternate day fasting or a pre-fast before chemo enhances the effectiveness of the chemo while protecting the normal cells and reducing the side effects. This is what I have been doing with my last few cancer patients with great success. Here's an example with my latest case:
A 50 year old man came to see me 2 weeks after being diagnosed with stage 4 duodenal carcinoma that had spread to the liver. Prognosis for survival was 2 months (Christmas 2011). He was scheduled for 4 rounds of chemo (once every 2 weeks) which would have taken him to his drop dead date. Clearly, his oncologist didn't have much hope but thought something should be done. The patient had one chemo treatment before seeing me. After learning what chemo he was getting I suggested some of the supplements recommended in Lise Alshuler's book, The Definitive Guide to Cancer. (This is an indispensable book and I strongly urge you to get a copy.) In addition, I recommended that he fast for 24 hours, starting from 24 hours before the end of his chemo the following day. To clarify, his chemo infusion ends on Friday at 2pm. I recommended that he fast from Thursday at 2pm until Friday at 2pm. In addition, I recommended that he fast daily from after dinner until noon the next day.
So, here is what happened. A PET scan was taken at the 6 week mark. The tumors had shrunk "significantly" (30 -50%). The oncologist was stunned (said they never see that kind of result), the patient was happy (doh!), and I was inspired to write about it in this blog. Now, I can't say for certain that it was the fasting that had the biggest part in the response. But it is a potentially powerful tool that is non-toxic, inexpensive, "easy" to do and mimics our natural prehistoric seasonal cycle of times of plenty (building cells) and times of famine (breaking down cells). Sounds uniquely naturopathic to me and it could save many lives. That’s why I am encouraging all of you to treat patients with cancer and to use this treatment to improve their outcomes of their chemotherapy. It could help to change lives.