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CANCER patients who take complementary and alternative medicine come down with fewer infections than those who do not, a local study has found. The study of 357 patients of the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) was a follow-up to an earlier one.
The researchers grouped the patients into users – 54.6 per cent – and non-users of oral-based alternative medicines. One limitation, however, came from the surveyed patients’ having different cancers and being at different stages of the illness. Dr Raymond Ng of the NCCS said the study delved into an issue that oncologists and patients often deal with, but should not alter doctors’ stance for or against alternative medicines. Child Safety and Injury PreventionThis is your chance to get answers to your questions on how to better childproof your home! To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. Steve Jobs died regretting that he had spent so long attempting to treat his cancer with alternative medicine before agreeing to undergo surgery, his biographer has disclosed. The Apple chief executive, who died this month after a pancreatic tumour spread elsewhere, delayed having operations and chemotherapy for nine months after the disease was discovered in October 2003.
I was struck this week by a comment on my website, which bemoaned the highly disorganized state of “alternative medicine” in this Country and in particular the “paltry sums” for alternative research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
If an MD or DO is treating a cancer patient and that patient asks to see or understand the basic science and clinical studies which support the recommended therapy, that published data is readily available. A key question is that just because the research supporting CAM therapies is limited, does that make them bad?  Not necessarily, but it does mean that when choosing such a method of care, patients need to understand they are making the decision based not on a step-by-step scientific process, but on unproven theory.  It comes down to trust in the CAM practitioner, because no one, not the person providing the treatment, the patient’s primary physician, nor the patient, has any objective evidence to show that the therapy may help or hurt. Patients have many reasons to choose alternative treatment instead of or in addition to conventional medical care. After reading “Bad Pharma” by Ben Goldacre, I question whether the little evidence available on CAM is any worse than the biased evidence published (or not published in the case of negative tests)! For those who were not able to attend the webinar put on by Johns Hopkins Medicine on December 17th, following please find my notes and ramblings from that webinar.  I hope you find them useful. I’ll go a little farther than these recommendations and direct you to my article Do You Know The Benefits of Juicers For Cancer Patients. I found a good article for you from the Mayo Clinic which discusses exactly how stress hormones wreak havoc on our body. Mr Gould called Chinese medicine a highly effective adjunct to Western medicine, it has been utilized quite effectively for over 3,000 years. When using Chinese herbs, your herbalist will tailor make a formula for you based on your unique constellation of symptoms and these are modified each week as symptoms change. We were reminded that herbs are drugs and as such, can have side effects and interactions with other drugs.  He also warned to use a trained herbalist when using herbs for any illness. Mr Gould also did not recommend using Chinese medicine alone to treat cancer, but as an adjunct. All in all, I thought it a very good webinar, well presented, and with good, concise information.  If you have any specific questions, please contact me. In this situation, your health issue has progressed from being a local one, the breast, to the systemic level of the lymphatic system.
There is a way of looking at this — it isn’t so much about the disease but it is about toxicity and the toxins are spreading fast. What your Chinese medicine practitioner will need to do is rid the body of the fire toxins and them rebuild the body so it no longer creates these toxins.
Fire toxins develop from a prolonged period of imbalance, when the body doesn’t have the energy to move toxins out and so it creates false energy or toxicity to move pathogens out of the body. In this day and age, most of us are caught up in the business of life, technology and many things unnatural.
For more information, you can go to my website Acupuncture Energy Works and contact me for a free 15 minute consultation. Thanks, MaryAnne, for providing us with some insight on the link between breast cancer and lymphoma. I asked MaryAnne to write about how acupuncture and Chinese herbs can assist with the hot flashes that plague us during and after chemotherapy treatments.  I found that regular acupuncture treatments combined with Chinese herbs really assisted me after chemotherapy.
What’s happening with hot flashes is that the body is trying to create the oil again – it’s attempting to rebuild estrogen levels.  It’s one of the ways the body is brilliant for trying to create homeostasis and heal itself.
Chinese medicine works wonders with both acupuncture and herbs or either one on its own.  If you find the right acupuncturist, one with experience with dealing with cancer, you can also gain tips for nutrition and lifestyle choices that can benefit your re-building and help you regain your strength.
I’m loving the new way of attending seminars – live, online, via webinars you can register for and sit through in your pajamas if you want to! I will be attending this webinar and taking notes, so if you miss it, you can rest assured that I will tell you all about it.  It should be great information. While acupuncture has been around for millennia, the form of acupuncture practiced today is mainly based on a standardized system which evolved in China around 50 years ago. In another study, it was demonstrated that acupuncture was as effective as prescription drugs in controlling the hot flashes caused by anti-estrogen drugs and it also helped increase libido in these women.
Some breast cancer survivors are treated with drugs known as aromatase inhibitors to help prevent recurrence, but a common side effect of these drugs is joint pain and stiffness. There are also reports showing acupuncture reduced the nerve pain associated with neuropathy, it reduced swelling and discomfort caused by lymphedema, and it effectively assisted patients who complained of dry mouth and muscle weakness.
I went to a TCM doctor during the entire 6 months of my chemotherapy treatment – she gave me herbs that helped my immune system stay strong, and I often got acupuncture to help with energy levels.
Acupuncture treatments are generally affordable and are covered by some health insurance policies. Please note:The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. He reportedly restricted his diet to just fruits or just fruits and vegetables, tried out something called hydrotherapy and consulted psychics.

And, although Jobs’s unconventional early-treatment choices may not have done much to stave off the spread of deadly cancer cells in his case, they provide an opportunity to discuss what makes cancer grow and how to stop it. Unlike the vast majority of pancreatic cancers (known as pancreatic adenocarcinomas) of the ductal part of the pancreas, pNET is not always deadly.
For patients in whom this cancer has spread outside the pancreas, the median survival is 27 months. It’s impossible to know whether surgery would have been curative if Jobs had undergone the procedure at the time of his diagnosis. Acupuncture has gained traction in Western medicine as a helpful complementary component to cancer care. But although it may have contributed to overall well-being, acupuncture is unlikely to have had an impact on the tumor itself. As Tim Birdsall, vice president of integrative medicine at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, explains it, cancer is a disease in which the cells become less and less responsive to their external environment. But, Birdsall says, natural therapies such as those reportedly taken by Jobs center on altering the bodily environment, not the tumor itself. Could Jobs have put himself in greater danger by delaying surgery in favor of alternative medicine? Evidence isn’t available showing whether the juice fasting Jobs reportedly tried accelerated the spread of cancer cells in his pancreas, and possibly other organs, but Abrams notes that he rarely recommends juicing to the cancer patients he counsels.
Many news outlets have reported that Jobs had insulinoma, meaning it was the insulin-producing endocrine cells that had turned cancerous.
Yet as it turns out, the idea of starving cancer cells turns out to be a key mechanism behind some of the latest medical treatments for pNET. Dietary change alone is insufficient to trigger autophagy because the human body can simply shift to converting muscle and amino acids into energy.
With few facts available, we can only speculate about whether the approach that Jobs took early on had any impact on his survival. A healthy Pancreas cannot get sick, it depends also on how good are you cleaning toxins from your body, how strong is your Immune Systems, living stressful life? The profile of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has risen dramatically over the last decade and cancer patients represent its most prolific users.
In addition to helping control symptoms, CAM may also address the emotional, spiritual, and mental needs of patients, allowing them to cope better with their diagnosis. Energy therapies are based on the manipulation of “bioenergy fields” through light touch or bioelectromagnetic approaches and have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
The older study found that more than half – 56 per cent – of 403 of the NCCS’ adult cancer patients used alternative medicines.
This is because it had limitations in terms of the relatively small number of patients involved; other limitations lay in its “retrospective nature”. Of these, 195 used complementary and alternative medicines, while the remaining 162 were non-users. The writer suggested that not only could the quality of health be improved with alternative medicine studies, but would go a long way towards saving health care dollars. Standard oncology treatment goes through 10-20 years of research, from the test tube, animal studies and through a series of supervised human multi-phase trials, until it is approved and offered to patients. Some, like Chinese Traditional Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine of India, American Homeopathy or Acupuncture, are hundreds or even thousands of years old and have millions of adherents who believe it has helped or even cured them.
On the other hand, randomized trials have shown that laetrile (amygdalin) has no anticancer activity and that Vitamin C does not prevent or blunt upper respiratory infections any better than sugar pills. The most obvious is the powerful desire to do everything possible to fight the disease, to leave no stone unturned.
Some by obvious side effects, such as the woman whose breast fell off after receiving a poultice or the man who had such severe nerve damage that he never walked again.  Others delayed life saving therapy with horrible result.
Nevertheless, until ideas are subjected to the light of scientific scrutiny, each patient and family must understand that by alternative we do not mean a therapy which is proven, but out of the mainstream; by alternative we simply mean unknown. Twenty tears in the research and writing, the reviews on the main page tell you just how good this book is. Alternative therapy ought to be held to the same ethical standard as conventional: first do no harm, including keeping a person from receiving beneficial conventional treatment. Most sincerely believe they are helping people, and some responsibly guide patients back to conventional medicine. He might see 10 patients with breast cancer, but each patient may get a different treatment protocol based on the symptoms they present with on that day. In Chinese medicine, when a health issue spreads quickly, it is a sign of toxins and is termed fire toxins. We have created a lifestyle that is so far from a  natural, healthy rhythm that we have also created spas, yoga classes and meditation classes in order to learn, again, how to relax in a healthy and balanced way. What really happens with chemo, as you probably know, is that the chemo burns out everything in the body, good and bad, if you want to look at it that way.
One study found that acupuncture is quite effective in reducing these side effects, thereby allowing the drug regimen to be continued. In any case, a mounting body of scientific and anecdotal reports provides compelling evidence about the potential impact, both positive and negative, of so-called complementary practices on the health and longevity of cancer patients following their diagnosis. Accounting for about 1 percent of all pancreatic cancers, pNET is a cancer of the endocrine cells, known clinically as the islets of Langerhans, which exist in small clusters throughout the pancreas. These cancer cells tend to be slow growing, and so the cancer does not spread to other sites in the body as quickly. Some clinical studies have confirmed the efficacy of this traditional Chinese medicine approach, in which needles are shallowly inserted at different points on the body, in diminishing the nausea, pain and fatigue that often follow chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, the mainstays of modern cancer treatment. Multiple mutations in DNA—specifically, abnormalities in the p21 and p53 genes, among other changes—stop the process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, that normal cells undergo. Because pNET grows so slowly, it’s unlikely that much damage was done either, says Yao, who often monitors pNET patients before recommending therapeutic intervention.

Drinking squeezed juice delivers an intense burst of sugar to cells that would otherwise be moderated by the fiber within a fruit. In addition to producing potentially dangerous levels of insulin, the process can also harm the body overall.
He also emphasizes the importance of decreasing stress because it produces cortisol, a steroid hormone that suppresses the immune system. The growth of pNET malignant cells is closely tied to a cellular pathway known as mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). Take our FREE Health Assessment  to learn which of your body systems needs the most attention. As a result, the NHS and UK cancer services are attempting to develop a wider range of therapeutic options for patients. The study also noted that the difference in outcomes between users and non-users of these treatments is starker among patients with Stage 4 cancer. The follow-up, done on the same group of patients, evaluated the effectiveness of these treatments on them after six months.
This is what typically concerns doctors, because these organs, if compromised, cannot process and rid the body of the toxins from the chemotherapy drugs. Patients’ lifestyle choices, which could affect how they ride out the infectious complications, were also not factored in.
He was referring to the fact that the study entailed examining patient records going back to 2007-2008, and to the sheer variety of such treatments.
Each step is refereed by competing and critical PhD and physician scientists and must be published in peer-edited journals for general review and criticism, all of which is public and transparent. I would add that one of the wickedest impacts of a few predatory practitioners of alternative therapy is to bankrupt the patient and their family by taking advantage of their desperation.
My version of Steve, a college age woman with stage 2 Hodgkin’s that she tried to treat with everything but conventional therapy was sent to me by the naturopath she consulted (after 2 years of trying everything on her own) when she was short of breath, febrile and wasting with now stage 4 HD. In addition, I would agree fully that many CAM providers are highly compassionate and communicate well, something conventional physicians often lack. The body has created much stress, systemically, and so it creates stagnation or a cyst or tumor compact, in one area, such as the breast. These cells produce hormones such as insulin, which lowers blood sugar, and glucagon, which increases it. In addition to becoming immortal, cancer cells invade the surrounding tissue, rendering it nonfunctional.
As Yao explains, one of the functions of the mTOR pathway is to sense if a cell is not receiving its necessary nutrients.
Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of advanced pNET, the first drug in this class approved for this disease. Despite such developments, little is known about why cancer patients use CAM, its perceived benefits and the perspectives of the doctors and nurses involved.
In this group, for example, 55 per cent of non-alternative medicine users were hit by infections, against 36 per cent of users. But 46 patients were left out because of incomplete records or because they were not receiving chemotherapy or other cancer treatments at the time of the follow-up study. Prof Chan, also an oncology specialist pharmacist at the NCCS, said the findings were significant, given the lack of knowledge in this area.
Dr Yong Wei Ping, of the National University Cancer Institute Singapore, said the study’s broad classification of complementary and alternative medicines “makes it difficult to tease out which of these contributed to the differences seen in a patient’s outcome”.
The senior consultant added that at the NCCS, patients who take them can check with the pharmacy on whether there would be problems taking them while being treated for cancer. Where it is not, and when people attempt to manipulate or falsify the system or data, massive blowback eventually occurs. Scientists believe that individual case reports are poor substitutes for the objective analysis of hundreds of patients in experimental trials.  All CAM therapies have limited or no published research to explain the science of these therapies or to prove they work any better than placebo.
This is why it can be easy to have surgery and eliminate a tumor but we have to learn how to handle our stress in a way that is more balanced so we don’t re-create accumulations or stagnations (as tumors are called in Chinese medicine). For patients whose disease is detected while it’s still confined to the pancreas, the five-year survival rate is 87 percent—in other words, the majority of patients live for quite a while. When that happens, mTOR can trigger the production of proteins, including several that promote cell proliferation and the growth of blood vessels. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in the UK, Therapeutic Pluralism includes over 120 interviews with cancer patients and professionals, plus innovative 'diary' data which, for the first time, detail the experiences of CAM users. The National University of Singapore’s Associate Professor Alexandre Chan, who was involved in both studies, said they were undertaken because doctors often ask whether the use of complementary treatments together with chemotherapy would compromise patients’ kidney or liver functions. For some there is deep mistrust in the objectivity of the “physician-medical school-pharmaceutical-government complex.”  Traditional religious, superstitious and pseudoscientific reasoning support the CAM decisions of many patients. You’ll never look at medicine and particularly alternative medicine in the same way again! And from the perspective of a cancer cell, fresh-squeezed juice is no different from sugary cola. In normal cells, the mTOR pathway can be turned on and off, but in some cancers mTOR becomes impossible to switch off, and the cells are left to grow without any regulation.
It gives a systematic analysis of issues such as: * The development of patient preferences and influences on decision making * Expectations of CAM and interpretations of 'success' in cancer treatment * The nature and importance of 'evidence' and 'effectiveness' for patients * The organisational dynamics involved in integrating CAM into the NHS * Pathways to CAM and the role of the Internet * The role of oncology clinicians in patients' experiences of cancer and their use of CAMs Therapeutic Pluralism is essential reading for students and researchers of medical sociology, complementary and alternative medicine and cancer.
He now provides consultations for cancer patients undergoing traditional treatment who want to incorporate complementary (or alternative) approaches into their care. As a result, the cell begins a process known as autophagy, in which it begins digesting parts of itself to try to survive—but it doesn’t.

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