A Holistic Approach to Cancer

Photo: Our grateful thanks to Michael Humphries on Unsplash!

by Connie Hernandez, ND

Many of our patients come to us with past or present cancers, or cancer-related fears related to their life circumstances, the results of genetic testing, or their family histories.

Our supplemental care for cancer patients and survivors ranges from general naturopathic support to specific nutrients, botanicals, energy medicines, and intravenous and ozone therapies.

As with all health conditions, the ultimate causes may include factors beyond the strictly physical – these may include mental, emotional, and spiritual issues that it will be of paramount importance to address.

Depression, general distress, and a history of traumatic incidents have all been linked to various cancers.

The fears that surround a cancer diagnosis can lead the patient to make decisions that run contrary to their previous belief system. Fear can increase pain and distress and create disturbances that may include anxiety and insomnia.

Mental and emotional factors are known to have actual physical effects. Thus it is important to address these issues, lest they interfere with the effectiveness of the cancer therapy.

Addressing negative emotional issues may require counseling, support groups, targeted flower essences, Emotional Freedom Technique, self-hypnotherapy, affirmations, breathing practices, and meditation techniques to calm the thoughts and emotions.

On another level, it will be vitally important to assess and address the patient’s current and past exposure to environmental and other toxins.

To a far greater extent than we may suspect, we may be exposed to toxins in the general environment, as well as at work and in the home. These toxins may include disruptive chemicals, electromagnetic frequencies, and moldy environments.  Failure to address toxic exposure while undergoing treatment for cancer is rather like taking poison with one hand while taking the cure with the other.

Detoxification goals may include enhancing the body’s lymphatic and circulatory flow, optimizing digestive and respiratory function, and attending to the kidneys.

Among the safest detox techniques is the use of infrared sauna, which makes use of the skin’s natural function as the body’s largest organ of detoxification. As you sweat, you expel environmental toxins.

Viral issues have been implicated in many cancers. Certain viruses disrupt the body’s natural function, increasing its vulnerability to cancers, even long after an acute viral episode.  

To identify viral exposure, we may need to test for antibodies to Human papilloma virus, Epstein Barr virus, herpes and hepatitis viruses, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). If a patient’s test results are positive for viral issues, anti-viral protocols should play a part in cancer treatment.

To address any dietary factors that may be working against the cancer therapy, we may suggest simple dietary guidelines, as well as more intensive protocols that might include fasting, or a modified Mediterranean diet.

The standard dietary guidelines for cancer patients include eating organic food, avoiding unhealthy fats, sugars, and simple carbs, and including anti-inflammatory fats, healthy proteins (pasture-raised and finished poultry and meats, and wild fish), and increasing the quantity and variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Our basic 12-hour fasting Wellness Panel can target issues such as inflammation, immune status, metabolic function, mitochondrial health, blood sugar control, early cancer indicators, and suboptimal vitamin status.

Our viral panels will provide details about current and chronic viral issues.

Urinary hormonal profiles will identify changeable metabolic pathways that may either be promoting inflammatory and carcinogenic states or enhancing beneficial metabolism.

We use other specialty panels to target particular problem areas, including the gut microbiome, and intracellular nutrient status.

If a person has been diagnosed with cancer and is involved in conventional treatment protocols, supplemental naturopathic care may include supportive therapies to help them during and after surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Specific nutrients and botanicals can provide general physical support for surgical complications and diminish the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

As with all chronic disease, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. For this reason, we are particularly excited when people come in for Wellness Visits to prevent the development of issues that have not yet manifested as diseases, including cancer.

For information about the services we offer, we invite you to get in touch with us in any of these convenient ways: (1) give us a call at 650-961-1660, (2) use the Contact Form, or (3) follow the link to Consultations – Pacific Naturopathic. Thank you!