by Marcel Hernandez, N.D.
The cancer patients in my naturopathic oncology practice ask me a dizzying array of questions. Here are the three most common:
1. Can Your Program Cure My Cancer?
I’ll answer in two parts. First – if I had the cure for cancer, I’d either be famous or I’d be branded as a quack.
What we can do, and what we do very well here at Pacific Naturopathic, is help people stay in their bodies with a high quality of life for a longer period than if they were receiving conventional or alternative medical treatment alone.
2. How Strictly Do I Need to Follow My Adjunctive Cancer Care Program?
The second part is that for our supplementary “adjunctive” offerings to have the maximum effect, the patient must accept a major part of the responsibility for keeping their cancer in remission.
The adjunctive care program at Pacific Naturopathic works extremely well in helping our patients have a better quality of life; but each patient must understand that there is presently no definitive cure for cancer.
As opposed to a passing headache for which we can take a pill and quickly forget about it, prolonging health and keeping cancer at bay takes an unwavering lifetime commitment.
Of course, the usual temptations can be difficult to overcome. Do I really need to control my carbohydrate intake all the time, or can I cheat a bit on occasion, like at a special celebration?
Here’s a story. A patient began his treatment at Pacific Naturopathic with a tumor marker test above 4000. The reference range was zero to four – which means that his tumor marker was more than 1000 times the top of the reference range!
With an integrated approach, we managed to get the tumor marker down to under four. Needless to say, he and his wife were ecstatic. He then went back to his old ways which included a high-carbohydrate diet with plenty of white sugar treats, whereupon his tumor marker rapidly jumped into the 400 range.
The cancer, which had become quiescent, came back with a vengeance. Utilizing both conventional and adjunctive care, we’ve been unable to get his tumor marker back below 250. But the tumor has started to grow again, and neither we or his conventional oncologist have any answers as to how to arrest its growth.
The moral of the story is that, to stay alive and healthy, cancer patients must follow their program with unwavering consistency.
3. I Like Your Approach — Can I Abandon Conventional Medical Treatment?
A question patients often ask me is: “In my treatment program, can I receive only the adjunctive care offered at Pacific Naturopathic, and stop working with my conventional oncologist?”
My answer is an unequivocal “No.” First, because as naturopathic doctors in California we are allowed by law to offer adjunctive cancer care, not primary cancer care.
“Adjunctive” means “together with.” Our patients must have an ongoing relationship with a conventional oncologist if they want to continue to work with us.
Second, integrated medicine holds the best chance of extending life. Neither conventional medicine or adjunctive medicine alone can match the effectiveness of a combination of the two disciplines.
That said, finding the right balance between the two approaches is critical to survival with a high quality of life.
In some cases, heavy reliance on conventional oncology is called for. In other cases, conventional approaches are too extreme. At Pacific Naturopathic, our years of experience help us guide our patients in finding the best balance between conventional and adjunctive cancer care.
For information about the services we offer at Pacific Naturopathic, please give us a call at 650-961-1660, use the convenient Contact Form to get in touch, or follow the link to: Consultations – Pacific Naturopathic. Thank you!