Complementary Medicines (& Therapies) can greatly enhance oncology treatments – reducing side effects, speeding recovery & increasing quality of life.
HOWEVER – the field is extremely complex as the cartoon suggests.
So much so that – 95% of patients presenting at my clinic, have hindered their medical treatments by the unskilled use of complementary medicines.
There is a lot of information on this page. Patients using complementary medicines are advised to study it carefully to improve survival outcomes.
Complexities with complementary cancer medicines: If your naturopath or integrative GP is advising you on food or supplements to help your cancer recovery they should have skill in the following fields – Pharmacognosy, Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics. If they really know their stuff they will be learning about Pharmacogenomics (We do) – scroll page for more on this topic
Satire – How patients are misled: This hilarious little video highlights some ways patients can be (dangerously) misled. It shows how the intention to Self-help has become Self-Harm!
Not grasping the complexity involved in complementary approaches, large numbers of patients are unintentionally ‘self-harming.’ They achieve the opposite to their intended outcome.
With such good intentions – What’s going Wrong?
The answer – Fragmented Cancer Medicine Approaches:
It’s common for many patients to consult several naturopaths, an integrative doctor & be trialling supplements or diets found on Dr Google.
Although committed to their profession, few naturopaths know much about the nature of cancer and many are ideologically opposed to conventional cancer medicine.
I know this from my time training naturopaths as well as seeing the ‘bizarre’ supplements & dietary regimes given to patients who present at my clinic – most are harmful or interfere with the cancer treatments. Scroll to bottom of page for more on this.
When it comes to cancer medicine it’s often a case of the blind leading the blind.
Fragmented cancer medicine is ineffective, falls far short of the Collaborative (Team Model).It can be dangerous; even life threatening.
Currently you may disbelieve me but with a deeper scientific understanding you’ll see the complexityy of mixing herbs, supplements, extreme diets with medical drugs, radiation or surgery designed to beat your cancer.
Here’s the Problem: Everything (I mean everything) you put in your mouth (or up your backside) has the potential to undermine or stop your oncology treatments from working. E.G. even the humble grapefruit – see video below.
Some foods; like grapefruit and juices made from those foods; can also exacerbate side effects of any conventional treatment you are having.
If your oncologist does not know what you are taking she/he may view these side effects as a signal to change treatment. (increasing your chemo can cause harm or even death).
Our Consultations: This is just a fraction of the information we work through in a consultation with you. We will also collaborate with your oncologist or if they are not satisfactory, refer you to a high performing oncologist suitable to your condition.
Collaborative cancer medicine:
What’s needed to bridge the Gap:
Three things must be in place for this to be successful..
- In depth knowledge of oncology drugs, medicine, the biology & nature of cancer, anatomy & physiology – you cannot do this work unless you know the above.
- Collaboration with the oncology team (extremely rare. I don’t know any naturopaths or integrative doctors that do this)
So in this situation you have different people putting different substances down a patient’s mouth but not talking to each other, not using a coordinated approach. It is bound to fail!
- Sound knowledge & experience with botanical medicines & complementary therapies – there are many interactions to consider such as drug/herb interactions, diet/drug interactions & more
What can you take away from this page?
If you wish to complement your oncology treatments but your naturopath or integrative doctor will not collaborate with your oncology team you’d be safer just eating sensibly and avoiding extremes such as excessive juicing, excessive supplements, coffee enemas and so on.
The nature of our practice is such that we attract many stage 4 patients many of whom have trialled every regimen or fad known to mankind. We are in the privileged position to view patients bloods, reports & scans as we re-assess and re-diagnose.
Many of these patients have tried all the fads, been to all the naturopaths and integrative doctors of ‘note’ and yet … we have never seen any regime that has slowed the progress of their tumour – similar to doing nothing.
Some patients have spent amounts ranging from $10,000 to $250,000 in Australia and over $1,000,000 for some who have gone overseas in these cases we have not seen anything that worked well. If it worked we’d be recommending it.
However: If you wish to work with a naturopath who meets the 3 criteria above please click the button below to contact Grace Gawler…
Use arrows to scroll the 5 pages of PDF – Use + for magnifierDiet-impacting-chemo-treatment-ona_diet0810_3727
You can download this PDF at http://media.oncologynurseadvisor.com/documents/15/ona_diet0810_3727.pdf
One last thing – If your naturopath or integrative GP is advising you on food or supplements to help your cancer recovery they should have skill in these fields – Pharmacognosy, Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics – and if they really know their stuff Pharmacogenomics
Pharmacognosy is the study of medicinal drugs derived from plants or other natural sources. The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines pharmacognosy as “the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources.
Pharmacokinetics (from Ancient Greek pharmakon “drug” and kinetikos “moving, putting in motion”; see chemical kinetics), sometimes abbreviated as PK, is a branch of pharmacology dedicated to determining the fate of substances administered to a living organism
Pharmacodynamics is the study of how a drug affects an organism, whereas pharmacokinetics is the study of how the organism affects the drug. Both together influence dosing, benefit, and adverse effects.
Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup.
Every year, thousands of Australians are suffering and dying prematurely because of alternative cancer treatments, according to a special investigation by Dr Paul Willis, director of The Royal Institution of Australia.
The report details the distressingly high number of cancer sufferers who choose to forego conventional treatment altogether in search of an alternative cure.”When we are talking about cancer there is a difference between complementary treatments and alternative cures”, said Dr Willis. “Many of the front-line cancer medical practitioners we spoke with encourage their patients to seek out unconventional, complementary treatments to help them through their ordeal”.
Dr Willis says the concern here is when a patient takes up an alternative non evidence-based “cure” for their cancer to the exclusion of conventional medical treatments.
The report highlights the lack of recorded evidence of the efficacy of alternative treatments, since alternative medical practitioners are under no obligation to record their treatments or the progress of those treatments. Of increasing concern is also the number of cancer suffers who return to conventional medicine after trying to find an alternative cure.
“Usually this occurs when things go wrong, the cancer has progressed and, what may have been a treatable condition has developed into an untreatable cancer with poor prognosis”, said Dr Willis. “Better education and awareness of what treatments are available as well as proper supporting documentation and hard data from alternative practitioners is required to empower cancer suffers to make more informed decisions on their overall treatment”.