Why most patients fail when using complementary medicines to assist their cancer recovery
Complementary Medicines (& Therapies) can enhance your oncology treatments, reduce side effects, speed up recovery & increase quality of life.
HOWEVER; mixing diets & supplements with medical treatments is extremely complex as the cartoon suggests. Luckily; that’s our field of expertise.
Note: About 95% of patients presenting at my clinic, have hindered their medical treatments by the unskilled use of complementary medicines.
Complementary cancer medicines – it’s Complex:
If your naturopath or integrative GP is prescribing supplements to help your cancer recovery you must ask them about their experience of the following fields; Pharmacognosy, Pharmacogenomic Tests Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics to mention a few. If they are not familiar with these emerging fields then their advice will be limited, even harmful. Scroll page for more on this topic,
When combining complementary medicines with cancer treatments, a scientific approach is safer & more effective!
Satire Video – This hilarious little video highlights some ways patients can be (dangerously) misled.
The video demonstrates how the intention to Self-help has become Self-Harm; something we consistently witness in patients presenting to us!
By not grasping the complexity involved in mixing complementary approaches with medical treatments, large numbers of patients are unintentionally ‘self-harming.’
Without knowledge of what patients experience at the cancer coalface their research efforts are rarely fruitful. Consequently, they often achieve the opposite of their intended outcomes.
There are numerous complexities involved with diets and supplementation for cancer patients!
When patients have 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 understand mechanics of cancer and many are 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 and/or interfere with their medical cancer treatments. Scroll to bottom of page for more on this.
When it comes to complementary cancer medicine it’s often a case of the blind leading the blind.
Fragmented approaches are ineffective, fall far short of the Collaborative (Team Model). Fragmented approaches can be dangerous; even life threatening.
You may disbelieve me but with a deeper scientific understanding you’ll see the complexity of mixing herbs, supplements, extreme diets with medical drugs, radiation or surgery designed to beat your cancer.
Here’s the Problem: Everything you put in your mouth has the potential to undermine or stop your oncology treatments from working. E.G. even the humble grapefruit – see video below.
Certain foods such as grapefruit can interact negatively with a large number of medicines
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.
This is relatively common where the oncologist sees his treatment not working so she increases the dosage. Note increasing your chemo can cause harm or even death.
Some supplements may interact with conventional cancer treatment or medicines and change how the treatment works or the dose is absorbed.
What’s needed to bridge the Gap?
* An in depth knowledge of oncology drugs, medicine, the biology & nature of cancer, anatomy & physiology is required. 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 typically, 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 and it does!
* Sound knowledge & experience with botanical medicines & complementary therapies – there are many interactions to consider such as drug/herb interactions, diet/drug interactions & more
During Our Consultations with You:
The information presented so far 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.
So when there is a clash, (and there almost always is) your well meaning efforts may actually make your oncology treatments worthless or even harm you.
You’d be safer & better off doing nothing – Unless – you have someone to bridge the gap between oncology & naturopathy so it all works together.