As a Naturopathic Oncologist I work alongside of Medical Oncologists to provide complete care for people facing a new cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment and for people who have completed their conventional care. This model of care is called Integrative Oncology and it allows people to receive the best of conventional care and the best of natural medicine simultaneously and is possible because the patient works with a physician expert in both areas.
80% of people who face a cancer diagnosis use supplements or other natural medicine interventions. My father did when he was diagnosed 30 years ago and chances are you or your loved one did also, or are doing so currently. So many of us do so because we want to have every advantage in our fight, because we need hope beyond what conventional care by itself offers, because we are suffering from harsh side effects from chemo, radiation or surgery and because if there is one more stone out there to turn over in our quest for better health and a better outcome – we are determined to discover it.
The trouble is, not all products are safe for all types of cancer and many natural compounds interfere with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or may cause problems surrounding surgery. So, first things first, do no harm….let’s identify and make sure no one is using anything that might make things worse.
If you have Leukemia or Lymphoma did you know that some of the most popular natural products used by cancer patients can make your cancer worse? You should not use high dose Melatonin, Echinacea, Astragalus or Mushroom extracts.
If you have an Estrogen Receptor Positive (ER+) cancer, such as an ER+ Breast cancer, did you know that two popular natural products contain plant based estrogen and can make your cancer worse? You should not use Essiac or Flora-essence. In this case I do not mean to discredit these products in general only to state that they should not be used by anyone facing an ER+ cancer.
If you are receiving one of the Taxanes, including Taxol (paclitaxel) or Taxotere (docetaxel) you should not use one of the most researched anti-cancer herbs available, Curcumin. Curcumin is also marketed as turmeric (whole herb form) and Meriva (a standardized compound). Some patients have asked if they can wait a day or two after chemotherapy then start taking their Curcumin again, the answer is No. Curcumin is not safe to use at all while your treatment regimen includes a Taxane.
I will write up additional contraindications next week. Please contact my office if you have any questions about these contraindicated products or if you are interested in the Healthy Cell Pack (www.IntegrativeCareFormulas.com) or my consulting services (www.IntegrativeCareConsutling.com ).
-Dr. Matthew Perchemlides FABNO, ND, MSN. BSN
Leave No Stone Unturned