Los Angeles: Beware The Radiation Therapy Hype & Myths
Don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't take any protective action for your own body while receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer. That's just not good advice. Radiation therapy is destructive; plain and simple. The purpose of radiation treatment is to destroy cancer cells, but there is a lot of collateral damage with radiation treatment. Collateral damage means that—while your body is under siege by the radiation attack on cancer cells, the radiation also kills and mutates normal healthy cells, and disrupts the other systems of your body that are necessary to keep you alive. The x-ray beam (the radiation) cannot be controlled to such a degree that other cells of your body are not affected.
During radiation treatment, your body is under attack and you need to support the rest of your body while this attack is underway. Don't let them tell you that taking extra nutrients can ruin the effectiveness of the radiation. Nothing of the sort has ever been proven. At best, the available data is limited. But they know that radiation tumors (tumors caused by the radiation) may show-up five to ten to years after the radiation treatment. Their statistics for success from their proposed treatment stops at the 5 year timeline. Radiation tumors aren't included in their success rate.
Take your own precautions. Radiation is not a perfect science, but when you add the common advice from radiation oncologists that you shouldn't take any "antioxidants" during treatment, their beliefs break into the realm of unscientific superstition. You don't want medical myths and superstition to get in the way of you surviving the radiation therapy. High-tech and superstition don't mix.
Adjunct Cancer Care
Even for chemotherapy, recent research shows that the myth of "don't use any additional nutrition," or "don't use antioxidants" is just plain wrong. A recent study showed that grape seed extract was helpful for bowel cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. You can support your body during chemo, or radiation, with adjunct cancer care. There are numerous nutritional supplements that can support your goals. Quercetin is just an example of something that can be included in an anticancer therapeutic strategy.
Our Experience with Clinical Nutrition in Los Angeles
I have had the experience of directing an adjunct, or complementary care program for two Los Angeles women who were concurrently undergoing radiation treatment, a.k.a. radiation therapy, for breast cancer. One did not have an active tumor, as it had been surgically removed and was well circumscribed according to her surgeon. The other had numerous metastases, and had originally been told that radiation was not even an option for her, but after she was showing much improvement while being on our health supporting integrative immunotherapy program, her doctors changed their mind, and suggested radiation. I'd like to review these two cases for you, to bring light to the idea that you can support your body through a closely supervised clinical nutrition supplementation program during the time when radiation therapy is administered.
The first step for these two women was for me to map their body's stress before the radiation therapy was initiated, and use supportive supplementation where a present need was indicated. Then, once radiation therapy had commenced, to reassess as soon as only two, or three days afterward. This close follow-up is extremely important. A do-it-yourself guessing approach to what your body needs, or not following these directions at this critical time, is a recipe for failure. Do you want to be another average statistic of radiation treatment, or do you want to come out with your best chances of beating this thing? Our whole purpose for this highly supervised nutritional program is to have much greater success without the destructive side effects, and for a recurrence-free survival (RFS).
Our program continues with doctor follow-ups on a weekly basis to reevaluate your body's changing needs. Your needs are clinically determined by your consistent and repeatable responses to certain stimuli like touching a point on your body; a type of biofeedback. Through this holistic method of assessment, which indicates what specific clinical nutrition support your body needs at that time, we mitigate the negative side effects of the radiation therapy.
Yours, By Choice Only
As you probably realize by now, clinical nutrition is not part of conventional industrialized medicine. There is no such program anywhere in the hospital setting, and it does not fit into the type of care given in a hospital or rehab facility. The purpose of this program is to support your other body systems; it is not for the suppression of symptoms, or to further treat breast cancer (kill breast cancer cells). There are no pharmaceutical drugs used in this program. We use specific whole food nutritional supplementation, as indicated at each of your follow-up visits.
The support program I discuss is exactly what I used with these two women, who were at very different levels of disease regarding their breast cancer. What I learned from helping these two women is that every woman's body will have its own specific needs when radiation treatment commences. There is no standard, generalized, one-size-fits-all protocol of nutritional supplementation that could be recommended. However, there are definite, specific and very great needs that each woman's body will have during radiation treatment, and these needs must be evaluated, and addressed. The need for supplementation will go way above the usual for relatively short periods of time during radiation therapy, and can change on a weekly basis.
I did not use a duplicate nutritional supplementation program for each of these two women. Their courses of care were highly individualized. Some of the supplementation, indicated by clinical assessment for each of these women, included numerous products from Standard Process, MediHerb, Apex Energetics, and Jarrow Formulas. I refrain from naming specific supplements because there is no generalized recommendation. All recommendations are based on individual clinical findings, and it would just be an exercise of futility if you were to try to do this on your own, without the proper and necessary guidance.
How can you participate in a plan such as this? There are numerous functional medicine doctors in Los Angeles and throughout the country who do the type of work that I do, but there may be some differences in their style, compared to mine. I integrate kinesiology into the assesment process, which is a tremendous advantage. The general principles of assessment, and of structuring a clinical nutrition program for you needs to be specific, and my program is very specific. It is possible that many other functional medicine doctors would not be willing to take-on a patient who is deciding to undergo radiation therapy, or even someone who already has a diagnosis of breast cancer, and you should be aware of that possibility. However, it does not scare me to accept such a patient.
I have already seen how this clinical-nutrition-based, supportive care system has helped two women come through radiation therapy in Los Angeles, without the usual immediate side effects associated with radiation treatment. The "collateral damage" always occurs during radiation treatment, and one of the women ended up with multiple radiation tumors on the side of the radiation two years after radiation treatment. If you are deciding about radiation treatment, you must take this serious side effect of subsequent multiple radiation tumors into account. Call me for your free telephone consultation and to see if we should set up your first appointment.