Kris Carr - She has a rare sarcoma cancer and has been fighting it for about 15 years without western medicine. There really isn’t a helpful protocol for her cancer. She is a vegan but whether you want to take that on or not, she has great nutrition information to help with your health. She knows her stuff and she’s funny too. Her cookbook is called “Crazy Sexy Kitchen.”
Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life by David Servin Schreiber, MD, PhD. He eventually passed away from brain cancer but he lived with it for 20 years by changing his diet and lifestyle. He’s a medical researcher so the book is well written and supported.
Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly A. Turner, Ph.D. Kelly studied many cases of cancer remission when the prognosis was very poor. She reveals 9 key factors common in patients who survived against the odds.
These are helpful for education but I find they are also highly motivating.
Hungry for Change exposes the strategies and secrets the food industry uses to convince us their processed food products are healthy and how they manage to keep us coming back for more.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Joe Cross was 100 lbs overweight and dependent on prescription medications for his health conditions. This documentary follows him while he makes radical diet changes and uncovers the realities of our unhealthy society.
Crazy Sexy Cancer is Kris Carr’s journey from diagnosis to finding stability in her disease through many different nutritional and alternative therapy approaches.
Dr. Greg Nigh- Immersion Health. Dr. Nigh is a naturopath who specializes in oncology on Portland, Oregon. He offers IV therapies to help patients feel better and stay healthy during traditional chemotherapy treatments as well as a variety of therapies to help fight the cancer and to allow the chemotherapy to be more effective. Dr. Nigh is supportive of the Ketogenic diet and has good understanding of a variety of metabolic approaches to cancer treatment.
Providence Cancer Center’s Integrative Medicine clinic. You don’t need to be a Providence patient to access this clinic.
Dr. Menge Kou is a Chinese medicine Dr. (from China) out on Glisan and 102nd. He does acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I was hoping his treatments would prevent Sam from relapsing but it did not. I still think his work and herbs are very beneficial and might be more successful with other cancers. 503.261.9603
Replenish PDX – This group is based in Portland but their services are delivered over the phone, so can be accessed anywhere in the country. They also have virtual workshops, a nutrition blog and a supplement shop. Independent phone appointments assist patients in learning how to read their own comprehensive blood work and determine a supplement and nutrition program to support the healing.
Miriam Kalamian - Cancer cell metabolism is becoming a topic of great interest among cancer researchers. For too long, cancer research has focused exclusively on the genetics of cancer, which has led to the development of targeted therapies. More recently, researchers have looked at ways to enhance the immune system's ability to fight cancer, leading to advances in immunotherapies. The ketogenic diet is a metabolic approach to managing cancer. Cancer cells ferment glucose at an extremely high rate, generating the fuel they need to multiply while simultaneously producing lactate, an acid waste product that contributes to cancer progression. The ketogenic diet, a high-fat low-carbohydrate dietary therapy, limits the availability of cancer's favorite fuel. The diet has other remarkable impacts for fighting cancer and when combined with traditional chemotherapy, might provide even more benefits. At first, it may sound too radical but with the right support and resources, it can be done with an abundance of great food. Miriam's story and her knowledge offers patients tremendous support.
MaxLove Project - Max is a remarkable boy who has been keeping his brain cancer stable for a few years with a ketogenic diet. His parents, Audra and Justin are incredible resources for anyone parenting a child with cancer and in need of nutritional support. They have a website, downloadable booklets, and a Facebook group for parents pursuing the diet for their kids. Check them out and be open to giving it a try. They know their stuff.
Probiotic - Take a good quality probiotic. Chemo and antibiotics will wipe out the good bacteria in your gut so a good probiotic will help keep beneficial bacteria present. This will support your immune system and can help with nausea. It should be a refrigerated probiotic with several kinds of beneficial bacteria (those starting with L and B). We use Inner Ecco, berry flavor.
I have heard some concern about using probiotics when a patient is neutropenic. This would be worth looking into but when counts are up I highly recommend it.
Hydration - Ask for an extra bolus of water while you are getting chemo and stay well hydrated before and after chemo days.
Ginger – Take a ginger supplement along with anti-nausea meds. Start a day or two before chemo.
Nux Vomica - This comes in a little tube of sugar pellets in the homeopathic section of New Seasons or Whole Foods.
Anti-nausea medications– Stay on top of your nausea meds. Start a day early and continue for at least 24 hours after chemo.
Bone Broth- This is a great way to get healing nutrients into the digestive system without putting stress on it while it's dealing with the damage caused by chemotherapy. MaxLove has great resources for bone broth. They believe in the benefits so much that they have created a bone broth bank for children getting cancer treatment at their local hospital. It sounds intimidating but once I got the hang of it, I was making broth about every 10 days pretty easily.
Nutrient Rich Broth - I never tried this broth. I only learned about it when Sam was in the hospital for his last week on this earth. I planned to make it for him since he was supposed to start a new chemotherapy regimen that was likely to cause a lot of nausea. A friend of mine made it for her son during treatment and believes it helped with the nausea and his overall health. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
Essential oils – DoTerra has an oil called “digest zen”. You put it on your tummy to help with nausea or constipation. I started using oils because I wanted to help Sam tolerate the smells of the hospital but I’ve found oils can also be used for sleep, anxiety, immune strength, digestion/nausea, and even the cancer itself. We had mixed results for nausea but oils did support Sam in other ways.
Nutrition is important for two reasons. It will help keep you strong and healthy as you go through treatment since chemo causes tissue damage, depletes your body of its energy and beats down your immune system. It may also help you beat the disease.
Juicing – Juicing, like broth, is a great way to get essential nutrients into your system without taxing your digestive system. Since the fiber is removed, your system doesn’t have to work hard to get a LOT of good cancer fighting nutrition in one glass. I have heard some people say it also helps with the side effects of chemo. It’s important to have mostly veggies and just a little bit of fruit (otherwise you’ll get too much sugar at one time). I always use celery, cucumber and green apple as a base. Then add stuff like kale, spinach, fennel, carrot, lemon (just a little bit), orange or pear, broccoli stem, parsley, etc. It tastes best cold and on ice.
There are some concerns with juicing to be aware of. Since the fiber is removed, juice can raise blood glucose levels quickly. A metabolic approach to cancer would recommend against juicing for this reason. I recommend doing your own research and at least, enjoy your juice with a snack high in fat, protein and fiber like this Flaxie Maxie bar from Replenish PDX. Sam wanted a more masculine name for this snack but he did enjoy it.
A comprehensive supplement plan should always be discussed with your doctor or naturopath, and guided by current blood work and treatment. A few basics to ask your doctor about are listed below.
Vitamin D - This is linked to all kinds of diseases, including cancer. You can request your Vitamin D levels on your next blood draw. Aim for above 50 at least. We use this D3 Serum. When I first requested Sam's Vitamin D level, he was at 22! That's awful! We raised it to 82 with reasonably high doses of this serum.
Fish Oil – Good source of anti-inflammatory promoting oils. Supports the immune system, nervous system, and helps to maintain a healthy muscle mass during chemo. We used Vital Choice.
Tumeric - Get a good quality turmeric. It either needs to have black pepper in it or take it with dinner with a bit of black pepper in the meal. Black pepper is only beneficial if it’s ground just before digested. You can also add this spice to a variety of meals. The biggest roadblock with turmeric is it’s poor bioavailability so do your research into a good quality brand. Gaia is reputable but it's worth asking some professionals.
Medicinal Mushrooms – There is quite a bit of information about how medicinal mushrooms support the immune system and there is a slow growing research base on their impact on cancer. Host Defense is a good commercial brand but if you can find an herbalist to work with you, that will likely be the best way to get the most out of medicinal mushrooms. My best resource is my Canadian friend, Dana Wood. After losing her daughter to Ewing’s, she took her 20 years of experience as a chemist and became certified in herbal medicine. Her website, Spirit of the Boreal, has many papers pointing to the benefits of medicinal mushrooms.