Topic: My trip to the Naturopath

So, I had a consult with a naturopath today.  It took about 90 minutes.   He reviewed my latest bloodwork and the only other additional testing that was ordered was to get my vitamin D level checked.

Backround on me, I had intrahepatic CC, had a resection 1 yr ago, got 3 cycles gem/cis, 6 wks radiation plus xeloda, 3 more cycles gem/cis which ended in middle of February.I had to get 2 units of blood and started on iron and was on neopogen during chemo.  Had an ovary removed one month ago because of an endometrioma.  My last WBC was 4.8, h/h 12/35.9, plts 189. I feel pretty darn good considering the year I've had.

So, anyway...The Dr I saw was very nice and appeared knowledgeable.  He was not pushy at all, which I appreciated because I told him I am a skeptic of natural medicine and frankly a little afraid of it. He said I am doing remarkable well for someone with my history, which to him meant I am pretty healthy and my body does a good job healing itself.  We went through my lifestyle and he basically encouraged the no brainer things such as exercise and a healthy diet with lots of fruits/vegetables/whole grains. Encouraged eating "whole" foods, organic if possible.  Also encouraged green tea.

He said in order for cancer to form, there must be some type of inflammation in the body.  My hepatologist also told me this a while back.  So, he said his plan for me was to reduce inflammation by taking some supplements short term for about 6 months and then just eat a healthy diet.

The supplements he recommended was some type of mushroom mix, I said no to that one, but said I would eat more mushrooms.
Melatonin 20mg at night.
Chelidonium pellets under the tongue for one week.  Don't think I will take this one.  I've read it is either great for your liver or causes hepatitis and is dangerous,  so not worth the risk to me.
BCQ 2 caps twice a day, it has Bromelain, Querceting, Curcumin and Boswelia
Fish Oil I don't have much of a problem with, it's prescribed by cardiologists all the time for cardiac patients.
Melatonin doesn't really bother me either except I wonder about the hormone effects. Some cancers are hormone sensitive. I've used it in the past for sleep, but not at this dose.
That BCQ thing, I'm not surprised about.  I kind of expected they would recommend something with turmeric.

I also asked about CoQ10.  He said he puts tons of cancer patients on it, but since my energy level is ok, no need for me.

Comments and opinions are welcome.  Be as blunt as you want, I won't be offended.


Be well everyone!

Susie

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Very interesting, Susie. I would still bring all these things up to your ONC before starting, though. I think I  took that much extra stuff I would not be hungry enough to eat. Between my meds and vitamins, they sometime seem to fill me up. Good luck on it all.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi Susie,

That's very interesting. Thank you so much for posting.

I wonder what was in the mushroom mix that he recommended. Any of these?

Agaricus blazei
Chaga
Cordyceps
Coriolus
Lion’s Mane
Maitake
Reishi
Shiitake
Tremella

My wife tried Melatonin when she had trouble sleeping during her treatments. She took it for a while and then stopped, because it caused drowsiness and headaches in the morning. I think she took the same dose, 20mg at night.

I think you are right to wonder about the hormone effects of melatonin. Take a look at Sloan-Kettering page on Melatonin:

http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/melatonin

The professional tab contains this warning:

Because melatonin can alter levels of estrogen, patients with hormone sensitive cancer should consult their physicians before considering melatonin supplementation.

I remember reading medical studies saying that CC is estrogen-sensitive. If I recall correctly, these studies claimed two things. One, estrogen levels are increased in CC patients including males. Two, estrogen seems to promote CC growth (but that's just a theory and not proven 100%).

The question is, does Melatonin increase or decrease levels of Estrogen???

It's all very confusing, isn't it?

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

My oncologist responded that it is fine to take these things.  That's all she said, no detail. She also agreed to check my vit D the next time I get labs.

So, do I want to take them or not?  I'm leaning on taking them because here are my thoughts.  There has to be some type of underlying issue in my body that allowed this cancer to grow that hasn't been dealt with. I had the tumor removed, had chemo and radiation, all which focused on killing the tumor, not with fixing whatever problem caused it to grow. So, if the problem isn't fixed, why wouldn't it grow back? That is the most frustrating part of this whole process for me.  No one has any idea how I got this horrible thing, and no one really cares to look into it.  I'm not blaming them, obviously my drs have enough to deal with and their main focus has been treating the cancer, not worrying about where it came from. But I worry about how I got it all the time. 
I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but I was pretty much the epitome of health before I got cancer.  So, there aren't many diet/lifestyle changes that I can implement that I think would make a difference.

If the cancer comes back will I blame the supplements?  If I don't take them and it comes back, I'll have wish I'd taken the stupid things.  Both chemo and radiation were presented to me with little proof that they would help my situation, so I guess this is not any different than that scenario.

Eli, I can't remember the mushrooms he named.  I know maitake and shiitake were in the mix.  He said they were all edible.

Have a good night everyone. 

Susie

5 (edited by PCL1029 Tue, 03 Jul 2012 10:10:09)

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi,
Just let you know I took maitake mushroom extract PROx3 35 gtts BID (twice a day) after the first resection  and the CCA returned after 2 years.
I stop taking it now after my 2nd resection and I am testing another herbal capsule call Yunzhi extract.brand name is  "oncozac" -an immuno enhanced agent which is used thousands of years in the far east countries, 4 capsules twice daily. I also take D3 1000-2000units twice a day.
The reasoning behind the Yunzhi exact is : it is an immuno enhanced agent, that means it help the patient who is in remission, to increase his/her body defense systems to fight for the left over or hiding cancer cells that are too small to show up on the scans.
In general,most of the solid tumors appeared on the CAT scan or MRI only when they reach the sizes of about 1 cm3 in size;below that size,it is difficult to detect;and immuno enhanced agents work best when the tumors are in the earlier developmental stage,that is  in general, the immuno enhanced agents work best when the tumor is below the sizes of 0.5cm3. and this is my reasoning behind taking the Yunzhi extract. Other immuno enhanced agents may work in the same way .
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Percy,

Have you ever taken Melatonin for cancer related treatment?  Why/why not?

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi Susie,

I want to respond to what you wrote:

So, do I want to take them or not?  I'm leaning on taking them because here are my thoughts.  There has to be some type of underlying issue in my body that allowed this cancer to grow that hasn't been dealt with. I had the tumor removed, had chemo and radiation, all which focused on killing the tumor, not with fixing whatever problem caused it to grow. So, if the problem isn't fixed, why wouldn't it grow back?

Cancer is far more random than you give it credit. It may very well be that your body does NOT have any underlying issue that allowed your cancer to grow. It may be just bad luck. I have read that every single human being, and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE, carries multiple gene mutations that may potentially lead to cancer. Most people don't develop cancer because we have a defense system to keep the unhealthy cells in check. But no defense system is perfect. Sometimes the defense fails for some purely random reason.

You called supplements "the stupid things". It's obvious that you feel uneasy about taking them. I think you should think about supplements some more. Don't pressure yourself into doing something you are not comfortable with.

Take care,
Eli

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi Percy,

You mentioned that you take Yunzhi extract. Wikipedia says that Yunzhi is Chinese name of Trametes versicolor mushroom. The same mushroom is also known as Coriolus versicolor, or Polyporus versicolor, or Turkey Tail. American Cancer Society has a page about this mushroom:

http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/Treatme … versicolor

Here's the part that caught my attention:

In the 1980s, the Japanese government approved the use of PSK for treating several types of cancer. In Japan, PSK is a best-selling anti-cancer drug where it is currently used as a cancer treatment along with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

PSK refers to the substance extracted from this mushroom.

This mushroom is interesting... thanks for mentioning!

Eli

9 (edited by PCL1029 Wed, 04 Jul 2012 15:17:03)

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi, Susie,

The answer is no. I did not take or try to use melatonin because of you need a relative high dose(20-40mg) in order to attain some benefit to fight cancer from melatonin. Last year ,when I went to the DDW convention here sponsored by this foundation, I met the author of a poster which used IV melatonin for  treatment of cancer. He insisted it works but required a much higher dose in IV formulation.
As you know melatonin is a sleeping aid used in the States(ie: dose=3mg at bedtime without RX); its side effect is therefore very logical-- drowsiness which I do not want when I need to work in the morning. plus 3mg is too small a dose for anticancer  or immuno enhanced activities;and IV formulation is definitely not my choice of treatment if I can avoid.
I hope I answer your question.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi, Eli,
Yes, it is interesting.that is why knowledge may play a role in all of these conversations on this message board. But then again, it may or may not work.For me, as a patient, all I can say about using CAM is,after researching  reading  and choosing what I think is the best CAM method to help myself, I will have no regrets when the time has come.
Good luck again tomorrow.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi,
another interesting herbs is   Astragalus.

as always,make sure the "quality of the product" is of the utmost concern.

God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi Percy. 
How would one know if they are getting 'good quality product'?  Do you have some resources you would be able to recommend?

Not living in a major metropolitan area, being somewhat sandwiched between NYC and Philly on the Jersey Shore does not count as a mecca for Eastern Medicine, or even Western Medicine at times.  I would not recognize a reliable source on the internet.  And I do not know anyone who is well versed in Eastern Medicine or CAM.

Even though I have been taking some for decades, I sometimes find it difficult to wrap my head around taking vitamins, herbals and supplements.  How does one know that they are doing the job you intended them to do?  And how do you know when you are getting 'good quality product'?  It is not like taking a bite of delicious chocolate and knowing you got the 'good stuff'.

Similarly, the reality of chemo or any cancer treatment is that we never know for sure what is working until it stops working.  It is all a leap of faith.  You roll the dice and take your chances without regret.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts on the matter, Renée

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi, Renee,

I can honestly say to you, I really do not know any any reliable TCM practitioner myself here in the STATES, not to mention about how to get " good quality product" of Chinese herbal medicine. I only know a few essential herbal products for herbal soups usage , beyond that , I bet most of us who came from the other side of the earth,the Far East may be except a few,do not really have a clue about the herbal products even if I bring my Chinese herbal bible with colorful pictures and "the how to select" section including technique such as size, touch,smell etc.  In the good old days, you trust the name of the drug store( herbal shop) for the products they sold. Nowadays, when the New China liberated to become the second largest economy in the world, there are no more such association anymore.
Western medicine practice , in my opinion , is more scientific and based on more objective research on drugs and devices. Of course, do they , the medical professionals make unintentional mistakes, the answer is yes, because we all are human. Did some bad apples on the tree make other look poorly,absolutely.
But to give up and believe some other magical poison"can cure all" through advertisement like one of your friend you mentioned on another message is sad.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Percy, thank you for your response.

I guess if I feel the need, I could take my chances on someone relatively local.  The same friend who bought into the cannabis oil went to a nurse who practices naturopathic medicine, and walked out with recommendations for hundreds of dollars worth of supplements that she could purchase through their practice...surprise.  The best our Oncology Nurse Practitioner would comment was that some could not hurt, others were a waste of money...she bought them all anyway.

Thank you for your 'personal opinion that is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice'.  I fully understand that, and appreciate your time and research that becomes beneficial so many of us on this site.

Take Care, Renée

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

If you want the name of an herbal apothecary I can steer you to one I believe is very reputable.  I have been seeing a nutritionist (with good credentials) who puts in orders to an apothecary in Silver Spring, MD.  You could call them.  Even though I am close by, they ship to me.  I am mainly taking a tincture of turmeric (even Johns Hopkins Magazine published an article this month on the benefits of turmeric as effective treatment for cancer..they are conducting a study).  I had to give up the reishi as I got a rash from it.  I am also taking ashwanganda and ginseng.  I do understand hesitations to start taking anything too "out there" and may have risks to the liver!

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Hi,Renee,

"The best our Oncology Nurse Practitioner would comment was that some could not hurt, others were a waste of money...she bought them all anyway. "

This statement may be too general in answering questions related to chemotherapy especially the  relatively new comer the "targeted agents therapy."

Most of the patients by now should know not to take medications with grapefruit juice or with alcohol  due to drug-food or drug -drug interaction in general.
But the targeted agents (TA)are relatively new and the side effects are still gathering data in  Phase IV after market studies or from reports directly coming from the practice of oncologists who report the drug's side effects which may not list on the package insert. and most of the "target agents"  package inserts recommended not to use herbal or any diet supplements like St. John's wart  or even OTC medications,which is FDA approved like Zantac, Nexium and Pepcid etc. (do not take them together with TA)
When is in doubt,look it up ;sometimes most the medical professionals can give  general information to answer general questions,but when it comes to your or my life, it is our lives and not theirs to pay more attention to research
or find out what is the proper and  best interest to help medicated our self.
God bless.

Please know that my personal opinion is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If  provided, information are for educational purposes.Consult doctor is a MUST for changing of treatment plans.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

In order to avoid the surgery and consumption of drugs, Naturopath treatment has also come to the forth. It deals with the insertion of a special kind of energy in human body so that power can be gained to sustain in cancer. It completely rejects the intake of those medicines that can cause further side effects. The medicines that are used here do no harm and at the same time they guarantee complete recovery if the disease is diagnosed at the right time.

Weight loss naturopath

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

EVERYONE PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAKE NOTHING WITHOUT FIRST TALKING WITH YOUR ONC! I KNEW SOMEONE WHO WENT THE NATURAL PATH WAY WITH LYMPHOMA AND HE JUST PASSED THIS LAST DECEMBER AT 52 YEARS OLD!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: My trip to the Naturopath

Thanks for looking out for us, Lainy!!