this is the one, true cancer overview file


Health Care in Harmony with Nature
Dr. Arlan Cage, ND, LAc


Holistic, Natural Support
for Patients with Cancer

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The following is an overview of the types of factors that are taken into account in the holistic support of a patient with cancer. For additional insight into the philosophy behind Naturopathic cancer support, please see the article written by Dr. Cage for the Journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review, Feb 2006, entitled "Abnormal Cell Growth In Light of Naturopathic Philosophy".

The Naturopathic view of the human being is that we consist of more than just our physical bodies: our emotions, mind and spirit as well as our energetic anatomy, all play a role in our health. Each of these areas has the potential to be the primary cause of disease and likewise, may need to be the focus of treatment in order to bring about healing on the physical level.

Cancer, likewise has multiple causes. Environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies, environmental stressors as well as genetic susceptibilities have all been determined to play a role in causing cancer. Most cancer treatments, both conventional and alternative, will fail if they do not take into account both the holistic model of humans and the multi-factorial causesof cancer.

Most treatments for cancer available today operate on some form of of the "Silver Bullet" approach -- the idea that one key, sophisticated treatment will seek out and destroy the cancer much like cruise missles seek out and destroy a target. This is true of both conventional and even most alternative forms of treatment. Really advanced programs may combine 2 or even 3 of these "silver bullet" treatments, thinking that the result is "holistic".

Every form of treatment, conventional and alternative alike, has its share of success stories. For those individuals, that particular treatment was the one key piece of the health puzzle that their bodies needed to bring about a recovery. For most people though, by the time cancer develops there are usually many aspect of their health that need correction: multiple nutritional deficiencies, multiple accumulated toxicities, mental, emotional and spiritual blockages, and so on. Only by treating both the patient and their cancer in a holistic manner do we give them the best chance for a recovery. A key point from Naturopathic philisophy is especially appropriate here: Give the body what it needs, take away what it doesn't, and trust the body's natural healing ability to do the rest.

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One of the misconceptions about cancer is that it is DNA "gone crazy", and somehow represents a malfunctioning of the body. While this may be partially true for some cancers, or in the late stages of many cancers, it is seldom the true, actual cause of cancer. An exception may be certain radiation-induced cancers following nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl or Three Mile Island, or above-ground nuclear testing, or for workers in the nuclear or other industries who experience large occupational exposure of radiation.

In fact, rather than random, uncontrollable, chaotic events, many if not most aspects of cancer are highly predictable processes of the body's immune system as it systematically tries to defend the higher- level organism from aspects of, or effects of, the actual cancerous cells.

A variety of stimulli, both external toxins and internal nutrient deficiencies, can alter the body's internal environment into a disease-promoting state. When this happens cells in the body go through a 6-step transformation from healthy to cancerous cells. This process was first described by a German physician, Hans Heinrich Reckeweg, in a theory called Homotoxicology. If the body's immune system is strong and has access to all the required nutrients it can actually kill cancerous cells fairly quickly. Healthy individuals do this on an almost daily basis, and we never know it.

Tumors, in fact, are part of the body's attempt to wall-off these abnormal cells and prevent them from spreading throughout the body. The body does this in an attempt to buy time for the organism until proper nutrients are found and a more normal internal environment can be re-established, allowing the body's natural cancer-killing ability to function.

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This bigger-picture, holistic model of cancer is translatted into actual treatment plans through several steps. The first requires a holistic assessment of the patient; specifically, the type of cancer and its stage of progression; are there any other conditons or illnesses requiring simultaneous treatment, what is the mental and emotional state of the patient, and finally, what is the patient's overall health, strength and vitality?

Subsequent steps in developing a customized support plan will be based on the following objectives. The priority of these will depend on the assessment of your unique case and what is most important at the time. Each of the objectives Dr. Cage chooses to focus on could involve several natural products. Dr. Cage uses natural products that are backed up by solid, scientific evidence and are clinicallly proven to perform the specific funtions they are intended to accomplish.

Holistic Cancer Support Objectives
     -- Build Strength and Vitality
     -- Neutralize the Side effects of Conventional Treatments
     -- Enhance the Function of the Immune System
     -- Support Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Health and Reduce Stress
     -- Alter the Internal Environment of the body so that it will no longer support cancer
        (This is accomplished primarily through a comprehensive diet and nutrition program.)
     -- Detoxify the Body from past accumulated toxins and new debris from dying cancer cells
     -- Promote the health of the normal cells in the body
        (this gives more time for the anti-cancer portions of treatment to work)
     -- Kill Existing Cancer Cells
        (most conventional therapies concentrate on only this part of treatment) A number of
        natural methods can also be used to augment your treatment plan.
     -- Stop the Metasasis of Cancer Cells to other areas in the body
     -- Shrink Tumors

As mentioned above, most conventional therapies concentrate on killing cancer cells. Some also focus on shrinking tumors. Many conventional therapies have the side effects of decreasing a patient's strength and suppressing the immune system. For those cases, Naturopathic methods can boost the immune system and counteract the negative aspects of the conventional treatment. Because Naturopathic methods focus holistically on all aspects of cancer and work in harmony with your body's immune system, they should be a part of every cancer program.

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Dr. Cage starts by reviewing your medical records so that he fully understands your current diagnosis, current treatment regimen as well as your full health history. This is a vital step of your holistic care to ensure the success and safety of your holistic treatment program. Dr. Cage asks that records be sent in advance of your first visit.

Your first visit will consist of a review of your records with Dr. Cage. He may have additional questions about your current treatment as well as your medical history. Dr. Cage will then fully explain the natural treatment methods he recommends be added to your existing program to accomplish some or all of the treatment objectives mentioned above. This first visit focuses on educating you, the patient, so that you will be successful implementing the aspects of care you need to do on a daily basis. This first visit will also include giving you your long-term treatment plan.

The frequency of follow up vists varies greatly from case to case; every 1-2 weeks for the first month or two is typical. Over time, additional therapies will be added or subtracted from your regimen based on your response to treatment.

As a member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Cage uses a variety of scientifically proven, holistic treatment modalities in the cancer support process. Nutrition, Chinese and Western Herbs, Homeopathy, Enzyme Therapy, Detoxification and other specialized supplements will be combined to accomplish the various treament objectives listed above. The exact herbs, homeopathic remedies, or supplements used will vary from cases to case depending on the type of cancer, its stage, and other therapies being used; in short, based on the results of the full, holistic assessment mentioned above.

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