Monday, September 15, 2008

Another MD Spills the Beans on Cancer Care

I believe this story is a positive one because another MD is speaking out about how cancer patients are cheated, and how they can improve their chances with simple changes in daily living.

I agree, that for the most part, those in oncology do little to help their patients beyond the slash and burn approach to cancer that is today's standard of care.

One example I know of is Cancer Care NW and their handing out of candy and chips for patients receiving chemo. Why are these folks so afraid of whole food and supplements that would be a much better choice?

At any rate, much of what this fellow came to understand is what I have been teaching as an advanced practice nurse and college level educator and through my community classes and clinical work in natural healing for many decades.

If more of this sort of thing get into main stream media, perhaps patients will start to wake up and stop failing to push the envelope, and their doctors, for more help to survive the situation, and take a more preventive attitude.

This isn't too different from the time when I studied with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. In those days most doctors were afraid of talking about death and dying.

Health News Review gives this story three stars:REVIEW SUMMARY
Few people could argue that adopting a healthy lifestyle by eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, getting enough exercise and reducing stress, are all positive things that one can do to improve our overall wellbeing. Undoubtedly these things will make us feel better, but will they protect us from getting cancer? Will they keep us from dying of a cancer we have or prevent a cancer we have already treated from coming back? These are difficult questions that are hard to answer. It is one thing to say lifestyle changes are good for you but another to make big claims about what they can or cannot do for cancer. This story falls into these familiar traps. That lifestyle changes have little to no risk does not excuse the fact that there is paltry evidence to back up the claims.

There is little in the way of helpful information for consumers in this story. What does adopting lifestyle changes involve? Does one need to do all of the changes mentioned in the story? How much of a benefit could one expect? Furthermore, because the story does not include any quotes from any experts in this research area, it lacks any real balance or specific information.
M.D. Cheats Death, Stands Up To Own CancerSept. 5, 2008
(CBS) Sixteen years ago, David Servan-Schreiber was a healthy neuroscientist and physician -- or so he thought.

Then, he discovered in one of his own brain scanner experiments that he -- had brain cancer.

"I felt scared, overwhelmed, confused. I felt betrayed by God," Servan-Schreiber told CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook.

He has penned the best-selling book, "Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life," about his past and on-going battle, and offers suggestions to fellow cancer patients. To read an excerpt, click here.

A conventionally trained physician, Servan-Schreiber says surgery and chemotherapy saved his life, but when he asked how he could change his lifestyle to help beat the cancer for good, he came up empty.

"As soon as you stop the chemo, you feel stripped, and you think, 'Wow, what do I do now?' And then everybody asks their doctor ... and this is when 99 percent of us get the standard answer, which is, 'Nothing in particular. Live your life like you always did.' "

Servan-Schreiber did what he knew best -- he hit the books, and was surprised to find studies on how nutrition and exercise might help the body fight cancer -- information doctors never told him.

"There's tremendous evidence that physical exercise helps prevent cancer, and also helps people who already have cancer prevent a recurrence," he says.

According to Servan-Schreiber, herbs and spices such as garlic, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, mint, and green tea help make the body less fertile for cancer. For instance, "When you put a little bit of garlic extract on cancer cells, they die."

He says vegetables and fruits such as brussel sprouts, asparagus and raspberries can target specific cancers, at least in test tubes.

"Your body knows how to fight cancer," Servan-Schreiber observed to LaPook. "Help it with the right nutrition, with physical exercise, with managing stress better, and avoiding contaminants that feed cancer. And if you do these things, which are very simple, you're greatly increasing your chance of beating the odds."

Servan-Schreiber offered more words of wisdom to LaPook -- words he says doctors rarely impart to their patients -- and LaPook discussed with co-anchor Harry Smith on The Early Show Friday why he thinks it is that cancer survivors aren't offered more guidance by the medical establishment:

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