Cancer Care New Diagnosis If you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, it may feel like your world is falling apart. You may be thrust into an overwhelming number of appointments, medical tests, scans and biopsies. You may feel that you have been placed on a fast moving track of treatment that you don’t understand. You may feel inundated by a hurricane of new vocabulary. You may feel powerless in this process that you are struggling to understand. As an integrative physician who specializes in cancer, I understand the big picture of care and will support you through this process. I will help you understand the decisions you need to make about doctors or therapies, and I will help you with the physical support your body needs. I will support you as you make the best decisions for yourself. I work very hard to individualize every patient’s care. Too often cancer treatment can feel like one-size-fits-all, when in fact, everyone’s body is different and reacts differently to the cancer and to the various treatments. Once you have decided upon a specific therapy, I will help you with a treatment plan made specifically for you, to support your body so that you have the least side effects with the most benefit. I have good working relationships with oncologists, both locally and across the country. Finished with Treatment It can be a relief to be done with conventional therapies like chemotherapy and radiation. It can also feel a little scary. Many of my patients ask “what else can I do to make sure the cancer doesn’t some back?” The good news is that there is a lot that you can do! It begins with getting a really good understanding of your body, now and at the time of your cancer. Blood work and other body terrain testing, environmental toxin assessment, and a close analysis of your history can help to guide this. It is almost never a single factor that causes cancer, but an accumulation of years of factors that come together in a perfect storm. Why you? Why this cancer? Why now? These three questions start the process of uncovering as many factors as possible that may have contributed to your cancer growth. And this is unique to you! Even if your cancer diagnosis is identical to a friend’s, the body systems that are contributing to driving the cancer growth may be very different. Personalized Example Jane and Lisa both came to see me. Each had been diagnosed with breast cancer stage 2b. They had just been diagnosed and were trying to decide what to do next, lumpectomy with radiation or mastectomy. They seemed very similar from the outside: both were in their mid-50s, ate healthy diets, loved to exercise, and were of average weight. However, after a detailed intake and blood work, it was clear they were very different. Jane’s blood sugar level was elevated. She had been a vegetarian for the last 20 years, rarely eating sweets. She had worked as a dental hygienist for 15 years working with amalgam fillings, which contain mercury. She recalled many years ago mixing the amalgam filling in the palm of her hand.Lisa’s blood sugar looked good, but her inflammatory marker was elevated and her vitamin D level was very low. She worked a stressful desk job and often woke at 3 am with racing thoughts. She loved to run, although her joints had been hurting her more. She noticed that she would often go a day or two without a bowel movement. Both of these women were being offered an identical choice of treatment plans from their oncologist and their surgeon. However, what they needed to support their bodies through these treatments was vastly different. Jane has elevated blood sugar. It has been shown in many studies that having an elevated blood sugar while getting radiation or chemotherapy decreases the effectiveness of the therapy. More importantly, it also increases the likelihood of recurrence. Jane needs a comprehensive plan to decrease her blood sugar immediately, so that her therapy will be the most effective. This would be accomplished with diet changes, herbs, and targeted medications. In the longer term, when she is done with treatment, she will need to be assessed for heavy metal toxicity, specifically mercury. Lisa has a low vitamin D level and an elevated inflammatory marker. Having elevated inflammation in the body during radiation or chemotherapy makes it less effective. Low vitamin D has been linked with cancer risk and recurrence risk. She needs a comprehensive plan that will get her sleeping through the night so that she has better energy during the day, get her bowels moving so that she is able to move toxins out of her system, and bring down the inflammation in her system. In the longer term, once she is done with treatment, she should be assessed for toxicity and bowel function, because chronic constipation often leads to an increased body burden of toxins that cannot get out and that can cause a recurrence of cancer. Cancer Philosophy Understanding what is unique about your cancer, your body, and your environment is the key to being able to focus treatments effectively. Your cancer is unique, different even from others with the same physical diagnosis. By utilizing blood work, tumor tissue testing, hormone and toxin testing, and a comprehensive intake, we can start to see what is contributing to cancer growth. Targeting change in your entire body, not just a single mechanism, we can create an environment that cancer does not want to grow in. I am passionate about providing comprehensive cancer care and creating a bridge between conventional and traditional medicine.