What is Integrative Cancer Medicine?
Other than surgery at an early stage, modern cancer treatment doesn’t have any single treatment that is effective on its own. For this reason, the standard for treating cancer is to integrate surgery with chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
A specialist in “integrative cancer treatment” doesn’t limit treatment options to standard “cook book” protocols. Instead, we use personalized medical testing to guide a combination of treatment strategies that add to standard care options.
Many of these integrative cancer therapies are now becoming “mainstream”. They include immune therapies, metabolic therapies, photo-dynamic and sono-dynamic therapy, hyperthermia therapies, virotherapy, apoptosis induction therapies, insulin potentiated therapies and metronomic therapies. Other therapies are still not yet recognized by mainstream medicine, but, they will join the list above with time and further research.
Why do we offer medical therapies in advance of them being adopted by standard of care medicine?
We have ‘skin in the game’! Dr. Bethel and his staff have family members who are living with stage 4 cancer, many doing so for over ten years. This personal incentive drives us to find answers ahead of the crowd. Thanks to the constant search for new therapies to help the people in our family practice, we not only survive cancer but we THRIVE with cancer!
What are some of the innovative cancer care strategies we offer?
- Immune Strategies: Unfortunately, the immune cells recognize cancer cells as injured cells that need protection. What we want the immune cells to do is view cancer cells as defective cells that need to be destroyed. There are some new therapies that help the immune system attack cancer cells like GcMAF, high dose Cholecalciferol and PDGF.
- Virotherapy: This is a powerful sub-set of immune therapy that uses oncolytic viruses to target, attack and kill cancer cells as well as ‘tag’ the cancer cells for destruction by the immune cells. The most famous of these is RigVir. Click here to read more about RigVir and virotherapy.
- Metabolic Strategies: Cancer is a metabolic disease before it becomes a disease of the DNA genes. There are many new treatments that take advantage of the fact that cancer is metabolically weak and vulnerable compared to healthy cells.
- Apoptosis Induction Strategies: Every healthy cell has a programmed life span until it will simply shutdown. This natural process of cells shutting down is called ‘apoptosis’.
- Photo and Sono and Magno Dynamic Therapy: Certain medications absorb and activate with specific light, sound or magnetic frequencies. We can take advantage of this with cancer in many ways. We can activate medications only at the tumor sites. Also, cancer cell mitochondrial molecules can also be stimulated with specific light and sound and magnetic frequencies to trigger apoptosis cell shut down.
- DNA-Histone Stabilization Strategies: Cancer cells have DNA in an un-bound state which keeps it in a constant state of replication. If we encourage the DNA in cancer cells to tightly wrap around stabilizing proteins called histones, then cancer cells can’t replicate so easily.
- Emotional Somatization Therapy: Stress affects cancer. The way the same cancer spreads differently in different people is affected by our emotional stresses.
- Biological Response Modification Strategies: There are many biological process either missing or amplified in cancer cells that make them different from healthy cells. Sometimes we target these cancer specific biological process to inhibit cancer cell function.
- Hormone Modulation Strategies: Many cancer cell are extra sensitive to hormone stimulation. Sometimes we can inhibit hormone stimulation of cancer cells or use other hormones to inhibit cancer cell growth.
- Hyperthermia Therapy: Cancer cells are metabolically vulnerable and they can’t survive high temperatures as good as healthy cells.
- Cryotherapy: Cancer cell can be killed with direct application of freezing medication called liquid nitrogen. We use this mostly for skin cancers and cervical cancers.
- Targeted Therapies: Each cancer cell within a tumor is unique with different DNA mutations compared with cells in the very same tumor. But, if we do a tumor DNA analysis and tumor culture and sensitivity we can identify if a significant population of cells in a tumor have an oncogene that can be targeted with a medication. This is called ‘personalized medicine’ with ‘targeted therapy’.
- Insulin Potentiated Therapies: Insulin is a potent growth stimulator for cancer. If we keep insulin levels low with diet and medication then we give a dose of insulin at the same time as the medication, it causes the cancer cells to take in the medication more than normal…thus improving the effectiveness with less side effects.
- Metronomic Strategies: If high doses of medications are effective but not tolerated due to side effects, then we can offer much lower doses at more frequent treatments so that those side effects are less severe while the medication is still as effective on the cancer.
- Documentation Strategies: We have in clinic sono-graphic scans and thermo-graphic scans to document the response to therapy. We have in house lab services that we send blood or biopsy samples to special labs that can do tumor markers, circulating cancer cell counts, DNA profiles of cancer cells and tumor culture and sensitivity tests to document responses to therapies.
Who can benefit from our personalized Integrative Cancer Care Programs?
All cancers have some combination of strategies that can be rotated in cycles to reduce the development of resistance to any one therapy. If you would like to have a free evaluation of the strategies that might help your unique situation, please click here to contact us.