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Entries in cancer (3)


Vitamin D may protect against cancer

A meta-study involving 5038 women aged 55 and older, as reported in Science News, found that higher levels of vitamin D were protective against breast cancer and indicate that a higher minimum recommendation may be warranted. While most women in the studies were white and while these studies don't necessarily prove cause and effect,

"Nonetheless, this paper reports the strongest association yet between serum vitamin D and reduction in risk of breast cancer," Garland said.

But not just breast cancer. In earlier research Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, adjunct professor in the UC San Diego Department of Family Medicine and Public Health found positive assoications between higher levels of vitamin D and reduced occurence of colon, breast, lung and bladder cancers, multiple myeloma and adult leukemia.

To reach 25(OH)D levels of 60 ng/ml, said Garland, would generally require dietary supplements of 4,000 to 6,000 international units (IU) per day, less with the addition of moderate daily sun exposure wearing very minimal clothing (approximately 10-15 minutes per day outdoors at noon). He said the success of oral supplementation should be determined using a blood test, preferably during winter months.

The article warns not to exceed 10,000 IU/day as serious adverse effects may occur.


Mammograms of questionable benefit.

The Harvard Medical School published this video as part of their blog describing the overuse and misuse of mammography. The blog states:

They [JAMA Insights article co-authors Keating and Pace*] further point out that the USPSTF [U.S. Preventive Services Task Force] reiterated its recommendation in 2016 and that the American Cancer Society joined the task force in 2015 in advocating less routine use of mammography and a more individualized approach to screening.


“One of the greatest harms is overdiagnosis, which can subject some women to harmful treatment without any benefit,” Pace said. “Additionally, high rates of false positives and unnecessary biopsies should be considered as likely outcomes of breast cancer screening.”

Personally, I use thermography. It, too, is criticized as producing too many false positives but it doesn't expose patients to radiation so they can be done frequently and checked against a baseline. Those false positives, in my mind, are Qi Stagnation or Blood Stasis and can be treated with massage and acupuncture.

It baffles me that they end by saying that doctors know best. What physician has the time to spend counseling a patient or has the skill to do it?


*Nancy Keating is a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Lydia Pace is HMS assistant professor of medicine and an internist at Brigham and Women’s



Pathways to cancer treatment

A patient at Pathways provided me with some great resources for cancer patients:

Mistletoe extract injections, already approved for use in Europe and shown in an extensive study in Australia to be more effective in treating colon cancer than chemotherapy, can be prescibed by Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) in some states and can be bought on-line from Canada. It has no side effects.

Nash Winters, ND, L.Ac. is a naturopath in Colorado who cured herself of cancer and practices holistic oncology, often using mistletoe extract injections. Colorado state law requires in-person visits, so in order to accomodate out-of-state patients (and a scheduling nightmare, currently scheduling out one year) she holds retreats.

I'm sure that as I spend more time at Pathways I will have many more resources to report. Since the Gerson Institute is so far away (Mexico) and so expensive, it's great to know that there are other holistic treatment centers that will provide meaningful treatment without requiring one to move residence.