In fact, we all have cancer – and only those of us unfortunate enough to carry other health issues will succumb to the disease that we all fear
This blog is for everyone who is currently diagnosed with cancer, or lives in fear of developing cancer or having their cancer return. There is now enough knowledge and technological help for us to be able to find and resolve the underlying risk factors, and to support you in keeping them in check for the rest of your life.
Medical science and technology have grown fast over the past decade. This has turned cancer from being the most poorly understood, feared and unpredictable condition, to one that can be kept under control with minimal conventional treatment.
We can even go further through the early diagnoses of people at high risk of developing cancer: we can recommend steps to mitigate their risk. We can also greatly improve the quality of life – and the length of life – for existing cancer patients.
By reassuring and empowering cancer patients in this way, helping them to learn more about their condition, we can keep it under control, just like any other condition, for a long period of time. This is also very rewarding for the medics involved!
When I listen to cancer patients telling me their story, I truly feel that their cancer should have been predicted a long time before and measures taken to prevent it.
How does cancer progress?
Cancer develops every single day in everyone, but of course does not manifest as the disease in everybody. The simple explanation is that a strong immune system can stop the condition turning into a disease. It is when cancer occurs in people with many simultaneous health issues, that all of this overwhelms the immune system and allows the cancer to grow.
Cancer can easily develop in someone who is struggling with a sugar problem, who has continuous, chronic bacterial or fungal infections, who is deficient in essential nutrients, who does not sleep well, or who is suffering with severe stress.
Let us take one example: high oestrogen is known to be a risk factor for prostate and breast cancer. I have met many people (men and women) with symptoms of oestrogen excess, but none of them has been advised to check their risk of cancer.
Symptoms of oestrogen excess in women include breast or ovarian cysts, heavy periods and PMS, sleep disturbance, memory problems and weight gain. In men, the symptoms may be gynaecomastia (men’s boobs), erectile dysfunction and infertility
Not all oestrogen is bad. Oestrogen is important to your health and vitality. But the hormone has to be detoxified after playing its physiological role.
There are three types of oestrogen – oestrone (E1), oestradiol (E2), oestriol (E3). They are all good except E1, and then when it gets detoxified through one specific route (CYP1B1) and forms a toxic (4OH-E1) metabolite. This can damage the DNA leading to gene mutation and cancer.
So, having symptoms of high oestrogen should alert you to seek help to investigate your oestrogen type. Having the toxic bad oestrogen is not a big deal, since we have agents that can shift the oestrogen processing away from the ‘bad’ route and prevent DNA damage and cancer.
Crucially, the cause of her oestrogen levels was not investigated
This 53-year-old lady presented with chronic backpain. Radiological imaging confirmed multiple metastatic deposits on the spine and pelvis, and thoracic vertebra number 8 (T8) fracture. Further investigation with mammogram and ultrasound confirmed invasive ductal breast carcinoma. She had initially attributed her symptoms to her busy life and going through life’s change, and her GP commenced HRT to help her symptoms.
Interestingly, this patient had undergone a hysterectomy (removal of the womb) in 2011, due to a diagnosis of endometriosis presenting with excessive bleeding. She also had a fibroid (womb benign tumour) removed earlier in life.
She had an extensive history of heavy periods associated with severe PMS. This required iron therapy for anaemia, which resulted in constipation. She continued to have mild anaemic with low haemoglobin around 110.
She also had a history of frequent urinary infections (cystitis), vaginal thrush (candida infection), sinusitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The latter presented with bloating, passing gas, stomach pain and irregular bowel habits. She had recently lost over two stone in weight. The patient passed a tape worm parasite in her stool in mid-July and was given mebendazole (antiparasitic) pills.
Her energy levels fluctuated, particularly after meals, though this has improved on a healthier diet. She had symptoms of dizziness, and she collapsed on the toilet 18 month ago with loss of consciousness. Paramedics reported that everything was fine. She had a large silver dental filling and three smaller ones fitted some years ago.
The first half of her history suggests high oestrogen since teenage years, manifested as heavy periods and PMS, fibroids and endometriosis. She underwent two major surgeries, and has had the symptoms of anaemia most of her adult life. Unfortunately, this has not led anyone to investigate why she had high oestrogen, and which type of oestrogen (bad or good) is high. Hence nothing was done to prevent cancer in a high risk patient at these early stages.
The ideal environment in which a cancer could grow
The second half of her medical history suggests that she has provided the ideal environment in which a cancer could grow. She has a history of chronic fungal infection, firstly in the upper respiratory tract giving recurrent sinusitis, secondly in the intestine giving symptoms of IBS, and lastly in the genitourinary system presenting with frequent infection and vaginal thrush. She has a history suggestive of an early sugar problem, presenting with fluctuating energy levels. Her immune system has been distracted by the chronic fungal infection, and the sugar problem has weakened her bodily responses further.
She was too young to have a defaecation syncope, when she collapsed in the toilet. (This is more common among the elderly population.) In her case, it is more likely to have been severe adrenal gland fatigue or exhaustion: the adrenal gland was working overtime to support the body’s multiple problems, namely chronic infection, sugar problems and hormonal imbalance.
With all of this interesting clinical history in mind, I sat down with the patient and her husband in clinic to discuss the results of recent tests. I was pleased to find them understanding and hopeful that we could find interventions that could prolong, and improve the quality of, her life.
I started by saying that there were many areas that needed attention and that could potentially have a positive impact on the patient’s ability to fight cancer and reinstate body’s systems’ balance in favour of health and vitality.
The results review started with a very simple blood cell count available everywhere. The test showed the immune system was down, with low white blood count at 3.4, low neutrophils at 1.49, and low lymphocytes at 1.28. This was telling us that both limbs of the immune system were suboptimal – the inmate immunity (low neutrophil count) and the adaptive immunity (low lymphocytes).
They were then pleased to know that the genetic test had revealed the underlying cause of this low immunity. This was due to complex multi-gene variants, not only responsible for the causation of cancer, but also the logical explanation for her chronic and recurrent bacterial and fungal infections involving at least three bodily systems.
In view of this, I started her on some supplements that have already shown good results. She has experienced no recurrence of sinusitis or urine infection, and her stomach bloating has reduced significantly.
She was finally able to sleep deeply and wake feeling refreshed
With some methylation support, the patient’s energy level kept steady most of the day, she was able to sleep deeply 7 to 8 hours a night, and feel refreshed in the morning. She was no longer feeling depressed or anxious.
We then moved to the urine organic acid test (OAT), which reported with markers of yeast and bacteria overgrowth in the intestine. This explained the symptoms of IBS and her relatively low energy levels. She had a high succinic acid, due to low vitamin B2, and this was the reason for her low energy.
The OAT test also showed that the adrenal gland was working overtime producing high stress hormones. The gland consumes vitamins B5 and C during the process resulting in deficiencies of these vitamins.
The GI map stool test confirmed dysbiosis (more bad bacteria) in the intestine, with two of them being the notorious Klebsiella and pseudomonas. These may relate to previous antibiotic therapy. The GI map also confirmed normal Calprotectin (an inflammatory marker), and a good digestive gut function (normal pancreatic enzymes), normal secretory immune globulin (SIgA), which protects the gut’s mucous membrane.
The Dutch complete hormonal test put most of the blame on toxic oestrogen as the cancer culprit. Interesting, she had been struggling all her life with high oestrogen, but was now driving on an empty hormone tank. The test showed very low levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Even the mother hormone, DHEA, was low. Cortisol was low-ish, indicating that the adrenal gland had entered a state of extreme exhaustion.
The test confirmed that she was breaking down 51% of oestrone (oestrogen 1) via the wrong route, and so producing the toxic metabolite (4-OHE1), which damages DNA and causes cancer.
That genetic test also showed a major COMT problem. COMT is the gene that detoxifies oestrogen, stress hormones and heavy metals. I thought that this genetic variant was the reason behind this patient’s long-term excess oestrogen. This was compounded by high stress in relation to other health problems. This produced too much stress hormone for it to be detoxified through the same system.
The genetic test also showed a major liver detoxification problem. Two out of the three main liver detox engines (genes) were not there (GSTM1 & GSTT1 deletion). This would have had a very negative impact on her health in general, reducing her detox capacity to one third of normal.
The genetic test also confirmed a severe sensitivity to gluten, but a low level of lactose intolerance. Interestingly, the patient mentioned great improvement on a gluten-free diet. She had not been able to extend her painful right elbow joint for 35 years, having chipped a bone in the area. She is now able to extent her elbow fully with no pain.
The test also confirmed a high level of fungal toxins (Ochratoxin) produced by a fungus called Aspergillus. The patient admitted sleeping every night for a number of years facing a mouldy cupboard.
Refrain, resolve, replenish, reduce, reinstate, restore
Once again, my recommended course of action centred around 5 or 6 Rs! This is no surprise, since the ‘r’ words tend to describe actions that seek to return the body to its natural state of health, vitality, balance and readiness.
The management plan for this patient was simple and included refraining from gluten, resolving sugar problems, treating occult bacteria of fungal infections, replenishing deficient nutrients, reducing the level of toxins, reinstating hormonal balance, and restoring gut function.
We said that the plan was to keep her away from wheat and gluten, avoid milk and dairy products, and stay on low glycaemic index food (high HbA1C at 40). She also needed vitamin D3 and K2 to put calcium into her bones. We supported the adrenal glands with vitamins B2, B5 and C, together with ashwagandha. She was to practise stress relieving techniques and increase her level of physical activity. And she was to continue detox support to rid the body of high stress hormones, and to divert oestrogen away from toxic pathway. You may remember another of my patients
kindly volunteered to report back on the resolution of her metastatic spinal deposits in a comment on one of my blogs. I have another two patients heading on the same direction.
I hope you’ll agree with me here that there is much that we can do to resolve the body’s health problems to free the immune system to fight cancer.
Do you agree?
Please, my friends, do share any experiences that you have had, similar to those discussed above. Cancer is all around us – as well as in us – but it is not the death sentence that it once was. Your story may well help others.