Long term side effects of cancer care.

A recent article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) regarding the long-term side effects of cancer care caught my eye.  The title of the article “Strategies to Prevent or Remediate Cancer and Treatment-Related Aging” the National Cancer Institute convened a think tank to “share evidence of promising strategies to prevent, slow, or reverse the aging consequences of cancer and its treatment.” It basically is good old fashion naturopathy. Everything they talked about in this ar...
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How Trauma Impacts Health

As practitioners of naturopathic oncology, we know that the vast majority of cancer diagnoses occur within 5 years of a major trauma. These include the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, to name a few. However, even early childhood trauma can have negative health outcomes many years after the fact. ACEs, or “Adverse Childhood Experiences” are recognized by the CDC as contributing to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer. When I did my residency at Cancer Tre...
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What is a Naturopathic Oncologist?

Naturopathic physicians (NDs) go to medical school like their MD colleagues. The first two years of school follow the same track, with classes in basic science. Biochemistry, anatomy (including cadaver lab…ughh), physiology, and so on. You can’t change basic science no matter what medical philosophy you study. The last two years are where we diverge.  Yes, we learn Pharmacology and all the other ologies, and we can prescribe drugs in licensed states.  However, in their last 2 years, MD students...
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Risks and Benefits of Medication

As naturopathic doctors, prevention of disease is a top focus. Our goal is to teach our patients how to take care of themselves so that they do not end up needing to take medication regularly. One of the things we love best is when we are able to help people improve their health enough to reduce or even discontinue medications! The point must be made that there is a time and a place for meds: someone who has malignant hypertension, advanced diabetics, people with stomach ulcers to name a few. H...
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Let’s Talk About Supplements

The supplement industry contributed over $150 Billion to the U.S. economy in 2019 and is expected to hit $216 billion by 2026. More than two-thirds of Americans take supplements each year, ranging from vitamins and herbs to fish oil. Studies show that 60 to 80% of cancer patients are going online to Dr. Google and using supplements during their treatments to mitigate side effects. Almost all of these items are over the counter so they must be safe, right? No. This is dangerous especia...
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Tips for Lung and Heart Health in This Scary Era of Massive Fires

An unfortunate side effect of a changing climate is an increase in wildfires.  Over Labor Day the west coast erupted into flames, sending thousands of citizens fleeing and blanketing the region with thick smoke. The air quality in Portland Oregon and surrounding areas reached more than 500 ppb. 301 to 500 is hazardous to all living things. People with pre-existing conditions such as asthma or allergies are struggling the most, but everyone is being affected. There are things...
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Could You Have Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine is a substance that is made and stored primarily by certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils. Histamine is also produced in the brain, where it acts as a neurotransmitter, and in the stomach, where it triggers the release of stomach acid. All in all, histamine is known to be involved in 23 different physiological functions. Once it has been released from storage histamine is quickly broken down by two different enzymes: DAO in the gut and HMT in the rest of the body. ...
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Colon Cancer in Young People – The Warning Signs

According to data provided by the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that almost 105,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in 2020.  The colon, or large intestine, is the final part of the digestive tract. Tumors of the colon develop gradually from abnormal collections of cells that produce polyps. These are typically “silent,” meaning a person has no idea that anything is amiss. This is why colonoscopies are recommended starting at age 50, or earlier if there is a family hist...
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Memory, Attention, Focus, and Working From Home

Our bodies are built to withstand a certain number of stressors and maintain homeostasis, but if there are enough factors being thrown at us simultaneously, eventually we develop pathology. It is part of the modern condition to have many competing demands on our attention at any given time. This rise of technology has meant that most of us carry a small computer with us at all times that is connected to the internet and ensures that we are always reachable. For working people, technolog...
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Genetics Aren’t Destiny When it Comes to Cancer

We have made great strides over the last few decades when it comes to identifying the genetic mutations associated with different cancers. Genetic counseling is now available to anyone with a family history of multiple cancer types, early onset of illness, a rare cancer type, or a generational pattern of one particular cancer. Most insurances will cover this test if individuals meet high-risk criteria, and many labs offer financial assistance to those with a demonstrated need (we work with seve...
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