BY ANN FONFA, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF ANNIE APPLESEED PROJECT When I was diagnosed with cancer I was suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and had to decline chemotherapy as well as radiation. What to do? I began exploring what was then called alternative medicine but which included an array of natural cancer strategies that have been proven over time yoga, physical activity, eating MORE fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding sugars, sodas, deep-fried foods and deli meats (actually I am now a Vegan). I learned from a vast array of small studies - when our doctors say there is no evidence what they mean is that there have been no large-scale randomized clinical trials such as are used for pharmaceuticals. I am not convinced that lifestyle needs to be or should be studied in the same way as drugs that both benefit and cause harms. All of us can benefit from the 3 Steps 4 Health program that Annie Appleseed Project (my all-volunteer nonprofit) offers.
- Step 1: 1 more Fruit and 1 more Vegetable every day.
- Step 2: Be or stay physically active.
- Step 3: Take 7 deep breaths before treatment, bedtime or a stressful situation.
These three steps lead you on a path to wellness that contains many possibilities and choices. I never would suggest that anyone follow the same regimen as I did (and in any case I dealt with breast cancer) BUT below find a book written by someone who survived 8-10 years (at least) using their own protocols and not taking chemotherapy. (At the end of this article you can find a link to the nonprofits Handout to Reduce Toxicities (evidence-based and worth a look for those going the conventional route). I would also like to say that adding some natural strategies is a good idea. Acupuncture and some supplements+ like fish oil, probiotics, curcumin*, resveratrol, physical activity, more (organic whenever possible) fruits and vegetables and relaxation (life is about one day at a time, isnt it?) Michael Gearin-Tosh https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200212123472421 d.2005 *2003 article An ingredient in the curry spice turmeric may help suppress and destroy a blood cancer, early lab research shows--suggesting yet another health benefit from this long-heralded substance. Turmeric is a common ingredient in Indian food and yellow mustard. Its active ingredient is curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow color. Adding curcumin to human cells with the blood cancer multiple myeloma, Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and his colleagues found stopped the cells from replicating. And the cells that were left died.
*CONCLUSIONS: Curcumin can significantly reverse chemotherapy-induced weight-loss, increase of serum endotoxin, D-lactate and DAO and damage to intestinal mucosa structure. Curcumin also reduced the expression of pro-apoptotic Bax but stimulated anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 to attenuate 5-FU-induced apoptosis of intestinal epithelial cells. The clinical administration of Curcumin may improve chemotherapy-induced intestinal dysfunction, thus increasing the clinical efficacy of chemotherapy. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013 Oct 15;6(11):2342-9. eCollection 2013.
+Case Studies Evaluating Combination With Vitamin C and Low Dose Melphalan In Patients Who Failed Previous Therapy May Provide Additional Product Registration Strategy in Multiple Myeloma In an oral presentation at the 45th Annual Meeting (2002) of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), data were presented on a preliminary experience with an investigational regimen combining low dose chemotherapy (melphalan), TRISENOX(R) (arsenic trioxide), and vitamin C (MAC regimen), an investigation by James Berenson, M.D. of the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research. The combination produced a high rate of long-lasting responses in ten heavily pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. I also wanted to make sure that you understand that the highest tolerated dose is NOT always an advantage. Here some information and a video link about that. February 2011 Comment by Mike Katz, Advocate "In multiple myeloma, with the help of a very talented investigator, the ECOG patient reps were able to advocate for a trial to confirm positive anecdotal experience with lowering doses of dexamethasone, which was for decades given in very high doses that had very difficult side-effects, both short- and long-term. The trial, E4A03, tested low dose vs high dose in combination with lenalidamide and was halted prematurely because of markedly superior survival in the low dose arm. The result changed the standard of care in many regimens that used similar dosing". Details can be seen on a video by the investigator at https://tinyurl.com/lowdosedex And here is the link for the PDF on Natural Strategies to Reduce Toxicities https://annieappleseedproject.org/documents/annie_appleseed_project_handout_natural_strategies_to_reduce_toxicities.pdf Ann Fonfa is the founder and president of Annie Appleseed Project. The web site went live in June 1999 providing information on an array of natural cancer strategies. Over the years her philosophy of combining healthy behaviors to enhance the cancer journey, has proven correct. With the turn toward Immunotherapy, it is even more obvious that healing oneself getting stronger, healthier and more able to deal with cancer, is one important aspect of the challenge. More information can be found on www.annieappleseedproject.org where you can opt in to our more or less monthly e-newsletter. Visit us on Facebook Annie Appleseed Project, or follow us on Twitter @annieappleseed
about the author
Lizzy Smith was diagnosed with myeloma in 2012 at age 44. Within days, she left her job, ended her marriage, moved, and entered treatment. "To the extent I'm able, I want to prove that despite life's biggest challenges, it is possible to survive and come out stronger than ever," she says.