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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Rethinking Cancer

Jul 31, 2017 08:42PM
by Dr. Isabel Sharkar
Cancer is the scariest, most deadly and misunderstood of diseases. One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives. There’s no question that cancer is on the rise. Cancer treatment needs to be customized for each patient as there is no one-size-fits-all treat. If you or someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Hope lies in education.

Nutrition does matter. Nutrition matters and it matters a lot. In Westernized medicine, nutrition is highly neglected. Switch to a 100 percent organic diet, eliminate processed foods, artificial flavoring and coloring, additives, preservatives, refined sugar and sugar substitutes, pesticides and herbicides. Different cancers require different diets and each diet is patient specific. It’s not always what you think—a raw or vegan diet. According to Dr. Nicolas Gonzalez, some patients do better on a red meat diet. It all depends on your metabolic type and how each person is influenced by their autonomic nervous system (ANS).

Detox your body. The goal of a detox is to limit the toxins coming into the body, while supporting the organs that clear them out. Open the seven channels of elimination to ensure toxic waste is eliminated. Make sure that bowel movements are regular, get lymphatic drainage massage and far infrared saunas when appropriate, and detox the liver. When the liver is toxic, it cannot metabolize estrogen. Adding coffee enemas to help detox the liver is a wonderful tool. Drink two to three liters of water a day and switch to organic personal care products.

Balance nutrient deficiencies in the body. Micronutrient testing and nutritional IV therapy are great ways to boost the immune system. When the body has an optimal level of nutrients- vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it is better able to perform its every day functions. Vitamins like C, D and E are critical to a healthy immune system. Whereas, increasing your antioxidants helps to fight free radicals.

Precision medicine for individualized cancer treatment. There is an emerging area in cancer care which uses specialized testing to see which chemotherapy agents may be optimal in effectiveness against the cancer cells found in a person’s body. Additionally, some laboratories are also able to test which natural or alternative-based agents are most appropriate. Each person is unique and so is each cancer. If cancers cells are circulating in the blood, a blood sample is sufficient.

Low-dose chemotherapy is an option. Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) is low dose chemotherapy and an option for cancers that are not amendable to full-dose chemotherapy for various reasons. Developed by Dr. Donato Perez Garcia, Sr., M.D. in 1932, IPT targets the powerful cell-killing effects of standard chemotherapy on cancer cells, while using very low doses of chemotherapy agents. Meanwhile, IPT curbs the destructive side effects on healthy tissues. IPT is also good as palliative chemotherapy and can improve and sustain quality of life without the damaging effect of full dose chemotherapy.

Pancreatic enzymes and the trophoblast theory. In 1902, the English scientist John Beard reported that the placenta in its early stages, known as the trophoblast, looks and behaves much like a cancer. Cancer, like the trophoblast, uses the same molecular mechanisms, transcription factors to turn genes on and off, and the same protein enzymes to invade through tissues. Scientists are showing that cancer develops from stem cells that lose their normal regulatory restraint.

In humans, on Day 56 after conception, the trophoblast abruptly changes into the mature, highly differentiated, nonproliferating and noninvasive placenta. After many years of research, Beard concluded the key was in the embroyinc pancreas where it began synthesizing and secreting its digestive enzymes. To follow, pioneers like Dr. William Donald Kelley, DDS and Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., amongst many others, furthered Beard’s research on pancreatic enzymes and their effect on cancer.

Decrease viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic load. We are already aware that Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to cervical cancer, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) to stomach cancer and lymphoma and Hepatitis C virus to liver cancer. Bacterium like Helicobacter pyloriwhen untreated may also trigger stomach cancer. Keeping a healthy gut flora is vital to avoiding a bacterial imbalance, especially since 80 percent of our immune system cells reside in our gut. Fungi like Candida albicans, when out of control, may also lead to many problems. Lastly, parasites strip us of vital nutrients we need to fuel our bodies.

Having a healthy diet specific for you, decreasing your toxic load, supplementing accordingly to boost your nutritional needs and decreasing your pathogenic load are the pillars to health and well-being when facing a diagnosis of cancer.

Isabel Sharkar, ND, is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. For more information, call 202-298-9131 or visit


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