Proper nutrition is essential in successful cancer therapy. Cancer is a wasting disease. Forty percent of cancer patients actually die from malnutrition. You cannot fight a life-threatening disease while malnourished. When receiving chemotherapy and radiation, properly nourished patients experience less nausea, less immune suppression, less malaise, less hair loss and less organ toxicity than those with nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.
At the Hernandez Center, one diet that we advocate is the ketogenic diet, a therapeutic diet that is rich in nutrients but very low in carbohydrates. Since cancer cells thrive on sugar, the goal is to starve the cancer cells by depriving them of their food and making them even more susceptible to IV Vitamin C. Another approach may be fasting on the days surrounding chemotherapy treatment, as a way of making the treatment more tolerable and more effective.
With diet as a basis, we recommend appropriate supplementation, as well as I.V. or other injectable therapies. Many cancer patients, for example, are low in vitamin A, zinc and selenium, essential components of a vibrant immune system. A multitude of excellent medical studies have identified the effects of nutrient deficiencies in chronic illnesses.
Most cancer patients we see are taking handfuls of supplements purchased from the internet or prescribed by multiple practitioners. The supplements may be wisely chosen, but just too much for you. We assist you in deciding which supplements are most indicated for you with your specific condition. Often we are able to reduce the number of pills you are taking. Individualized, evidence-based nutrient supplementation, both orally and intravenously, is an essential component of the program at the Hernandez Center. We know what works.
The ideal way to ensure adequate nutrition is to consume a diet of whole organic foods comprised of healthy fats, protein from a variety of sources and abundant fruits and vegetables. However, life is sometimes not ideal. The purchasing and preparation of foods may be a challenge for cancer patients suffering from low energy, brain fog and muscle pain. In addition, compromised absorption is a common finding in most people with chronic illness. Vitamin injections are an easy, inexpensive, safe way to start feeling better almost immediately.
High Dose Intravenous (I.V.) Vitamin C
Intravenous vitamin C has been shown to increase immune cell activity, fight viral infections, support glutathione production, block carcinogens in the body, destroy cancer cells, protect DNA from mutation, and reduce pain. (Follow the link to our Intravenous Therapy Q & A Page.)
Botanical medicine (also called herbal medicine or phytomedicine) involves the use of a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. The basic strategy in the treatment of cancer involves improving the health and natural immunity of the patient overall, promoting detoxification, cutting off the blood supply to active tumors, and helping to destroy vulnerable cancer cells. Herbs and herbal preparations have historically been used to treat cancer both through fostering necrosis (killing the cells) and through apoptosis (making them burst).
There are many individual herbs used in the treatment of specific cancers. Again, this can never be a one size fits all strategy. Ongoing research helps us identify which herbs and nutrients can be used on which cancers and with which conventional treatment protocols, and which herbs and nutrients are contraindicated for those protocols.
Botanicals offer several traditional advantages. They are generally low cost and low toxicity compared to synthetic targeted therapeutic drugs. And botanical medicines carry with them the wisdom of nature, with synergistic components offering protection and enhancing the efficacy of the identified active components.
Basic detoxification strategies begin with the diet. Detoxification then focuses on removing chemical toxins and heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic. Toxins contribute to the onset and severity of disease, disrupt intracellular communication, damage genetic material, and weaken body systems, including the immune system.
In addition to eliminating chemical toxins and heavy metals from the body, there is a need to remove the toxic load that comes from the rapid death of cancer cells from radiation and chemotherapy, and to address the radiation exposure itself and the clearance of chemotherapeutic drugs from the body.
Detoxification recommendations range from dietary detoxification through controlled fasting and elimination/challenge diets to the use of energetic drainage remedies, powdered medical foods and chelating agents to infrared sauna sessions. As with all recommendations, detoxification recommendations are dependent on each individual’s preferences and state of health.
Gentle remedies can be the safest and most powerful of all medicines. Among the energy medicines utilized at our clinic are flower essences, homeopathy and European spagyric drainage remedies. In addition to these, we offer Reiki sessions, and promote the use of meditation, Energization Exercises and other breath movement exercises such as Tai Chi and Chi Kung.
Several of our practitioners offer craniosacral massage, targeted and general lymphatic massage, and pain elimination techniques. Craniosacral is especially useful for its calming and relaxing benefits, as well as its therapeutic benefits. Lymphatic massage can be essential in treating lymphedema. And it goes without saying that pain elimination contributes hugely to well being.
Hormonal Status Evaluation
Hormonal imbalance and errors of metabolism underlie and contribute to the development of many forms of cancer. Additionally, hormone deficiencies in the body may slow healing. Studies have shown that a large percentage of cancer patients have sub clinical thyroid deficiency. DHEA and melatonin are also low in most cancer patients and in many others with chronic diseases. Balancing estrogen metabolites, and addressing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen are fundamental to the treatment of many hormonal cancers. At the Hernandez Center, we use serum, salivary, and urinary testing to assess pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormone status. Treatment ranges from diet and exercise to energy medicines to nutritional, botanical and hormonal therapies.
Infrared Breast Thermography
Thermal breast imaging, commonly referred to as breast thermography, is a quick, safe, accurate, non-invasive test that can often detect changes that accompany breast disease earlier than breast self examination, doctor examination or mammography. The earliest stages of breast cancer are generally accompanied by changes in blood supply and by breast temperature differences between the normal breast and the breast at risk. These changes can often be seen on a thermal image, even before a lump develops. In addition, we are able to assess the degree of estrogen stimulation to the breast, allowing us to monitor the efficacy of therapies intended to depress estrogen influence.
Our thermograpic imaging system scans the breasts using an extremely sensitive thermal imaging camera that operates without radiation or breast compression. The resulting images are evaluated by experienced technicians and doctors using sophisticated technology to determine if the breasts appear to be at risk for disease.
Lifestyle modification is generally essential to successful treatment. A diagnosis of cancer itself irrevocably alters your lifestyle. Mountains of data emphasize the contribution of dietary and lifestyle factors to the development of cancer and to the success of any treatment plan. In helping you develop a doable plan, all of our doctors take the time to understand you, the situation in which you find yourself, the support that surrounds you, and your lifestyle patterns and preferences. We know that ingrained habits are hard to break and that new patterns can be difficult to establish and maintain. We work with you in incremental steps, beginning from where you are.
Stress Reduction and Maintainence of Psychological Balance
Stress reduction and psychological healing and well being are fundamental to successful treatments for cancer, as well as for any other illness. At the Hernandez Center, in addition to lifestyle and spiritual counseling, cranio-sacral and other gentle massage therapies, we offer Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping), clinical hypnotherapy, and Reiki.