How sugar impacts cancer establishment, growth, spread and invasion

How sugar impacts cancer establishment, growth, spread and invasion

Click on the above graphic if you want to see a larger picture which is easier to read.

Sugar is so pervasive in the typical American diet. It seems to be in almost everything. I recall reading Anticancer by Dr. David Serban-Schreiver in which he sited a survey done decades ago which found the typical American consumed about twelve pounds of sugar a year. A more recent survey found that had grown to over 150 pounds a year. Those aren’t precise figures but the bottom line is that sugar consumption has grown a lot over the last few decades. Given the facts in the above graphic I have to wonder what influence that trend has had on the increase in cancer cases.

I found this helpful graphic on the Facebook page for Nutritional Solutions which was founded by Jeanne M. Wallace, PhD. and has been providing evidence based nutritional consultation to oncologists and cancer patients around the world since 1997. Dr. Wallace has an excellent reputation among integrative treatment professionals; she comes recommended by Dr. Keith Block who many consider the father of the integrative cancer treatment movement so I think it’s safe to assume that the facts on the graphic represent the current position on sugar among most professionals in the integrative oncology field.



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June 15, 2014 · 9:08 am

A remarkable study on the immune boosting power of turkey tail mushrooms and an ironically successful case (3 min. 56 sec.)

I found this remarkable short video on the Facebook page for Nutritional Solutions, a company that has offered science based nutritional consultation to cancer patients all around the world since 1997. It is staffed by medical professionals and founded by Jeanne M. Wallace, PhD., CNC, who has an excellent reputation among integrative cancer treatment professionals. So I took the video more seriously than I might have otherwise.

Coriolus (aka turkey tail mushroom) has been shown in scientific studies to boost immune function in cancer patients that have had their immune systems weakened by chemo or radiation therapy. In this TED Talk, Paul Stamets talks about results of a study of turkey tail’s immune enhancing effects (and shows excellent graphics to illustrate the results) and how it hit home when his 84 year old mother was diagnosed with extremely advanced breast cancer and had few if any conventional options.

NOTE: Paul talks about use of turkey tail normally and preferably used as an adjunct (i.e. in addition to) conventional treatment, not as a replacement for conventional care. His mother’s case was rather exceptional as you’ll see in short video.


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June 13, 2014 · 6:08 pm

What some cancer and medical professionals have written about Dr. Keith Block’s book, Life Over Cancer

During my search through books and websites in my search for scientifically validated nutritional and lifestyle strategies I could use to help my wife manage and suppress her cancer I found certain ones that I felt some confidence in due to their scientifically validated approach. Of the books I used to help slow and reverse my wife’s decline Life Over Cancer is at the top of the list.

If I had cancer and had to choose only one book to use in a life-and-death battle with cancer, Life Over Cancer would be that book.

Below are just three of the 16 reviews in Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment by professionals in oncology or other medical specialties. Note: one of the reviews is by Robert Newman, Ph.D. with MD Anderson–which is considered by many cancer professionals to be among the top three cancer centers in the United States:

I consider Dr. Block to be the guiding force in the world of integrative cancer treatment. This book is his life-giving gift to cancer patients everywhere.

–Robert Newman, Ph.D., Professor of Experimental Therapeutics, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Life over Cancer is the compilation of Dr. Keith Block’s three decades of research and development of his optimal model of integrative cancer treatment. As chief of surgical oncology of a major medical institution, I have sent many patients to the Block Center. They experienced less treatment toxicity, improved treatment response, better quality of life, and improved outcomes. In my opinion, Dr. Block’s clinic is unique and is the top integrative oncology center in the U.S.. It is where I would go if I was ever diagnosed with cancer.

–N. Joseph Espat, M.D., Professor and Chief, Surgical Oncology, Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island

Life Over Cancer is a must read for anyone combatting this disease. It provides genuine hope, as well as the evidence, rationale, and instruction in how to life a healthier, fuller life with cancer, while providing a broader array of treatment options that improve quality of life.

-Nick Vogelzang, M.D., Director, Nevada Cancer Institute, Las Vegas; Professor of Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas

NOTE: For people lacking the strength or inclination to read the whole book, during our visit to The Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment April of this year (2013), Dr. Block told me that the essentials are covered in chapters 1, 4 and 13 (I also found chapters 14 through 19 to be very helpful in understanding the six biochemical conditions that can exist in the body that can support cancer growth and spread).

Chapter 1: Why Integrative Care Works

Chapter 4: The Anti-Cancer Diet

Chapter 13: The Healing Power of the Terrain

Chapter 14: Oxidation: Fighting Cancer Promoting Free Radicals

Chapter 15: Inflammation: Overcoming Cancer’s Fiery Side

Chapter 16: Immune Surveillance: Mounting the Immune Barricades

Chapter 17: Blood Circulation and Cancer: The Thick and the Thin

Chapter 18: Glycemia: Breaking Cancer’s Sugar Addiction

Chapter 19: Stress Chemistry: Creating Healthier Biorythms

I’m an Amazon affiliate for this book if ordered through either of the above links. If you choose to order through these links we appreciate your help in our efforts to cover my wife’s medical expenses.

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June 12, 2014 · 5:08 pm

Above header photo by Darcy McCarty (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons)

. . . the battle against cancer is . . . a war on many fronts that must be engaged with every weapon we have at hand.

Robert A. Newman, Ph.D. (quoted in Life Over Cancer)

Professor of Cancer Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center


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June 10, 2014 · 4:30 pm

Antibiotics and other toxic drugs can devastate vital intestinal bacteria. Here’s what you can do to replenish that 80 percent of your immune function (1 min. 51 sec. video)

Below is a link to blog post by Dr. Michael Klaper on how to test probiotics for viability (i.e. live bacteria) and how to take them for maximum effectiveness:

The vital good bacteria lining the intestinal walls  

Under ideal conditions our intestines are lined with billions of good bacteria that help to break down waste and act as protectors against harmful things that would otherwise get into our bodies through the gut lining. Dr. Michael Greger ( has written that this immune supporting function makes it amount to the equivalent of a whole separate immune system organ. One source I read wrote that it amounts to about 80 percent of the total bodily immune function.

Problems can occur when we’re given antibiotics (or other powerful toxic agents such as chemo drugs) that can kill many of these good bacteria. My reading has led me to conclude that a compromised immune system may have contributed to the establishment, growth and invasion of my wife’s cancer. I’m taking no chances so I try to help her replenish these good bacteria between chemo sessions (a bit harder now because she’s given an infusion pump that she must wear for five days at a time) as best I can.

Probiotics to the rescue!

Probiotics are encapsulated good bacteria that you can buy at most health food stores and consume to repopulate a gut that in which the good bacteria has been devastated by antibiotics or other toxic drugs. In the above video, Dr. Greger talks about the best way to take probiotics each time to ensure that the most bacteria survive the harsh stomach environment and make it into the intestines.

Above is also a link to a blog post by Dr. Michael Klaper, in which he gives some additional helpful information on how to test if the probiotic product you’re taking contains live bacteria (some probiotics contain dead bacteria and are of course worthless to anyone and a waste of money) and more suggestions on how to best take probiotics to ensure maximum effectiveness.

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June 7, 2014 · 2:23 pm

A personal note: The mirage of the cancer “magic bullet”–and a better alternative

Above photo by John Spade (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons)

The widespread search for the mirage of the magic bullet for cancer

We’re now into our fifth year managing my wife’s breast cancer, which recurred and is now stage 4. Because of the traumatic experiences we’ve been through and the many cancer patients we’ve met on this journey I started this blog to share the fruits of my research to help my wife.

One thing I’ve found interesting is that there was less interest than I expected in nutritional measures that people can adopt in helping manage their illness. More people are interested in finding the “magic bullet” for cancer. The magic bullet is the one pill, drug, potion, food, or drink that will magically dissolve the tumor and metastasized cancer cells and allow the patient to continue with the same diet, lifestyle, mental state and other factors that contributed to causing the cancer in the first place.

In our fifth year of our cancer journey I don’t think such a “bullet” exists or ever will exist. Cancer is a very complex disease with complex biochemical causes that cause a rippling cascade of symptoms. One of my wife’s oncologists told me that there are easily over one hundred different types of cancer. Oncology tries to deal with this complexity by coming up with evermore complex, costly and toxic drugs and drug cocktails to battle evolving mutations and symptoms. The cancer adapts to one drug or cocktail and they substitute another drug. And on and on it goes. Unfortunately in most cases of metastatic, invasive cancers the eventual outcome is predictable. The statistics I’ve seen tell us that the “cure” rate in such cases is just over an almost statistically insignificant one or two percent over five years.

Forget the magic bullet. Use the magic shotgun!

The good news is that although there may be no magic bullet I like Dr. Michael Greger’s ( alternative of a “magic shotgun” using the many dozens of proven anticancer phytonutrients in fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, beans and seeds many of which scientific studies have proven to slow, stop and even reverse cancer establishment, growth and invasion (see some of the many mini videos I’ve posted below produced by and Dr. Michael Greger). Oncology deals with symptoms (i.e. debulking geometrically growing tumors in order to buy the patient time to try and correct the body’s biochemistry and other bodily causes that resulted in the tumor) whereas the above approach deals with causes. While I believe conventional measures (surgery, chemo and radiation) can be useful in some cases the downside is that over time they tend to be tremendously taxing and traumatizing to the very cells, tissues, organs and bodily systems (such as the immune system) that the patient desperately needs to fight the advancing cancer and that has successfully killed millions of cancer cells and micro-tumors in our body’s for the vast majority of his or her life.

In some cases radical lifestyle and dietary changes have actually resulted in late stage remission of diseases; for example the over one thousand such cases documented in medical journals and written about in Radical Remission by Dr. Kelly A. Turner (see my review in an earlier post below). And Dr. Turner believes that for every documented case of “Radical Remission” there are probably over a hundred cases that were never documented. In some cases radical lifestyle and diet changes may result in a few extra months, a year, three years, five years or more of “bonus time” versus just using conventional treatment alone. In my wife’s case we’re working for the best possible scenario possible given her type and stage of cancer and the complex variables of her body. Whatever that is we’ll gratefully take it. We’re just glad for the gift of every extra day she’s with us.


June 2, 2014 · 12:37 pm

Inflammation promotes cancer cell growth and curcumin is one of the best anti-inflammatory herbals available. But which of the dozens on the market should you take? (minutes 26 through 40 of this webinar)

I keep reading more and more about the amazing anti-inflammatory effects and anticancer effects of curcumin (the stuff that gives the herb tumeric its color). And it’s been shown to inhibit cancer at every stage (i.e. survival, proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis and metastesis). But there are dozens and dozens of products on the market with bold unproven claims and even outright false advertising. A big consideration is how much of the curcumin you take actually reaches the bloodstream and tumor or affected organ(s). My research indicates that we’re flushing a huge amount of curcumin down the toilets of the world.

In my search for truth and clarity on the confusing issue I’ve found the blog of Dr. Josh Trutt ( tremendously helpful. In this webinar during minutes 26 through 40 (you can use your cursor to move the little red button at the bottom of the video screen ahead to minute 26 so you don’t have to listen to minutes one through 25) he clarifies why anyone interested in preventing alzheimers or trying to prevent, manage or bring into remission cancer should consider adding curcumin to their roster of supplements and what he believes is the most effective curcumin brand on the market of the top three.

Dr. Trutt has no financial interest in any supplement brands. His company sells a package of various brands of supplements which effect longevity and he is always on the look out for the most effective brand of whatever supplements are in that pack (such as curcumin).

NOTE: The first 25 minutes of the webinar cover recent findings on multivitamins and minutes 41 onward cover vitamin D–the benefits of the right levels and the detrimental effects of too much.

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May 26, 2014 · 8:14 pm