Sunday, August 1, 2010


The miracles I see unfolding at An Oasis of Healing are all science based and well researched. The methods simply aren't much used in the oncology world. It isn't that people get a good PET scan and blood work showing no tumor markers, then go home never to have to be concerned again about their cancer returning. What happens here goes far beyond simply doing everything possible to zap tumors.

There is solid research showing what kinds of diets, and even individual foods, promote cancer and which diets stop the body from making cancer. Every bite of food all of us eat, every drop we drink, either contributes to cancer formation and spread or helps heal us. At An Oasis, every morsel that passes our lips helps our bodies stop making cancer and promotes healing. We learn about this in classes from Dr. Lodi and from others on the staff.

Colleen, our chef, teaches us how to make healing foods delicious and appetizing in classes and demonstrations. We go home with easy recipes for the foods we've been eating. We learn where to shop and what kinds of foods to buy. At home on the weekends we practice our new knowledge and skills, preparing our own food, and during the week we are served delicious, healing meals and juices. We read books on the subject. We become totally dedicated to eating only healing foods in the future, to strengthen our immune systems, to enhance every aspect of body function, to remain well.

Yes, Dr Lodi uses chemotherapy. And yes, he does it differently, to minimize damage to the body and the immune system, while doing maximum damage to the tumors.

In standard chemotherapy the dosages are high, and the drugs travel freely throughout the body, wreaking havoc wherever they go. A small percentage of the drugs go to the cancers, but the greatest portion spreads throughout the system. Most chemotherapeutic drugs are designed to kill all rapidly growing cells, since cancer cells can grow fast. But your hair follicles also produce rapid growth, so they are killed and your hair falls out. Rapidly growing healthy cells in the mouth and throat also take a beating, and patients on chemo often suffer terribly from sores throughout the mouth and throat, making it hard for them to eat, just when the body needs all the nutrients it can get to keep going as best it can.

Blood cells can be terribly compromised, again, just when you most need them to do their jobs and aid your immunity. The immune system itself may be the worst casualty of standard chemo. The immune system is needed now more than ever to help rid the body of cancer. But instead, it becomes disabled, wiped out, unable to perform normal functions, and often opportunistic infection comes along to weaken and even kill a compromised patient.

Some manage to live through those hazards, only to suffer toxicity to the heart muscle, weakening them further when strength is most needed. Often the brain is affected, and sometimes the ensuing brain fog never lifts, even after the cancer has been dealt with as best it can be with those methods.

The differences at An Oasis of Healing are tremendous. Insulin Potentiation Therapy, or IPT, takes advantage of cancer's voracious appetite for sugar. Sugar feeds cancer. While other body cells thrive on oxygen, indeed, produce energy through oxidation, cancer grows and replicates through fermentation, and that fermentation cries out for sugar and refined starches like bread and cookies made from white flour. In fact, cancer's anatomy satisfies its sugar appetite easily, because it has 17 times as many receptors for insulin as normal body tissue, and insulin usually sucks the sugar right into the tumor. It's like feeding liver to a lion!

Cancer's bad habits make it vulnerable to low dose chemotherapy given when the blood sugar is low. So, on IPT days, we go into the clinic fasting and get a dose of insulin. The nurses carefully monitor the fall of our blood sugars and, when they are at the perfect level (definitely not a dangerous place of diabetic coma), they know the many insulin receptors on cancer cells are wide open and hungry, and they administer a dose of chemo, or a combination dose, amounting to 1/10 the standard dose. This smaller dose goes mostly to the cancer. Its' hungry cells lap up this poison, and the rest of the body is spared the toxic effects. If a patient hasn't had previous chemo at another center, they don't suffer the terrible side effects. No hair loss, nausea from poisoning the entire body, no brain fog or cardiac toxicity. The drugs are reserved primarily for the thing we are aiming at destroying: cancer cells.

Everybody is different, and every cancer is different. Some respond beautifully to one drug, while their cancers are actually fed by another. Yet most oncologists use a sort of cookbook approach, treating all of one type of cancer with drugs suggested by a manual. This doesn't allow for our innate biological individuality.

There are a very few labs in this big world that test cancer tissue and circulating blood to find out exactly which chemotherapeutic agents, or combinations of them, work best to kill an individual's cancer. The tests are expensive, but they can be life-saving when a patient isn't responding quickly enough to a drug routine.

Yesterday a patient at the clinic related his experience. His cancer is quite serious and advanced, and he was treated with chemo at home for a short while. The drug combination was killing him, and definitely not slowing down the growth of his tumors. When his doctor told him he had three weeks to live, he and his wife flew to Phoenix the next day. She pushed him in a wheelchair. Tumors on his liver pressed against his spine and the nerves to his legs, and that and his weakness made walking impossible.

At An Oasis, before being given any chemo, he received transfusions to help rebuild his compromised blood, which was weakened by both the cancer and the drugs. He was then started on an IPT routine and got some help. He's been here five weeks and can walk unaided a bit, or with a walker. He is stronger, and his spirit is very alive and strong, but his cancer wasn't responding quickly enough or sufficiently. So he had a biopsy last week to be examined by one of those rare labs, Rational Therapeutics, in Long Beach, California. The result? It turned out that one of the drugs he had been given in Canada was toxic to his tumors, but, when the second drug went into the mix, it cancelled the results of the effective drug!

Now his IPT  only contains the effective drug, and his tumors should respond quickly. I'll let you know.

The third focus of treatment at An Oasis of Healing is the important rebuilding of our immune systems, to keep us strong when we go home. I've never heard of an oncologist who addressed this important function. I won't go into that now, but I will talk more about it in upcoming posts.

So for now, on a drizzly Sunday morning in Phoenix, I'll say goodbye and God bless you all.