Many people are scared of chemotherapy, and with good reason. In the past the side effects have been devastating and, while its effect on some cancers has been excellent, its effect on survival rates for many common cancers has been minimal. For these reasons, since its founding in 1963, Oasis of Hope has only used chemotherapy when it absolutely had to rapidly shrink tumors because their location and size were life-threatening.
- Chemotherapy's devastating adverse side effects. Chemotherapy's cytotoxic ("cell-poisoning") actions do not discriminate between malignant cells and healthy cells. The patient's natural immunity and repair functions can be damaged, making it more difficult for the body to fight cancer on its own.
- Loss of effectiveness. Cancer is an elusive target. Malignant cells in a tumor never stop mutating. This means that the cancer being treated today may be significantly different than the cancer that needs to be treated tomorrow. Even if a chemotherapy regimen kills 99% of the body's cancer cells, the 1% that survive may very well mutate into a more aggressive form that is resistant to drugs. This is why chemotherapy can have an initial effect but lose its potency in treating patients who have recurrence.
OASIS OF HOPE "INTEGRATIVE REGULATORY THERAPY" (IRT) SOLUTIONS:
- 1) Enhance healthy cell's resistance to damage from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy's cytotoxic mechanisms come primarily from its pro-oxidant effects. The chemical agents produce free radicals that damage cell membranes and DNA. (Radiation works similarly.) Cancer cells are generally more vulnerable to oxidative damage than normal cells. Oasis of Hope uses non-toxic techniques to make malignant cells even more vulnerable and normal cells even more resistant to this damage.
For example, one technique used in Oasis's IRT is "Oxidative Pre-Conditioning." This is achieved by using hyperbaric oxygen to create a transient state of oxidative stress. In response to this, normal cells increase their utilization of natural antioxidants. This increased level of antioxidants modulates the damaging effects of chemotherapy. Also, a number of "nutraceuticals" – herbs and supplements in therapeutic dosages –have powerful protective effects on healthy cells but only negligible effects on cancer cells.
Further, when appropriate, Oasis employs "metronomic" chemotherapy. This is a low-dose approach; too low to evoke side effects. And, while it is also too low to evoke a meaningful direct impact on tumor cells, when given on a daily or near-daily schedule, it has been shown to often markedly delay tumor growth.
- Increase cancer cell's vulnerability to chemotherapy and keep them sensitized to its effect. Because cancer cells operate on a different metabolism than the rest of the body, tumors create a special environment that allows them to survive, grow and proliferate.
One crucial thing cancer needs is a low-oxygen ("hypoxic") environment. Oasis of Hope employs techniques that add oxygen to tumors. This increased oxygenation not only suppresses their ability to grow, but also makes them more vulnerable to the oxidative damage from chemotherapy.
Cancer cells actually have a number of remarkably sophisticated mechanisms they use to protect themselves against not only the body's natural cancer-fighting defenses but also medical protocols. These defenses are triggered by what is called "cell signaling." A number of natural substances have been shown to inhibit specific signaling within cancer cells that would activate these defenses. These include selenium, melatonin, vitamin D3 and other common supplements, as well as lesser-known, non-toxic pharmaceutical drugs.
The above are only a few of the tools that Oasis of Hope employs to make chemotherapy less damaging and more effective. However, cancer is really a systemic disease, and tumors are just a symptom of an underlying disorder. For that reason, Oasis of Hope doesn't just concentrate on shrinking or eradicating tumors, but treats the whole person.
Oasis' Integrative Regulatory Therapy is designed to make the patients as healthy overall as possible, employing, among other things, proper diet, supplementation, detoxification and appropriate exercise. The immune system is revitalized as much as possible. And most importantly, great concentration is given to providing patients with emotional and spiritual support. Although "attitude" is an intangible, shedding negative emotions such as fear, anger, resentment and depression is often as important in responding to treatment as the treatments themselves.
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More women die from lung cancer than breast cancer. Avoiding smoking and second hand smoke at all costs.