Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
My very talented Naturopathic Doctor
She treats a wide variety of conditions
Office & phone appointments available
Los Angeles, CA (Pacific Palisades)
Naturopathic Medicine Treatment Interview with Dr. Simon Barker, ND
Cancer Symptoms Cancer is a problem that occurs when some of the body’s cells start behaving erratically and deciding that they can do their own thing. Biologically, there are a lot of different things happeningthat cancer’s a process where parts of the body decide that they can do their own thing, and they start replicating without thinking about the rest of the body. They start behaving independently, essentially, and they can do that, and they can spread throughout the body and cause damage and eventually kill a person.
Conventional Cancer Treatment Oncologists and other doctors who treat cancer conventionally usually work with about three basic options: they use surgery, they use chemotherapy, and they use radiations.
And there are other drugs that they use, but that’s basic approach to treatment. There are some cancers for which those are very effective, but the types of cancers for which they are very effective are very few, and these treatments are used across the board for most types of cancer. And in many cases, those treatments are of very little effect. Certainly I recommend for most patients who have significant tumors surgery in most cases is necessary. But in a lot of cases, chemotherapy and radiation are of limited necessity, or of limited efficacy. They do have some validity, but the actually benefits to the patients is very small.
Conventional Cancer Medications and Side Effects There are a number of side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation. People are familiar with hair falling out, and losing weight, but there are a lot of otheroften more seriousside effects that can be associated with it: mouth sores where people can’t eat properly, numbness of the hands and the feet; immune system is often really severely affected, and that can lead to very serious infections, people being hospitalized. All of these things happen and are very serious. Sometimes these drugs are necessary and we have to find ways to manage these symptoms, and sometimes that’s what I’m doing with the patient. But in some cases, there are also alternatives and the concern is that we’re not necessarily getting to the root cause here and there’s always a concern that the cancer will return.
Cancer Causes People develop cancer for a variety of reasons, but oftentimes it’s associated with exposures to toxins in their environment. And this can come from a number of different places. People who work with certain substances in dry cleaning operations, for example, are at increased risk for certain types of cancer. People who work with pesticides are at an increased risk of certain types of cancerpeople who dye their hair, even. Certainly, people who eat in specific ways are at increased risk of certain type of cancer: red meat across the board seems to be strongly associated with risk for many cancers.
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Natural Medicine Cancer Diagnosis So my patients come and see me who have already done conventional treatments for their cancer. They’re in remission and they’re looking to prevent future problems. And so I want to look for them to figure out, okay, why did they develop cancer in the first place? And sometimes there are tests that we can run that will give us some kind of indication that will look for toxicities, that will look for immune system problems that we can address, and I’m going to use a variety of different treatments to help that.
Natural Medicine Cancer Treatment and Detoxification And a lot of that centers around lifestyle modificationwe can work with their diet, we can work with detoxification, we can work with exercise and discouraging certain bad habits and encouraging certain good habits that help reduce their risk of ever getting cancer again. I use certain very specific agents: I’ll use mistletoe with patients; I will use high-dose vitamins with patientsvitamin D, vitamin A, a number of vitamins which, in the right doses, can be really helpful in reducing people’s risk of cancer, and that’s certainly been shown in research. And so I’m using a number of different agents combined with overall lifestyle changes and recommending other types of approaches to thinking about their cancerlooking at things from an emotional perspective, looking at things from n spiritual perspective, to make sure we’re treating the whole person to help them get better and to never have to face cancer again.
Natural Medicine Cancer Supplements So a patient comes to see me and they have active cancer. Almost always, they’re already seeing an oncologist, and if they’re not I recommend that they do. It’s important they understand what their treatment options are, and they almost always require some conventional treatment. I want to make sure that they’re getting the conventional treatment that they need. I want to make sure that they’re getting what’s necessary and not more. Sometimes they can get too much, and that can be a harrowing experienceand we want to limit that. What I’m looking to do in this situation is support them wherever they’re at: so I want to do things that might produce side effects from any treatments that they’re doing; I want to do things that support their immune system and help them to get through the process and to make it such that when they’re trough, they’re not going to have to do this again. And I use a variety of different things to do that. Sometimes, what I’m looking to do is to help them maintain or gain additional weight because they’re losing weight because of their treatments, so I’m using fish oil, I’m using specific dietary interventions, making sure that they’re eating high-calorie foods that are healthy, that they’re not drinking really sugary drinks to do that but they’re actually eating whole organic foods that are healthy, that are going to make them get better in a real way.
I’ll often use herbal treatments on patients who are undergoing cancer therapy. I might use asheraganda (sp?), for example, in someone who’s doing radiation treatmentssomething that will increase the effectiveness of the treatment and decrease the side effects. I might use aloe vera topically to decrease or prevent burning that can occur when people are doing radiation. And we use a variety of other herbs that can be really helpful for people that are undergoing cancer treatment.
Natural Medicine Cancer Treatment Success My success rate in treating people in remission, preventing future cancers, has been very good. When we look at patients who have had cancer, we’re not talking about weeks or months herewe’re talking about years. You can’t tell in a short period of time whether or not your treatments have been effective, and certainly looking in the long term at the way my patients are, and how they’re doingthings have been good.
Natural Medicine Cancer Diet and Exercise So basically what we’re talking about here is a natural living lifestyle. Cancer, even though it is really scary and it can be very serious, is a lot like many other diseases in terms of what can cause it and what we can do to treat it. And at base, what we’re looking to do is looking to change the way that people live, change the way that they think about how they eat, how they behave, the kind of exercise they get, the kind of interactions they have with other people so they can live more healthilyif they can reduce their risk of having cancer in the first place, or if they’ve had cancer, they can reduce the risk of having cancer again in the future.