Posts Tagged ‘Alternative Cancer Treatments’

Salvestrols: Nature’s Rescue Mechanism from Cancer

In Uncategorized on June 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Last week I had a fantastic discussion with Dr Michael Schachter regarding the so-called “war against cancer”. Very little has changed since 1971.  We have drugs, lots of drugs. However, this year, more than 1.6 million Americans will receive a diagnosis, and 600,000 Americans will die of “cancer”.  The real question is– are they dying from the treatment or the cancer? This is, as they say, the billion dollar question.

MBS Photo of 7-16-10 Trees background MBS071610AIntegrative oncology has made significant strides in improving survival from cancer and its treatment.  However, many feel there is a better way or at least another way to heal from cancer.  Some believe that the SOC (Standard of Care) might actually be contributing to more cancer and in some cases worsen the prognosis of patients with cancer.  Dr Schachter spoke of the work of Dr Thomas Seyfried, who believes that cancer is a metabolic disease which is driven by damage to the mitochondria of cells and not from mutations within the nucleus of the cell.  The predominant assumption by conventional oncology is that cancer stems from mutations in genes within the nucleus of the cell. Seyfried explains how the standard of care for brain tumors which generally includes radiation, increases the amino acid glutamine which fuels brain cancer cells just the way glucose does.  He acknowledged that while the therapy has improved two-year survival rates, this is not much to cheer about.  The steroids that reduce inflammation may lesson symptoms and the protocol might extend life briefly, but the overall treatment plan guarantees failure.  Dr Schachter went on to explain that Seyfried’s suggestion of the (calorie) restricted ketogenic diet (RKD) might better serve patients; it can also improve the efficacy of some anti-cancer drugs.  The (calorie) RKD offers tremendous promise as it restricts the glucose that feeds tumors and elevates ketone levels providing an anti-invasive, anti-angiogenic and pro-apoptotic approach towards malignant brain cancer and may well work for many cancers. To hear more on Seyfrieds research, please CLICK HERE.

~~ CYP1B1~Best Kept Secret in Science~~

Dr Schachter and I also spoke once again about Salvestrols, and how CYP1B1 might just be the best kept secret in science.  To recap, Salvestrols are plant derived compounds that produce anticancer metabolites as a result of their action with a particular enzyme, known as CYP1B1.  Salvestrols are found naturally in organic blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, black currents, figs, tangerine peel and perhaps as many as 50 other fruits and vegetables.  The CYP1B1 enzyme is present only in cancer cells, and when it encounters a Salvestrol, it converts it into a form which is toxic to the sick cell and causes that cell to commit suicide (apoptosis). Because the enzyme is not present in healthy cells, the Salvestrols have no ill effects on them–unlike cancer therapies such as chemotherapy.  He further explained that a deficiency of naturally derived Salvestrols can lead to the development and progression of cancer. And in fact, the presence of CYP1B1 is considered a universal cancer marker by many.

~~ “Eat your Vegetables”  Mom, various dates ~~

Obviously we need to eat more fruits and vegetables.  For the healthy individual without cancer and who eats a significant amount of organic produce, diet is likely sufficient.  (Why organic?  Click Here and Here).  For those with cancer or who have had cancer, it is virtually impossible (and terribly expensive) and potentially dangerous to eat enough to challenge cancer, so a supplement may well be the answer.  Keep in mind that while fruits are incredibly healthy, they do provide a significant source of sugar (glucose).  To simplify things, the scientists who coined the term Salvestrols developed a point system.  The strong diet might afford one 100-300 points daily.  However, to attain the necessary 1000+ points needed to control an existing cancer, this is an unachievable goal via diet alone.  I personally take 1000-2000 daily in supplement form.  For more information, please replay Update on Innovative Cancer Treatment Strategies including the Ketogenic Diet and Salvestrols .

We also talked about things that inhibit the activity of CYP1B1.  These include Laetrile (also known as B17 and amygdalin, with bitter apricot kernels being one of the best sources) as well as carbon monoxide (cigarette smoke), household pesticides and chemicals, but also resveratrol (at high doses of more than 40mg or so per day). Yes, resveratrol has some anticancer benefits, but it inhibits the activity of the enzyme, so it must be avoided in supplement form if you are taking Salvestrols.

What supports CYP1B1?  Magnesium, niacin, biotin, selenium, vitamin C and iron (when appropriate).

Have there been clinical trials on Salvestrols?  No, but often the real-life case studies tell all.  Again, listen to the show, search the internet blogs or contact Dr Schachter to get his opinion and to hear and read about the case studies (I have also listed some resources at the end of this post).  I, for one, don’t need trials to appreciate logic and research; furthermore, just as I know that there will not be trials for broccoli, I am well aware that there will not be trials for Salvestrols, nor are they needed.  If something cannot hurt you, and offers great promise, and you can afford it, go for it…..listen to your gut– it really knows best (sorry father).  Interesting too that the science behind Salvestrols may offer some incite as to why therapies such as Gerson work so well—tons of organic vegetables.

The take-home?  Salvestrols have the extraordinary ability to recognize cancer cells, embed themselves in them, and destroy them. When Salvestrols come into contact with the CYP1B1 inside human cancer cells, they become “activated”—and cause the cancer cells to stop growing or die. CYP1B1 is only in cancer cells, and Salvestrols go on a-seek-and-destroy mission. Salvestrols appear to be applicable for all cancers at all stages, and may be useful for both the prevention and management of cancer.  The RKD, although not an easy diet to strictly maintain for a lifetime, is a viable option for the management of for cancer and can often be modified once NED (no evidence of disease) has been achieved.

We don’t want to die of our cancer, but we also do not want to die from its treatment.  And cancer tends to recur, especially with conventional treatment, grows silently for years and is often only detected with more damaging scans. That said, I just want to be very clear that none of the concepts discussed here are approved by the FDA for cancer treatment and that this information is preliminary, experimental and for informational purposes only. My role here and on Survive and Live Well is to inform, and you are certainly welcome to draw your own conclusions and make informed decisions.  Further, treatment does not end with active therapy….treatment is a life-long commitment to health.

For more information, click on the above links or contact Dr Michael Schachter at the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine.  You can also purchase a DVD of Dr Schachter’s presentation on Salvestrols at CARE via his office, and you can pick up a copy of Brain Schaefer’s book, Salvestrols: Nature’s Defence Against Cancer. (And no, that “c” is not a typo).



~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Dr. Michael B. Schachter is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College and Columbia P&S Medical School in NYC. He is also a Board Certified Psychiatrist and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Schachter has been involved with nutritional and integrative health care for 35 years. A leader in alternative cancer therapies, EDTA chelation and orthomolecular psychiatry, he is a past president of the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). He has authored numerous articles and was a major contributor to Burton Goldberg’s classic “Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer”. His published 2010 paper “Integrative Oncology for Clinicians and Cancer Patients” helps to guide patients in developing a cancer treatment program. In 2010, Dr. Schachter received the Humanitarian Award from the Cancer Control Society in California. He has a special interest in the role of iodine in health and disease. Dr. Schachter is the director of the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine in Suffern, NY.

Dr. Brian Schaefer was educated in Victoria, B.C., Canada and Oxford, England, obtained a B.Sc., and M.Sc., degree from the University of Victoria and a Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) degree from Oxford University in England (Wolfson College). After these studies were completed he chose to return to Canada. After two years as a research fellow in Ottawa he returned to Victoria where he currently lives with his wife and his two children. A fondness for England continues and he returns to England on a regular basis. He has published and lectured on a broad array of topics including psychometrics, pattern recognition, visual perception, knowledge acquisition, artificial intelligence, laboratory medicine and cancer research. The author serves on the Board of Directors of companies in Canada and England.

Case Studies:

Schaefer B, Tan H, Burke D, Potter G, (2007) Nutrition and Cancer: Salvestrol Case Studies.. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 22, 4: 177-182.

Schaefer B, Dooner C, Burke D, Potter G, (2010) Nutrition and Cancer: Further Case Studies Involving Salvestrol. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 25, 1: 17-23.

Schaefer, B., Potter G., Wood R., Burke D. (2012) Cancer and Related Case Studies Involving Salvestrol and CYP1B1. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 27: 131-138.

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. She is also on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

Follow Elyn on Linkedin

Follow Elyn on Facebook

Follow Survive and Live Well on Twitter

Donate to the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation

Changing the Cancer Environment

In Uncategorized on December 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm

In The Redwood Forest, I talk about changing the cancer environment.  I decided this topic deserves more depth, so today’s post goes a bit further into the emotional and nutritional sides of cancer.  In good health, Elyn

           Changing the Cancer Environment

Disease (is) not an entity but a fluctuating condition of the patient’s body, a battle between the substance of disease and the natural self-healing tendency of the body.        Hippocrates

Cancer is not as complicated as many claim it to be.  Genetic, environmental, nutritional and psychological factors all play a role in the development of cancer.  However, the development of cancer is an indication that the body lacks the support necessary to destroy cancer cells. We all generate errant or mutated cancer cells in our bodies every day, yet only some individuals will go on to develop the disease.  Normally our immune systems destroy these errant cells, yet in individuals whose immune systems are severely compromised, this mechanism fails.  Quite simply, the key is to discover and repair what is not functioning by empowering yourself to make changes that support your body’s ability to resist the cancer process.

You can’t alter your genetic factors. To some extent you can modify your environmental factors, but unavoidable perils lurk everywhere. However, you can change the psychological and nutritional factors that weaken the body’s natural defenses against cancer, and often times these changes can affect the way your body responds to genetic and environmental factors.

For example, diet often trumps toxins by helping to remove toxins from the body, and diet can also influence the expression of genes.  Therefore, what is of far more interest than the risk factors or causes is what we can do about them. The key to survival is often changing the environment in which cancer was able to develop.  If we focus on the underlying conditions that may have contributed to the disease, we can likely prevent recurrence or reverse the course of the disease.  After all, it is not the primary tumor that kills us, but rather the progression of the disease.

Emotional patterns and dietary choices may neither be the cause or cure for every cancer, but any path taken, be it allopathic, integrative or alternative, will be more successful long-term if the mind and body are addressed.

“Cancer does not begin in the body; cancer begins in the brain   R.G.Hamer

There is a strong correlation between emotional patterns and the development and progression of cancer. The power of repressed emotions, anger, and resentment as well as a lack of self love is not to be overlooked in the creating and healing of our cancers. Emotional challenges can develop into physical ones; that is, emotions not expressed in words or actions find expression in physical ailments; physical symptoms are often related to past repressed traumatic experiences.  Toxic defense mechanisms are often developed in childhood to survive life’s inevitable traumas.

I remember my first visit to my integrative oncologist, Mitch Gaynor.  The interview lasted several hours, and at one point he mentioned that he thought my cancer likely had much to do with something that happened to me when I was five years old; something that caused me to repress emotions that would later have contributed to my cancer.  He said that many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others or to spare themselves or others from pain.  We talked about my life-long desire to be the peace-keeper, to the point where my family dubbed me “Julie the cruise director”.  For those of you who remember The Love Boat, it was Julie’s job to accommodate others, to be perky, and to ensure that everyone on the boat was happy…a tall order.

Our physical health is compromised when we chronically repress our needs and feelings to accommodate others.  This coping style weakens our immune defenses and leaves us more vulnerable to cancer progression. I have worked with him to make a more peaceful, but expressive life, and in doing so, have found appropriate ways to express my emotions; I have learned to put myself first at times.

Stress per-se is not a critical factor in illness; it’s how we respond to it that matters. The key is to express it appropriately and then let it go, so that it doesn’t fester or build, or escalate out of control. Healthy is not just a matter of thinking happy thoughts, but rather to learn how to express our emotions. Take a walk, run, have a massage, listen to music, take a bath, yell (or at least make your distress known) –anything that can release stress and stored or blocked emotions. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you begin to express your emotions and speak honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

The immune system is often suppressed in people who feel they are not able to change the negative conditions of their lives, and are involved in toxic relationships.  Situations in which a woman has a physically or emotionally abusive man in her life or is stuck in a non-nurturing marriage or even in one where a husband is unable or unwilling to support his wife’s emotional needs can trigger a cascade of biochemical changes that help create a fertile field for breast cancer to grow.

This is not to say that everyone involved in a toxic relationship or who has relentless, unaddressed stress will develop cancer.  However, to help avoid a recurrence of cancer or to reverse the disease, you need to change the environment in which cancer was permitted to grow.  Identifying and releasing deep-seated negative emotions and thought patterns, while maintaining an attitude of hope and positive beliefs, can make the all-important difference in the pursuit of wellness. If you suspect negative relationships to be part of the cause, it’s time to make some changes. Make a commitment to yourself and eliminate the toxic relationships in your life, celebrate you and make sure you are a priority in life, not an afterthought. Consider stress reducing therapies such as Reiki, yoga, meditation, or kinesiology.  Join a support group to talk through your frustrations and to connect with others.

“Let Food be thy Medicine, and Medicine be thy Food”        Hippocrates

Diet should be an important part of your anticancer strategy.  The cellular level is where cancer begins and where nutrition exerts its greatest effect. Our nutritional status either weakens us, making us susceptible to the development of cancer, or strengthens our bodies’ defense mechanisms, enhancing our ability to prevent renegade cells from becoming tumors, to avoid recurrence and often to reverse the disease.  Cancer loves inflammation, and inflammation plays a role at all three stages of cancer: initiation, progression and metastasis. Most foods either encourage or discourage inflammation.  A diet high in trans-fatty acids, carbohydrates and sugar helps the body to create inflammation, whereas a diet heavy in vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids puts the brakes on the process.

In general, a high fiber, low fat, low protein diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended (as well as exercise and maintaining a healthy weight).  Avoid red meat (occasional organic, grass-fed meats are fine). Dairy consumption is somewhat controversial, but most would argue that avoiding or limiting dairy is best.  Remember, we want to enjoy life; deprivation can lead to depression and reduced enjoyment of life.  If eating cheese is of great pleasure to you, then by all means, have some, but try to find raw, organic cheeses made on small farms to avoid pesticides and unnecessary hormones.  

Antioxidants and the immune system play critical role cancer prevention and in their ability to destroy cancers already present. Antioxidants protect cells and tissues, and remove the free radicals created by exposure to radiation, chemicals and inflammation.  Foods such as flaxseed, rosemary, apples, red wine, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables help remove and disable troublesome estrogen from the body. The immune system, and specifically NK cells (natural killer cells), are able to attack and kill a wide variety of cells and patrol the circulatory system and organs of the body on an antigen seek-and-destroy mission, so keeping these super-soldiers in optimal fighting condition is necessary to beat cancer.  A lack of minerals and nutrients will decrease the activity of these soldiers and compromise the immune system. Please include a wide variety of anti-cancer foods as each nutrient plays its own role in the prevention of cancer. Learn more about cancer-fighting foods.

Remember, the goal is to empower yourself to take responsibility for your own healing and to encourage you to take action, without creating a sense of guilt.  If you have cancer, think long and hard about how you got to this place in life, and what kind of joyful and fulfilling future you want to create as a survivor.  You can’t change the past, but you can take control of your future. Understanding which behaviors, ingrained patterns and dietary deficiencies we can begin to change in order to strengthen our immune systems and to allow our bodies to heal is the first step in the pursuit of wellness. Resolving these issues and moving towards a happier, healthier life is why many survivors say that getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to them.

To read more about Dr Hamer’s theory, please visit: www.newmedicine.ca; http://www.learninggnm.com/home.html

To learn more about how psychological change can repair and empower a compromised immune system, please visit:

www.cancerasaturningpoint.org/  Cancer as a Turning Point, by  Lawrence Leshan, PhD

www.cancer-report.com The Cancer Report, by John Voell and Cynthia Chatfield

www.gaynoroncology.com/ Dr Mitch Gaynor, Gaynor Integrative Oncology

www.breastcancer.org  Breast Cancer: Is it what You’re Eating or What’s Eating You?  Susan Silberstein, PhD

Elyn Jacobs





Elyn Jacobs is President of Elyn Jacobs Consulting, Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation, a certified cancer coach and a breast cancer survivor.  Elyn helps women diagnosed with cancer to navigate the process of treatment and care, and educates to prevent recurrence and new cancers.