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In this episode, you will learn about contributors to cancer and integrative cancer therapy approaches.
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About My Guest
My guest for this episode is Dr. Paul Anderson. Paul S. Anderson, ND is a nationally recognized educator and clinician who has decades of experience with cancer and complex chronic illness. As head of the interventional arm of a human trial funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Anderson oversaw research into integrative therapies for cancer patients. Dr. Anderson was the founder of a number of clinics specializing in the care of people with cancer and chronic illness. He is now focusing his efforts on training other physicians and on writing. He is the co-author of "Outside the Box Cancer Therapies" with Dr. Mark Stengler and the anthology "Success Breakthroughs" with Jack Canfield. His latest book is "Cancer: The Journey from Diagnosis to Empowerment".
- Where does cancer fit today in terms of leading killers?
- What causes cancer?
- Are tests available to help prevent the development of cancer?
- How do makers like nagalase and TGFb1 fit into a cancer evaluation?
- What is the role of environmental toxicity, mold illness, and exposure to EMFs in cancer?
- What types of microbes may play a role in the development of cancer?
- Do breast implants increase the chances for cancer?
- What options might be considered when one has a positive BRCA gene?
- Why is pancreatic cancer so deadly?
- Does BHRT increase or decrease rates of cancer?
- Does obesity increase risk of cancer?
- Is sun exposure cancer-promoting?
- What role does autophagy play in cancer?
- What supplements are commonly used in integrative cancer therapy?
- Is it more important to boost or modulate the immune system?
- Is there a role for oxidative and oxygen therapies such as ozone, EWOT, and HBOT in cancer treatment?
- How does cancer provide a new beginning?
- Why is it important to not perceive self-care as selfish?
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November 5, 2020
Transcript Disclaimer: Transcripts are intended to provide optimized access to information contained in the podcast. They are not a full replacement for the discussion. Timestamps are provided to facilitate finding portions of the conversation. Errors and omissions may be present as the transcript is not created by someone familiar with the topics being discussed. Please Contact Me with any corrections.
[00:00:01.03] Welcome to BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts, empowering your better health. And now, here's Scott, your Better Health Guy.
[00:00:13.23] The content of this show is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose treat or cure any illness or medical condition. Nothing in today's discussion is meant to serve as medical advice, or as information to facilitate self-treatment. As always, please discuss any potential health-related decisions with your own personal medical authority.
[00:00:34.16] Scott: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode number 130 of the BetterHealthGuy Blogcasts series. Today's guest is Dr. Paul Anderson, and the topic of the show is Cancer Therapies. Dr. Paul Anderson is a nationally recognized educator and clinician who has decades of experience with cancer and complex chronic illness.
As head of the interventional arm of a human trial funded by the US National Institutes of Health, Dr. Anderson oversaw research into integrative therapies for cancer patients. Dr. Anderson was the founder of a number of clinics specializing in the care of people with cancer and chronic illness. He is now focusing his efforts on training other physicians and on writing. He is the co-author of “Outside the Box Cancer Therapies'' with Dr. Mark Stengler and the anthology “Success Breakthroughs'' with Jack Canfield.
His latest book is ''Cancer: The Journey From Diagnosis to Empowerment''. And now my interview with Dr. Paul Anderson.
So many of the practitioners that I’ve connected with over the years have looked up to you as a mentor and legend. It's an honor to have you on the show today, thanks so much for being here Dr. Anderson.
[00:01:51.17] Dr. Anderson: Thanks for having me.
[00:01:53.13] Scott: What drew you personally to the work that you do with cancer and complex chronic medical conditions? What is it that drives your very obvious passion?
[00:02:04.03] Dr. Anderson: Well, the shortest version of the answer is really a long time ago when I started, I was doing more general family practice. But because I did so many integrative therapies, I started to attract people who had cancer or who had an un-diagnosable chronic illness.
Because they benefited from those therapies, and so that started my connection to that community, and then what I, well what others have called the sort of an insane amount of curiosity drove the rest. I had a lot of tools, more now, but I had a lot of tools that I was using. And finding the best ways to employ them in say someone with cancer or someone with a really complex chronic illness became a big passion of mine. And that's really if you just extrapolate that over all the years, that's what drove most of it.
[00:03:02.03] Scott: Beautiful, yes. And it's wonderful that we are all the beneficiary of your interest and passion to learn more. Talk to us about where cancer fits today in terms of being a leading killer. What is the chance that someone living in 2020 in terms of their potential for developing cancer in their lifetime? How does that compare to the past? And are we moving in the right direction or the wrong direction?
[00:03:26.19] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I wish I had a happier answer for that, but the trajectory of cancer is the longer we live and the longer we progress into modern times, the more likely we are during our lifetime to have cancer. Now it may not be cancer that kills us, for example, a lot of men will develop prostate cancer very late in life, and they'll die with it instead of from it. And you have a lot of those examples.
But in the main, the problem that I see is even from 20 or 25 years ago; we have an increase in frequency. So somewhere between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3 people will develop cancer during their life. So this is not a minor thing. It's rapidly encroaching on cardiovascular diseases as the main killer of Western humans.
The other thing that I find really disconcerting, and I think this is well, I believe it's obviously explainable. The government might disagree, is there are extremely big increases in pediatric cancers which we see, and also in what are known as cancer hotspots, which are environmentally activated areas. Where just living there, you develop unusual cancers. And it is to the degree the CDC actually has a map of cancer hotspots, and they're not getting less as time goes on. And there is some thought that some of the pediatric cancer increase has to do with environmental factors as well: toxicity and epigenetic triggers and things of that nature. So I think that it's only more of a problem and it's more of an issue that really does is almost nobody it doesn't touch in one way or another.
[00:05:23.14] Scott: In the first book that you wrote on cancer “Outside the Box Cancer Therapies”, you talked about several theories in terms of what causes cancer. So in the book you talk about genetics, you talk about cancer stem cells, the metabolic theory. What do you see as the primary initiators of, or drivers of, cancer in our modern world? You just mentioned environmental toxicity, so what are some of the top things that are driving this increase in cancer?
[00:05:51.03] Dr. Anderson: Yes. And I like talking about cancer from those three points of view because they're not mutually exclusive. There are some that are kind of unique, there are some unique genomic cancers, and there are some unique metabolic ones and things. But if you look at the triggers underneath and that was one of the chapters I wrote, Mark Stengler and I shared the chapters.
And in the triggers for cancer, if you look at those three potential triggers, what they all have running between them really are epigenetic signaling. That would either turn on the genes we don't want, which are maybe susceptible to cancer or in some other way oncogenic. Or turn off the protective ones, or in bad cases, little of both. So in like metabolic theory which certainly does turn on some cancers, it's sort of odd to call them theories, because they're generally accepted.
But the metabolism changes if you really just boil it down to like the Cliff note version, you have fat metabolism and muscle metabolism. And the more muscle metabolism, less fat metabolism, the lower the cancer triggering signals. Well, those are epigenetic signals also. Cancer stem cell theory which we used to call the trophoblastic theory, which was over 100-year-old theory of why cancer developed. And for a long time the tumor biologists kind of poopooed it, and said ah.
And actually, in the 2015 to 2017, they started publishing papers saying we just didn't know what we were looking at a hundred years ago, and what we're really looking at that we call trophoblastic were cancer stem cells. Well, cancer stem cells are part of all cancers, so that's not really a theory that's a thing that we understand now. The trouble with them really are they don't act like regular tumor cells. So as you treat cancer, they retreat into the background and wait until you're not treating it anymore and become other cancers etc. Well, they're heavily manipulated by epigenetic factors, which I always tell patients epigenetics are everything that's ever happened to you in your whole life.
Potentially stuff that happened to your parents or your grandparents, so we can't escape them. And so if you really look at it, and then the genomic theories, genomic theory has been the predominant theory for the last 50 or so years, because it's driven a lot of research. It's not really; most cancers are not purely caused by genes. So if you look at, even the have heavy penetrance cancers like BRCA mutations, you still have 40% or so of people who have BRCA mutations who don't develop cancer.
So there's obviously other epigenetic things around it. But I think epigenetics the nice if there's a nice part of that story is mostly those are modifiable in our lives. And we can do things either proactively, or unfortunately, we develop cancer retroactively to undo many of them. And I think that that's really where that comes down to as far as either preventive lifestyle or treatment lifestyle.
[00:09:13.18] Scott: So talking about prevention, I mean we know if someone is exploring the potential of a cancer, that there are biopsies and a number of different types of scans and other tests that can be run. But is there a role for looking at some of these things preventatively, or tests that we might look at before someone has developed a cancer to see if they're heading in that direction, and should be more focused on prevention? Or does doing that potentially then create a fear response that then influences the genetic expression from the epigenetic perspective that you just talked about?
[00:09:48.16] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I think like so many things; it's a balance. And one of the things that become very, it's the human condition, is the more tied you are subconsciously to potentially having cancer or not. I see this in people where they lost a loved one, or they've watched a loved one go through a very bad experience with cancer.
That drills some pretty deep stuff in subconsciously. And the point of that is that then if they're looking at well should I monitor closely, because maybe I’m going to get prostate cancer, breast cancer, or whatever. Yes, we should be monitoring. But to them, it takes it up to a new level and creates a lot of as you said anxiety and other negative epigenetic signals. So it's not bad to be vigilant and monitor, but I think that one of the most important parts about that is not being the lone ranger and doing it just on your own, and seeking out a doctor to help you.
You need to have someone you can talk to give it some perspective so that you don't go down the rabbit hole. Because the second part of the answer is, unfortunately, we have a lot of technology we didn't have a few years ago for testing for cancer and things.
But none of them are perfect. I mean as far as on the primary prevention end of things, there's a lot of potential for false positives for other reasons. So you go, and you do some preventive type tests, and there's literally a hundred I could mention. So I’m not picking one because I like it more, I’m just using one as an example.
There are ultra-sensitive measurements for beta hCG, which is what we think of for pregnancy testing. Well, you can get that in sort of a suite of other tests done. And monitor, it's more your metabolic propensity towards cancer or not. And potentially, smoldering cancers. So you can do those, but they can be elevated if you have other chronic inflammatory things going on that aren't cancer.
And that becomes, then you need someone to really look and say well, maybe we don't know, but let's do things to not have a chronic inflammatory problem. Because really, the circular problem is the chronic inflammatory things, let's say you have infections you don't know about like chronic Lyme or Epstein Barr or something. Those infections and your immune response to them will trigger epigenetic things that could eventually trigger cancer.
So still you have to deal with these things. But in working with people, especially people that have families with a lot of cancer and they want firm answers. There aren't great firm answers. The things I see on the horizon I think might be really good because the technology is logarithmically expanding. Our circulating tumor cell testing, I still would consider it in its infancy; it's been around for a while. But it's like every year the technology gets better.
And that kind of goes back to cancer stem cell theory. But we do have the ability to check for that. I don't think at the sensitivity right now to use for prevention, but we may soon. There's also some genetic signals that unfortunately don't work for all cancers, but maybe some of the big ones that could be screened for and look for. And I’m hoping in the coming five or ten years; maybe those will develop to be better tools. Right now, though, there's still a lot of clinical interpretation of what a preventive test might mean.
Because you think about standard medicine, the screening tests only tell you if you have cancer. Well, by that time you're not really preventing it anymore. I mean it's great to find it early, but you know there's a gap that we need to fill scientifically.
[00:13:52.23] Scott: Beautiful. So I want to tie this conversation about cancer into some of the topics that I usually talk about on the podcast, which is Lyme disease and mold illness and neurological conditions and environmental toxicity and so on. And I have a couple of questions here about some of the markers, and you just talked about different markers that we can look at.
So, nagalase is one that you talk about in the book for exploring cancer. It's also one that we often see high in people with chronic Lyme disease, for example. Dr. Klinghardt talks about it as an indication of viral and retroviral activation. So how might we differentiate an elevated nagalase marker in terms of whether or not that is potentially an indicator of cancer or of viral and retroviral activity? Or is it that that viral and retroviral activity or burden is potentially playing a role in the genesis of the cancer?
[00:14:48.12] Dr. Anderson: Yes. So nagalase is a really great example of this. And it's certainly a test that we do with cancer patients; sometimes we do it with other patients as Dr. Klinghardt talks about. The upside of it is it's testing a part of your immunochemistry that is hard to look at otherwise. So if we think of it as this is testing the appropriateness or inappropriateness of a particular part of your immune response.
And so if that level goes up, the downside is yes, it could be that you have a viral infection or other infections can do it if you just injured yourself, your nagalase will go up too. So we have to always ask people have you sprained your ankle recently or anything. If you get the flu and have a fever, it'll go up. So you'd have to be careful when you test it. Other side of it though is that part of your immune function, which most people probably have heard of GcMAF as a treatment, but it's also part of how our immune system functions.
Nagalase is related to that part of the immune triggering response. So you could see it could go up for a lot of reasons. I think it's kind of like we said about say super sensitive hCG testing and other stuff. If we already have a cancer patient and part of our focus is on increasing GcMAF activity. So there are ways to do that without giving GcMAF, and there are also ways to do it with giving it. But let's say that's part of it, it's a great test to follow to see if are we winning or losing on that front. In respect as a screening tool, it's a bit more like ultra-sensitive beta hCG. Where you have to clinically interpret it, and say yes, we already know you have this chronic infectious problem.
Maybe some chronic mold problems, other chronic issues. Let's clean them up if it improves, it's probably not cancer if we clean those up and get working on them and it's staying high, and there's no new injuries or other things. Then our index of suspicion that your infectious things or mold or whatever have derailed your immunity so much that there might be a cancer brewing.
And that's a great time to be very, obviously work up to find any cancers, but a lot of times you don't. That's a great time to get after the cancer cell triggers and get the immune system back online so it can do its job. So yes, it's a great tool, but it requires some interpretation because so many things could make it go up.
[00:17:40.25] Scott: So I think the next one will possibly be a similar response and that is TGF Beta 1 or Transforming Growth Factor-beta 1. We also use that in the biotoxin and mold illness realm as well from Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker's work.
So how might we differentiate an elevated TGF Beta 1 in cancer versus mold illness, and then just extending into that conversation of mold illness? What role might mold exposure and mycotoxins play in the development of cancer?
[00:18:12.11] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I think the easier part of the answer really is; it's pretty much the same logic as the nagalase answer. Because these signaling molecules or other things that we can test, that are either a piece of metabolism in the immune system or a normal part of our growth and cell cycling that gets over or under amped because of illness. We can test those things, but they're somewhat of a bystander to a bigger process.
And so the base answer of well, it definitely could be cancer, so we have to be vigilant. But where there's smoke, there's fire, so if there's a lot of mold exposure or if there's a lot of chronic infectious things and mold or toxins, let's figure those out first when there's no overt cancer. But I think that, and it's interesting we just finished a big conference where our focus was on mold and other immunomodulators, negative immunomodulators.
And one of the things that we brought out in some of the clinical material was if you have somebody who has biotoxin exposure, mold exposure, clean that up first if at all possible. Because it is so deranging to the rest of their immune system, that take, for example, most humans have some resident chronic infections that don't bother them, because their immune system's on par. You take that person, put them in a moldy environment, and every latent infection they have will just blow up because it's a problem.
And this is one of the things we see with, and we all learned this the hard way really, but you treat someone's chronic Epstein Barr, their Lyme and co-infections, or you name it. If they're in a moldy environment or they have other toxins that are derailing the immune system, they'll just treat forever, because the immune system never comes up and kind of meets its match. Same happens with cancer.
Unfortunately, the derangement that mold creates in the immune system and immune function has so many direct crossovers with cancer triggering, that it's like the last thing you want to have going on long term in your body.
And it seems, and you probably talk to a lot more people generally than I do about this, but it seems like at least in the community of medicine that I’m involved in, people are much more aware of mycotoxin and biotoxin illness than they were ten years ago, and that's a good thing, I think that's a really big positive.
[00:21:06.10] Scott: I would say that's probably because you hang with some really cool, up-to-date people. I don't know in conventional medicine in general; I would say the mold issue is still constantly invalidated and overlooked.
[00:21:20.20] Dr. Anderson: Yes, true okay.
[00:21:22.19] Scott: Okay. If we take that toxicity perspective further, moving away a little from mycotoxins and we look at things like heavy metals and chemicals, pesticides like glyphosate for example or other environmental toxicants. Do they play a role in the development of cancer, and it sounds like to some extent they do? And could we then say that a daily practice of detoxification minimizes our long-term chances of experiencing a cancer in our lifetime?
[00:21:52.04] Dr. Anderson: Yes, a hundred percent, this is the short answer. And here's the way that I usually kind of try and language it to a patient. You take something like mycotoxins that have this very global sort of effect on immunity that's not good. Then you get into the world of chemicals and say persistent organic chemical pollutants and metals and things. And they all may globally affect things, but they tend to more derange for very specific pathways as they go along.
And again it's sort of like chronic infections; we're all exposed to we live in this modern world full of these chemicals and metals and stuff. We're all exposed, but people who start down the slippery slope of getting ill, it's like throwing more gasoline on a fire that's little, it's just going to get bigger. And one of the, I presented this at that conference, and we presented again in a couple of days, specifically on toxicity and cancer.
I had the opportunity to do testing, paired testing on, I took three of the sickest non-cancer chronic illness people I had and then three of my cancer patients and we did testing for chemical pollutants, glyphosate on down the line. What's interesting, because we have normal, we shouldn't have any of this stuff in us. But we have population normal for supposedly healthy people. Well, these poor people that none of them were anywhere near the normal in certain things.
And what was I think more instructive than anything when I put them on a grid and showed the non-cancer sick people, versus cancer sick people, there was really no delineation between sick people and toxicity. It was just they've got a lot. Now there were things like one that we discovered that we thought we had had the talk with the person, the glyphosate was super high, and we said geez, is it some sneaky food whatever?
Called them up and they said oh no, I used Roundup on my weeds or whatever, and I was like how did that sneak through? But it was, this is a very ill person, it was like no, don't do that anymore. But the other thing that we see and this goes back to your genetic and epigenetic signatures, which we all, you have two people look the same but their biology is different. In these people, the other thing we started to notice if you look especially at like organic acids and other indicators of how your detox is doing, and we had genomics on some of them.
Some of them just plain have slow elimination pathways. So they get exposed the same amount of a chemical you do, and it takes them ten times longer to get rid of it. Well, that's actually associated with certain cancers, autoimmunity definitely and other bad things. So toxicity is a big deal. We tend to hear a lot more about metal toxicity, there are no good toxic metals either, but there are a lot more chemicals we're exposed to. And part of that's because the testing is just now sort of getting up to speed to find the chemicals without biopsies and stuff.
[00:25:23.29] Scott: Yes, it's interesting when people ask how long they should focus on detoxification, my answer usually is as long as you're still breathing, right? I mean we really need to keep on.
[00:25:35.01] Dr. Anderson: Yes. People don't realize how much comes into them every day, and it just has to be part of your life to have some leave you every day.
[00:25:44.21] Scott: Yes. Interestingly, those of us on the West Coast recently with the smoke and fires, I had seen and I personally actually for the first time in a long time had an elevated TGF beta 1, after having years of Lyme and mold and all of that that has not been an issue for a while.
Was at a conference recently where Dr. Mary Ackerley mentioned that the particulates from the fires can actually be a trigger for elevations of Transforming Growth Factor-beta 1? So they're another environmental toxicant that is certainly not good for us.
What do you think about the exponentially increasing exposure to electromagnetic radiation, to EMFs, to 5G all of those things? Do they play a role in cancer development?
[00:26:29.01] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I would say on the same order as the bad chemicals, metals, everything else. I think one of the problems you mentioned earlier, not everyone agrees with everything we're talking about. One of the problems with the science on the side of EMFs and some electromagnetic toxicity is some is very clear, but a lot of it's really kind of muddy. And when it comes to like cell towers and those sort of transmissions, a lot of the science is done on a model that doesn't mimic what a human cell would be doing.
So it's done on say a water molecule model or something like that, which we have water in us. But we have much more dynamic things going on; there are cell membrane receptors all kinds of other stuff. And they're starting now to do more of that sort of research. So a lot of times, and I bring this up because this often is something a patient or a family will bring back is well I read that doesn't have any effect on people or whatever, that someone did a study and it was not a big deal. A lot of the studies that there are right now that we've been, or not we, but general medicine has been relying on that say it's no problem. Really are done in a way that doesn't mimic how it would affect us as a living, breathing creature. So we need more of that work done.
But the bottom line is you've, again just like chemicals, you know 50 years ago we had a lot less chemicals, we also had a lot less electromagnetic exposure. The number of things that plugged in in your house 50 years ago were very minor, compared to what we have now. And so it's just one more brick on the load. The biggest problem also, and this is a clinical conundrum is you never know is this person, because we're all exposed to all of it.
Is this person's epigenetics and genetics more prone to being susceptible to mycotoxins? Or is it chemical toxins, or is it the fact that they have a lot of EMF exposure? Or is it one of everything? That's the real trouble. But until somebody does a lot of work and proves otherwise to me, I cannot imagine that the electromagnetic bath humans are in is not a piece of the puzzle.
[00:29:08.24] Scott: Yes. If only, and I don't think it is only, but my understanding is that the more EMF exposure we get, the less we are able to detoxify. And so even from that perspective, if that just continued to fill the bucket of all those other toxins that you talked about that can potentially lead us down a path that's not ideal. It seems like they certainly play some role. Let's talk a little bit more about the potential of different microbes and the development of cancer.
So some people will say that cancer is viral, some will say that no, it's fungal. I think there's a doctor in Italy that's well known for saying that cancer is a fungal issue. Some people say that parasites can lead to cancer. In the Lyme and co-infection realm, there's discussion about Babesia potentially being a player in prostate and breast cancer or Bartonella in lymphatic cancers. What role do you see microbial overgrowths playing in terms of cancer?
[00:30:09.13] Dr. Anderson: Yes, that's another huge trigger, in my opinion. But also, because the, I guess the prevailing medical thoughts about infections and cancer mostly are a few viruses that we really know about. So most doctors know about like HPV and a few other viruses and some others. And so one of the biggest questions I'll get on a peer-to-peer with doctors would be well, I never considered infections as part of triggering cancer.
Well, if you actually look at the research around infections triggering cancer, there are so many more, there are more viruses than the ones we mentioned. Certainly, they're proven. But every part of the microbial kingdom has research that shows that these are either direct or indirect triggers for cancer. And it includes fungus and parasites, it includes many bacteria viruses as we know, and then a lot of other things.
But most of that is dismissed, so most doctors, even the ones like in our community, that's just something they never heard of. And so they often, unless they've you know done some looking, don't realize that there's research out there for it. And I remember go back say 20 years or more, you get a lot of pushback about treating any chronic infection, especially like Epstein Barr or Lyme or any of the other co-infections and things.
And I would always kind of circle back around and say well; there are two things even back then in the research that these things could lead to. So why don't we minimize them in this patient? One is potentials for cancer, but the others potentials for triggering autoimmunity. And the more you look, the more you find research for that.
So it's the same logic as if you can do everything you can to remove yourself from moldy environments, detox from them, all do all of that because there's no good thing that mold does for you. Same with chronic infections, get to the point where your immune system's on top of them instead of underneath them. You have less chance of autoimmunity, less chance of cancer and other big problems, yes.
[00:32:44.16] Scott: Yes. And I would say for people listening, my questions around this are not meant to create fear. In fact, I think for those of us that know we've had Lyme disease and know that there is environmental toxicity and we're doing things to address those.
I actually feel like a long term; we're probably in a better place than the person that has all of those same issues but doesn't necessarily recognize it and isn't doing anything about it. Would you agree with that?
[00:33:09.15] Dr. Anderson: Oh, a hundred percent, yes. And I don't mean to impart fear.
[00:33:16.10] Scott: No, I was probably imparting it by asking the question, I just don't want to leave people in that place.
[00:33:21.25] Dr. Anderson: Yes. And this is just because you get these questions; it was a provider from family members and people don't you get why their loved one is ill and not like the rest the family. And why are you treating them, what you're doing if you're doing anything to help yourself to move away from these immune dysregulators, and get your immune system built up and detox?
All of that puts you light years ahead of the person who maybe is just chronically ill that has no idea they have all this going on, that's the worst situation really. So yes, if you're doing things proactively, definitely way better off.
[00:34:02.18] Scott: When we look at the statistics for cancer outcomes with conventional therapies and comparing that to integrative cancer therapies. Is there a significant difference? Does integrative always mean that there are still conventional therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation is part of a protocol? Or are we getting to a place where there are therapies that some might call alternative, some might call integrative, but that are really taking the place of the more conventional cancer therapy options?
[00:34:34.22] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I think, I mean that's definitely an evolving kind of really large calculus project. But I think portions of all of that are potentially possible. So I’ll start with one pretty linear thing, and we can work out from there. The NIH study that I was involved in, where I ran the interventional part, meaning we did IV therapy and other stuff.
But it was a big study for integrative oncology, so we had acupuncture, and we had nutrition, and we had mind-body, and we had everything. I just happened to be on the interventional part. I truly believe we got that money originally from the NIH because nobody thought we would prove that we helped anything at all, okay.
And the whole setup of the study was we were part of a very large university-based system, the standard oncology system and two things happen with that. One is if you came to our program, did integrative oncology, and you were a 50-year-old breast cancer patient stage 4, you were matched with a 50-year-old breast cancer patient who was not doing integrative oncology work. So we matched them and followed, and what we were following primarily was length of life, which is a finite measurement. And also we started to measure quality of life.
At the end of it what we started to show by putting overlapping survival curves out, was in cancers such as colon cancer and breast cancer, and a few other common ones. If they did integrative oncology, they outlived their cohort who just did standard oncology. And the way we did it, because of the collaboration was, it was whatever was appropriate medically speaking care for them on the standard side. So we had some people who were told you're too old for standard therapy, go see these guys maybe they can do something.
And we had a lot of the breast cancer patients, for example, did standard of care, so they're both doing standard of care, but ours were also doing all the integrative things what we found was there actually was a benefit in lifespan. And I forget what year it is now, but one of the primary investigators reported this at the Society for Integrative Oncology. And they actually got a positive write-up in Medscape, which is not an integrative friendly outlet at all.
Like Medscape doesn't like any of that, but it was just too hard to argue with. And that actually triggered more studies that are going on now; I’m not involved in those. But that actually did help. So what I always tell people is there are times where the science we have right now in standard oncology, you catch a cancer at a certain time, certain type of cancer it's statistically a good idea to do the standard things and also do the integrative stuff with it.
To not just support it, but synergize it. There are other times where you've got like a four percent chance of the best standard of care doing anything other than giving you a lot of side effects. And you ask your oncologist, and they would normally say I wouldn't take those odds, I would just not do the standard treatment. We have that with a lot of people, you can still do a whole lot of integrative things. And it's really hard to generally, you can't generalize.
But I’ve seen people where their oncologist said four to five percent chance max and 100% chance of side effects if I was you, I wouldn't do it. But you do what you want; I’ll give you anything you want. And they did very aggressive integrative things that included their diet, included mind-body, included all the other things. And they actually were able to get to stable disease or remission. So it does happen that way. A lot of our, there's probably some sample error here, but in the study, we did a lot of our most remarkable people were elderly folks, where the oncologist said you're too old for chemotherapy, it will kill you if we give you chemo.
But maybe these people in the integrative thing can do something for you. Those folks took to the integrative therapies, and we had some people who were 85 when diagnosed, told they wouldn't make 86 and died at 95. I mean it's some pretty remarkable things. Now there's confounding things like if you live to be 85 before you get cancer, you're probably pretty darn healthy to start with. There's a lot of other things that go on.
But I think it's important for people to know that it's not an all or nothing or linear answer, there's always things integrative oncology can do regardless of what you're doing on the standard side, a lot or a little. To not just help you feel better, which is certainly a wonderful thing, but also to make the therapies work. But if I could just say one thing about it, because it's such, like people are just now getting, this is getting into the minds of some people.
Cancer stem cells are generally emboldened by standard cancer therapies. This is in our first book, the Outside the Box one. And to my knowledge, we're the first book to publish it. It's published in a lot of studies, but it's like the dark secret of tumor biology, they don't want that getting out. But radiation and standard chemo make you more likely to have cancer later because it makes your cancer stem cells stronger.
And this is not like one weird paper; this is like hardcore tumor biology. It turns out that what keeps the cancer stem cells from going down this pathway, are epigenetic natural things that would be helpful anyway. So removing all the stuff we talked about in the beginning that you can, immune dysregulars like mold and chronic infections and toxins.
But also then, antioxidant balance and repairing the cells after chemo and all that, that's the golden time to keep you from getting a second cancer. So it's terribly important at whatever level that people can access that sort of thing.
[00:41:10.02] Scott: Let's talk a little bit about breast cancer, a couple of questions. The first one, there are more and more people that are recognizing breast implant illness, and the impact on their health of having breast implants. So do those potentially play a role in cancer development? And then very commonly, you hear people that look at their BRCA or BRCA genes and don't have any symptoms, don't have any cancer, but opt for a double mastectomy to prevent the potential for cancer later. And so my question to you is, does that genetic potential warrant that course of action, or could the risk be reduced through a focus on the epigenetic factors that influence gene expression?
[00:41:54.10] Dr. Anderson: Yes, I’ll go in the order you asked. So as far as breast implant illness goes, it's like all these other things we've talked about. Finally, we're just now getting FDA warnings about breast implants and other stuff that we've really known for a long time. Here's the shortest version of the breast implant discussion is, it is in some people a very fast track to triggering a lot of other problems. So sensitivity to mycotoxins and chemicals and things of that nature.
Those folks tend to get a lot of kind of diffuse negative symptoms early on, and often they speak out, help and get explanation all of that. The other though is the presence of the foreign body in your body over time, and this is why now on the standard side, they say you only have x number of years, and you have to either explant them or change them or whatever.
That has an immunologic effect too. So on the implant side, to a greater or lesser degree, you have a negative immune effect going on in your body. Now if you're really lucky health-wise, and you don't have any other issues, you might not notice a lot, doesn't mean it's not happening, you just don't notice a lot downstream. If on the other hand, there are smoldering things that can be the match that touches that off.
So those are things people need to consider when they do have implants, or they're considering them etcetera. And one of the other sorts of like cell phone towers and things, the science behind making hard connections between implant and breast cancer or implant and any other cancer or whatever, is really lagging. So there's never been anything to surprise me once they publish things about implants, it's always like well, we already knew that, but thanks for letting us know. But I think that those are things that people have to really strongly consider.
And some of the sickest people I’ve seen, generally speaking, just whose systems became sort of target for everything were people who got implants kind of before they were really saying you should get them out in 10 years or change or whatever. And I’ve known people where the implant basically just started leaking and degraded, and they get them explanted, but they're living with silicone or other residues forever because you can't get that out of you. Well, that's a pretty tough thing on your detox systems and your immune system and all of that, so they just need like a lot of extra support.
For example, BRCA genes and should you do you know preventive mastectomies or that sort of thing. It's easier to talk about this theoretically because let's say for example you tell somebody well, just do all this other stuff and the BRCA may not be a problem. You don't know that, and they need to make their own personal decisions.
But the fact that around 40 percent of people who have those gene mutations don't develop say breast cancer or uterine cancers also or ovarian cancer is associated as well says that there has to be other epigenetic things that pile on that that turn those on. A lot of what BRCA which is a complex, it's not one thing, it's complex. But one of the things that it does when you have those genes is it actually removes some of the protective kind of anti-cancer genomics that you have that go downstream and do anti-cancer things.
So one of the things that we try and talk to people about is so your decision about preventive mastectomy. For example, is your own personal decision. But that is even if you do it, that is a little piece of a big pie. So yes you would not have breast tissue anymore, but you still maybe have ovaries, you still have other receptor sites. And if you, let's say it's the best thing in the world that is to do a preventative mastectomy, I don't know I agree with that.
But let's say just for the sake of argument that was a good idea, there's still a giant part of the pie left that you still have to work on if you have those genes, and there are other genes that are similar. And those include all the other things we've talked about, whether it's get your immune system back in charge, have chronic infections all the time, remove toxicities all of that stuff. Because the removing the breast tissue is sort of going to the end of the problem, which may or may not be a great idea.
The whole rest of the problem before you develop say breast cancer; ovarian cancer are all these epigenetic negative signals we're talking about. So whether or not you do a preventive removal of organs, let's also clean up all the stuff that literally like bangs on those genes, we don't want to do that. So I think that's a tough one because again, there's is not, like if you think about it, it's only become really something people have been doing as far as preventive mastectomy et cetera for a very short amount of time relatively speaking.
So we don't even have long-term data on them. One of the things I’m concerned about is if they don't do these other things, do they develop some of the other problems associated BRCA like maybe ovarian cancer, etc. And we just haven't looked long enough to know.
Certainly, I had patients who they didn't do preventive mastectomies, but they had breast cancer, BRCA was positive, they had mastectomies. And when ten years later, they developed ovarian cancer because it's just sort of the natural progression. So not one of those there's one clear answer, but there's a lot more to it than just the removal of tissue.
[00:48:37.17] Scott: Let's talk a little bit about pancreatic cancers. It seems like that's one of the more deadly cancers. I think in the book, you talked about the 5-year survival rate being around 3%. And so my question is what's unique about pancreatic cancer? Are we getting any closer to having some tools to really bump that up? And is that 3% higher with integrative therapies?
[00:49:02.25] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I think that pancreatic cancer and to some degree, ovarian cancer kind of have the same pattern. Their survival is low mostly because they're so silent for so long. So unlike a lot of breast cancer, maybe prostate cancer where it can be diagnosed at stage one or stage two. And there's a lot more room for treatment and a lot of things to do.
Plus you just have more time; pancreatic cancer tends to not give you any troubles and just sit there and get more and more entrenched, gain better cancer stem cells and metastasize. And often, it's not until it starts to metastasize that you notice you even have anything wrong. So if breast cancer was the same way where nobody noticed anything until it was stage four metastatic, it would have a real low survival rate too, it's same logic.
But one of the things that we've seen, and you always like agnostic of how cancer is treated or whatever, we always hope for like whoever develops it, whatever part of medicine. The least toxic, most effective cancer treatment is always the goal somewhere in the future. So I would love it if there was some pancreatic cancer therapies that actually worked when you get to stage four.
In standard oncology, if you come in with a stage three or four pancreatic cancer, your oncologist probably will tell you we can get to around five or six percent max potential effect from the therapies, we have now. Because it's a cancer that there's not a lot of great answers. And this is anecdotal, and I need to say that out loud. But I have seen a number of cases in the group of doctors I work with who do integrative oncology, where the patient then comes to somebody like myself or one of my colleagues and says okay, for four or five percent outcome and all the negatives of the chemo regimen, my doctor. I agreed I’m not going to bother with that.
These people make often because they have no other option; they make very aggressive changes in everything, especially their diet. And when I talk about diet, yes it's about macros and all that stuff. But the first thing we talked about with diet really are two things that are universal beyond what you eat. The first one is intermittent fasting which we can talk about later because it's so good. And then the second is paired with it, which is cleaning up all the junk out of your diet.
So all of the sources of chemicals and other toxic junk and all that, because there's no point in eating a therapeutic diet if it's full of chemicals that you don't need, so these people will do that. Well, we've had a number of people literally with stage three or four pancreatic cancer. Very low probability for standard therapy to work, don't do it. Where they get into either stable disease or actual remission, and their oncologists are happy and surprised and happy that it happens.
But those are people who get really motivated because they're facing a potentially fatal illness. And they really get involved in. My impression of pancreatic cancer at any stage, but especially the later stage three and four, what we've seen over time because going back 20 plus, 25 plus years we tried a lot of different things over time with pancreatic cancer. And a lot of it just sort of bounced off, because it's a nasty cancer, it's kind of like ovarian.
And what we've seen is the metabolically focused cancer treatments really match up in a positive way with pancreatic cancer, partly probably because the pancreas is involved in most of our metabolism with sugar and insulin and things. But also, I think that kind of gets the attention of the immune system and the cancer, and you make a lot of inroads. So with pancreatic cancer, there's always of course cases that just are going to go the way they're going to go.
But if people actually make enough of those changes, and kind of work with doctors who are really good with metabolic therapies including diet, but also external metabolic therapies. If I was diagnosed tomorrow, that's exactly what I would do, because that's the thing I’ve seen work.
And I’ve never met one of the, I mean your cancer doesn't go away, but if you can become stable or in remission or even though no evidence of disease harder to achieve at stage four. But if you have remission or you're stable, I’ve never seen anyone be unhappy with that, because you've got more time, more quality etc.
[00:54:23.16] Scott: Absolutely. Before we start jumping into some questions on treatment, I have about half a dozen questions here just to get your brief thoughts on kind of the connection between certain things and cancer. So you talked about inflammation, is reducing inflammation one of the ideas that is important in an integrative cancer therapy approach?
[00:54:46.11] Dr. Anderson: Yes, I think short answer is yes. One of the problems in the modern world that we have is we think of inflammation as bad; universally, it's not. We have to have some or our immune system wouldn't work. So it's like we need a little bit, it's like yin and yang. The problem is the modern world we live in is so toxic; our diet is so weird and everything that we're always on the upswing of inflammation for the most part.
So yes, it's something we need to bring to a normal level. You can't just go and suppress all inflammation, because then you suppress immune function. So yes, it's about balance. But if you consider like as opposed to a person 100 years ago, our baseline inflammatory index is probably a lot higher. So we really just need to bring it to whatever humans are supposed to have, yes.
[00:55:40.27] Scott: There is a long-standing debate on whether or not bioidentical hormone replacement therapy reduces or increases risk of cancer. What are your thoughts?
[00:55:51.23] Dr. Anderson: Yes, that's a that's a really long answer, but I’ll give the short answer. So I have some colleagues who that's all they do, and they practice in areas where it's highly likely you lose your license if you do a lot of things wrong. And they're very scientific, and they're very into the research. So thankfully, these type of people exist, and they've done like a lot of research. One of the things that surprises people is that if you look at all-cause mortality in women, you have large percentages 30 plus percent lower death rates with hormone replacement than without, okay.
It's not like oh, two or three percent, it's a third plus of people, of women. So if you look at that as, and this is before 60 years old, you start and all that stuff. If you then take that in just the survival statistics, and then you refine the therapy, so that you're giving, my even before we knew all of this, what made biological sense to me was we're going to do the closest to human types of hormones we can with you.
We're going to not overdose you, we're going to dose you to where you need to be to kind of keep processes running, and then we're going to pair that with the ability of your body to eliminate the breakdown products of the hormones. And so these studies about all this extra length of life just by doing hormonal replacement, they weren't that sensitive.
They weren't doing all this fun stuff for people. So from what I’ve seen clinically from those data, if you improve the process of doing bioidentical type hormones supporting their detox and dosing them to appropriate levels, as opposed to just swimming for the bleachers which was sort of the early idea with HRT. I never saw any of those patients have increased amounts of cancer, and it makes sense in some cases that might even be somewhat prevented.
Because one of the things that we often don't think about is reproductive hormones, which are what we're talking about right now, have a huge effect downstream on our immune function. And if they get really out of balance, they can be so pro-inflammatory that they're the same risk as any of the bad stuff we talked about in the first part of the program. So getting them balanced and then like I say, getting the downstream products leaving your body which that's a part of HRT that's not often done.
That's sort of; it gives you the good part, takes away the potential negative which are the metabolites. Pair that with the increased survival, I don't see how it's a bad idea. Now there are a few types of, if you know you have breast cancer, it changes the calculus somewhat, because there are certain types that there are bad things for. But overall don't have cancer looking at it, work with somebody who's good at it, who's going to monitor you and who's going to work both ends. What goes in, but also elimination.
[00:59:22.06] Scott: Beautiful. A lot of times when we have conditions that have chronic inflammation, maybe even some autoimmune tendencies, conventional medicine tends to jump to steroids or some of the biologic medications that are kind of suppressing or turning off aspects of the immune system. And so is that a potential contributor then to future cancer if we're dampening back that immune response?
[00:59:49.29] Dr. Anderson: Yes. Statistically speaking yes, anytime you long term alter your inflammatory immune response, you're either going to engender, you got three big things that will come of it. Autoimmunity, chronic infectious problems, or cancer. Depending on which thing you're pushing on really now. I will say clinically speaking; there is a role for say short-term steroid therapy to get someone so they don't die or they don't spin out of control.
That's very different than you know we have to have you on steroids forever because we don't know what else to do with you. You don't get as much of that now because we have this multi-billion dollar biologic drug industry, which is the carrot was well, you won't need as many steroids, because the biologics will shut down the autoimmunity or they'll shift this around.
The trouble with that, so it's not that the drugs are inherently evil, but if you look at the complexity of the immune system, and you go in, and you shut off a couple of things, nothing in your immune system exists on its own. So if I go shut those off, your Crohn's disease symptoms may get way better, okay. Which okay no problem there, but you also now might not have the ability for your immune system to recognize the cancer that's growing.
And we all develop cancer cells every day, our immune system takes care of them, and that's why we don't all have cancer. And this is one of the areas I do a lot of education for physicians around because it becomes the big clinical problem, the benefits for the autoimmune patient for example of a biologic therapy, benefits to a cancer patient of certain immunologic therapy is huge in some cases. But there's a cost to pay for it. I had a medical doctor who was a patient, he was in his 90s one of my old longest living patients, and he loved naturopaths what happened to him.
But we were talking about drugs and prescribing him and stuff, and his saying was he says nature never gives you anything for free. And what he was saying was he says I considered going on this medication, but then I thought well what's the cost going to be on the other side, and that's true. So just like with steroids, I’ve had people where literally they did everything right, but their say colitis just spun out of control, they were hospitalized. And they had to do a short course of a biologic, just to get the genie back in the bottle and then you can work out from there.
But I’ve also because my practice was about 60%-70% cancer and 30%-40% chronic illness of non-cancer types. Once biologics start to come out, it sounds like a cruel joke, but it's actually the truth. We would have people come in for cancer treatment who were not cancer patients, but they had an autoimmune disease that was being treated by a biologic that is known to trigger certain cancers. They would get the cancer; their rheumatologists would send them to oncologists, oncologists say the only treatment was well stop taking the biologic.
And they'd say what do I do about the cancer? And they'd say well sometimes they'll go away, that's all they would do. And the same token the rheumatologist they'd say what would I do about my autoimmune problem? And they'd say well; you can't take the biologic, so see how it goes. Well, now they've got two diseases, they don't you know really like very much, so we're treating those. And thankfully, those are easier cancers to treat ''easy'' because you catch them really early, they're triggered by the drug.
But the other problem we would have is we have people didn't develop cancer, but literally would develop anywhere from five to ten active chronic infections they had no symptoms from. And no one was checking them for these infections, because it's not part of the normal monitoring. They checked for TB and stuff like that. And so we had people who their Crohn's was managed really well, but they couldn't, their gynecologist would send them to us because they couldn't figure out why their chronic yeast was untreatable by antifungals.
And we would check well; it's because they not only have yeast, they've got two parasites and Mycoplasma and three other bacteria and a couple of viruses. And not like maybe fuzzy labs, these are like in your face, acutely ill, no symptoms because the biologic drug takes the symptoms away. So imagine that person ten years later, this would be a lot of havoc.
So I’m not against biologic medications, but I think that in our excitement over how much they help your symptoms, which is great. In medicine, we're not being as vigilant as we should be about looking for the other problems that they create. So yes, biologics are just, they're like taking steroids to a whole new level as far as immune modulation and maybe not a great weight sometimes.
[01:05:26.17] Scott: When we look at obesity which my thought process is that part of that is coming from environmental toxicants and mycotoxins and metals and all these things, then that the body needs to store somewhere. Does being obese or overweight increase the chances of cancer, and how much should we focus on trying to normalize our weight, either to prevent or potentially to respond more effectively to cancer treatment?
[01:05:52.11] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I think that the core question really around fat and fat metabolism and cancer, there's absolutely no scientific data that doesn't point to the idea that the more fat metabolism we have in our body, the more you call it just general inflammation. But the triggering hormones from fat metabolism are very pro-cancer.
There's no cancer I know of that's not triggered by that. The counterpoint to fat metabolism is muscle metabolism, which again the science says triggers anti-cancer biology. So let's say you're trying to avoid cancer, one of the best things is to have your skeletal muscles the stuff that holds us together and moves our body around be active every day, and you don't have to become a bodybuilder.
The science says if your legs and your core muscles are working every day, those are the biggest muscles in your body and they'll pull a lot of this weight. If you already have, let's say what is it? 50-60 percent of North Americans have type 2 diabetes somewhere in the thing, and that makes you more overweight. So let's say you're one of one of the majority of North Americans and you've got some extra fat weight, one way to work on it is improving the muscle activity, that's a very good preventive thing.
Because that naturally will bring down the fat weight. The next thing, of course, is eating in a way you don't add to it. But as you mentioned earlier, one thing that happens that people often don't factor in is fat is our; we store all fat-soluble chemical toxins and a number of other things in fat. A lot of people that hit plateaus with losing weight, even though they're working out and they're eating different all that, they'll kind of dip down and dip down, and then they plateau.
A lot of that is toxicity where the body is saying we're not sure we want to release this stuff. And if we go into lipolysis and break this fat down, what are you going to do with it? So a lot of that, it's very similar to the hormone replacement is you got to have sort of the elimination part kind of covered. So having people doing saunas or sweats is very useful, supporting all the phases of detox is very useful.
And some people I’ve actually seen where they did specific say chelation for metals and chemical detox, very specific stuff, they would start to lose weight again. Because again the body felt like well, the toxic burdens down, we can dump some more out. The converse of that though is you'll see people that they've dropped 50 pounds and now they're getting these weird symptoms, and you check them for chemical toxins they're just like they've liberated all this chemistry that they have to eliminate.
So as long as you take care of both sides of the equation, less fat is always better, more muscle activity. And you have to; like clinically speaking, especially you're looking at someone who has cancer they don't feel great. They're overweight, and they'll say well gosh, I don't even feel like walking, you know, and you have to start where you start. The idea is if you just get your core muscles working every day, that'll start you on the metabolism that's anti-cancer. Your body will take care of the rest if you're doing the other stuff.
[01:09:27.13] Scott: Let's take that muscle-building concept and talk just for a second about mTOR versus autophagy. So if we think of autophagy as kind of this cellular cleansing mechanism, does an inefficient autophagy increase our risk of cancer? And what are some of the things that we should be considering to increase or make our autophagy more efficient?
[01:09:50.17] Dr. Anderson: Yes. And I’m really happy that in the last decade, things like autophagy and cell cleaning if you will, and the activities of mTOR and then the million other things it's related to, are finally getting some press. Because essentially, what they mechanically describe are the, you go back to like yin and yang positive and negative of a system that is supposed to, it the system predicts there's going to be trouble from the outside toxicity etc.
But also, just cell trouble, we need to replace our cells. Our cells are working hard; they build up debris in them just like an engine does or something. So this system predicts the fact that we need to clean stuff up and replace it and all of that. Autophagy on the side, the cell cleaning side of things is so critically important to any health, let's take chronically ill and cancer people out.
One of the ways that we continue to turn over appropriately and get new cells and they work right is due to autophagy. And so if you go back and you dial down to the system that operates all of that which includes mTOR and a bunch of other things. Initially, there are very simple things that are involved in those triggers, because you consider all mammals that we know of do this. It's part of autophagy's part of the way cells turn over and clean up. So this has been around much longer than modern people and modern science, which is an old process.
What would predate all modern science as far as the ability to turn on some cell cleaning and either tune the cell up or send it to apoptosis, and let it be recycled? Well, it turns out that one of the most basic things is not feeding your system constantly. So if you take a human or an animal, and there's never a caloric deficit over say a 24 hour period where the body's resetting, the cells assume that they're in a feeding cycle, and biologically over the eons, what that meant was you have feasts and famine times in the past. So what I always tell patients is you know we don't get, in at least North America, we don't have a lot of famine anymore, that's a problem for us. Because we can keep our body never having to dip into autophagy ever, and that's not good for us. So part of, why in cancer patients one of the foundational diet things is intermittent fasting is just, now with human science, there's a lot of animal science and human science, even something as short as like 13 hours of an intermittent fast actually turns that back on the cell cleaning.
And certainly, longer fasts if they're safe and you do them right, and all that are great, and they do it more etc. And we used to kind of think you had to do really long fast to get any of this benefit. But it turns out that if you just will stop eating after dinner, you can drink all the water you want. And then either have a normal or maybe a slightly delayed breakfast time get to 13 hours or so, that's associated with less recurrence of breast cancer in humans and all kind of other stuff.
Well it turns on autophagy, the cells have a chance they're not being bombarded with new nutrients coming in, and they have a chance to essentially chemically say these are good organelles, this is a bunch of junk we need to put into vacuoles and eliminate.
And then if your detox is working, it'll go away. If the cell’s really beat up, it will essentially do signals that involute and you get a new cell out of it. So there are, and I bring that up with say intermittent fasting, and it's related to caloric restriction, some people can't do that as well. But it's all part of that. If you think about it, if the signal is always go, go, go, build, build, build you're not cleaning, you're just moving forward.
Well, that's not always great for your cells, you need some of the other. In modern times, and this is not good or bad, it's just our sort of modern way of thinking about things in medicine. There's a lot of clinics for like longevity now; a lot is a stretch. There are a few clinics that are doing like mTOR manipulating drugs, right? And they're for longevity and stuff like that, which is inherently a fine idea.
But again, it's sort of coming in at kind of a high level, where maybe we should be doing some basic things to just make sure that the cells do what they're supposed to on their own, and then maybe augment them through stuff like that. But yes, it's a really big thing. And I think regardless of what kind of illness, you just don't want cell debris in your cells, as it leads to poor function and no good comes from that.
[01:15:32.28] Scott: I guess somebody way back when knew that there was intentionally supposed to be a fast, and that's why they called it breakfast, right?
[01:15:41.07] Dr. Anderson: Yes. It seems like there was some wisdom that long predates any drug that we have.
[01:15:50.08] Scott: If we look at the balance of sun exposure potentially leading to some skin cancers, but sun exposure also helping with the creation of vitamin D and immune modulation and those types of things and potentially being cancer-protective. Where do you fall on that sun conversation?
[01:16:09.00] Dr. Anderson: I think I’ll just say at the beginning if we exclude certain maybe pre-cancerous growths that if you do expose them to sun, that that's sort of one process. But globally speaking, I think that sun exposure leading to cancer may have more and there's a lot of scientists come all over the map on this, but some is pretty convincing.
Sun exposure leading just globally to more cancer may have more to do with a lack of appropriate nutrients and cofactors. And also, a lack of things like certain polyphenols from the diet parts of plants that are helpful and all of that, that are photosensitizing, but also photoprotective. And if you look at the modern diet, our level of intake of polyphenols and the other colorful parts of plants and stuff is a lot lower they used to be.
So if you take sort of this modern, well-fed, but not really great nutritional status, and also a lack of the photoprotective, photosensitizing plant parts that's a recipe then for same UV light you've always had, maybe a little more than we used to, but same UV light. Now it's going into a system that doesn't have the protections it used to have, so of course, it's going to do something negative. The other side of the coin is then okay, so we dress up and don't have any sun, we lose our vitamin D activation in the skin.
And vitamin D gets activated in a number of places, but if it doesn't happen to the skin, it doesn't go to the other places, so it's kind of an important part. So I think it really goes back with the exception of someone who's got a pre-cancerous thing going on. What's in that person's blood that are co-factors for immune function, but also like you see the plant parts that are going to be photoprotective and also photosensitizing same time.
One of the things that we're just getting into in the cancer research that we didn't have time to complete, but did a lot of research into it is there's a lot of plants that you can give to people that are say radiosensitizing, but also radioprotective during radiation therapy, which is sort of an exaggerated version of sunlight exposure of course, and different wavelengths and stuff.
But it's the same with a lot of things that we ought to be eating from the plant kingdom. That you look at the average North American intake, it's not there. So I really think it's a lack of the stuff that used to be there in us, more than the sun suddenly becoming evil and doing things.
[01:19:16.11] Scott: So in the rest of the time that we have together, I want to get some of your high-level thoughts on treatment. We're not going to get into all the great information that's in the book, so I absolutely refer people to the book for more information.
But one of the things that I commonly hear people in the more conventional realm say is that they should not, people should not be doing anything natural. They should not be on supplements, they shouldn't take vitamin C or this or that or whatever, because it may minimize the effect of their chemotherapy, of their radiation.
Are there certain cases where natural options will potentially negate the more conventional therapies? Or is that just someone who doesn't understand the natural options and thus that's their position on it?
[01:20:00.07] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I think it, and this is a huge, obviously, very deep well, this is something that because in the NIH research, we were paired with a very straight place cancer institution. These were questions I had to answer constantly, and here's the big picture. There are a few instances where something natural might slow a standard chemo down, or a standard therapy or something like that.
There are a few that are known. If you take them though, they literally are less than one percent of all of the science that's known about natural things and standard chemoradiation and stuff. And most of the science say around vitamin C, it's a big thing we were using both orally and IV, they were always afraid of that, like it was going to somehow just stop the chemotherapy from working. With the exception of one timing issue and the, well just timing issue.
All of the chemotherapy agents where there are studies looking at vitamin C with the chemotherapy in some way or another are positive meaning that there's a synergy it actually helps out. And in some of the more modern studies, where they're not actually looking at taking people getting a chemo regimen, given vitamin C, IVs like we were doing, but tracking the chemo and all that, they're seeing synergy.
So it was always enlightening to the oncologist, I would send them the research and say actually your chemo, and vitamin C only have synergistic effect based on the science. They would say gee; I didn't even know there was any science, they were sort of just operating off of vitamin C must be bad, right? And there are limits to things.
For example, one of the things that we can do now that was a little hard to do a while ago is a cancer patient could say take liposomal glutathione, which is the good thing for you, glutathione is necessary and all that. But you absorb a lot of liposomal glutathione, and you could potentially get enough glutathione in a person if they're taking it every day, where it may actually have an interfering effect. If you're just getting some glutathione once a week to kind of fill the tank, not an issue, right?
So there's some reason to it. But what I’ve seen, because I’ve seen cycles of do and don't do. All that from oncology, is now we're in sort of an upswing of they're telling people don't even eat blueberries or any antioxidant foods or whatever during your radiation. And I’ll just preface this to say that this is my opinion based on a lot of patient interaction and looking at the science, that's an insane idea. There's just no reason for it, other than radiation oncology has dug its heels in and said we are anti-antioxidant, and it's not going to be good for you.
Now, like I say, you don't want to be just going crazy and having all kinds of stuff going in. But if you think about how potent and the way that most cancer treatments work in the standard side, you're not going to shift them a whole lot with most natural substances done correctly. And the new targeted therapies?
All of the research that I can find to date which of course there's not that much because they're newer shows that natural things can be very synergistic with them. And you want someone who knows about this to work with, but there's a lot of. Let's say for every one percent or two percent of not synergy; there's 98% synergy, so it's a frustrating conversation.
[01:24:02.19] Scott: In cancer, is it more important to boost the immune system or to modulate it? And I’m thinking in the realm of Lyme disease, for example, you constantly hear people say oh, I need to take something to boost my immune system, but the reality is they may have an autoimmune condition or component to their Lyme disease and thus, they really need more immune modulation. So is the issue when we're looking at cancer, is it a weakened immune response or a dysregulated immune response?
[01:24:31.13] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I mean just as with chronic infections, there's a time for actual stimulation of immunity and all of that. Which I consider to be more part of like active treatment that you're really closely monitoring and modulating.
During cancer therapy, depending on whatever treatments you're having, autoimmunity and cancer although from different points of view are more dysregulations or missing parts of immune function, rather than it was just slow.
One exception which is notable is you have something like say mold, that's an actual immunosuppressant, that might be that, that's one time where you have an external immunosuppressant, not great. Same as with some biologic drugs. But most of the time, if you're not in an active what we would euphemistically call like kill cycle, where you're really going after tumor cells, you're really going after infections or maybe all of the above.
The rest of time you want to bring things back to a balance, so they have the energy to rise when they need to, and also the substrate to go down when they need to. Most chronic Lyme patients, most mold patients, all mold patients, most cancer patients either one side or both of that equation is dysregulated. So it either just keeps going up, or it never goes up, and so then you don't get it. So it's more about regulation.
[01:26:03.21] Scott: When we look at some of the supplements and things that you talk about in the book, it was interesting to me that so many of them are ones that people in the Lyme and mold community are familiar with.
Artemisinin for example which is anti-cancer, but also used for Babesia and other parasites, Boswellia, CBD and other cannabinoids. Glutathione, resveratrol, it's a whole list of things that you talk about that really apply to lots of different conditions. And so what supplements stand out to you the most in your cancer patients, and would you say that supplementation plays a small role or a large role in patient outcome.
[01:26:44.09] Dr. Anderson: Yes. I think supplementation is a big pillar inpatient treatment and outcome. What I always tell people is the foundation of the pillars is the basics dietary stuff. The muscle metabolism versus fat metabolism, and then the neuro-emotional mind, body connection, those are like your foundations.
But the pillars sit on top of them; supplements become incredibly important. One of the reasons that Mark and I wrote the book Outside the Box was people get deluged with millions, everything sounds like a good idea in the supplement world, and so we'd have people come in with garbage bags full of 100 supplements.
Well, they might all be great, but you can't take all of them. And sometimes that's not the right time for them. So when I think of supplements in the book what we did is just from clinical experience, said look if you have breast cancer, this is where we would prioritize spending your money first before you get into something really esoteric, then whatever.
But generally speaking, what I think of is a person can only put so much in their body, let's maximize the benefit. So let's say there's no allergies or sensitivities anything, things like Curcumin or Boswellia or together is better, are extremely good immunomodulators and regulators. That's why they're so useful in so many different disease states.
So it's not that they're dampening or whatever, they're actually helping your body auto-regulate, which you probably lost if you have cancer autoimmunity going on. So that's sort of one that we often try and get into people, cannabinoids can be incredibly useful, used correctly and it's easier now to get a hold of them, that's a deeper well there. Something which is hilarious to me because it used to be a big thing 25 years ago, high-dose melatonin.
And so there was a time like 20-25 years ago it was not uncommon for us to give people over 100 milligrams of melatonin who had cancer. And then that became, I forget why it became bad idea and people were afraid, and they were giving 10 or 20 or whatever. And now we're back to we got people giving to 300 milligrams of melatonin, now don't do that on your own, work with someone.
But high-dose melatonin in an aggressive cancer has something on the order of 20 different mechanisms by which it helps your immune system get back online with being against cancer. So melatonin is another kind of top-tier thing that I think of. Another that we use a lot is Low-Dose Naltrexone, which is also used in autoimmunity and many other because go down to its base; it's almost a dose your body doesn't perceive. But at that low dose, it actually helps to rebalance a lot of specific immune signaling. And then you get to like a lot of the other things, for example; oral vitamin C can be absorbed very well.
We don't make it as human, so we should keep some in our body every day, other plant phenols. Obviously, anything you can get from eating is a great place to start. But yes, there's a lot of real basic things. Then you get to specific things like Artemisinin or Artesunate; its cousin, that was one we actually got to use intravenously with cancer patients, works very well.
We use it with our Lyme patients as well, and everybody. But the cool thing about that plant is from the Wormwood family, it not only is anti-infective, but it's also immunomodulatory. So it's sort of like nature figured out that if you're going to really kill some stuff, Artemisinin and Wormwood compounds can really kill a lot of things very effectively, even some viruses and things.
But if you're going to do that, on the back end, you're going to have a lot of immunologic Dysregulation. And Artemisinin, the Wormwood family actually calms that down after they're done killing. So it turns out that becomes a very good thing in cancer as well. And yes, there's a lot.
[01:31:19.20] Scott: What about ozone, which is O3 or oxygen which is O2, is there a role for ozone? And then I’m hearing a lot recently on EWOT or exercise with oxygen therapy. There's also hyperbaric oxygen, do you think that the oxidative therapies play a role in cancer treatment?
[01:31:42.29] Dr. Anderson: Definitely, yes. So if you think about say high-dose vitamin C, part it does a lot of things, but part of what it does is oxidative. Ozone is a stronger oxidative treatment because it's pretty much pure oxidation going on, and there are others in that family. EWOT and hyperbaric oxygen, and other things in that neighborhood, those are things in our particular case we had a hyperbaric chambers.
For cancer, if you can, and you're doing say a metabolic approach which involves diet and other metabolic shifting therapies for your cancer. If you can add hyperbaric to that, it's very synergistic with metabolic approaches to cancer. And we would often do, for example, the hyperbaric dive, and then while the person was supersaturated with oxygen, we would give them their IV afterwards and synergize that way. One thing that people will hear is oh well, I thought hyperbaric fueled cancer growth.
And that actually was sort of thought of until around 2011 or 2012, and they started to publish that actually came from just bad data. What we've seen since then is that like vitamin C, for example, a normal cell uses hyperbaric oxygen pressure differently than a cancer cell does. And so all the stuff that a normal cell uses it for looks like it would trigger cancer growth. Well, those were the normal cells trigger good cell growth.
Cancer cells because their biology is different do the opposite, and it's actually harmful to them. So that's very useful. We've had folks where they just can't get the hyperbaric, and they'll do like ozone and EWOT, that can be very useful too. You're missing the pressure part, but you still got part of it. And all I would say is just clinically speaking, we would normally kind of cycle, so they'd get some oxidative therapy, and then we would have some other therapies to balance them out.
[01:33:58.04] Scott: Beautiful. I want to wrap up with a couple of questions where we're going to talk a little bit about your new book, Cancer: The Journey From Diagnosis to Empowerment, that book was recently released. And in the book, you said “Devastation is natural, but remember your diagnosis isn't the end, it's a beginning.” So talk to us about how a cancer diagnosis is a new beginning.
[01:34:22.06] Dr. Anderson: Yes. The reason I wrote that book was Outside the Box is, so it's like an encyclopedia, and it's very treatment-oriented and kind of what am I doing with my cells and the cancer. We talked a bit about mind, body there, but this really came, because I just kept mentoring physicians and saying that this conversation about the brain, our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions and all of that.
And cancer are a huge part of our immune system working in our cells working correctly, your thoughts and your emotions are huge epigenetic, either positive or negative things. And so what the premise is, is once you're diagnosed with cancer, it is completely okay and normal that you have whatever reaction you have to it, and there's a variety of those things.
The people I saw over the years who got past the initial response and move towards being empowered. Not meaning I don't have cancer, but meaning I’m in charge of myself every day. I’m in charge of I may not physically feel too hot today, but I don't have to let that run how I feel mentally and emotionally and in all other ways. And so you have your diagnosis of cancer, or your loved one does, you can't change that part, okay. We can not want it to be there, but the reality is it's there.
So a lot of times for people that this new beginning idea is that was the impetus for them, the same in a similar way where it's impetus for people to change their diet, or it's an impetus for people to think about their toxicity or whatever.
No time like the present to start, it's an impetus to take a step back and say yes, I mean nobody wants cancer diagnosis, that sucks real bad. But what else is this tied to in my mental, emotional psyche, that if I let stay there is going to be a very negative epigenetic signal to my body. I don't need more of those.
So it's not about being a Pollyanna, it's not about ignoring your cancer or any of that, it's just about okay, I’m moving forward, I’m going to do the things to clean out. It's sort of like autophagy for cells, is cleaning out, this is the mental emotional cleaning out.
The cleaner you are, and the more you detangle from whatever connections you have to the negative side of your cancer diagnosis, the clearer you are. And we bring up some research in there and certainly see it clinically, people who have empowerment, it doesn't mean they control everything, but it means that they're in control of how they respond to the things that go on.
They generally live certainly much better quality of life, often they live longer, and their cancer treatments work better. And even their pain management is easier, all sorts of stuff. So the book is, there's a story that runs through it that's about two different patients who handle this very differently, and then the rest it's an easy read, and it's just, if you're stuck here, here are some ideas to get to the next step. Here's where the next step is, and here's how to move forward and then there's a lot of resources.
[01:37:51.23] Scott: Beautiful. Yes, I mean in my own journey with Lyme disease and mold illness, from the beginning thought that killing infections was first and detoxing was probably second. Then mental-emotional I didn't give a lot of credence to many years ago, now I actually think that's first.
And then the detoxification piece, and then the microbial piece actually becomes pretty simple if you do all those other things, right?
So one of the things that you talk about in the new book is the idea that self-care can be perceived as selfish. But that when our sole mission is to combat an invasive disease, self-care is never selfish. So tell us about that, and is self-care really ever selfish?
[01:38:33.17] Dr. Anderson: Yes, I think big picture, I think self-care is actually never selfish, because this is the only place we have to live. And if we're abusing it in any way, we're abusing it and not doing self-care as part of that. The reason I made, it's a big chunk of the chapter is we are socialized and for some good reasons probably and some bad reasons to consider others first, and not just think of ourselves and all of that.
And there's nothing wrong with that, but that gets sort of extended into well, rather than thinking about my health or taking care of myself or whatever, I’m going to put all my energy into taking care of these people or my business or you fill in the blank, there are a million things we can do. Most people, as you said with you know a non-cancer chronic illness, come to this realization also.
Which is I put all the effort over here, this body I live in became a target for whatever it might be in the case of the book cancer or it could be chronic illness. And now, I’ve really got a lot to wind back in. And the issue we run into with that is there's guilt about doing self-care, you know for many people because it's like well, I haven't really put a lot of effort into this, now it feels weird for me to actually try and help myself.
And then there's also whether it's family, friends or whoever our circle is, which can be either healing or hurting, other humans are that way. They may not understand, and they might believe that you're being selfish. So you have to actually be secure in the idea that self-care is actually one of your first jobs so that you can then help other people or do whatever it is you do.
And then you can be secure enough to draw some boundaries with people that maybe don't believe the same way or whatever. But yes, it's a huge thing, and that statement is there because more often than, not people feel like they're being selfish when they take care of themselves.
[01:40:53.11] Scott: I think that is probably one of the biggest lessons that I personally and many people get from a chronic illness, is that we maybe weren't prioritizing our self and that we need to do that in order to really heal and have a transformative experience.
So yes, I think that's beautiful. So before my last question, which is the same for every guest. I do want to get your thoughts briefly on a listener actually asked given the current world situation, what are your thoughts on how to approach those that are becoming long-haulers after having COVID infection?
[01:41:26.27] Dr. Anderson: Yes. So I'll try and boil this down as simply as I can. I did do a podcast on my podcast for the public about it and actually did a CME for doctors about it, which is much more in-depth. But here's the kernel of that. Post viral illness is not talked about a lot, but it's well known in medicine. It's a quantified thing, especially for influenza A and certain other bad viruses.
With COVID, you sort of have post-viral illness gone to like 100 other levels. And the problem that we're seeing well, one problem is statistics are totally unreliable right now for anything around COVID basically. That's not controversial actually, that's just the way it is. But one of the problems is you have people who ought to be sick for a long time, who are sick for two or three weeks and they're better.
And they're 60 years old with poor blood sugar control, and they ought to be really bad off, great they're fine. And then I’ve got you know people I know who are 35 and did everything right, and took all the nutrients and they still need oxygen periodically six months later. So one of the things that I tried to wind this back to, and it actually kind of winds back to our beginning of our conversation is, and we're not sure exactly why.
But we know genomically that there are at least six different phenotypes or presentations that COVID has when you get it if you're symptomatic. There are a lot of genomic differences between the virus and the human that can interact either in a better or worse way, that's probably part of that. But the other thing that COVID does, and I am not making a direct analogy, but it's a great analogy because we talked about it.
COVID has the ability to dysregulate the immune system, really similar to the way mold exposure does or some other kind of major exposure. So what I’m seeing in long haulers that has to be looked at, which right now the medical community isn't kind of caught up with this. Is you almost have to treat a very sick long hauler, the same as you would someone who comes in say it looks like they're a Lyme and co-infection patient, where you have to step back and say is there some mold overlay here?
Is their endocrine system shot? Because I’ve had people that went in with great endocrine function in their hormones because hormones react when you're immunologically challenged. Their hormones are shot at the end, and part of their post-COVID is hormone dysregulation.
No one's checking that, okay, well not no one, but very few. Old infections that were 20 years ago are suddenly reactivated during COVID. And in your own mind you think no, I’ve not been sick for gosh 20 years. Guess what? COVID literally can just sort of unlock Pandora’s Box. So what I recommend with people is if they're the people that come out, they've got one, two, three weeks where they just feel kind of yucky, but then they're back to normal.
That's a great group of people; we don't know how big or little that group is, but you're probably fine, just do all the normal preventative things. But if you're still sick after a month, and you have significant things you have to work with a provider that can step back and say okay, COVID was probably a trigger, but who else is playing here?
Hormonal dysregulation, reactivation or new infections, maybe as we all know, some people get exposed to mold, and they have no symptoms at all, but then you throw a bad infection on it, immune system goes out the window, suddenly they're there, never been tested for mold, all those things. So it's really a lot like looking at a chronically ill case at that point. If you go beyond one or two months of post-COVID, you got to step back.
[01:45:40.03] Scott: It's interesting that you have that perspective, and I totally agree with it. Because the few people that have approached me and said that they are long-haulers, and who should they go to in terms of practitioners. My response was find a good naturopath that treats Lyme disease and mold illness because it's so similar.
[01:45:57.18] Dr. Anderson: Yes. And the thing there is at least they're going to look under the same rocks, and it's going to be different rocks for different people. But yes, if they at all can find that type of practitioner, that's who I would recommend, yes.
[01:46:13.26] Scott: So my last question is the same for every guest, and that is what are some of the key things that you personally do on a daily basis in support of your own health? And how do you prioritize self-care?
[01:46:24.26] Dr. Anderson: Yes. So one of the reasons I wrote about self-care in the book so much was I was really horrible at it. I had I had all those notions that I should take care of everyone else, and forget me and all that. And I have a really strong constitution, so the first 40 or 45 years of my life that worked out all right. But then after 50 and your body starts getting back at you. So one of the things that I’ve done is actually made it a focus of my mental practice of centering and everything, that self-care isn't an add-on that I do.
It's something that you can't pour from an empty cup as the saying goes, so I need to be alive to help other people. So I actually physically write down the things that I need to focus on that we know. Sometimes, I really do practice what I preach with concern to the moving the core muscles and that sort of thing, that's huge for me.
Some weeks I do a lot more of, I kind of have this interesting combination of, I do intellectual learning, mind stimulation and then mindfulness meditation stuff, just feels like you jumble it up and different stuff comes out. So the mind-body stuff becomes very important. Dietary things and intermittent fasting are very core.
And a lot of it for me though, because I was not a natural self-care person, are literally reminding myself constantly that it's not that I don't know these things are important, it's that for me, today it's important that I do these things. And that's actually one of the biggest things that has helped. And then, of course, there are little logistical things. I have a pill organizer for my supplements that I take, so I remember to do it. I can see whether I took them or not, you know and like that increases your compliance quite a ways. All of those things.
And then something I was really horrible at that I’m still working on, is just not doing stuff, but actually not doing something. And just maybe going out and enjoying walking through the trees, or just being present. And that's not just a form of self-care, but that helps everyone around you. Because it kind of brings your vibration down to a really good place.
[01:49:17.14] Scott: Beautiful. This has been such a fun conversation. I know we didn't even begin to get into the details of these two books, so I encourage people to go check out Outside the Box Cancer Therapies that's co-authored by Dr. Mark Stengler and Dr. Paul Anderson. And also the new book that Dr. Anderson just wrote Cancer: The Journey From Diagnosis to Empowerment.
This whole conversation was just so fun for me; I really value and respect your curiosity, your passion. I know the ripple effect that you have in teaching other practitioners and how many patients that end up helping. And so I just want to thank you and honor you for the amazing work that you do in the world, and for the lives that you touch and just really appreciate so much Dr. Anderson, so thank you.
[01:50:04.20] Dr. Anderson: Thank you so much, this was a lot of fun.
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