This month, our newsletter is jam-packed with advice and information on "How to Make the Best Health Care Decisions." When we came up with the topic, we did not try to guide our writers in any way in terms of content. What emerged is incredibly valuable guidance from many perspectives. You won't find information this concise and useful in any one location on the internet.
We are also excited to welcome two new associates to Pacific Naturopathic, Dr. Brad West, ND, and Elaine Kahn, certified holistic healer and professional health coach. Dr. Brad brings his wealth of natural medicine experience to join Dr. Corrine and Dr. Marcel in the intravenous therapy center. Elaine brings her years of experience as a health coach, adding a new dimension to the services offered at Pacific Naturopathic.
In the Newsletter, Dr. Connie starts by musing about the unique, patient-centered approach that naturopathic medicine offers and later offers her thoughts on informed decision-making. Elaine Kahn gives an example of how she works with clients. Dr. Marcel offers seven questions to ask your primary care doctor during an office visit. Dr. Corrine writes about fundamental guidelines for health care decision making. Jane Hernandez takes a parallel track in her article writing about how your belief system influences your overall health.
During the past month, two major issues regarding cancer were announced. First, the American Cancer Society came out with new guidelines for mammograms and the World Health Organization declared that processed meats are potent carcinogens. We have presented this information and commented on it in the Hernandez Center part of the newsletter.
Finally, as we write this newsletter, we sit in the study of our Hawaii property, gazing out the window into one of our many gardens. We wish our patients and friends could experience the healing effect on our senses of the wide spectrum of blues and greens and other vibrant tropical colors. We wish that all of you could experience the clean, oxygen-rich air. And we wish that every reader could experience in reality, as well as in their imaginations, the embrace of the tropical air and the utter beauty of God's unspoiled creation.
Dr. Connie, Dr. Marcel, Dr. Corrine, Dr. Brad and your health care team at Pacific Naturopathic and the
Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care
Dr. Connie's Musings...
|Dr. Connie muses with Dr. Marcel |
in their patio garden.
One Size Does Not Fit ALL
We often emphasize to our potential patients that naturopathic medicine is not what we call "cook book" medicine. Folks call in wanting to know what our treatment protocol would be for whatever diagnosis they have been given, or for whatever it is that ails them. We don't mean to be evasive, but the answer truly is "that depends." We don't make our medical decisions based on generic recommendations or formulas.
A specific treatment plan? It depends...
When a woman well past menopause calls in and wants to know if we would prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement for her symptoms (and if so which hormones), that depends. It depends on her medical history and how she metabolizes estrogen. It depends on the cause of her symptoms, often (at this stage) adrenal or thyroid issues, rather than female hormone imbalance. It depends on her past history with hormones and other related treatments. It depends on her current lifestyle and treatment goals.
When a patient phones in with treatment resistant bronchitis, asking for a simple recommendation, that depends. It depends on history of the bronchitis and what has been tried thus far. It depends on underlying deficiencies which may lengthen an illness. It depends on allergic reactivity. It depends on diet. It depends on stress. (Lung conditions are often thought of as grief stored in the lungs.)
Treatment recommendations also depend on a patient's resonance with various therapies, and willingness to try them. Naturopathic options are many, ranging from lifestyle change to botanical or nutritional medicines, to energy medicines, to prescriptive medicines. Though a therapy may be well indicated, and the best option in our minds, the patient may be averse to a particular type of treatment.
We look for the best option that works for each specific patient...
If a patient cannot or will not swallow pills, we look for remedies that don't require swallowing pills. If a cancer patient comes in with the recommendation of chemotherapy, doesn't trust the oncologist, and is certain that the chemo will kill them before the cancer has a chance to do so, we may concur that chemo is not the best option. Another cancer patient may have the same diagnosis, the same oncologist, and the same recommended treatment protocol, and feel that the treatment is exactly what is indicated for them to flourish and to save their life. In that case, we may recommend that they move forward with this conventionally accepted treatment in which they trust. Patient resonance with their therapies is huge in terms of outcome.
Practitioner intuition also plays in to medical decision making. If a patient knew the cause and treatment for their disorder, they would not need to come in for a consultation. Personal histories are dependent on a person's memory and interpretation of events, while intuitive assessment of the person and their story may lead to a different conclusion as to the source and best treatment for their troubles. Often, the best solution is one that flashes through the mind of the prescriber when interviewing the patient.
Naturopathically, we schedule longer visits with our patients in order to make more accurate medical decisions based on both the intuitive art and the science of medical prescribing.
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Introducing Brad West, ND, as Part of the Intravenous Therapy Team
Dr Brad West is a graduate of National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Brad's focus and training is in traditional and holistic medicine.
With an internship as a Hygienic Physician, Dr. Brad uses detoxification and deep healing through fasting, IV infusion therapies, nutrition and food-as-medicine, exercise therapeutics, targeted supplementation, bio-identical HRT and functional-specialized lab testing.
Dr. Brad's emphasis is on chronic disease treatment, prevention, nature-cure, endocrinology and gastroenterology as well as Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Dr Brad also is the first US trained physician using Dr. T's method for skin treatments.
Dr. Connie and Dr. Marcel know that patients visiting Pacific Naturopathic's IV center will enjoy Dr. Brad's calm, gentle, patient-centered approach to naturopathic medicine.
Meet New Pacific Naturopathic Associate Elaine Kahn
Can you imagine a child's joy after waking up one day and no longer dealing with eczema? How about a vibrant woman no longer struggling with depression? Or a housewife of 20 years who has finally found her passion and is re-inventing herself?
My name is Elaine Kahn and I am a Certified Holistic Healer and Professional Coach. I am committed to partnering with you to help you realize your best intentions. In our sessions you will identify any stressors causing dis-ease, uncover and conquer any barriers that might be in your way, and restore your innate healing potential to get back into optimum health and performance.
After 15 years of global leadership experience and from my personal challenge of trying to figure out what was best for family members struggling with health issues, I decided to make it easier for people to identify and get what they need. I have combined my experience and background in Mind-Body Medicine, Professional and Life Coaching, Business Management, Leadership Development, Health and Wellness, and Sensitivity Testing and Balancing - to create a holistic approach for addressing health and life challenges.
What others are saying about Elaine ...
"Elaine helped me realize more than I ever thought possible. I have experienced numerous life changing epiphanies and am now able to let go of self-defeating thoughts quickly and effortlessly." -- S.D., Author
"I had been feeling down and depressed ever since my spouse passed away. I saw Elaine for a session, and to my surprise, I now feel lighter and am able to see a bright future full of possibilities." -- A. G., Businesswoman
"My daughter is finally looking really great! Her rashes are gone on the face, and the little that's left on her neck are not itchy anymore. We would not have been able address her allergies had it not been for Elaine." -- S.Y., Entrepreneur
"Elaine is amazing! If I have a psychological or life skill issue, she uses her coaching and vast experiences to help me work through them. If my issues are more of emotional or health-related, she uses her skillful techniques of Mind-Body Medicine that are very effective. I always, seriously always, leave her sessions feeling better, enlightened, and ready to take on the world!" -- S. G., Researcher
I am really excited to join the Pacific Naturopathic family and offer complementary therapies to all! For the months of November and December, I am offering a 40% discount on a package of 3 sessions, and 20% discount on a single session.
Journey into ever deepening Wellness and Success.
Phone 650-917-1121 to make an appointment with Elaine today!
Elaine Kahn Shares Her Thoughts on Joining the Pacific Naturopathic Family
As a member of the Pacific Naturopathic team, I am excited to partner with you on your journey towards wellness and success.
My name is Elaine Kahn, a Certified Holistic Practitioner and Professional Coach. I have combined my experience and background in Mind-Body Therapy, Health & Wellness Coaching, Professional Coaching, and Business Leadership to create a holistic approach for addressing health and life challenges.
Through the years, I have successfully partnered with clients in the areas of Major Life and Career Transitions, Clarity of Life Purpose, Stress and Anxiety, and Chronic Illness. At such important times when the right decisions need to be made, things can get overwhelming and it is easy to feel helpless and depressed. My goal is to empower you to make confident and clear decisions when it comes to your life and health.
As an example of how I work, a female client who was in her mid-life transition while battling an immune system disorder, came in fatigued and anxious. She saw a future full of uncertainty and was paralyzed with fear in all areas of her life. To cope, she constantly watched TV to numb out her feelings. We focused on addressing her inner world as well as guiding her through the outer work necessary to get to her goals.
Through Coaching and Mind-Body Therapy, she was able to separate her own ideas from the ideas of others, release her blocks and limiting beliefs, set priorities, bring awareness to her triggers, build her strength, and learn tools and techniques to make her desired changes happen. As she reached a place of clarity and empowerment, she saw new expanded possibilities that allowed her to make the best decisions for her life transition and healing journey. When I first met her, she did not think she could get back her health and enthusiasm for life. In the end, not only did she get well, she was also able to reach her personal, career and financial goals. She is now living a life that truly brings her the joy she deserves.
This transformation is possible for everyone.
From the initial intake through to achieving the desired results, I will customize my approach to your specific needs. I will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be. Please contact me if you have any questions about how I can help.
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Special winter offer:
For the months of November and December, I am offering a 20% discount
for a package of 3 sessions.
to make an appointment!
Seven Questions to Ask Your Primary Care Doctor During an Office Visit
I am always grateful when my patients ask intelligent, coherent questions during their office visits with me. By doing thorough preparation before the visit, the conversation between my patients and I becomes an information exchange and not a lecture from one perspective. Here are some questions to ask your doctor during an office visit.
1. Do I really need to take this test?
One of the causes of spiraling health care costs is unnecessary testing. With the degree of litigation in the United States, physicians feel they need to protect themselves from any inconsistencies in their diagnostic and clinical skills.
Another important and revealing question to ask is whether the proposed treatment will change on the basis of the results from the test.
2. What are my treatment options? How effective is each treatment option? What are the benefits versus risks of each treatment option?
These related questions should be partly rhetorical as your pre-appointment research should have given you a basic understanding of the main approaches for dealing with your condition.
3. How many patients have you treated with my specific condition?
Experience is important when it comes to treating specific conditions. Using the insomnia example from above, would you rather go to a physician who has seen 1000 cases or a physician who has seen 10 cases?
Experience counts when it comes to medical procedures.
4. Can my procedure be performed in the morning?
A study at Duke University found that patients who had operations in the morning were four times less likely to have complications. Here's the choice: an alert, awake medical team ready to begin the day, or a post-lunch team fatigued by morning procedures and afternoon energy drops.
5. What is the long-term outlook with and without treatment for my condition?
Many health conditions are either self-limiting (resolve without treatment) or do not have to be immediately treated. Time for personal research and building of your health care team can dramatically alter the outcome of an illness.
6. What is your feeling about alternative and complementary medicine?
Be suspicious of any health care practitioner who has closed their mind to all the treatment options available. No one system of medicine can claim a monopoly on viable options for dealing with most conditions. The softer, less invasive approaches of alternative and complementary and alternative medicine are often the best way to insure the most effective and least harmful resolution of your condition.
7. Are you comfortable participating as part of my health care team?
Remember that a wise person has many counselors. This is especially true when dealing with any health care challenge. If your physician feels that they have all the answers and their approach is the only viable one, frankly, you need to find a new doctor.
Finally, remember that you, not the doctor, are in charge of managing your health. In truth, your doctor is a consultant whom you have paid to provide a service, which they must provide to the best of their ability. If you completely surrender your responsibility, then only you, not your doctor, are responsible for your health care outcome.
For more on Dr. Marcel's work click HERE.
Making the Best Healthcare Decisions:
Decision Making for a Healthy Life
In thinking about how to make decisions for a healthy life, my mind goes to the general question -- how do we go about deciding what is best for us in our life in the grand scheme of things? How do we create the best life for ourselves?
I think ultimately it still comes down to the big questions in life -- what satisfies us in life? What makes us happy? What makes us feel fulfilled? What gives us joy? What gives us energy?
These days we are constantly inundated with information from all over -- everywhere. There is never enough time for everything. For me, I am always thinking about simplifying and focusing time on the most important aspects of life.
When it comes to health, I think about those things that help to rebalance and restore me and things that bring me more energy and joy.
Trying to work those things in, even the little pleasures in life that bring me joy, like hot tea on a cold day, smelling the fresh air after it rains, listening to a good piece of music, spending quality time with loved ones -- those are the things that really matter to me and balance me in the hectic schedule of modern day life.
I find even greater importance now to take time to notice these little pleasures -- to take breathers, drink in the silence, make room to notice and appreciate the things around us. Not allowing things in life to pass by and be overlooked but actively focusing on trying to stay aware and present. And remembering to bypass negativity.
So what are you spending your time on? Are you noticing the little things in life that can bring you joy? Or are you dwelling on things in life? Are you wasting your precious energy on resentments or on denying life? Not only does this waste our precious time here on earth but it also adds extra stress, which studies have found to be a contributing factor in many illnesses including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression and anxiety, digestive issues, accelerated aging, etc.
Life passes by so quickly. What are you doing to restore, rebalance, and enjoy? What are you doing to enrich your life, even in small ways?
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Corrine,
please phone 650-917-1121
For more about Dr. Corrine and her work, click here
One would think that, in this age of instant access and shared information, it would be easier for consumers to make informed decisions as to what practitioner to see, what treatment protocol to choose, what nutrients or pharmaceuticals to select or avoid.
There are many pitfalls.
One pitfall would be the sheer volume of options. Whereas we often tell our patients that "a wise person has many counselors," it is also true that "too many cooks spoil the broth". There are many legitimate and effective ways to approach a given condition, though those approaches may contradict each other. Ayurvedic medicine, Oriental medicine and homeopathic medicine, for example, take completely different approaches to solving given problems. Conflict, confusion, and inefficacy arise when there is no consistent adherence to a chosen path.
Researching treatments online, we find that the internet is both a blessing and a curse. For any given treatment, you can generally find completely opposing viewpoints, some indicating that the treatment is the best thing since sliced bread and others indicating that it is toxic and misguided. It is wise to evaluate the source of the information. Product reviews of their own and competing products by manufacturers, whether pharmaceutical companies or natural medicine companies, are suspect. Keep in mind also the unfortunate truth that medical doctors are courted and schooled by pharmaceutical companies.
Looking to news sources, we find that medical reporters generally parrot conventional wisdom, quoting studies often bought and paid for by pharmaceutical companies. These often retrospective and flawed studies tend to use inaccurate doses and incorrect forms of nutrients to prove nutrients ineffective for conditions they are not used to treat. (Studies on St. John's wort are a case in point.) There is a vested financial interest in persuading the public that toxic and expensive drugs are better options than non toxic and far less expensive options. Outlying treatments are always suspect to the conventional media. (It is helpful to remember that hand washing as a way to prevent infection was once thought to be heresy.)
Moving on to evaluating potential practitioners, online reviews may or may not be helpful. It is often disgruntled, rather than satisfied clients who post their opinions. In addition, the always popular Yelp drops reviews from people who are not consistently Yelping, and often decides by its own mysterious and controversial algorithm that positive reviews are manufactured reviews (and therefore drops them or posts them to a back page) and that negative reviews are legitimate. Best to rely on known entities such as friends, family, specialty organizations and other health care practitioners to decide who you might like to consult.
So what's a person to do? Realize that there is not just one right course of action. Use your brain, your intuition and your trusted sources to choose a practitioner or course of action. Bring concerns re a treatment to your chosen practitioner, rather than dropping the treatment due to a negative review. Allow a reasonable amount of time to decide whether the treatment is working for you, and whether the practitioner is right for you.
And remember, it is rare that there is only one solution to a health care challenge.
Find out more about Dr. Connie's work HERE.
You Are What You Believe
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." - Henry Ford
That's what beliefs are... stories about ourselves that we create. Some of these stories are untrue and limit us. Like low self-esteem, fear of rejection, I'm not smart enough, I'm not good enough, I'm too fat, I'm afraid to try...and on and on. Many of these beliefs have been with us for years, maybe since childhood, and they are founded in emotion, not logic.
Very often these beliefs are linked to events that have happened to us in childhood or during a trauma. They bury themselves deep in the subconscious and lead us to behave in self-detrimental ways.
Brain scans have shown that when a person hears information that disproves a belief of theirs, instead of their logic centers lighting up (as you might expect), the brain's emotional centers become active instead. It's disappointing, but often our first reaction to new information that disproves one of our beliefs is to rally our defenses against that new information. So, in effect, you can be your own worst enemy.
Everyone as their own personal brand of limiting beliefs.
If your belief has a strong emotional pull, you can reason that this belief is wrong, but if it has emotional power you will behave as if it is true. In most cases, this is what happens when people have phobias. It's obvious that a frog is harmless, but the phobic person can't stop the feeling of terror when they see one.
There can be a high emotional charge in the beliefs about who you are, or what you can or can't do. This sort of belief is often acquired in youth when an adult says something like "You'll never amount to anything!" or "Can't you do anything right?" So, even if you do well in school, or demonstrate expertise, or work hard to acquire all kinds of skills, there is still a struggle to believe that you have amounted to something or that you usually do things right. It isn't fair, is it?
Our fundamental belief system helps us operate. It determines how we think, feel, and behave. If you feel that certain beliefs are making you unhappy or limiting your life in some way, then it is time to do something about it.
What if you could change these limiting beliefs? And why not try?
Hypnotherapy allows a person to recognize how certain beliefs cause problems for them. At the bottom of this approach, is the idea that we can focus less on whether the belief is "true" and more on how it is affecting our lives. Once someone starts to think in this way they can more easily recognize and reject beliefs that are unhelpful.
In this state of hypnotic detachment you can create new, more positive beliefs to lead toward a future that you really want. The obstacles of the past just melt away and there is a new freedom to actually make your dreams come true.
REMEMBER: You Are What You Believe.
For more information about Jane and her work click here.
Breast Thermography at
- the risk/benefit analysis of breast imaging -
One aspect of medical decision making is a risk benefit analysis. Do the risks of radiation and tissue compression damage incurred by annual mammograms, and the risk of over diagnosis outweigh the benefits of those mammograms? Increasingly, studies are so indicating.
A 2011 study in Lancet Oncology concluded "that the natural course of many of the screen detected invasive breast cancers is to spontaneously regress."
In 2014, the British Medical Journal reported that "Annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available. Overall, 22% of screen detected invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed..." Over diagnosed and over treated.
This is not at all to say that mammograms are never indicated, but rather that they are over utilized.
Breast thermography, on the other hand, is a non-harmful evaluation. While (just as with mammograms) findings can not diagnose breast cancer, we can detect differences in the tissue between breasts, and changes in the breast tissue over time, track the efficacy of treatment protocols, evaluate the extent of estrogen stimulation of the breasts. When an analysis is high risk, anatomic testing with mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI may be indicated.
Read more about
Pacific Naturopathic here.
Pacific Naturopathic Hawaii:
Moving to the rhythm of the elements...
Check Future Openings
(then click on "Calendar")
Attune to the elements at our Hawaii vacation rental,
like Drs. Connie and Marcel do.
When making life decisions, work responsibilities and finances take top priority for Americans... decisions which create a healthy and happy life, not so much. Quite unlike the Europeans who understand the need for balance in their lives, and disappear in droves over the summer months to bathe on the sunny Mediterranean beaches, Americans often forego their time off.
Drs. Connie and Marcel and innumerable guests of Pacific Naturopathic Retreat Center over the past 16 years, find immense benefits to the rest and rejuvenation they receive from even a week away from normal responsibilities. Moving to the rhythms of the sun, the wind and the rain; touching in with elements; enjoying the colors and fragrances and deliciousness of all that the land has to offer; taking moments to just be..... these activities bring health and happiness.
We invite you to check the booking calendar for the retreat center and see whether you find a time available for your own retreat. And check out Alaska Airlines low fare calendar for good prices on direct flights from San Jose to Kona.
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Isn't it time you treated yourself to a magical experience?
Come, enjoy, rejuvenate and reinvent yourself.
Openings available from May.
Elijah Free is a healer, specializing in pain elimination of all types, both mechanical and metabolic.
He is a master medical herbalist with numerous specialties, a researcher and product designer for his own label;
Earth Friend Herb Company
Elijah is the author of Apprentice to Angels, and a U.S. patent holder for a formula to eradicate fibromyaligia.
He is the creator of a formula to end PTSD for war veterans and civilians alike. A documentary video may be seen about the healing of PTSD in war veterans.
Elijah has been an associate at Pacific Naturopathic
for over fifteen years.
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To schedule an appointment with Elijah,
please phone 650-917-1121.
The Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care
News and Commentary on Cancer Topics
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What We Offer at the Hernandez Center
for Adjunctive Cancer Care
Our cancer patients often ask us to give them an estimate of the effectiveness of therapy at the Hernandez Center for Adjunctive Cancer Care. We respond that
our entire focus is on helping our patients stay healthy, upbeat and positive.
intravenous vitamin C), although 'adjunctive' in nature, have powerful documented actions in decreasing inflammation, reducing tumor load and attacking cancer stem cells.
The truth is that the botanical and nutritional therapies we offer (including
Our mind/body approaches are focused on transformation of experience. And our bodywork approaches helpreduce muscular pain, resolve lymph drainage problems and relieve stress.
The hope we offer is not that of a miraculous cure, although we are definitely open to miracles, but the hope of a life lived to the fullest in dignity and understanding, for however long that may be.
World Health Organization: Processed Meat Causes Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that processed meats are carcinogens. Is this a surprise to anyone?
We have long known that nitrates and nitrates are problematical, but most of us have been in denial about it. After all, bacon, hot dogs, salami, sausages, bologna, and other processed meats are American as apple pie. Processes include salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking. Red meat includes beef, pork, lamb, and goat.
Expressions like "Bringing home the bacon," are infused into our culture and "bacon and eggs" is the traditional American breakfast.
Twenty-two experts from 10 countries reviewed more than 800 studies to reach their conclusions. They found that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. That's the equivalent of about 4 strips of bacon or 1 hot dog. For red meat, there was evidence of increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.
Comment: At Pacific Naturopathic, we have always counseled our patients on the hazards of eating processed foods The WHO information is only confirmatory of how we have advised our patients for the past 25 years. This information is also supportive of the WHO's epidemiological announcement earlier this year that by 2020, the world incidence of cancer will have increased by 57 percent.
Interested in finding out more about the adjunctive cancer treatment at the Hernandez Center?
Please phone us for an appointment at:
American Cancer Society:
New Breast Cancer
Directly From CNN News
* Confusing New recom-mendation: women should start getting mammograms at 45 instead of 40.
* More Confusing: Now three key groups recommend different ages for starting regular mammograms.
* Most Confusing: While mammograms save lives, they can also cause harm; each group does a different job of balancing pros and cons.
In a move sure to befuddle women -- and anger some breast cancer survivors -- the American Cancer Society has issued new guidelines saying less screening for breast cancer is better than more.
The venerated cancer organization says women should start getting mammograms at 45 instead of 40, and that everyone can skip the routine manual breast checks by doctors.
An exhaustive review of the medical literature shows these measures just aren't very effective, according to the group. "The chance that you're going to find a cancer and save a life is actually very small," said Dr. Otis Brawley, the society's chief medical officer.
While mammograms save lives, they can also cause harm, and each group does a different job of balancing the pros and cons.
The problem with mammogram is that they have a relatively high false positive rate, which means women sometimes have to undergo painful and time-consuming tests only to find out they never had cancer in the first place.
The chances of false positives are especially high for women under 45, as they have denser breasts and tumors are harder to spot on an image. "If she starts screening at age 40, she increases the risk that she'll need a breast cancer biopsy that turns out with the doctor saying 'You don't have cancer, so sorry we put you through all this,'" Brawley said.
He said he knows women who've had false positives year after year. "False positives are a huge deal," he said. "These women are so frightened and inconvenienced they swear off mammography for the rest of their lives."
Six years ago, the federal government's Preventive Services Task Force caused a furor when it declared that women in their 40s didn't need to get routine mammograms.
Younger women whose breast cancers were caught by mammograms angrily responded that they would have been dead if they'd followed that guideline.
Learning from that experience, the American Cancer Society has sought to soften its message, emphasizing that women in their early 40s should still be able to get mammograms if they want them, as long as they understand the risks. There's the risk of a false positive, plus the risk that a mammogram could catch a very small breast cancer that will go away on its own, or never progress to the point that it hurts a woman. In other words, a mammogram could catch a tumor that isn't really worth catching.
But since doctors can't reliably discern the harmful from the harmless cancers, they treat them all. This means some women are getting potentially harmful treatments, such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, when their tumor would never have caused a problem, Brawley says.
A Canadian study
looked at 44,925 women who were screened for breast cancer, and 106 of them fell into this category and were treated for breast cancer "unnecessarily," according to a review
in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The new guidelines also state that women over age 55 can choose to get a mammogram every other year, since breast cancers in post-menopausal women tend to develop more slowly.
To a great extent it will be insurance companies that decide at what age women get mammograms. In 2009, they typically continued to pay for mammograms starting at age 40 even though the government's task for force recommended mammograms starting at age 50.
A comment by Dr. Connie about the breast cancer screening guidelines...
For years, it has been clear that mammograms are of limited value for women with dense breasts. It has been several years now that California has required a disclaimer to be added to the mammogram report indicating that results are, in fact, inconclusive when breasts are dense. The breasts of most younger women are quite dense, so extending the period of grace (i.e. the number of years over which annual mammograms are not recommended) to age 50, as recommended by the Preventive Services Task Force, makes sense. Repeated exposure to radiation is known to be carcinogenic, so why needlessly expose these women?
Having said that, we must agree with the American Cancer Society's emphasis that women in their early 40's should be allowed to get mammograms if, understanding the risk of the radiation and of the inaccuracy of the findings and of the false positives, they so desire. We at Pacific Naturopathic believe that doctors should educate their patients as to the options available to them, and allow the patient themselves to choose their path. (Using medical insurance to pay for choices is another question altogether. Insurance companies are all too ready to drop benefits when possible, and not at all ready to accept reasonable non conventional choices.)
It is unfortunate that there is no way other than biopsy to discern whether a finding is a false positive or a true concern. (Though it may also indicate a concern that is undiagnosable by any other method than biopsy, a benefit of thermography is that it can track the physiology over time. If a suspicious area continues to heat up, one suspects inflammation or other pathology. If it cools down, whatever process may be happening is calming down.)
Keep in mind that we are talking here about routine annual mammograms. Women with BRCA genes, women with palpable lumps and women with increasing thermal risk ratings on breast thermography are all advised to seek out anatomic imaging for clarification. Ultrasound is the least invasive. Mammography and MRI evaluation are other options.
Please phone us at 650-917-1121 for more information about adjunctive cancer therapies
Other I.V. Therapies Offered at Pacific Naturopathic and the Hernandez Center
Corrine Wang, N.D.
Many people have already heard about intravenous vitamin C as a complementary cancer therapy to help stimulate the immune system as well as being directly cytotoxic to cancer cells. We are often using this therapy at the Hernandez Center for our cancer patients. What people may not know is that we also have many other IV therapies that are also very helpful in supporting our cancer patients depending on their symptoms and what they need.
We often give a nutrient IV in between IV vitamin C sessions, which helps to provide more energy and rebuild our patients that may be feeling fatigued or have low blood counts.
We also have other anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer therapies like IV curcumin (turmeric) or IV silibinin (from milk thistle).
Another IV treatment that can help cancer patients from losing more weight or to help them gain weight is an infusion that includes a variety of amino acids.
These are just a few of the protocols we have for our cancer patients. For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact us at the Hernandez Center at (650) 917-1121.
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The Hernandez Center
for Adjunctive Cancer Care
2570 W. El Camino Real, Suite 111
Mountain View, CA 94040
650-917-1121 (v) * 650-917-1127 (f)
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