How to avoid "chemo brain" | Cancer Defeated CancerDefeated.com

How to avoid “chemo brain”

By Lee Euler / May 29, 2011

What is “chemo brain” and how to avoid it

by Andrew Scholberg

Editor’s Note: Following is the report of one of our star writers, Andrew Scholberg, who represented Cancer Defeated at the 4th Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Conference held recently in West Palm Beach, Florida.

One of the most shocking things I’ve heard lately was the story of a young woman who’d endured harsh, conventional treatment for her breast cancer. During one of the breaks, she told me her doctors prescribed such high doses of chemotherapy that she now has “chemo brain.” The main thing you need to know about “chemo brain” is: you don’t want it.

And that’s just one of the valuable things I learned at the Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Conference. Keep reading.

Continued below…

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I had only heard of “chemo brain” once before, when I interviewed a young man at Dr. Ursula Jacob’s clinic in Germany’s Black Forest a few months earlier. The young man had had heavy doses of chemotherapy before discovering alternative treatments at Dr. Jacob’s clinic. He told me he had “chemo brain.”

The young lady in West Palm Beach described what it’s like to have “chemo brain.” She said, “I have short-term memory problems, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that can be done for it.” That’s tragic. The high-dose chemotherapy aged her brain by many decades, leaving her with a memory problem similar to early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

But the catastrophe of “chemo brain” need not happen to any cancer victim. That’s because high dose chemotherapy is optional. You make the choice.

So is high dose radiation. One of Germany’s top cancer doctors told me that a cancer patient who gets the lifetime maximum exposure to radiation can never recover: the blood will be impaired for life.

A conventional doctor may try to scare a patient into high dose chemotherapy and radiation. Indeed, many cancer doctors tell their patients, “Without chemo and radiation, you’ll be dead in six months,” or words to that effect. But conventional chemotherapy and radiation are two choices among many different treatment options for cancer. And it’s the patient — not the doctor — who ultimately makes the choice. The patient is the boss. It’s a matter of health freedom.

Health freedom advocate Ann Fonfa — the founder of the Annie Appleseed Project and this annual conference — passionately spreads information about cancer treatment alternatives just as the American folk hero Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) planted apple seeds wherever he went.

How Ann survived breast cancer without chemo or radiation

Ann’s story of how she survived breast cancer is remarkable. She was first diagnosed in 1993 and underwent surgery. The cancer came back in 1995. Altogether she’s had 25 tumors — nine in the breast and 14 on the chest wall. She decided against radiation because there was no proof that it offered her any benefit.

Ann also rejected chemotherapy because of her sensitivity to chemicals. She was so sensitive that if she sniffed an aspirin, she could pass out. She got into a support group, and the others asked her, “Ann, what are you going to do?” She had no idea.

From the beginning of her ordeal, Ann believed she wasn’t going to die from cancer. Her breakthrough happened when she met a woman who gave her all sorts of information and advice. When Ann heard that this woman was a ten-year breast cancer survivor, she was filled with happiness to hear that you could survive cancer!

Ann considered various alternative therapies and tried some of them, including high dose vitamin A and Chinese herbs. She discovered Chinese herbs in 2001 after she met Dr. George Wong, master Chinese herbalist. That solved the problem for her.

From the speaking platform at the West Palm Beach hotel, Ann asked her audience, “Is that what everyone should do? No. You have to find something that works for you. When you try a therapy, stay the course, but if you see no progress after six months, try something else. There’s no single magic bullet. It’s whatever works for you.”

Another cancer survivor who told her story from the platform was naturopath Lisa Alschuler, N.D., who co-authored the book Using an Integrative Approach.

Dr. Alschuler was on the staff of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, an organization that integrates some alternative treatments with conventional medicine. Nearly three years ago, at the age of 42, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She used conventional therapy plus integrative treatments.

Most people don’t realize the extent to which severe stress can devastate the immune system. Dr. Alschuler pointed out that stress can cut the immune system’s NK cells down by half! Although it’s impossible to eliminate stress altogether, it’s essential for cancer patients to learn to manage their stress and keep it under control.

The adage that “laughter is the best medicine” is literally true. Laughter and feelings of joy, relaxation and serenity increase NK cell activity.

Why night nurses get more cancer

Getting more sleep is also essential to cancer recovery, she said. One of the other speakers, Christine Horner, M.D., pointed out that night nurses have a 50 percent higher risk of breast cancer and that the time you go to sleep has a huge effect. Similar increases in cancer rates have been observed among other night shift workers. She recommended trying to sleep from 9:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

For an eating plan, Dr. Alschuler recommends a “rainbow diet” of colored fruits and vegetables, minimal sugar, and six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Eating right and exercising, she said, are a powerful combination: just 30 minutes a day of exercise can reduce breast cancer deaths by half and prostate cancer deaths by almost a third.

Eating the right foods the wrong way won’t help

As important as it is to eat the right foods, it’s equally important to eat them the right way. Many people are in the habit of eating too fast and wolfing down their food before chewing it enough. Dr. Alschuler advises chewing your food to the consistency of oatmeal. Keep chewing it until it reaches that consistency and then swallow it.

Dr. Alschuler helped one patient solve the problem of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with this recommendation alone! Thoroughly chewing food caused that patient’s IBS to disappear.

One of the physicians who addressed the conference was Dr. Richard Linschitz, M.D., of Glen Cove, New York. He’s an expert in Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT). He says IPT isn’t a magic bullet but rather a tool. My Special Report, Adios, Cancer (co-written with Frank Cousineau), gives more information about IPT including first-class clinics in Mexico where you can obtain this treatment from distinguished doctors.

“Smart bomb” technology against cancer cells

Dr. Linschitz pointed out that conventional oncology focuses only on the tumor, not on the biological terrain. One advantage of IPT is that it takes into account the cancer patient’s biological terrain, turning IPT into a “smart bomb” against cancer.

As Dr. Linschitz explained, insulin modifies cancer cells, making them more vulnerable to low-dose chemotherapy. The insulin lulls the cancer cells into letting their guard down, and then the doctor follows up with low-dose chemo to kill cancer cells by the millions.

Anyone who takes chemo should definitely take antioxidants to reduce the side effects, said Dr. Linschitz.

Next on the conference agenda was a panel discussion featuring cancer survivors. The moderator was breast cancer survivor Julia Chiapetta.

Julia introduced Jeannine Walston, a young lady who survived brain cancer. Diagnosed in 1998, she underwent a 12-hour brain surgery during which she was awake and aware that her brain was exposed to the air. She said “no” to chemo and radiation.

She learned she needed to be her own advocate. Several doctors told her, with smiles, that she’d die of a brain tumor. No one spoon-fed her information about the alternatives. No one held her hand. She says it was a hard lesson to learn that it was up to her.

Jeannine said that she’d gone to several alternative clinics over the years, including the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, a clinic that specializes in detoxification, nutrition, and other holistic therapies.

For a time, she was a patient of Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., in New York. His treatment worked, but it was arduous and time-consuming. With Dr. Gonzalez she was taking 200 supplement pills a day and four coffee enemas a day.

Coffee enemas detoxify and flush the liver. They’re a widely accepted treatment among alternative doctors. The treatment was even accepted by mainstream medicine at one time — listed in the Merck Manual— but was dropped for no reason and without an explanation.

Even though Jeannine had good results, she found the Gonzalez program too difficult and decided to try other alternatives.

She went to Cologne, Germany, for dendritic cell therapy and mistletoe therapy. But she said the doctor lacked integrity. (After the panel discussion, I asked her the name of the dishonest Cologne doctor because I wanted to avoid ever visiting his clinic or recommending him in a future edition of my book German Cancer Breakthrough. She gave me the doctor’s name, which I noted.)

Jeannine made two trips to the Paracelsus clinic in Switzerland for holistic, anthroposophical treatment. Later she switched to the BioMed clinic in Germany.

Someone from the audience asked Jeannine how she could afford to go to Germany for treatment. She said that she raised money from friends and family and went into some credit card debt.

Here’s what’s needed to survive cancer

To survive cancer, Jeannine said you need passion and purpose: “At the age of 24, as I faced my own mortality, I realized that it’s a gift to look at death as a way to awaken to life. I thought, ‘What do I want to do with my time? Why am I here? What’s most important to me?’ I realized I could make some changes and really awaken to life more fully. That’s how I try to live.”

Another panelist, Jonny Imerman, survived testicular cancer. He noticed that many cancer patients — adults and children — are without hope. Many of them receive few or no visits from friends or family. Because he has an encouraging story of survival, he started visiting these patients to talk to them, cheer them up, and encourage them. His enthusiasm for this ministry attracted other cancer survivors to join him.

His group is called “Imerman’s Angels.” Jonny tries to match his angels to patients who have the same kind of cancer. The best person to encourage a brain cancer patient, for example, is a brain cancer survivor.

The last panelist was Nancy Henry, who has had breast cancer for 10 years. At the age of 52 she had two mastectomies, but the surgery didn’t get rid of the lung lesions. She has lived for the last seven years with stage four cancer, metastasized to the lungs. And she appears to be in good health!

In other words, Nancy is in the state known as “stable disease.” Her immune system and her cancer are in a Mexican standoff, with neither gaining the upper hand. People can live for years in a similar state of stable disease, and it can be considered a victory over cancer as long as cancer doesn’t get the upper hand.

Nancy uses Dr. Wong’s Chinese herbs and has also been helped by an anthroposophical doctor who gives her mistletoe extract, which she injects herself. The top cancer doctors in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are influenced by anthroposophical medicine. For a description of the most reputable clinics, including contact information, see my Special Report German Cancer Breakthrough.

Nancy also uses Rife technology, and practically swears by the Model A Rife machine by JW Labs, which she calls the “real deal.” According to the theory, when Rife technology is attuned to the frequency of a pathogen, such as a cancer cell, it can “vibrate” the pathogen to death in the same way that an opera singer can shatter glass by matching its frequency. Each type of microbe — each strain of virus or bacteria — has its own Rife frequency that will vibrate it to death.

There are number of competing Rife machines, as the original invention from the 1930s was reportedly destroyed after the inventor, Royal Rife, was subjected to fierce persecution by the government and the American Medical Association. Strange as the theory sound, many experienced cancer survivors and crusaders swear by it.

Nancy explained to the audience that she “dialogues” with her tumors. She has learned to love them while not approving of their behavior. And she tells her tumors the stark truth: “If I go, you go too!”

Stay tuned for Part II of this report, coming in the next issue: “Here’s what you do for the ‘ugly cancers’.”

And meanwhile, more news about the safety of our drinking water: The most dangerous chemical often found in water is NOT what you think. If you missed this story last Wednesday, scroll down and read it now. . .

Best regards,

Lee Euler,
Publisher

About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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