What is the role of integrative approaches to the immune system?
Scientific data from the last 5 decades shows that cancer stem cells become activated due primarily to environmental toxins (up to 90% according to NIH). Less than 5% of cancers are purely genetic-inherited. The healthy immune system is able to identify and remove cancer cells. By the time a cancerous tumor has reached the size of one centimeter it contains approximately 30 billion cells and has managed to evade detection and destruction by the immune system for 10 to 20 years.Although cancer growth and spread can be controlled (i.e.by surgery, chemotherapy or radiation), the big question is, “What are the conditions or “terrain” in the body that may allow the next cancer cell to divide as opposed to not dividing?” Integrative medicine knows how to restore a healthy terrain inside your body. In fact, we now know a great deal about what terrain enables or disables cancer cells to divide. Whether we are looking to prevent cancer in the first place, or prevent a recurrence, or enhance our battle against an active cancer, after fixing your terrain, the long-term answer to cancer lies in boosting your immune system. Recent studies confirm that the status of the immune system appears to be the most important prognostic factor for long-term survival in cancer patients. Fortunately, there are a host of scientifically proven interventions which help restore optimal immune function. At the same time these interventions also lead to significant improvements in quality of life (i.e. energy, sleep, joy, weight). Contrary to long-held beliefs in oncology, antioxidants, herbs, and nutrition-based interventions can actually enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. These interventions can also reduce the unwanted side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery as well.