Traditional and Alternative Cancer Treatment of Lymphoma: Dr. Paul Stallone discusses the various, proven options available
Mar 31, 2014 10:22AM
● By Dr. Paul Stallone
Lymph nodes are invaluable when it comes to the body’s ability to fight disease. These little glands are part of an intricate system that is found throughout the body, a system that has many components and functions. However, overall function of the lymphatic system is to rid the body of certain biological waste. The body desperately needs healthy lymph nodes as part of a functioning immune system.
Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood or other organs that make up the lymphatic system. These cancers are divided into two types: Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The difference between the two can sometimes only be detected on a microscopic level, as both can produce similar symptoms and develop in the same places. There are five sub-types of Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 30 of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, and successful treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment with conventional medicine can consist of chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery. Treatment will depend on factors like type of cancer, cancer stage, age, health status, previous cancer treatment and lifestyle. Conventional treatment of lymphoma has advanced with time and can be successful, but some still consider it primitive. Chemotherapy for example, uses potent chemicals that disrupt the cell division process. Problems arise because chemotherapy is not selective, meaning it targets all cells (even healthy ones) that divide rapidly.
One of the few positives of chemotherapy is the fact that it travels throughout the body; this is beneficial when cancer has metastasized. One of the many negatives of chemotherapy are the side effects: hair loss, weight loss, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and a likely contributor to future cancer. Radiation works similarly to chemotherapy in that it triggers cells to commit suicide. Radiation is also non-discriminatory when it comes to the cells it targets, and can kill non-cancerous cells. While advancements in radiation therapy also have come a long way, treatment is not always effective and can still produce serious side effects.
Radiation can be applied from a machine outside the body or from radioactive material placed in the body near tumor sites. Systemic radiation therapy uses radioactive substances like radioactive iodine that travel in the blood to kill cancer cells. Surgery can be used to either biopsy a lymph node or to remove them. The risk of surgery can be compared to sticking a needle in a water balloon. The balloon doesn’t burst completely, but a leaking hole results. Unfortunately, it’s not water that seeps out, but cancer cells, which may then travel to additional sites throughout the body.
Fortunately, patients with lymphoma have other options when it comes to their treatment. Alternative/integrative medicine, along with lifestyle changes, has proven to be quite successful with lymphomas. Unlike many conventional treatments, alternative therapies do not cause adverse reactions or create cancer later in life. High-dose vitamin C intravenous (IV) therapy has been used for decades to treat many types of cancer. "We now have a better understanding of vitamin C's anti-cancer action, plus a clear safety profile and biological and clinical plausibility with a firm foundation to proceed," says researcher Dr. Jeanne Drisko, director of the integrative medicine program at University of Kansas Medical Center. "Taken together, our data provide strong evidence to justify larger and robust clinical trials to definitively examine the benefit of adding vitamin C to conventional chemotherapy."
Naturopathic physicians have been using these IVs and others for years with much success. Hopefully, as more patients advocate for alternative treatments, additional studies will be given importance and the general population will put more trust in these natural cancer therapies.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.