Phillip Minton M.D.

Archive for the ‘cancer’ Category

IV Ascorbic Acid as a Cancer Therapy

In cancer, ovarian cancer on February 10, 2014 at 11:44 am

Alternative practitioners have for decades used intravenous vitamin C in cancer treatment. My experience with this natural modality has been positive. My observations of hundreds of patients over the past two decades is that high dose ascorbic acid, given intravenously, seems to enliven the immune system, fight off toxicity, and strengthen and invigorate the cancer patient. Most importantly, it seemed to have a noticeable beneficial effect in many types of solid tumors. My observations led me to another conclusion, and that is that it does not seem to be beneficial in cancers which derived from the immune system. So I do not utilize it for lymphomas and other “immune system” cancers.

As you might guess, those few physicians who employed high dose ascorbic acid as a cancer treatment have for many decades faced serious negative commentary from conventional practitioners. The reason is the lack of “proof”. Never mind that experts tell us that far more than half of all conventional medical and surgical treatments have never been “proved”, those of us in natural medicine are faulted for anything we use that isn’t “proved”.

One of the main reasons for lack of scientific validation for alternative therapies is that there is little funding to prove or disprove their usefulness. We physicians are often left to observe, and refine our natural armamentarium based on what we see to work. Thankfully, we a re now seeing some funding for research into whether such therapies work, and how they do so. A recent study tested intravenous vitamin C therapy for ovarian cancer. It showed significant efficacy and safety both against cancer cells themselves, and in potentiating the anti-cancer effects of chemotherapy. Interestingly, the same findings were not found with oral vitamin C, perhaps because of the limitations as to the amount that can get into the blood stream at any given time.

The High Cost of Conventional Cancer Treatment

In cancer, non-hodgkins lymphoma on September 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Conventional medical care in America is shockingly expensive. If you have ever had the sad experience of being on the receiving end of hospital, laboratory, or medical office bills that are not covered by some government or private program, you know what I mean. How much do you think a chest x-ray would cost? Thousands are done daily, and it is an old technology. It shouldn’t cost that much, don’t you think? Would twenty dollars be fair? as a medical doctor I would think so, and as it turns out, so does Medicare. Medicare allows hospitals to charge them about $20 for a routine CXR. But is that what a normal cash paying patient is billed? No way. How about nearly 15 times that much…around $280?

A recent article in Time Magazine detailed the plight of a man newly diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a very serious type of cancer. His medical insurance paid only up to $2,000 per day for hospital care. However it was nothing compared with the actual cost. Here are some of the charges he incurred:


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Scientific Luminary Speaks Out Against Cancer Establishments

In cancer on January 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Many open-minded experts are concerned about our lack of progress on cancer. The co-discoverer of the DNA double helix is the most recent voice to be heard voicing his opinion that there are serious flaws in our efforts to find ways of curing cancer. An insightful article about his comments contains this salient quote: “There is wide agreement, however, that current approaches are not yielding the progress they promised. Much of the decline in cancer mortality in the United States, for instance, reflects the fact that fewer people are smoking, not the benefits of clever new therapies.”

As a physician, I agree. The cancer establishment is spending its vast resources in ways that are not as productive as they could be,and are failing to investigate innovative new ideas in oncology science and cancer therapy. The funders of cancer research need to break up the current “cancer establishments” and broaden the scope of research to include promising ideas that are for now thought of as being outside of the normal envelope.

Herbal Aristolochic Acid Raises Risk of Bladder Cancer

In cancer on December 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

It is my role as a physician to counsel patients on both the potential risks and benefits of both conventional medical and surgical therapies as well as those in herbal and dietary therapy. I most often write on the surprising benefits of healthy foods and herbal remedies. However, there are downside risks as well. We need to remain vigilant as to both the good and bad of natural medical therapies.

In this regard, a recent study from Taiwan points to the possible risks inherent in the use of a widely-utilized TCM herb, fang chi. The herb contains an abundance of aristolochic acid, and has been linked in that study to increased rates of kidney disease and bladder cancer. The study is small, and surely further research will enlighten us to the true magnitude of this effect.

Meanwhile, let’s remain cognizant of the fact that “natural” remedies are not inherently beneficial just because they are not man-made. They may be harmful. Or, as is the case with many pharmaceuticals, have both beneficial and detrimental effects.

Synergy Likely Important for Dietary Cancer Prevention

In cancer, Uncategorized on October 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

New studies of the anti-cancer effects of green tea extracts point not only to some of the most significant probable mechanisms of action of green tea against cancer but also seek to ascertain required dosages to attain cancer-stunting results from green tea or its extracts. Thus far, the required dosages seem quite high. Evidently you would need to drink high quality green tea all day and night to reach therapeutic levels. The obvious alternative, at first blush, seems to be to consume the active compounds in a purified and concentrated nutritional supplement form. But perhaps there is an alternative.

It will not surprise me that future studies will show that achieving the required therapeutic dose is best achieved by consuming several food types each day that all contribute to reach the required dose. A prime example of this may be to consume chocolate and green tea to reach the bioflavonoid dose needed to attain anti-cancer effects. 

Even more intriguing is the possibility that synergy will be found between active beneficial compounds in various foods that act on each other to lower the total dose of any one of them required to achieve a health goal. Let’s see what science reveals. Meanwhile, it seems wise to enjoy an array of healthy foods and drinks each day.


Sulforaphane Against Cancer

In cancer, diabetes, health food on July 31, 2012 at 12:20 am

Sulforaphane is a naturally occurring chemical found abundantly in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. As its name implies, sulforaphane contains sulfur. Sulforaphane exhibits anti-microbial, anti-diabetic and anti-cancerous effects in experimental models. It is one of the most exciting natural organo-chemical substances in modern anti-cancer research.

Although research is ongoing, it seems that sulforaphane acts principally on genes that fight cancer and its spread such as the tumor suppressor genes. The likely pathway by which it primarily effects prostate cancer, for example, is that sulforaphane interferes with the expression of male hormone receptor genes.

The richest food source of sulforaphane is to eat young broccoli sprouts. The act of chewing the sprouts “releases” the beneficial sulforaphane, although you also experince a somewhat unpleasant bitter taste as well.


Ovarian Cancer Breakthrough

In cancer, cancer testing, ovarian cancer on July 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Ovarian cancer is a deadly problem for women and hard to detect. Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries, as its name suggests. Because the ovaries are buried deep in the pelvis, and the initial symptoms of ovarian cancer are often very vague, it is hard to detect early. This is where the breakthrough comes in. It is a blood test that shows great promise for detecting  ovarian cancer early and to help doctors distinguish between ovarian cancer and benign conditions. Earlier detection of this deadly malignancy is expected to yield a much better rate of positive outcomes to treatment.


When is Alcohol a Health Tonic?

In cancer, cardiovascular, dementia, diabetes on July 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

We are all very well aware of the risks of over-imbibing with alcohol. It can poison our heart muscles, pickle our livers and baste our brains. It can cause dementia, cirrhotic liver disease, and alcoholic cardiomyopathy, just to name a few.. Alcohol is obviously a dangerous “poison” in high and frequent doses. But can it be a health tonic in lower doses? The scientific evidence is that it indeed can act to better our health and longevity when enjoyed in moderation.

What is moderation? This is a very important question because the immoderate consumption of EtOH causes so many diseases and social ills worldwide. Experts generally classify the consumption of 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters) of beer,5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters) of wine, or 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters) of 80 proof distilled liquor as constituting moderate consumption on a daily or less basis.

The types of health benefits are wide ranging. They include lowered diabetes risk, less heart disease, fewer gallstones, and a lowered risk of strokes.

Male vs female differences may exist. Some studies show an elevated risk of cancer in women, particularly breast cancer, for women with any degree of alcohol consumption. Further research should give us a more definite take on this. Folate supplementation may help to counteract negative breast effects of alcohol consumption.

In summary, my opinion is that moderate alcohol intake for males is beneficial, but if I were a woman, I might try to avoid it altogether, at least until more facts are known about the effects of alcohol on the female body.

Dedicated to mon sherrie!.

SALT: a blessing and a curse

In cancer on July 28, 2012 at 12:02 am

Salt was once a rare and expensive commodity. It was sought after because it added to the tastefulness of foods and was essential for good health. Later, we realized that iodine was also important, and added it to common table salt. Now, however, we suffer the many pitfalls of “too much of a good thing”. Salt, essential for healthy life, is also poisonous in large doses. In intermediate doses, it causes many health problems. We are all aware of its link to high blood pressure. Now science is beginning to link it to other major health concerns, such as cancer.

Endometrial Cancer Awareness for Women

In cancer, endometrial cancer on May 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Cancer that begins in the interior lining of the uterus is called endometrial cancer. Thousands of American women die each year from this kind of malignancy. Understanding endometrial cancer, and in particular its warning signs, is of great importance to all women. The following provides  a succinct overview.

A guide to endometrial cancer
Published May 05, 2012

Endometrial cancer begins in the lining of the uterus, a woman’s hollow pelvic organ that fosters fetal development. Genetic mutation causes abnormal, cancerous cell growth, developing into a tumor. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 47,130 new cases of endometrial cancer will be diagnosed and 8,010 women will die from it in 2012.
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