At Brio Medical, holistic cancer treatment takes into account the whole individual including physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual. Healing is possible only through the treatment of the whole individual.
Healing of the whole is never possible through the treatment of the individual parts of the individual. The whole transcends the parts. The treatment of the individual parts is the path that is required to treat the whole. That is the conventional approach—the individual parts are greater than the whole.
Better stated, the parts transcend the whole. But, it is the whole that is the result of the sum of the parts. Each part alone cannot achieve the whole. Yet, the whole cannot be achieved without each individual part. The focus must be on the whole of the individual, not just the parts.
Any part that takes away from the whole, can not be a part of a holistic healing strategy for cancer. A treatment of the individual parts that supports the healing of the whole body is the only pathway forward.
A holistic approach is the only true way to heal the whole individual. But, should that not be our goal?
The word holistic can mean many different things to many different people.
Even the academic experts on the origins of words, etymologists, cannot agree on the proper spelling of the word: holistic versus wholistic. For our purposes here, we will use the spelling—holistic.
First, holistic points to healing. Healing is the path to wellness. Whether disease or dysfunction is present, wellness is the ultimate objective of alternative or conventional intervention. From a historical perspective, through the prism of medicine, one could call the 20th as the century of disease. The 21st century only appears to be pushing down on this disease perspective accelerator.
But, what does this word disease mean? The root of the word disease is from the two words, ‘dis’, meaning lack of or without, and ‘-aise’, meaning wellness. Thus disease, or better dis-aise, is simply the lack of wellness. Holistic therapies point to healing as the primary objective. Only, with the objective of healing, can the ‘dis’ or lack of wellness of dis-aise, be restored to wellness.
It is important to always remember that the word physician in Hebrew, Rāphè, can be translated as healer. We physicians, doctors, and medical providers are not cutters, not providers of prescription medications or injections, but are in fact healers. We should embrace this origin more.
For most people, the word holistic has a positive connotation and means natural; natural healing through natural therapies. This can include nutrition, herbal therapies, supplements, or through intensive intravenous natural therapies, i.e., vitamin C, curcumin, and quercetin.
For others, natural has a more negative connotation and simply means alternative; better, alternative to conventional medicine. Funny thing words, the word alternative itself does not hold any positive or negative undertones. It simply points to one of two options—an alternate. Today, the intention is clearly to disparage and marginalize the alternate therapy through the use of the declarative adjective, alternative. The majority that hold this negative alternative connotation either practice conventional medicine and/or are uninformed on the science of the one of the two options.
Beyond healing, natural, or alternative, I want to provide one more definition of holistic healing therapies. Over and above holistic therapies as individual treatments, the word holistic points to a different way of thinking—a different paradigm. In this context, a holistic perspective of treatment can apply a more conventional medicine treatment in a safer, smarter, and more integrative approach. The goal here is to work with, to preserve, and to heal the whole, rather than work against, damage, and destroy.
The perfect example of this holistic, safer, smarter, and more integrative approach is Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT). Insulin potentiated therapy recognizes that a 2 x 4 piece of lumber upside the head with maximum to tolerated chemotherapy doesn’t heal; it only damages. It can definitely damage cancer cells, but research points to a significant increase in the metastatic spread of cancer as a result of maximum tolerated chemotherapy [i] [ii] [iii]. Why is this important? Over ninety percent of morbidity and mortality associated with cancer is the result of metastasis. Beyond metastasis, the immune system is the clear target of collateral damage that results from the maximum to tolerated chemotherapy approach that has dominated conventional medicine for the better part of seventy years. Instead, taking a significantly lower dose and directing it with insulin targets cancer, yet preserves, and even promotes, the immune system. As a result, this holistic approach to a more conventional medical therapy works more with the body, to preserve and to heal the whole body; not just target the tumor and destroy the body in the process.
Cancer is not a cause of one.
Cancer is the result of many dysfunctions in areas that result in the loss of the whole. The result is a loss of wellness. The result is the loss of health. The result is the loss of the capacity to heal. The loss of the whole results in what is known as dis-ease. Interestingly enough, dis-ease can be translated as a lack of well-being or a lack of wellness. Essentially, the lack of wholeness. This sheds light on how far the concept of dis-ease has strayed from a reference point of wellness to one of the ICD-10 billing codes for insurance reimbursement. My goodness, how far we have fallen!
Dis-aise treatment can only occur through a refocus on wellness to correct the loss of the whole which is only possible through a holistic treatment strategy.
[i] Ratajczak MZ, Jadczyk T, Schneider G, Kakar SS, Kucia M. Induction of a tumor-metastasis-receptive microenvironment as an unwanted and underestimated side effect of treatment by chemotherapy or radiotherapy. J Ovarian Res. 2013;6(1):95. Published 2013 Dec 27. doi:10.1186/1757-2215-6-95
[ii] D’Alterio C, Scala S, Sozzi G, Roz L, Bertolini G. Paradoxical effects of chemotherapy on tumor relapse and metastasis promotion. Semin Cancer Biol. 2020 Feb;60:351-361. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.08.019.
[iii] Karagiannis GS, Condeelis JS, Oktay MH. Chemotherapy-induced metastasis: mechanisms and translational opportunities. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2018 Apr;35(4):269-284. doi: 10.1007/s10585-017-9870-x.