I didn’t need an excuse to travel to 78 degree-and-sunny West Palm Beach Florida, but the Annie Appleseed Project Convention was an excellent one! I think I would have attended even if it were held in 5-below-snow-and-ice Chicago.
For those of you who don’t know her, Ann Fonfa, creator of The Annie Appleseed Project, is a powerhouse cancer survivor who was diagnosed with cancer in 1993 and was determined to find better, non-debilitating treatments for her cancer. In her search, she found a boatload of information and others and connected with others who were having great success with non-conventional treatments and therapies. She set up the Annie Appleseed Project in 1999 and since then millions of people have accessed this site for loads of information that you won’t find at your oncologists office. Ann is truly a gift to the cancer community. You can click here for a great interview.
The Annie Appleseed Project has been hosting the Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Conference for the past 7 years and each year the speakers get better, and the conference gets more crowded. The theme this year was “Many Paths to Wellness”. There were internationally known speakers as well as survivors who had beaten their cancer without conventional treatment. Yes…beaten cancer without drugs. It’s being done every day as I learned here.
Anne makes sure that the meals served in the hotel during the conference are healthy, wholesome and organic and the water is filtered and room temperature. Herbal teas, iced green teas and fresh fruit were available in the meeting rooms. She even arranged for a juicing company to supple fresh veggie juices during the breaks, and she told us that some of the food was actually local as well! I’m sure that’s not an easy accomplishment, but it is so appreciated! I usually need to stock up on healthy foods to have in my hotel room during these kinds of things, but thankfully not this time. I was also really happy to see one of my favorite snack companies, Beanitos was a sponsor this year.
There were themes that ran through most of the speakers in the conference this weekend. Phrases that I kept hearing over and over were ones like:
- the terrain of the patient (meaning the current health state of the tissue where the cancer would…or wouldn’t… grow) for cancer growth
- inflammation = state of disease
- when fighting cancer immunity is vital
- mainly plant-based diet
- alternative treatments do work for all stages
- there is hope
- cancer-fighting lifestyle
The Keynote speaker was Dr Keith Block creator of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment and author of Life Over Cancer. Life Over Cancer explains what every cancer patient needs to know about getting the right treatment for them.
Dr Block’s approach to cancer is to take conventional treatments like chemo and radiation and combine them with a personalized alternative complimentary treatment to enhance conventional therapy and also reduce side effects. Some of the photos he showed of patients in his center were remarkable (patients doing yoga, on the stationary bike, or getting a massage…while their chemo was infusing) and he had some amazing stories of success. His philosophy goes against current conventional recommendations of avoiding antioxidants during chemo as Dr Block and his team feel that the environment in which the cancer cell is growing is just as important as the cancer itself and that means a mainly plant-based diet of clean foods, supplementation, exercise, and connecting mind to body is crucial during treatment. (Hmmm…sounds familiar.
- He spoke about cancer stem cells, and how these stem cells that are at the root of all cancer proliferation and that they cannot be destroyed by chemo and radiation.
- He also advocates chronomodulated chemo, which is the timing of the chemo therapy to certain times of the day. His team noticed that certain chemotherapy agents work better fiorst thing in the morning, and others at bedtime. His team will time your chemo so you get the maximum benefit. His studies indicate that with perfect timing there is a decrease in adverse effects by 50%, and a 4x increase in 5 year survival.
- He spoke about the benefits of the reishi mushroom and how it clearly suppresses tumor growth factors.
- he spoke about studies show that the death rate and recurrence rate is reduced when chemo treatments are finished vs when they have to be stopped due to side effects. Alternative treatments reduce the side effects which allow the patients to finish chemo.
- He uses IV nano-circumin to target to tumors (as some other countries are) Side note: Oral nanocurcumin is only available for purchase in Viet Nam currently. There is promise of IV curcumin (plus bioperine…black pepper) being used in the US in conjunction with at least one chemo agent doxorubicin (adriamycin, or as recipients like to call it…”the red devil”) to increase efficacy and reduce side effects like bone marrow suppression and heart toxicity.
- He also spoke on the use of a diabetic drug called Metformin (used currently for type II diabetes) and its use in cancer prevention. He agrees that the data is mixed right now…(I think it’s interesting that a drug that decreases your blood sugar and your insulin is being studied to fight cancer don’t you? Why not just get to a optimal weight and lower your sugar intake while they are studying this….)
His final statement was “The environment of the cancer cell is more important for cell life or death. If you take the cancer cell out of it’s “growth environment” [high sugar, high insulin, dehydrated, high acidic, etc.] it will die.
Note to Dr Block: I thought you were cool even before you showed me your “Surfing in Antarctica” photos.
Over the next week of so I will be posting excerpts from the conference and things that I think would benefit you as far as lifestyle goes. Stay tuned!