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Naturopathic Medicine Blog

Pancreatic Cancer

Posted Feb 12th, 2019 in Naturopathic Medicine, News, Tips

Pancreatic Cancer

What is the disease status in Canada?

According to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), nearly 5,500 new patients with cancer pancreas are diagnosed annually. Almost 4,800 will die annually from the same disease. Most patients present at an advanced stage of pancreatic cancer (locally advanced, or metastatic disease ), and this presents a challenge in disease management and creates lot of burden on the patients, caregivers, and the medical team.

From this information, cancer pancreas represents one of the most difficult cancers to manage in Canada. Although big provinces in Canada such as Ontario and British Colombia support cancer patients with top-notch cancer treatment centres such as Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Juravinski Cancer Centre, the poor outcome and the low quality of life of patients with cancer pancreas pose a real health problem.


Medical Oncology Treatments

Advanced Cancer Pancreas was managed by a variety of chemotherapies that ranged from a single agent Gemcitabine to a combination of Gemcitabine and other chemotherapies such as Docetaxel, and Carboplatin. Some biologics such as  Avastin, Tarceva or Rituximab, Generally speaking, the research on Gemcitabine as a single agent versus a combination of Gemcitabine with other agents did not reveal a real high difference in the survival rates or the quality of life of those patients.

What is the latest research on chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer?

According to the Lancet Oncology Journal research published in June 2016   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470204516001728, The chemotherapy combination FOLFRINOX (Folinic acid or Leukovorin, 5 Fluorouracil, Irinotecan, and Oxaliplatin) was studied in locally advanced and non-resectable cases of cancer pancreas. This is a systematic review done on Scientific databases such as Cochran, MEDLINE, and PubMed publishers. All research done on that subject from 1991 to 2015 was included in this research and this was based on data collection for patients with locally advanced Cancer Pancreas who received FOLFRINOX during this period.

A total of 13 studies comprising 689 patients with advanced cancer pancreas were included in this research. The median overall survival time range was 24  months longer than that achieved by Gemcitabine (6-13 months)

Naturopathic Medicine and  Pancreatic Cancer 

Cancer Pancreas was well studied and researched in many Integrative and Naturopathic Clinics in North America. The treatment involves many natural health products that can limit the growth of pancreatic cancer and help control of symptoms such as weight loss, poor appetite, and fatigue or tiredness. Although the amount of research on this topic is small, however, most of the clinical trials done on patients with cancer pancreas and Naturopathic Medicine showed a positive trend https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882293/   Giving high dose intravenous vitamin C to patients with Cancer Pancreas results in creating a lot of H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) in the vicinity of the pancreatic cancer cells, which leads to a significant degree of oxidative cell damage, and given the fact that pancreatic cancer cells are devoid of Catalase enzyme, the H2O2 will remain intact close to the Cancer Cells, so this would impair its vitality to a large extent.   Nevertheless, normal body cells are rich in the Catalase enzyme, so even if H2O2 increases in normal cells, the body’s content of the Catalase enzyme will neutralise the oxidative potential of the H2O2.

Other measures for controlling the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are proper intravenous nutrition therapy, good oral nutrition, and optimising the body’s levels of vitamins such as vitamin D and B12.

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