Alternatives to Western Medicine


Preliminary findings from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center were presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. Ginger was shown to cause ovarian cancer cells to die under laboratory conditions. Ginger also caused ovarian cancer cell death in a way that may prevent tumor cells from becoming resistant to treatment, a common problem with chemotherapy.

Ginger powder was dissolved in a solution and applied to ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory. Ginger caused two kinds of cancer cell death. The first, apoptosis causes cells to essentially commit suicide. The second type of cell death, autophagy, causes cells to digest or attack themselves. "In multiple ovarian cancer cell lines, we found that ginger induced cell death at a similar or better rate than the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer," says Jennifer Rhode, M.D., a gynecologic oncology fellow at the U-M Medical School.

"Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy -- which is associated with resistance to apoptosis. If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy," study author Dr. J. Rebecca Liu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, explained in a prepared statement. The researchers' next step is to determine if ginger can achieve similar results in animals.

Ginger is already known to ease nausea and control inflammation (inflammation contributes to the development of ovarian cancer cells). Ginger also has virtually no side-effects and is easy to administer as a capsule. Henry Scowcroft, science information officer for Cancer Research UK, said previous research showed that ginger extract could stop cancer cell growth so it was possible that ginger could form the basis of a new drug. But more work is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn, he added. "This study doesn't mean that people should dash down to the supermarket and stockpile ginger. We still don't know whether ginger, in any form, can prevent or treat cancers in animals or people."

The University of Michigan team lab is also looking at the effects on ovarian cancer of resveratrol, a substance found in red wine, and curcumin, the active ingredient in the curry spice turmeric. In addition, researchers at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center are investigating ginger to control nausea from chemotherapy and ginger to prevent colon cancer.

"Patients are using natural products either in place of or in conjunction with chemotherapy, and we don't know if they work or how they work. We don't know how these products interact with chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. There's no good clinical data," says study author J. Rebecca Liu, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School and a member of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.


There is a curious connection between ovarian cancer and the sun. Breast cancer is also affected by light, and perhaps prostrate cancer is as well. The discussion below is about ovarian and breast cancers, but it may apply to other hormone-related tumors. Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer come from the northern climates where they get too little sun. This correlates with findings that these women are getting too little Vitamin D, and too much estrogen. Melatonin is a hormone involved with the day/night cycle; with body rhythms- it reduces estrogen levels in darkness; at night, during sleep mostly. Women who consistently slept 9 or more hours per night had less than one-third the risk of developing breast tumors, than women who slept 7 to 8 hours per night (Finnish study). Some European doctors are prescribing Melatonin in doses of 10 to 50 mg each night to treat cancer because of strong evidence that Melatonin can prevent many kinds of solid tumors, especially breast cancer.

As early as 1990, scientists reasoned that anybody whose eyes can’t detect light should be resistant to estrogen-generated tumors. Blind women are, by definition, unreceptive to light (the skin does absorb light, so blind individuals do get weak "light and dark messages" ). Dr. Robert A. Hahn, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga., combined statistics from a national survey on women hospitalized between 1979 and 1987, including 11,700 with breast cancer. He found that blind women were only half as prone to develop breast cancer as sighted women (Epidemiology, May 1991).

Secreted primarily in the pineal gland, melatonin triggers a vast range of biochemical processes, primary among them a reduction in the body’s production of estrogen at night. Indirectly, this may reduce the risk of malignancy. For the past 20 years, scientists have explored the hypothesis that exposure to artificial light at night disrupts the natural melatonin-estrogen balance, resulting in less melatonin than there should be, and more estrogen. The net effect is a heightened risk of estrogen-sensitive tumors, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Researchers at the Cancer Registry of Norway tracked breast cancer in more than 15,000 visually impaired women, of whom 400 were completely blind. Analysis showed that totally blind women enjoyed a 36% lower risk of breast cancer compared to sighted women, according to a report in the British Journal of Cancer (2001:84:397-399). Yet, women who were merely impaired visually, but not totally blind, showed no evidence of similarly protective effects, according to Dr. J. Kliukiene. “Our findings give support to the ‘melatonin hypothesis,'” Kliukiene wrote.

Melatonins association with cancer has been documented consistently in many studies assessing links between shift work and cancer rates. The association between melatonin levels and cancer has suggested to some that melatonin may be a modifier of cancer progression. In one study, researchers examined all clinical trials assessing the role of melatonin as a therapy for solid tumor cancers. The authors reviewed 10 randomized clinical trials that included a total of 643 cancer patients with a variety of different solid tumor cancers. The study showed that melatonin was predominantly safe and had a beneficial effect on sleep patterns of patients. All the clinical trials involved in the study were from Europe from a related network of clinical researchers in Italy and Poland.

Researchers, from McMaster University and the University of Toronto in Canada, say that their analysis shows that clinical trials in North America should have been initiated back in 1996/7 as the results from Europe were consistent at that time. The Canadian researchers urge caution in interpreting immediate clinical usefulness of large doses of melatonin and recommend patients discuss this with their physicians before beginning any treatments. Dr. Dugald Seely, a cancer researcher at Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto says "This analysis shows a strong association. The small number of people needed to treat, low adverse events reported, and low costs related to this intervention should be of substantial interest to patients, physicians and policy makers. Completion of independently conducted studies is required to confirm the efficacy and safety of melatonin in cancer treatment."

Animal studies and surveys of melatonin's connection to cancer long supported the association but did not prove a direct relationship. A 2005 study established the relationship, showing clearly that light at night is a risk factor for breast cancer. Tumors are awake (more active) during the day when melatonin is suppressed. At night, in the dark, melatonin puts (hormone related) tumor cells to sleep. Altering light intensity and exposure and/or taking melatonin supplements is now an important consideration in the risk and treatment of hormone related cancers.

Light/darkness levels are not the only factors decreasing melatonin. Obesity, advancing age, and smoking all correlate with reduced melatonin production. The use of alcohol late at night also reduces melatonin in the blood. Melatonin works by inhibiting cancer cells from taking up linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fat). Fatty foods, eaten late at night spike the levels of linoleic acid and increase the need for melatonin. Insufficient melatonin in the blood stream causes the ovaries to produce excessive estrogen and other sex hormones which are linked to ovarian and breast cancer.

I took the following paragraphs from an ad for Melatonin. There is a striking statement in the advertisement stating that women with ovarian cancer should not take Melatonin supplements. I do not know why this is. But it does strongly suggest caution before self-medicating with melatonin. The ad came out before the above study, however, so I do not know where the debate stands at the moment.

"Melatonin is the most effective antioxidant yet studied because it easily penetrates cell membranes (especially in the brain) to provide protection against free radicals throughout all our cells. Melatonin crosses the blood-brain barrier very effectively. It appears to protect the central nervous system against injury, disease, and aging better than any other substance. Melatonin is used to induce drowsiness and improve sleep patterns. More and more doctors are recommending Melatonin as a safe and effective insomnia therapy instead of dangerous FDA-approved drugs such as Halcion, Xanax, and Valium.

The Life Extension Foundation believes that Melatonin is the single most effective anti-aging therapy in the world. It has been shown, in thousands of published studies, to protect against almost every disease associated with aging including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, age-associated immune impairment, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, as well as against aging itself. Melatonin has been shown to be completely safe in humans in doses of up to 1,000 mg daily. The most common side effect of taking too much Melatonin is feeling drowsy when you wake up, which can be prevented by taking less Melatonin the next night. The Life Extension Foundation uses only pharmaceutical-quality Melatonin that has been Assayed for purity, with results of up to 100% purity (minimum 99.9% purity).


High doses of Melatonin are being used in Europe as a birth control pill. If you are pregnant, or seeking to become pregnant, do not take Melatonin. Melatonin boosts the production of immune system cells throughout the body. This is extremely important for people over age 40 who will suffer a progressive decline in immune function as they age. If you have an immune system cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma, however, you may not want to take Melatonin until more is known about Melatonin's effects on these types of cancer.

Some doctors recommend that women with ovarian cancer not take Melatonin. It is not yet clear whether Melatonin is beneficial or harmful for women with ovarian cancer.

Melatonin may relieve many forms of depression. If taking Melatonin makes you feel more depressed, stop taking it.

Here are our protocols for Melatonin supplementation:

Minimum dose for almost everyone over age 40:

500 mcg each night

Suggested dose for almost everyone over age 50:

3 mg -6 mg each night

Suggested doses for insomnia:

Take 3 to 10 mg of Melatonin (in capsule form) about an hour before bedtime. This enables most people to enjoy a deep, restful, therapeutic night of sleep.

Or, take 3 to 9 mg of sublingual Melatonin about an hour before bedtime. This provides more direct absorption of Melatonin into the brain and bypasses the liver where much of orally ingested Melatonin can be metabolized (in some people) before it reaches the brain.


Take 3 to 9 mg of time-release Melatonin to keep you asleep all night long. If you can get to sleep, but find that you wake up during the night, time-release Melatonin can help you to stay asleep all night long. If you have a problem in getting to sleep and staying asleep, take sublingual Melatonin before bedtime to induce drowsiness and then take a time-release Melatonin."

I3C as a Possible Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

A chemical that occurs naturally in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other related vegetables is deadly to certain cancer cells. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) can completely destroy several different lines of ovarian cancer cells, according to a report to the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists.

The study, conducted at North Shore/Long Island Jewish Research Institute and Long Island University Hospital, also confirmed that a product made from the vegetable extract called DIM (diindolylmethane) works as effectively as the real thing, i.e I3C.

What’s more, the powerful nutrient boosted the effectiveness of the commonly used cancer chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

Green Tea

Andrew Quin's Contribution:

At Curtin University in Western Australia, a study on the use of green tea demonstrated that women who drank green tea regularly had an 80% survival rate at 3 years as opposed to a 40% rate for women who did not drink green tea. Green tea supplements can be taken which have a reduced caffeine content. The study investigated whether tea consumption can enhance the survival of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, a prospective cohort study was conducted in Hangzhou, China.

The cohort comprised 254 patients recruited during 1999-2000 with histopathologically confirmed epithelial ovarian cancer and was followed up for a minimum of 3 years. Two hundred forty four (96.1%) of the cohort or their close relatives were traced.

The variables examined included their survival time and the frequency and quantity of tea consumed post-diagnosis. The actual number of deaths was obtained and Cox proportional hazards models were used to obtain hazard ratios and associated 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusting for age at diagnosis, locality, BMI, parity, FIGO stage, histologic grade of differentiation, cytology of ascites, residual tumor and chemotherapeutic status.

The survival experience was different between tea drinkers and non-drinkers (p < 0.001). There were 81 (77.9%) of 104 tea-drinkers who survived to the time of interview, compared to only 67 women (47.9%) still alive among the 140 non-drinkers.

Compared to non-drinkers, the adjusted hazard ratios were 0.55 (95% CI = 0.34-0.90) for tea-drinkers, 0.43 (95% CI = 0.20-0.92) for consuming at least 1 cup of green tea/day, 0.44 (95% CI = 0.22-0.90) for brewing 1 batch or more of green tea/day, 0.40 (95% CI = 0.18-0.90) for consuming more than 500 g of dried tea leaves/year, and 0.38 (95% CI = 0.15-0.97) for consuming at least 2 g of dried tea leaves/batch.

The corresponding dose-response relationships were significant (p < 0.05). Conclusion: that increasing the consumption of green tea post-diagnosis may enhance epithelial ovarian cancer survival.

International Journal of Cancer Volume 112, Issue 3 , Pages 465 - 469

Green or Black Tea

An article published in 2005 in the Journal "Archives of Internal Medicine" sites a Swedish study which found tantalizing (but not conclusive) evidence that drinking a couple cups of tea every day could help reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer. The study involved 61,057 Swedish women who answered a questionnaire about their diets and then were tracked for an average of 15 years through 2004.

During that time, 301 women developed ovarian cancer. Those who reported drinking two or more cups of tea a day were 46 percent less likely to develop the disease than women who drank no tea. Drinking less than two cups also appeared to help, but not as much. Each additional cup of tea a day could lower the risk by another 18 percent.

Most of the tea drinkers consumed black tea. Both black and green tea contain polyphenols — substances thought to block cell damage that can lead to cancer. Previous studies on whether tea might help prevent various kinds of cancer have yielded conflicting results. Researchers Susanna Larsson and Alicja Wolk of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said more research is needed to sort out the inconsistencies.

Dr. Julie Buring of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital, who studies chronic diseases and cancer, said that factors other than tea drinking might explain the results, and that the tea drinkers may have been healthier than the other women. "Certainly the idea of exploring agents or lifestyles that could make a difference on ovarian cancer would be very timely and important," Buring said. "My concern is with these kinds of studies, that people who drink two cups of tea daily are different from people who don't in ways that go through their whole lifestyle."

Ginkgo Biloba

In the lab, it was shown that certain components of Ginkgo were 80 percent effective in stopping the growth of ovarian cancer cells. A study at Brigham and Woman's Hospital suggests that women who took Ginkgo supplements had a 60 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer. The study targeted only specific types of ovarian cancer. Speculation is that Ginkgo has very powerful antioxidant properties. Doctors caution that Ginkgo may interfere with other medications, so routine self-administration is not recommended without medical clearance. Understand that the Ginkgo study provides evidence that ovarian cancer occurrence is reduced by Ginkgo use. The study says nothing about recurrence of ovarian cancer. Certain components of Ginkgo may suppress ovarian cancer cells, but other components may encourage blood vessel formation for cancer tumors. Consult with your doctor before self-medicating with Ginkgo.

Wine Consumption and Ovarian Cancer

Andrew Quin's Contribution:

April 30, 2004

Scientists at The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) determined that moderate wine intake may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

In this large study (published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2004 Apr;13(4):592-9) of 696 women with confirmed epithelial ovarian cancer and 786 cancer-free control women, consumption of any alcohol was associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Even an average consumption of less than 1 standard drink/week was associated with a 20% reduction in risk of ovarian cancer.

Women who reported an average consumption of around 25 g/day of alcohol (2 standard drinks) had about half the risk of ovarian cancer compared with non-drinkers.

"Our finding was slightly surprising, given that it is now generally accepted that drinking alcohol increases a woman's chance of developing breast cancer. The link between breast cancer and alcohol consumption is not clear, although it may partly be due to the effect of alcohol on sex hormones," said QIMR's Dr Penny Webb. "Our study aimed to determine whether alcohol consumption also influenced the risk of ovarian cancer."

The QIMR study is one of only a few to evaluate the effects of different types of alcohol. It also examined all published data that comprehensively examined the association between alcohol consumption and risk of ovarian cancer. When intake of different types of alcohol was examined, wine drinkers had a lower risk of ovarian cancer than both self-reported nondrinkers and women who reported only drinking beer or spirits. Red wine consumption in particular conferred the most protection, with women who consume more than one glass of red wine per day being almost seven times less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who never drank alcohol.

"The apparent reduction in risk associated only with wine intake and not other types of alcohol suggests that the protective effect may be due to something other than the alcohol in the wine. It is possible that the high levels of antioxidants and phytoestrogens found in wine (from the grapes and grape skins) could reduce the risk of ovarian cancer," said Dr Webb.

QIMR is now involved in Australia's largest study of ovarian cancer (the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study) where, amongst other things, scientists will further examine lifestyle and dietary factors in 2,000 women with ovarian cancer and 2,000 women without cancer from all parts of Australia.

Mineral Supplements

Contributions from Anne Helman and Andrew Quin:

Cisplatin removes magnesium from the body for two years after use. Magnesium supplements should be considered. Ask your doctor to determine whether over-the-counter supplements are useful or whether you need an infusion of the mineral.

Chemo damages the stomach lining reducing the ability to absorb food. Malnutrition could develop over time. Pancreatic enzymes might need to be used. Also, consider a high protein supplement such as Whey Factors for nutritional support

The majority of ovarian cancer patients have high levels of copper in their system. The usual pattern is across the board drop in nutrients and higher copper concentrations over time. Copper affects absorption of chromium and zinc (and others). Copper is also needed for angiogenesis. Preclinical and in vitro studies done at the University of Michigan (Dr. Brewer) determined that copper is an important co-factor for angiogenesis. Reducing copper reduced angiogenesis. Cancer cells need new blood vessels to grow. If there is excess copper in the system of women with ovarian cancer, it probably is contributing to new blood vessel growth.

Dr. Brewer's clinical trials have yet to be reproduced outside his clinical study. However, the link between copper and ovarian cancer is documented. Doctors use a measure called the ceroluplasmin number that indicates the degree of copper in the blood. This number can be easily attained along with standard blood tests. Under a doctor's care, zinc citrate capsules and liquid molybednum can be taken to lower the ceroluplasmin number. It takes a number of months for reduction to occur. The concentration of copper in the system is important and cannot be allowed to drop below a critical threshold- do not attempt copper reduction therapy without medical supervision. Foods high in copper can be reduced in the diet (shellfish, organ meats, for example).

Anne Helman: "TM is Tetrathiomolybdate. You can google Dr. Brewer and Tetrathiomolybdate and read about them. Some oncologists tried using this drug with their patients. I tried it myself (it's by prescription only, not covered by insurance, and only available thru 2 compounding pharmacies in this country). The idea behind TM is that it lowers the ceroluplasmin number by chelating the copper from the blood, based on the theory that copper enhances cancer growth, or perhaps a better way to put it is that some people believe cancer cells uptake copper (they do), and it feeds them, causing the cancer to grow faster. There is a target goal for ceroluplasmin, but I actually don't recollect now what that percentage is. It is important NOT TO REDUCE ceroluplasmin too much because we need a certain amount of copper in our systems in order to live. I take liquid Molybednum and Zinc citrate capsules. Because they are supplements and not a drug, they take longer to work. I have my ceroluplasmin number checked with each monthly batch of blood that is taken so that I can monitor my progress. What is considered normal ceroluplasmin is not normal for a cancer patient. The higher the number, the worse (I am told)." There is a lot of research on the value of vitamin D-3 and much of it is specific to ovarian cancer. There is evidence that vitamin D and vitamin D-metabolizing enzymes constitute one of the factors involved in the complicated process of ovarian carcinogenesis. In general, ovarian cancer incidence and mortality is higher in northern than southern latitudes. This suggests that vitamin D produced in the skin from sunlight exposure may be associated with a protective action in ovarian cancer.

Ultraviolet rays, the kind of rays that give you sunburns, interact with a special cholesterol in unblocked skin. Once stimulated, this cholesterol triggers your liver and kidney to make vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is a steroid hormone that can drastically improve immune system function. Vitamin D3 also controls cellular growth and helps you absorb calcium from your digestive tract. Most importantly, this hormone/vitamin inhibits the growth of cancer cells. In laboratory tests performed on animals, vitamin D3 inhibited the growth of malignant melanoma, breast cancer, leukemia and mammary tumors. Vitamin D3 also slowed down angiogenesis, which aids the growth of cancer cells. Vitamin D3 stops cancer-aiding blood vessels from being formed, curbing the tumor's ability to spread and disrupt other functions in the body.

Since high doses of vitamin D3 are toxic, scientists have formulated vitamin D derivatives that can be administered to cancer patients. In tests, these derivatives have stopped the proliferation of cancer cells and sometimes have actually decreased the size of experimental tumors. Further findings like these might point to yet another undiscovered function of vitamin D3: regulating the expression of protein products that prevent and even inhibit cancer.

Anne Helman: "As for D3, go to and type in D3 AND Ovarian. You will see all the research. While you're there, also type in Coriolus versicolor AND Ovarian. I use the company and the dose used in clinical study that elicited response was 3 grams (8 caps per day) Neither of these things interferes with chemo as I understand it. Also, my oncologist has me on 5 grams of Curcumin daily. I use Life Extension brand 900mg caps, 6 caps daily, divided into 3 doses of 2 caps each, with meals. But, you should have doctor permission for that. There is tons of info about Curcumin available."

Anne Helman: "There is specific research on the mushroom "coriolus versiciolor" and ovarian cancer. This mushroom can be purchased through JHS naturals. The amount found to be effective in clinical studies was 3 grams (8 capsules of the JSH extract per day- 4 in the Am, 4 in the PM). Bacidiomycetes mushrooms may be combined with coriolous since they hit different immune receptor sites. Most of the clinical research done in the United States and Great Britain used JHS naturals."

As mentioned in the discussion of Geron Corporation (pipeline link below and on the home page), the use of anti-telomerase drugs to kill cancer cells (which are saturated with telomerase) is a hopeful strategy for combating ovarian cancer. 85–90% of human cancers, including ovarian epithelial cancers, show high activity of telomerase. In a December, 2004 study, Vitamin D3 induced ovarian cancer cell apoptosis by down-regulating telomerase. A study in Finland in 2004 showed that high concentrations (10 and 100 nM) of D3 inhibited cell proliferation, whereas low concentration (0.1 nM) stimulated growth of the cancer cells; the dose seems to be significant. Medical supervision is required when taking D Vitamins.

Women exposed to triazine or atrazine based chemicals (common in the agricultural community) had (Italian study) a four fold increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Perhaps contributing to ovarian cancer is exposure to petroleum based products (xenoestrogens) such as plastics and insecticides. Xenoestrogens are fat soluble contaminates deposited in the body primarily in fatty tissues of the breasts and ovaries. Dead Sea Lions that washed up on California beaches had cancer of the reproductive areas and also high levels of xenoestrogens (comparatively). Women in South America who typically have low rates of cancer experienced much higher rates after oil drilling contaminated water wells.

The anticarcinogenic activity of selenium in animal models is well established. A study by the Department of Pharmacology, Pomeranian Academy of Medicine, Szczecin, Poland, examined how selenium (Se) supplementation influenced oxidative stress (malondialdehyde) and the glutathione peroxidase system in patients with ovarian cancer undergoing chemotherapy. As a result of this clinical trial, researchers concluded that there are beneficial effects caused by ingesting selenium, as a supportive element in chemotherapy. Women with ovarian cancer may also have fewer side effects from chemotherapy by supplementing with selenium, according to a study in Gynecologic Oncology (2004;93:320–7). Chemotherapy generates a group of highly reactive molecules called free radicals. These unstable chemicals are responsible for the damage that occurs in normal cells. Antioxidants may help prevent damage to the body’s normal cells by transforming free radicals into less toxic compounds. Selenium is a component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that acts as a powerful antioxidant. Chemotherapy reduces the amount of selenium in the body, and a deficiency of selenium is associated with kidney damage from chemotherapy. Selenium has the ability to bind with certain heavy metals including platinum, resulting in a less toxic compound. Selenium may also help protect the body from developing cancer.

Brazil nuts contain selenium that is easily absorbed in the body. Two Brazil nuts provide 400mcg which is the FDA recommendation. Because selenium in Brazil nuts is a whole food, there is no concern about taking a known antioxidant during treatment.

We were told by a dietary specialist not to take multiple vitamins during chemo treatment. Certain chemos evidently work by creating free radicals in the body as part of it's mechanism to kill the cancer. If a cancer patient takes anti-oxidants, which attack free radicals, it may work against the mechanism of the chemotherapy. Some nutritionists/doctors believe one may take antioxidants safely up to a few days BEFORE chemo, stop and then resume a few days AFTER chemo. Anne Helman: "Personally, I wouldn't want to take anything that might interfere with the way chemotherapy works, even if it's just a "might" - I prefer to err on the side of caution. I feel the same way about eating soy and other phytoestrogen foods - if the disease is ER positive, why put more estrogen in the body when estrogen is a growth factor for the cancer? There are reams of studies on both sides of this argument, but until there is a majority consensus, again, I err on the side of caution and do not eat soy or soy based foods. I don't worry about little amounts of soybean oil in foods." J. Schnelwar comments:

If you can find an alternative doctor who knows chinese medicine you will get good information on foods and supplements to take while in remission. Also, read a book on alkaline versus acidic body PH. We need alkaline, the less processed food the better. One tsp. of apple cider vinegar a day is helpful. I do acupuncture and reflexology. The acupuncturist is a licensed chinese doctor.

Acupuncture and Ovarian Cancer

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has given a big boost to acupuncture, holding that it is safe and, for some conditions, proven effective. The NIH has funded a variety of research projects relating to the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture. An NIH panel found that acupuncture can relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy, anesthesia or pregnancy and lessen the pain from dental surgery. There's also evidence supporting it as an effective way to treat headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, low back pain and arthritis. Acupuncture also may be used for carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, addiction, myofascial pain and for rehabilitation following stroke. More recent evidence suggests that hypertension and certain cardiovascular diseases can be improved by treatment with acupuncture, according to a June 2000 workshop sponsored by the NIH on complementary and alternative medicine in cardiovascular, lung and blood research.

A large percentage of the practice and use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the United States is focused on cancer. Whether the CAM use is aimed at reducing one's risk of developing cancer or improving the quality of life of a cancer patient during treatment or at the end of life, the public focus on CAM and cancer has created a driving force for cancer centers to address the efficacy and science of these methods.

Currently, the majority of cancer patients do not receive adequate palliative care. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the treatment of pain and nausea and has also been shown to improve one's general well-being. Acupuncture also has some effectiveness in relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression. A clinical study in phase two trials at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts is evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture by Traditional Chinese Medicine clinicians to address the quality of life and symptoms of patients with incurable cancer.

Women with recurrent metastatic ovarian cancer and similar patients with advanced cancer who are ambulatory and receiving conventional palliative care are enrolled in this study. Patients will continue to receive high-quality, conventional clinical interventions, including chemotherapy and pain and symptom reduction programs. Patients will also receive 8 weeks of acupuncture. Evaluation tools such as Satisfaction with Life Domains Scale for Cancer (SLDS-C), Brief Pain Inventory, and Rotterdam Symptom Check List will be used to assess the acupuncture intervention.


Here's a recap of the above (before you do any of this, talk to your doctor). Remember, this is all based on what people told me and stuff I got off the internet. Also, I am mixing data that is about prevention with information about what do when on chemo, as well as suggestions for combating the active disease. Remember too, that ovarian cancer is more than one kind of disease, and that the stages of progression add further complicating variables.

1. Drink green tea.
2. Drink two or more cups of any kind of tea everyday.
3. Consider taking Ginkgo Biloba (but ask your doctor first)
4. Drink a glass of red wine every day
5. Reduce the amount of copper in your system
6. Take magnesium supplements if you are on certain kinds of chemo
7. Take Vitamin D supplements (talk to your doctor first- the wrong dose may increase the cancer); better yet take frequent vacations to warm climates and get a tan
8. Take supplements of the mushroom coriolus versiciolor
9. Eat two or more Brazil nuts every day for selenium
10. Consider acupuncture and/or massage to combat the negative effects of chemo and stress
11. There is a link between fat cells, aging, and cancer. Get down to your correct weight, and exercise to optimize the immune system
12. We need alkaline, the less processed food the better. One tsp. of apple cider vinegar a day is helpful.
13. It might be wise to not eat soy or soy based foods (that promote estrogen)
14. Eat a lot of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
15. Melatonin supplements? (talk to your doctor)
16. Ginger supplements




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