Volume 9 Issue 2 -Dr Andre

Dr Andre Snell-Young trained at Guys Hospital and has steadily developed a strong interest in an ’Holistic approach’ to tackling illness and particularly cancer. His team practice Integrative Medicine at the Vision of Hope Clinic in Brighton. You can contact him direct on 01273 232 779, or email us at [email protected]

Q Could you tell me if RFA treatment is effective for Neuroendocrine carcinoid tumours please? Do you know of any research or statistics?
I have a secondary small tumour in my liver (primary was in my bowel, removed by surgery). My liver tumour is in a difficult position which means I would need over half of my liver removed if I opt for surgery. I have been given the option of RFA but the surgeon tells me he does not know if it is effective with neuroendocrine tumours.
I should be very grateful for any information you may have.

A First it is worth knowing the size of the tumour(s) in the liver? How long they have been there -  recent or for a number of years?  And how extensive are they - how much of a percentage of the liver do they occupy? And how far apart are the areas if more than one? And also are you having any carcinoid symptoms flushing, wheezing,.feeling faint etc?
Also, if you are not all ready doing so, I strongly advise you to get a second opinion from one of the leading centres in the country (so somewhere like the Royal Marsden or UCL - Professor Williams, liver specialist) .Your current consultant will be able to advise you as to where the leading expertise in the country is for RFA management of liver neuroendocrine tumours.
I have given you the research paper links here:
1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1325231/
the summary of this was that .."The 3 patients treated with RFA showed a decrease of urinary 5-HIAA values of 34, 81 and 93% respectively, with tumor regression in all of them"
2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11120628
this paper also showed favorable results in the 3 patients treated.
and finally 3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16800893
this summarises the issue of treatment and is very positive.
So to summarize the treatment from the 3 research articles and my understanding:  RFA is effective depending on the size, number and extent of the liver tumours and also how long they have been in the liver for.
 Q  First I’d like to say that I think your CANCERactive web site is fantastic. I am helping to  run a little holistic cancer support centre just outside Swansea. I am now handing out a sheet I’ve put together with your website details on it to all clients who come to us. It remains to be seen how many of them actually do anything about it! But that is of course up to them.
My question is about Arimidex. Many of the women who attend our centre for
complementary therapies (we’re named on your website as a support centre),
are suffering greatly with aching joints. I know this is a well known side
effect of aromatase inhibitors. Many of the women tell their doctors about
this and are told that it would be better for them if they put up with the
pain because it is giving them such good protection against recurrence.
Do you know of any supplements that these women could take to help with the
arthritis-like pain yet would not interfere with the action of the drug?
One particular client is already taking Flexijoint (glucosamine, rosehip &
chondroitin) but she is still in a lot of pain and it has triggered her arm
lymphoedema. So we thought we would ask if you could help at all as this is
a major problem for a lot of women.

A A good and common question, one that can be difficult to rectify evidenced by the general  answers given by oncologists to patients experiencing joint pain on the aromatase inhibitors.
I would normally recommend supplements that are good anti-inflammatories in bone tissue so the ones you mention such as Glucosamine, Chondritin and MSM are excellent. I’m sorry these have not helped the lady you mention. You should add in vitamin D3 1000 IU (which you can purchase through www.therainbowfoods.com)  TWICE A DAY.....this helps the possible osteomalacia that adds to the osteoporosis which seems to be the route of the problem with the joints but also is indicated in treating breast cancer patients. 
You should add in EPA fish oil and follow an alkalysing diet that is high in raw vegetables and low in sugar. Natural Vitamin C with bioflavonoids orally in doses of 2 grammes and more is a very good anti-inflammatory along with zinc (about 60 mg a day).
If these are not helping then consider anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen or Indomethacin, both as gels to rub into the area and as tablets (WHICH MUST BE TAKEN WITH FOOD).These won’t help the cause but will certainly help pain.

Q  Can you tell me whether you have a service to recommend a particular supplement regime, for my particular type of cancer (breast cancer triple negative with widespread bone metastases)? I am currently undergoing oral chemotherapy capesitabine, 2 weeks on, one week off. Obviously I do not wish to interfere with the chemo, but do wish to take good quality supplements to support me (but not waste my money on expensive supplements which are not relevant to me). Hoping you can help.

A We do have several regimes at our clinic that could help you. You can safely take Biobran with your chemo oral to boost your immune system which will be damaged to a variable extent by the chemotherapy. Vitamin D, omega 3 (fish oils and flaxseed), vitamin D, medicinal mushroom extracts and astragalus can also help enormously with no conflicting chemo effects.
C statin/Bindweed which reduces blood supply to cancers (not to be used by patients with angina or heart disease).
Even though you are triple negative you should still take D.I.M or Di-indolymethane which blocks the formation of the bad type of oestrogen and will stop the progression and new formation of cancers in oestrogen-negative patients by 50%.
You might also take Beta Sita Sterol which increases the death of cancer cells in oestrogen-negative patients.

Advice from The Cancer Experts - your questions answered
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