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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Rethinking Cancer : A Proactive Approach to Cancer Improving Early Detection, Prevention and Treatment

Oct 02, 2013 02:52PM ● By Beth Davis


According to the American Cancer Society, about 1,660,290 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed this year, and about 580,350 Americans are expected to die of cancer—almost 1,600 people per day. With numbers like this, it’s no surprise that cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease.

Although the news is grim, there is hope. Find the disease early and the odds of survival may approach 90 percent.

The U.S. spends billions of dollars to save late-stage cancer patients, trying to devise better drugs and chemotherapies that might kill a cancer at its strongest. This cure-driven approach dominates research, but the results are not terribly impressive. Although overall cancer mortality rate in the U.S. has seen a 20 percent decline since 1991, there’s no doubt we can do better.

Early Detection

It’s a well-known fact that early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. In the case of breast health, for example, thermal imaging is slowly gaining in popularity for its ability to detect physiologic changes at the cellular level. In fact, studies suggest that this test can detect that type of activity 8 to 10 years before any other test.

“This makes it unique in that it affords us the opportunity to view changes before the actual formation of the tumor,” notes Dr. Phillip Getson, a board certified family physician and board certified thermologist. “Studies have shown that by the time a tumor has grown to sufficient size to be detectable by physical examination or mammography, it has in fact been growing for several years achieving more than 25 doublings of the malignant cell colony.”

He explains that thermography detects the physiologic changes in the breast tissue that have been shown to correlate with cancerous or pre-cancerous states. The diagnostic technique uses infrared technology to provide an image of the body’s physiological responses. It does so without the use of radiation, contact or other invasive means and there are no risks or side effects to the test. Getson calls it “the best diagnostic tool nobody has heard of,” and adds that it’s important to understand that thermography does not detect breast cancer, but rather a screening device that becomes an effective breast health risk-assessment tool.

Although it’s not a preventive tool, Getson says thermography is certainly a useful means to implement preventive measures. In that way, if abnormalities are detected and it’s determined that no anatomic lesions are present, steps can be taken to make improvements in diet, lifestyle and even attitude, as negative emotions can play a part in these subtle changes in the body.

“One woman came in and just had an ugly thermogram,” states Getson. “She went on a rigid diet and supplement program and six months later, her thermogram didn’t look like the same person. I asked her what she did and she told me she “cleaned up her life”. A year later, she came back and the thermogram was again pristine. Finally, another year later her thermogram was a mess. She had gone back to her old ways of living. The saying, ‘You are what you eat,’ is very true to life.”

Emotional Discovery

Can emotional wounds be a trigger for cancer? Art Gutkin thinks so. As a medical intuitive—an alternative medicine practitioner with intuitive capabilities—he utilizes his abilities to help individuals find the cause of physical or emotional conditions. He then offers modalities—such as hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)—to help them deal with past traumas and begin the healing process. Usually, he says, problems stem from events that happened to clients as a young child.

So how can something that happened 20, 30 even 40 years ago or more trigger disease? Gutkin says it’s not as complicated as we might think.

“Let’s say a baby wanted to be nursed, but wasn’t,” he explains. “He wanted eye contact, but didn’t receive it. It creates this terrible cycle of insecurity that later may fester into stomach pain. This, in turn, may develop into cancer or something else. If it does indeed develop, it may derive from those first three years of life and the stress and negative emotions that were happening in the body.”

Gutkin cites one client that, as a child, had no say in his home. He was repressed by his parents and unable to talk and express his emotions. He later developed throat cancer. “Once we get to the root of the problem, they can begin to improve,” notes Gutkin.

In fact, he and his wife, Connie, have successfully helped people throughout the country obtain relief from chronic disease, including cancer, using hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique, NLP and hands on healing. “Everybody is different and every process is individualized, but we’ve seen patients overcome their battles with illness through emotional healing,” he says.

The Case for Nutrition and Supplementation

Gina Medvedz, a certified nutritional consultant and cancer recovery nutrition specialist, not only helps patients navigate nutritional options after they’ve been diagnosed with cancer, but also helps determine proper foods for cancer prevention.

“Our bodies are designed to heal themselves,” she explains. “The body requires many different nutrients and if it doesn’t have those nutrients, we can find healing foods that provide the opportunity for the body to remain healthy.”

In the case of clients already dealing with a cancer diagnosis, she ensures that their physical body is in the best nutritional shape to survive and thrive if undergoing chemotherapy and advises them on natural ways to fight side effects. Surprisingly, she says, “Up to 40 percent of cancer patients die from malnutrition and not cancer.”

Whether an individual is fighting the disease or preventing, she says the following foods should become staples of the diet:

  • Healthy fats, preferably from fish, flax oil and/or coconut oil.
  • Foods that stabilize blood sugar levels, such as greens, brown rice, legumes and lots of fiber. Cancer cells love and thrive on glucose (sugar).
  • Fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
  • Lean protein, from fish, nuts, seeds and organic eggs.
  • Berries of all types.
  • Four to ten cups of unsweetened green tea daily. If not tea, then water should be drink of choice.

What should be avoided? Medvedz says foods not to eat include:

  • Anything with nitrates and nitrites. That means no processed meats.
  • Sugar feeds cancer cells, so avoid sugar. That includes breads, crackers and more that convert to glucose.
  • Red meat raises iron, which is a cancer growth factor. If you have to have it, limit it, and be sure it’s organic.
  • Bad fats such as dairy and red meat.

The best bet is to eat whole foods, avoid packaged products and “shop the outside aisles” at the grocery store. Vitamin D is also essential in the fight against cancer. Medvedz recommends quality supplementation, plus 10 to 20 minutes of natural sunlight per day.

Dr. Bud Tarreto, a naturopathic doctor, certified nutritional consultant and Executive Director of, agrees that nutrition is a key component to combating cancer. “Make no mistake, nutrition runs the body,” he says. “Balancing body chemistry is key and the only way to do that is through proper nutrition.” He offers a blood chemistry test—one of only a handful of individuals that offer the test—to assess a wide range of conditions and the function of organs. The good news is that most of his clients are long distance—making it convenient for people all across the country to utilize his services.

“Your blood doesn’t lie,” he explains. “As a naturopathic doctor, I look at blood chemistry as a form of prevention. If your digestive system is not working well, it opens the door for cancer. Vitamin D and iron deficiencies are also areas of concern. We can work with patients to get nutrition in the cells and make cells stronger.”

Tarreto offers quality supplementation in addition to nutritional recommendations. “Most people don’t know the difference in supplements,” he advises. “You first need to know where you’re deficient and what you’re deficient in—that’s where blood chemistry comes in.” He says rarely does he recommend just any over-the-counter supplementation, as the manufacturers aren’t always known.

Finding Relief

For those going through chemotherapy, radiation, the aftermath of surgery or even in remission, oncology massage can be a welcome relief. Oncology massage is an approach to massage therapy that is based in both compassion and specialized massage treatments to help people manage their experience with cancer. Not only can it improve quality of life, but other benefits include improved relaxation, sleep and immune function, as well as relieving anxiety, pain, fatigue and nausea.

Oncology massage therapists are specially trained to use gentle, supportive techniques for those currently having cancer or those with a history of the disease.

Licensed massage therapist Alexis Christy says clients must be treated sensitively. “It may feel good now, but tomorrow they may be in pain if there’s too much pressure,” she explains. “If the massage is too vigorous, you can cause damage. Sometimes, I barely touch the person—it’s almost like resting hands, nothing more.”

Even after a person has undergone treatment, one still has to take precautions. “A person may have been free of cancer for 10 years, but they still don’t know the impact to the nerves and more fragile bones.”

No matter the stage, Christy recommends getting a note from the doctor and always seeking a therapist certified in oncology massage.

There’s no doubt that the fight against cancer is a big one, but by being proactive and taking control of our health, it is a fight we can win.

To contact Dr. Phillip Getson, call 856-596-5834 or visit; for Art Gutkin, call 215-740-0766 or visit; for Gina Medvedz, call 723-241-6981 or visit; for Dr. Bud Tarreto call 812-841-3871 or visit; for Alexis Christy call 267-664-2874 or visit  

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