I’m a health nut, pretty much always have been. I have been a vegetarian for more than thirty years and have always exercised regularly. So when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in November 2012, I was shocked. (If you’ve been reading the blog since then you remember all this I’m sure!)
I had surgery and the cancer was the lowest grade the pathologists can give – 1A. I had chemotherapy and have been happy and healthy ever since.
My oncologist was puzzled as to how my 15 cm tumor had not spread and the only thing aside from my healthy lifestyle we could think of was that I had a very heavy green tea habit. I would drink most of a liter of homemade iced green tea every day. (I know I’ve shared the 2010 video by Dr. Li about Eating to Starve Cancer where he discussed green tea, but here it is if you want to watch it again.)
Of course I kept up that habit ever since but I always troll for information that will help me stay healthy and cancer free long into the future. I came across a book last year that I finished in December 2019. That’s it at the top of the post – How to Starve Cancer by Jane McLelland. Jane was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the mid-90’s and it unfortunately spread a few years later. Her terminal diagnosis (in her 30’s) and her medical background combined to turn her into a research machine. And research she did!
The premise of the book is simple, really. That chemotherapy is great for killing the actively multiplying cancer cells but it neglects the cancer stem cells which is where the cancer lurks with the potential to spread. Most people have heard that cancer loves sugar, but she discovered that there are multiple pathways that cancer uses to sustain and grow and that sugar is just one of them. Cancer can also change what it uses, so if you cut out one path (like sugar/glucose) it can switch over to using protein/glutamine or fat/fatty acids. It is really diabolical. She then realized that there was no significant improvement in AIDS treatment until the “cocktail” was created. Why couldn’t it be the same for cancer?
Jane researched endlessly and used herself as a guinea pig. Figuring out the different pathways was essential as well as creating a “cocktail” that blocked all of them. She used (with the help of her doctor) an animal pinworm medicine, statins, an arthritis drug, a diabetes drug, and many varied supplements of course along with diet and plenty of green tea. I am really simplifying this… take a look at the “metro map” below that shows the various pathways and some of the natural ways to block them.
Below is the metro map from Jane’s book with the off label drug abbreviations.
I have learned so much from her book and am now reading it for the second time. I have made some changes to my “stay well for a long time” protocol, too. I know so many people who have had cancer that might be interested in her ideas which is where the idea for this post came from. Certainly anyone with active cancer would be interested.
I also have searched out podcasts and videos and enjoyed the video below where Jane is interviewed by Chris Beats Cancer.
One of the themes that I hear a lot is how oncologists in many places are required to follow a certain protocol set out either by the cancer center or by health insurance companies. This isn’t always to the benefit of the patient as these off label drugs (drugs being used for a different disease than they are labeled for) can be used as a complement to conventional therapies and people will live longer.
Everyone really needs to be an advocate for themselves. I really hope that I don’t ever get cancer again – and that no one I care about does, either. But if it happens, I will integrate conventional and innovative therapies to block all the pathways that cancer can use to feed itself. There is lots of information out there including a Facebook page where people post their own Metro Maps and share information. Cancer is still a frightening diagnosis but I believe this is amazing progress.