Cancer: My Functional Medicine Perspective

I have been on a personal and passionate oncology journey after observing the effects of cancer and treatment effects on the body. My mother died from metastatic lung cancer in 2006. My dad’s brothers died from metastatic pancreatic cancer and metastatic lung cancer. My mother’s mother from metastatic breast cancer. These family members all had unhealthy lifestyles. My daughter, Hannah, was lost to a very rare and unrelenting stage 4 nasopharyngeal carcinoma in 2020. She did not respond to state-of-the-art treatment with chemotherapy and radiation by an excellent head and neck oncology team at Yale. 

I began studying the gastrointestinal microbiome as it relates to the immune system in more detail. Up to 70% of the immune system lies in the gut which is central to optimizing the body’s ability to heal. While Hannah was going through treatment, and after I returned to work at the Center for Functional Medicine, I began developing a plan for optimizing the immune system in and for cancer patients through first healing the gut. This is imperative for care of patients who may be or have been exposed to chemotherapeutic and/or the newer immunotherapy agents.  I took the Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy exam which enabled me to have a clearer understanding of pharmaceutical cancer treatments and effects of these agents. 

My goals at Hyperion Functional Medicine looking from the functional oncology perspective:

  • Eliminate the toxic burden
  • Optimize the immune system, heal underlying and possibly latent infections
  • Decrease inflammation which can stimulate angiogenesis and cause cancer to metastasize
  • Optimize the microbiome and digestive system/heal leaky gut is a priority
  • Evaluate and manage genetic SNPs which directly affect inflammation and detoxification pathways
  • Manage blood sugar and eliminate hyperinsulinemia
  • Balance hormones
  • Optimize physical, emotional stress and biorhythms
  • Last but certainly not least, offer deep nutrition plans through an oncology and functional medicine nutritionist—because food is medicine and nutrients from these foods are a great force in healing from cancer

Understanding what risk factors there are that allow cancer tumors to take hold is key to healing. Gut studies will be offered to optimize of gut healing through use of prescribed supportive supplements and food as medicine. Genetic studies will be offered to optimize detox pathways and other genetic SNPs that may lead to or exacerbate cancers. 

Nutritional and emotional support through our functional medicine/oncology nutritionist, functional medicine health coach and holistic psychotherapist are all a part of our supportive and healing plan.

I invite you to schedule an Inspiration Encounter with me to discuss your medical history, the Hyperion Functional Medicine program, your goals for treatment and your cancer treatment options.

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