I'm forwarding you a summary of a friend's extensive research into the field of complementary approaches for blc survivors, from Pete in Australia:
In many ways the divide between mainstream and alternative is a construct of those with a vested interest. As a patient, the sensible approach is to utilize the best of all forms of medicine. If there is a criticism of mainstream medicine, it is that it abysmally fails to do this.
Nonetheless, there are two very significant aspects to bladder cancer which sets it apart from most other cancers.
1. The use of intravesical rather than systemic chemotherapy. Thus, mitomycin does not expose itself to the level of criticism applying to its non-targeted, systemic use.
2. Coley's toxins, Interleukin, BCG, and BCG/Interferon are all immunotherapies. In many ways, they are just as much 'alternative' treatments as they are 'mainstream'.
The combination of surgery, intravesical chemo, and BCG/Interferon is the gold standard for treating bladder cancer. Excluding surgery, these treatments differ significantly from the mainstream - almost falling into the 'alternative' camp. Or expressed another way, standard bladder cancer treatments avoid many of the controversies surrounding radiation and systemic chemotherapy.
In this sense, the gulf between mainstream and alternative is much less pronounced in bladder cancer.
Of course, its a different matter with metastatic bladder cancer.
Natural medicine may make a difference in terms of cancer prevention, and in complementing mainstream medicine by inhibiting metastasis. However, it should never used as an alternative to the aforementioned, non-controversial mainstream bladder cancer treatments - especially in those with existing, high grade, high-risk tumours.
I seem to recall this was the problem with the original correspondent. She? had a high risk tumor, and was planning to abandon mainstream medicine. Firstly, it is unnecessary because mainstream bladder cancer treatment in fairly non-contentious, and secondly, it is expecting far too much of natural medicine to effectively deal with existing, high risk tumors.
So my suggestion to her, and others, is:
1. Stick to mainstream bladder cancer treatment.
2. Use natural medicines to help in a complementary way to prevent recurrences and metastatic spread.
3. Teach the younger generation how to avoid bladder cancer through chemoprevention - ie., the use of nutrition and natural medicine.
I have spent countless hours on researching this stuff. I could write a book on the subject (and probably will), but for blcwebcafe a summary is probably enough for people to get their head around. If they follow the following it will minimise the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, and other degenerative disease.
Follow a mediterranean diet (fish, green salads, olive oil, nuts, red wine, etc.)
Minimise calorific intake
Obtain adequate vitamin D from sunlight
Consume reduced fat dairy products - especially those from grass-fed cows
Yoghurt with live culture - preferably unsweeteded
Meat - preferably oily fish twice/week, and game meat
Minimise grilled or BBQ meat. Casserole or steamed is best.
Avoid pre-prepared meals, snacks, sugar, salt, fried foods, trans fats
Equalise Omega 3 and Omega 6 Ratio
Consume lots of greens
Consume broccoli, broccoli sprouts and/or DIM capsules
If possible consume 8 fruit and vegetables/day. Look for bright colors
If possible eat RAW, or steam vegetables rather than microwave or boil. If boiled, consume the broth
An unpeeled apple/day
Some raw carrot
Tomatoes (canned or paste) cooked in olive oil
Mushrooms - preferably Japanese.
Berries daily (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
Citrus daily, including citrus peel.
Nut mix. 2 Brazil nuts/day (selenium), plus freshly crushed linseed, walnuts, almonds, sesame
Whole grain cereal each day, including oats
Filtered tap water
Soy products - especially in older men. Fermented soy products - eg natto, are even better.
Take curcumin supplements
Take green tea capsules
Take shitake mushroom supplements
Statin drugs - mainstream drug that may protect against a number of diseases. Take with Co-enzyme Q10
Oncovite - multivitamin high in Vitamin A
Avoid air pollution, domestic and industrial chemicals, Teflon coated pans, waterproofed furniture, panelboard made with formaldehyde, black hair dye, ground water, pesticides, microwaving food in foam containers and/or glad wrap, light/heat exposure of diet drinks containing abscorbic acid.
Wendy, Pete has a good point in that non invasive bladder cancer is treated with immunotherapy which is to build the immune system. Other cancers are treated with systemic chemo agents which tear down the immune system then is built back up over time. His list includes most of the things I have seen over the years as bringing good health. I would add to the list a daily dose of probiotics if yogart is not eaten. You (Wendy) told us about the good effects of taking CULTURELLE - Lactobcillus GG probiotic. The best balance for Omega 3 and Omega 6 is the brand name “Nature Made” fish oil according to a letter sent to my husband from the VA. We take a 1200 mg daily. For those interested, here is a very good government website for CAM nccam.nih.gov Rosie