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Breast cancer

Dr. Crescence Allen Reveals Why She Chose Alternative Breast Cancer Treatments

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 by: Barbara L. Minton
Tags: breast cancer, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) At the close of the White Rose Symposium on contemporary health issues, leading psychologist, health advocate and life coach Crescence Allen agreed to be interviewed about her bout with breast cancer and her decision to forgo the "standard of care" in favor of pursuing alternative treatments. Crescence's expertise includes child development, learning theory, and stress management. She is the author of Adaptive Coping Strategies of High Mastery Caregivers. She is also an herbalist and hypno-therapist.

Crescence was simultaneously diagnosed with two different forms of breast cancer for which she underwent surgery. Before she was even approaching full recovery from that ordeal, she was bombarded with a list of statistics by an oncologist and a radiologist who were eager to recruit her into their treatments. She reports leaving their office in a state of fright, horror and intimidation. For a short period of time she was in a state of shock that left her unable to think clearly and advocate for herself. But due to her background and knowledge base, she was able to rally and regain her ability to think clearly. It was at this point that she made the decision to reject the traditional medical model and embrace an alternative treatment modality.

Barbara: Author Danielle Steele compares a diagnosis of breast cancer to being struck by lightening. What did this diagnosis mean to you?

Crescence: Not that. It wasn't a surprise. I think some part of me knew that I had it. I had a dream that must have pertained to what was coming in my future. What really bowled me over was the trip to the doctor. Historically I have a hospital, doctor anxiety issue.

People are either shocked or say they always knew, and I think that the way a person responds depends on which end of this continuum she is on. I can only speak for myself. I viewed having breast cancer as a wake up call to look at my own life, lifestyle and personal psychology rather than it being a terrifying assault. I viewed it as a growth opportunity. Of course I had to force myself to view it that way, but I would rather take that position than view myself as at the mercy of randomness.

Barbara: What were your impressions of the cancer industry?

I believe in being empowered, and I think that leads into the question of what I think about the typical approach of the medical establishment toward women with breast cancer. The medical establishment has a hard time dealing with an empowered patient. I do believe that there is a cancer industry, and it is unfortunate. I agree that cancer is big business. The medical establishment and doctors in general are indoctrinated toward a certain point of view. They have their established protocols that are supposedly based on science and research. But as a person who utilizes research, I felt that they used it inappropriately. Because I understand the use of statistics, I realize that the model you create cannot be a one size fits all model. But the doctors seem to think using a one size fits all set of statistics for everyone is acceptable. There is just not enough individualization in the way the medical establishment deals with people.

As a consumer of physical or medical model services you have to be knowledgeable, assertive and empowered. You have to make your physician deal with you as an individual, as a whole person, not a statistic. The individual person has to be willing to say -- I am more than this cancer. I am a mind, a psychology, a social being with responsibilities to my family, to my work. All of those things have to be considered. But the only thing physicians want to look at are statistics about some tumor.

Barbara: Do you want to describe what kind of breast cancer you had?

Crescence: I don't really care what kind of breast cancer I had. It is all generic in my mind. The stages and grades that the medical establishment gives it are artificial and have no real meaning. Articles I have read about holistic healers say that doctors who take an alternative approach really don't care about the pathology reports. This is because that tumor is no longer in your body. I went to a surgeon but I didn't do the chemotherapy or radiation, or the life long follow up of drugs. I chose the alternative approach to the after-surgery treatments based on the information I got as an empowered person.

What the oncologists gave me that made me turn away from their treatments was a discussion of statistics that had nothing to do with me as a person. It was just statistics put forth as part of the standard of care protocol. I couldn't understand why they didn't want to give me tests to determine how I was after the first intervention. But they weren't interested in the Me that was there. They were only interested in the pieces of me they had removed. The pieces were what was important--the actual human being that was there in front of them was not important. This didn't make any sense to me. I asked the oncologist, "Aren't you going to do any blood tests to see the levels of my hormones or the levels of cancer antibodies in my blood to see how I am reacting right now, four weeks after the surgery?" She said, "No, because we have data, all these statistics that determine what we are going to do to you."

This really bugged me. I have a negative bias toward chemotherapy to begin with, so she would have had to prove to me that it was absolutely necessary, and then I may have still said "no". Based on my previous education in chemistry and my knowledge of how the human body works and how drugs are created and tested--that the dosages of drugs are set right below the level that is lethal-- we have to be really careful about what we agree to take.

When they create a drug to fight cancer, they are creating a drug to kill off tumors that are actually made out of the same material that your whole body is made of, as opposed to antibiotics that are created to only kill off a foreign thing in the body. Chemotherapy attacks every cell in the body and works to kill every cell in the body. It destroys the immune system or damages it permanently. A physician probably wouldn't agree with me, but I don't think you ever get your immune system back. Anything that is so poisonous as to make the hair fall out of your head is deadly. Chemotherapy also destroys your organs.

Barbara: How did you come to the alternative treatments you decided on?

Crescence: After I sought out an alternative approach, I was lucky enough to find a medical doctor who is also a naturopath and believed in supporting the immune system through alternative approaches, trusting the body to health itself. If your physician gives you the idea that chemotherapy will cure you, you are being misled. Chemotherapy will kill off parts of your body, as well as manifested tumors. The alternative approach is based on trusting the body to heal itself. Only the body can heal itself. That's why damaging the immune system is actually criminal in my mind.

If you find a good physician who believes in an alternative protocol, that physician's protocol will include doing actual scientific tests to see if the areas of the body are functioning appropriately and at the rates they should be to foster good health. They will see what the levels of your estrogens are and your progesterone and so forth. My physician looked at new knowledge bases that are known in the EU. She worked from that format, looking at research being done on healthier, effective means for supporting the body and the immune system for good health. I can tell you what we have done in general.

We have supported the natural enzymes that are depleted from our food sources. These enzymes are essential to our good health. There is a whole biochemistry involved with good health that has to do with eating fresh fruits and vegetables and getting natural enzymes from them--because that is really the only place to get these potent enzymes. You can really see that an alternative physician cares about how the environment impacts health, and to me that is important to look at the whole person living her life. In other words, the alternative physician wants to eliminate from your lifestyle the things that created the cancer. They are interested in preventing cancer, not in just killing cancer cells. My physician is interested in helping my body heal from cancer, not in continuing to punish my body because it developed cancer. It is very different from the oncologists' approach.

The protocol is designed on my doctor's theories and various models of what causes cancer. She deductively goes back into my life history and makes lifestyle suggestions, food suggestions and supplement suggestions that will promote and maintain my health. Among the things suggested are not just healthy enzymes but also the Budwig diet, with its emphasis on flax oil, vitamin D, iodine, and the healthy things you find in broccoli, beans and legumes, also glyconutrients. Her supplement choices were based on the ongoing series of tests I have done blood tests and urine tests. A protocol can't be generic. It has to be tailor made for the person. I can't say that if you do thus, and so you won't get breast cancer.

Barbara: What would you tell someone who is newly diagnosed and unsure of what to do?

Crescence: My advice to someone newly diagnosed and unsure of what to do is to calm down, ground yourself, discuss things with your inner self, trust your inner self, your personal guidance. Because I don't think you need to rush into anything too quickly. This cancer has been growing in your body for a long time, for several years. Once it is discovered, it is not going to kill you tomorrow, or the next day, or the next month. You can take some time to think. What made me lose my focus and be at my wits end was when I was in the oncologists' office and they have you rushing here, and there, and they bombard you with their techno-jargon.

I think physicians lose their perspective because they have been trained to approach everything as an immediate crisis, and they view themselves as dragging people back from the edge of death. It is a fear mongering situation. They want you to be afraid, because then you will be a compliant patient and do what they want you to do when they want you to do it. Their whole occupation is conscious or unconscious manipulation of people by their fears and making them feel guilty if they don't do what they're told. It's that old physician as god syndrome. So my advice is, don't let yourself be manipulated. Chemotherapy and radiation don't have to be done immediately after surgery. You should allow yourself time to heal from surgery and gain perspective before you make a decision about chemotherapy and radiation. Be an empowered person.

Barbara: This is going to be a wonderful interview. I think you are putting out information that will benefit many people. Thanks so much.

About the author

Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

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