Frequently Asked Questions
WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP YOU TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CONDITION AND MANAGE YOUR CARE BY ANSWERING SOME OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTION WE GET FROM NEW PATIENTS.
Why Do A Cancer Consultation with Dr. Zieve?
- To have someone hear your cancer story in a non-rushed way.
- To receive guidance in how best to work with your surgeon or oncologist
- To be evaluated thoroughly through tests rarely done by oncologists.
- To receive a comprehensive integrative treatment protocol that is individualized to you- your quality-of-life concerns, your biological terrain, and your cancer itself, rather than just a chemo schedule
Why should I choose an integrative alternative cancer medicine doctor?
Integrative and Alternative Cancer Medicine is about intelligently synthesizing modern health care with the most innovative, effective, and well-researched therapies in natural medicine. The goal is to provide individualized care in a friendly, welcoming environment that supports wellbeing. This approach involves not only treating the cancer (the primary focus of modern oncology), but also striving for optimal health through a combination of ancient wisdom, modern science, and personalized care.
What does an initial visit consist of?
There are 3 parts to an initial visit. Prior to the visit, you will be asked to send to Dr. Zieve a completed intake form, signed consent forms, a couple of paragraphs about your cancer story, and your records: labs, biopsy reports, other scan reports, doctors; notes. Dr. Zieve will read these thoroughly before your first visit. The visit with Dr. Zieve, in person, on the phone or on HIPAA Zoom, is an hour long. Then Dr. Zieve takes all this data from your reports, your intake and your visit and gives to you a comprehensive program of supplements, IVs and other treatments, and lifestyle changes, along with a consult addressing your options and choices.
How will I know how to implement my treatment program?
Dr. Zieve’s assistant will work together with you to purchase your supplements and mistletoe to help you get started on your treatment program. Dr. Zieve’s nurse will oversee your IVs and mistletoe program.
What will Dr. Zieve focus on when he treats me?
What has been developing over the last forty years or so is what is known as the metabolic theory of cancer. These tenets of a metabolic approach to cancer treatment are his focus.
- Early cancers come and go, and often will spontaneously regress
- Established cancers can remain dormant, which he has seen in many patients
- Changing the biological terrain may prevent progression, and contribute to regression
- Manipulating the microenvironment in which a cancer grows can and will halt or slow progression, and even reverse tumor growth
What is the “Tumor Microenvironment?”
Tumor microenvironment is the tissues and cells around where your cancer has grown. A central tenant of integrative and alternative cancer medicine, and what distinguishes it from modern oncology, is that in integrative and alternative cancer medicine we do our best to make your tissues as unfriendly to cancer cell growth as is possible.
Is Integrative and Alternative Cancer Medicine based on science?
Integrative cancer treatment is an evolving, evidence-based specialty that uses complementary and alternative therapies in concert with conventional medical treatment to enhance its efficacy, improve symptom control, alleviate patient distress, and reduce suffering. As Dr. Donald Abrams, integrative oncologist at the Osher Center at the University of California San Francisco has so well stated, “[It is] the rational, evidence-informed combination of conventional therapy with complementary interventions into an individualized therapeutic regimen that addresses the whole person with cancer (body, mind, spirit).
What will Dr. Zieve do for me that an oncologist would not do?
Our toolbox for effective therapies includes an in-depth, comprehensive evaluation of three areas, and incorporating lifestyle changes, herbs, nutrients, IV or other therapies to support a good outcome and a high quality of life. My focus is on you as a whole person, your unique physiology, and the specifics of your particular cancer.
Can Dr. Zieve work with me if I am still working with an oncologist?
Yes, Dr. Zieve can work with you along with your oncologist. He can help augment what your oncologist has you do, he can help you with questions to ask your oncologist, he can help you with suggestions to ask your oncologist, and he can help you make decisions regarding oncology treatments.
Should I rush to do chemo and radiation:
We have heard from so many people who have just been diagnosed with cancer that they need to get scheduled for surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy soon. Many of you who have sought Dr. Zieve’s assistance for treating your cancer have probably heard him say this many times. You most often have time to prepare for whatever oncology therapy you are going to undergo.
Can Dr. Zieve work with me if I choose not to do chemo and radiation?
Of course, Dr. Zieve will work with you if your choice is not to do chemo and radiation.
What blood tests will Dr. Zieve run that differ from what my oncologist would run?
These include such tests as CRP, or C reactive protein, a marker of inflammation; fibrinogen, a marker of how much tendency your blood has to create clots inside the blood vessels in organs; Vitamin D levels; WBC, that helps see how well your immune system is functioning; LDH, that helps see how much lactic acid your body is accumulating; Hemoglobin A1c and fasting insulin, to evaluate your glucose metabolism, because sugar feeds cancer growth; hormone levels, like estrogen and testosterone, especially in hormonal cancers; and heavy metal levels like copper and iron, both of which can feed cancer growth. These tests are rarely if ever run by oncologists, unfortunately.
How does mistletoe therapy help?
Mistletoe injection therapy is the most studied integrative cancer therapy in the world with over 7000 studies and is the most utilized. This treatment has been used successfully with cancer patients since 1917, though it can be traced back to the time of Hippocrates, when it was used to treat diseases of the spleen.
About 80-85% of German and Swiss doctors and 60-70% of the rest of European medical doctors implement mistletoe treatment during chemo and radiation, because it has been found to reduce adverse side effects such as anemia, neutropenia (low WBC), thrombocytopenia (low platelets), hepatic or liver toxicity, and nausea and vomiting. It also offers palliative support which improves quality of life, treats pain, reduces ascites and increases survival.
What are the benefits of mistletoe therapy?
- Inhibiting angiogenesis, or the capacity of a cancer to make new blood vessels so it can spread
- Inducing apoptosis, or natural cell death of cancer cells
- Inhibiting protein synthesis in cancer cells
- Reduction of platelet aggregation, and also reducing cancer extravasation or spread outside of the local area where the cancer has grown
- Modulating the immune system, meaning that it stimulates macrophages, T lymphocytes, and NK (natural killer T cells).
- Palliative effects, meaning it improves quality of life in many cancer patients.
- Mistletoe can be administered under the skin or by IV. Which form is prescribed for a patient depends upon many factors that are discussed at your consultation.
- Reduces side effects of chemo and radiation
- Slows immune suppression by chemotherapy
- Helps prevent low white blood count from chemotherapy
- Helps prevent or treat anemia or nausea from chemotherapy
- Reduces pain
What are IV therapies?
Dr. Zieve prescribes IV therapies to help patients address optimal health and medical needs. Many of these IV therapies have direct action against cancer cells and may also support patients who are going through chemotherapy to alleviate symptoms and potentiate chemotherapy. These IV therapies are prescribed on an individual basis for each patient, after a thorough consultation and review of health and medical goals, records and history.