I am now 6 years out since I first heard the words… you have cancer! But I remember like it was yesterday how it felt to begin the journey of healing. At first, I didn’t even see it as a healing journey, more of a massive blow. But as I did my research, I realized this cancer was going to be cured and I would be healed in more ways than just physical.
Dr. Tony Jimenez was the first Doctor I ever worked with. A few weeks after receiving the diagnosis, I was to go spend an entire month at the Hope 4 Cancer Institute clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. This clinic provides a variety of alternative therapies, all based on a very holistic mind/body/spirit approach to cancer treatment. A lot of the people at the clinic were there as a last resort- their conventional therapies had not healed them. These alternative therapies were going to be my first “go” at healing cancer- and I am so grateful to God that he led me there.
Dr. Tony taught me so much. He instilled hope into my spirit and nourishment into my body in ways that really needed it. I cannot thank him enough. He is a member of the KB Community Doctors & Healers and I believe he is someone that everyone who reads my blog needs to hear from. Today, we get to do just that.
Dr. Tony was so gracious with his time and so articulate in his answers. I invite you to read the interview, take notes, and let more healing begin.
Karen: Dr. Tony- I am so excited to interview you. Can you please give people a brief introduction of who you are?
Dr. Tony: Karen thank you so much for this interview. It’s been many years since we first met at our Tijuana treatment center. So many experiences in health and healing. My story goes back over 30 years ago when I started in integrative oncology. Working in a big hospital- 20 years ago I founded the first Hope 4 Cancer treatment center, just south of San Diego. Now we have two centers, with the addition of Cancun, founded in 2015. It is more of an outpatient center.
I started this journey as a conventional medical doctor. Shortly so, during my training, I saw there was more to healing, chronic disease, and cancer than conventional medicine. More than chemotherapy, radiation, and therapy. I saw these patients didn’t have a good quality of life. There were a lot of doubts as to, is this the right thing? Not only from the patients but from their families as well.
So I am both a medical doctor and a naturopathic doctor from Trinity School of Natural Health. My work experience extends to Spain, Mexico, and the U.S
Karen: So tell me why you go the alternative route vs. standard medical care when it comes to most cancers?
Dr. Tony: As an integrative Oncologist, I seek to give the patients the best of the best. With a tendency to do non-toxic therapies... the first important rule- do no harm. It’s hard for the body to heal with toxic substances, the first thing we need to do is reestablish balance and ease in the body instead of disease. Health in disease is a continuum and it expands over a period of time. You can just focus on removing the thing or blasting it with radiation or chemotherapy. But the thing is cancer and it’s a process. So to focus on the hallmarks of cancer are really getting at the root, the foundation, the process of cancer.
When we take an integrative route, we’re really focusing on the foundation and the why that cancer developed. And now into 2021, we know a lot about cancer. We know the 10 biological hallmarks of cancer (which we focus on in our alternative approaches.)
So with standard care, you might suppress cancer cell activity with something like chemotherapy or radiation, but you’re not going to remedy the process of cancer. With integrative medicine, you work on the process, and also you won’t tax the body and you’ll have a better quality of life and we see those results every day.
Karen: When do you feel standard medical care for cancer is needed? If ever?
Dr. Tony: When we talk about standard medical care in oncology, we’re talking about chemotherapy- and when is that needed? Let’s say someone has Leukemia, where the white blood cells are exceedingly high, 90,000-150,000, and above… you must try to save that patient’s life. That’s when you give chemotherapy. And then you suppress the white blood cells which can cause a ray of dysfunction in the body and then allow the natural therapies to have a more prolonged effect. But really, other than that, when we choose to do chemotherapy we do it in a low dose fashion. This is called IPT, which can do chemotherapy at 30, 35% of the standard dose. It is more targeted and with less systemic toxicity and less collateral damage to normal cells. IPT is a therapy we can give every 7-10 days. Most patients don’t lose their hair, they’re not laying in bed with diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. And always when we give IPT, we’re giving it in combination with immunotherapies, detoxification, we’re working on nutrition, oxygenation, making sure that the gut microenvironment is healthy so that food absorption is optimal.
And so chemotherapy does have its place in integrative oncology, and when it does it’s in that fashion: lower doses. Fewer side effects, very well tolerated.
The second standard of care is radiation. This tends to be a barbaric treatment although it is more targeted and focused these days. They can direct the penetration. In the old days, when there was cobalt radiation, it would disperse and cause significant damage in neighboring adjacent tissues. With new technology of radiation more targeted, we can use radiation more wisely. For example, in bone metastasis, there is a risk of that bone fracturing or breaking. Or when there is excessive bone pain and use of painkillers are needed, it is better to give them spot radiation in 5-6 sessions that will significantly control the pain, it will make that bone harder and decrease the risk of fracture and it will stop the tumor progression in that bone that you’re radiating. This is a good option for these circumstances. We call them spot radiation. Of course, if someone has uncontrolled bleeding, and no matter what you do medically it’s impossible to control the bleeding, then we use again, spot radiation, a few sessions of radiation, that will stop the bleeding.
Karen: What was the first alternative cancer therapy you discovered and grew fascinated by?
Dr. Tony: I would say that the very first one in 1988 when I was an intern, was Vitamin C. Oral vitamin C for infections and inflammation. But we noticed when we used it through IV therapy, we had great results for cancer patients. We saw tumors regress. Progression of cancer halted. We’ve settled on 25g of Vitamin C three times a week. We could do this for an extended period of time. After the clinic, we do a liposomal Vitamin C which is easily absorbed. When they come back in three months, we do the IV therapy again. The interesting thing is that recently, at the University of Stanford, it was found that Vitamin C can kill cancer stem cells. Those very cells that are responsible for metastasis, that are adverse to radiation and chemo… Vitamin C kills these stem cells. It's also antimicrobial. It’s anti-inflammatory. It’s a potent antioxidant. 30 years later, I am still using this treatment in my clinics.
Humans need to take Vitamin C from the outside. Supplementing with Vitamin C during illness and cancer is a very important nutrient to take. It’s safe and effective and no worry of toxicity because it’s water-soluble. Vitamin C is a staple treatment in integrative cancer treatment.
Karen: What are the least invasive and most invasive medical therapies you like to use for cancer?
Dr. Tony: Here we have to distinguish… invasive therapies in the standard of care like radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and also the newer immunotherapy… With respect to this, these treatments we use selectively. When surgery is necessary, we will do that. Always preparing the patient before and after to decrease the risk of complication and help the immune system, the detox pathways, and also the emotional toll that surgery can take.
For instance, if a patient comes to the clinic with a huge breast tumor, sometimes it’s so big that often the best thing we can do is prepare the patient.
In the case of chemotherapy, which is invasive because it not only kills cancer cells but also harms normal cells, we prefer to do low dose chemotherapy (IPT) to decrease the side effects. It’s always in combination with the alternative therapies.
Alternative therapies that are complementary are IVs, sometimes we give a substance called a photosensitizer (often someone with something like bladder cancer), after that, we go in with a fiber-optic laser and target the tumor itself. It is done with four needles with a red light. We target the tumor and this is a minimally invasive procedure.
Other than that, our therapies are not invasive. Sometimes we do need to place a catheter under the collarbone because their veins are shot. The least invasive is the sonodynamic therapy where we use sound and light against tumor sites. Hyperthermia is minimally invasive as well.
Karen: What are common side effects from alternative cancer therapies that one can experience and how do you treat those?
Dr. Tony: Nowadays, I don’t believe in no pain no gain. If we are detoxing and we are supporting the function of the digestive system, excretion, nutrition… then patients should not have side effects to any alternative therapy. Because as we are killing cancer cells, we are cleansing and nourishing and making sure the patient has good sleep and lower stress. 94% of our stage 4 cancer patients say that they have a significant improvement in quality of life. That means better sleep, more eating, more energy, less pain, decreased depression and anxiety.
Karen: How do you determine what caused someone’s cancer? What are the first things you look at?
Dr. Tony: Independently of what kind of cancer someone has (brain cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, any cancer!), we look at the 10 hallmarks of cancer which was originally crafted by Dr. Hanahan and Dr. Robert A. Weinburg. These two brilliant scientists found that there are ten common features of cancers that relate to all cancer types. These are ways that cancer survives and bypasses certain therapies.
It would take too long to mention all 10 hallmarks, but one of them is angiogenesis. Cancer cells need increased blood supply to thrive, get nutrients, and to detoxify. Another hallmark is inflammation. Cancer is also a cold disease, an acidic disease, and low oxygen disease.
Cancer causes, well it’s a long list from lifestyle (tobacco, alcohol, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, being sedentary)... these are all factors. Also, metabolic syndrome is high resting glucose levels. We want optimal levels, not in the conventional range. We also measure patients' insulin levels. The HOMA score tells us if there is a metabolic syndrome, which would favor cancer growth. Of course obesity and being overweight is another one. The contributing causes can also include 5G exposure and emotional traumas.
The first thing you look at is the complete history of the patient. A very in-depth questionnaire of emotional health and traumas are very important for the initial assessment. We do ultrasounds, give an in-depth physical exam, we look for blood flow in tumor areas. It is very comprehension. Many bioenergetic evaluations of cell health and cell integrity. We look for functional deficiencies. The immune system, gut health. All of this information is very important in the beginning.
Karen: Do you believe that past traumas play a role in cancer?
Dr. Tony: Absolutely. Definitely. 100%. I have experienced this with patients for many years where there is a direct correlation with the loss of a loved one, a divorce, financial problems, big traumas. We all have stuff. A big backpack of stuff. We work with patients from an emotional, mental, and spiritual level for sure. We find out the conflicts they buried. And buried feelings never die, they affect us every day and decrease our immune system. We need to let these things go.
I’ve always said a negative thought can kill you faster than a bad germ. And so what we think, what we tell our body, makes a difference.
Karen: For thyroid cancer, what do you think are the leading therapies today?
Dr. Tony: The leading therapies in conventional medicine is surgery followed by radioactive iodine which I don’t agree with because you are going after the tumor but not the cause. It’s a process. We need to work on the WHY.
Basically, for thyroid or any cancer, the leading therapies in my 30+ years of experience have to do with the seven key principles of cancer. We treat the immune system, detoxification, the mental/spiritual/emotional, nutrition, the gut microbiome, and oral microbiome, and of course IV therapies. Also could be treated with hyperthermia and sonodynamic therapies. We look to things with anticancer effects like curcumin, boswellia, frankincense, green tea extract, and other potent botanical IV therapies.
We are treating the mechanisms of cancer. The lifestyle. The mindset. Where they see themselves victorious and not in a coffin.
Karen: What would you tell someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer and they are feeling scared?
Dr. Tony: The first thing to do is to go to a place where you feel safe. Either by yourself or a loved one. Could be a park or a place of prayer. Somewhere you are feeling safe. And then be still and process everything you’ve been told. Say a prayer, meditate, relax, breathe. Then start doing research and know you always have options. You have options whether you are in stage one, two, or even four! Even if the Oncologist says you have a bad prognosis. They could say that and scare you and there’s a reason for being scared when we hear that C word. As the saying goes, cancer is not a death sentence. Cancer is an opportunity for growth, togetherness, change, to increase self-love, to discover things we took for granted before.
There are always options. Don’t jump to conclusions just because someone is putting fear in you. Do your research. Stop, pray and the Lord will guide you to where it is best for you. Just because someone is in a white coat does not make them a God. You have options.
Karen: Thank you so much Dr. Tony for this interview, I really enjoyed our time together as you took me back in remembering why I chose to work with you and trust you with my healing journey. I really appreciate all you have done for me and so many other cancer patients. The ultimate goal is not to survive cancer but to live life to the fullest every day. Thank you Dr. Tony for your mentoring and for all you do. God bless you!
Dr. Tony: Thank you, Karen, for this interview, and for the opportunity, it is an honor to share with you and your readers. I look forward to future collaborations. God bless!
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