Empowering the Body to Fight Cancer

I have so much to share about cancer. I walked the cancer walk with both of my parents… those lovely folks in the photo above. I’ve studied Integrative Cancer Recovery protocols from a “functional medicine” perspective for years. I’ve walked the walk with many others.

Today, I’d like to share something my colleague, Naomi Whittel, has written. It’s powerful.

Empowering the Body to Fight Cancer ~ By Naomi Whittel

Rogge was a school teacher, and a diminutive man with a big heart and warm smile. We met in 2011 while I worked with his indigenous community in Panama, the Kuna, to restore the natural production of cocoa in their region. Their plantations were infected with a disease that threatened the staple their livelihood had depended on for generations.


Cocoa is as vital to the Kuna’s health and culture as it is to economic stability, represented by their sacred practice of drinking a flavanol-rich cocoa beverage every day, which they credit for their ability to maintain healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular health well into old age—a belief scientific research supports.


Rogge was my translator and soon became my dear friend.

Three years later, Rogge began to experience abdominal pain. When you live in a remote region of the world without access to modern medicine, you’re likely to dismiss physical discomforts for harmless conditions that will improve in time.

In an effort to help my friend and learn the root of the problem, I facilitated medical care. The cause of the pain was far bleaker than he or I could have imagined. The diagnosis was stage 4 stomach cancer. Unfortunately, due to the oversized tumor that was discovered, he was not a candidate for conventional treatment.

I was heartbroken for my friend. I also felt emboldened to do everything I could for Rogge and his family through my close contacts in science, medicine, and nutrition. Under precise conditions, the body has the amazing ability to, at best, heal, and at worst, fight with all its might.

I invited Rogge and his wife to live with me in Florida while getting him access to excellent healthcare, something I believe to be a human right.

Cancer and Keto
Dr. Joe Maroon is a world-renowned neurosurgeon and has been a trusted medical advisor for years. Given his vast knowledge of science and awareness of leading breakthroughs in medicine, it was no surprise to learn that his advice for Rogge was to go on a strict ketogenic diet.  

Keto is often seen as a diet used to lose weight, because of how effectively it burns through fat, converting it to cellular energy that fuels your body. And while weight-loss is in fact a result of not converting excess glucose into stored fat, in reality — weight-loss is only a side benefit.

When keto is practiced as a lifestyle that includes intermittent fasting, protein cycling, and the right nutrition that is free of toxins, a keto diet can dramatically transform the way cells function — including cancer cells.

There is more and more evidence that cancer is a metabolic disease rooted in cellular activity, where energy is produced.

While research grants and drug development operate on the basis that cancer is a genetic disease, in which genetic mutations lead to out of control cell growth, new research driven by the bold and brilliant mind of research scientist, Dr. Thomas Seyfried, challenges this theory on cancer’s origins.

Dr. Seyfried’s studies show that when the nucleus of a cancer cell is taken out of a tumor and inserted into a new healthy cell, that cell does not grow into cancer. If it is not the genetic material causing the cancer, then there must be something else outside of the nucleus giving it signals to grow in this way.



Disarming Cancer Cells 
Ketogenics works as a healing tool in assorted ways.

First, cancer cells cannot use ketones to produce fuel in the same way healthy cells can. When you put yourself into a state of ketosis, either through fasting or by withholding sugar as a source of energy, you starve cancer cells of their preferred fuel — glucose — which in turn slows down the rate of growth. Tumors grow faster in the presence of higher blood sugar, because they will readily ferment the sugar — an activity that is representative of cellular damage.1

Fasting in itself is a powerful tool. When you fast, glucose is no longer readily available to power cells. Turning to fat instead, those mighty mitochondria (the power plants inside your cells) break it down and release ketones in the process… according to research. Ketones can also work to decrease the rate of cancer growth.

As profound as this all was seven years ago, it was only the tip of the iceberg. That’s when I became committed to learning all I could about ketosis in order to help Rogge.

There was no margin for error. And so, we applied a strict ketogenic diet and watched anxiously as the results came in.

A Swim in the Ocean
Rogge’s doctor delivered the news: the tumor in his stomach, once too large to make surgery a viable option in his treatment, had shrunk so much that he became eligible for conventional cancer treatment, including chemotherapy.

His progress continued for one and a half years. If seeing it on charts wasn’t enough to demonstrate the increase in his comfort, I had the honor of witnessing his improved quality of life with my own eyes.

Rogge enjoyed more comfort, freedom, improved strength, stamina, and appetite. The man who was once confined to a wheelchair, requiring assistance with basic functions like feeding, now stood smiling on his own two feet.

One of the most joyous moments for me personally was to see him enjoy his daily swim in the ocean. Having lived his entire life on Panama’s coastline, the ocean represented home to him, where he felt most at ease.

Home… I understood that is where Rogge wanted to be. One day, he came to me and shared his wish to stop fighting and to stop chemo. This courageous man wanted to return to his family, to his mother’s hut where he grew up.

Rogge passed in his mother’s hut, surrounded by the loved ones and community he loved and knew best.

Life on Your Terms
This experience taught me far more than the years-long journey of discovery into the power of ketogenics; more than the scientific literature and meetings with world-class researchers.

While you and I may not be able to control the circumstances of our health, to have influence on your body even under the most dire of conditions is an empowering reality. And in the fight against cancer, your cells may have more influence than you think.

The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest

Some other colleagues, Ty and Charlene Bollinger, and their team at The Truth About Cancer, have interviewed over 100 health experts around the world.

In The Truth About Cancer®: A Global Quest docu-series, these experts share their cutting-edge, and groundbreaking information about healing and preventing cancer and other chronic diseases.

You can see all these experts plus hear from inspirational cancer survivors, absolutely free, right here.




Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness and is in her 24th year of active practice in Michigan, along with her husband Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat. She’s also the proud mom of two rather fabulous kiddos that she currently home schools. Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through functional nutrition, movement, mindset, cellular detoxification, and metabolic re-setting, jump on board as a regular reader of Dr Mom Online when you plug in your name and email address.

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