What is mistletoe therapy?
The liquid extract of the mistletoe plant has been used as an alternative method to treat cancer for close to a century! Mistletoe injections are currently among the most widely used unconventional cancer treatments in Europe. Estimated 80% of German and Swiss medical doctors advise cancer patients to use it as part of their protocol.
Primary actions: toxic to cancer cells, DNA protective, anti-inflammatory, immune modulation.
Is mistletoe effective for my type of cancer?
Mistletoe (sold as Iscador or Helixor) can be used in malignant and not-malignant tumors to stimulate immune function. When combined alongside conventional treatments, mistletoe has been shown to offset the side affects of chemotherapy/radiation like nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. It can also be used to diminish tumor-related pain and to reduce the risk of tumor recurrence.
Why are mistletoe treatments not available at cancer institutions in North America?
Even though it is used all over the world and proven effective in treating cancer, a clinical trial has not yet been done in North America. Until this happens, oncologists cannot offer this treatment as standard of care. Mistletoe can be prescribed by licensed naturopathic physicians who are trained in integrative oncology.
What does a mistletoe treatment look like?
Mistletoe is given as a subcutaneous injection (like an insulin shot, just below the skin) every 2-3 days. These injections can be done at home, making it a very cost effective treatment option.
Cost is dependant on personal response and required maintenance dose.
The ideal reaction to a mistletoe injection is a red flare or welt at the site – which indicated an immune system response. The welt may get red and itchy but should not exceed 2 inches in diameter and should vanish within 48 hrs. A good indication that the mistletoe is working is a slight increase in body temperature (1 C) within a few hrs of the injection and lasting no longer than 12 hrs after.
What benefits can I expect?
It is common to see tumour progression slow or stop, improved health, and reduced pain. Increased survival time is well documented. Quality of life is nearly always improved, including reduction in pain level, improved appetite, and general wellness.
What are the risks?
Negative side effects to mistletoe therapy are rare and minimized with the appropriate dose schedule. However, bruising as well as inflammatory reactions (which are desired and expected but can sometimes become problematic such as fever, flu-like symptoms, and headache) are possible.
*Notes: Deepest gratitude for Dr Neil McKinney, a naturopathic oncologist in Victoria, BC has over 30 years of experience working with cancer patients. He is a trusted source for mistletoe information and has seen a good response (improved quality of life, extended survival) in cases of advanced cancers.
Contact us for more information about the benefits and options of integrative cancer care.