Archive for the ‘ovarian cancer’ Category

Nancy Novack, 15 Year Stage IV Ovarian Cancer Survivor, Helps Others Through Nancy’s List Foundation.

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

My guest, Nancy Novack, was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer in 2004. It had metastasized into her liver. She was too happily innocent about the cancer world and said two now-remarkable things: “Thank goodness, it is not appendicitis,” and “What is stage V?”

Nancy says she is oftentimes asked what she did that was so unique, so mysterious that she survived a lethal dose of cancer, the silent killer as ovarian cancer is often called. She says she was extraordinarily fortunate to have an excellent psychologist who worked closely with her to define and refine her personal relationship to her own cancer. She was blessed with a magnificent A-team of friends and family and so many angels that embraced her. She says the opening of my heart to new loves and old brought forth an attitude of blessed gratitude that I had never known before. When I read and re-read the stories written by cancer survivors, I see the universality of the attitude of gratitude in the process of healing.”

Nancy’s mission since her “cancer journey” is all about determining the unmet needs of cancer patients, especially the emotional aspects, and doing her best to find a way to fill them. She is a psychologist and has significant concerns that the medical community does not address the levels of anxiety and stress and existential chaos that come with a cancer diagnosis … all of which get in the way of healing. Her Foundation Nancy’s List supports the emotional well-being of all those who are living with cancer … the patients and those who love and care for them.

Her path started with finding ways to assist cancer patients with a national listing of financial assistance programs available to the cancer community.  She was profoundly troubled that these kindred souls were experiencing so much fear and anxiety about their finances. How would that reality affect the possibility of their recovery? She vowed to make a difference and knew that financial assistance was out there somewhere and she was determined to make it accessible. She received a 501 ©(3) non-profit status in 2006 and launched her first website. Nancy’s List was intended to be simply a list of financial resources and her intention was to educate cancer patients and their loved ones and the healing professionals who serve them about the accessibility of these programs.

At the same time, she created a community call-to-action in the San Francisco Bay Area to reach out and support the courage, bravery, and resilience of our neighbors.  Through the Nancy’s List programs, cancer patients and their loved ones found community, strength, courage, pleasure, and healing relationships. There is healing power when one is connected to the larger community, especially when you are experiencing fear, loneliness, isolation, and uncertainty. It means everything to know your neighbors are looking out for you. And it is a very good thing to meet kindred souls along the path.

I Am With You: Love Letters to Cancer Patients is a powerful book for the newly diagnosed patient, for those who are going through treatment or have entered remission, for loved ones, and for everyone else in the world.  She created the anthology with 42 authors who truly share her vision, passion, and mission. It brings hope and courage to patients when they need inspiration, when they are feeling the loneliness and fear and anger and loss that go hand in hand with a cancer diagnosis, when they need comfort and a warm heart and a hand to hold. The book offers connection to kindred spirits who ‘know’.

Nancy is now developing a comprehensive national directory of integrative healing practitioners who offer their services (and their souls) to deepen the healing process.  The goal is for all cancer patients to have the opportunity to experience healing other than their dreadful visits to the infusion rooms, radiation offices, and more. She wants to educate patients and healing professionals about the enormous benefits of integrative healing services AND the accessibility of these therapies. The process is very simple. They write a blurb, add a jpg and contact info, email Nancy at, and she post it on the comprehensive directory.

Enjoy the interview below:


Can Parasite Protein Assist in Fighting Ovarian Tumors in Mice?

Friday, July 29th, 2016

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A new study published in PLOS Genetics reported that a specific protein secreted by the parasite Toxaplasma gondii causes the immune system to fight off ovarian tumors in mice.  Previously it had been discovered that using the bodies own immune system to fight tumor cells was hampered because of a phenomenon called immune tolerance in which the immune system has difficulty identifying which cells to attack.  In the current study, researchers build upon that previous work that a safe, non-reproducing vaccine strain of T. gonfii could cure mice of several types of solid tumors, and identified which parasite proteins and which immunological pathways are required to break immune tolerance. In the study they systematically deleted genes for secreted effective protein–molecules that the parasite injects into a host cell to modulate the immune system during infection–and injected the altered parasites into mice with aggressive ovarian cancer. Results showed that specific rhoptry and dense granule effector proteins that T gondii secretes before and after invading host cells, respectively, control the development of an effective host antitumor response. and increase the survival of mice with ovarian tumors.

This use of infectious organisms to break tumor immune tolerance may be an excellent treatment option for treating cancer in the future and is currently being used in clinical trials with pancreatic tumors where the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is used to break the immune tolerance. More research is planned.

Dr Francisco Contreras (Integrative Cancer) and Vincent Crewe (Cancer Survivor) Current Guests.

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Francisco Contreras, MD 2013_clearFrancisco Contreras, MD serves as director, president and chairman of the Oasis of Hope Hospital. A distinguished oncologist and surgeon, Dr. Contreras is renowned for integrating conventional and alternative cancer treatments, with emotional healing and spiritual care, to provide patients with the best possible treatment outcomes.

After graduating from medical school at the Autonomous University of Mexico in Toluca, Dr. Contreras specialized in surgical oncology at the University of Vienna in Austria, where he graduated with honors. Dr. Contreras has authored and co-authored several books concerning integrative therapy including 50 Critical Cancer Answers, The Hope of Living Cancer Free, The Coming Cancer Cure, Beating Cancer and Dismantling Cancer. Mpre information is available at:

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My second guest, Vincent Crewe lives in Wakefield, West Yorkshire which is in the North of England. He left school at 15 and has done many jobs in his working life including shop assistant, long distance driver and driving instructor. He started several businesses some have been successful and some not He is very competitive and received his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do when he was 28 after a few years of hard training. He has been a Mortgage broker for the past 22 years and recently started another business with LED Lighting. He has a keen interest in the Paranormal, Ufology and spiritual matter. He has been married twice and has 3 Children, 2 daughters and a son. He is a stage 4 colon cancer survivor who used natural alternative interventions.

Enjoy the Interview Below:




New Approach to Ovarian Cancer Therapy

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Ovarian Cancer: A new study published in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine concluded they had made significant advances in the use of photodynamic therapy to combat ovarian cancer in laboratory animals, using a combination of techniques that achieve complete cancer cell elimination with no regrowth of tumors,

Is High Dose Vitamin C Beneficial for Ovarian Cancer Patients?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine concluded that high dose vitamin C administered intravenously with traditional chemotherapy, helped kill cancer cells while reducing the toxic effects of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer based upon studies with cells, animals and humans. Although traditional medicine stopped using high dose vitamin C after finding oral administration ineffective in two clinical trials whereas alternative medicine continued using it . The researchers said ” What weve have discovered is that, because of its pharmacokinetic differences, intravenous vitamin C as opposed to oral vitamin C, kills some cancer cells without harming normal cells.”

The clinical trial involved 27 patients with newly diagnosed Stage 3 or 4 ovarian cancer. All received conventional therapy with paclitaxel or carboplatin and some were also treated with high-dose intravenous vitamin C. Participants were followed for 5 years and those receiving the vitamin C tended to experience lower toxic effects from the chemotherapy drugs. In laboratory rodents, researchers found that vitamin C killed cancer cells at the concentration achievable only by intravenous inbfusion, with no observable toxicity or pathological changes in the liver, kidney or spleen. More resear h is planned based upon these results and the researchers said “our data provide strong evidence to justify larger anbd robust clinical trials to definitely examine the benefits of adding vitamin C to conventional chemotherapy.”


Saturday’s Show with Cancer Survivors Kathleen O’Keefe Karnavos, Margaret Bermel, and Claire Petretti

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Guests for the show on Saturday included cancer survivors Kathleen O’Keefe Kanavos (left) , Margaret Bermel (middle), and Claire Petretti (right) .

Kathleen  is an inspirational speaker, phone counselor at R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation and author of Surviving Cancerland: The Psychic Aspects of Healing. More information was presented earlier on this site or can be found at

Margaret has co-authored management articles in scholarly journals, was the co-recipient of the Human Resource Management and Orgamizational Behavior Journal’s Distinguished Paper Award in 1985, and is author of The Cancer Odyssey: Discovering Truth and Inspiration on the Way to Wellness. More information was presented earlier on this site or can be found at:

Claire Petretti studies for law but decided it was not for her and has spent many years working with Yoga and Cancer Recover, completed a DVD on Yoga for Cancer Recovery and finishing a book based upon her self-written cancer journals. More information was presented earlier on this site and can also be found at:

Cancer Survivors on this Week’s Show Include Kathleen O’Keefe Kanavos (breast), Margaret Bermel (ovarian), and Claire Petretti (breast).

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

My guests on this weeks Holistic Health Show are: Kathleen O’Keefe Kavanos (left), Margaret Bermel (center) and Claire Petretti (right).

My first guest Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos was born to a military family, raised in Europe, graduated from Munich International High School in Germany, has a degree in Special Education from Keene Teacher’s College in Keene, NH, taught Special Education for 10 years and Psychology at the University of South Florida.

Kathleen is a two time breast cancer survivor and her first book is in press– SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing. She is currently working on her second book, SURVIVING RECURRENCE in CANCERLAND: The Dream World and Healing.

Kathy is an inspirational speaker, phone counselor for R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation, and mentor for WE CAN- a self-help group. She contributes to Cape Women Online Magazine, Twitter’s C4Women, Colette Baron-Reid’s Intuition Now, and Nationally to TheGuidedPath,, Writer’s Digest Community, Scribblerati, guest contributor to author Carolyn Howard Johnson’s SHRING WITH WRITERS BLOG SPOT, NCCS, blogs, National Wellness Community Online Support blog and discussion groups, and Cancer Advocacy Now blog site.

She is a member of the International REIKI Association’s blog and website, ACOR (Association of Cancer Online Resources) blogger and web chat, NBCC (National Breast Cancer Coalition) journal and blogger, USA TODAY Community Blog, LinkedIn and is a volunteer for many cancer organizations and online groups.

Kathy is Cambridge Who’s Who Registry Executive Professional of the Year 2009-2010. More information is available at http;//

My second guest, Margaret Bermel, lives on Long Island with her husband and cats.  She graduated from Marywood University cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in music. She is an MBA with Distinction from Hofstra University, a 1st Degree Black Belt, and an avid golfer. She previously co-authored management articles published in scholarly journals, and was the co-recipient of the Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior Journal “Distinguished Paper” award in 1985.  She is the chief financial officer of a large county government department. She is an ordinary person who was called upon to do the extraordinary: overcome cancer and live to tell the story., Her story can be found in her book The Cancer Odyssey: Discovering Truth and Inspiration on the Way to Wellness.” More information can be found at:

Clair Petretti, my third guest completed Law School and  after practicing law determining it wasn’t her cup of tea, She began practicing and teaching yoga in 1999. She wrote about yoga  for and also set to film workouts for Exercise TV.  At the same time, Claire was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer.  Finally feeling like she had found her path, it was now all being torn away and she couldn’t film the TV spots due to treatments and surgery.

A yoga teacher and friend in Colorado inspired Claire to investigate Yoga For Cancer and she enroll in Prana Yoga Center teacher training in La Jolla to add the Yoga For Cancer Recovery credential. Upon completion of her classes, Claire partnered with Lululemon Carlsbad to launch a series of Yoga for Cancer Recovery classes that are now offered weekly at Haute Yoga Carlsbad.

In the summer of 2010, Claire was approached about partnering with the nonprofit organization, City of Hope to bring the inaugural Yoga for Hope event to San Diego

The Yoga For Hope event had already proved itself a huge success in San Francisco and Seattle so Claire signed on as San Diego’s event chair. She then worked with local development people to organize the event, bring together the instructors and rally the local yoga community to come together for this great cause. And they sure did! Yoga for Hope, San Diego sold out with a total of 500 participants that joined forces to synchronize downward dogs and sun salutations to raise funds for others with life-threatening diseases. Working with other local yoga gurus (Stacy McCarthy, Tim Miller, Michael Fukumura and Bonnie Saldivar-Jones) Claire and the Yoga For Hope team and participants raised over $80,000, when they were hoping for a mere $25,000.

Meanwhile, Claire joined with others and completed “Yoga For Cancer Recovery”, the DVD..Although very humble, Claire has become a bit of a local celebrity! On her website you can check out her recent media coverage and stay tuned for her near future book, which will be a compilation of her self-written cancer journal blog.  Claire is sheer proof that anything worthwhile isn’t easy and that persistence truly does make dreams come true. Go to:

Flaxseed Reduces Severity of Ovarian Cancer in Chickens

Friday, May 21st, 2010


Researchers at the University of Illinois reported in Gynecologic Oncology that hens fed a flaxseed-enriched diet for one year had a significantly lower rate of late-stage ovarian tumors than a control group that did not have the enriched diet. However, the hens fed the flaxseed-enriched diet did not have a lower incidence of ovarian cancer than the control group. These results are important because currently most women are stage 3 or 4 when diagnosed with ovarian cancer and “metastases that accompany late stage ovarian cancer are the main cause of death from the disease.” Thus, there is currently a high death rate from ovarian cancer. Previous studies have shown the effectiveness of flaxseed in inhibiting the formation of colon, breast, skin, and lung cancer and testing flaxseed for ovarian cancer was a next step. These finding should lead to clinical trials with flaxseed as a chemosuppressant of ovarian cancer in women.

Is It Beneficial to a Woman’s Health to Remove Her Ovaries during a Hysterectomy?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


In the past it has been common practice to remove both of a woman’s ovaries during a hysterectomy to eliminate the possibility of later ovarian cancer. Now researchers at St Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California results question this practice because although it does decrease ovarian and breast cancers it also increases the risk of death. In “Ovarian Conservation at the Time of Hysterectomy and Long Term Health Outcomes in the Nurses’ Health Study” published in the May 2009 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology researchers questioned the practice because ovarian cancer has a low risk of about 3% and is responsible for less than 1% of all deaths among women. In their study they focused on a set of 29,380 women who had been followed for years of which 13,035 had hysterectomies without their ovaries removed, and 16,345 had hysterectomies with their ovaries removed. They evaluated deaths and incident events from coronary heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, total cancers, hip fractures, pulmonary embolus, and death from all causes. Women were separated into pre and post menopausal groups at the time of hysterectomies and those who had estrogen replacvement therapy were identified.
After adjusting for multiple independent risk factors, the researchers found the following trends: Removal of both ovaries was associated with a markedly lower risk of ovarian. breast cancer and overall cancer. However, they also had a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. They also had a higher risk of death from coronary heart disease, lung cancer and all cancers. The researchers concluded that at least one in every 24 women having her ovaries removed will die prematurely from any cause as a result of the procedure.
The death rate for women who did not have their ovaries removed was very low: 34 deaths out of 13,305 or 0.26%
More information can be found in the original article.

Dr Carl O Helvie Interviews 5 Cancer Survivors

Sunday, July 19th, 2009


On Saturday, July 18, I interviewed 5 cancer survivors pictured from left to right–Aurea McGarry, Linda Wilson, Regina Leeds, Les Thiele, and Lori Kuban .

Aurea is a 9 year Non Hodskins Lymphoma survivor who won the Mrs. U.S. Beauty of Georgia Contest in 2003 and the title of Most Inspirational Contestant. She is the creator, producer and host of the television show Live Your Legacy with Aurea McGarry. Earlier she worked on the soap opera Edge of Night. She discusses her experiences with cancer in her book I Won’t Survive, I’ll Thrive. More information is available at:

Linda had a tumor of the kidney and used alternative interventions. She and her husband have owned a rare and used book business for 25 years. She has degrees in English Literature, and Respiratory Therapy, and a Masters in Theology. She is an ordained Episcopal Minister but currently works with the Catholic Apolistic Church. She writes when she has time and has a novel placed with an agent currently. She can be reached at:

Regina is a 7 year survivor of third stage uterine cancer who used traditional and alternative interventions. She is a professional organizer and authored six books including the New York Times best seller One Year to an Organized Life. More information is available at

Les is a 3 time ovarian cancer survivor who used complementary interventions. She talks with cancer patients several times a week and is in the process of putting up a web site. She can be reached at: (617) 834-1597.

Lori is a brain tumor survivor who used traditional and alternative interventions. She has a baccalaureate and masters degree and is a research librarian. She is also a cancer and health care advocate who speaks and provides workshops for cancer survivors and professionals including being a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. She also gives radio and television interviews. More information is available at

The interviews for this show follow.