Balanced Bites Podcast #430: Integrative Cancer Treatment & Prevention with Laura Vasquez, MSN, APRN

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#430: Laura Vasquez, MSN, APRN NP-C, is a Family Medicine Board Certified Nurse Practitioner through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners who is also certified in the Metabolic Approach to Cancer. Her focus is on Integrative Oncology and other complex conditions, and she works out of the Riordan Clinic, an integrative healthcare facility in Overland Park, KS. She provides support to patients in all phases of their treatment. Over the years, her passion for integrative health has continually grown as she sees the value of natural therapies in the changing landscape of modern medicine.

Discussed: In-depth lab testing and treatments such as targeted supplementation, dietary modifications, and IV nutrient therapy; the metabolic approach to cancer, the ketogenic diet, underlying contributors like inflammation, infections, and environmental toxins, intermittent fasting, Ozone, Mistletoe and more!

Balanced Bites Podcast #430 with Laura Vasquez

Welcome to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! I’m your host, Liz, a nutritional therapy practitioner and best selling author bringing you candid, up-front, myth-busting and thought-provoking conversations about food, fitness, and life. Remember:  The information in this podcast should not be considered personal, individual, or medical advice.

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About today’s episode. I am talking to Laura Vasquez. She’s an MSN APRN, NPC, all of the initials, right? She’s a board family medicine board certified nurse practitioner through the American academy of nurse practitioners. And she’s also certified in the metabolic approach to cancer. Her focus is on integrative oncology and other complex conditions, and she works out. Of the Riordan clinic and integrative healthcare facility in Overland park, Kansas. And she provides support to patients in all phases of their treatment. And over the years, her passion for integrative health, particularly as it pertains to cancer has only grown as she’s seen the value of natural therapies in the changing landscape of modern medicine.

And one of the reasons I was so excited to talk to Laura. Is, and I have permission to talk about this. A dear, dear friend of mine Raphaela is going through cancer treatment and. She has used the Riordan clinic as part of that treatment. Now, when the Riordan clinics podcast, PR person reached out to me and suggested Laura Vasquez, As a guest on my show, I was like, huh, I know rough feel. It goes to the clinic. And Laura Vasquez works at the clinic. Maybe there’s a connection there. So immediately get on the phone with Rafi. And I asked her, Hey, do you know, do you know Laura? Do you know Laura Vasquez? And she goes, oh yes, I know her. She’s on my care team. And I love her. And I was like, this is, this is just too perfect. I absolutely have to have her on.

So of course, scheduled the interview had a million questions and only got to like 5% of them in this episode. But I really think the foundation that we are laying with this episode, Is really, really important. We discussed. Lab testing treatments like targeted supplementation, dietary modifications. Nutrient therapy at the metabolic approach to cancer, the ketogenic diet. Uh, underlying contributors to cancer, like inflammation, infections, environmental toxins. We talked about intermittent fasting. Ozone mistletoe Ivy, vitamin C and more. So this is kind of the survey course. You know, there are a ton of things that I still want to talk to Laura about. And we’ll have to have her on for another. Episode or two or five, because this is a really, really interesting and personal topic to me now, especially with such a dear friend going through this process and also.

Another really exciting thing is my friend Raphaela has agreed to come on the podcast at some point when she’s feeling up to it. To talk a little bit about, a little bit about what this has looked like for her as a young person diagnosed with cancer. Her personally, her medically a little bit about her journey and it’s going to be a really, really amazing episode. So I hope you all are looking out for that. And, and listen to that one because I think it’s going to be a really, really important one. And one of the reasons I also wanted to talk to a holistic integrative medical professional is because I’m also seeing while there is always a lot of talk in the holistic community about the dangers of so-called conventional cancer treatment. I also think it’s important that we recognize that there are dangers inherent to holistic care as well. And part of those dangers are, first of all, the fact that many of the treatments are unregulated, which can be a good. Or a bad thing, but what the truth is right now is that a lot of holistic practitioners who are not medical doctors are starting to add all kinds of, uh, treatment protocols to their. Practices that they may or may not really be qualified to provide to people. One of those examples would be certain

Treatments. I see them going on all the time at all of these integrative clinics. And potentially being used in places where they’re not called for. It requires a very deep understanding of the individual as well as the treatment to apply these holistic treatments properly. And it’s just something I’m keeping an eye on. But this is part of why I really do love the Riordan clinic. I have been aware of them for many years now. Really actually grateful that we have them in the Kansas city area, but I know that they are really on top of these things and this is why I think. Laura was the right person to talk to about this topic. So this talk was interesting. It was surprising some of the talk about fasting and healthy cells versus. Cancer cells and how they respond to chemotherapy against the backdrop of. Intermittent fasting was really, really fascinating. And just overall a really interesting, fascinating conversation that I think is very applicable. Two. To real life. So. Let’s chat with Laura, enjoy the conversation. Be sure to reach out to me with conversation prompts, ideas, questions that you might want to see us tackle in a future episode. I want to hear from you because this is such a complex topic, but one that I think it’s time to really start unpacking. Enjoy the episode.

Liz Wolfe: . Laura Vasquez. Welcome to the podcast.

Laura Vasquez: Thank you so much, Liz, for having me. I’m really excited.

Liz Wolfe: This is fun because as we were talking about off, off the air, we have several connections, several local connections.

Liz Wolfe: Not only is the Reardon clinic, well, the Reardon clinic is based in Wichita, correct?

Laura Vasquez: Correct. Yeah. It’s, um, we’re still in Wichita and then we’ve been in Overland park about maybe seven years.

Liz Wolfe: So Overland Park, Kansas, which is, I like to say from where I live, everything, everything in Kansas city is 20 minutes.

Liz Wolfe: So pretty much anything I can get anywhere in 20 to 30 minutes. So I knew about the Overland Park, Kansas wing of the Reardon clinic, but I had run across the Reardon clinic years ago. I can’t even remember why, but basically I think just looking for holistic integrative medical practices near me, which is.

Liz Wolfe: It’s, it’s still, it’s better now in the Midwest, much better than it used to be. But at the time I was like, Oh, wow, there’s this whole clinic, the Reardon clinic. And it’s within four hours of me. And that was amazing. And then when I realized that there was a branch also within 20, 30 minutes of me, it’s just always been in the back of my mind.

Liz Wolfe: And then as we were also talking about previously, I have a dear, dear friend. The most magical person I think in the universe who is a patient of yours and she gave me permission to, to throw that out there, but it was definitely a moment where I was like, I definitely have to talk to Laura if she has a relationship with this friend of mine and she just says nothing but good

Laura Vasquez: things about you.

Laura Vasquez: Oh my gosh. Yeah. So when you told me who it was, I was, you know, of course I feel the same about her just such a special person. And I actually met her at a different clinic where I used to do more integrative, more functional type medicine. And then I moved to the ruin clinic, which has just been two years.

Laura Vasquez: And she ended up coming, not because I was here necessarily, but she came, , to kind of seek out our, some of our other therapies and treatments. And so we reconnected and, she’s just a great friend and of course a special patient. They’re all special, but sometimes you bond with certain ones and, you know, similar age [00:02:00] and, , yeah, so, so it’s so fun to know that we’re, that’s a connection.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. It was really cool. It felt, it felt like the podcast was meant to be, and I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially because maybe it’s because I’m getting older or maybe it’s because cancer diagnoses are happening in younger people. I don’t know, but thinking about integrative oncology and following a few different people in that world who are blending sort of the best of medicine, functional medicine and holistic care.

Liz Wolfe: To really treat the whole person. So whether you talk about the Reardon clinic or what you do individually or what your values are as a practitioner, I mean, you know, cross whatever bridge you want to cross, but I would love to talk to you about, first of all, what exactly integrative oncology is from your perspective, some of the principles, some of the tools.

Laura Vasquez: Yeah, so, , I actually, I, of course, was conventionally trained as a nurse and then got my master’s in nursing, and I actually did cardiology for about 12 years, , and, you know, we were treating a lot of symptoms, and there is definitely a place for conventional medicine, whether it is, you know, chronic disease management, but more or less like acute care.Laura Vasquez: I found these patients that have exacerbations of their chronic health conditions that need that acute care in the hospital, , but I just felt. I’ve always been very, , how, how would I say this? I just love nutrition, right? I started, you know, researching on my own as like a teenager and wanting to learn about acupuncture and some of the more Eastern modalities, how, you know, we could really treat health, , from a preventative standpoint and utilize nutrition, nutraceuticals to optimize, you know, yourself and fill your best.

Laura Vasquez: And. You know, so I always just that was my passion. And so after being in the conventional model, I really felt pulled, you know, a calling to try to learn more and practice more functional integrative medicine. And that’s hard to do when you’re conventionally trained. So, I was with a different practice for a little while learned.

Laura Vasquez: a lot about, you know, environmental toxin testing, , and just digging deeper into the body to really figure out where the dysfunction was. So we could really heal it from like a foundational perspective instead of really just putting band aids on diagnosis, so to speak with, you know, whatever it was, surgery, medicine, or medic prescription medications.

Laura Vasquez: but yeah, I came to the Reardon clinic. Two years ago, and they’ve trained me through what’s called the metabolic approach to cancer. So we have, , integrative oncologists to go through, , their naturopathic doctors that do a two year program in integrative oncology. We also have them practice at the root and clinic, and then I’m a nurse practitioner.

Laura Vasquez: So I trained through the metabolic approach to cancer, which is more of a train based model, which we’ll, we’ll talk more about. As I see integrative oncology as looking at the whole person. So you’re wanting to support their bodies through maybe conventional treatments, such as chemo surgery, radiation, a lot of those are still warranted.

Laura Vasquez: There’s a right way to time that where they may need some of those conventional treatments, but we can support them through our in depth testing and nutraceuticals. We also use tools such as high dose vitamin C.

Laura Vasquez: uh, mistletoe therapy, which is widely used throughout Europe and other countries to support the immune system. So we just have all these awesome tools and testing that we really can get these patients where they need to be to really go through those conventional treatments and preserve their, the rest of their health.

Laura Vasquez: , so that’s kind of an, I guess the big picture of all of that.

Liz Wolfe: In a big picture in a nutshell, that’s what I was going to say. Yeah. But, so one of the things and I’m skipping around, I want to back up and talk about like, what is cancer and what is the metabolic approach to cancer? But I wanted to throw out there really quickly.

Liz Wolfe: So I don’t forget. I was interested in mistletoe. I’ve also been interested in ozone and in talking to. Our mutual acquaintance, both of those things were topics that came up as we were talking about her cancer. And I cannot remember which substance or compound it was, but I looked into it, did a tiny bit of digging and found that one of those, I think might actually.

Liz Wolfe: Improve the action of the conventional drugs and is that through making the body healthier and more able to tolerate the conventional drugs? Is

Laura Vasquez: So well, mistletoe therapy, , we are using it for. You know, your immune system to remodulate your immune system or to really get it back to what we call the factory settings.

Laura Vasquez: So mistletoe is more for your immune system. We use ozone, which is IV, or you can do ozone insufflation. So you could do nasal oracle, other parts of your body and that up your butt. We can say it. Yeah. Rectal insufflation. Uh huh. Um, so yeah, the ozone, it’s a really interesting, it’s been around for decades and it, it was used really before antibiotics were invented and it’s a really broad spectrum, anti infective, so antibacterial, antiviral.

Laura Vasquez: also helps with your supporting your immune system. It also detoxifies, opens kind of your detox pathways. So it’s got a lot of broad, like I said, broad uses, and we use it in different ways here. So that’s another therapy. And then of course the vitamin C. So these are just different tools we use again to support the body, whatever we’re, you know, after we get our testing back, we’re trying to determine, is this a patient that has a lot of toxicity issues?

Laura Vasquez: That we need to really focus on detox at some point in the plan, or is the immune system, which it always is. If you’ve got a cancer diagnosis, the immune system is not working as well as it should. And so we really want to get the immune system back on track. So it not only can, you know, it can fight cancer on its own, which it’s designed to do.Laura Vasquez: It’s really important. So yeah, those are just all different uses for those therapies.

Liz Wolfe: This is a total detour, but I got an email recently that the, now, okay, I am a stress Purchaser. So when I’m stressed about something, buying things to be prepared, helps me calm down my stress response, which is not a good thing.

Liz Wolfe: But in 2020, I was starting to get really nervous. I have a parent who is, I wouldn’t say medically fragile, but certainly requires a greater degree of caution and care. And at the time I was like, what can I do at home that will give us an edge on this thing that is storming across the world. And I bought.

Liz Wolfe: An ozone machine from longevity, which is like the company that I feel like all the dentists have. And a lot of the, the big, you know, practices have, but you can get little ones for at home use. So I’ve done, I’ve done the ozone water. I’ve done the ozone insufflation. I’ve done all the things, not a lot anymore.

Liz Wolfe: I mean, it was a process to get that. But I just got an email recently that longevity is no longer able to produce these ozone machines because of the laws in Canada. So I don’t know if that’s just for personal use and not medical. I don’t know that anybody bought the company or what’s been going on with that, but I was curious if you had heard anything about that.

Liz Wolfe: I’ve not heard Laura Vasquez: about that. Yeah. Yeah. There are different companies where you can get those own generators. so perhaps that one is having obviously some issues with selling or distributing in the United States.

Liz Wolfe: but I haven’t heard something like that. Or I think it might actually be Canadian. It’s a Canadian based company and it might be something with, I mean, I know there are good things about access to the medical system in Canada, but I also think it can be a little bit more oppressive in certain ways, particularly around alternative modalities.

Liz Wolfe: So anyway, total detour, but maybe we should. Back up and start at the beginning and maybe you can talk to me a little bit about what cancer is and where you plug into it as an integrative oncology practice.  

Laura Vasquez: Yeah, as you had mentioned, it’s really shocking. So many young people are, you know, coming down with a cancer diagnosis and it’s all types of cancer.

Laura Vasquez: It could be a brain tumor, breast cancer, colorectal. , I think probably a lot driving this. , if, if we do back up even further, there’s always been a genetic theory of cancer, because these cells are, you know, normal cells that have become DNA damaged and they’ve turned malignant or rogue, so to speak.

Laura Vasquez: So they, they don’t act like a normal cell and a normal cell cycle. There’s a lot of drivers that. we know of like hallmarks of cancer that turn these cells malignant or continue to drive their, you know, proliferation and more cells start developing and they form a tumor. And so that’s kind of the genetic theory of cancer.

Laura Vasquez: Well, there is a new emerging theory based on lots of research, and it’s really more of a metabolic theory of cancer and how these cells behave. Behave different metabolically. And so, you know, glucose is a big driver of these cancer cells. The way they utilize it is different than our normal cells. You know, these cancer cells have patterns, , that are abnormal, like the angiogenesis, which is blood vessel growth, right.

Laura Vasquez: To gain more fuel. , these cancer cells have all these different patterns that we know of. And so we’re really in terms of our approach here with integrative oncology, we are looking at what we call the terrain. And so we see the body as more of your, your soil, you know, and it, do you have healthy soil or do you have weeds growing in your healthy soil, which are more of a cancer or like weeds, right?

Laura Vasquez: This is your own body that’s turned it’s damaged. So lots of, As I was going to say, lots of causes for this and we think, you know, we know based on research toxins in our environment, such as glyphosate, which is roundup. So you find that in the food supply, the water supply, other toxins such as mold, like metabolites, which are mycotoxins, plastic chemicals, , pesticides, herbicides.

Laura Vasquez: So all these toxins in our environment. that we really can’t escape. These can drive immune dysfunction as well as damage your, you know, healthy cells, DNA damage. So toxins are a big one we look at. , we also look for, , nutrient deficiencies. Vitamin D and omega threes are probably the top two deficiencies I see across all cancer.

Laura Vasquez: Um, we look at. metabolic health, right? Fasting insulin, blood sugar. We look at markers of inflammation again, biomarkers of angiogenesis. So we’re really wanting to look at this, this patient who has developed this cancer diagnosis when they come to us, whether it’s stage one or stage four, we want to look really deep.

Laura Vasquez: At their terrain and figure out what’s dysfunctional in their body. Is it a toxicity issue? Usually there’s a lot there’s, I’d say several patterns. So it could be, there’s a lot of inflammation, metabolic dysfunction. Perhaps they have, you know, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalance. So we want to look at all of these different patterns and we want to optimize them to support them through again, healing their body, , and just getting to a better place, you know, with their whole health.

Laura Vasquez: So as far as the testing

Liz Wolfe: goes, what types of tests are you utilizing to identify the toxic burden to try and nail down one thing or another, or would you say for people suffering or for people dealing with cancer that it’s all of the above. It’s like you’re going to test for environmental toxins for mold for all of these different things and it’s all going to be off the charts.

Laura Vasquez: We actually, the Reardon Clinic has its own laboratory where we run, it’s called the Bio Center Laboratory in Wichita, and it’s been around since the advent of the clinic. So we run all of our initial testing through our own lab, and that’s all the biomarkers, so that’s through your blood. But the toxicity we will measure through the urine, and we do work with a couple different companies that produce this testing.

Laura Vasquez: So our patients will get an ozone IV to help promote the detox. , they may get one or two and then we’ll look at heavy metals. So that will come through the urine. So we look for lead, , mercury, arsenic, cadmium, all of those metals that can be carcinogenic. So that is the heavy metal test.

Laura Vasquez: And then we do a urine test for the mycotoxins, , organic acid testing that looks more at your microbiome or cellular metabolites, , like your mitochondria, how healthy your mitochondria in your cells are. And then glyphosate is also measured in the urine. So we utilize outside testing, to get a snapshot of where that patient is at that time.

Laura Vasquez: And I always tell patients, I think it’s important to remember when you’re looking for toxicity in the body, we don’t have a way to measure all of the toxins and to know the, the total burden of toxicity in your body. So we’re really just looking at, at this point, a baseline, if you have some of these toxicity issues and if that’s even a problem and where they’re at.

Laura Vasquez: So it’s sort

Liz Wolfe: of like the low hanging fruit at the very beginning. It’s like you come in and you know that you’re about to set out on a very intense path of, you know, many different tests, treatments, modalities, but when you can test in the beginning for a couple of these different things and just nip those in the bud, it can potentially maybe clear the way for the treatment to work better or

Laura Vasquez: what have you.

Laura Vasquez: Yeah. So we find the toxicity. If a patient does have toxicity issues, those toxins in your body, your immune system is aware of them. And so it’s another preoccupation to your healthy immune system. That’s kind of bogging it down, so to speak. So it can’t. be in the cancer detection modes. now detoxing from toxins, that’s toxicity issue, the detox is a whole other undertaking.Laura Vasquez: And if a patient’s going through active chemo, , perhaps, you know, preparing for surgery, it’s not the right time to start a detox protocol. So we do plan it and we try to plan it when it’s best timing for that patient, again, usually if there is toxicity issues, In all of our patients, there’s, there’s more than one factor going on.

Laura Vasquez: And I always tell patients, it’s not just one thing that caused this. Usually it’s, it’s kind of multifactorial. , and it tips you over the edge, so to speak. You may have had toxins for a long time. You weren’t aware of again, immune dysfunction that can be from several causes, hormonal imbalance. All of these different things, some inflammation going on, poor diet choices, all your lifestyle factors that really impact this, you know, the more that this goes on over a person’s lifespan, the more at risk they are to develop a chronic disease such as cancer.

Laura Vasquez: I know you

Liz Wolfe: can’t make a recommendation and I’m sure you want to be careful about what language you use around this, but I’d like to ask this anyway, and you, you know, do what you can with it. One of the things that I note in the holistic community is that. Chemo is very much like, I don’t want to do the chemo.

Liz Wolfe: It’s the chemo that kills you. It’s the chemo that, that weakens you. And that causes all of these problems. People really don’t want to do chemo, or at least that was probably what I was feeling hearing maybe over the last five to seven years. More recently, I do feel like there has been a, a movement toward chemo and not.

Liz Wolfe: Just the one thing, but chemo and other supportive protocols to ensure that the body is as healthy as it can be in response to the treatment as best it possibly could. Can you talk to me a little bit more about what chemo is and the philosophy that the Reardon Clinic has around chemo and cancer treatment overall?

Laura Vasquez: Yeah, that’s such a great question. And I would say every patient that seeks out integrative oncology support has that same question. As I mentioned, you know, we see patients at all stages and all different types of cancer. Patients often are afraid of conventional treatments. You know, perhaps they’ve come to us with a new diagnosis and they’re just seeking an alternative, so to speak.

Laura Vasquez: I often do have a very Honest conversation with our patients, of course, to give them the information they need to make informed decisions. If chemo is warranted depending on their stage and diet, you know, type of cancer, I often tell patients, if, if you have to do this, because it’s what makes sense, we’re going to support the rest of your body through this. You know, we have different tools we can use with nutraceuticals.

Laura Vasquez: We often promote fasting, prolonged fasting around chemotherapy. That’s really powerful. And there’s lots of great research on that now, because that helps. Your healthy cells go into a hibernation state. So it’s protecting your healthy cells through the chemotherapy, and then it also will help make that chemotherapy actually more cytotoxic to the malignant cells.

Laura Vasquez: So there’s a two fold on that, on the fasting and patients will not have as much nausea or fatigue. It actually helps with the side effects of chemo. If you’re in a fasting state, it’s protecting your body. So we, we will recommend if they can do about 24 hours before the chemotherapy. During that day and then 24 hours post chemotherapy, which is about a three day fast.

Laura Vasquez: Ooh, it’s yeah. And I always tell patients if they’ve never done it, you know, try as much as you can do try to get through that. So as you, you probably, I know, you know, a lot about fasting. You can still have liquids, electrolytes, herbal tea. There’s a lot of, you can still hydrate your body and you need to, we just don’t want you in that digestive.

Laura Vasquez: Phase during that time, I always tell patients, just do the best you can. And each time you practice, it’s going to get easier because your body, it will adapt. So we, yeah, it’s so, it’s such, I love learning about that. There’s just, there’s so many tools that we can help educate our patients on.

Laura Vasquez: And again, when we get all of the lab work, we can really delineate what is going, what that patient needs. You know, is there, is there zinc low vitamin D low, are they deficient on omega threes? All of these things that, you know, help just support the train help with inflammation. So we’re just really trying to build our patients up and support them.

Laura Vasquez: If they’re going through, you know, a phase of chemotherapy, we can really help mitigate the side effects for them.

Liz Wolfe: I would say, I don’t know a lot about fasting because it is so contextual. I feel like much of my knowledge around fasting is sort of prejudiced by the fact that most of the questions that have come into me over the years around fasting are like, well, I run a marathon every other day and I’m trying to lose the last five pounds.

Liz Wolfe: And I only eat once a day. And I’m wondering if I should add like an extended fast. And I’m like, no, no, no, no. We need to Not right for you. And so, but contextually, depending on who you are, even your age, what your hormone levels are or what stage of life you’re in for your hormone levels. It can be so, so different as a rule for me, it’s been like, no, let’s look at these other things first.

Liz Wolfe: But then when you’re talking about cancer, it’s just so fascinating to me. What you said about how healthy cells will actually go. Dormant. Did you say

Laura Vasquez: hibernating state? Wow. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Yeah. So, you know, fasting, our bodies are made to fast. If you think about our ancestors, they would go through times of famine or where they were out the hunter gatherers trying to find food.

Laura Vasquez: And so people used to just naturally fast. I mean, that’s what we’re genetically made to do, but we live in a society where I grew up with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and you have a lot of. You know, the, the companies that promoted the breakfast and wake up and start your day. But as you’re saying, it just kind of depends to where you’re at in your life with your health, if that’s appropriate for you.

Laura Vasquez: And what is it appropriate time for fasting? , but yeah, our cells are made to fast. Our cells want to fast. They don’t want the constant input of food because not only are we getting these macronutrients, but what else is in our food toxins. Hormones, , could be plastics, food additives, all the different chemicals that we’re bombarded with.

Laura Vasquez: And so fasting is just a, it’s a natural way for our body to rest and digest and really detox. And we need to be doing that, integrating that into healthy, you know, a healthy diet. I think a great way to start fasting is to do intermittent fasting, which I know is kind of a buzzword. But it’s super easy.

Laura Vasquez: You just whenever you finish dinner, then you’ll fast until you the next day Let’s say you get about 16 hours So if you stop eating about seven, you can eat about 11, the next day, that’s really not too hard for most people to do. You’re just kind of prolonging when you start eating. They have found that the magic number with the intermittent fasting is anything over about 13 hours for most people. So most people, right. We don’t eat while we’re sleeping. So everyone’s doing some form of fasting. There, maybe some people do wake up and eat, but I was thinking of those videos as people are reading the refrigerators at night, sleepwalking.

Laura Vasquez: , so you’re, yeah, so you’re getting that possibly that 12 or 13 hours, but you really want to push it past that. And just do it. You don’t have to do it, you know, every single day, but you’ll get into that habit and that practice. And it’s a really great tool to use for reducing inflammation, improving your metabolic flexibility, our insulin and blood sugar balance.

Laura Vasquez: It’s great for getting rid of old cells. So there’s so many benefits to it. And it’s so easy to incorporate into healthy lifestyle, especially with cancer. We want to do more extended fasting perhaps, and just different ways to do it in different approaches for, for the case, each case.

Liz Wolfe: I really had no idea that fasting or extended fasting could sort of form a protective shell around the good cells and make the, the bad cells targetable by these.

Liz Wolfe: The, the medicines that you’re using for cancer. This, that’s really, really fascinating. And on the topic of food, we’ll go from fasting to food. I know terrain is a big one for you. And certainly food is something that interacts and even can create the terrain within our bodies and have a massive effect on it.

Liz Wolfe: So let’s talk about food a little bit, the cancer diet, how you like to work with people on a nutrition. Level and then wrap in some of these nutraceuticals that you’ve talked about. I know you’re not, we’re not being prescriptive. We’re not telling people what to go out and take to prevent or treat cancer, but I would love to just hear about some of the substances and nutraceuticals you’re using in addition to food.

Liz Wolfe: So people can go out and do some extra research.

Laura Vasquez: Yeah, that’s a great question. Diet is so important and I know that’s. Obviously this podcast, you know, your, you, your education and, and for patients and what, you know, when it comes to cancer, I mean, whether it’s cancer or not diet is so foundational to your health and, and that seems common sense, but I think diet is very confusing or not even diet nutrition for our cancer patients.

Laura Vasquez: That’s probably the number one question. They really need help in that area. They don’t know what’s the appropriate. Diet for them. Should they be on a ketogenic diet? Should they be on more of a paleo diet, a vegan diet? , there’s so many different theories out there. How I like to approach it, approach it with my patients is , of course getting the lab work will really help us delineate Where their patterns are, are they angiogenic patterns again, metabolic, they have, have a need for a metabolic improvement.

Laura Vasquez: So there’s certain types of cancers we may want to utilize. [00:26:00] different diet approach. And then based off their labs as well, we can incorporate different foods, not only supplements, but we can incorporate different foods that can target those patterns. For instance, cinnamon. , there’s been a lot of studies with cinnamon.

Laura Vasquez: If you can get about half a teaspoon a day, it can help make your cells more sensitive, sensitive to insulin. So uptake more glucose into the cells where it should be instead of our bloodstream. So cinnamon’s a great one to use if there’s metabolic issues. There’s also phytonutrients, adaptogens, such as, you know, parsley, which have anti angiogenic properties.

Laura Vasquez: So we can incorporate more of those type of foods if that’s a pattern that patient has. , DIM is a substance we find in cruciferous vegetables that helps with, , how you metabolize estrogens. , flaxseed as well. So there’s these different compounds in our food that can help us with whatever is , dysfunctional in, in that patient.

[00:26:55] Laura Vasquez: I definitely use diet. I mean, diet’s complex. I always tell patients it’s easy to take supplements. Reduce, well, reducing stress is a whole other issue or go out and run or exercise, but in terms of figuring out where you’re going to get the food, what are you going to eat? How much are you going to eat?

Laura Vasquez: How are you going to prepare it? It gets really complicated and it’s very stressful. So we do try to get our patients, once we get all the information, we try to give them a foundation to go from there. I mean, it’s up to them really, if they’re going to stick with that and how they’re going to incorporate our recommendations.

Laura Vasquez: So yeah, diet, I feel like is, is just such an important foundational component of healing the body and. Um, you know, getting them optimized, so to speak, I

Liz Wolfe: really love the idea of starting people out on a good nutraceutical protocol. And part of that is regular life is super stressful. And I have found for myself personally, if I’m like, all right, well, I took my private eating today and I did my scoop of young reds for some reason that builds.

Liz Wolfe: Confidence and builds that sense of control, that internal focus of control, where I’m like, I know what to do. And of course that can go either way where you become overly reliant on that. And then you just let everything else fly out the window. But I think for most people, you can build a good foundation when people are.

Liz Wolfe: That stress, they’ve just gotten a diagnosis. It’s like, okay, what can I do? You can swallow this. You can mix this in with your water. You, you know, those little things, if you want to talk about low hanging fruit, that’s, I mean, that’s it. And hopefully you can build people’s confidence and compliance. And they start to feel like I can do this.

Liz Wolfe: I can, and now I can make a little shift in my food or now I can make a focus on my gut health, that type of thing. So I think it makes total sense.

Laura Vasquez: Yeah, definitely. We, we will use different nutraceutical supplements that are evidence based for different types of cancer. So we, we do typically start our patients on several different supplements.

Laura Vasquez: just as baseline until we get the lab results. And then we can further really define what other supplements they may need. You know, theracumin, we use that. Well, that’s a brand, but curcumin is a powerful anti inflammatory and has a lot of anti cancer benefits. So that’s one of the main ones we use. We use different mushrooms that are very powerful for supporting your immune system to make the right types of cancer fighting cells.

Laura Vasquez: , probiotics for your gut health is kind of a baseline one we use. We use high dose melatonin. tons of anti cancer benefits. , it’s an antioxidant dose. , not really a physiological dose that we make at night to support our circadian rhythm. So we use all these different supplements as a baseline, and then we really start tackling the diet as well.

Laura Vasquez: And I think supporting your patients and giving them, like you said, that control over, you know, I’m taking these, I know these are evidence based for, for what. Either my labs are my type of cancer and then supporting them with the foods that they can eat and how they can make those changes is really impactful and it just those little baby steps I always tell them, let’s start with this, we’ll start adding this in, you know, it’s kind of one thing at a time because it can be really overwhelming when you’re, you’re sick and you may be going through these conventional treatments and then on, on our end, you know, we’re wanting to support you through different ways and it’s, it’s can be overwhelming for these patients.

Laura Vasquez: So we just try to support them one thing at a time. I want

Liz Wolfe: to pull something out of this conversation, and this might, I might not phrase this properly, and in a way I’m sort of leading the witness. And that’s, that’s just gonna, you, you address this however you want to address it. One of the researchers that I have been following for many years, and he’s an eccentric biologist.

Liz Wolfe: He’s not a cancer researcher. He’s not somebody that was publishing in the major journals, but one of the things a fellow named Ray Peat, who died fairly recently was very passionate about was that the body should be able to metabolize. Sugar and carbohydrate and glucose and that in particular, eliminating all carbohydrates is not necessarily the best way to be.

Liz Wolfe: To be healthy and to nurture your metabolism. Now that, and the, the line I want to draw here for me, and you can, you can totally disagree with me. That’s fine. Is that for folks listening who have heard me talk about carbohydrates and how they are important and even how a healthy body. Can use a little bit of plain old sugar.

Liz Wolfe: Now as a buffer against stress, you know, if your cortisol is sky high through the roof, I’m like, well then, you know, have some orange juice, put a little sugar in your coffee. Like let’s tell your body like we’re okay in this moment. That’s totally fine. When you’re talking about cancer. You were talking about a completely different internal environments.

Liz Wolfe: You have crossed over that threshold or that you’ve crossed over that line, where a, an entirely different approach is not only appropriate, but also probably necessary. So I guess what I want to talk about now, and what I’m trying in a very clunky way to point out is that. A diet that supports a healthy metabolism is by nature anti cancer.

Liz Wolfe: It may look different from the diet that is used to treat cancers, not treat, but address. So the, the diet that you might recommend for someone as part of a cancer diagnosis might look entirely different from what somebody should do on a day to day basis to prevent cancer. Does that make sense?

Liz Wolfe: Absolutely. Yes.

Laura Vasquez: And I was actually, that was something I was going to talk to you about and we were, you know, on this path. So meeting a patient where they’re at, if you’re, you know, you’re cancer free, you don’t have any chronic illnesses, you’re going to, your diet is going to look a lot different and it should be a well balanced diet.

Laura Vasquez: As you mentioned, it should have carbohydrates, carbs that are found in nature through, , fruit, vegetables. Proteins, you know, good source proteins. So that patient is going to, or that person’s going to have a different diet than someone who has a cancer diagnosis.

Laura Vasquez: And so we have to meet them where they’re at at that point. It doesn’t mean if we feel that the ketogenic diet’s best for, you know, their metabolic health and the type of cancer they have. It doesn’t, I always tell patients, you’re not going to be, I don’t believe you’ll be on this forever. It’s this period of time where we’re working through this and we’re monitoring those biomarkers that we’re trying to optimize or change.

Laura Vasquez: That’s when we’re going to do this diet. And then we’re going to adjust it. I don’t think there’s a right so called diet for, you know, a blank, just to blanket everyone with everyone should be vegan or paleo. You really do have to figure out where you’re at in that, you know, our, what are your hormones like, you know, do you have hormonal imbalance?

Laura Vasquez: Are you going through menopause? That may require you to increase cruciferous vegetables or flax seeds that help metabolize those healthy, healthier estrogen pathways. So it just depends where you’re at and meeting a patient where they’re at. I mean, that’s really making it individual to them. That’s the best it can be.  

Liz Wolfe: It’s hard. It’s a hard thing because I was just talking to someone about this in a totally different context. I was talking to an educator who was talking about how we were talking about the public school system, which is amazing, but also that it can be difficult to manage at scale. And there are kids who Are perfectly suited and have a wonderful experience in the larger school system.

Liz Wolfe: But at the same time, we have to be able to say like, yes, we have a baseline that is beneficial for pretty much anybody. And in a food context, that would be whole foods from nature, protein, carbohydrate, fat, and some, you know, Pleasure stuff thrown in there. You need some recess. You need, you know, some good, pleasurable foods and stuff in there.

Liz Wolfe: But, but also this idea that every kid is different and an educational approach for one kid is going to be totally different from the next kid, even if they’re in the same school system. So we have to be willing to say we have best practices, and then we have to be able to pull some different levers depending on who the is.

Liz Wolfe: And it’s so interesting because that just applies to all of life. Replies to kid and education to adults in a healthy diet, all of that. And it’s so fascinating to me. And I think it’s hard. It’s really, really hard because life is hard enough as it is. There are a ton of stressors and it can be very comforting to say, boom, this is the diet that you should be on.

Liz Wolfe: If you want to prevent cancer or boom, this is the diet you should be on. If you have cancer, but, but really we have to. Shift our mindset around individualized care and figuring those things out for the individual. And maybe, you know, we can shift our mindset to being less afraid of the complexity and more excited about the empowerment of it.

Laura Vasquez: That’s such a great analogy, um, with the children in the school system and how they’re all individual and their needs are going to be different each child. And that’s exactly the beauty of what we get to do. We’re not just kind of, you know, unfortunately in the conventional realm, there’s guidelines, which we need guidelines based on research and evidence so that we can give the best therapies to patients that we know work, but every patient’s going to be different.

Laura Vasquez: And so what we get to do here is look at who we call our patients, co learners, , co learners. So we get to look at a co learner and walk through this journey with them. And, and really get to know them individually and help optimize their bodies for what they need. It’s not just a blanket approach and that’s where we see the best outcomes.

Laura Vasquez: And I truly, you know, have so much passion for what I, what we do here. And I hope that hope, you know, in the future, we’re able to, as a society and our medical system, it is more complex, it takes more time to really look at each person, you know, more individually, that, so that we can really give them the best health, healthy outcomes.

Laura Vasquez: And I think

Liz Wolfe: it starts with with clinics like the Reardon clinic who are built to do something a little bit different and add to the overall body of knowledge around. Cancer around illness, terrain, disease, all of that, because you can’t necessarily do this in a huge hospital system that has protocols and pipelines that they have to put people through.

Liz Wolfe: But to be able to do this at the scope that you all are doing, and to be able to add to the overall scientific body of knowledge is just such a huge, such a huge thing. So necessary and such a great thing overall for, for the entire. I don’t know for the entire, what would you call it? World of, of cancer treatment.

Laura Vasquez: It is so important. And I always tell the patients or co learners who find us, I’m so happy they get the opportunity to work with us and support them through, you know, this cancer journey, the way that we can support them. And I wish all patients out there could have, you know, the opportunity to do this.

Laura Vasquez: It’s, it’s so vital to trying to not only, you know, overcome a cancer diagnosis, but to really get to your ultimate state of health. Moving forward. And here’s,

Liz Wolfe: here’s a tough truth. I assume that the Reardon clinic probably does not take insurance. Correct. Correct. And that’s, that’s pretty much the case across the board for clinics like yours.

Liz Wolfe: But the more people who are talking about this and who are. Doing these protocols, even in the environments that’s not even in an environment that is not accessible to anyone and everyone with insurance. These things trickle down or trickle up I don’t know which direction they would be trickling, but you start to hear about.

Liz Wolfe: Big hospital systems that are doing IV vitamin C and larger hospital systems that employ doctors that are integrative. Um, I believe there’s a Chinese medicine doctor specialist at the university of Kansas or there used to be, there was at one time an integrative pediatrician. So So yeah. These things make their way into the larger systems, which is another reason.

Liz Wolfe: It’s such a necessary thing that you all are doing. It’s an unfortunate truth that insurance doesn’t cover these things. Not mad at you about it. I’m mad [00:39:00] at the insurance companies, but it’s still, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s the way things flow. And I think it still has a positive impact overall on other cancer treatment.

Laura Vasquez: I do think people, um, especially in America are waking up to, you know, the downfall of our, our, some of the medical, the way our medical system is set up and they are wanting to seek out more of this in depth testing, you know, not just getting, running a few labs that they’re, you know, yearly physical, which really are just kind of baseline labs that may or may not really tell you what’s going on.

Laura Vasquez: , people are seeking out more integrative therapies, more natural therapies, and I, I do feel that and see that I, medical students, I’ve known a few of them in the last couple of years, they’re really seeking out shadowing at our clinic. Wanting to know what we do and I thought that was really cool.

Laura Vasquez: These are, this is a younger generation that’s getting, you know, they’re going to be conventionally trained medical doctors, which is amazing, but they are also wanting to understand some of these other, I wouldn’t call them alternative, but functional modalities or integrative, you know, testing and tools, how we help patients, , with what may be a chronic illness or cancer.

Laura Vasquez: And I, I thought that was really neat that they’re seeking this out.

Liz Wolfe: That is, and that’s, that’s the way it starts. It starts with the individuals that are talking about it and trying to bring these treatments to their own, to their own clinics, to their own patients. So I wanted to ask you a little bit about.

Liz Wolfe: Integrative cancer treatment in the United States versus in Europe, you may or may not be able to speak to this, but I do know several people who are of European descent living in the United States have been diagnosed with cancer, two of them, and both of them have sought treatment in Germany and Poland.

Liz Wolfe: I think, does that sound I mean does that track what is it that’s available there that’s not available here. Yeah,

Laura Vasquez: Germany. So I would say in Europe, obviously their medical system. It may vary. It’s obviously at a very country by country, but Germany has been developing a lot of different technology and treatments for decades that are very advanced.

Laura Vasquez: One of the treatments you can find outside the United States is called hyperthermia. So it’s warming up your body and it may be regional or it may be more localized. , let’s see, you have a breast tumor and they’re going to do more localized hyperthermia in that area. They combine it, you can combine it with radiation as well as like low dose chemo.

Laura Vasquez: And what hyperthermia does, cancer cells don’t have mechanisms to cool down. So they’re very vulnerable to heat. Cancer does not like heat. So when you do hyperthermia, you’re really, you know, warming your body up to sometimes 107 degrees. So it’s a therapy that has to be monitored very closely. It’s very uncomfortable when patients undergo this type of therapy and they’ll be under, let’s say for maybe seven or eight hours, they’re, they’re in this, , you know, they’re getting the hyper hyperthermia.

Laura Vasquez: So it’s like having a really high feve, So there’s different ways to do it, but the FDA is not approved. FDA has not approved that here. So we do send patients. We may tell patients sometimes, we’ve utilized all the tools we have here. We may recommend that they go to Mexico, or, or Germany, or Canada actually has a couple clinics up there.

Laura Vasquez: So we may recommend it, you know that they get a consult, and at least check on that, because it would be another therapy. In their case that Could be really beneficial to them that we just can’t offer here.

Liz Wolfe: Well, the FDA won’t approve sunscreen, new types of sunscreen. So I don’t know why we would ever expect them to approve new cancer treatments.

Liz Wolfe: I’m going to say something really controversial right now. And I just want to point out that you do not endorse any of my views. This is, this is entirely, I don’t even, yeah, we literally just met. So one of the long, long ago when my first daughter was born and I was doing all of the research, all of the doctor Googling I’m not going to talk about the choices that we make. We’re very comfortable with the choices that we make. And I’ve always said, I’m not going to tell people one way or the other because God forbid something happens on either end to somebody, and then it’s my fault. But one of the very interesting things, and I love opposition research, I actually used to do it in Washington, DC for a political action committee.

Liz Wolfe: So it’s my favorite thing. So in questioning my own views and conclusions, I ran across a paper titled measles to the rescue, and I can’t comment on the scientific veracity of that paper, but what it. What it postulated was very interesting and it was that illnesses that involve very high fevers for extended periods of time may be associated with lower instances of cancer in the future.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know that that’s true or not, but along this line of hyperthermia, yes, that the body actually has some of its own mechanisms for destroying rogue cells or for activating the immune system in one way or the other. I’m sure there are many other examples. Samples that would have been valid to this conversation.

Liz Wolfe: This is just the one that I had in my mind for my own personal research. And I thought it was fascinating that there is a utility to fever, or as you’re talking about hyperthermia in modulating the immune system.

Laura Vasquez: Yeah. Making those cells vulnerable to, you know, radiation or low dose chemo, as we were talking about mistletoe therapy, as we’ve already mentioned, that is eliciting a warmth in the body.

Laura Vasquez: So it’s not necessarily inducing high fevers, but most people will get a degree or two rise in their body temperature. So again, if you think back to a natural mechanism we have of our immune system, when we get a foreign invader bacterial infection or a viral infection, our immune system mounts a response by increasing our core temperature, which starts stimulating our immune system to make these.

Laura Vasquez: Different, different type of immune cells that are going to fight off these invaders. And so the mistletoe is working, you know, we’re not getting high fevers and you can with more IV mistletoe actually we didn’t talk about that you can do sub we do start with sub Q but we do have a tool with utilizing higher doses at IV.

Laura Vasquez: That’s more systemic. So, yeah, no, it’s it’s you know the fever is, is we should not suppress fevers. And I grew up taking Advil, you know, Tylenol when, when I was little and I had a fever, but now, you know, and I’m a mom as well, I realized how important a fever, it’s a natural body’s response. And so we really shouldn’t try to decrease the fever only if it’s obviously too high.

Laura Vasquez: And there’s, you know, who, if it gets too high, we may have to intervene, but yeah, fevers are the body’s natural way. Yeah. Pretty

Liz Wolfe: extraordinary. Yeah. I feel like some of the best advice I ever got as a parent was to treat the child and not the fever. You know, sometimes the number can seem really scary, but nobody’s brain is going to liquefy and boil.

Liz Wolfe: It’s just run high fevers. And my first, it was a real challenge for me because I’m making all of these decisions for the first time with, you know, very little. Confidence in myself. And then she ends up being a kid that runs pretty high fevers. And it was really tough for me at first, but. In my head, just saying, treat the child, not the fever.

Liz Wolfe: If she’s talking to me, if she’s drinking, if she’s all of that, we should be okay. And there are times when it has like crossed over and I’ve been like, I’ve got to bring this down just to make sure my kid is still in there, you know? So grateful to have these tools of modern medicine, but we have an entire.

Liz Wolfe: World of other approaches that we can also consider depending on the moment, depending on the kid and the context.

Laura Vasquez: Yeah, that’s so smart. A lot of people, when, you know, I’ve talked about that. They, they, it makes sense, but they, they never really thought about it. You know, they’re just used to treating fevers.

Laura Vasquez: And so it’s just such an important response of our immune system that we should honor and allow to happen. If, you know, if it’s safe, you know, if, as long as we’re monitoring the child or adult, yeah, for sure.

Liz Wolfe: I know we’re running up against our time limit here. But I forgot to ask you about something. If you have a few more minutes for me, I’d love to bring up.

Liz Wolfe: Absolutely. Okay. I’m going to say three words and you’re going to have to just do whatever you make, whatever magic you can out of this word soup, thermography, mammogram, ultrasound, go.

Laura Vasquez: This isn’t, this is a very important question that we get asked a lot. Mammograms definitely have their use. They’re really the gold standard, but of course we know there’s, um, you’re receiving targeted radiation, um, when you get a mammogram and repeated to the same areas.

Laura Vasquez: So there is risk with those. I don’t ever tell women typically do not get mammograms. I’m not one of those. I do believe there’s a place for those. Thermography is great for more prevention, especially younger women can start getting thermographies before they would actually be. or the guideline would say it’s, you know, time for a mammogram at age 40.

Laura Vasquez: At this point, thermography is great because it looks at inflammation, like heat patterns in, in the breast. And it looks for estrogenic patterns as well. So you can kind of, you can see if there is, and there’s a score of one to five. So you can see a baseline of where you’re at and you can get those because there’s no radiation.

Laura Vasquez: So you could get that, let’s just say you’re at a three and you get it a year later and it’s a four. So you’ve obviously, there’s more inflammation or heat patterns going on in that tissue. It’s a great way to just be preventative and on top of, you know, your health and in a more natural way. Ultrasounds are great.

Laura Vasquez: There’s no radiation. They’re just often unfortunately not covered by insurance. And so we have, so again, we could go down a rabbit hole of, of why the guidelines, you know, research driven, but there’s also a lot of other factors that come into how guidelines get not only made, but you know, the standard of care here in America.

Laura Vasquez: And so it’s really confusing because a lot of women are, you know, they don’t want to keep getting mammograms every year. Again, I think it’s good to get a baseline. Especially, you know, let’s say you have higher risk factors for, for breast cancer, you, you may consider that, but just figure out what’s the right timing for you.

Laura Vasquez: And again, you could seek out more of an integrated practitioner to consult with them so that you know what are your risk factors. You know that, you know, the pros and cons of each modality of testing and what’s not going to be most likely covered by your insurance, so it’s just good to have all that information.

Laura Vasquez: Then you can make your own decision. I never tell people, you know, I will tell them I, I think this is the best way to go, but I always want, you know, our co learners to make their own decision of what feels best for them based on all the information.

Liz Wolfe: My question for my medical practitioners is always, what would you do?

Liz Wolfe: Making them tell me what I should do. What would

Laura Vasquez: you do if you were to turn it back on them?

Liz Wolfe: Yes, exactly. I would love to ask you one more thing that popped into my mind. That is probably

Laura Vasquez: a really loaded question.

Liz Wolfe: The BRCA gene and folks who are choosing to Excise.

Liz Wolfe: Um, have their uterus have hysterectomies, have their breasts removed, all of that. It feels like a very, very drastic thing to remove tissues and organs based on a possibility, right? However, if you have seen relatives suffer and pass away from These cancers.

Liz Wolfe: I can completely understand why that feels like the way to go. Yeah. Bring your, your nuanced perspective to this topic.

Laura Vasquez: That’s such a great question too. And it’s a confusing one, so we have, I have a few patients that are young in their [00:51:00] thirties, they’re BRCA positive. They sought out treatment here because they really wanted to be on top of their health and figure out, you know, how to prevent hopefully a cancer diagnosis.

Laura Vasquez: So we work to develop, you know, look at very specific labs. for them. We ran a lot of different biomarkers, that way we could really figure out, do they have a vitamin D deficiency? Omega threes? Do they have inflammation going on? Again, all those different parts and patterns we look at, and I’ve worked with them and there’s no guarantee.

Laura Vasquez: And I tell them, you know, I wish if we did all of this prevention, I could tell you, you will never develop breast cancer or ovarian cancer, but there’s just no guarantee because there’s so many variables. , one we really never touched on in this segment was stress. Stress is a huge driver of immune dysfunction.

Laura Vasquez: So we, we often know how bad stress is for our bodies. We, we, we recognize that when we’re stressed, we don’t feel well physically. We may not be sleeping well, but stress really suppresses, immune system functions. And a lot of our cancer patients, I ask, did you have a lot of trauma in your past?

Laura Vasquez: Have you had recent? Cause we all have stress. You can’t, you cannot get away from just life stressors that come up,

Laura Vasquez: and so, with our with the patients that I’m doing more prevention with, those women have to really recognize. Do I have a lot of stressors? And most importantly, how do I cope with that in a healthy way?

Laura Vasquez: Am I doing meditation? Does yoga work for me? Am I journaling? Do I have someone I can talk to maybe talk therapy? Maybe they need trauma therapy. So that’s something they have to figure out on their own. Again, you know, we talk about. Just guidelines and research surrounding exercise and how important that is.

Laura Vasquez: , diet’s a big one too. So we, we really try to intervene on all these different lifestyle factors and their labs so we can optimize them too. And I think it, prevention goes so far. But again, I can never tell them that if we do all of this in 10 years, you’re not going to develop breast cancer. And that’s, what’s really hard.

Laura Vasquez: I wish, I wish if we did all this. , so it’s really, as you were mentioning, , surgery seems very aggressive to me as well. And I think that’s a really hard decision. I understand it. I know you do too, of, you know, taking the risk out, if, if you don’t have your uterus or your ovaries. Obviously you’re at lower risk, just structurally those components are gone, but yeah, that’s just, that’s a really hard decision.

Laura Vasquez: And I really feel for all those women in that, in that place, knowing they do have a, because they do have a higher genetic risk, but obviously if they can do prevention, it’s going to hopefully mitigate that risk. And in

Liz Wolfe: some ways, there is probably an argument for, well, which mode of prevention is going to alleviate the greatest burden from your, from your stress.

Liz Wolfe: I mean, I, it, there is so much nuance to any topic that if I do this.

Liz Wolfe: Um, and then I’m going to have a little bit of that, uh, that runway where I have more wiggle room to, to feel the fields and to, to work on everything else going forward. So I understand. I understand many of the decisions that people make that are just, I mean, impossible, impossible decisions. Yeah. And

Laura Vasquez: when even avoiding like endocrine disruptors, I have a sheet, I will, a guideline I’ll give to these women with the plastics.

Laura Vasquez: Cause they’re estrogen mimickers. So avoiding plastics and that’s harder. That’s obviously easier said than done in our environment, but just getting rid of your water bottles or your Tupperware, , you know, plastic bags, baggies, there’s a lot of different modifications you can make to your environment, filtered water.

Laura Vasquez: I mean, you could go again, you’re cleaning products, you make up and there’s websites you can look on and really research what are going to be the best products for you. And that eliminates a lot of that toxicity risk. So if you can do this, exactly. So there’s so many components. And again, I always tell it’s overwhelming when you think, Oh, I got to get, you know, do all this, but if you can just pick one to maybe your weak area and hone in on that and kind of, you know, get in a good pattern with that, then you can start working on each of these lifestyle modifications.

Laura Vasquez: It can go a long way. Make a

Liz Wolfe: nutrition stress. I mean, these are all the things that, you know, we’ve been talking about for years. Dialing, dialing in your nutrition to the degree that it doesn’t cause you more stress. Dealing with your lifestyle stress trauma. I’m a big proponent of ketamine therapy. I did that several years ago and I thought it was great of therapy in general of the easiest freest type of therapy I’ve ever used in my life and called expressive writing, which is my favorite thing.

Liz Wolfe: I learned about that through Dr. David Hanscom, who was a spinal surgeon who would not do spine surgeries until he had put his patients through this protocol of expressive writing. And he said, just having them. Do expressive writing, reduce the need for surgery, like astronomically, which is an amazing thing.

Liz Wolfe: I love that. Yeah. That’s really, really cool. And I probably should have talked to you for the last hour about how to reduce your stress, how to reduce your plastic exposure, how to, but I never, I just, it’s always, my head is always off in the clouds somewhere thinking about stuff like this. So, um, I would love for you to come on again and maybe talk about like a pillared system for people to reduce their cancer risk.

Liz Wolfe: Maybe we could tackle that in a future episode, but I think we laid a good foundation today.

Laura Vasquez: Oh, yeah. That was, yeah. That’s a whole other episode of more of the preventative aspect. And we kind of touched on that at the end, but it was so great to talk with

Liz Wolfe: you. So great to talk to you too. And to have my audience get to know you a little bit better.

Liz Wolfe: And I love, love, love the fact that you’re local. So let’s, let’s do something again. Let’s bring some more education to the balanced bites podcast. If you’ve got the time. I would love to. Yeah. Thank you so much. Awesome. Thanks, Laura.

Thanks for listening to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! Before you shut down your podcast app, PLEASE take a moment to subscribe and leave a review! It’s a small thing you can do that I appreciate more than you can imagine! And speaking of what we can do for each other, if YOU have a question you’d like to have tackled on this podcast or an interview you’d like to hear, submit the details at Let’s keep unpacking, unraveling, contextualizing and nuance-ing the important questions together so we can be empowered, informed, active participants in our own health and happiness.

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