He believes that instead of addressing the issue directly, the conventional medicine is doing other procedures like cutting it, burning it, and poisoning it with surgery, radiation, and drugs. Namely the focus of conventional medicine is on naming diseases based on geography, body location, and specialty, instead of by the cause, mechanism, or pathway involved. To be more specific, this means that when they need to diagnose your health issue, doctors say you have liver, kidney, brain, or heart disease, but this does not say a thing about the root, that is, the cause of the problem. This means that doctors should identify the conditions in which the disease thrives and they should begin changing those conditions.
Moreover, we should change out attitude as well. Instead of asking for the name of the disease, or how to treat it, we need to ask what has been the reason for the disease.
To speak metaphorically, doctors approach illness like a mechanic trying to diagnose what’s wrong with your car by listening to the noises it makes and never looking inside to see what’s going on. On the other hand, the functional medicine allows us to look under the hood.
Functional Medicine And Its Approach to Cancer
Functional medicine is an emerging, personalized model of diagnosis and treatment that better addresses the need to prevent and manage chronic diseases. This approach empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working collaboratively to address the causes of disease. In other words, this means that the functional medicine will seek the reason, not the name of the health issue.
When it comes to cancer, a Functional Medicine practitioner would not completely avoid radiation and other conventional approaches, but he will also ask for other additional lifestyle changes, as well as methods, to successfully treat the condition.
The reason for cancer is an imbalance in the system, so there are ways in which we can prevent its occurrence.
This newer approach does not divide everything into diseases and labels like conventional medicine, but it approaches disease as a systemic problem, and we have to treat the system, not the symptom; the cause, not the disease. Treat the soil, not the plant. Therefore, the whole notion of the disease is altered, and its landscape is changed as well.
Undoubtedly, knowing the name of your health issue does not mean that you know what caused it, or how to treat it. For instance, two people who have cancer with the same name—like lung cancer—can have two completely different diseases which require completely different treatments. Two people with cancers in different parts of the body may have developed it for the same reasons.
The classification of the diseases by their place in the body, or the body organ, lung, liver, brain, breast, colon, etc. lacks the mechanisms, causes, and pathways involved in particular cancer. Furthermore, it says nothing about the manifestation of cancer in a patient. This means that two patients suffering from the same kind of cancer may have developed it for different reasons. A patient with prostate cancer and one with colon cancer may have more in common with each other than two patients who have colon cancer.
Therefore, we need to start by addressing the root of the problem. According to research, the initiation, growth and progression of cancer can be affected by diet, exercise, thoughts, feelings, and environmental toxins.
Hence, it is quite logical that if a nutrient-poor diet rich in sugar, lack of exercise, chronic stress, persistent pollutants, and heavy metals can initiate cancer, then, a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet, physical activity, more relaxed view of life, and detoxification might treat the issue.
Dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as nutrient and phytonutrient therapies can enchance our immune function. We can improve hormone metabolism and reduce the carcinogenic effects of too much insulin (more on that in a minute) from our high sugar and refined carbohydrate diet. Furthermore, we can detoxify our system in order to get rid of carcinogenic compounds.
Moreover, the way our genes are expressed can also be altered by changing the inputs that control that expression: diet, nutrients, phytonutrients, toxins, stress, and other sources of inflammation.