By: Dr. Thomas Incledon
Can certain smells actually treat bladder cancer?
While there was a recent study that investigated the olfactory receptors present in bladder cancer cells and their response to sandalwood oil, there is no proof that aromatherapy can treat cancer. When we think of the term olfactory, we think about smelling and the nose. “At the end of the day, it’s about chemicals that go to our nervous system to get processed by our brain,” explains Dr. Tom Incledon, founder and CEO of Causenta. “Cancer cells can’t actually smell, but they do have input signals that send messages to the brain.”
Incledon says that the main point of this study to him is that we are learning about new doorways to treating cancer. And, maybe it can have a positive effect just like other environmental triggers. “To me, there’s no downside because smelling something can’t hurt you,” says Incledon. “It is not invasive, so looking into this as a complementary strategy makes sense. At Causenta, they consider lighting and sound in treatment rooms as a way to reduce fear and anxiety. The idea is that patients will respond better to therapy if they feel happy and calm.
Considering alternative therapies is especially important with bladder cancer because of the high rate of recurrence. Bladder cancer cells are very invasive meaning they spread deep into tissues and get into the blood. They can also become resistant to any kind of treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy as well as natural options like Vitamin C. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for bladder cancer and Incledon urges patients to consider all treatment options.
Causenta’s oncologists and naturopath doctors work as a team; they discuss each patient’s regimen together to be sure combinations are working to help patients beat cancer or prevent it from coming back. “Our focus is that you live,” says Incledon. “We will monitor you and change strategy as necessary to achieve that goal.”
Another element of treatment that is “low-hanging fruit” and often overlooked is a patient’s support system. Everyone on a patient’s team should be on the same page and working together; that includes the medical team and family members. Incledon advises patients to have anyone helping to make treatment decisions present when meeting with doctors. “This is key because translating what the doctor told you may not always be accurate and then based on feedback from a family member, you doubt a decision you made,” says Incledon. “It is very important that a patient is comfortable with the decisions being made because no single treatment works for everyone and there is not a treatment that comes without risk.”
As part of the support system, it is also necessary that people support any behavioral or mindset changes the patient undergoes as part of treatment. Sometimes patients will eat healthy foods while at the center, which is helping to decrease inflammation and body fat positively impacting their results. Once they return home, they go back to eating, which can be a setback to treatment progress.
To learn more about bladder cancer and personalized, holistic treatment options at Causenta, schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation today.