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Category: Integrative Cancer Care


Seeing the Gift with Cancer

By Heidi S. Puc, MD

Does that title surprise you? What goodness could possibly come from the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis? In my twenty plus years of clinical practice in adult oncology, I have seen the full spectrum of patient emotions and journeys—leaving some patients feeling defeated, yet others empowered.

I have learned, and witnessed, that curing may not always be possible, but tremendous healing can be.

Let me tell you about Mary. I met Mary when she was 60 years old.She sat in my office at our initial consultation, with newly diagnosed metastatic breast cancer.Mary was angry, bitter, frightened, and deflated—all at once.As a busy, “Type A”, highly successful real estate agent, she said, “I don’t have time for this #!%&* cancer!!”Her career was her life—unmarried, no children, no hobbies, no religious or spiritual support, and estranged from many family members.

As she cried, both sad and angry at the same time, I held her hand and told her I would do my best to get the cancer into remission.I tried but unsuccessfully fought off my gut instinct that was telling me I needed to take a “leap of faith” with her.I said, “Mary, I would like you to meditate on what gift this cancer is providing for you.”She was at once stunned, and then with a slightly nervous smile Mary said, “Ok I will do it.”

That was ten years ago.Mary had from that moment found her inner strength.She re-created the story of her life.She slowed down the intensity of her real estate work.She regularly meditated and journaled, and joined a meditation group.She ate healthier foods and exercised more, often taking walks in nature.Mary reunited with family members and friends whom she previously discarded—they could not believe her transformation.Her smiles and laughter melted away her angry brow.Mary’s cancer responded quite well to various hormones and chemotherapies, often with few if any side effects.

In late 2013, Mary’s cancer had become resistant to conventional therapies, and she weakened.She passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends, almost ten years since her diagnosis.

I remember that at my final visit with her, Mary had appeared withered and pale, yet she maintained a warm glimmer in her eyes and a welcoming smile.Mary said, “I want to thank you for asking me to look for the gift my cancer was giving me…I found it.”I asked, “What was the gift?”She responded, “The gift was the message to slow down, to see what really had value in my life, and to feel joy—joy I couldn’t feel before the cancer came.You know, I wasn’t really living before the cancer arrived.That cancer allowed me to truly live.”As my eyes filled with tears, I smiled, and I held her hand.


Posted In: Blog Integrative Cancer Care Nutrition Cancer Prevention

What Is Integrative Oncology?

By The Stram Center Integrative oncology

Integrative Oncology focuses on nutritional, herbal, and mind-body therapies that can complement standard cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation in order to strengthen the immune system, minimize side effects, and improve quality of life, encouraging the best overall outcome.


Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Diet and Prevention General Integrative Cancer Care Integrative Medicine Lyme Disease Mind Body Medicine Mind Body Medicine, Reiki Nutrition Cancer Prevention Pain Management Preventative Health

Anti-Cancer Tip #7: Pick your battles

By Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN

It has been estimated by the World Cancer Research Fund that one-quarter to one-third of the cancers that occur in the United States are due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excess weight. This research supports our belief that embracing a healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone whose life is unfortunately touched with cancer.


Posted In: Blog Diet and Prevention Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO Integrative Cancer Care Nutrition Nutrition Cancer Prevention Nutrition, Food as Medicine Preventative Health

Anti-Cancer Tip # 5: Maximize the nutrient density of your diet

By Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN Veg

It has been estimated by the World Cancer Research Fund that one-quarter to one-third of the cancers that occur in the United States are due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excess weight. This research supports our belief that embracing a healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone whose life is unfortunately touched with cancer. Follow the tips below to help promote a stable blood sugar. Continue to follow the blog for tip #6. Embrace all aspects of a healthy lifestyle

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Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Conferences Diet and Prevention Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO Integrative Cancer Care Nutrition Nutrition Cancer Prevention Nutrition, Food as Medicine Preventative Health

Anti-Cancer Tip #4. Balance your hormonal risk

By Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN Hormone

It has been estimated by the World Cancer Research Fund that one-quarter to one-third of the cancers that occur in the United States are due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excess weight. This research supports our belief that embracing a healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone whose life is unfortunately touched with cancer. Follow the tips below to help promote a stable blood sugar. Continue to follow the blog for tip #5. Maximize the nutrient density of your diet.


Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Diet and Prevention Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO Integrative Cancer Care Integrative Medicine Nutrition Nutrition Cancer Prevention Nutrition, Food as Medicine Preventative Health

Anti-Cancer Tip #3. Promote a stable blood sugar

By Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN Scale

It has been estimated by the World Cancer Research Fund that one-quarter to one-third of the cancers that occur in the United States are due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, andexcess weight. This research supports our belief that embracing a healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone whose life is unfortunately touched with cancer. Follow the tips below to help promote a stable blood sugar. Continue to follow the blog for tip #4. Balance your hormonal risk


Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Diet and Prevention Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO Integrative Cancer Care Integrative Medicine Nutrition Nutrition Cancer Prevention Nutrition, Food as Medicine

Anti-Cancer Tip #2: How to Boost your Immune System

By Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN White blood cells

It has been estimated by the World Cancer Research Fund that one-quarter to one-third of the cancers that occur in the United States are due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excess weight. This research supports our belief that embracing a healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone whose life is unfortunately touched with cancer. Follow the tips below to maximize the immune support of your diet.


Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Diet and Prevention Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO Integrative Cancer Care Nutrition Nutrition Cancer Prevention Nutrition, Food as Medicine Preventative Health

Eric’s top recommendations to optimize cancer prevention, treatment, and survival

By Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN Veg

It has been estimated by the World Cancer Research Fund that one-quarter to one-third of the cancers that occur in the United States are due to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excess weight. This research supports our belief that embracing a healthy lifestyle is essential for anyone whose life is unfortunately touched with cancer. Follow the tips below to increase the anti-inflammatory potential of your diet.


Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Diet and Prevention Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO Integrative Cancer Care Nutrition Nutrition Cancer Prevention Nutrition, Food as Medicine

​Anti-Cancer Cooking Class on Tuesday 2/18/14

By Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN Hands on cooking image

Celebrate Cancer Prevention Month by joining Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO, CDN the Stram Medical Center's Registered Dietitian and clinical nutritionist for an exciting evening focusing on how to prevent, fight and survive cancer by embracing a healthy diet. He will demonstrate quick and healthy recipes and cooking techniques to maximize the healing and disease fighting potential of your food, while minimizing the time and energy you spend in the kitchen.


Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Diet and Prevention Eric C. Sharer, MPH, RD, CSO Integrative Cancer Care Integrative Medicine Nutrition Nutrition Cancer Prevention Nutrition, Food as Medicine Preventative Health

Cancer and Your Immune System: Limiting the Possibility of Recurrence

By Korey DiRoma, ND

I see many patients post chemotherapy and/or radiation often wondering what to do next. Scans are clear, and there are no “visible” signs of cancer. This of course is great news! The cancer was responsive to therapy and now it’s about staying healthy. So what can you do to limit the possibility of recurrence?


Posted In: Blog Cancer Therapy Integrative Cancer Care Integrative Medicine Korey DiRoma Naturopath Nutrition, Food as Medicine

This Week's Classes, Lectures and Events

Free Guided Meditation
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Gentle Yoga
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Monthly Chakra Cleanse Yoga Class
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Lyme Support Group
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Free Guided Meditation
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Latest News and Announcements

The Paleo Project read more

That Sugar Film documentary presentation and Q&A Discussion read more

New Weight Loss Program read more

New One-on-One Cooking Classes read more



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