Dr. Holly Lucille on Her Cancer Journey: Rational Wellness Podcast 318

Dr. Holly Lucille discusses Her Cancer Journey with Dr. Ben Weitz.

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Podcast Highlights

3:25  Dr. Lucille explained that she was in her infrared sauna and she had done a bentonite clay mask, when she did a breast self-exam and she found a lump in her left breast.  She saw her gynecologist, who recommended getting a full breast ultrasound.  She went for an ultrasound of her breast and the doctor told her that he did not think there was anything to worry about.  But he wrote in his report that the lump was most likely from trauma from an ill-fitting bra, which didn’t make any sense for her.  She decided to go for a second opinion to a breast surgeon and he called her the next day and told her that she had both inner and outer breast cancer.  Then Dr. Lucille went for an MRI and there was also something in her other breast, so this doctor offered Holly different options.  She asked this doctor what she would do if it her were her sister, which is a good question to ask your cancer doctor?  Dr. Lucille she elected to have a double mastectomy surgery rather than lumpectomy with radiation and constant monitoring of her right breast.

8:57  Dr. Lucille looks at her current practice focus as caring for people with patterns of cancering.  When she went to see the standard of care oncologist at Cedars Sinai, all he said was here take this and if that doesn’t work or has too many side effects, we have three others we can choose. He did not ask her anything about her diet or lifestyle, he didn’t take any further blood work, and he didn’t want to know anything else about what we call the terrain. 

17:05  Most oncologists and radiologists will tell patients not to take any natural therapies, esp. antioxidant supplements because it might uncouple the treatment.  On the one hand, there is a lot of misinformation out there from people watching things on the internet.  On the other hand, there is a lot of scientific information out there when a patient is on a certain conventional regimen what is contraindicated and also what is beneficial when co-administered.  There are natural diet and lifestyle factors that can reduce side effects to allow patients to better tolerate the treatments as well as making the treatments more effective.  And this is needed, since we haven’t moved the needle in improving standard of care therapy for cancer in 70 years as far as improving outcomes. 

18:58  Test, assess, and address.  Dr. Lucille elected to have double mastectomy and it was recommended that she also take an aromatase inhibitor, which is a hormone blocking agent, but after taking it for two weeks, her pain was so bad that she decided to stop taking it.  She does work with an integrative oncologist and they do detailed lab work regularly, because she believes that rather than guessing, we should test, assess, and address. This lab work includes LDL isoenzymes to assess the mitochondria, SED rate and HsCRP to assess inflammation, a CBC with differential, a comprehensive metabolic panel, copper and ceruloplasmin, zinc, and a full iron panel.  While too much copper or iron can increase cancer risk, we have actually been seeing too little copper in some patients, since so many people were loading up on zinc for immune support due to COVID.  Labs also include glucose, Hemoglobin A1C, since insulin sensitivity is a driver of cancer, and also IGF-1 since this is also a driver of cancer risk.



Dr. Holly Lucille has over 20 years experience in clinical naturopathic practice.  After her own breast cancer diagnosis, Dr. Lucille devoted herself to learning everything about integrative approaches to oncology. Dr. Lucille is the author of several books, including Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Women’s Guide to Safe, Natural, Hormone Health and the Healing Power of Trauma Comfrey.  She has lectured around the world on a variety of natural health topics, is on the advisory board of several natural health journals and is the host of the Mindful Medicine Podcast.  Her website is DrHollyLucille.com.

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for Functional Nutrition consultations specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure.  Dr. Weitz has also successfully helped many patients with managing their weight and improving their athletic performance, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111. Dr. Weitz is also available for video or phone consultations.



Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz:                            Hey. This is Dr. Ben Weitz, Host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field to bring you the latest in cutting edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates and, to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me, and let’s jump into the podcast.

Hello, Rational Wellness Podcasters. Today we’ll be speaking with Dr. Holly Lucille about her personal health journey and experience with cancer. Dr. Holly Lucille has over 20 years of experience in clinical naturopathic practice. She’s a peerless expert ready to help you achieve your best health, even in the context of a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Lucille is the daughter of two pharmacists, and she was well-versed in the Western medical approach, but she found herself coming over to the light, to the functional medicine world.  After her own breast cancer diagnosis, Dr. Lucille devoted the next year of her life to learning everything she didn’t know about integrative approaches to oncology. Dr. Lucille is the author of several books, including Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Woman’s Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone Health, and The Healing Power of Trauma Comfrey. She has lectured around the world on a variety of natural health topics, has made numerous appearances on TV, and advisory board of several natural health journals, and she is also the host of the Mindful Medicine Podcast. Holly, thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Lucille:                           Ben, thank you. I was looking at you and your shirt, and I think that I should just have a Holly Lucille shirt that I wear every day, and that’s my uniform.

Dr. Weitz:                            That’s what I do, and this is now a write-off because I’m wearing my uniform when I-

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah, I think it’s such a great idea. Oh, gosh.

Dr. Weitz:                            Well, it’s all about promoting the brand, right?

Dr. Lucille:                           Right, and simplicity. You don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear.

Dr. Weitz:                            Exactly. Exactly. Albert Einstein had seven blue suits. Every day, he got up, he put on his blue suit. He didn’t have to waste a minute of mental energy figuring out what he was going to wear.

Dr. Lucille:                           Isn’t he also the person that said, “Don’t bother memorizing something that you can look up?”

Dr. Weitz:                            I think that’s true. Now we-

Dr. Lucille:                           All the school later, where we had to circle all the right answers and such.

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh yeah, absolutely. Some of those worthless courses where you were memorizing the lifecycle of every parasite, or organic chemistry.

Dr. Lucille:                           Oh, gosh. I just got hives I think when you said that.

Dr. Weitz:                            Perhaps you can start by telling us how you’re doing, your health, your practice.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah, thank you. I think pretty darn good. I’ll give you the… Yeah, I’ll unpack that a little bit. It was during the pandemic, I was in my infrared sauna, and I had done a bentonite clay mask, and I was like, “You’re doing what you’re doing to get by.” I was just hanging out, trying to do some self-care, and I came across… I found my own lump, and I was like, “Hmm, what’s this?” Interestingly enough, like a lot of other people, my regular scheduled screening and gynecologist appointment had been pushed several months because of the pandemic, but I was seeing her five days later, so I forgot about it, but I really didn’t.

So when I saw her, she ran right over the same lump and said, “You know, I don’t know. It needs to be assessed.” Well, I did go get it assessed, and I’m just going to leave all names out of it right now. But my first assessment was thrilling because I got just a full breast ultrasound. He was like, “You know, I don’t think it’s anything.” I was like, “Well, it’s something.” He’s like, “Well, I don’t think it’s anything.” So we were thrilled, drove away, don’t have breast cancer, so excited. Now, I get his written report sent to me a couple of days later. In his written report-

Dr. Weitz:                            This is where he covers his ass.

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, I don’t know about this. He says, “Most likely it is trauma from an ill-fitting bra.” I was like, “Wait a minute. If I had a ill-fitting bra on for three seconds, it would not stay on,” not enough to cause-

Dr. Weitz:                            If he thought that, don’t you think he would’ve asked you about it?

Dr. Lucille:                           That alarmed me so much. Then, it had all of those typical signs. So I’d lift up my arm and it would dimple. I called my gynecologist and I’m like, “I need a second opinion.” So I went to a breast surgeon and, at the Bedford Breast Center, Dr. Heather Richardson, she did a great job, and called me the next day and said, “You have inner and outer breast cancer.” So a couple of things there. Obviously, it’s super important to be an advocate for yourself. It’s super important not to just listen to maybe the first pass. It’s super important to get second opinions, and to listen to your body. So, I was really happy that I did that.

Dr. Weitz:                            Great. So what was the next thing that happened? Did you get more testing?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yep. She wanted me to do an MRI right away, and then we would have a more tailored conversation. So, we did that. Again, we got the MRI results back and there was maybe something a little suspicious in the right breast. Then she offered options, different options. Another question that I actually encourage my patients to ask me, “If I were you, or if I was your sister.” So I said to her, “If I was your sister,” and she had a great question back, “How do you feel about your breasts?” I looked at my wife and she’s like, “I don’t care.” I’m like, “I don’t care.” So, I chose to have a double mastectomy. That was my choice in it, because I felt like I didn’t want to be looking over my shoulder having screening, radiate tissue, have a lumpectomy. For me and where I was, my choice was a double mastectomy. So, I did have that surgery successfully.

Dr. Weitz:                            So the other option would’ve been to have a biopsy, I’m assuming?

Dr. Lucille:                           The biopsy was done, we would’ve had a lumpectomy with radiation.

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh, okay.

Dr. Lucille:                           Then, constant screening on my right breast as well.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right.

Dr. Lucille:                           Again, there was enough risk factors. My prognosis, the way that they grade it, and stage it, and the Ki- 67 score and everything, to get a breast cancer diagnosis-

Dr. Weitz:                            Maybe you can tell those who don’t know what the Ki-67 scoring is.

Dr. Lucille:                           The Ki-67, I would say, in general, how proliferative, so how aggressive perhaps that particular tumor is. The higher the worse, the lower the better, and it helps to navigate treatment options.

Dr. Weitz:                            So this is one of, my understanding is, the newer tests that look at, analyze the characteristics of the cancer cells to see how that cancer is going to react over time, how aggressive, how it might react to different treatments, right?

Dr. Lucille:                           That’s correct. It’s one of those things where you get that pathology, and all of those things, so you really can understand your options, from this way to this way, of what you want to do as far as treatment is concerned.

Dr. Weitz:                            Isn’t it interesting that this is now fully embraced by mainstream medicine? It was decades that integrative oncologists would do typing of the cancer cell, send them out, you had to send it to some lab in South Korea, or someplace like that, and there was no consideration for that. Now, it’s being embraced. One of the reasons why it’s now being embraced, in my opinion, is ’cause now you can say, “Well, you have this type, you need this drug.”

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, that’s true too. We look at it a little differently because, one of the reasons that I got into what I call, Ben, caring for people with patterns of cancering, so just a different way to frame it.

Dr. Weitz:                            I like that, “Caring for people with patterns of cancering.”

Dr. Lucille:                           But my standard of care, the one appointment I was too afraid not to go to was my standard of care oncologist at Cedars. Because I think this whole C-word is just connotative, and it comes with a lot of fear. But my experience there was so underwhelming, I was blown away. It was back to my growing up and my parents. It was, “Here, take this. If that doesn’t work, and if you have too many side effects, we’ve got three others we can choose from.” Did not ask anything about my lifestyle, my diet, didn’t take any further blood work, didn’t want to know anything else about what we call the terrain.  It was the idea that you can’t heal in the same soil you got sick in. So, didn’t want to know anything about that. I was just like, “Wait a minute, this is it? I have to get in there and help.” It was almost like this recreation of how I first got started into medicine. It was a volunteer class. It was a summer, I wanted to do a little volunteer work, and I was at an orientation for a hospital. This was back in the Midwest. Literally, I learned there that when people were admitted to the hospital, they lost their rights, maybe lost their privacy, right to choose.

Again, I got incensed and I’m like, “I have to get into this profession and help.” So it was repeat 40 years later, same thing with this. Then, what I did is, I was really, really interested in nutrition as a foundation, as you well know in integrative functional naturopathic medicine, nourishment. When you look up diet in the dictionary, how, as a habit, do you nourish yourself? That is what it means, habitual nourishment. I know that it’s so foundational and so important. So I enrolled in the Oncology Nutrition Institute, and they’ve got an incredible course, 250-hour, really, really in-depth course to be an oncology nutrition consultant. So, that’s where my whole-

Dr. Weitz:                            Is this Nasha Winters’ course?

Dr. Lucille:                           No. This is Jess Kelley. So, Jess Kelley-

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh, okay.

Dr. Lucille:                           Is the Co-Author of Nasha’s book-

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh, okay.

Dr. Lucille:                           The Metabolic Approach to Cancer. So, it’s her school. Then she also owned Remission Nutrition. Now Jen Nolan, who’s the Lead Nutritionist there, has that. Then I, at the same time, concomitantly went to Dr. Nasha Winters’ course. In The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, I was cohort five. So I took a gap year in reverse, and just immersed myself in wanting to understand more of that terrain surveillance. We’ve got incredible people in standard of care looking at the tumor. What they don’t do though, and they don’t do it really good, is look at the whole picture or the terrain. So, it’s just been really fun to continue to learn in this area.

Dr. Weitz:                            Could you imagine a farmer, and he’s having trouble with his plants not doing well, and not really consider what’s going on in the soil, or the water, or anything else that’s affecting the plants?

Dr. Lucille:                           Right. Well, then you’ve probably seen this meme where there’s this fish that’s in the fish tank, and the water is really dirty. So the question is, “Do you clean the tank or do you vaccinate the fish?” So, medicate or vaccinate the fish. When you see examples like that, it’s like, “Of course. Why don’t we see what happens if we clean that tank? I bet that fish will thrive.”

Dr. Weitz:                            Perfect. Boy, when it comes to conventional care, I started looking into some of the current treatments, and there are a lot of different pharmaceutical approaches now to breast cancer. It’s incredible. Everything from traditional chemo, to hormone blocking therapies, to targeted therapies, to checkpoint inhibitors, and on, and on, and on.

Dr. Lucille:                           I think what’s really important… I would never call myself an integrative oncologist, that is not what I am. Definitely, like I said, I am starting to care for people that are showing patterns of cancering. But one of the most important things that I do is that whole dossier thing, doctor is teacher, because these people, they’ve got a lot going on, and they are provided with so much information that they know nothing about.

I think one of the roles that I can play really well is to help them understand these conventional therapies, and these standard of care therapies, and then help them be informed, and then help them make their own decision that is an informed decision because they know, “It’s not just because my doctor said it. It’s because this is what I am choosing to do because I know exactly the risks, I know the benefits, I know the potential outcome, I know the potential mid-course corrections that might need to be taken.” I think that’s one of the biggest roles that I have just the pleasure of playing with these people, is to really help them understand so they can make informed decisions. Because, as you said, there are so many so opinions out there, and there’s so many options.

Dr. Weitz:                            I think in general, for those of us in the natural health space, that’s a very important role that we can play in helping many patients, and this is partially ’cause it’s a different financial model. Patients are actually compensating us, to some extent, for our time so we can have the time to have a detailed discussion with the patients, and have time listening to them. Unfortunately, the traditional medical system, which is run by insurance companies, doesn’t recognize the importance of doctors having time to listen to patients, and address their concerns, and help them with things that take time, like diet, and lifestyle, and exercise, and other recommendations that are crucial for their overall health.

Dr. Lucille:                           It’s a huge problem. I think that goes hand-in-hand with that issue that you see all of the time, I know, is that there’s also a certain ignorance, and I say that with all due respect. I say that in, not somebody being ignorant, but ignorance about complimentary care, even if it’s to support conventional or standard of care treatments. Then a lot of times, the medical oncologists, because they don’t know that this is probably better off with the patient with standard of care than without, they’ll just say, “Please stop everything and wait until we’re done with treatment.”  We’re over here going, “Listen, this treatment in and of itself is carcinogenic we want to protect your body from, and we’re trying to help that.” That’s another thing that I get really upset about, because I think that there’s still this hierarchy with a medical oncologist who says this, and I see my patients do it, “I’m just going to do what he says,” or, “Just going to do what they say,” and they will abandon concomitant treatments because somebody said, “I don’t really know how that interacts, you probably should just wait.” So that’s another piece where you just have to really be advocates for these people, talk to them, teach, and support.

Dr. Weitz:                            Well, when it comes to using natural therapies, especially supplements at the same time as getting traditional care, it’s taken for granted among radiologists and most oncologists, that using anything that’s an antioxidant is automatically going to uncouple everything that they’re doing.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah, that is basically the blanket thought process and statement that they make, and it’s not true. Then you’ve got people like the FABNOs, the Fellow of American Board of Naturopathic Oncologists, these people that have worked at cancer treatment centers. These people that have studied this in and out, they understand contraindications with standard of care therapy and with conventional therapies. They understand all of that and wouldn’t recommend.

Now I have to say, Ben, this is really important, what I do come across, because this is another thing that happens, what I’ve been noticing as a pattern with people that have been diagnosed with patterns of cancering is, they’re not just the patient. Their entire circle of friends, family, and loved ones are, because why? They come out of the woodwork with so many suggestions. “I saw this on the summit, I saw this on the internet.” The questions that I am met with… I know exactly the summit that they’re watching too.  That’s what you have to be really careful about, because there’s a lot of information out there, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. But we do know, if they are on a certain conventional regimen what is contraindicated, and actually what is needed, co-administrative, to be beneficial. So we know all of that, and those are the things that we have to start advocating for because I think we haven’t moved the needle in 70 years in standard of care oncology therapy. We haven’t. We Just haven’t, for outcomes, and I know we can do better.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. So as far as your own cancer journey, you had double mastectomy?

Dr. Lucille:                           I did.

Dr. Weitz:                            Did you have to have additional treatment?

Dr. Lucille:                           It was definitely prescribed to me. After two weeks on aromatase inhibitor… I also suffer, and as you get older, this gets worse, from Ehlers-Danlos, that connective tissue disorder. My pain was so bad, in trying to take these hormone-blocking agents, that I decided-

Dr. Weitz:                            What drugs did you take?

Dr. Lucille:                           It was an aromatase inhibitor. I forget exactly which one, because she said too many… “We’ve got three others we can go through.” Then the other thing that I did, there’s an algorithm out of Cambridge, and so I put all of those things that we were talking about, I put all of my stats in there, my age, postmenopausal, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then, I was able to see, 5, 10, 15 years out, literally how much long of a survival rate I would get with being on these agents or not.  For me, and this is not doing anything else, it was so just insignificant that I was like, “You know what? I think I’ll pass.” So that’s it, double mastectomy. Then I did hire, and I still work with an integrative oncologist, who is amazing and follows me. I just got sent a LabCorp requisition, which I just scheduled, and when I get back from my vacation we’ll do our next round of blood work. The whole idea is, “We don’t guess. We test, assess, and address.” So, she stays on top of that.

Dr. Weitz:                            What are some of the important markers that you’re monitoring for your own journey? What are some of the most important ones, and ones that you would recommend to other patients who are cancering?

Dr. Lucille:                           So LDH and isoenzymes, really important to assess the mitochondria and in different tissues. That’s a great marker, one of the trifectas that Dr. Winters talks about.  A sed rate. So really wanting to understand inflammation, a highly sensitive C reactive protein as well, obviously a CBC with differential, looking at that neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and, as well, a comprehensive metabolic panel. We’re just going to see basic things there.  The other thing that we look at, drivers like copper, ceruloplasmin and then, as well, iron, a full iron panel. Some of those things that I know that… The labs that I get from patients that are going through standard of care treatment, they’re pretty minimal. They’re just looking at, “Are they going to be able to tolerate this round again?” We’re looking at it, again, assessing the terrain. So a little bit more detailed.

Dr. Weitz:                            Higher levels of copper increase angiogenesis, inflammation, worsens cancer risk, drives cancer growth. What are some of the other important markers?

Dr. Lucille:                           Oh gosh, I could go on and on.

Dr. Weitz:                            Well, metabolic stuff, glucose, hemoglobin, A1C, insulin, right?

Dr. Lucille:                           Oh, little Hemoglobin A1C, of course, yes. I think that I probably missed it ’cause it was like, “Duh.” But, yes.

Dr. Weitz:                            Because we know that insulin sensitivity is huge factor in cancer, right?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yes. Insulin sensitivity, glucose, hemoglobin, A1C, IGF-1 as well.

Dr. Weitz:                            What’s your take on IGF-1?

Dr. Lucille:                           What do you mean?

Dr. Weitz:                            Well, in the longevity world, apart from the cancer world, for quite a period of time, a lot of the focus was on trying to make sure that your body could repair and regenerate. As you get older, you fall apart. So there was use of human growth hormone and hormone replacement, and that still has a role in some patients, but the ability to maintain growth hormone levels so that your body can repair, so you don’t fall apart, so you don’t lose your mobility, et cetera, et cetera, and IGF-1 is a marker of longevity.  I know, in recent years, there’s been some discussion that… Especially Valter Longo says that you got to get the growth hormone levels lower because of the Laron Dwarfs, and IGF-1 is a marker of growth hormone, so you’ll live longer if you have lower growth hormone levels. Then, of course, the first study that was done to show that you could actually improve epigenetic biological aging, used growth hormone.

Dr. Lucille:                           Oh my gosh, I know.

Dr. Weitz:                            The Fahey study. So there’s a lot of controversy, and IGF-1 is a marker for growth hormone.

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, obviously in this, we like to see it lower, and that’s why we’re assessing it.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. But you probably don’t want it as low as possible, right?

Dr. Lucille:                           No, no, no, no.  I think you bring up a great point.  Each person is individual.  So, a lot of times, I’m trying to have my patients not use cast iron skillets, or what have you, just trying to keep that down, same with copper.  But if there’s a copper deficiency which, by the way, because of the pandemic, I have seen so much more.  Why?  Because people got on the internet and are like, “How do you prevent COVID?”  Well, quercetin, zinc, vitamin C, zinc, zinc, zinc. So, I’ve seen-

Dr. Weitz:                            Zinc/copper ratio, that’s what’s crucial, yeah.

Dr. Lucille:                           The zinc supplementation, just for days, I’m just going to stay on this. Then, all of a sudden, there’s these strange anemias I’m trying to figure out, or these pain syndromes that people have that I’m trying to figure out, and it comes down to this copper deficiency that I think has been contributed because of all of this. Everybody’s different, and I think that’s that big, really strong… 

Dr. Weitz:                            Well, even though it’s three years later, if you’re going to take booster shot number 17, then you might as well keep your zinc levels up too.

Dr. Lucille:                           I’ll leave that there.

Dr. Weitz:                            I will too.

Dr. Lucille:                           I think that’s a whole nother podcast.

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah. Tell us about, what are some of the important factors when it comes to diet and cancer risk?

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, as you said, insulin, sugar. One of the things that I ask people when I’m trying to get in there… Ben, here’s the thing… Again, I go back to, “Here, take this approach.” Here, take this is easy medicine. Now I’m not saying chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, cut, burn, poison is easy on the body, but it’s easy to do, boom, boom, boom. People are like, “Okay, yes.” I try to get in there and really make a difference with lifestyle and diet.  It is not easy.  What I’ve come across in this recent iteration of my practice is that, I’ve known this for a long time but, as we all know, food is so much in our society.  There’s a subset of my population that grew up in India, so they are very connected to those flavors, to the substances, the rice and the bread.  It is a lot to educate because what I start to do, and I’m going to start this way, I ask them, most people have had a PET scan, “Do you know what solution that they give you?”  A lot of people do, and they’ll say, “Yeah, I think it was glucose, sugar.”  I’m like, “Yeah, why?”  They’re like, “Because it lights up cancer.”  I’m like, “Okay, we’re onto something. Yes, that is exactly why.”  So I think that a lot of evidence is out there on a therapeutic nutritionally dense ketogenic diet. Now, I say that because I wish sometimes that the ketogenic diet had a different name, that we could call it something else because there’s internet keto, there’s dirty keto, there’s just crappy keto where I see… No, it’s like back in the paleo days when I was in CrossFit, and I would watch my athletes, my girls, eat bacon wrapped bacon, or bacon wrapped sweet potatoes.

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh, that was Atkins diet, right?

Dr. Lucille:                           But we’re talking about nutrient dense, and keeping that environment, carbohydrate low, sugar low, so it’s adverse to cancer cells instead of welcoming. So that is definitely something that I think is extremely important. I think that, especially during chemotherapy, there’s a lot of evidence with fasting to decrease side effects and increase better outcomes.

Also, one of the tests that is a game changer across the board, because we can have all this conventional wisdom and have it be evidence-informed or evidence-based, but when you do a Nutrition Genome, that’s their genes. That’s taking these genetic weaknesses and using food to actually make them strengths, and support their whole terrain, and whole genetic makeup in that way, using food. It’s not just a test for more supplementation or anything like that. That’s just been a game changer in my practice.

Dr. Weitz:                            So when you advise patients on changing their diet, how strongly do you recommend a ketogenic approach? Do you tell them they absolutely must do this, it’s super important? Do you just ask them to try to clean up their diet, reduce the carbs? Is it general approaches? Does it depend on the person? Maybe their personality, maybe their cancer type?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yep. All of the above. I think what’s really important is where people are at in this pattern. If we have to close ranks and we’ve got a job to do, because the proliferation of those cancer cells is winning, then we’re going to close ranks and get as most aggressive as possible, pull out all stops. That comes from, I love… It comes from the organ player. The stops are the things in the organ. When you pull out all the stops, you just play as loud as you can.

But when you’re tracking and trending labs, and people are 2, 3, 4 years out, and they’re stable, and they’re doing well, and they’re cancer free, then there’s wiggle room to just nourish themselves and maybe not be in ketosis, but still be mindful of that. Or go on vacation and vary your palate again. So, it all really depends. But when you look at the evidence, when it comes to active cancering, a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet is very, very popular.

Dr. Weitz:                            Do you think that certain cancers require different dietary approaches?

Dr. Lucille:                           I think that certain people require different dietary approaches. In fact, about three out of the 40 Nutrition Genomes that I get back, it actually says in the printout of the algorithm, “A ketogenic diet might very well backfire,” or something like that. So we do adjust at that point in time.

Dr. Weitz:                            So what test is this that you’re referring to, specifically?

Dr. Lucille:                           It’s called Nutrition Genome, if you go to nutritiongenome.com. I think it’s fascinating.

Dr. Weitz:                            Okay, cool.

Dr. Lucille:                           Not only will it show you your macros, your APOE score, but also your strengths, which is great. You can focus on those, always fun too. But their weaknesses, and then the sweet spot is, they’ll give this personalized grocery list. That’s where people can just start nourishing themselves. If there’s a need for copper, if there’s a need for… If instead of people over methylating because they know of their MTHFR status, or what have you, they can actually understand foods that can feed this cycle, and we don’t need to go all the way over to overmethylating. Which, as you well know, people will feel just as bad if they’re undermethylated.

Dr. Weitz:                            What about some of the genetic markers like BRCA for breast cancers?

Dr. Lucille:                           Of course. My experience is, the medical oncology world does a pretty good job at, when somebody is diagnosed, making sure that those genetic markers that are more nuanced in our field of epigenetics are done. So a lot of times, people will come to me already knowing their status. But, that’s extremely important.

Dr. Weitz:                            Let’s say you see a patient who does not have breast cancer, but they’re concerned about breast cancer, and they’re positive for one of the BRCA genes.

Dr. Lucille:                           I have them in my practice. Same thing, there’s a lot of decision making going on. Of course, there’s prophylactic oophorectomy, there’s prophylactic mastectomies. I have a lady that just doesn’t want to do that. So, guess what? She is living her life, knowing and being aware of that particular piece of data. Also, we are keeping an eye on her.

Dr. Weitz:                            What do you think about women who are positive for BRCA, having prophylactic mastectomy/oophorectomy?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah. I think it’s a personal choice. Again, a lot of discussion as risk/benefit ratios. Sometimes people don’t want to be looking over their shoulders. Sometimes people just want to get it taken care of, and that’s exactly why they choose that. That’s been my experience, where they’re like, “You know what? I know the risk factor here. I don’t want to worry about it. I want to live my life,” and they choose something that radical to do to preserve that loss of innocence, in a sense.

Dr. Weitz:                            Oh, I wanted to ask you one more question on a diet. We have a percentage of people who advocate a vegan diet, and are very, very strong about that being the best diet to reduce cancer risk. I know a diet becomes almost like political ideology, but what do you think about patients who want to follow a vegan diet? Or maybe patients who just say, “Hey, I read this thing,” what would you say?

Dr. Lucille:                           So I have this policy, and I’ve had to push back on a couple patients. When they talk to me, or email me, or communicate with me with an, “I heard,” or, “I read,” or, “Somebody said,” it’s a deal breaker for me to go on. What I need from them is, I need to understand the context. Where? Who? what?

Dr. Weitz:                            “Dr, so-and-so website says-“

Dr. Lucille:                           So, it can be a teaching point for both of us. I empty my cup all the time. You only know what you know, and that just means you also know what you don’t know. That is super important, so I always ask people to do that. As far as that is concerned, we talk about it, and this happens a lot. But again, with bacon wrapped bacon, and bacon wrapped sweet potatoes, or dirty keto, the inflammatory things that can go into a ketogenic diet with poor quality food can happen in a vegan diet too. One of my best friends is a staunch vegan. She was served honey mustard dressing on a salad, and I thought the world was going to end, because there was bees involved in the honey in the honey mustard. It was pretty intense.

Dr. Weitz:                            Really?

Dr. Lucille:                           But, her diet is for crap. It’s very hard for me to even eat with her because we go to a vegan restaurant and she orders something called fish, but it’s just fried gluten, and something like that. So, I go back to food quality and the nutrient density.

Dr. Weitz:                            Unfortunately, like different political ideologies, there’s a whole worldview once you jump into that world, and there’s a certain amount of data that backs it up. In fact, carbs are not the cause of insulin problems. It’s due to saturated fat. If you-

Dr. Lucille:                           In a few people, absolutely, and you’ll see that in their Nutrition Genome, that too much saturated fat is driving up insulin and glucose. So, it’s a great teaching point, and it’s a great piece of data. But for the most part, again, you’re right… You know this too, as far as studies are concerned, if you want to see a calcium absorption study for any calcium, you’re going to find it. You will find it out there, it will be in the literature.  So that’s another piece of education where we just get to unpack things and look at the literature, look at how the study was done, look at how big it was, look at if it’s biased. For the most part, just be more commonsensical and do our best. Then also people, as you well know, they’ve got white-knuckle grips on certain ideologies. I think veganism, I’ve seen that, and then you work with them. You just work with them, and just really emphasize food quality, and then also-

Dr. Weitz:                            Try to get their diet as close to a keto version of the vegan diet as you can.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah. Again, then you’re also accepting-

Dr. Weitz:                            What do you think about meat and cancer risk?

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, I think Dr. Nasha Winters said this, “It’s not the food, it’s what we’ve done to it.”

Dr. Weitz:                            Right.

Dr. Lucille:                           So when you’re looking at grass fed, grass finished, these really conscious agricultural processes that are out there, and also the amount… I think it was Michael Pollan’s family that came up with the word flexitarian, which I really appreciated, which is really plant strong with an occasional and small bit of animal protein. Now, for me, my need for omega 3s is extremely high, based on my Nutrition Genome. So that wild caught salmon and sardines are things that I nourish myself with all of the time. And, I have the gene for the saturated fat, so too much even clean dairy, 22 grams a day, I’m going to start gaining weight and inflammation.

Dr. Weitz:                            What do you think about some of the data that targets specific amino acids as being important for cancer risk? I know some people… There seems to be, people focus on one. I know a doctor who says, “It’s all about methionine, and if you eat any animal products, you’re going to be high in methionine,” and other people talking other amino acids. I know Dr… I’m drawing his a blank on his name. The guy from Boston College who talks about the metabolic theory of cancer. He says, “Apart from getting on a ketogenic diet, you want to take drugs that block glutamine, because glutamine is the amino acid that cancer cells can also feed off of.” What about that data that seems to indicate that certain amino acids that are only found in animal products are cancer causative?

Dr. Lucille:                           I think it’s really fascinating to read that literature. I really, really do.

Dr. Weitz:                            Thomas Seyfried.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yes, as soon as you said it, his name went right away from [inaudible 00:39:18].

Dr. Weitz:                            Yeah, he was just on Mark Hyman’s podcast recently.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah. Yeah. I think you just have to take it all into consideration and then, once again, focus on that person in front of you. I do think that there are some cancers where that is true, and I see that in some people. In others, not so much. So I think that it’s so important that we don’t get caught in the cookie cutter protocol orientation of the trap that we’ve gotten away from. You call it traditional, I call it conventional medicine, because I think traditional medicine is what you and I do.

It’s what we used to do a long time ago where we took time, and we understood what the air was like that people are breathing, what the water is like that they’re drinking, what the food is, how their thoughts are. All of those good, fundamental things. That’s more traditional, and that’s what we do. So it’s the conventional side that’s gotten in the way, and I don’t ever want to be that cookie cutter, “This is what we do when we see this.”

It’s that curious mind, it’s the emptying the cup, that I think contributes to people’s best outcomes, and also that therapeutic relationship where they’re involved. I always tell people, “Listen, you are the driver of this process. I’m going to give you, from my best knowledge, my experience, my education, my best recommendations, but you get to decide.” I always want to empower people to do that.

Dr. Weitz:                            What about the use of intravenous vitamins for cancer?

Dr. Lucille:                           So I’ll give you an example, and this is a newly diagnosed, and really a painful case that I saw. She not only has two lumps in her left breast, one is ER/PR-positive and one is triple negative. Two different types of cancers right next to each other. Of course, she’s 32 years old and everybody is on board. Her boyfriend is-

Dr. Weitz:                            By the way, for those who don’t know, triple negative is probably the hardest cancer to treat, probably the most aggressive. Then, the ER-positive is probably the second-hardest one.

Dr. Lucille:                           ER-positive, PR-positive.

Dr. Weitz:                            And, that means estrogen receptor positive.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yes, sorry. And, progesterone receptor positive. Then there’s androgen receptor, we can go on, and on, and on. However, she started on chemotherapy and then went to a more targeted therapy. They were asking me about high-dose IV vitamin C. So I use a certain database called, Efficasafe. What I’ll do is, I’ll put in the targeted medication that they’re on, and I can see contraindications. I can also see, “Caution should be taken with,” and why. Also, things that are optimizers, like vitamin D is often an optimizer for standard of care treatment.

So in this particular case, there was going to be some contraindications with high-dose IV therapies. So there’s a place and a time for everything, and that’s just what you have to look at. Sometimes when they are going through standard of care, let’s just let the drug… It’s almost like an antibiotic. Do you take a probiotic with it, or do you let the antibiotic do its job and then we recover, and replace, and reinoculate afterwards? A lot of times you just have to look, once again, at that individual case and what they’re on. But I think that there’s really some great value in IV vitamin C, high-dose mistletoe therapy is huge. We all know that from… They’ve been using it forever in Germany, almost of standard of care in oncology.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right.

Dr. Lucille:                           Then ozone therapy, people are always asking about. Again, place and time for everything.

Dr. Weitz:                            Do you use ozone therapy? If so, which type?

Dr. Lucille:                           At this point in time, no. My practice is completely remote. So we can be talking about it, but I don’t offer that.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. Do you recommend any of the other alternative cancer treatments, like heat, cold, a few things like that?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah. Well, mistletoe is a warming therapy in and of itself. HBOT therapy. One of the things that I got into, the HBOT, when I was preparing for my mastectomy because of the oxygen. There’s a-

Dr. Weitz:                            HBOT is hyperbaric oxygen.

Dr. Lucille:                           I have a translator here with me. Thank you. I usually am better at that? I usually just talk, and I’ll break down my acronyms. But, thanks for having my back today. Because there’s a risk for the double mastectomy of tissue necrosis, and so the idea of oxygenating that tissue pre and post-surgery is something that I chose to do for myself, and then oftentimes will advocate with other people as well.

Dr. Weitz:                            Cool. I know everybody’s individual, but what about some of the supplements that may have some anti-cancer effects in some patients?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah, absolutely. Curcumin, we could just have an entire podcast on that. But again, even with things that have really conventional wisdom, like green tea extract, curcumin, andrographis, I could go on, and on, and on. It is super important to understand what else is going on, and if there’s any contraindications and, as well, what is our COMT? We look at genetics so we can get a little bit more specific and tailored when it comes to supporting them with supplementation. So, there’s just a whole array of-

Dr. Weitz:                            What about a estrogen metabolism?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah. So that’s another that you bring… That’s a great point, and I was thinking about this earlier when we were talking about Nutrition Genome. Another test that I run quite often, especially with ER/PR- positive cancers, estrogen receptor positive, is the DUTCH test. So, that is really important because we want to see that metabolism of estrogen. Weird, but our bodies look at estrogen as a toxin that has to be metabolized through enzymatic pathways in our liver. It’s like the good, the bad, and the ugly road. If there are four hydroxy estrogens, then we know that they are linked to invasive breast cancer, they’re linked to DNA damage, and there are things in diet lifestyle supplementation that we can do to alter that metabolism. So, another good piece of information to understand.

Dr. Weitz:                            What are some of the other supplements that may have some powerful anti-cancer effects?

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, think about vitamin C in general, zinc we think about as well. Gosh, just depending on what people are going through and where they’re-

Dr. Weitz:                            Do you, for example, look at the zinc/copper ratio? You were talking about measuring copper.

Dr. Lucille:                           All the time.

Dr. Weitz:                            If so, do you have a target for that?

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, like I said, the thing that I’ve been seeing a lot is this copper deficiency. Another line you have to cross, or walk, is not wanting people deficient in anything, but not wanting an excess where there’s a driver going on. Same thing with fibrinogen, we know that’s maybe a poor prognostic for… So we want that fibrinogen level to be lower. So the use of nattokinase in situations like that. If iron metabolism is off, we’re really wanting to understand why. Artemis is something that I’ve used to try to get iron down, and then figure out also, if things like copper and iron are high, where is this happening in their lifestyle, their diet, in their body’s metabolism. So, it’s like a puzzle.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. That’s one of the keys to natural approaches, is treating each person as an individual, get a sense from their history and detail testing to figure out how their body is working, and then try to optimize that terrain in their body that’s going to make it harder for cancer to grow.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah, and that’s why it’s just been interesting to me, and it’s been also another great reminder of a lesson, which is to empty that cup. So I think that we can get into a habit of, you see somebody’s… Because we have a lot of paperwork that is uploaded, and you can get an idea or a snapshot, maybe do even from the pathology of what somebody’s going through, but you have no idea.

This has happened to me, where I’ll read and I’ll prep all of my patients, and then the computer comes up, the Zoom link comes on, and everything that I thought that was going to go in my head went right out the door because that person, their energy, their motivation, their drive, their fear, their family, I did not take that into consideration. I was just looking off the paper. That is so important. So now I’m like, “All right, I got this off the paper. I know in my heart and my head, if this was just this off the paper, but I have to empty my cup and then go and meet that person because it’s all going to make a big difference.”

Dr. Weitz:                            Treat the patient, not the labs, but informed by the labs.

Dr. Lucille:                           A hundred percent, yes. So that was another… Especially now that a lot of things have gone more remote, is so important because you lose a little bit of that personal touch, or that sense. You can have good Zoom side manner. You can. You can work it in, but it’s just not the same. So emptying your cup, even more empty, is super important I think.

Dr. Weitz:                            How should women screen themselves for breast cancer risk, or any cancer risk?

Dr. Lucille:                           Well, I think just to take a look at, once again, diet is really important. When I say that, I feel like food quality is more the issue that we need to talk about in our modern day, not so much this diet or that diet. It’s the quality of food. Whether glyphosate is involved, if you’re not eating organic or you’re not mindful of that. What is your water source? Are you having a buildup of heavy metals? Where do you get your animal products?

Dr. Weitz:                            Right. Do you like to test for environmental toxins, heavy metals?

Dr. Lucille:                           Absolutely. Especially, let’s say somebody’s white blood cells are tanking, and I don’t know why.

Dr. Weitz:                            Somebody’s white blood cells are what?

Dr. Lucille:                           Tanking.

Dr. Weitz:                            Tanking, going down. Okay.

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah, and I don’t know why. I’m going to screen for heavy metals. This is somebody that hasn’t been through therapy. In fact, this is actually the woman who is BRCA positive, and her white blood cells, even after some pretty aggressive intervention, continue to be low. So again, you have to put that sleuth hat on and figure out and understand why. So there’s a couple of things that contribute to that, and we want to rule those in or out.

Dr. Weitz:                            Do you recommend mammograms?

Dr. Lucille:                           Okay. It’s three minutes to the end of the hour, and we’re not going to [inaudible 00:50:54]. Self-breast exams, I found my own lump.

Dr. Weitz:                            Right.

Dr. Lucille:                           Every month, at the same time, in the shower, just get to know your body, so if anything changes you’re aware of it first.

Dr. Weitz:                            I know we’ve only got a few minutes, but what do you think about full body MRIs as a way to screen for cancer risk?

Dr. Lucille:                           Yeah, there’s things. I’m going to have a Prenuvo actually, after I come back from my vacation, which is a full body MRI without radiation, Prenuvo. It’s an interesting conversation because there’s going to be little artifacts that come up when you have something like that. There’s going to be little spot on your lung, there’s going to be spot on your liver, and that needs to be read and taken into consideration by somebody who’s seen a lot of these. Again, treat people not lab tests or these images.  But I do think that they can be lifesaving. The one thing that I think we all think about is, if it’s early detection and there’s early intervention, where the body actually is like, “Hey, you know what? I got this. There’s no need to intervene,” I think it’s you’re going to cause more harm than good. So those are some things that I think about. But I think knowledge is power, self-knowledge is superpower, and it’s all what we do with it.

Dr. Weitz:                            Okay. Thank you so much, Holly.

Dr. Lucille:                           It’s always a pleasure.

Dr. Weitz:                            How can listeners, viewers, find out more about you or work with you?

Dr. Lucille:                           I think the best place to always go is just going to be my website. It always needs to be updated, but it’s just drhollylucille.com. Drlucille.com.

Dr. Weitz:                            Okay. Great. Thank you, Holly.

Dr. Lucille:                           All right, Ben. Great to see you. Thanks so much for having me, and thanks for all you do.

Dr. Weitz:                            Thank you for making it all the way through this episode of the Rational Wellness Podcast. For those of you who enjoy listening to the Rational Wellness Podcast, I would certainly appreciate it if you could go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify and give us a five star ratings and review. That way, more people will discover the Rational Wellness Podcast.  I wanted to let everybody know that I do have some openings for new patients so I can see you for a functional medicine consultation for specific health issues, like gut problems, autoimmune diseases, cardiometabolic conditions, or for an executive health screen, and to help you promote longevity and take a deeper dive into some of those factors that can lead to chronic diseases along the way. That usually means we’re going to do some more detailed lab work, stool testing, sometimes urine testing, and we’re going to look at a lot more details to get a better picture of your overall health from a preventative functional medicine perspective.  So if you’re interested, please call my Santa Monica Weitz Sports Chiropractic and Nutrition Office at 310- 395-3111, and we can set you up for a new consultation for functional medicine. I’ll talk to everybody next week.


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