Eight Lifesaving Takeaways from the Annie Appleseed Project Conference

I couldn’t have asked for more from the 10th Annual Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Cancer Therapies Conference put on by the Annie Appleseed Project. After burying myself in alternative cancer books, listening to health podcasts every time I’m in the car, following numerous cancer and health websites, and watching every related documentary there is to watch over the last two years, I was starting to think there was no major concept in alternative cancer therapy left for me to discover. I was wrong. On top of meeting so many amazing people all sharing the same common interest of finding out everything they can on how to beat cancer naturally and getting to share our story to the whole conference in the patient panel, I also picked up a ton of new concepts to explore further.

As mentioned in our Facebook posts throughout the conference, if you’re looking into this type of information (which you probably are if you’re reading this article) I would highly recommend finding a natural healing conference in your area or even traveling to one. You really don’t know what you’re going to learn or who you’ll meet until you get there, but for me the experience was invaluable and we’ll be attending as many of these types of events as we can going forward.

That being said, I came home with a lot of information to process and concepts to delve further into which will come out in the form of in depth articles over time, but I wanted to give you the quick low down of what I learned that was new or stuck out to me. If I attempted to review every speaker and vendor I met there I’d be writing this for a month so I’ll try to limit the topics, but they are all on the Annie Appleseed website, many with their own books and websites you can look further into.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

I’ve known about hyperbaric oxygen chambers for a long time, but picked up a couple of interesting tidbits from the folks at Evolution Hyperbarics (website not live yet), who are coming out with an invention they couldn’t tell me much about other than it will revolutionize hyperbaric chambers in terms of efficacy and cost. Needless to say I’ll be keeping an eye on them.

For those that haven’t heard of it, hyperbaric oxygen therapy consists of getting into a futuristic looking chamber inside of which is 100% oxygen with an increased atmospheric pressure. As we know, oxygen is bad news for cancer. Through normal respiration, it’s only transported by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. So basically you’re getting an oxygen infusion into every conceivable space in your body and the cancer has no place to hide.

What I didn’t know – The soft canvas chambers are nowhere near as effective as the solid acrylic ones. They might be better than nothing but if you have any sort of monetary constraint your money is better spent elsewhere. On top of that, the soft bags can be scary! Not knowing the difference we had tried to get Ryder into one a few times early on and he flipped out (along with Teddy who was holding him so that probably didn’t help!) so we decided we’d better pick our battles. The guy made a really good point that the small, solid canvas bags with tiny little windows are a surefire claustrophobia producer compared to a large, clear chamber.

What was very exciting to learn is that our own mainstream hospital system here in Utah does in fact offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy (with a good one)! We’ve been wanting to try again for a long time now but have been constrained financially so taking on a new treatment like that wasn’t in the cards. But with a prescription in a regular hospital we have a real shot! Fingers crossed we can make our case to Ryder’s oncologist at our next MRI appointment in a couple weeks. Be sure and ask around yourself and find out if it’s possible to get this incredible treatment covered! With basically everything considered “natural” not covered by insurance, this would be a very nice step forward.


Talk about timing! After having just finished my most scholarly work to date with our latest article on bee propolis, I meet the good people of NaturaNectar. This company is focused 100% on propolis and I’m sold!

I learned there are various extraction methods for propolis – Ethanol, CO2, various chemicals, etc. that all other companies use in producing propolis products. These guys have come up with a way to extract the propolis using just purified water! The process takes a few days as opposed to a few hours with the other methods but the result is a cleaner product, and this method is capable of removing all impurities (wax, bee poo, etc.) whereas the others cannot.

This propolis also comes in powder capsules which is huge as the tinctures come in either an alcohol or propylene glycol base, neither of which really excite me to give to my child. The powder also mixes in liquid much better than the tincture did surprisingly, and is tasteless as opposed to the very unpleasant taste of the stuff we’ve been using both of which are huge for us as it won’t be nearly as difficult to mix into his various concoctions and we won’t have to go to such great lengths to mask the taste.

What I was absolutely floored to discover however, is that you can find just about every compound you could ever hope to find in propolis in this one family of super clean products. As I mentioned in the article, propolis from different regions can be almost entirely different products as the trees and plants that bees collect the resin from located in different regions produce different compounds. In asking about all the compounds I had learned about though, between the Brazilian red, green, and brown propolis they’re pretty much all covered, including most notably both CAPE and ARC! They’ve even got a new “ultimate” product that blends all three colors!


Say that five times fast… It’s PNI for short (Psycho-Neuro-Immunology). I don’t think I’d actually heard this term before but I was familiar with the principals of this area of study and it was fascinating to hear more of the science behind it from Avinoam Lerner whose book The New Cancer Paradigm has certainly made it onto my list.

A key tenant of PNI is the assertion that there is bidirectional interaction between the neuroendocrine system (the intersection of your nervous system and endocrine system which is composed of the glands that secrete hormones into your body such as the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, etc.) and the immune system. How this relates to cancer is that a harmful state of mind can suppress the immune system.

Digging into that last statement a bit more gives the notion that the wrong perceptions and beliefs can lead to suffering and stress. Avinoam used the example of parents going overboard trying to get their kid to eat dinner night after night. Not understanding the rationale due to their limited frame of reference, the kid might be left with the perception that “If I eat more, Mommy will love me more.” If that incorrect perception manages to stick with this kid somewhere deep down into adulthood… That’s a problem.

Avinoam talks about using hypnosis to help people both uncover the events and circumstances that formed these harmful perceptions early on and correct them, essentially freeing up the mind and body to function as it should. He gave several very compelling case studies of specific people who he’s helped use this method to overcome cancer and other serious diseases. He’s also the first to point out that he’s not claiming physical treatments are not important in fighting cancer but that the mind IS in fact a very important area that more often than not goes overlooked even by those taking a natural approach.

Laziness & Constipation = Early Warning Signs Of Disease!!!

In fact, some people get so lazy they’re glad they’re constipated so they don’t have to get up and go to the bathroom! I wish I could take credit for this quip, but it was made by Paul Nison of HealthWatchman.com. Paul talked a lot about early warning signs and advanced detection and tracking techniques which is something I really want to get into more for Ryder as we’ll need to keep a close eye on him for the rest of his life (and teach him how to keep an eye on himself) but MRIs all the time aren’t exactly ideal.

Paul Nisom and I
Paul Nison and I

Two resources that really stood out to me: 1) American Metabolic Laboratories provides the absolute premier test for cancer markers according to Paul. Blood tests given by conventional doctors are essentially worthless, and even some of the more advanced ones only test for certain markers, whereas this one is the most comprehensive you can find. 2) He also mentioned another book that has certainly made it onto my list – Cancer Free! Are you Sure? is an entire book about early diagnostic methods that can help detect cancer long before it’s picked up by conventional means, which would certainly also double as more effective and non-invasive means of tracking a known cancer.

Paul is also big on using The Bible as a guide for health which is a topic that has been really fascinating me lately. It seems in just about every field of science these days there are very intelligent people drawing very strong correlations to these ancient scriptures, certainly too much to be ignored. I’m really looking forward to following Paul’s work and also got a kick out of doing a quick interview in the hallway for his Raw Life Health Show!

Cancer Stem Cells Reproduce Slowly

I’d always heard that chemo does nothing to cancer stem cells, but after hearing Dr. Charles Bens talk I realized I didn’t know why until now, and the explanation makes perfect sense. Chemo is designed to target fast dividing cells, which ironically is just about every cell in a child. But not all cancer cells are fast dividing. There are cancer types in which the entire cancer is slow growing and chemo will do very little for it. But every cancer has cancer stem cells. These cells account for only .1% of cancer cells but are the only ones capable of metastasizing and giving rise to new cancer cell types.

Since they are slow reproducers, not only are they not affected by chemotherapy, but they can go undetected long after one has been pronounced to show “no evidence of disease” and are what cause relapses down the road. This is why even if you are using conventional methods it’s so important to be doing everything you can to target these on the side to know you’re really beating the cancer. I believe I heard his slides will be up on the Annie Appleseed website at some point but just in case, here is the list he put up of natural products that target cancer stem cells: Green Tea, ginger, curcumin, blueberry, genistein, black pepper, selenium, leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, quercetin, ashwaganda, thyme, vitamin D3, resveratrol, lycopene, cannabis, and beta-carotene. We already have most of these checked off the list between all the different products we give Ryder not to mention all the juicing and smoothies he gets, but there’s certainly a few on there that we’ll be figuring out how to add in. I believe this is far and away the most important thing we can be doing for him.

Dr. Bens gave a whole lot of other very important information on cancer at the cellular and genetic level. Epigenetics, perhaps the most important field of study in this regard as it addresses the root causes of most cancers, not just the symptoms. The explanation can be as simple as how he put it – genes aren’t static like we’ve been lead to believe, they all have “switches” that can be turned on and off to perform various functions such as cancer suppression, immune enhancement, and cell cycle control. Exposure to carcinogens such as chemicals and radiation or cell cycle disruptors such as lack of nutrition or adequate waste removal and emotional stress are what flip these switches in the wrong direction. Some natural regulators for these switches he listed off were cruciferous vegetables, curcumin, resveratrol, cannabis, and chlorophyllin (think wheatgrass for this last one).

Take Modified Citrus Pectin Before Surgery To Prevent Metastasis

We’ve had Ryder on modified citrus pectin (MCP) for quite some time as it has so many incredible benefits, so it was a real treat to get to hear Dr. Isaac Eliaz, creator of the PectaSol-C product we use, talk about it in person. We actually originally started on MCP for detox purposes because it’s one of the few products out there making claims of effective detoxification ability (with heavy metals especially) with solid studies to back it up. It was only later on that we started hearing about all the incredible anti-cancer benefits.

Dr. Isaac Eliaz and I
Dr. Isaac Eliaz and I

Aside from binding to and flushing heavy metals from the body, MCP has been shown in studies to reduce primary tumors, metastasis, and angiogenesis (tumors forming their own blood supply). A big reason for this is MCP’s ability to block galectin-3. This molecule is becoming a very important bio-marker in cancer research and many other chronic diseases as well. Among other negative actions, galectin-3 allows cells to more easily adhere to each other (clump up). This is obviously a bad thing when it comes to cancer. When cancer cells are able to gang up, so to speak, they’re much harder for the immune system to pick off individually.

Galectin-3 also helps cancer cells not only adhere to each other, but to other tissues in the body which is very important when you start thinking about circulating tumor cells (CTCs). High galectin-3 levels will help a CTC find a home in a new area of the body, which is why it is recommended especially before and after surgery to make sure to take a lot of MCP so that if extra CTCs get released into the bloodstream, they won’t be able to bind to any blood vessels or tissues and will eventually get nabbed by the immune system.

Another interesting tidbit I didn’t know about galectin-3 is that not only can you test for it to see how you’re doing in keeping your levels down, there’s a good chance with a doctor’s note you can get your insurance to pay for it!!

One last thing – interestingly enough, MCP contains one of the same active ingredients as the well-known mistletoe plant, whose extracts are one of the most commonly used alternative cancer treatments in the world!

Dr. V Recommends Haelan!

I was one of only three or four males in Dr. V’s “breast cancer symposium,” but we’ve been following her ever since we saw her in the first Quest For The Cures documentary series which came out only a few weeks after Ryder was diagnosed so when I saw she was speaking, I had to go see her.

I was pleasantly surprised that during her talk she had a couple slides on Haelan 951 and spoke to its many benefits. Haelan is a product we stumbled into and started using very early on, even before the official diagnosis in fact, and has been a huge part of our protocol ever since. There are so many incredible studies on the product and it has such high levels of genistein (see nutrients that target cancer stem cells above) so it was nice to hear about it more in depth from a “cancer celebrity”.

I was also very pleased to hear Dr. V spend a good deal of time on Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and why they should be avoided at all costs. This is another topic I wish people would spend more time on when they talk about living a healthy lifestyle as more and more researchers are coming to the conclusion this is quite possibly the worst poison humans are exposed to on a daily basis. There is too much research backing this sentiment to be ignored, and to that point she mentioned a great resource that I was unaware of. The BioInitiative Report is an exhaustive scientific review of all the studies and data linking EMF to just about every negative health condition you can imagine, including childhood cancer (and breast cancer of course as that was the focus of her talk).

BeatCancer.org Exists, And It’s Awesome

I was also one of exactly two males in the morning yoga class. I got to talking to the other one, who turned out to be the CEO of BeatCancer.org.

While I had never heard of this organization before, I will certainly be recommending it as resource going forward. From the website: “For more than 35 years, we at BeatCancer.org have provided expert one-on-one, individualized nutritional, immunological, and psychological guidance to nearly 30,000 clients facing cancer — all on a donation basis – as often as is needed….Regardless of whether a patient donates, we have never turned anyone away for inability to pay.”

Their founder and executive director Susan Silberstein, PhD gave an incredible talk that day entitled “Beat Cancer With Your Fork.” If you want to know why a particular food is good for you and how it fights cancer, this is the lady to ask. I was blown away at the amount of scientific research on food she’s managed to gather and assimilate into a comprehensive presentation and approach to eating that anyone should be able to both understand the value of and incorporate into their lives, which is not always an easy thing to do.

Do Yourself A Favor And Go To The Annie Appleseed Project’s Next Conference If At All Possible!!

I could keep going for a long, long time but 3,000 words seems like a good place to stop. As stated in the beginning, if you want to take your understanding of complementary and alternative medicine to the next level, no matter where it may currently be, go to a conference! And for that matter, the one put on by the Annie Appleseed Project would be a very, very good choice.


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