Sandra Chaloux & Carla Vercoe

| 11/02/2016

Alternative Cancer Treatment Q&A

Alternative Cancer Treatment Q&A

This is a photo of Carla after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime according to Chances are you, a friend, or a family member is going through this right now. One of our very own service providers, Carla Vercoe of Studio Be Pilates, shares her own experience with breast cancer testing and treatment in the hopes of helping others in this Q & A post. Here we go.

Q. How were you diagnosed/did you find out you had breast cancer? What test did you use to detect and verify?

A. I found my lump during a self-exam in early October 2015. I had just been for my annual obgyn appointment in July and nothing was detected then. I happened to have an itch under my arm and found the lump by mistake.

I then went back to my doctor and after she felt the lump she recommended an ultrasound. (Note: I do not get mammograms as I have dense breasts and do not want all of that radiation when they can’t see anything.)

I was getting annual thermography readings and they were all normal. Thermography only picks up heat and for some reason, my cancer cells and tumor did not emit any heat.

My ultrasound warranted a biopsy. The radiologist wanted to do a needle biopsy but I opted for an excisional biopsy as I didn’t want to chance a misdiagnosis or a needle releasing cancer cells into my system.

Ultimately (after having a lumpectomy) I found out that we had removed all of the cancer in that first excisional biopsy surgery. Following the biopsy surgery, I was ordered to have a mammogram and an MRI. Both of those tests were clear.

My next step was a lumpectomy to check the margins and lymph nodes. Again..big sigh of relief. ALL CLEAR!

Q. Why did you have to go to Florida for an integrative doctor to treat you?

A. My first line of action was to visit the conventional oncologist and radiation oncologist. After that I went for a second opinion at John Hopkins. The recommendations from these appointments were all the same; chemotherapy and radiation. Neither of which I was willing to do. I took two months to do research on all of my options.

I actually “interviewed” at least 4 integrative/alternative doctors in addition to 3 conventional. I spoke with clinics in Mexico, Arizona, New York and North Carolina in addition to the doctor in Florida. I chose these doctors after reading books, websites and getting referrals. I ultimately chose my doctor in Florida because I felt feeling he was the best fit for me. He was recommended as the foremost Integrative Cancer doctor in the US and I felt very confident after speaking with him. He was informative and honest and came highly recommended. He gave me good information -backed up with studies and trials that helped me to make my decision.

Q. Can you provide some info on the actual treatment you got in Florida and how it works?

A. For Stage I Triple Negative Breast Cancer, I did:

18 weeks (once per week) of low dose chemotherapy drugs administered via Insulin Potentiated Therapy for more information:

High Dose Vitamin C IV once per week

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber (HBOT) twice per week


Nexium 40 mg; 4 caps 2 times per day, the day before, day of, and day after chemotherapy. Nexium in this high dosage is proven to aid in the effectiveness of the chemotherapy


Melatonin – 20 mg at bedtime.

Vitamin D3 – 10,000 IU per day.

Turkey tail – 5 caps 3 times per day.

Oxymatrine – 3 caps 3 times per day.

Resveratrol – 1 cap per day.

Probiotics – 2 caps in morning.

Digestive enzymes – 1 cap with each meal.

Capsol-t – 2 caps with 1 Capsol-t Immediate Release at bedtime with food or coconut milk.


I also worked with a nutritionist at the Florida clinic. She and my doctor put me on the Budwig diet which was chosen specifically for my diagnosis. I am still on the prescribed diet:

Q. When you say the treatment was intensive -do you mean in terms of side effects?

A. The treatment was intensive due to how I had to be proactive and participate in my program. I didn’t just go to chemotherapy. As you can see from my program I had three days a week I had to go somewhere for therapy. I flew to Florida for the chemotherapy once a week and visited clinics in Northern Virginia two more days per week for my Vitamin C IV and HBOT treatments. I had to follow a special diet daily and take my supplements on schedule. It was a very strict and intensive regimen. In addition to my doctor’s protocol I added on some of my own therapies: Essaic Tea, coffee enemas, Chaga Tea, Mistletoe injections and GCMAF.

After completing my first 6 weeks of treatment in Florida, I then transferred to a clinic closer to home to complete my treatment. Flying to Florida one day a week started to get hard and expensive. After that period, I was comfortable enough with the program to transfer to a local clinic that also practices the same type of chemotherapy administration.

Q. What side effects did you have with the treatment? Did you lose your hair, etc.?

 A. This was one of the perks of my treatment. I did not lose my hair. The chemotherapy dosage is about 10% of standard chemotherapy and therefore isn’t strong enough to kill off your healthy cells. I had a small amount of nausea and a little depression in the beginning of the treatment. Mostly because I was used to feeling good all the time and feeling tired and crappy was depressing. After about 5 weeks my body and mind adjusted to the protocol and it became much easier and manageable. This picture is of me after a chemo treatment in Florida.

Q. Are you in remission?

A. That is a good question. Nobody has used that term with me. I think because it was stage 1 and I had no sign of cancer in my margins or lymph nodes we are hoping it is “cured”. I was told upon diagnosis that the cancer could be cured with chemotherapy. Using positive thinking, I consider myself cured. Of course, I am still practicing many preventative methods to ensure that . For now, I see an oncologist every three months for blood work and I will be retaking the ONCOblot test (my doctors diagnostic tool) again soon.

Q. What can you share about the green juice you drink daily -do you make your own, buy it? How does it help?

A. My husband and I make my daily green juice at home. It is part of the Budwig diet but a practice I have believed in for years, even before being diagnosed. We use spinach, kale, (or other greens) sprouts, celery, cucumber, lime, lemon and ginger. I do not use any fruit due to the sugar content. (Sugar feeds cancer cells.) There are also thoughts that fruits shouldn’t be juiced along with vegetables. Juice is high in enzymes and vitamins and because you have taken all of the fiber out they get absorbed quickly and easily. Some patients have cured their cancers just by following a raw diet and juicing.

Q. What type of testing do you recommend to others for detecting breast cancer early?

A. I definitely recommend thermography along with an ultrasound. Self-checks are important as well. The ONCOblot test I spoke about above is also a great early cancer detector. It can find the cancer cells before they even become a tumor and you can treat yourself early. Here are some astonishing test results found on the NIH website.

The test is expensive (about $800) and unfortunately not covered by insurance. As a preventative tool it is unmatched. And the treatment is a green tea supplement: Capsol-T

About Carla Vercoe

Carla Vercoe is a PMA Certified Pilates Instructor, a Peak Pilates Master Instructor and Pink Ribbon Certified. Her passion for fitness and health are what have helped her grow from practicing pilates personally to teaching and finally owning her own pilates studio – Studio BE Pilates in Fairfax. Carla and her team are here to help you achieve your goals whether they include bringing balance to your life, getting in shape, recovering from an injury, or excelling at your sport.


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