Carla Vercoe

| 11/02/2016

My Alternative Breast Cancer Treatment Choice

My Alternative Breast Cancer Treatment Choice

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2015, I was in shock. I was vegan, ate all organic food, exercised regularly, was a normal weight, didn’t smoke…need I go on? My diagnosis was unbelievable. I experienced the same fears and anxieties that all cancer patients experience. It was a wake-up call.

Since about 2008, I only went to integrative and holistic medical doctors. When I was diagnosed, I went to conventional doctors and was forced to do certain tests. I was told I had to do their treatment (chemotherapy and radiation) as there were NO OTHER effective treatments. Every visit I either heard “it’s standard” or “that hasn’t been proven by the FDA”. I went for a second opinion at John Hopkins and was armed with a list of questions that Chris Wark ( supplies on his website. The oncologist answered the questions exactly as predicted. My favorite was how old were the chemotherapy drugs they wanted to prescribe to me? The answer: “decades”. The chemotherapy drugs were over 30 years old and the doctor tried to convince me this was a good thing. In my mind all I could think was here I was at John Hopkins, expecting some cutting edge therapy and they could only offer drugs that had been around for 30 years.

I didn’t succumb to the initial fear that I didn’t know anything about cancer and the doctors had to know more than me. I thought about it. I did a lot of research. Unfortunately, having been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer I had to do something. Even my integrative and holistic doctors recommended chemotherapy since it had a 60% chance of returning if I didn’t do treatment. I did my research and chose a well known integrative doctor in Florida that prescribed a regimen of low dose chemotherapy (Insulin Potentiated Therapy), High Dose Vitamin C IV’s, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and many supplements.

My treatment was very intensive. Three to four days per week I was doing some type of therapy. My treatment lasted 5 months. I took a month off and chose to have a double mastectomy instead of radiation. I am now preparing for final reconstructive surgery in December.

I am confident in my choices. In addition to therapy, I looked deep within and found spiritual connections. I consulted healers, therapists, learned meditation and the power of positive thinking. Healing was and is a full-time job. I get massages. I do yoga. I continue my Pilates practice. I went on a retreat. I drink green juice daily. I go to church. I spend a lot of time with friends. I try to love and be loved.

While trying to help a friend make some decisions for herself as to treatment, I realized just how hard it is to follow what you believe in. I have been questioning and saying no to conventional doctors for years and years. Even so, I had a really hard time telling them that I was not going to follow their advice and was searching for a treatment that I felt more comfortable with. For people that have always listened to what their doctors tell them, I can’t imagine how fearful this situation becomes when you are forced to do something you really don’t want to because you think it is the only way (because that is what you are told).

Unfortunately, most people don’t do any research on cancer until they are diagnosed with it. Usually, you are told that you have to make a decision and start treatment within a few weeks of diagnosis. If we go into the situation armed with good information ahead of time then we can hopefully make an informed decision if (but hopefully never) that diagnosis comes. We are lucky today to have people like Ty Bollinger ( and Chris Wark (mentioned above) to arm us with the knowledge we need to combat this disease. All you have to do is click on the links. It’s that easy.

Learn more about Carla’s cancer testing and treatment experience in this Q&A post with her. 

About the Author

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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