Breast Wishes Fund

CHOICES FOR BREAST CANCER TREATMENT AND PREVENTION


Ask the Advisor: Dr. Eric Grasser MD, CAy

Dr. Eric Grasser MD, CAy is one of the world’s foremost experts in the integration of Functional Medicine and Ayurveda. Dr. Grasser supports his patients through his extensive experience in Western Medical practice as well as his deep knowledge of the alternative healing systems of Ayurveda, Yoga and Functional Medicine.

Dr. Grasser is a graduate of Stanford University and Dartmouth Medical School. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico, Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Grasser is also an Active Teacher In Family Medicine as recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has been Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine since 2003, and through his extensive and continuing practice in obstetrics at St. Vincent, he has been blessed to attend the birth of hundreds of babies. He is currently working towards becoming Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Grasser is certified to practice Ayurveda Medicine by Albuquerque’s Ayurvedic Institute, where he studied under the tutelage of world-renowned Ayurveda physician Dr. Vasant Lad. In addition to his full 2-year course of study at the Institute, Dr. Grasser completed advanced clinical studies under Dr Lad’s Gurukula Studies Program in Pune, India, and additional clinical hours at AVP Ayurveda Hospital in Coimbatore, India. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association since 2013. Dr. Grasser has studied yoga extensively since 2001 in the tradition of BKS Iyengar.  He incorporates the principles and teachings of the sister sciences of Ayurveda and Yoga into his daily life and practice of medicine.

Dr. Grasser has also completed courses of study in Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine. He is currently enrolled in a two year course of study with the Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics. He believes that Functional Medicine is a modern approach to healing which embodies many of the principles of Ayurveda and other ancient healing traditions.Dr. Grasser is an active staff member in the Department of Family Medicine at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has also practiced obstetrics since 2001. He works with patients of all ages and health conditions as their primary care physician.

Why detox?

Detoxification is an essential biological process, occurring constantly to maintain a homeostatic organism. A formal detox program is valuable to optimize the detox pathways for a short period of time, allowing the systems operate with less stress inputs. Positive results may include more energy, increased sense of well being, appropriate body weight, resolution of symptoms, and prevention of future dysfunction.

Why detox for breast health?

Breast pathology can accelerate in response to female hormones, such as estrogen. Certain metabolites of estrogen can be more toxic to the body, for example, by promoting cancer. Improving detoxification pathways can encourage the body to produce relatively more of the benign estrogen metabolites. Detox programs can clean toxins from the fat. Fat tissue can promote peripheral estrogen production and in turn promote an increase in fat, in a constant cycle. Detox can break that cycle!

What are some detox foods?

Certain foods are good sources of nutrients which assist the ongoing detox pathways. Cruciferous veggies (think kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower), Allium family veggies (like onions, garlic, and leeks), high antioxidant foods (like berries, ginger, and greens) and clean, lean protein are good choices during a detox program.

What’s the best diet for Breast Cancer Prevention?

The American Institute of  Cancer Research estimates that 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases could have been prevented by better diet and lifestyle choices. Remember that we study populations, but we treat individuals. Everyone has to make their own choice about their diet, but what we’ve learned is: exercise is very important, especially for survival after cancer. A diet high in veggies and fruits is preventive. Whole soy (I prefer organic to avoid GMO and fermented for better digestion), especially when added to the diet around the onset of menses, is correlated with lower rates of breast cancer later in life. A variety of nutrients, such as selenium, Vitamin D, d-glucarate, and tea, may also be preventive.

What are some herbs and compounds to check out if I am facing breast cancer, especially if I have to undergo chemo or radiation?

There is so much good research in integrative oncology today. Some of the top supplements which may be of benefit are: Vitamin D, glutamine, probiotics, green tea, astragalus, ginger, and fish oil.

What has Ayurveda taught in regard to this topic?

Ayurveda is simultaneously impressively complex and incredibly simple. Ayurveda has been administering detox for thousands of years, as a focused, seasonal cleanse, often known as panchakarma. Equally important, Ayurveda teaches the individual how to support the body, mind, and spirit all year long by offering lifestyle practices which produce ongoing purification. I like to call it getting back in touch with the laws of nature.

What are some detox foods?

Certain foods are good sources of nutrients which assist the ongoing detox pathways. Cruciferous veggies (think kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower), Allium family veggies (like onions, garlic, and leeks), high antioxidant foods (like berries, ginger, and greens) and clean, lean protein are good choices during a detox program.

Eric Grasser, MD, CAy
UnityMedicine – Integrative Medicine & Ayurveda
421 Saint Michaels Drive | Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505 | 505.983.9878
drgrasser.com

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