If you are like most of our patients, you seek to be as knowledgeable and well-informed as possible. We have created this page of FAQs (frequently asked questions) in order to provide answers to the most common questions we receive. If you do not see your question addressed here, please feel free to contact us and we will provide you with the information you desire.
Why did I get cancer?
This is a question everyone with cancer understandably asks themselves. Unfortunately, there is no way to know which specific factors led to each person’s cancer to form. Cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. We believe that these cells become abnormal due to a wide range of potential threats, including various toxins, heavy metals, and stressors throughout the course of one’s life which damage the cell and cause inflammation. This cellular inflammation decreases the cell’s ability to function as it was intended. The end result is a change in the cell’s genetic material – DNA – which we refer to as a mutation. This new cell, which is no longer normal but cancerous, can multiply rapidly when the immune system does not recognize it as abnormal.
Dr. Stegall often refers to cancer as a weed in an otherwise beautiful garden. For successful treatment, we must not only eliminate the weed but also address the causes which allowed the weed to develop and flourish in the first place. This means that we not only focus on treating the tumor, but also the immune system, while protecting healthy cells in the process.
How do you treat cancer?
Some of our most commonly utilized therapies are listed under the Cancer Treatments tab at the top of the page. The core of Dr. Stegall’s protocol includes insulin potentiation therapy (IPT), which uses low dose chemotherapy with a biological response modifier (insulin) because it is believed to be more targeted to the cancer cells. Intravenous (IV) vitamin C is another critical component, as it has been shown by NIH researchers to be effective against cancer cells.
Other intravenous therapies are used to stimulate the immune system and also provide nourishment to the body’s healthy cells. Dr. Stegall also has a core supplement protocol which he believes to be effective against cancer. His cancer nutrition plan, The Stegall Protocol, is based on the most up-to-date research and takes advantage of the unique metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells. Dr. Stegall also uses several off-label prescriptions which have shown encouraging results in cancer treatment.
What is insulin potentiation therapy (IPT)?
Insulin potentiation therapy, or IPT, is the use of insulin to allow for targeted uptake of medication. We know that cancer cells have many more insulin receptors on their surface compared to normal cells, so by giving insulin along with low dose chemotherapy, we believe that the chemotherapy will be preferentially taken up by cancer cells rather than normal cells. As a result, we typically give 10-20% of the normal chemotherapy dose. This also tends to result in decreased incidence and severity of side effects and a much higher quality of life compared to most conventional chemotherapy regimens.
Is Dr. Stegall against conventional oncology?
Not at all. Dr. Stegall feels that conventional oncology, using high dose chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery, has its place. For early stage cancers which can be easily addressed with surgery, Dr. Stegall always recommends that. Other cancers respond well to high dose chemotherapy and/or radiation, and Dr. Stegall encourages those modalities in those instances. Overall, Dr. Stegall believes that his alternative cancer treatment methods should be an option for patients who have expressed an interest in learning more about an integrative oncology approach.
Do I see Dr. Stegall instead of a conventional oncologist?
Dr. Stegall feels strongly that each patient should gather plenty of information about his or her treatment options before deciding on the treatment approach they feel is best. Before Dr. Stegall will consider your case, he requires an evaluation by a conventional oncologist so that an informed decision regarding cancer treatment can be made.
The best cancer treatment approach for each patient depends on his or her unique needs, wants, goals, and preferences. By definition, integrative cancer treatment combines the best of conventional medicine and natural medicine, in a patient-centered approach. Some patients choose to see Dr. Stegall as their sole cancer doctor, while for others, he is one part of the cancer treatment team which also includes a conventional oncologist. He seeks to meet each patient’s needs.
Do you have a cancer cure?
Dr. Stegall never promises a cancer cure. In fact, he doesn’t like the word cure at all, because he believes that a cancer diagnosis should be viewed as a lifelong journey. There is published data showing prognosis for each type of cancer, based on specifics including the cancer stage, location, and tumor characteristics. Each patient’s treatment plan will be based partly on this data, along with any other health issues, desired goals of care, and one’s ability to be compliant with his protocols. For some patients, remission with no evidence of cancer is the goal. For others, the goal might be stabilizing the cancer so that it is a chronic disease with little to no reduction in quality of life. For others, the goal might be to extend life in a meaningful way, even if for only a little while longer. This is the essence of personalized medicine.
What results should I expect from treatment?
Dr. Stegall never makes guarantees about treatment outcomes, regardless of the diagnosis, as the outcome is dependent on many factors. What he does guarantee is that each patient will get his objectivity, honesty, compassion, and dedication to providing what he believes are the best treatments available.
What is the duration of treatment?
The frequency and duration of treatment for each person’s cancer will be based on several key factors, including the type and severity of cancer, previous medical history, treatment goals, and perhaps most importantly, each patient’s level of commitment to Dr. Stegall’s treatment protocol. The initial treatment program is usually 6 weeks in duration, although the composition of this treatment plan can vary from patient to patient. Dr. Stegall believes that a cancer diagnosis should be viewed as a lifelong condition that requires a great deal of vigilance and awareness, whether we are battling active cancer or have achieved remission. In short, treatment is never ending, but evolving over time.
How can I become a patient?
For more information about becoming a patient, please see our page about setting up an initial consultation.