Empowered Patient Blog

Is the Coronavirus an Exosome?

Is the Coronavirus an Exosome?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the content of this video in which Dr. Zach Bush introduces the notion that viruses are synonymous with exosomes, fragments of genetic material (microRNA) that communicate danger within a species and enable adaptation. Exosomes represent the possibility of rapid evolution.

Finding Our Humanity

Finding Our Humanity

For the first time in recent memory, I was in tears listening to a patient share her story of grief. Sad news comes with being a clinician. Although I strive to remain professional yet compassionate, present but emotionally receptive, the heartache that ensued from this story spurred me to relay the interaction. It is one we all need to contemplate.

The Anticancer Lifestyle

The Anticancer Lifestyle

It was the first appointment with my patient after her diagnosis of uterine cancer and subsequent total hysterectomy. The prognosis was good: stage 1A with no lymph involvement. During her intake, I inquired if she was ready to adopt an anti-cancer lifestyle following this shake-up. It didn’t take long to recognize that she didn’t have a clear sense of what that involved, save for not using chemical herbicides anymore.

The 4th Phase of Water

The 4th Phase of Water

Solid, liquid, and gas—these are the three states of matter presented in the home-schooling science curriculum I was preparing to review with our 7-year-old daughter. The best example to learn these states is water in its different forms: moisture vapor in a cloud, liquid rain, and solid ice. I couldn’t stop there though, not when the intersection of biology and physics tells of a truly amazing fourth state of water that may be the key to life in the animal kingdom.

Universal Healthcare Is Not Socialism

Universal Healthcare Is Not Socialism

In an election year, paying for healthcare is one of the most discussed issues, with much of the rhetoric from politicians being polarized. On one side, any mention of universal healthcare is sloshed in the bucket of un-American socialism. On the other side, a single-payer option is championed as the only humane way forward.

Overprescribing Statin Drugs

Overprescribing Statin Drugs

I recently met with a new primary care physician. At the close of the appointment, the doctor ordered a lipid panel to check cholesterol levels. After the results were posted, his nurse called to report that the doctor had prescribed a statin (cholesterol-lowering) drug that he would like me to start right away. What was this horrific cholesterol level that prompted such an emergent response? Here are my results…

Can’t Opt Out? Smart Meter Shielding

Can’t Opt Out? Smart Meter Shielding

Digital meters operate in the radiofrequency (or microwave) band of frequencies that is damaging to human biology. That hasn’t stopped power companies like We Energies from installing smart meters across Wisconsin. It was mid-December when a recorded message informed my family that a new meter would soon be installed on our property.

DIY Herbal Skin Cancer Treatment?

DIY Herbal Skin Cancer Treatment?

I was curious to test the claim of black salve to remove an abnormal skin growth and decided to experiment on myself for the sake of science and the edification of my inquisitive readers. What follows is an account of my self-experimentation—and success—with using black salve to remove a large mole on the upper right quadrant of my chest.

“Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life”

“Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life”

Some permutation of the sentiment of being busy is a common answer to the question, “How are you?” Busy started being worn as a badge of honor at the same time in history that burn-out was categorized as an “occupational phenomenon” by the World Health Organization.

Cancer Cause or Cancer Contributor?

Cancer Cause or Cancer Contributor?

What causes cancer, and what contributes to cancer formation? These are two different concepts that overlap and influence each other.

A cause of cancer is a carcinogen. A contributor to cancer formation can be mutagenic but is context-driven by the strength and duration of exposure, genetic predisposition to cancer, and the collective burden of other environmental triggers. 

The Cause of Cancer

The Cause of Cancer

I’m always surprised when thought leaders in mainstream oncology claim uncertainty as to the cause of cancer. The answer is quite straightforward—perhaps not simple, but unambiguous despite the complexity of the factors involved in the etiology of cancer.

10 Ways to Minimize Side Effects from Chemotherapy and Surgery

10 Ways to Minimize Side Effects from Chemotherapy and Surgery

I got my first up-close and personal taste of this during a very difficult conversation shortly after my 3-year-old son, Kicker, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. While chatting with another cancer dad, he shared his experiences with his young son and how I needed to prepare for…

How to Paint Without Increasing Cancer Risk

How to Paint Without Increasing Cancer Risk

Every wall of our new home needed a fresh coat of paint. A dozen gallons of paint later, we moved in without any evidence of off-gassing toxic, cancer-causing chemicals. This is of the utmost importance for our family given my cancer history (with lymphoma, think significant environmental toxicant exposure), and also because my wife is chemically-sensitive and reacts to airborne pollutants.

Air Pollution PSA

Air Pollution PSA

Just a quick but VERY important reminder of how important clean air is to health, especially those treating, in remission from, or acting to prevent cancer (hint: that should be all of us).