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Bobbie Barbrey is the owner of Medicap Pharmacy in North Raleigh, a full-service retail pharmacy, which also offers compounding and nutritional counseling. To better serve his clients, Mr. Barbrey completed the program offered by the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists and became a Certified Clinic Nutritionist (CCN).

Can We Tame Rogue Cells?

By Bobbie Barbrey, RPh, CCN

Did you wake up today full of energy, feeling good, and excited about the day? Are you enthused about your future? Is it bright and promising? That is my wish for everyone. Now let’s compare that with a patient who walked into my pharmacy the other day and told me that she’d been diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer. That’s not a good cancer to have—but is any?

Pharmacist Bobbie Barbrey and Melissa Beers share insights from a new book: Outsmart Your Cancer. Ms. Beers is a fourth year pharmacy student at UNC, enjoying practical experience at Medicap Pharmacy

Why does cancer strike one person and not another? There may be many reasons for this, but one of the myths that I’d like to dispel is the genetic cause of cancers. Very few cancers are genetically based. My discussion today is focused on the majority of cancers and other diseases that develop because of the way we live our lives.

Most of us want good health. To have that, we need to practice lifestyle and dietary choices that support health and that will keep one rogue cell from developing into multiple rogue cells. Rogue cells that grow unchecked can turn into cancer. Any conversation about health today will likely include the topic of cancer. It touches many people’s lives.

While cancer seems to instill the most fear as a diagnosis, heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country. Unless you get good care and do all the right things, heart disease can kill you. What about diabetes? Diabetes is often manageable, but it can lead to debilitating side effects such as blindness, amputation, and even death. Obesity has become epidemic. We are literally eating ourselves to death. We want to protect ourselves from any of these conditions, too. These are examples of other diseases where cells have lost their function and cause the organ to suffer.

I note this not to scare you, but to help you realize that this does not have to be your fate. There are many things you can do to avoid these conditions, or to help manage them once diagnosed. Fifty to seventy years ago, a blink of an eye in evolutionary terms, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease were relatively rare. What’s different now? Our genes certainly have not changed.

One of the biggest changes to have occurred in the last 50-70 years was in the food we eat. Around 1950, vegetable oils became more prominent in our diets. Processed foods were just taking off and have rocketed to be a huge part of the standard American diet. Pesticides and chemicals, once used sparingly if at all, are a major part of many foods. Many foods have been genetically modified.

Each day when we wake up we get to choose what direction we want to take our health. It’s not enough to hope for the best and leave everything to chance. That’s when disease can begin to take hold. If we want our bodies to remain healthy and have the ability to handle illness, we must participate in our health as we age. The things that we’re not doing right in addition to the ones that we are doing wrong both suppress our immune systems and reduce our overall health.

I challenge you to examine your life. Don’t think that you have unlimited time and capacity to deal with disease, especially cancer. You don’t. The changes in our environment and food supply have put us at a disadvantage. Many people might agree with this but not know where to start to make positive changes. I can help. That’s what I do at Medicap Pharmacy. I do individual nutritional consultations to identify the areas where you need the most support and create a plan to support health moving forward.

I find that those who are the most successful have a plan. I don’t diagnose or treat cancer, but I help my patients build the foundation to strengthen the body. For those working with a physician, the suggestions I make will be complementary to what your doctor is doing.

I’m passionate about health and our part in it. Sometimes I become frustrated with people who don’t realize the amount of control they have over their health and therefore don’t take action to improve it. I know that when you strengthen your nutritional foundation, the other strategies that you’re using will be infinitely more effective. Improving your diet and nutritional status needs a plan and it’s the key to better health. We could all benefit from eating a quality diet made from real food and eliminating all processed foods as a start.

The food that we eat is even gaining prominence in Western medical treatments. There’s recent cancer research showing that a ketogenic diet, where your body burns fat when sugars are dramatically reduced, is an effective adjunctive strategy for combatting this and other diseases.
Progress is constantly being made with traditional allopathic treatments. I’m excited about some of the new drugs that stimulate and build the immune system. This is a huge step forward, drugs that strengthen the body instead of destroying both good and bad cells. Isn’t that what this is all about?

Your body only has so much qi and energy that it can use to heal and repair. Invest in the health of your body every day in some way. I’d love for you to come see me, to discuss this further. Together we can consider choices you can make that will support every cell in your body as you move through the ages.