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What causes CANCER?

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in New Zealand after cardiovascular disease!  Cancer can strike at any time – in fact, everyone produces aberrant cells in numerous quantities every day. However, a healthy immune system destroys them before they can cause any problems. In those unfortunate enough to have been diagnosed with a malignant tumour, the “search and destroy” aspect of the immune system has failed.


Many factors have been shown to increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. By reducing the modifiable factors, the risk can also be reduced.

There are those that can be modified, and the type of cancer each is linked to:

  • smoking (lung and oral cancer)
  • poor dietary choices (gastro-intestinal cancers, cancer in general)
  • environmental pollutants (lung cancer, cancer in general)
  • lack of physical activity ( cancer in general)
  • being overweight (cancer in general)
  • chronic inflammatory conditions (cancer in general)
  • overexposure to the sun (skin cancer)
  • inadequate exposure to the sun (all cancers, especially bowel cancer)
  • psychological health (cancer in general)

Some risk factors can’t be modified but are generally specific for a type of cancer, for example:

What if I already have Cancer?

We assume that you have had a diagnosis and advice from your medical team. Then next thing we recommend is to make an appointment for a complete, objective review of your health, nutrition and lifestyle by one of our qualified naturopaths.

Many people with cancer ask their oncologist, “What should I change about my diet” and most report the response “, Oh, diet won’t make any difference”! Such an attitude ignores the research, which indicates that diet DOES make a difference. In many places in the world, oncologists work very closely with nutritional therapies to maximise their patient’s chances of recovery from cancer and to reduce their risks of side effects from anti-cancer therapies, mostly by referring their patients to work collaboratively with practitioners who are experienced in this area.

Some people make a full recovery from cancer using only natural therapies.  One such case is the story of Robert, diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, given a matter of months to live, and now, 8 years later, he leads a full, healthy life with no sign of the disease.  You can read about Robert’s story in the book “Journeys Back to Health” by Phil Dowling ND.



If you wish to reduce your risk, improve your quality of life following a diagnosis, or maintain the best health you can while undergoing treatment, there are many things that can help.

An increasing body of very robust research shows natural treatments can improve the quality of life with cancer and reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and when chosen carefully, can enhance the effectiveness of these treatments! However, interactions can occur between medications and natural treatments that may be harmful.

All of these factors demand an individualized approach to assessment and treatment by a qualified healthcare professional.

Sharon Erdrich is very experienced in working with people with many different types of cancer. Her Master’s degree was a dietary study investigating the introduction of a Mediterranean-style diet for New Zealand men with prostate cancer. You can read the published articles from this research here:


If you . .

  • have been told you are at risk of developing cancer
  • have been recently diagnosed with cancer
  • have changed your diet and lifestyle and wonder if your diet changes are right for you, or would like some guidance on appropriate changes to make.
  • are interested in improving your diet and lifestyle to reduce risk factors for developing cancer of any kind.
  • are receiving conventional care but want to know what additional (complementary) treatments you can do to maximise your chances of healing from cancer.
  • want to know if you have nutritional deficiencies that may be affecting your health in general.
  • want to change the way you think about your cancer

Then we can work with YOU.

Support for your long-term well-being is right here:

Green Tea

The most popular drink in China, Japan and other Asian countries, contains powerful anti-cancer substances called catechins. Many studies show that green tea can dramatically block the development of various cancers. Epigallocatechin gallate (one of the most potent catechins) is found in the highest concentrations in green tea. People confuse green tea with black tea, Oolong tea, Jasmine tea, and many other Asian teas. All tea is made from leaves picked from the same plant ? the difference is in the processing. Green tea leaves are simply picked and sun-dried; other teas are either fermented or cooked. It is the lack of processing that makes green tea contain the most potent anti-cancer agents. A leading physician, Dr. Hirota Fujiki, at Japan’s National Cancer Center Research Institute, claims that drinking green tea could be one of the most practical methods of cancer prevention available to the general public at present.

Recent research has shown a reduction in the risk of developing prostate cancer amongst consumers of Green Tea.

Read more here.

Ask us for a practitioner-quality Green Tea Extract

Green Conifer Needle Extract

Used in Russia for over 70 years for general health benefits, the research is now backing up the anti-cancer claims for this powerful extract. A leading oncologist has done extensive studies to validate the use of this product and it is proven to be effective at preventing some gastro-intestinal cancers, as well as reducing the risk of several other tumours and reducing side-effects of chemotherapy. It has a wide spectrum of therapeutic activity and has been shown to have virtually no side effects, confirmed in 49 separate clinical trials involving nearly 6000 patients aged from 7 to 84 years.

Only available from a qualified practitioner.

Shiitake Mushroom

This brown and beefy-tasting mushroom has been used in Asian gourmet cooking for centuries as a substitute for meat. Its taste and texture are very different from that of regular mushrooms. It has gained fame as an immune system booster, widely recommended to cancer and AIDS patients. The biochemical in the shiitake mushroom that has been proven to augment immune system activity is called lenitan. Today it is possible to find shiitake mushrooms in many supermarkets and Asian groceries in the dried form. Fresh ones are also available in some co-ops. Shiitakes are delicious and can be prepared in a variety of ways: cooked or steamed with rice or noodles; or added to stir-fry and soups.

Protect yourself with holistic care!


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