March 9, 2016
Book Review: Cancer and Homeopathy by Jean Lionel Bagot, MD
Cancer and Homeopathy (Narayana Verlag, 2014) by the French oncologist Jean-Lionel Bagot, MD, belongs on the desk of anyone seeing cancer patients regularly. It is designed as a quick clinical reference guide for using homeopathy in supportive care of conventional cancer treatment. It is clear from reading through this handy book that Cancer and Homeopathy is based on Bagot’s years of experience as an oncologist and homeopath. He sees 4,000 patients annually through a supportive oncology care clinic at a hospital, a radiation oncology clinic, and a palliative care unit. His sections are well-designed with guides for troubleshooting, and he provides charts with typical dosing for common side effects encountered with conventional treatments.
In the second part of the book, Bagot describes hetero-isopathy, which is the use of homeopathic remedies made out of the chemotherapy agents themselves (eg, Cyclophosphamide 6C). He also includes remedies for the newest chemotherapeutics: small molecules and immunotherapies. For example, for bullous rash from sorafenib or sunitinib, he recommends Cantharis 6C TID. Short case illustrations are sprinkled throughout the book and make it more engaging.
While I continue to practice constitutional homeopathy, there is a strong argument for combination low-dose remedies in supportive cancer care. Using low-potency, frequent dosing schedules matches the depleted states of many cancer patients. In addition, side effects of treatment tend to be driven less by constitution and more by the medication being used. Bagot provides useful sample regimens that can easily be converted into a liquid combination for patients to add to a water bottle. For instance, an easy combination for peripheral neuropathy would include Nervous medianus 7x, Ars album 12c, Zincum metallicum 6c or 12c, Hypericum 30C, Selenium 6c, Chromium 3c, Calc carb 6c, and Thallium sulphuricum 6c. Or for bone marrow support, one could combine Bagot’s recommendations (Medulla ossium 6X, China 12C, Ferrum mur 3C, Nat mur 6c, Silicea 6C, Crotalus horr 6C, Phos 6C, and Thymuline 9C) with 3 additional remedies (Carcinosinum 30C, Thuja 12C, and Ruta 12C) based on some recent animal research showing that dosing these remedies for 10 days increased total white blood count, bone marrow cellularity, and enhanced proliferation of B and T lymphoid cells compared to controls.1 Making low-dose combinations in liquid forms for patients makes it easier for patients to be compliant with dosing and simplifies treatment during an already overwhelming time.
On the other hand, it is quite difficult to find the hetero-isopathy remedies (eg, Cisplatinum 7CH). Most of the obscure, generic remedies for cancer side effects like Picric acidum and Thallium sulphuricum are available from Hahnemann labs in California, Helios in the United Kingdom, or Remedia in Austria. Finding the chemotherapy remedies, however, may take a lot of detective work. Also, be clear with your patients and their caregivers that these are homeopathic versions of the medications, not the controlled substances themselves.
One other downside to Bagot’s book is that, while it is very comprehensive in addressing adjunctive cancer care, it fails to reference the homeopathic doctors and source materials that make up the homeopathic content of the book. Today we are fortunate to be building upon a long and rich scientific history in homeopathy. As Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
May the book Cancer and Homeopathy help you see further—and discover more options for helping your cancer patients.
Excerpts of the book, including the section on neuropathy, are available here.
- Remya V, Kuttan G. Homeopathic remedies with antineoplastic properties have immunomodulatory effects in experimental animals. Homeopathy. 2015;104(3):211-219.