• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Reporter

Roach touts ‘best book on cancer’

Once upon a time, Dr. James Roach, son of Dr. Ben F. Roach of Midway and a graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, was a family medicine doctor. Then, the author of two books, including the just-released “Vital Strategies in Cancer,” began to change his approach. “Until 2000, I would write prescriptions to get people better, more and more prescriptions, and around 2000, I … started studying journals and attending national conferences … 44 now, not associated with drug companies (and have) put in about 13,000 hours of study away from the office,” Roach told the Sun. “I’ve gotten away, progressively, from using prescription medicines and instead am doing comprehensive testing to get at the root issues – the cause of problems to begin with. So we don’t like to treat sore throats and ear aches here. We like to treat ALS and autism and cancer and problems that other doctors had challenges in addressing. “So as I learned to find the root causes of these and found there were natural treatments that would help address these root causes, progressively I went in that direction. And finally, around 2006, I stopped calling our office a family medicine office,” Roach said. The clinic was renamed The Midway Center for Integrative Health, and Roach and his staff began testing patients for such things as food sensitivities, micronutrients, vitamin, mineral and heavy metals, hormones and genetics. The goal, Roach said, is to, “Look under as many rocks as we can for answers.” Roach has been certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Holistic Medicine Integrating (a “double boarding, if you wish,” he said). His aim: to combine the best of conventional and natural approaches to healing. In 2007, Roach went to Oregon to study under Don Yance, whom he calls the top botanical medicine expert in the country, and returned twice to learn about the role botanicals can play in fighting cancer. “That started me down this pathway, and so for the last 12 years, particularly, we’ve focused on cancer management and are seeing progressively better outcomes with patients that we’ve managed,” Roach said. “Essentially, the patients who do what we’ve asked them to do have, on average, usually double the outcome relative to what a typical patient with cancer may experience.” He now preaches the virtues of exercise (which he called more effective than chemotherapy for prostate, colon and breast cancer patients) nutrition (a whole food, plant-based diet) and spirituality. The latter emphasis is not a surprise to the readers of “God’s House Calls,” which told the stories of Roach’s patients who’d experienced near-death spiritual experiences. Roach said those patients found the other realm was more real than this one, were mad about coming back, weren’t afraid of death anymore, and became very mission-oriented. “Maybe it matters whether we’re giving love to the world,” Roach said. “I think Einstein was right – E=MC squared. We look at each other, we see solid mass. In reality, we’re just an energy field.” Among the advice in “Vital Strategies in Cancer” is for patients undergoing chemotherapy to fast for 24 hours before each treatment and after, which Road said reduces side effects by half and improves the effectiveness of chemo. Monitoring the circulation of cancer patients – which Roach said many oncologists don’t pay much attention to – is also vital to reduce the chance of a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots that can cause a pulmonary embolism. “We address that right away,” Roach said. Roach said in a dozen years managing cancer patients, he can’t recall one who followed instructions who suffered a heart attack or stroke, though a few may have had mild thrombophlebitis (an inflammatory process that causes a blood clot to form and block one or more veins, usually in the legs). “When you get radiation, when you get chemotherapy, the risk for clotting goes up even higher. And getting the blood thin not only protects against all of those things, but it improves access of chemotherapy and of nutrients into the tumor areas where they need to get,” Roach said. “So these things are all preventable, for the most part.” Roach said studies show that stress drastically worsens cancer in mice implanted with tumors – and vice versa. “The most important thing at the initial visit with patients is to get them in a peaceful spiritual place and to keep them there,” Roach said, adding that he regularly prays with his patients. His clinic’s comprehensive testing includes at least 10 different blood evaluations that in some cases, are rerun every month, which Roach said also decreases the need for imaging tests. “From that information, we get a good handle on how things are going with cancer. So we can tweak from month to month, based on those results, to improve the outcomes,” Roach said. On a local television show last weekend, Roach told WKYT host Bill Bryant of the success of a patient of his with small cell lung cancer, which Roach called perhaps the worst type of cancer a person can get. On advice from Roach, the patient declines snacks offered after her chemo treatments, which Roach said help feed the damaged cancer cells. “The patient has been six months without a visible tumor, and the oncologist has never seen that in a small cell lung cancer before,” Roach said. His present practice is different in other ways, too. Roach said most of his patients come from other cities and states, many don’t use insurance, and that smokers and heavy drinkers are not attracted to his clinic. He called what he and his staff are carrying out an evolution – not a revolution. “Knowing what I know now, there’s no way ethically I could go back to the way I practiced 20 years ago, because I know much better ways of managing, particularly chronic disorders. You see all these drug commercials for psoriasis, for eczema and so forth – those aren’t difficult to treat. With basic nutritional counseling, addressing zinc deficiencies, Vitamin D deficiencies, food sensitivity issues, you can see great responses most of the time within a month. … So you don’t need to be on those expensive drugs,” Roach said. Roach, a soft-spoken man, said while “Vital Strategies in Cancer” is not a textbook, there are 630 references scattered among its 458 pages – and he calls his second book the “best book on cancer” out now.

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