Angie Choi, a 2015 graduate of UA Little Rock, has written a book detailing how she survived her battle with ovarian cancer using a combination of conventional and alternative medicine.
Choi earned a Doctor of Education in Higher Education from UA Little Rock and works as the director of admissions and as an assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
In 2021, Choi visited an orthopedist after experiencing severe back pain that lasted for months. A CT scan eventually revealed a huge mass on her abdominal cavity, and subsequent visits with doctors revealed ovarian cancer.
“I had a tumor that was the size of a cantaloupe on my left ovary,” Choi recalled. “Within two weeks, I went into surgery, and I had a complete hysterectomy. My oncologist recommended that I do six rounds of chemotherapy following the surgery. I was anxious for the pathology report because I was really hoping not to do chemotherapy.”
In the weeks following her surgery, Choi, who is a certified hypnotherapist and yoga instructor, spent a lot of time thinking about her life and researching cancer treatments. When her pathology report revealed a stage one cancer diagnosis, Choi decided to forgo chemotherapy, concerned about it would affect her quality of life, and embraced a metabolic approach to cancer treatment.
Metabolic therapies include dietary and detoxification regimens promoted to prevent and treat cancer and degenerative diseases. Choi worked with a nutritionist to follow a therapeutic ketogenic diet and took anti-parasitic medication and supplements.
“I used conventional medicine through surgery, and I also used alternative metabolic treatments,” Choi said. “Within five weeks of being on that combination, my cancer androgen levels just plummeted. My doctor did a scan nine months later, and there was no evidence of my disease.”
In addition to the metabolic approach, Choi stressed the importance of taking care of the mind as well as the body. She embraced stress-management techniques like meditation and yoga.
“As I was healing from cancer, I also looked at the mental component,” Choi said. “I believe that the mind and body are connected. One of the biggest things that I regret is saying no to life. I was not engaged in the outside world. I would never wish cancer on anybody, but once you do have it, it doesn’t have to be met with just doom and gloom in the mind. It can be a process where you learn about yourself and where you deepen your relationships with those around you.”
As someone who works in the medical field, Choi stressed the importance of seeking conventional treatments and continuing to work with her doctors and keeping them apprised of her alternative treatments. She wrote this book to help others understand how to integrate traditional medicine with complimentary approaches that focus on factors like diet, nutrition, and stress management.
“When you have cancer, you need a whole healthcare team around you,” Choi said. “You really are the person in the middle who is coordinating all of this. It would have been nice to have a book where someone talked about their approach to a holistic, integrated treatment. Having a book like this would have been so helpful to me, so that’s why I wrote this book.”