Why Patients Refused to Undergo Chemtherapy, Part 1

Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and the newly introduced targeted drugs are the “gold standard” of cancer treatment.  The sacred cow in the paddock is still chemotherapy.  Yeong Sek Yee and Khadijah Shaari have written four extensive review articles on chemotherapy. Therefore we would not repeat what they have written. If you have not read these articles, here are the links:

1.       Effectiveness or Ineffectivenes of Chemotherapy, Part 1: What Some Oncologists Say. http://ejtcm.com/2011/03/17/effectiveness-or-ineffectivenes-of-chemotherapy-part-1-what-some-oncologists-say-%E2%80%A6/

2.       Effectiveness or Ineffectiveness of Chemotherapy, Part 2: What Some Oncologists Say.  http://ejtcm.com/2011/03/17/effectiveness-or-ineffectivenes-of-chemotherapy-part-2-what-some-oncologists-say-%E2%80%A6/

3.     Chemotherapy Effectiveness or Ineffectiveness, Part 3: What Other Medical Doctors Say. http://ejtcm.com/2011/03/20/chemotherapy-effectiveness-or-ineffectiveness-part-3-what-other-medical-doctors-say/

4.       Chemotherapy Effectiveness or Ineffectiveness, Part 4: What Other Medical Doctors Say. http://ejtcm.com/2011/03/20/chemotherapy-effectiveness-or-ineffectiveness-part-4-what-other-medical-doctors-say/

The reason why we post these articles is because we believe it is our duty to inform those who want to know the truth. Let us clarify that we are NOT anti-chemo or anti-modern medicine. We are not pro-chemo either. We take the middle path. Accept what is good and beneficial and reject what is useless and harmful. When you have cancer, this is not the time to follow any “ideology” blindly.

Whether you do chemo or not is entirely your decision.  Follow what your heart says and take a path that brings peace to yourself. Because it is YOU, and you alone, who will benefit or suffer from whatever you do. Whatever is the consequence, others can only look on – helplessly or happily.

Ponder and take heed of the following quotations:

  • My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge ~ Hosea 4:6
  • Lack of knowledge is the cause of suffering ~ Swami Krishnananda
  • The root cause of illness is ignorance to our mind and body ~ according to Ayurveda
  • The main cause of every type of suffering or illness, is ignorance ~ Tibetan medicine
  • There is only one good, knowledge; and one evil, ignorance ~ Socrates
  • The road to health is the road of knowledge. Ignoring knowledge is sickness ~ Chinese wisdom

If you have read what we have written, at least you can take comfort that you have been informed and are no longer ignorant.  You can also take comfort that you made your decision, on whether to do chemo or not, based on some kind of knowledge; and that you are not being blindly led to the slaughter!

Some people find reading tedious and they don’t like to read. For such people perhaps watching videos is preferable? In the review articles mentioned above, you read what oncologist and doctors say about chemotherapy.  Unfortunately the most important players – the patients – are missing! So to make the picture complete, we shall be presenting you with a series of articles on what patients themselves say about chemotherapy.  In these articles, there will be minimal writing. Instead, you listen to the patients themselves talk! This article is our first in the series.

So, now there is no more excuse to say that you don’t know!


Case 1: Cousin died after chemo for his lymphoma.

Gu (M956) is a 59-year-old male from Medan, Indonesia. In early March 2010, he had coughs with blood in his sputum. He was also breathless. A CT-scan of the thorax on 25 March 2010 indicated right pleural effusion, associated with collapse of right lower lobe of his lung. Gu underwent a pleural tapping. After the removal of the fluid, he felt better. Gu was scheduled to go for endoscopy to further define his problem.  The family was told it could be a Stage 4 cancer. In which case, he would be asked to undergo chemotherapy. Since, everyone in the family  was against chemotherapy, Gu decided not to continue with further medical examination.

Why he refused chemotherapy?  His cousin had lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy. After “successfully” completing the chemotherapy, he died.

Case 2: Forty-three-year old son-in-law died after eight cycles of chemotherapy for colon cancer.

M 918 is a 71-year-old female from Aceh, Indonesia.  In early 2010, she had coughs. With doctor’s medication, the coughs came on and off. Then in November 2010, she coughed with blood. In February 2011 she came to Penang for further checkup. A CT scan in a private hospital indicated nodularity and haziness in the left lung with pleural thickening.  She was told it was cancerous. Not satisfied, she went to another private hospital for a second opinion. A repeat CT scan was done followed by a biopsy. It was confirmed she had lung cancer. She was asked to undergo chemotherapy. She refused and came to CA Care on 20 February 2010.

Why she refused chemotherapy:  She said: “I don’t want chemotherapy … I am afraid. My son-in-law, he was alright but after the chemo, he was gone.  He had colon cancer. He looked healthy. This was in 2006. He had eight cycles of chemotherapy after that he died. He was healthy, strong … could carry heavy things when working. He was only 43 years old. That is why I don’t want to do chemo. I am afraid.”

Case 3: Mother died after chemotherapy for breast cancer.

H561 is a 35-year-old Malaysian female. In February 2011, she found a lump in her right breast. She underwent  a lumpectomy.  It was an invasive ductal carcinoma, NOS with ductal carcinoma in situ (comedocarcinoma). Four of four lymph nodes removed were infected with cancer.  The tumour was positive for p53, C-erbB-2,  oestrogen and progesterone receptors.  She was asked to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She refused and came to CA Care on 15 March 2011.

Why she refused chemotherapy:  My mother, because of breast cancer, had already passed away. I looked at her lying on the bed, could not wake up … This is not I want.

My mother was 56 years old. She had breast cancer and went for an operation. Her whole breast was cut out. Then she did chemotherapy in Singapore. After that came back to Johor Baru and did more chemo … then to Kuala Lumpur and did chemo again. Then she came back to Johor Baru, waited for her time and died.

When first diagnosed, the cancer did not spread to any other organ. She was still strong and okay. But after the chemo in Singapore the cancer spread to her liver. After three years of chemo – in and out of the hospitals – she died.

Excuse:  The very famous oncologist in Singapore said: “The cancer cells were very aggressive type. I have not seen such an aggressive one like this one!”

Now for you, the doctor asked you to do chemo and radiotherapy – you don’t want?

I don’t want. I don’t want to follow my mother!

Case 4: Sister died after chemotherapy for colon cancer.

H574 is a 40-year-old Malaysian male. He was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2007. He was asked to undergo normal i/v (intravenous or injection) chemotherapy. He opted for oral drug, Xeloda, instead. He took a total of eight cycles of Xeloda and suffered various side effects such as: feeling heaty, unable to sleep, pain in the throat, loss of appetite and feeling weakness or lack of strength. The Xeloda treatment was completed in February 2008. After that he felt sick and had difficulty breathing. He resorted to taking supplements. He was asked to undergo i/v chemotherapy but refused. He came to seek our help on 3 April 2011.

Why he refused chemotherapy:  “Doctor asked me to go back and do chemo. I don’t want. My sister had the same case – colon cancer, did chemo, then spread to the liver and died.”

“ My sister was 50-years old, she had cancer two years ago. It was colon cancer, operated on, did chemo and the cancer spread to the liver. Before the operation the cancer was not in her liver. After six times of chemo, then spread to the liver. The doctor wanted to operate the liver. She refused. After a few months she died.”

“I also had colon cancer, three years ago – a few months earlier than my sister …”


  • Learn all you can from the mistakes of others.  You won’t have time to make them all yourself.  ~Alfred Sheinwold
  • Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.  ~Andre Gide, Le traite du Narcisse, 1891
  • A wise man learns from the experience of others; a fool by his own.~ Ancient proverb

3 thoughts on “Why Patients Refused to Undergo Chemtherapy, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Why Patients Refused to Undergo Chemotherapy, Part 2 | CANCER STORY

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