Sue was 39-years (in 2003) when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two weeks after her diagnosis she underwent a mastectomy. After the surgery, Sue was referred to an oncologist who recommended that she undergo six cycles of chemotherapy. Sue asked the oncologist: Why? The oncologist replied: In the US, for any tumour above 1.0 cm you must go for chemotherapy. In England and Europe, it is anything above 1.5 cm. Since yours is 1.7 cm you must go for chemotherapy. Sue asked: If I don’t go for chemotherapy, what are the chances of recurrence? He said: If you go for chemotherapy the chance of cancer not recurring is ninety percent within five years. If you do not go for chemotherapy after a mastectomy, the chance of no recurrence is eighty-five percent. So Sue said: Five percent less only? He said: Yeah. Sue replied: I might as well not do it. I have to go through so much if I do chemotherapy and I may only get a five percent benefit. I can get that extra five percent by doing a lot of other things. Sue opted for CA Care Therapy instead of chemotherapy.
As of this writing, 2012, Sue has been doing very well with no problem along the way!
Johnny was 46 years old when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He underwent surgery twice in January 2006. Then he was asked to undergo chemotherapy. Johnny was hesitant to see an oncologist. But after much pushing from his surgeon, Johnny agreed to see an oncologist. This was what Johnny told us.
I went into the oncologist’s office. The oncologist read out my name and he asked the first question: What car are you driving? This question was followed by: What is your profession? The oncologist then said: Your cancer is like a Mercedes, BMW, Japanese car or a local car. Your case is Stage 2. So you need to take a good medicine – like a Mercedes medicine to fight … There are many kinds of medicine. There is A – the good one; B which is not so good and C, which is an oral one. So which type do you want?
Chris: He asked you to choose the drugs? In your discussion, did he ever say that whatever drug he is giving you is going to help you or not?
Johnny: No, no. He just told me it was just for prevention. He said that once I got rid of my cancer, there might be some more cancer cells present in the lungs or somewhere else in the body.
C: So, the whole idea was just for prevention?
J: Yes, and I had to go for chemotherapy.
C: Let me ask you this: Before you went to see the oncologist, had you already made up your mind NOT to undergo chemotherapy? Why did you go and see him then?
J: Oh, because the nurse in the hospital (where I had my surgery) had been calling my wife every two to three days. The nurse said to my wife: Your husband has still not gone for chemotherapy. We have made an appointment for him to see the oncologist. But he did not turn up.
C: How many times did the nurse call you?
J: As many times as I postponed the appointments to go and see the oncologist. So, at last, I decided to give it a try.
C: What made you decide not to have chemotherapy?
J: Because of my experiences in seeing how other people suffered – my friends A, B, C, D and my sister-in-law herself. My sister-in-law underwent chemotherapy and she died after one year and two months.
After I came home from the cancer hospital, the oncology nurse called my home again and again. She talked to my wife. She wanted to know why I did not go for chemotherapy. She told my wife that my cancer was very dangerous and I had to do chemotherapy. My wife told her that I was taking herbs and would not do chemotherapy anymore. The nurse said this to my wife: If you take medicine from outside, it is going to be dangerous. It is not effective and this will make the cancer grow faster and spread more. My wife replied: No, my husband will not go for chemotherapy anymore. He has made up his mind on this.
As of this writing, 2012 – six years after his cancer diagnosis Johnny is still on our CA Care Therapy. He declined chemotherapy. He is doing well. We get to see Johnny almost every week all these years.
Almost and always, patients are told to undergo chemotherapy after surgery. The reason given by the oncologist in the first example was SOP (standard operating procedure) i.e., based on what people do in the USA or Europe. In the second example, it was chemo for prevention. Then what about the nurse’s threat – If you take herbs, it is going to be dangerous. It is not effective and this will make the cancer grow faster and spread more? This, as you can see is mere speculation or snake oil science! Medically was considered “cured” by herbs after surviving five years.
There are more reasons why patients are asked to undergo chemotherapy, such as:
a) To kill all the cancer cells left behind in the body after the surgery – a mop up operation of sort!
b) To stop the cancer from spreading.
c) To promote better quality of life.
Over the years dealing with cancer patients, I am well aware that patients go into “fear mode” once they are told they have cancer! They go to their caregivers hoping to find a cure. And they hope or only want to hear what they want to hear – i.e. they can be cured of this dreadful disease. They will swallow any suggestion that resembles or promises a slightest chance of cure. So the above explanations by their caregivers are indeed most welcomed and readily accepted.
But how true or scientific are these reasoning? I am afraid patients are being told half-truths, if not being totally misinformed or misled. If you have been following this website, I believe you know why. But let me not go into another chemo-bashing spree. Let me tell you why I feel compelled to write this article. Over the past few days, two research reports were in circulation in the internet. Read them for yourself.
1. Chemotherapy can backfire, chemo can boost cancer growth
“Chemotherapy can actually boost the growth of cancer cells, making the disease harder to fight,” Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle made this “completely unexpected” finding.
- They tested the effects of a type of chemotherapy on tissue collected from men with prostate cancer, and found “evidence of DNA damage” in healthy cells after treatment.
- The healthy cells damaged by chemotherapy secreted 30 times more of a protein called WNT16B which boosts cancer cell survival. WNT16B, when secreted, would interact with nearby tumour cells and cause them to grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy.
- The researchers said: “Our results indicate that damage responses in benign cells… may directly contribute to enhanced tumour growth kinetics.
- The researchers said they confirmed their findings with breast and ovarian cancer tumours.
- About 90 percent of patients with solid cancers like breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers or other metastatic diseases that spread end up developing resistance to treatment.
- Chemotherapy is often given at intervals so that the body is not overwhelmed by its toxicity, but experts say that breaks in treatments provides time for tumor cells to recover and develop mutations that boost their survival and help them resist treatment.
2. Stem cells blamed for cancer re-growth
Three teams of researchers working independently in Holland; Belgium and UK; and the United States presented evidence that cancer stem cells exist and they may be the starting point for cancerous tumors.
Working with the incurable brain tumours, researchers have found a subset of cells that appear to be the source of new tumour growth after chemotherapy. Luis Parada of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said, “This study serves as a proof of principle that in at least some solid tumours functional cancer stem cells exist”.
Researchers in Belgium and the UK also found a sub-population of tumour cells with stem-like properties in skin cancer.
Dutch researcher Hugo Snippert said: “The hypothesis (that cancer stem cells exist) has been around now for some time. Hopefully these three papers now make an end to the discussion. “
These findings challenged the classical notion that tumours are comprised of masses of cancer cells that are all the same, and all dividing. This study showed that mutated, cancerous cells may develop directly from stem cells. Stem cells therefore act as cancer cell factories.
The existence of cancer stem cells may raise the following implications:
- “Since the cancer stem cells are so similar to normal stem cells, most treatments also harm the normal stem cells” Snippert said. What does this imply? It means that if you think you can kill the cancer cells by chemotherapy, the chances are you kill the patients too!
- “It’s no longer valid to evaluate the volume of a tumor and say whether therapy is working or not. What will be important is to know is how that therapy is affecting the cancer stem cells within the tumor,” Parada said. These stem cells are the drivers of metastasis, the spread of cancer via the blood stream
- “It’s really essential that you get rid of the cancer stem cells because they are tiny, they are low numbers. But they are able to grow and to give rise and fuel tumor growth really fast,” Snipert said. Unfortunately, cancer stem cells are particularly resistant to chemotherapy (http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/6493)
Putting Reality Into Practice
Read what one unique Medical Center in the USA has to say
While surfing the net to find the information for this article, I “discovered” the Envita Medical Centre, in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA . According to its website http://www.envita.com/ this is the only clinic of its kind. The following are extracts from its website:
- Our medical centre offers an extensive array of advanced natural treatments from all over the world under one roof. We combine these treatment options with the best of conventional medicine to offer our patients comprehensive and complete treatment programs. By bridging the best of what’s available in both natural and conventional medicine, we provide a cutting-edge approach to care that gives our patients the advantage.
- Despite the National Cancer Institute’s forty years of scientific research (which now costs $4 billion annually), stage 3 and 4 chemotherapy-driven cancer treatments have not progressed a whole lot. In fact, the treatments typically do not work… at an alarming rate of 75% being ineffective.
- The current model used to treat cancer in cancer centers and hospitals is known as “germ theory.” The germ theory approach focuses on destroying foreign cancer cells like an infection by using an aggressive regimen of chemotherapy that not been typed to the patient. Interestingly enough, Envita molecular tests show that standard chemotherapy is about 75% ineffective in patients whose treatments were not typed. That is 75% who get no results yet do great damage to their immune system. How can this be allowed to happen?
The Drawback of Old School Chemotherapy
- During World War II, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima to destroy the enemy; however, the damage was so devastating it resulted in the deaths of many innocent people. Without preliminary testing and targeting, large doses of chemotherapy can wreak similar havoc within a patient’s body. The collateral damage to healthy cells is devastating and often worse than the cancer itself, particularly in regard to the destruction and disabling of the immune system – the one natural mechanism your body normally uses to fight cancer cells every day.
- One of the most frequent mistakes notably affecting stage 4 colon cancer patients is directly related to using standardized chemotherapy protocols. The approach is widely inappropriate, because ultimately, it’s only 2% effective in stage 4 colon cancer.
- Many have been faced with the all-to-common dilemma that arises when the oncologist orders a standard regime of chemotherapy to treat their advanced or stage 4 cancers – even after chemotherapy had previously failed. Patients often feel that the course of treatment can be worse than the disease itself.
Chemotherapy Just Two Percent Effective in Late Stage Cancers
- Many late stage cancer patients have endured unforgiving chemo treatment regimens only to realize minimal benefits, or worse, to discover their cancer was completely unresponsive.
- When accepting new treatments, most patients are not aware that chemotherapy is just two percent effective in late stage cancers after a five-year period.
Conventional Chemo May Be Disappointing for Late Stage Patients
- Despite the National Cancer Institute’s forty years of scientific research stage 3 and 4 chemotherapy-driven cancer treatments have not progressed a whole lot. In fact, the treatments typically do not work.
- In his book “An Anatomy of Failure: A Blueprint for Future Years” Dr. Guy B. Faguet suggests that chemotherapy has not been shown to assist or advance survival beyond five years in most adults who suffer with advanced and late stage cancers.
Pharmaceutical Chemotherapy – Time to Look Beyond
- Dr. Guy B. Faguet is not alone in his research-founded belief that chemotherapy is largely ineffective in dealing with advanced cancers or malignancies. Australian specialist Dr. Graeme Morgan shares Faguet’s view that chemotherapy is barely two percent effective in late stage treatment. With such a low success rate, it is time to deeply consider research-derived alternatives.
- With facts being what they are, it is no longer sufficient or responsible for medical practitioners to rely solely on the traditional, pharmaceutical model to solve such problems. Fortunately, other effective options do exist.
Why Are Ineffective Approaches Still Acceptable to Many Oncologists?
- By and large cancer growth response, or “shrinkage,” remains the primary focus of cancer treatment. Unfortunately, research demonstrates that such responses do not often correlate to elevated survival in patients. When traditional cancer treatment reports a 20 or 30 percent effect, it simply means that the patient’s tumor shrunk by 20 to 30 percent. This is deceptive because the cancer typically grows back, oftentimes larger, and resistant to the chemotherapy. The real measure is how long life is sustained and its quality therewith.
- Envita is results oriented and we measure our success in terms of tumor change, as well as the long-term outcomes and quality of life experienced by our patients. This continues to be our driving force for developing and perfecting unique, quality treatments for our patients.
Questioning the Experts May Send You Away Empty
- When an oncologist explains whether or not a therapy is “working,” the reality might not be so black and white. Such conventional cancer treatment protocols are laden with “let’s wait and see language.” In simple terms, if an individual lives five years or more from the beginning of treatment, than that treatment for cancer was considered a success, or that “it worked.”
- Standard oncology insists on following typical chemotherapy protocols, despite documentation that indicates ineffectiveness with advanced stage cancers. Why, do you ask?
- Well, you should know that virtually all cancer centers use fundamentally identical variations of protocol regimens because they follow each other. In fact, the more prestigious the organization the more this occurs. It is not uncommon to attend their respective board meetings and hear the discussion repeatedly return to using the same old non-proven method.
- Unbelievably, most new and innovative cancer information and treatments are coming from outside the United States. “It doesn’t work,” or “It isn’t proven” seem the popular answers given to patients with alternative curiosities. This is ironic, knowing that research indicates that traditional (meaning medical) treatments ARE regularly being proven to NOT work.
Putting it Together and Reaching Beyond Chemo
Truly successful approaches to cancer must surpass the simple tumor-size analysis, and include:
- Long-term results from building the immune system
- Removing causes for example toxins such as cancer-causing carcinogens
- Stopping chronic inflammation
- Targeting cancer cells alone, not the human body’s defense system.
- When such methods are adopted and consistently integrated, only then might we seriously consider cancer care as being effective or successful.
So, how important is Cancer Nutrition?
Proper cancer nutrition is emphasized by Envita’s medical team as it can immediately improve the quality of life while simultaneously enhancing other treatments at the same time. Since the 1970s, there have been more than 280 peer-reviewed studies, involving no less than 50 worldwide human studies, with more than 8,521 patients of whom 5,081 were given nutrients. These studies have definitively shown significant improvement in the following categories:
- Quality of life
- Enhanced immunity
- Healthy tissue protection
- Assistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy
There is no question that antioxidants and nutrients, administered properly, do not interfere with conventional treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation. We recognize this nutrition-based form of cancer therapy to be critical for those in remission, as well as for patients who are working toward prevention.
- Metastasis is the spread of cancer from one area to other organs in the body. Ninety percent of all cancer patients die because of metastasis.
- When chemotherapy, surgery and radiation fail, as they commonly do in late stage cancers, metastasis takes off like wild fire.
- What many people do not know is that metastasis begins on the cellular level, in the very early stages of cancer. This is called micro-metastasis. When micro-metastases begin to invade tissue at a macro level, metastatic cancer occurs.
- Many cancer patients may have micro-metastasis occurring, yet their oncologists can never really be sure, because they are often undetectable.
- Many patients are told that the only way to really know if they have received an effective outcome with conventional treatment is to watch and wait and to “allow time to be the best determining factor for a successful treatment” – a statement that has virtually become a “pop oncology” mantra.
- To further complicate matters, it has been shown that some metastases are active while other forms are dormant in an arrested cell cycle – waiting for messengers to start them up again.
- There are also forms of metastasis that go untouched or unaffected by chemotherapy as they do not behave as “normal” cancer cells do. The problem with current conventional cancer treatment could not be clearer: the World is in need of a more effective way to combat metastasis. This is the very thought that inspired the founder of Envita to create a truly integrative cancer center.
The Politics of Developing a New Cancer Treatment
- It would be nice to think that all cancer treatments are based simply on good science, great patient care, and life-saving innovations. In reality, that’s not the case. The FDA issued a warning letter to Envita for not registering the biologics product as a new research drug with IND application.
Don’t Let Cancer Cells Become a Sleeping Giants
- How tumor cells enter and escape dormant states is yet to be fully understood. Some research has shown that removal of the primary tumor may actually trigger the metastasized tumor cells’ escape from dormancy by releasing growth factors and angiogenic factors as well as by catalyzing a reduction in apoptosis.
- Researchers are still examining whether dormant tumor cells are in cell-cycle arrest, or whether they are dividing and being killed at the same rate as they’re dividing. One reason these cells may escape chemotherapy is because they are not dividing. Chemotherapy tends to target rapidly dividing cells.
Immunity Deals Best with Dormant Metastasis and Stage 4 Cancer
- The immune system plays a significant role in keeping metastasized tumor cells dormant. Research shows that suppressing the part of the immune system responsible for adaptive immunity, may result in late development of rapidly growing cancers.
- On the other hand, cells that are held in a dormant state are under the control of an immune response that prevents further growth and actually programs the cells to kill themselves. For this reason, dormant metastasized cancer cells may indeed be used as a way to prevent cancer recurrence by priming the immune system to respond to such cells and prevent further growth by keeping them dormant. Thus, residual tumor cells may be kept under control through passive and active adaptive immunization.
- In conclusion, the immune system ultimately serves as both the first and last lines of defense against cancer.
Let me conclude by saying this: For more than a decade I have been reading numerous books and articles in medical journals about chemotherapy and cancer cure. It is indeed hard for me to comprehend the reason that patients are asked to undergo chemo just because of the so-called SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), or undergoing chemo as a way to prevent cancer recurrence. If you read and understand the above, you know that the reasons given do not make much sense.
Similarly, you undergo chemo because you want to kill all the remaining cancer cells left behind in the body; or to stop cancer from spreading; or promote quality of life. These statements, unfortunately, may be just equally off the mark too! At best it is only half truth.
Read again what doctors at the Envita Medical Center have said. What do you think of Envita’s claim that it is the only one of its kind? Probably right? To me, their doctors are a lot more sensible. If you have the money and have cancer, I suggest you visit Envita. Otherwise, let us all pray that one day – sometime in the not too distant future – similar hospitals can be found in this part of the world.