GG was 77 years old when she had problems with her pancreas in November 2007. MRI indicated that she probably had an intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm. In her medical report the doctor wrote: This lesion has malignant potential and should be treated accordingly. GG underwent a distal pancreatectomy in December 2007 in Mt. Elisabeth, Singapore. After the surgery no further medical treatment was indicated.
Nine years later, in 2016, GG started to cough, had fevers, nausea and vomiting.
An ultrasound on 3 May 2016 in Kuala Lumpur showed a solid mass lesion in the region of the body to tail of the pancreas measuring 28 x 33 x 67 mm … suggestive of recurrence. There were multiple cysts in her liver and solid nodules of unknown nature in the neck of the gallbladder. Further examination showed metastasis to the lung and bone.
Her CA 19.9 was at 234 and CEA was at 5.3.
GG is now 85 years old. It was at this point that we received an e-mail from her daughter-in-law.
Dear Dr. Chris Teo,
My name is L and my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and was taking Breast M and Capsules as prescribed by you. She continued with your prescriptions without having major complications i.e., no pain and suffering until she passed away in 2011 due to high fever. We are extremely happy because she did not suffer much and managed to live for another 7 years.
Recently my mother-in-law did an ultra sound and x-ray as she was not feeling well. The results showed her pancreas having cysts and lung having numerous nodules. According to the doctors, cancer is almost positive unless biopsy is done to confirm. She had done surgery to remove part of her pancreas about 10 years ago due to the growth (non-cancerous). She appears to be healthy now with some minor coughing but complained of some phlegm. As she is of advance age i.e. 85, we wish to seek your advice on the best possible treatment for her. Family members are not agreeable to chemotherapy and radiation.
I attached below the medical reports, blood test and results of ultra sound and x-ray for your reference. I am hoping to receive your feedback soon as we are from Kuala Terengganu and are prepared to take her to Penang to consult you if possible. Thank you.
GG was prescribed herbs.
Dear Dr Chris Teo,
My mother-in-law started to take Capsule A-D, M Tea, Bon, Pancrea, Live P, Lun about two days ago. Each time after about 2 hours of consuming the herbs, she started vomiting the herbs. On the first night of taking the herbs, the phlegm and cough reduced significantly but vomited about 2 hours later. She doesn’t have good appetite now, always belching and feels weak. We seek your opinion whether to continue with the herbs or to reduce the types and amount. Hoping for your answer soon.
Reply: I expect that. She will have to suffer for the next 1 to 2 weeks to get better. Continue taking the herbs.
Dr. Chris Teo,
Thank you very much for the herbs prescribed to my mother-in-law. I noted that her condition now has improved tremendously … I would like to continue with the herbs. At present, she sometimes feel uncomfortable at her of stomach after taking pain killer. She has been taking pain killer because her outer thigh has been nagging her for more than 20 years. Actually, the pain is due to the disc fracture at the spine as informed by the doctors. I don’t know whether the pain is caused by her spine problem or other reasons. I would like to substitute the pain killers with your herbal remedy.
The son of GG called to say that GG was better. She had more energy and now can sit up. Before she had to lie down.
We are glad that at least when patients (or doctors) give up medical treatment for advanced cancer, there is still something that we can do to help — to make patients’ quality of life better.
GG is already 85 years old. Do you think subjecting her to chemotherapy or radiation make sense?
Reflect on this story written by Dr. Ken Murray.
Not too long ago, a man came to our centre on behalf of his 71-year-old father who was in a critical condition in the hospital. His father was semi-unconscious, couldn’t even open his mouth to eat or drink and had to be tube-fed. Looking at his medical condition — lung cancer that spread to his brain — we suggested that it would be better to do nothing than to try heroic acts. A biopsy was done followed by radiation. The question is: What is the purpose — what do you expect to achieve?