Same lymphoma, Same chemo, Same oncologist, Same time but Different outcome. Where is the science?

Nick (not real name) is a 37-year-old Indonesian. In late December 2017, he had coughs, became breathless and found a swelling under his left arm pit. In January 2018, he went to Singapore and did a PET scan followed by a biopsy. There was a large mass occupying the entire left lung. The left lung had collapsed, hence the breathlessness. The many surrounding lymph nodes were also swollen.

Histology confirmed Nick had a diffuse aggressive peripheral B-cell lymphoma with extensive supra- and infra-diaphramatic adenopathy involving mediastinal, hilar, left axillary/subpectoral and peri-celiac regions.

As expected, Nick underwent six cycles of chemotherapy with CHOP-R regimen. The total cost for this treatment came to about SGD80,000 (i.e. RM 240,000).

Chemotherapy was completed in May 2018. After a rest of about one and a half months, Nick did a follow-up PET scan on 2 July 2018. The results were as follows:

  • The previous mass, about 18 cm in the lung had shrunk significantly! Nick felt better after the chemo.
  • There is a residual non FDG avid soft tissue mass at the left hilum, measuring 3.0 x 2.8 cm.
  • A new focus of intense FDG uptake at the left aspect of the manubrium, suspicious of disease involvement.
  • A few foci of mild increased FDG uptake in the left upper pulmonary lobe associated with peripheral ground glass changes — probably due to inflammatory changes.
  • Diffuse mild increased FDG uptake in the bone marrow may be reactive in nature.

In view of the above, Nick was told to do another biopsy to determine what is in his breastbone. But before doing the biopsy, Nick decided to come and seek our help. He wanted to take herbs.

Nick shared the story of his friend who also had the “same” lymphoma at the same time as him. While Nick’s lymphoma mass was on the left lung, the friend’s lymphoma mass was in the middle of the chest.

Nick’s friend went to the same hospital, was treated by the same oncologist and received the same six-cycle of chemo — CHOP-R. Unfortunately, the treatment did not work for Nick’s friend. In this case, Nick was a bit more lucky.

Nick’s friend was asked to go for more chemo, using a new regimen called R-ICE. After one treatment his white blood cell count went down to almost zero.

(Note: The previous treatment regimen was Rituximab (R) and CHOP. CHOP stands for cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone. The suggested new regimen is Rituximab and ICE. ICE stands for Ifos­famide + Carbo­platin + Etopo­side).

Listen to our conversation that morning.

 

 

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What can you learn from this story? Yes, you can go to the same doctor, receive the same chemo-drugs for the same type of cancer but you cannot guarantee that you get the same result. This story shows that healing of cancer takes more than just “text book science” that you learned in school. Over the years helping cancer patients, there is one thing that I learned — the outcome of each treatment is very much dependent on the “nature” of the patient himself/herself.

Dr. Glenn Sabin is a medical doctor. He was diagnosed with cancer but cured himself through the non-chemo way. He wrote a book, N of 1.  He said, You may be wondering why I titled my book ‘n of 1’. In scientific circles, an N-of-1 trial is a clinical trial in which a single patient represents the entire investigation: a single case study. 

Shortly after I was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1991, my N-of-1 experiment began. No two cancers are exactly alike; neither are two patients. Our individual needs—physical, psychological and emotional—and cancer treatment regimens can vary widely; just like our responses to treatment and our unique journeys into survivorship.”

Dr. Sabin’s experience is an inspiring story about challenging medical dogma. He discussed how to activate the body’s innate capacity to heal. To heal, patients, their caregivers and their loved ones need to seek knowledge and self-empowerment.

In my book, Getting it right, I wrote a chapter with this title, Is Modern Medicine the Only Proven and Scientific Therapy?.

This is what I wrote: Medical treatments are said to be scientific and proven but what is the use, if patients still die after undergoing all these high-tech, state-of-the art treatments? Are the deaths and recurrences of cancer in patients not proof enough that scientific medicine has failed in one way or another? 

Taking of herbs or other CAM therapies brought benefits to patients. These therapies have not gone through “scientific baptism” to make them scientific. But this does not mean that the therapies are ineffective or unscientific. The results speak for themselves. The requirement that truth can only be found through current “gold standard method” of medicine is in itself unscientific. 

In the third chapter of the book, I went on to ask, Is Traditional and Complementary/ Alternative Medicine (CAM) a Quackery? 

Traditional and Complementary / Alternative Therapies (CAM) are often regarded as unproven by those in the medical profession. This negative perception is disappearing as the general public had overwhelmingly confirmed that CAM therapies are indeed beneficial for them. 

The next time you go to your oncologist to start your chemo, know that he/she is conducting an N=1 experiment on you. He/she may quote impressive success statistics but know that those statistics need not necessarily apply to you. If your oncologist says you have a 80 percent chance of cure, ask if he/she is sure that you belong to that 80 percent success group. Or what is the chance that you belong to the 20 percent failed group? If you ask such questions expect some unexpected response from your doctor! He/she may chase you out of the office! Or you will get a shelling. One doctor told a patient: How do I know, I am not god! Another doctor answered: It is your fate, your luck. 

So is going to the oncologist is just like going to a casino? Read this book, The Big Casino: America’s best cancer doctors share their most powerful stories.

To me, you need more than just “science” to cure your cancer — yes, you may need more luck or more karma. But one thing I know for sure … you need God’s mercy and blessing. Unfortunately, many people are still not responding to this change of reality.

Back to the case of Nick. He had six rounds of chemo and spent about RM240,000 for the treatment. Did the chemo helped him? Yes, definitely. His collapsed left lung was “restored” and he can now breathe normally. But did the chemo cure him? No, not yet. I am not sure if Nick can ever be cured. He was asked to do another biopsy to know what is left behind. Then what comes after the biopsy? What can the doctor offer other than more of the same thing … more chemo like his friend. What say you to more chemo?

Nick knew the pitfall. He decided to come and seek our help. But I was frank with him that morning. I said, I may be able to help but I cannot cure you.

Over the more than two decades of helping patients, I have come across many lymphoma cases and I know that our CA Care Therapy did help some of them.

My first encounter was with Dewi (not real name). She is a lawyer who had a recurrence a year after completion of her medical treatment. She did not want any more chemo and was started on our herbs and diet. Up to this day, Dewi is still doing fine. You can read more here: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/07/05/the-story-of-devi-a-lady-lawyer-about-40-years-old-afflicted-by-non-hodgkin%E2%80%99s-lymphoma/

Then there is another interesting case of a 65-year-old man who was diagnosed with B-cell type gastric non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After just one shot of chemo with modified CHOP –  cyclophosphamide + vincristine + Epirubicin and Prednisolone, he suffered a stroke (left thalamus infarction). The doctor gave up chemo and suggested radiotherapy instead. His daughter came to seek our help instead. Read here: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/02/05/non-hodgkins-lymphoma-of-the-stomach-one-cycle-of-chemo-made-him-really-sick-he-took-herbs-and-life-was-restored/

In March 2014, Mat had a lump on his chest. A biopsy confirmed it was a lymphoma.  Had underwent 25 cycles of radiotherapy, but he refused chemotherapy. The lump went away but in 2016, fluid accumulated in his lung and Mat had  it tapped out. Later the cancer spread to his neck. In February 2018, Mat wrote us to ask for help but I was reluctant to take up this case. I asked Mat to go and see the doctor instead. But he was adamant he did not any chemo. I had no choice but to help him. Yes, our therapy helped him too! For more read: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2018/06/16/lymphoma-swollen-neck-refused-surgery-or-chemotherapy-opted-for-ca-care-therapy/

As I am finishing this story, a 40-plus-year-old man came to seek our help. He was initially diagnosed with TB, but later the diagnosis was changed to lymphoma. He underwent six cycles of chemo.  The treatment failed. He was asked to go for another 12 cycles of chemo. After three cycles of this additional treatment he decided to give up and came to seek our help. After two weeks on the herbs, it looks like he is getting better. I cannot say what lies ahead for this unfortunate man.

 

 

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