Breast Cancer: Is this Cookbook Medicine?

YS is a 50-year-old lady. She had many lumps in both breasts.

Although most of these lumps appear to be benign, there is one lump that does not look good. This one is found at 12-1 o’clock of the right breast and measures 13x9x12 mm in size. A biopsy indicated an invasive ductal carcinoma.

In addition,. CT showed a 7.4 x 5.7 cm nodule in her liver and multiple uterine fibroids. The liver nodule could just be a haemangioma.

I suggested that YS consult a breast specialist. YS must have the malignant lump removed — either by lumpectomy or mastectomy. I told YS: Taking herbs will not make the cancerous lump go away!

YS agreed to my suggestion. A few weeks later she came back with her medical report which stated the following:

  1. Right breast lump, 9 x 10 x 7 mm, shows grade 3 infiltrating ductal carcinoma with a predominant ductal carcinoma in situ component (80%).
  2. There is no evidence of metastatic deposits in the 3 sentinel lymph nodes studied.
  3. Pathological staging: pT1 pNo pMx
  4. Oestrogen receptors: Positive
  5. Progrestrone recptors: Positive
  6. HER2/NEU: +2 -HER2 gene is amplified.

The above shows that this  is an early stage cancer. However, after her lumpectomy, YS was asked to see an oncologist for possible follow up treatments.

YS spent almost an hour with a caring oncologist. The consultation cost RM 180.

The oncologist suggested  that YS undergo the following treatments:

  1. Twelve cycles of chemotherapy.
  2. Four cycles of Herceptin — because the tumour is positive for Her2 gene.
  3. Radiotherapy to be considered after completion of (1) and (2).
  4. Hormonal therapy — taking either Tamoxifen or Fermara for 5 years.

According to the oncologist the chance of obtaining a cure is 90 percent.

YS refused to go for these treatments and opted for our CA Care Therapy instead.

As usual, I asked YS why she did not want to go for chemo. YS explained that her grandmother died of cancer when she was small. Her father also died of lung cancer. He had all the medical treatments at the cancer hospital. So she knows what chemo is like.

Chris: So you have already made up your mind NOT to go for chemo even before you come and see me?

YS: Yes.

C: What does your husband say? Is he not unhappy that you don’t want to go for further medical treatment?

YS: He learned about CA Care from someone, so he was the one who asked me to come and see you.

Comments: 

Cookbook medicine is defined as the practice of medicine by strict adherence to practice guidelines, which may not be an appropriate substitute for clinical judgment.

Try to google, “cookbook medicine” and see what you can find.  The first entry of my search is this: 

Cookbook Medicine Is a Recipe for Disaster … An astonishing new article from JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that at least 150,000 people per year may be needlessly killed, rendered disabled, or otherwise harmed due to misdiagnoses in doctors’ offices.

Is that not scary — 150,000 people per year needlessly killed, rendered disabled or harmed by doctors? I thought you go to the doctor to get well not to be killed or harmed.

The truth is, according to an oncologist, Dr. James Forsythe,  it is okay to be killed or harmed by chemotherapy as long as the standard protocol is adhered to.

I wonder how many patients know the “rule of the game” before they undergo their cancer treatment?

Let us look at the case of YS again.

  1. She had breast cancer — early stage. So after surgery, the standard operation protocol (SOP) is (just to be safe) the patient must undergo follow up treatments.
  1. The tumour is malignant. Therefore she needs chemotherapy. Generally a patient is given 6 cycles of chemo. I don’t know why YS has to go for 12 cycles — is her cancer that serious? The medical report does not say so. Anyway, the oncologist is supposed to be “smarter” than you and me. So be it.

While chemo cost a “bomb”. It also comes with severe side effects. Generally oncologists down play these side effects, brushing it off as “it is like ant bite.”

  1. Since the tumour is HER2 positive, YS needs Herceptin injection — 4 cycles to start with. I have patients who told me that they received up to 20 to 30 injections with no beneficial effect.

Take note, each Herceptin injection is not cheap and comes with severe side effects as well. Not known to most patients,

Herceptin can damage the heart and its ability to pump blood effectively. This risk has ranged between 5% to 30%. The damage can be mild and result in either no symptoms or signs of mild heart failure, like shortness of breath.

  1. Generally, patients are told to undergo radiotherapy while on or after chemotherapy.
  1. Since the tumour is positive for Estrogen and Progesterone receptors, taking Tamoxifen or Fermara for 5 years is a must (in some hospitals, patients are told to take this for 10 years). Over the years, I have come across of ladies who suffered after taking Tamoxifen. Read the long list of side effects here: https://www.drugs.com/sfx/tamoxifen-side-effects.html

Why do you need to take Tamoxifen? The doctor says, it is to prevent recurrence. But I have patients who suffered recurrence even while taking Tamoxifen.

Having outlined all the necessary treatments, has the oncologist forgotten that YS also has multiple fibroids besides a big nodule in her liver? Perhaps doctors think these are harmful, but to me they carry a message that something is not right or normal. Yes, at CA Care we do have herbs to take care of such problems.

Over the years, I have breast cancer patients coming to our centre seeking help after medical treatments have failed them.

Read more here:

·        Breast Cancer: Surgery, Chemo, Radiation and Tamoxifen Did Not Cure Them

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/03/22/breast-cancer-surgery-chemo-radiation-and-tamoxifen-did-not-cure-them/

·        Surgery and Chemotherapy Did Not Cure Their Breast Cancer: Equally A Big Mistake?

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2016/05/18/surgery-and-chemotherapy-did-not-cure-their-breast-cancer-equally-a-big-mistake/

·        Breast Cancer: Herceptin and Brain Metastasis

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/09/20/breast-cancer-herceptin-and-brain-metastasis/

·        Breast Cancer: Ilani’s Message – Learn from my mistake, do not go for chemo

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/03/11/435/

Let me say loud and clear that you cannot blame this “caring” oncologist for proposing the above protocol. He is just following the SOP. He wants YS to get well. And the only way he knows how to make her well is to do what he had learned in medical school. He even said that by undergoing the full course of the suggested protocol, YS has a 90 percent chance of cure!

Do you ever wonder, why there is only a 90 percent chance of cure? Patients want 100 percent chance, right? So in this case, even if YS were to undergo all the suggested treatments she still has a 10 percent chance of failure or may even be killed along the way. Yes, Dr. Forsythe did warn us: …oncologist’s main hope is that the chemotherapy will kill the cancer before it kills the patient.

Read also what Dr. John Lee wrote in his book,

If the above are depressing to you, there is an article in the New York Times that may make your day a bit brighter —

Good News for Women With Breast Cancer: Many Don’t Need Chemo https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/03/health/breast-cancer-chemo.html

  • Many women with early-stage breast cancer who would receive chemotherapy under current standards do not actually need it.
  • “We can spare thousands and thousands of women from getting toxic treatment that really wouldn’t benefit them,” said Dr. Ingrid A. Mayer, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • Chemotherapy can save lives, but has serious risks that make it important to avoid treatment if it is not needed. In addition to the hair loss and nausea that patients dread, chemo can cause heart and nerve damage, leave patients vulnerable to infection and increase the risk of leukemia later in life.

In NIH Director’s Blog  https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2018/06/12/most-women-with-early-stage-breast-cancer-dont-need-chemo/, Dr. Fancis Collins wrote, Most women with early-stage breast cancer don’t need chemo!

  • Each year, as many as 135,000 American women who’ve undergone surgery for the most common form of early-stage breast cancer face a difficult decision: whether or not to undergo chemotherapy.
  • The new findings suggest that at least 70 percent of women with HR-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node-negative breast cancer—those with low scores and most of those with mid-range scores—can safely avoid chemotherapy. (This group of patients) do not benefit from chemotherapy.

Indeed the world of cancer treatment is not straight forward. For sure it is not as easy like sitting in front of an oncologist and within minutes you get his/her recipe for your survival. It is much more complex, puzzling and confusing. Ponder seriously the words of these two outstanding breast specialists. Perhaps you can learn something from what they said. Or do you prefer to follow the advice of your oncologist since he “knows best”?

 

 

 

 

 

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