In remembrance of Stephen Taylor: Part 3: Best Hospital, Best Equipment, Top Surgeon. Let’s Operate!

With surgery you can live longer and have better quality of life

2 September 2022, 9:34 PM Steve wrote:

Hello Dr. Chris,

  • So I went with my daughter (S) to a private hospital to see the specialized surgeon who normally works at the main government S hospital. They would definitely have the best equipment. S and I were rather impressed with him although we only had about 20 minutes to talk.
  • He gave his opinion without being pushy or insisting on anything. He thinks I require surgery. When asked if he was proposing a “cure” he was quite open about it, saying that if the tumor was small they could consider it a cure, but my cancer is more serious. However, the surgery would give me more time and a better quality of life.
  • When asked about the prognosis if I don’t do anything, he did not know but suggested possibly 2 to 3 years, which is what the other doc told me. He said (like other docs have told me) if I do nothing the cancer could spread to other organs, the nerve running through the gland, and to the brain. It could also break out of the skin which would be serious.
  • I did tell him I don’t want radiation or chemo. Surprisingly he said chemo is not used for this type of cancer. He does use radiation but didn’t push it.
  • I asked about his experience with this type of cancer and he said he sees about a new patient every week, or about 50 a year, so I think he has the experience. I did ask for actual data on results but somehow we got sidetracked.
  • One really positive thing as far as I’m concerned is that by using the government hospital the profit motive for the surgeon no longer applies. I have always been suspicious that private hospital docs might recommend a treatment because the hospital admin requires it. Those shareholders must be paid! There is no advantage to the gov surgeon since he gets paid by the government.
  • I did ask the doc if I could wait another month because I would like to try some Chinese herbs, but the doc said that it was inadvisable to wait that long because the cancer appeared to be spreading quickly, and there’s a risk the cancer could spread. This was said as a matter of fact, rather than scare me into doing the surgery. No doc I’ve seen is against using herbs.
  • So if you have time Chris, I would welcome any suggestions from you for any questions to ask. After that we can make a decision. I’m pretty sure I know what you will tell me Chris, but I like the guy and think at least I could go and talk to him again at S Hospital.

Reply 2 September 2022, 11:22 PM:

Thanks Steve for writing and I know you also want  me to reply as soon as possible. OK, I shall try  now.

  • The first point when patients come to me, I would try to understand their mind or mentality and belief system. To me this is the most important aspect of healing — without a positive attitude it is difficult to achieve any healing. Unfortunately, not many patients have that positive attitude.
  • One of the dangerous attitudes is trying to rush or push to get things done, believing that if you don’t do something NOW it is going to be hell — cancer spreads and spreads. My advice is RELAX. Take it easy and cool down. It is with this frame of mind that you can expect to make a rational decision. 

Regarding your problem:

  • Good that you like the surgeon. That is one good point. 
  •  Good that he said he has done such surgery — once a week for so many people. That means he is an expert and knows what he is doing.
  • Good that he recognises that chemo has no role in this.
  • So if you ask me, what is next? The answer is surgery. 
  • BUT my only reservation is, are you sure the doctor can do or deliver that reality (not just his belief). Unfortunately no one can answer this all important question. No guarantee. 
  • My main concern is the side effects of the surgery. This is ABSOLUTELY my main concern. You have to live with the consequences of that decision.
  • When I write this, I remember a patient – his problem was the nose cancer not like yours). He was the dean of a faculty in a university. To him 2+2 is always 4 and it must be 4. As a biologist I told him 2+2 can be 10 or even zero. We have different belief systems.
  • The head has a lot of wires (nerves). Destroy some vital ones and you end up with all kinds of problems. It will be operation after operation and you get mutilated. And there is no going back if this happens.
  • So if you want to have a quick answer — operation is the option but bearing in mind my concern or risk above.
  • This past week  many patients  came to me for help. I have heard their stories — failed chemo, failed

radiotherapy and failed surgery. So  at the end of the day I tell patients — FOLLOW WHAT YOUR HEART SAYS. If you think he is the right expert for you, GO AHERAD. There is no right or wrong answer.

  • As I am writing this, I remember the 16-year old boy with tumours in his mouth. I agreed to him undergoing chemotherapy. Yes, one shot of chemo shrunk the tumour but the second shot killed him. But I cannot say he cannot go for chemo because my herbs could not do the magic that he wanted.

Write me again if you wish to express your concern or opinion.

3 September 2022, 7:37 AM Steve wrote:

Dear Dr. Chris,

  • I am so appreciative of the time you take to reply to my ramblings. I would love to go to Penang to thank you in person. But maybe you don’t want this strange person cluttering up your clinic. Don’t blame you.
  • I think 2 + 2 = the square root of -1. Prove me wrong.
  • Since we all agree, including the doc, that surgery will not “cure” the cancer, but will only extend life, there are no false claims here. So the question then becomes, will the surgery improve my condition and quality of life, or will it make it worse, perhaps a lot worse … and by how much will it extend life? I suppose the answer to the last question is unknown and just an educated guess. This is a question I will try to hammer home to him if I manage to see him on Monday.
  • I’m pretty sure that working at the main S Hospital he is one of the top surgeons in Thailand, and with 50 cases a year, plus the best equipment at S, it stands the best chance of success.
  • Of course, that does not guarantee a good result. But should I turn the offer down? I did start to ask him for actual data for his patients so I can make an informed decision, but he didn’t quite understand what I said and somehow we moved on to other things.

No need to reply Chris. I will write again next week after seeing the doc again. By the way, I forget to say, please let me know if you want something from The Big Mango which you can’t get there.

Reply 3 September 2022, 1:48 PM:

  • Yes, exactly. Cut and remove. No more – cure for a while. You can live longer but with side effects while alive. So there is the trade off here.
  • In my 25 years, I think I only come across less than 5 cases like yours. And he had 50 cases a year like your cancer?  Then he is definitely much better.
  • Yes, in theory everything looks great — I would say, Remove the tumour! Let’s see if the reality is different.
  • If one tumour is removed, I think there is a good chance you need to sacrifice the nerves and you will have to learn to live with it. But if there are more than one tumour, what is he going to do? Remove it/them also? Can he do that? Then what about the lump in the throat? Is he removing that too? Or come back another day to remove it?
  • It looks like you cannot run away from chemo or radiotherapy after the surgery. Ask him that. Unless of course it is a clean cut.
  • Surgery is to done by an expert surgeon with experience who says it is NOT a cure but there’s a good possibility of living 4 to 6 years, compared to say 2 years doing nothing. Two docs have independently given the same time frame. I FULLY AGREE WITH YOU. YES, GO FOR SURGERY. 

3 September 2022, 6:11 PM Steve wrote:

  • Yes  Chris, I understand completely. But the problem is that the herbs/oil did not stop the growth of the tumor which is now quite large. I feel that leaving it longer would be a high risk strategy.
  • As we agreed, the use of herbs for this was a trial. I think they might have slowed the disease a little but did not stop it. But that’s just speculation on my part.
  • So you are asking me to have faith in your unproven modified herbs. That is an awful lot to ask for Chris.
  • And while you have provided many, many examples, and I have several of your books, I haven’t seen anything where you supply stats showing actual numbers of people comparing the outcomes of treatment compared to the herbs. I suppose this data does not exist because nearly everyone you see has tried conventional treatment which failed. 
  • Another point I would like to raise is similar. Standard medicine does have success stories. Many failures of course but it’s not as if it’s total failure. There are quite a number of friends who have had standard therapy and have survived many, many years. Excuse me, but if someone reads your work they will come to the conclusion that (medical) treatment is 100% ineffective. In my case the herbs appear not to have worked.
  • This is in no way a criticism of you Chris. I often have conversations in my head between opposite views to try to decide the best course to take.

So by all means shoot me down in flames about what I said, but I have the choice now of:

  1. Surgery by an expert surgeon with experience who says it is NOT a cure but there’s a good possibility of living 4 to 6 years, compared to say 2 years doing nothing. Two docs have independently given the same time frame.
  • Just use your modified herbs for 1 month on a trial basis, without any evidence that they work, keeping in mind there’s a distinct possibility the cancer will spread to nearby organs with disastrous consequences.
  • I would think 99.9% would chose Option 1. I doubt if you would find anyone like me who would even consider your herbs in this situation.

But at least I’m considering what to do.

  • You must be very tired of this troublesome patient. I value everything you say, so it’s ok. I’m only expressing my doubts and concerns about any treatment including the herbs.

Cheers Chris, and hope to talk to you again next week.

3 September 2022, 7:35 PM Steve wrote:

  • Are you just pulling my leg Chris? Hope I have not angered you just because I’m pointing out the difficulties in anything I might do.
  • If you want to argue your case, I am always ready to listen. Just to say, oh all right have it your way, is not a good argument if you have few answers to my questions. 
  • Perhaps I misunderstand your intention.
  • Are you saying you have just got tired of me wasting your time? Sorry about that but I cannot be expected to be a guinea pig to try out your herbs. 

Reply: 3 September 2022, 7:48 PM:

  • NO, you are right. The only option any cancer patient has is surgery. I am sure of that! If you got breast cancer, colon cancer, etc. if you don’t want to cut — don’t come and see me. That has always been clear from the beginning. But for your case, I don’t know. In my 25 years I have seen less than 5 cases, so can’t say much. So here is where mindset comes in. If you believe surgery is the right choice, go for it.
  • My herbs cure??? NO, never. This is the first reply I send out to all patients who write me. My herbs cannot cure your cancer!

Reply: 3 September 2022, 9:54 PM:

  • You advise people to cut out the tumor first and then try the herbs. Is that correct? YES,  EXACTLY  if it is breast, colon, etc. BUT I would not say do surgery if it is lung, brain or liver cancer — and also your case because I have no experience with this cancer. 

So this is not like one rule that applies to all. My recommendation is based on what I know through my 25 yrs of experience.

  • I just got an email from my old classmate — class 1970s — he has sarcoma in the thigh. He is taking rodent tuber. I told him, it is wrong. Don’t be fooled by those who want to make money. Herbs cannot shrink the tumour or make the cancer go away.  
  • I  would most likely ask him to have it removed, because that is the only sensible thing to do. After that he can take herbs if he believes in what I do. But if he wants to do chemo or radiation, it is up to him. I am not here to influence him or force him to do what he does not want to do. I am here to help patients to get well. Period.
  • So what I say above applies equally to you – exactly that. But again I repeat, in your case, I don’t know if surgery is a sensible option or not due to the sensitivity of the nerves in there.

I hope all is clear.

3 September 2022, 10:01 PM Steve wrote:

  • Ok Chris  if I am wrong then I apologize.
  • As far as I understand it now, you advise people to cut out the tumor first and then try the herbs. Is that correct?
  • I was under the impression that surgery would only apply to isolated tumors such as breast cancer tumors which can be removed, not as in my case multi-node tumors. I’m wrong again I guess. I wanted to avoid surgery for exactly this reason because I don’t see how they can remove multiple tumors.
  • Cheers, but please take a rest. I’m afraid my brain is a bit foggy all the time, so it’s quite possible I miss things.

3 September 2022, 11:16 PM Steve wrote:

Yes, yes, yes, all clear now.

  • For my case, I don’t think anyone knows if the surgery will damage the nerve or not. The surgeon said something about repairing nerve damage. I didn’t go into details. It’s high risk I know, and I would much prefer an integrated approach combining the standard treatments with individual diet and other natural recommendations, but they haven’t progressed that far in Thailand.

6 September 2022, 9.38 AM Steve wrote:

  • Op to remove tumor on cheek scheduled for 17 September 2022 at the Thai main public S Hospital.  One week stay.
  • I think I have taken all views into account, but a decision has to be made, and I think that surgery is the best option available.
  • Reaffirmed this is NOT a cure but hopefully will extend quality of life for maybe 2+ years. I doubt it personally, because the tumor seems to be aggressive and the tumor has started pressing on my ear airway restricting sound. Doc had a look and said it would improve after surgery.
  • The doc assured me that surgery is the best treatment – but he assured me it’s his opinion. At least the profit motive at private hospitals has been avoided.
  • I asked about pain management. He said no problem because they have the drugs (presumably the opioids) which are unavailable outside. (I know your thoughts on pain meds).
  • I have stopped taking the herbs and THC cannabis oil in view of the op. Feel better mentally now.
  • I think the herbs and/or THC cannabis oil MIGHT have slowed down the tumor growth, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking, because I have no real data to support the suggestion. The fact is the lump has grown from a hardly visible bump to a rather large growth on the cheek in 4 months. One doc told me this is usually slow-growing, but it seems aggressive to me.

Dear Chris, don’t waste your valuable time replying right now.

6 September 2022, 5:44 PM.

  • I am glad that you have come to a decision on your own that makes you happy. Okay. Let us hope for the best. I am learning from your experience.

8 September 2022, 11:35 AM, Steve wrote:

Good morning Chris,

  • When I looked in the mirror today I thought the lump on my cheek has grown significantly larger since 2 weeks ago. Naturally, I feel rather uneasy (to say the least) about that, or should I say panicky.
  • But I asked my wife and she assured me it’s the same size with no redness. Still no pain. Feel about the same. Except for pressure due to the lump, and a bit of a sore throat, I feel OK, except lack a lot of energy.
  • But I can walk, talk, eat, and tippy-tap on my mobile OK. Not complaining.
  • As you know, the op is on 17 September, just 9 days away. In the meantime, do you think I should restart your herbs to try to slow down the growth? I will not be restarting the cannabis oil (at least for now) due to the negative psychotic effects it produced.
  • I did tell the surgeon I had stopped both the herbs and the oil. All he said was “good.” Cheers, Steve

Reply: 8 September 2022.

  • Not to complicate anything and make the doctor happy, stop taking the herbs first. It is okay. Take care. Don’t worry too much.