About CA Care

In obedience to God's will and counting on His mercies and blessings, and driven by the desire to care for one another, we seek to provide help, direction and relief to those who suffer from cancer.

Pleomorphic Sarcoma: Tumour shrunk after 3 months on herbs!

On the last day of 2017, I received an email from a Malaysian lady in Germany. Let’s call her May. This is what she wrote:

Dear Mr. Chris Teo,

…. I would like to tell you a bit about my case. All our reports are in German. We will translate them and bring them back to you.

  • December 2016: I was diagnosed with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma at blood vessels, which was near to my heart.  The tumor grew from my right upper pulmonary vein through the mitral valve into my left ventricle of my heart. Via complete sternotomy, the tumor was excised.(Sternotomy — surgery where sternum or breastbone in centre of chest was divided or cracked).

Sternotomy was done one more time to stop internal bleeding and to remove a hematoma.

  • January – June 2017: Cytostatic chemotherapy was done with Doxorubicin and Ifosamid for 6 cycles.
  • October 2017: From standard checkup (CT scan and MRI), it was confirmed that a tumor, 2.4 x 2.2 cm is growing close to the right upper pulmonary vein and it presses onto the vein.

This result highly indicates a local  recurrence. Sample of the tumor was taken via Endobronchial Ultrasound to pathology and it was confirmed it is the same high graded sarcoma.

  • November – December 2017: Chemotherapy (Gemcitabin and Docetaxel) for 2 cycles were done. Along with the chemotherapy, I took part in a double blind clinical study for Antibodytherapy Olaratumab).

During chemotherapy and antibody therapy  the tumor had shrunk to 1cm (result from a CT scan).

  • 27 December.2017:A CT scan of the whole body was done and metastasis was found in my brain. It was located above my left eye.
  • 2 January 2018: It is planned now to remove the tumor, as the tumor has caused brain edema which can cause stroke or bleeding anytime.

If the recovery process and the operation turns out successful and I still can fly, we will come back to find you to try your method to control the primary tumor near my heart.

Regards.

This was my reply to May.

Thank you for your email. Actually I was wondering who you are and why you want to come and see me. You are from Germany and I am in Malaysia, half a world away. 

Since Netherlands is so near you, why don’t you see Dr YY below. You can get her contact from the internet. I have read her 2 books but I have never met her personally. But that is the way to start … see her and ask for her advice. 

I also know Germany is very famous for alternative cancer therapy — why don’t you  scout around to go to these clinics — if you need help to find where and what, let me know. I may be able to help.  

Sarcoma is a very difficult problem … see, even chemo and chemo … did not work. You asked to see me in Penang — you are welcome to see me. Are you from Penang? 

Dear Mr Chris Teo,

I am from Kedah. If I am fit and the operation goes smoothly, I will come and meet you. Thank you and Happy new year.

In early February 2018, May, her husband and her mother came to our center.

https://youtu.be/k9D0BGSH5DI

May was prescribed a variety of herbal teas for her brain and sarcoma. Once in a while, I received updates of May’s progress.

Hello Uncle Chris,

8 Feb: I started soft tissue tea. My thigh has less pain. A bit pain at my left chest.

9 Feb:  I feel some short pain at my left chest. When I first swallow food or water, my tracea is pain.

10 Feb:  Same like 9.2

11 Feb:  My thigh is less pain. But still pain when I swallow food or water.

12 Feb:   My thigh still has a bit pain. Still pain when I swallow food and water.

13 Feb:   still pain when I swallow food and water.

14 Feb:   My cheek and neck is itchy and red. My thigh has no more pain.

15 & and 16 Feb:  My cheek and neck still itchy and red. Still a bit pain when I swallow food.

17 Feb:   No more pain when swallow food or drink water. My cheek and fore head are still itchy and red.

18 Feb:  Still itchy at fore head and cheek.

19 Feb:  Light pain at my left chest. A bit hard to explain.

On 28 March 2018 May, her husband and mother dropped by the centre before returning to Germany. And while in Germany May did write once a while to update us.

On10 May 2018, this is what she wrote:

Hello Dr.Teo,
I have check up and it shows that the tumour has reduced its size to half and no metatasis. A very big thanks to you from me and my whole family. My oncologist here in Germany is so curious about my therapy and would like to know more. So I gave him your website.  They haven’t see such improvement before with chemo and radiation especially with my rare sarcoma. Thank you once again.

Reply: You wrote: I have check up and it shows that the tumour has reduced its size to half and no metatasis.

Can you tell me what does this mean? Before the herbs you have tumour ? Where? What is the size?

Now, what did the doctor do? CT or MRI … then what is the size?

10 May 2018:

Dear Dr.Teo,

I had recurrence before I came to see you.  The primary tumour is located in the lymph node near my heart. The cancer metatasized to my brain. When I first met you in January. The doctor had removed the tumour in the brain but not the primary one.

The primary tumour in December was 5.5 x 3.2cm. Now it has become 3.2 x 1.9 cm. 

Comments

  1. When I received May’s email, my first reaction was to ask her to see other alternative healers — Germany is so famous for alternative medicine — why come to CA Care? But since she insisted of following our therapy, I could not turn her down. Perhaps she missed “home” too. Good to be back in your own “kampong” and be among your loved ones when you are ill — right?
  1. Below are pictures of the mass around her heart (top) and a tumour in her brain (below). After seeing this I shook my head in despair. As I told May, in my twenty plus years helping cancer patients, this is my first time seeing such a cancer. I really don’t know what I can offer May. But as you can see from this report, the herbs gave very encouraging results.

Sarcoma in blood vessel around heart

Sarcoma spread to brain.

Note:  Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS), is a type of soft tissue cancer. The word “undifferentiated” means that the cells don’t resemble the body tissues in which they develop. The cancer is called pleomorphic because the cells grow in multiple shapes and sizes.

While sarcomas are rare tumors, they do represent one of the most common soft tissue malignancies in adults. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop in blood vessels and in deep skin, fat, muscle, fibrous or nerve tissues. The cancer typically becomes quite large over a period of weeks or months, sometimes growing quite rapidly. The cancer can spread to other locations in the body, most often the lungs.

  1. May told her German doctor that she wanted to come home to undergo our therapy. The doctor did not object to her taking herbs! After all the doctors in Germany had done their best — even surgery and chemotherapy failed — what else could they offer her except more of the same treatments.

From the start, I make it clear to May that I would not be able to cure her — to help her, probably yes. I know sarcoma is a very difficult cancer to handle. But, right in my head, I know that I had some wonderful successes with sarcoma. Read these stories if you want to know more: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/category/sarcoma/

  1. Now that the tumour has shrunk rather significantly, just after three months of herbs, I pray that things become better and better with time. But May will have to help herself. She should keep on doing what she has been doing after seeing us. Don’t ever think that she can do and eat anything she likes!
  1. This statement that May wrote, My oncologist here in Germany is so curious about my therapy and would like to know more, tickled me a bit! Most doctors/ oncologists generally don’t want to know! If you don’t want to know you are like “a frog under the coconut shell”, right?
  1. I must say frankly, I would not know what is May’s future but for what it is we need to lift up our eyes to Heaven and praise the Almighty God for this healing. God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Gone ! 4 cm cyst disappeared after herbs!

Daisy (not real name) is a 42-year-old Indonesian. She had a 5 x 3 cm cancerous tumour in her cervix. She underwent an operation to remove the tumour in November 2016.

After the surgery, she told her doctor that she did not want to go for chemotherapy. She wanted to take herbs instead. Okay —  no problem!

Daisy was well after that. She used to be “plump” but after taking care of her diet her weight went down to 59 kg from 76 kg. She looked fairer and prettier!

On check up in July 2017, her doctor found a cyst in her abdomen about 48 mm in size. The doctor suggested there was no need to do anything yet, just wait and see.

In November 2017, a repeat USG was done in Batam, Indonesia. The doctor told Daisy the cyst was still there and it measured 37 mm.

At this point in time, I prescribed Daisy herbal teas — GY 5 and GY 6. Hopefully the teas will get rid of the cyst!

In April 2018, Daisy came to our centre with a smiling, happy face! She just went to her doctor in Batam and did a second USG. The cyst was gone!

Listen to our conversation that morning.

Chris: Okay, how are you now?

Daisy:  A few days ago, I went to my doctor and did an USG. The cyst is gone.

C: God helped you! Before the herbs, what was your problem?

D: When I bend forward, I felt pain. Now there is no pain.

C: Earlier on, you said you had “twisting” pain in the abdomen when you were tired.

D: No more.

C: Some months back, an USG showed there was a 4 cm cyst. Then another USG later said it was 2.7 cm. and now it is gone. How long were you taking the herbs?

D: Two months.

C: You believe that? You believe what the doctor told you?

D: Laugh.

C: Is it true or not, I really don’t know. Did the doctor know that you had a cyst in there? Did the doctor ask you what you did to make the cyst do away?

D: The doctor knew I have a cyst (3.7 cm) and the doctor knew I refused to undergo chemotherapy. No, the doctor did ask or want to know why.

C: Okay, after another 2 or 3 months, go and do another USG.

D: The doctor told me to come again after one year!

C: Laugh. You can go to another doctor and ask to do another USG. Don’t have to go back to the same doctor. We just want to know that the last USG is really correct or not. So let’s see what happen after another 2 or 3 months.

Comment

There is nothing unusual about this case. We have seen that our herbs, GY 5 and GY 6, each tea taken once a day, did make cysts go away after a few months. No, you don’t need surgery for such a case!

 

 

 

Cancer: Why Some Patients Choose Not to Undergo Invasive Medical Treatments

Eveline Gan wrote an interesting article: Treatment for cancer? No thanks, say some patients (28 April 2018, https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/treatment-cancer-no-thanks-say-some-patients). Try to read this article if you have time. For those who don’t want to know more, let me quote some of the salient points that the author said about cancer treatment in Singapore.

  1. Medical advances have made many cancers highly treatable or potentially curable, especially when detected early, but it is not uncommon for doctors to meet patients who refuse standard treatments.
  1. One in five patients might decline treatment when they first see a cancer doctor due to various reasons.
  1. Some patients opt to rely on the power of their faith, while others hold negative views of standard treatments and think they will end up worse off as a result.
  1. While most patients who refuse treatment are in the terminal stages of the disease, this is not always so… some are even in the early stages of cancer.
  1. Although doctors strive to provide the right information to those afflicted with cancer, treatment decisions are highly personal and patients’ wishes should be respected.
  1. Some patients also believe treatment for cancer causes more harm than good, and may prefer to rely on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
  1. Patients who rely solely on CAM “may have heard about the harmful side effects of treatment from friends and loved ones who have suffered after undergoing treatment or might have passed away sooner than expected. But this point of view may not be correct as it is often the cancer, not the treatment, that killed them”.
  1. “Usually, the issues patients deal with while on treatment are the toxicities of the drug …. With the newer range of drugs and less toxic side effects, things have improved.”
  1. Nonetheless, it is “not illogical” for some advanced cancer patients to refuse treatment that may prolong life but will not cure them.
  1. “Death comes to all of us, and early open conversations about death, preference of treatment and end-of-life placement should be as automatic and practical as planning for your will.”

Dr. Wachter wrote this article for The New York Times, The Problem With Miracle Cancer Cures, 19 April 2018. He said:

  1. I frequently care for patients with advanced cancer. A majority have already tried some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Many have landed back in the hospital because the cancer has returned or spread widely, and left them in intractable pain or struggling to breathe.
  1. Over the past 20 years, evidence has demonstrated that palliative care decreases pain, improves comfort, and in some cases, prolongs life by a few months. In my experience, conversations about turning to it often begin with patients recognizing that curing their cancer is impossible.
  1. A new generation of cancer treatments that have become available in the last few years. Some, called immunotherapy, harness the patient’s own immune system to battle the tumor. Others, known as targeted therapies, block certain molecules that cancers depend on to grow and spread.
  1. Much has been written about the promise of these treatments, as well as their staggering costs — many cost several hundred thousand dollars a year.
  1. A recent analysis estimated that about 15 percent of patients with advanced cancer might benefit from immunotherapy — and it’s all but impossible to determine which patients will be the lucky ones …. researchers noted that most patients will not respond to the new treatments, and it is not yet possible to predict who will benefit.
  1. And in some cases, the side effects are terrible — different from those of chemotherapy but often just as dire.
  2. Sadly, for some patients, a cure will prove elusive. As we continue to chase progress in cancer, let’s be sure that we don’t rob dying patients of a smaller, more subtle miracle: a death with dignity and grace, relatively free from pain and discomfort.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/opinion/sunday/problem-miracle-cancer-cures.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20180420&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=13&nlid=54459356emc%3Dedit_ty_20180420&ref=headline&te=1

My Comments

There are much truths in what the two authors wrote. Let me add my views to some of the points discussed in their articles.

  1. Meaning of cure.

From a patient’s viewpoint, cure means the cancer is totally removed or killed and it would not recur — i.e., the patient never gets cancer again some years down the road. In other words, after the so called “cure-treatment” you are done with cancer. But is the cancer done with you? Unfortunately, not.

Dr. Wachter wrote, a majority have already tried some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Many have landed back in the hospital because the cancer has returned or spread widely.

Yes, that is the reality about cancer treatment. Over the years, hundreds of patients came to us because their cancer recurred. Let me give you a few examples.

My aunty had cervical cancer and she received the standard medical treatment. She was “cured” — i.e., if you define cure as being able to live for 5 years! Twelve years later, the cancer recurred and spread to her lungs. She died.

Nancy (not real name) had breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy, refused chemotherapy and opted for herbs. After 5 years she believed she was already cured (that is what most doctors would tell their patients) and she stopped following our therapy. Fourteen years later, Nancy came at our centre again and this time in severe pain. The cancer had spread extensively to her bones. She died soon after that.

JS had kidney cancer. After his surgery, he opted for our herbal therapy. He was well for almost 22 years. Then through a “misstep” the cancer recurred and attacked his lung. He died.

MT was an Indonesian lady. She found a thumb-sized lump in her breast. It was cancerous. She underwent a mastectomy. Her doctor said it was an early stage cancer. MT had a 90 percent chance of complete cure with follow up medical treatments. MT totally believed her doctor and did exactly as what was told. She received 6 cycles of chemo and 30 radiation treatments. Then she was prescribed Tamoxifen, which she took for 5 years.

Each year she went back to her doctor in Melaka for routine checkup. At every visit she was told that she was fine. After 5 years, MT was told to stop Tamoxifen because she was already cured.

But barely a year later (i.e., in the 6th year), MT started to have pains in her tail bone and shoulder blade. Then her legs started to hurt. She became breathless. MT returned to her doctor and was told the cancer had recurred extensively to her bones and lungs. How could that be?

MT asked her doctor why the recurrence when she was told just a year ago that she had been cured. The doctor replied,  I do not know why. But don’t blame yourself. It is your fate.  Also the recurrence has nothing to do with what you eat. It is just your fate.

 So, take a deep breath and ask, Is modern day cancer treatment any different from going to the casino? Betting on your luck — how scientific is that? That’s right, read this book, The Big Casino: America’s best cancer doctors share their most powerful stories.

  1. Is there a cure for cancer?

If you are in my position, having come across hundreds of cases like above  — do you believe that cancer can be cured? At CA Care I never use the word “cure” because I don’t think there is such thing as a “permanent cure” up to this day, irrespective of what the medical establishment say. I am more comfortable with the term “healing” not cure.

Doctors sell the notion that with present day scientific medical advances, many cancers are highly treatable or potentially curable, especially when detected early. Yes, to treat is always possible, that is if you have the money to pay for the medical bills.

Over the years, I learned that some patients from Indonesia had to sell their house or land to pay for their medical  treatments. In the US many Americans ended up bankrupt after their cancer treatments.

Times Magazine of 20 February 2013, carried a lengthy article by Steven Brill: Bitter Pill – Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us.

Treating cancer is a huge and highly profitable money making industry. Besides the drugs, staying in the hospital is not cheap! So, there is always treatment for your cancer!

To add salt to the wound, what if someone comes out with an idea that finding a cure for cancer is not a good business model. Read this article, Is curing patients a sustainable business model?

  1. Don’t worry we have a lot of expensive “magic” drugs!

Almost all of the patients who came to CA Care for help had underwent medical treatments for their cancers. And these treatments failed to cure them. Let me just give you just one example from the hundreds of emails I received.

Email: 12 March 2018:  Dear Dr Chris Teo,

My name is Alice (not real name) from Singapore. I’m recommended by V, who used to have tongue cancer. 

My mum was diagnosed with advanced stage rectum cancer spread to the liver in May 2017. After going through chemo for 9 months, recently her oncologist has told us that her liver has worsen and even chemo won’t help. 

Alice said on diagnosis the family was told that her mother needed chemo immediately otherwise she would die within a few weeks. With no way else to turn to, she had chemo. After 9 months of failed attempt, the oncologist offered more treatment, now using a “wonder drug” that cost SGD 9,000 per month! Good for the family, but the honest oncologist said, But I would not recommend it because of the severe side effects!

As I was writing this article, a 68-year-old man walked into our centre. He had prostate cancer and had been on hormonal therapy. His PSA was initially at 254. With Lucrin injection the PSA dropped to about 20. Great, wonder drug, right?

Hang on, it is not time to celebrate yet. Soon afterwards the PSA started to increase to 80. Well, this is to be expected and nothing unusual. The doctor changed drug. The patient was put on a “magic” drug called abitraterone or Zytiga. This cost RM 12,000 per month. Can Zytiga cure him? After 6 months on Zytiga, his PSA dropped from 80 to 13. Time to celebrate? Not yet! The PSA level of 13 lasted for only 2 months, then it started to increase to 32 within three months. The doctor suggested intravenous chemotherapy!

All in all, this patient spent a total of about RM132,000 for 11 months of Zytiga. What did he get in return for this expensive adventure?

One oncologist told her patient, Don’t worry, in Singapore we have a lot of drugs for your cancer! Well, if you are willing to fork out something like  RM 5,000 to RM 20,000 per month surely there are many drugs to try out. But can these drugs cure you? Not likely but they may probably make you live longer by a few more weeks. Do you want that?

Michael Gearin-Tosh (in Living Proof – a medical mutiny) asked, why treat when you cannot cure? This professor from Oxford was diagnosed with myeloma and was asked to undergo chemotherapy. The doctors gave him less than a year to live. He rejected chemotherapy and opted for the unconventional self-treatment. He went on to live for another 10 years and died at the age of 65.

  1. Early detection can potentially cure your cancer?

This is the mantra of today’s modern medicine — cancer is potentially curable if detected early! Yes, I tend to agree with this but for most patients their cancers were often discovered too late — the cancer had already spread, at Stage 3 or 4. In such case, potential cure is questionable.

In fact, early detection is a two-edge sword. It may help or it may make things worse. This is a big subject to discuss. If you wish to know more, read this article, Overdiagnosis and Pseudodisease as a starter. Or try this, Is early detection of disease always an advantage?

  1. One of five patients declined standard medical treatment – why?

In Eveline Gan’s article, we learned that one in five patients might decline the standard medical treatment for their cancer. It’s rather surprising for this to happen in Singapore!

So why don’t patients want to go for medical treatments? I am sorry I cannot answer this question. It must be the patient himself/herself who should answer this question.

Some of the reasons laid out in Eveline’s article are:

  1. Some patients opt to rely on the power of their religious belief.
  1. Some others hold negative views of standard treatments and think they will end up worse off as a result — the treatment causes more harm than good. These patients “may have heard about the harmful side effects of treatment from friends and loved ones who have suffered after undergoing treatment or might have passed away sooner than expected.”
  1. Most people know that cancer treatments are toxic! Because of that some patients prefer the non-toxic or non-invasive alternative therapies.

This is where CA Care role fits in here — to provide you  with an alternative, if you so decide not to follow the medical path. My advice to all patients: Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You don’t have time to make them all yourself.

After coming to us — i.e., taking the unconventional path to your healing — most patients want to know if our therapy can cure their cancers. We tell you clearly, honestly and sincerely — No, we cannot cure you. Because we believe no one on earth can cure any cancer!

  1. Truthful or biased and skewed opinion?

At CA Care we tell patients to be wise and don’t just depend or believe entirely what the “experts” say. Again this is just common sense. We are all humans — we all have our opinions and preferences. We tend to see things only from our own perspectives based of our own experiences and training.

In her article, Eveline wrote, Although doctors strive to provide the right information to those afflicted with cancer, treatment decisions are highly personal and patients’ wishes should be respected. Cheers! This indeed should be a noble principle of all healers.

Unfortunately it is easy said than done! More often than not, patients were “threaten” under the guise of giving truthful professional advice. One surgeon told a lady with breast cancer — if you don’t go for chemo after surgery, I am not going to be responsible for your well being anymore! In the case of Alice above, the doctor warned that her mother needed to do chemo immediately otherwise she would die within a few weeks. May be just advice was given in “good faith” but was it the real truth?

GK had melanoma in 2007. This rare cancer had spread to her lungs — i.e., Stage 4. Without immediate radiation treatment she would die soon. GK refused to follow her doctor’s advice and came to seek our help. It is now 2018, GK is still healthy and very much alive!

In April 2012, Heny coughed out blood. She was later diagnosed with synovial sarcoma. There was a 4.8 x 5.1 cm   cm mass in her right lung, and a 4.2 x 5.6 cm mass in her left lung. She was told to undergo chemotherapy. Without chemo she would die within 6 months. With chemotherapy she would live for another 2 years. Heny refused chemo and came to seek our help. Just two weeks ago, (in April 2018) Heny came to our centre, very much alive!

Elly from Melbourne had endometrial cancer in November 2008. She had an operation and was later told to go for follow up chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The doctor told Ella that without these treatments she would probably die within 3 months, but with chemo and radiation she would probably last another 2 and a half years. Ella told her doctor, I will prove you wrong! It is now 2018 (almost 10 years), Ella is still alive and healthy!

I can go on and on with such stories. But, I think my message is already clear. Patients and those around them need to cast the net wider. There are more to know and learn about cancer treatments way beyond what you find in the hospital.

Is CA Care Therapy scientifically proven? Although I am a scientist, I think the application of simple common sense is far more important than trying to practise science!

In his book, The Laws of Medicine, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee wrote, The laws of medicine are really the laws of uncertainty, imprecision and incompleteness … They are laws of imperfection.

How many patients know this law of uncertainty and imperfection when they go and see their doctors? More often they are told medicine is scientifically proven! It is sad for me to say this — how many people know or realize that most of the findings published in the medical journals are biased and false?

On the other side of the fence are the alternative healers. Many think of them as just quacks — fly by night, snake oil peddlers!

CA Care has been around for more than two decades and we have helped thousands of cancer patients. Go to our website, https://cancercaremalaysia.com/cancer-story/ and read for yourself all those cases we documented. Common sense will tell you that if we are not effective, we would not last that long and we would not be able to write those case studies.

  1. Death with dignity.

Death is a taboo subject for many patients. But in CA Care, I spoke to patients freely about death. All of us have to die one day. Birth ends with death. Accept that death is a certainty which no one can escape

But you don’t have to die yet after being diagnosed with cancer. I have learned this form my patients — sometimes their spouses, who did not have cancer, die before them!

At CA Care we teach patients to live one day at a time, and learn how to accept things with grace. Even if we cannot cure cancer, it is okay. No use fighting it because we cannot win the war!  But remember this, When we are still alive, it is important that we live a happy, pain-free life. If you can eat, can sleep, can move around freely — what else do you want? Learn to appreciate and be grateful for every blessing that come your way! Unfortunately, some cancer patients cannot see that — they just want to be cured and then quickly go back to their old lifestyle again!

Yes, it is “not illogical” for some advanced cancer patients to refuse treatment that may prolong life but will not cure them. I fully agree. This is just good common sense. Dr. Wachter also come to a similar conclusion, sadly, for some patients, a cure will prove elusive. As we continue to chase progress in cancer, let’s be sure that we don’t rob dying patients of a smaller, more subtle miracle: a death with dignity and grace, relatively free from pain and discomfort.

Let me end this discussion by sharing with you an email which I just received a few hours ago. This email was written by a daughter of our patient who had nose cancer (NPC). He refused the standard medical treatments — radiation and chemo. It has been some years since he came to see us and was on our CA Care Therapy.

Hello Doc Chris,

I wish this email makes your day more fulfilled and accomplished.

My father received the herbs a week ago. Prior to that, his swollen neck was really huge. During my holiday there (in the Philippines), we had beach outing and outside activities most of the time. After that, he complained of severe pain at night especially right after when he went swimming at the pool for more than 2 hours. It must be from the chlorine and the hot weather. 

His hearings are getting worse every day that I had to go to the ENT clinic to get hearing aids for him. Unfortunately, they are very expensive … so we had to wait till we can save up some cash. 

Yesterday, my mom sent me a message that after taking the new herb (SAP) for a week now, his hearings started to come back. He said that he could even hear the running water from far as if he was wearing a hearing aid. His swollen neck is getting smaller as well.

Thank you for introducing this medicine. I guess if this continues, we don’t need hearing aids anymore. I’m always grateful to you and your wife’s hard work and genuine care for all your patients.

Sincerely,  Jazz 

I wish those involved with cancer patients can learn something from this discussion!

 

Colon cancer: After three surgeries and two cycles of chemo, he wanted to give up

Sam (not real name) is a 43-year-old Malaysian from a town in central Malaysia. He came with his family to seek our help. Unfortunately, he came empty-handed — no medical reports.

Generally in a case like this, we would ask the patient to go home and bring his medical reports before we prescribe the herbs.

But in this case, I could not send Sam home empty-handed since he had travelled so far to come and see us. I made clear to Sam that I am “blind” and I would take what he tells on faith, as the real truth. The next time, if he ever returns, I asked him to try and get all his medical records.

Sam said since he received treatments in a government hospital, it is not likely that they would release this records. I know this is not necessarily true!

This is  Sam’s story.

  1. His problem started with abdominal pains and difficulty in moving his bowels. This happened a year ago, April 2017.
  1. Sam went to a private clinic. But the GP asked him to go the government hospital for help.
  1. In May 2017, a colonoscopy and biopsy were done. He was diagnosed with cancer of the colon.
  1. Sam underwent an operation in July 2017. He stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks. After his discharge, just a few days at home, Sam suffered abdominal pains again. He was again admitted to the hospital. On examination, Sam was told that there was an internal leakage.
  1. Sam had to undergo a second operation. A colostomy bag was installed. This time, he spent 2 weeks in the hospital. About 3 weeks at home, he had problems again. This time pus started to ooze out through the wound.
  1. Sam was readmitted to the hospital for the third time. This time the doctor drained out 8 liters or 2 gallons of pus from his abdomen.
  1. While in the hospital he was in coma for 3 days. After two weeks of hospitalization, Sam was again discharged.
  1. Sam was told to undergo 12 cycles of chemotherapy.
  1. In February 2018, Sam received his first shot of chemo, followed by another shot 2 weeks later.
  1. The chemo made him sick — he had fevers on and off for 2 weeks and his back ached. It was at this time that Sam felt he could not finish the scheduled 12 cycles, and decided to come and seek our advice.

Listen to our conversation that morning.

 

Comments 

Can we learn some lessons from this tragic story? Yes, absolutely.

Lesson one: not all doctors have the same expertise and capabilities. Not all hospitals can offer equally effective treatment for cancer.

When patients with colon cancer come to us for advice, this is what I would say: Go and have the tumour removed. If you want a “good” colorectal cancer doctor, go and see Dr. X in Hospital Y in Kuala Lumpur. I have sent many patients to him and he did a very good job! According to my patients, he is also a compassionate doctor.

Let me be up front. By sending patients to Dr. X, I do not get any “referral fee”. Get that right. I am sticking my neck out for him because I want you to get the best treatment possible! I know Dr. X professionally through my patients and I am not sure if he even knows who I am either!

Not long ago, a man whom I knew years ago, came to see me because of his wife’s leukemia. She was seen by a doctor in a government hospital. Apparently she was not  given any “chemo-drug” and was sent home. To me, it looked like it was a “gone” case. I suggested to his man, Why don’t you bring your wife to see Dr. N. (in P hospital). He is good with leukemia. At least go and listen to what he has got to offer.

This is what the man answered me, What is it that the Dr. N can offer that cannot be found in the government hospital? After all the medicines are all the same. And the doctors are just as qualified. 

Yes, I know this man always acted “smart” since I knew him. There is no use for me to argue with him.

Not long after that, his wife died. It looked like he believed he had given his wife the best! Or, was it because treatment in a government is free of charge (being a retired government servant) whereas going to a private hospital cost money? Your guess.

Lesson two: Before you undergo any treatment, ask the doctor there basic questions! Can your treatment (surgery, chemo or radiotherapy) cure me? What are the side effects of the treatment? How much is the treatment going to cost? (in case your bank account cannot stand the “drainage”). 

In Sam’s case, can the three surgeries cure his cancer? Not likely. In fact, these could even make the cancer spread more aggressively.

Sam did ask the doctor about the side effects of chemo. The doctor explained there was no other option that he knows of. Yes, chemo causes many severe side effects. But without chemo, the cancer would spread. So it is a choice between the devil or the deep blue sea. Unfortunately, doctors are not taught more than this! If you have been reading my case reports in this website, you will learn that many colon cancer patients do not need  chemotherapy after their surgery. Yet they live!

Lesson three: Be knowledgeable. Read as much as you can about your problem. One point that sticks out like a sore thumb is the question about diet. Patients are often told to go home and eat anything they like. Take eggs, eat meat to become strong so that you can go through your chemo easily.

At CA Care we tell you to take care of your diet. You cannot take all these! What you eat will determine the direction of your healing.

Dr. Vincent deVita is one of the outstanding, “blue-blooded” oncologists in the United States. He was once the director of the National Cancer Institute. Read what he wrote (in Foreword, The Cancer Recovery Eating Plan):

  • We know that the cause of more that 70% of malignancies may be due in some ways to what we eat — what we eat has a tremendous influence on whether we will develop cancer.
  • Why has it taken the medical community so long to appreciate the connection between diet and cancer?
  • Most doctors are regrettably uneducated about the connection between what we eat and our health.
  • Most medical students receive little or no training in nutrition.

Read what Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote:

 

 

Stage 2 colon cancer spread to liver, bones and lymph nodes less than two years after surgery, chemo and radiation. What had gone wrong?

When I first came to Penang some forty plus years ago, I met a lawyer — let’s call him Mark. Since then we became friends.

About a year or so ago, Mark suddenly dropped by the centre — it had been many years since we last met. Mark was diagnosed with colon cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy at a hospital which is supposed to be the “best” in the country (one doctor told me this!).

After relating his story, Mark left. No, I did not give him any herbs. Neither did I give him any advice. This is because from our conversation, I sensed that Mark seemed to know what he was doing. And during our conversation Mark did not ask for any advice or help either. So I just left it at that.

One of our principles that we uphold at CA Care is this: If you are still on chemo or radiotherapy (or are planning to do chemo or radiotherapy) or are taking other treatments elsewhere, please go ahead and continue with these treatments first. Do not take our herbs yet. We do not wish to intervene. 

If you have done everything and have nowhere else to go and need help, when you come to us, we shall try our best to  help you.

In early March 2018, as  I walked into our centre, someone greeted me but I could not recognise him, not until my wife told me that it was Mark who said hello. No, I was not being “arrogant” but Mark had “changed” a lot. He looked “much older”.  Perhaps I should not say that. My faulth, because I did not put on my glasses that morning (but generally, I don’t need to do that!).

Briefly, this was what happened to Mark.

  1. In 2016, Mark was diagnosed with cancer of the rectum. Surgery was not done. Mark was fitted with a colostomy bag.
  1. In September / October 2016, Marked received 25 sessions of radiotherapy and 2 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with FOLFOX.
  1. In early January 2017, Mark underwent a surgery. The tumour was removed. It was a moderately differentiated colo-rectal cancer, Stage B2.
  1. On 3 August 2017, Mark had his stoma reversed and the colon rejoined. A colonoscopy was done a day before the reversal procedure. There was NO sign of malignancy.
  1. Everything seemed okay.
  1. Disaster — 30 January 2018. A follow up CT scan showed:
  • Tumour recurrence at the anataomosis site and 6.5 cm anal verge. Biopsy of anal verge done on 8 January 2018 showed NO malignancy.
  • Multiple ill-defined lesions at both lobes of liver – confirming the cancer has spread to his liver.
  • Extensive intraabdominal and pelvic lymphadenopathy.
  • Bone metastasis — both iliac bones, both sacral alae, right and left femoral heads were invaded by the cancer.

The cancer is now TxN2bM1b — call it Stage 4 if you like.

Comments

In an earlier posting, I wrote about AB who had Stage 3 cancer. She declined chemotherapy and opted for the CA Care Therapy. It has been three years and she is still doing great. Mark had Stage 2 cancer — appeared to be less “dangerous” than AB’s cancer — but problems appeared within less than two years of treatment.

Do you ever ask why? Medical treatments for cancer are supposed to be proven and scientific — but why the metastasis so soon and so seriously?

Herbs and alternative therapies are supposed to be unscientific and unproven — yet patients like AB did so well.

Take time to understand the implications of the following quotations:

Dr. Richard Horton is the  Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, a very prestigious medical journal. In 2015 he wrote this:

  • A lot of what is published is incorrect ….The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.
  • Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.

Marcia Angell is the former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journal. In her article, Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption she wrote:

  • … conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly those that rely heavily on drugs or devices. It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. 
  • I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. 
  • One result of the pervasive bias is that physicians learn to practice a very drug-intensive style of medicine. Even when changes in lifestyle would be more effective, doctors and their patients often believe that for every ailment and discontent there is a drug.

 

Stage 3 Colon cancer: Surgery but NO chemo. Three years on, still doing fine

About two years ago, I wrote the case of AB, a 77-year-old Indonesia lady. She had a 4 cm tumour in her colon. In May 2015, she underwent an operation at NUH Singapore. Nine of the 27 lymph nodes were with metastatic carcinoma. This was considered a stage 3 cancer.

After the surgery, the doctor suggested a follow-up chemotherapy but AB and her family members refused the treatment. In March 2015, AB’s son came to seek our help.

AB was started on the herbs for colon and lymph nodes. Although her liver function enzymes were not within normal range, we only put her on Capsule A + B only. AB also took herbs for appetite.

AB’s conditions improved significantly. Her son said, “My mother is doing good!”

In mid-2017, AB’s liver function seemed to have deteriorated. We put her on Liver Tea.

It has been three years now and AB is doing fine. Now, her liver function seemed to improve.

Comments

While writing this story, I received an email below:

Dear Dr. Chris Teo,

Selamat malam, saya A dari Bali Indonesia. Ayah saya terkena kanker colon stadium 3. Pada akhir tahun 2016 ayah saya sudah melakukan operasi pengangkatan kanker dan kemoterapi sebanyak 5X setelah operasi. Namun awal tahun 2018 ini perut ayah saya tiba-tiba terasa sakit, lalu kami cek lab ke rumah sakit dan dari hasil MRI ditemukan kalau terjadi penyebaran kanker ke tulang, dan dokter berkata untuk segera kemoterapi 12X.Sekarang ayah saya sudah menjalani kemoterapi 4X, dan dia sangat kesakitan menjalani ini.

Translation: 

Dear Dr. Chris Teo,

Good evening, I am A from Bali Indonesia. My father had stage 3 colon cancer.

At the end of 2016 my father had an operation to remove his cancer followed by 5 cycles of chemotherapy. 

But in early 2018, my father suddenly had stomach pain. A check up and MRI showed that the cancer had spread to the bone. The doctor said he needed chemotherapy immediately, this time 12 cycles. After 4 cycles of chemo, my father suffered badly from the treatment. 

Just a few days before this, I received this e-mail from Singapore.

Dear Dr Chris Teo,

My mum was diagnosed with advanced stage rectum cancer spread to the liver in May 2017. After going through chemo for 9 months, recently her oncologist told us that her liver had worsen and even chemo won’t help.

We will like to bring her to consult you. She is 62 years old and still mobile but weak at times. She has bloated abdomen and is on a pipe to drain out the fluid 2 times daily.

No doubt the Singapore case is more serious — Stage 4 but whatever it is, can you learn some lessons from the above three cancer cases?

Lesson One: After surgery (which I urge you to do if the cancer has not spread yet) the doctors would invariably recommend chemotherapy. Often patients are told, You don’t do chemo, the cancer will spread fast. You die soon.  So that is the golden rule you must follow! Is there any other way out — another option? Of course no other way!

But look at the reality. AB too had Stage 3 colon cancer. Nine out of 27 lymph nodes were infected with cancer. In addition, AB also had a total hysterectomy.  In short, her cancer was also a serious one. But AB did not follow the golden rule. She refused chemotherapy. She opted for the CA Care Therapy. Three years on, AB is still doing fine.

You may wish to ask, where is the “scientific” proof? She is able to lead a normal life without pain — can eat, can sleep and can move around. That is proof, simple!

So, is chemotherapy the only answer to your cancer problem?

Ask you doctors these questions:

  • Would chemotherapy cure your cancer?
  • What are the side effects? What are the unintended (collateral damage) toxic effects of the treatment?
  • Enquire about the “financial toxicity” — how much does it cost? Do you need to sell your house or a piece of land to pay for the treatment?
  • Think again — would you subject your 77-year-old mother to chemotherapy?
  • Think further — what could have happened if AB were to go for chemotherapy?

Lesson Two:  Often patients are told medical treatments are scientific and proven methods of treatment, while herbs or other alternative therapies are just hocus pocus — quackery! Not proven.

AB’s son regularly monitored his mother’s progress through blood tests. I would NOT encourage her to go for CT or PET scan due to radiation risks.

Let us examine the above data critically.

  1. Initially when AB came to see me, her liver function was within normal range except with a slight increase of GGT. I was not alarmed by that and prescribed her the normal herbal teas for colon cancer.
  2. A few months later (September – December 2015), her liver function showed more deterioration. That was when I prescribed her Capsule A & B to take care of the problem. Her situation improved!
  3. In March 2017, again her liver function deteriorated. This time, in addition to taking Capsule A & B, she was asked to take Liver tea. Bravo by March 2018 her liver function was back to normal (except with a slight increase in SGOT).
  4. We need to be take note that colon cancer has a high chance of spreading to the liver — sometimes within 6 months. It is already THREE years and AB is still fine. Is that quackery? Look that at happened to those who had chemotherapy.

Lesson Three: Yesterday a medical doctor came to seek our help for his wife. His question before he left, Will the herbs harm the liver or kidney? Exactly, most patients are being told that — herbs can cause damage and are toxic to the liver, kidney, etc. This is the mantra held by the noble profession, perhaps they believe that only their prescribed chemical drugs are safe — but don’t these drugs cause a lot of damage?

Have a close look at AB’s blood test results again. From the beginning after her surgery, certain liver enzyme were elevated — GGT = 48 in May, SGOT and SGPT were elevated in September 2015. Then in March to December 2017, her SGOT and SGPT were out of range. This time around, it seemed to be more serious! What could be the reason? We know that colon cancer can spread to the liver rather soon. Could this be a beginning of liver spread?

I prescribed herbs for her liver. In March 2018, her liver function enzymes were back to normal (except for a slight increase of SGPT). If herbs damage the liver, taking more herbs means more damage done to the liver, right? You don’t need to go to a university to understand this logic. But in this case AB’s liver became better not worse.

Related story:

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2016/04/01/colon-cancer-surgery-but-declined-chemo-my-mother-is-doing-good/

P/S: In response to this story, this is what AB’s son wrote:

Dear Prof Teo,

Thank God for His grace in sustaining my mom.

We appreciate your help in treating her. It was by God’s providence that we found your website, while we were not actually looking for a herbal treatment. I was curious with a link that said after $100,000 there was still no cure. From there, I found your blog and read up. Glad that you were willing to extend your help to us.

Reply: Praise God for this blessing!

Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption

A Review by:  Marcia Angell

Read more: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/01/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/

Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial

by Alison Bass Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 260 pp., $24.95

Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs

by Melody Petersen Sarah Crichton/Farrar,  Straus and Giroux, 432 pp., $26.00

Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness

by Christopher Lane, Yale University Press, 263 pp., $27.50; $18.00 (paper)

Indeed, most doctors take money or gifts from drug companies in one way or another. Many are paid consultants, speakers at company-sponsored meetings, ghost-authors of papers written by drug companies or their agents,4 and ostensible “researchers” whose contribution often consists merely of putting their patients on a drug and transmitting some token information to the company.

Still more doctors are recipients of free meals and other out-and-out gifts. In addition, drug companies subsidize most meetings of professional organizations and most of the continuing medical education needed by doctors to maintain their state licenses.

No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top nine US drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars a year.

By such means, the pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous control over how doctors evaluate and use its own products. Its extensive ties to physicians, particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease.

Consider the clinical trials by which drugs are tested in human subjects.5 Before a new drug can enter the market, its manufacturer must sponsor clinical trials to show the Food and Drug Administration that the drug is safe and effective, usually as compared with a placebo or dummy pill.

The results of all the trials (there may be many) are submitted to the FDA, and if one or two trials are positive—that is, they show effectiveness without serious risk—the drug is usually approved, even if all the other trials are negative.

Drugs are approved only for a specified use—for example, to treat lung cancer—and it is illegal for companies to promote them for any other use.

But physicians may prescribe approved drugs “off label”—i.e., without regard to the specified use—and perhaps as many as half of all prescriptions are written for off-label purposes.

After drugs are on the market, companies continue to sponsor clinical trials, sometimes to get FDA approval for additional uses, sometimes to demonstrate an advantage over competitors, and often just as an excuse to get physicians to prescribe such drugs for patients. (Such trials are aptly called “seeding” studies.)

Since drug companies don’t have direct access to human subjects, they need to outsource their clinical trials to medical schools, where researchers use patients from teaching hospitals and clinics, or to private research companies (CROs), which organize office-based physicians to enroll their patients.

Although CROs are usually faster, sponsors often prefer using medical schools, in part because the research is taken more seriously, but mainly because it gives them access to highly influential faculty physicians—referred to by the industry as “thought-leaders” or “key opinion leaders” (KOLs). These are the people who write textbooks and medical journal papers, issue practice guidelines (treatment recommendations), sit on FDA and other governmental advisory panels, head professional societies, and speak at the innumerable meetings and dinners that take place every year to teach clinicians about prescription drugs. Having KOLs … on the payroll is worth every penny spent.

A recent survey found that about two thirds of academic medical centers hold equity interest in companies that sponsor research within the same institution.6 A study of medical school department chairs found that two thirds received departmental income from drug companies and three fifths received personal income.

Because drug companies insist as a condition of providing funding that they be intimately involved in all aspects of the research they sponsor, they can easily introduce bias in order to make their drugs look better and safer than they are.

Before the 1980s, they generally gave faculty investigators total responsibility for the conduct of the work, but now company employees or their agents often design the studies, perform the analysis, write the papers, and decide whether and in what form to publish the results. Sometimes the medical faculty who serve as investigators are little more than hired hands, supplying patients and collecting data according to instructions from the company.

In view of this control and the conflicts of interest that permeate the enterprise, it is not surprising that industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors’ drugs—largely because negative results are not published, positive results are repeatedly published in slightly different forms, and a positive spin is put on even negative results.

The suppression of unfavorable research is the subject of Alison Bass’s engrossing book, Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial. This is the story of how the British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline buried evidence that its top-selling antidepressant, Paxil, was ineffective and possibly harmful to children and adolescents.

Bass, formerly a reporter for the Boston Globe, describes the involvement of three people—a skeptical academic psychiatrist, a morally outraged assistant administrator in Brown University’s department of psychiatry (whose chairman received in 1998 over $500,000 in consulting fees from drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline), and an indefatigable New York assistant attorney general. They took on GlaxoSmithKline and part of the psychiatry establishment and eventually prevailed against the odds.

Many drugs that are assumed to be effective are probably little better than placebos, but there is no way to know because negative results are hidden.

One clue was provided six years ago by four researchers who, using the Freedom of Information Act, obtained FDA reviews of every placebo-controlled clinical trial submitted for initial approval of the six most widely used antidepressant drugs approved between 1987 and 1999 — Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor.10 They found that on average, placebos were 80 percent as effective as the drugs.

The difference between drug and placebo was so small that it was unlikely to be of any clinical significance. The results were much the same for all six drugs: all were equally ineffective. But because favorable results were published and unfavorable results buried (in this case, within the FDA), the public and the medical profession believed these drugs were potent antidepressants.

Clinical trials are also biased through designs for research that are chosen to yield favorable results for sponsors. For example, the sponsor’s drug may be compared with another drug administered at a dose so low that the sponsor’s drug looks more powerful. Or a drug that is likely to be used by older people will be tested in young people, so that side effects are less likely to emerge.

A common form of bias stems from the standard practice of comparing a new drug with a placebo, when the relevant question is how it compares with an existing drug.

In short, it is often possible to make clinical trials come out pretty much any way you want.

Conflicts of interest affect more than research. They also directly shape the way medicine is practiced, through their influence on practice guidelines issued by professional and governmental bodies, and through their effects on FDA decisions.

A few examples: in a survey of two hundred expert panels that issued practice guidelines, one third of the panel members acknowledged that they had some financial interest in the drugs they considered.11

In 2004, after the National Cholesterol Education Program called for sharply lowering the desired levels of “bad” cholesterol, it was revealed that eight of nine members of the panel writing the recommendations had financial ties to the makers of cholesterol-lowering drugs.12

Of the 170 contributors to the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), ninety-five had financial ties to drug companies, including all of the contributors to the sections on mood disorders and schizophrenia.13

Perhaps most important, many members of the standing committees of experts that advise the FDA on drug approvals also have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.14

In recent years, drug companies have perfected a new and highly effective method to expand their markets. Instead of promoting drugs to treat diseases, they have begun to promote diseases to fit their drugs.

The strategy is to convince as many people as possible (along with their doctors, of course) that they have medical conditions that require long-term drug treatment. Sometimes called “disease-mongering,” this is a focus of two new books: Melody Petersen’s Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs and Christopher Lane’s Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness.

To promote new or exaggerated conditions, companies give them serious-sounding names along with abbreviations. Thus, heartburn is now “gastro-esophageal reflux disease” or GERD; impotence is “erectile dysfunction” or ED; premenstrual tension is “premenstrual dysphoric disorder” or PMMD; and shyness is “social anxiety disorder” (no abbreviation yet).

Note that these are ill-defined chronic conditions that affect essentially normal people, so the market is huge and easily expanded.

Melody Petersen, who was a reporter for The New York Times, has written a broad, convincing indictment of the pharmaceutical industry.16 She lays out in detail the many ways, both legal and illegal, that drug companies can create “blockbusters” (drugs with yearly sales of over a billion dollars) and the essential role that KOLs play.

Her main example is Neurontin, which was initially approved only for a very narrow use—to treat epilepsy when other drugs failed to control seizures. By paying academic experts to put their names on articles extolling Neurontin for other uses—bipolar disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, hot flashes, migraines, tension headaches, and more—and by funding conferences at which these uses were promoted, the manufacturer was able to parlay the drug into a blockbuster, with sales of $2.7 billion in 2003.

The following year, in a case covered extensively by Petersen for the Times, Pfizer pleaded guilty to illegal marketing and agreed to pay $430 million to resolve the criminal and civil charges against it. A lot of money, but for Pfizer, it was just the cost of doing business, and well worth it because Neurontin continued to be used like an all-purpose tonic, generating billions of dollars in annual sales.

er their other properties, are sedating, and nearly all of which have potentially serious side effects.

Similar conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly those that rely heavily on drugs or devices. It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

One result of the pervasive bias is that physicians learn to practice a very drug-intensive style of medicine. Even when changes in lifestyle would be more effective, doctors and their patients often believe that for every ailment and discontent there is a drug.

Physicians are also led to believe that the newest, most expensive brand-name drugs are superior to older drugs or generics, even though there is seldom any evidence to that effect because sponsors do not usually compare their drugs with older drugs at equivalent doses.

In addition, physicians, swayed by prestigious medical school faculty, learn to prescribe drugs for off-label uses without good evidence of effectiveness.

It is easy to fault drug companies for this situation, and they certainly deserve a great deal of blame. Most of the big drug companies have settled charges of fraud, off-label marketing, and other offenses.

Physicians, medical schools, and professional organizations have no such excuse, since their only fiduciary responsibility is to patients. The mission of medical schools and teaching hospitals—and what justifies their tax-exempt status—is to educate the next generation of physicians, carry out scientifically important research, and care for the sickest members of society. It is not to enter into lucrative commercial alliances with the pharmaceutical industry.

As reprehensible as many industry practices are, I believe the behavior of much of the medical profession is even more culpable.19 Drug companies are not charities; they expect something in return for the money they spend, and they evidently get it or they wouldn’t keep paying.

So many reforms would be necessary to restore integrity to clinical research and medical practice …. Members of medical school faculties who conduct clinical trials should not accept any payments from drug companies except research support, and that support should have no strings attached, including control by drug companies over the design, interpretation, and publication of research results.

Medical schools and teaching hospitals should rigorously enforce that rule, and should not enter into deals with companies whose products members of their faculty are studying.

Finally, there is seldom a legitimate reason for physicians to accept gifts from drug companies, even small ones, and they should pay for their own meetings and continuing education.

After much unfavorable publicity, medical schools and professional organizations are beginning to talk about controlling conflicts of interest, but so far the response has been tepid. They consistently refer to “potential” conflicts of interest, as though that were different from the real thing, and about disclosing and “managing” them, not about prohibiting them.

But if the medical profession does not put an end to this corruption voluntarily, it will lose the confidence of the public.

Source: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/01/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/

 

Hope for the best and plan for the worst!

by: Erik Peper, Professor of Holistic Health at San Francisco State University, USA.

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States!

Read what had happened to Professor Peper.

It is now two years since my own surgery—double hernia repair by laparoscopy.  The recovery predicted by my surgeon, “In a week you can go swimming again,” turned out to be totally incorrect.  

Six weeks after the surgery, I was still lugging a Foley catheter with a leg collection bag that drained my bladder.  I had swelling due to blood clots in the abdominal area around my belly button, severe abdominal cramping, and at times, overwhelming spasms.  Instead of swimming, hiking, walking, working, and making love with my wife, I was totally incapacitated, unable to work, travel, or exercise.  I had to lie down every few hours to reduce the pain and the spasms. 

Instead of going to Japan for a research project, I had to cancel my trip.  Rather than teaching my class at the University, I had another faculty member teach for me.  I am a fairly athletic guy—I swim several times a week, bike the Berkeley hills, and hiked.  Yet after the surgery, I avoided even walking in order to minimize the pain.  I moved about as if I were crippled.  Now two years later, I finally feel healthy again.

How come my experiences were not what the surgeon promised? 

All those who cared for me during this journey were compassionate individuals, committed to doing their best, including the emergency staff, the nurses, my two primary physicians, my surgeon, and my urologist.

However, given the personal, professional, and economic cost to me and my family, I feel it is important to assess where things went wrong.

The research literature makes it clear that my experience was by no means unique, so I have summarized some of the most important factors that contributed to these unexpected complications, following “simple arthroscopic surgery.”

  • Underestimating the risk. Although the surgeon suggested that the operation would be very low risk with no complications, statistically, the published research data does not support his optimistic statement.  Complications for laparoscopic surgery range from 15% to as high as 38% or higher, depending on the age of the patient and how well they do with general anesthesia (Vigneswaran et al, 2015; Neumayer et al, 2004; Perugini & Callery, 2001).
  • Inappropriate post-operative procedures. In my case I was released directly after waking up from general anesthesia without checking to determine whether I could urinate or not.  The medical staff and facility should never have released me, since older males have a 30% or higher probability that urinary retention will occur after general anesthesia.   However, it was a Friday afternoon and the staff probably wanted to go home since the facility closes at 5 pm.  This landed me in the Emergency Room.
  • Medical negligence. In my case the surgeon recommended that I have my bladder in the emergency room emptied and then go home.  That was not sufficient, and my body still was not working properly, requiring a second visit to the ER and the insertion of a Foley catheter.  Following the second ER visit, the surgeon removed the catheter in his office in the late afternoon and did not check to determine whether I could urinate or not.  This resulted in a third ER visit.
  • Medical error. On my third visit to the emergency room, the nurse made the error of inflating the Foley catheter balloon when it was in the urethra (rather than the bladder) which caused tearing and bleeding of the urethra and possible irritation to the prostate.
  • Drawbacks of the ER as the primary resource for post-surgical care. Care is not scheduled for the patient’s needs, but rather based on a triage system.  In my case I had to wait sometimes two hours or more until a catheter could be inserted, which expanded and irritated the bladder further.
  • A medical system that does not track treatment outcomes. Without good follow-up and long-term data, no one is accountable or responsible.
  • Assuming the best and not planning for the worst.

Can I trust the health care provider’s statement that the procedure is low risk and that the recovery will go smoothly?

The typical outcome of a medical procedure or surgery may be significantly worse than generally reported by hospitals or medical staff.  In many cases there is no systematic follow-up nor data on outcomes and complications, thus no one knows the actual risks.

In the United States medical error results in at least 98,000 unnecessary deaths each year and 1,000,000 excess injuries (Weingart et al, 2000; Khon et al, 2000).

The Institute of Medicine reported in 2012 that one-third of hospitalized patients are harmed during their stay (Ferguson, 2012; Institute of Medicine, 2012).

To quote Dr. Marcia Angell (2009), the first woman editor of the highly respected New England Journal of Medicine“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.  I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

Many published studies on the positive clinical outcome of pharmaceuticals are suspect.  As Dr. Richard Horton (2015), Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, wrote in 2015“A lot of what is published is incorrect … much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.  Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

Source: https://peperperspective.com/2018/03/18/surgery-hope-for-the-best-but-plan-for-the-worst/

Comment

My friend, Phillipe, came to the centre and said, “Chris, I have already fixed an appointment with my doctor to go for surgery for my backache. Don’t worry he is an expert and he knows what to do.”

I too have backache since I was in my forties (now I am 74) and I learned how to live with it. Admittedly, in Philippe’s case, his backache caused him a lot of problem.

I did not say much upon hearing this “news” except to enquire when, so that I could visit him in the hospital.

My wife and went to see Phillipe one night after his “successful” operation. We stayed on until late that night, talking about his experience. Phillipe was happy and explained to us what his surgeon did for him. “The surgeon was a real expert!”

A week later Phillipe was discharged. We had lunch together one afternoon. Everything seemed to be okay except that he walked with a walking stick.

Phillipe then started to have pain. One leg was painful, then went off. Then the pain moved to the other leg. In spite of that he was able to drive home to KL from Penang.

Then I received a message that Phillipe had to return to Penang to see his surgeon because of the severe pain. On arrival at the private hospital, he was told the surgeon was on leave. Phillipe was then sent to the government hospital. The Penang GH doctor was not able to handle his case and immediately sent him off to a KL hospital in an ambulance.

Two days later, my wife and I flew to KL and saw Philippe in the coffin. His face was bloated. I did not know why he died. But one fact is clear, as they always say — the surgery was a success but the patient died.

Sad.

Take note of what Professor Erik Peper said, Hope for the best and plan for the worst!

 

Liver cancer: Doctor said: “Don’t take Nexavar!”

In my earlier posting, I wrote about one “rotten” morning I experienced. Now, let me share with you what a “weird or cuckoo” morning was like.

AKS is a 57-year-old Indonesia. His problem started with a fever a few months ago. He went to a hospital in Jakarta for help. He was told nothing was wrong with him.

AKS was not satisfied and consulted another doctor — an internist. Again he was told there was nothing wrong with him. Still not satisfied, he consulted a stomach specialist. He was told something was in his liver!

AKS came to a private hospital in Penang for further consultation in February 2018. He saw one doctor and did an endoscopy. The result indicated esophageal varices, gastritis. Negative for Helicobacter pylori. 

A CT scan was done and showed the following:

  • Coarse liver parenchyma suggestive of underlying cirrhosis.
  • Ill-defined mass in the right lobe of liver measuring 10.5 x 9.5 x 7.8 cm.
  • Smaller lesions scattered in both lobes of liver ranging from 1.0 to 3.5 cm in size.
  • Features suggestive of multicentric hepatoma.
  • Mild ascites.

Blood test results were as follows:

Alkaline phosphatase 198 H
GGT 178 H
ALT   63 H
AST 112 H
Alpha-fetoprotein 354.4

AKS was told to undergo a procedure called TACE (transarterial chemoembolization). He refused and went home to Jakarta.

In March 2018, AKS came back to Penang again. This time, he consulted an oncologist in another hospital.

His blood test showed deteriorating liver function.

Alkaline phosphatase 249 H
GGT 323 H
ALT   60 H
AST 143 H
Alpha-fetoprotein 617.7

AKS was prescribed Lenvima (or Lenvatinib). For 20 days the drug cost him RM5,000. The doctor said this drug would not cure him!

I asked AKS. The doctor did not ask you to take Nexavar? His reply, The doctor told me not to take Nexavar!

AKS took Lenvima for two days and felt nauseous and dizzy (as before). He and his family decided to seek our help.

Comments

  1. AKS went to see two doctors. They couldn’t find anything wrong. The third doctor said there was something in this liver. Then he came to Penang and the first thing the doctor did was endoscopy! But there was something in his liver? Why endoscopy? Is this procedure just a matter of routine? More procedures better?

Do you think all these make sense? Ask again, do you really need an endoscopy?

  1. As you can see, AKS went round and round, and only then a blood test and CT scan were done. Sure enough the results indicated tumours in his liver.
  1. AKS was asked to go for TACE. AKS refused.

For whatever treatment suggested, it would be wise if patients were to ask their doctors these questions:

  • What is this treatment for? Can cure you? Prolong life? Improve quality of life?
  • How much does the procedure cost?

There is a 10.5 x 9.5 x 7.8 cm tumour in his liver. In addition, there are smaller lesions scattered in both lobes of the liver ranging from 1.0 to 3.5 cm in size. Do you think TACE can help the patient? In what way?

Over the years, I have come across many patients who did TACE but did not benefit from this treatment.

  1. AKS was prescribed Lenvima (or Lenvatinib) for his liver cancer!

I have never heard of this drug before! I told AKS usually doctors would ask patients to take Nexavar. This was when I got a shocking reply. The doctor told AKS not to take Nexavar!

How could that be? What has happened? Does the doctor NOW know something about Nexavar that we all do not know?

For the past two months, I have liver patients coming to me and they were taking Nexavar — why the change of “heart”? There must be a reason for this change from the standard practice.

Let me say that those patients on Nexavar suffered severe side effects and gave up on the drug. That was why they came to us for help. I have written some cases about Nexavar and I am going to write more cases later.

There was one lady who paid RM 20,000 for a month supply of Nexavar. She was told that when she comes the next month, she will get one month supply of Nexavar for free (promotion — buy one, free one).  According to her son, after taking this drug for a week, she landed in the hospital and died.

So the question is, why was AKS told not to take Nexavar now? It is because of such experiences above or something else?

But  more tragedy to come. Instead of Nexavar, AKS was described Lenvima  or lenvatinib. I had to go into the net to find out what that is.

Lenvima, a drug made by Eisai Inc. was approved by US – FDA for the treatment of locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer.

Lenvima is also used in combination with the drug everolimus, for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Here are the side effects of Lenvima:

Less common side effects (occurring in about 10-29% of patients) are:

Source:

http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/lenvatinib.aspx

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fda-approves-eisais-lenvima-lenvatinib-for-the-treatment-of-patients-with-locally-recurrent-or-metastatic-progressive-radioactive-iodine-refractory-differentiated-thyroid-cancer-300036074.html

There is a fine note which says: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful. Is this not what is happening now? Liver patients is given a drug for thyroid or kidney cancer?

Its sounds like an “new experiment” on patients! Giving  a chemo-drug that is approved for the treatment of thyroid or kidney cancer to liver cancer patient … to see what happen?

I went cuckoo this morning! Oh, it is just a weird morning. My first time to learn such thing.

 

 

Rotten Breasts, “Rotten Morning.”

This morning, 8 March 2018, is indeed a “rotten” morning. Why? Two patients came, one after another, with a rotten breast. It was so sad. Why do women allow such thing to happen to them?

After that a young lady came on behalf of her sister who had breast cancer. She had undergone all medical treatments — surgery, chemo and radiation. Less than three years later, the cancer spread to her liver. She was admitted into a hospital to drain off fluid from her abdomen. The oncologist asked her to do chemotherapy right away. The family hesitated and wanted us to help her.

I told the sister, I am afraid I cannot help her. She is in the hospital  under the care of an oncologist. How could I interfere? Also, I have no magic cure. The sister broke down and cried, pleading that her sister’s children are still small. Sad. But this is the reality. Such thing happen very often — I have seen enough of them.

Learning about three disasters in one morning is about the limit! No more please!

The fourth breast cancer case this morning is about a 69-year-old lady who had a mastectomy. After the surgery, the doctor referred her to an oncologist for follow-up chemotherapy. The family refused the treatment. On the next follow-up with the doctor, the daughter asked the doctor to suggest an alternative therapy. Apparently this doctor understood the predicament the family was in. He sent the family to see CA Care! (such a thing rarely happens! Unique! More on this in later posting).

Now, let us talk about rotten breasts and how some naive women end up with it.

Ibu A is 69 years old. She found a lump above her breast about three years ago. She did nothing about it. The lump grew bigger. In early 2018, she went to a doctor and did a biopsy. It was cancerous. The doctor suggested an operation but Ibu A refused. She came and seek our advice.

This was my advice to her that morning.

 

Ibu B is 51 years old. About two years ago she felt a big lump in her breast. She does not know when this lump came about. After the discovery of the lump, she refused to seek medical help. Instead, she went to an acupunturist-cum-herbalist. She was prescribed herbs and she had been taking the herbs until a wound developed in her breast like below.

She was adamant of not wanting to see any doctor and came to seek our help. (Note: I came to know later that her sister is actually a medical doctor who also has breast cancer in both breasts. The medical doctor sister is now undergoing chemotherapy. But Ibu B chooses not to follow her sister’s path).

This was my advice to her that morning.

 

Comments

Both these ladies came to seek our help, hoping that we can cure their already rotten, cancerous breast. No, we cannot cure.

To both of them (and also those ladies out there, harbouring the same attitude) I have this advice:

  1. If you find a lump in your breast, it is best that you see a doctor. Determine if it is cancerous or not. If it is, have the lump removed cleanly. I stress, CLEANLY. Because of that I would suggest that you go for a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy.

I am aware that research has shown that a lumpectomy is just as effective as a mastectomy. But, that is when the doctor removes the lump cleanly — what if the doctor leaves some cancerous tissues behind?

Don’t ever believe that herbs, taking supplements, etc., etc. can make the cancerous lump go away. You will be taking a great risk. My twenty-over-years of experience tells me that herbs may make non-cancerous lump or cyst in the breast  go away but not cancerous lump.

  1. After the surgery, you are often told to go for chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormonal therapy. If you want to follow your doctor’s recommendation, it is your decision. But if you want an alternative path, you can come and see us.
  1. In the case of Ibu A, the situation is rather tricky. She is already 87 years old. Can she survive a mastectomy? I don’t know. Let the medical experts decide on that.

After the surgery, Ibu A can come back to see us again for help. This is because she and her family would not want further treatments like chemo or radiation.

On the other hand, if Ibu A is asked to undergo chemotherapy before the surgery, this is another tricky matter. In fact Ibu requested that I prescribe her herbs instead asking her to see a surgeon. I told her that I would give her the herbs if the surgeon does not want to operate on her or ask her to do chemo first.

But for Ibu B. The situation is different. She is still young. She must get the rotten mass removed first before starting on the herbs.

  1. If patients want know where to go for the operation in Penan, I suggest that they go to Dr. A of Hospital B or Dr. C of Hospital D. Over the years, patients tell me that these two doctors are good, considerate and compassionate. Go to these doctors.

 

Breast Cancer: Should I go for radiotherapy after my surgery?

One morning, a couple flew in from Kuala Lumpur specifically to seek our advice. He is a Datuk, and following the norm, his wife is referred to as Datin. But for this story, let us call her Ms B. 

Listen to what Ms B and her husband told us this morning:

 Comments 

In an earlier posting I wrote about Ms A — whether she should take tamoxifen after her lumpectomy. As a follow up, this story about Ms B is whether she should go for radiotherapy after her breast surgery. First, put these two stories side by side, what can we learn from these two stories?

  1. There is a striking difference with the attitude of Ms A and Ms B. I have often said, cancer is about human being. It is not just about a lump in your breast. Ms A came to see us as a side line while on a home coming trip for the Chinese New Year. Ms B and her husband specifically flew from Kuala Lumpur just to consult with us and flew home immediately after that. 
  1. While Ms A came willingly, trying to seek our opinion, I was not too sure if she had the full support of her husband. He could even be hostile to the idea of his wife taking herbs and not taking tamoxifen as recommended by the doctor.

On the other hand, Ms B’s husband was solidly behind his wife’s desire to find another alternative to the recommended radiotherapy.

No, the subject of radiation being “scientifically proven” never cropped up at all. The couple came with a certain degree of belief in whatever they are seeking from us. What they needed is the extra “confidence” to go forward.

As a result, they wanted to give our therapy a try. On the contrary, I sent Ms A home without any herbs!

Okay, what is my answer to their question: Should I go for radiotherapy as recommended by my breast surgeon (the same surgeon that operated on Ms A).

  1. I am sorry, I cannot answer that question out right. Because in the healing of cancer, there is no right or wrong way. It just has to be your own way. You have to make that decision yourself.
  2. At times when you are lost, I ask you to pray to your god. In this case, Ms B needs to see the answer from Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
  3. However, let me say that radiation itself causes cancer. There is no doubt about this.
  4. Patients need to understand that they need to learn how to heal themselves. Change your lifestyle, your attitude in life and your diet. Don’t stress yourself too much.
  5. You are going to face a lot of pressure around you for not taking the “medical path”. There are enough “professors” giving you all kinds of advices. You need to be strong and firm in your decision. In this case, Ms B’s daughter is a doctor! Indeed, it is a difficult situation for her.

Besides coming to talk to us, I suggest that you read what is written in the internet. Here are some examples. 

Forum Topic: Long Term Radiation Side Effects 10+ years After? https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/70/topics/816658

Barbarella 60 wrote:

I am new to this forum and I am looking for others and help in what I am now experiencing.  I had left breast Stage 1, ductal in situ, 1cm in size about 18 years ago. I had a lumpectomy … 3 treatments of chemo consisting of Adriamycin, Cytoxin, and 5 fu, followed by 7 weeks radiation, then 3 more treatments of chemo.

I was given extra doses of radiation because of a hospital confusion. I also had 5 years of tamoxifen. Do you think overkill?

Now 18 years later I am experiencing severe left breast fibrosis with major dimpling at the lumpectomy incision site, hardening and swelling of the breast.  I thought my cancer had returned but negative.

Also having stabbing left chest pains occurring occasionally.

Now 2 years after the onset of the fibrosis I am having shortness and trouble breathing, dizziness, tired with no absolutely no energy.  I had all heart tests including cardiac catheterization angioplasty.  All negative.

I am grateful for my life, but all the side effects from the chemo & radiation have had a significant effect on my health.

Has anyone experienced side effects becoming major health issues years after the treatment? I don’t know where to go, since no one seems to know about this.

CessaLyn wrote:

I was diagnosed w/ right side, stage 1 ductal in situ 3 cm, estrogen positive, breast cancer, with no lymph nodes involved, on Dec 27, 2004, had lumpectomy 17 days later on Jan 13, 2005, followed by 12 weeks of radiation.

I’m here over 7 yrs later, w/ no reoccurrence, yet still suffer greatly from underarm & chest wall/muscle/rib pain, with swelling! Hurts to raise my arm above my head, or to wash the back of my hair, or to stretch in any fashion? I’m told it is probably costochrondritis … began almost immediately with the start of the rad treatments.

…  Please, Please, Please, – anyone who is newly diagnosed, in early stage, take the time to do the research, read personal experiences and not just what the radiologist/oncologist is telling or not telling you, I sometimes wonder if it was a $ issue not to bring up other types of rad treatment since the final bill to my insurance co. For just the rad treatments was close to $79,000 – YOU have to live with the side effects, they don’t! Happy to be here, but would like a little less pain.

… You are right.  They need to give you truthful, information on the treatments and the side effects.  Back 18 years ago lumpectomy & radiation.  I remember not having a second thought in having radiation.  Now my armpit is swollen, pain & fibrosis in left breast and possible heart & lung damage.  If I had it all to do over again I would have a double mastectomy.  No radiation.  But what’s done is done.  Gotta go on from here, no redo. They know a lot more information today than then. But our decisions should be discussed by independent parties with no financial involvement.

Gilbert wrote:

I had a lumpectomy followed by 31 rad treatments that ended Jan10,  I am really sore over my whole breast, thought about calling the doctor, but not sure what he could do anyway.  He wasn’t very helpful when I was going through treatment. They sure don’t inform us very well about the effect that the radiation will have on us.  I think it it’s all about the money.  Every time I would ask about a certain problem They would tell me the only side effects were just fatigue.[bs] and that could last for awhile after rads were over. I seem to be getting sorer by the day, I hate to think that this could go on for years..

I do remember how tight and red and burning it was for a while afterwards.  I think it took quite a while for my skin to feel like it wasn’t going to rip.  I know but that is how tight it was.  I was very diligent in using all the cremes they recommended.  I also had 3 months (9 weeks), 5 days a week, of radiation. Then immediately after radiation I started the 2nd series of 3 treatments for 7 weeks of chemo. After that 5 years of tamoxifen.

Believe it or not, my whole arm pit and back towards my shoulder blade is still numb.  If I have an itch I have to use a wooden back scratchier and just scratch as hard as possible to feel it.  It is very uncomfortable having an itch that can’t be satisfied! Just one of the sides I’ve had for 18 years.

Sunny1012 wrote:

I am new to this nightmare.  I had a lumpectomy on January 8, 2014 for ILC Stage 1 and sentinel lobe removal.  I had a long consultation with the radiation oncologist and did not leave feeling convinced about radiation treatment.  I am considering skipping radiation and just doing the Tamoxifen even though I am not crazy about that either.

I have read every piece of research I can on radiation and its a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.

I also would like to hear from survivors who can share the pros and cons of radiation in their choice and life to this point. The decisions we must face on this journey are overwhelming .  Please share your thoughts. Thank you

Desalonde wrote:

I am a bit further along than you are but can only share your sentiments and not really shed much light. I have read lots of medical articles going back years and consulted 3 rad oncs and it seems clear there is no consistent “prescription” even for same person…. different docs give different opinions depending on where they trained so a lot of it is culture and custom not hard science about what is minimum effective dose.

That means making decisions with blinders on.

What is worse…. RO may be ( mine is) defensive and irritated when you quote a literature info of concern to you and insist that you” trust” their experience……even though they disagree among themselves and may contradict the literature.

It’s primitive and makes me mad because women deserve better science to reduce the suffering that accompanies these treatments! 

Here are what researchers and doctors said about radiation for cancer!

 

 

 

 

Breast Cancer: Should I take tamoxifen after my lumpectomy?

The year 2018 started with a common but peculiar phenomenon which we long know. What is that? For the past two months, most of the patients who came to seek our help either had breast cancer or liver cancer! Later we will see this trend changes to some other cancers.

Breast cancer patients who came fall either one of these two groups.

  1. Those who found lump (s) in their breast. Did a biopsy followed by surgery. Then doctors asked them to go for chemo, radiation and/or take tamoxifen. That’s the classical standard recipe. What to do now after the surgery?
  1. Those who have undergone all the medical treatments — surgery, chemo, radiation and hormonal therapy. These treatments failed. So, what to do now?

Let me share some stories. By doing this, I hope you can learn from the experiences of others. In life we don’t need or don’t have time to repeat the mistakes that others before us go through. So, be wise.

This is the story of Ms A.

About 20 years ago Ms A had a 5 mm lump in her breast. A biopsy was done and the result turned out to be negative. Unfortunately the so-called non-cancerous lump was not removed.

Fast forward to January 2018, Ms A felt the lump which she was keeping in her breast was not “normal” in size. She went to consult a surgeon who did a lumpectomy (removal of the lump only). Some of the lymph nodes were removed and were found to be “clean”.

Unfortunately, the tumour was malignant and was positive for hormone receptors. Because of that the doctor wanted Ms A to take tamoxifen for 5 to 10 years.

Ms A was referred to an oncologist. She told the oncologist that she preferred to take herbs instead of tamoxifen. The oncologist replied, It is up to you to decide. 

Ms A was unsure which path to take. She wrote me an email. Since she was coming home to Penang for the Chinese New Year, she wanted to drop by our centre to ask for advice. Okay, that was fine with me.

Ms A and her husband came. They wanted to know my view on tamoxifen. Listen to our conversation that morning.

 

Comments 

What do I do now? Follow what my breast surgeon asked me to do or follow my heart? 

My response:

I am afraid I cannot give an outright answer. You have to make your own decision and you bear the consequences of that decision. If the cancer comes back again or your suffer the side effects of the treatment, it is you who have to suffer, not others.

But to help you get out of this dilemma I suggest you do the following.

  1. Discuss the problem with your family members. Ms A has three children and one of them is a pharmacist. According to the pharmacist daughter, that is what breast cancer patients do — they take tamoxifen!

But more important is your husband. If you cannot get your husband on your side — to give you a hundred percent support — then, your “battle” is lost even before going to the battle field!

Accordingly to Ms A’s husband, tamoxifen is scientifically proven and herbs are just supplement. If this is what it is, my advice is don’t ever think of taking herbs! Go for the “scientific” stuff.

  1. To get a balanced view, my advice is to read as much as you can! Educate yourself. It is your health and it your life.

But the problem with most people is they don’t like to read — they don’t want to learn the truth for themselves. They prefer to just listen to way others say and do what others tell them to do. That is, to led by the nose.

Of course, there are others who believe they are already smart and they don’t need to know more, especially if it is not seen to be “scientific” (whatever that means!).

  1. When in this desperate situations when you don’t know what to do, I suggest that you turn to your god for help. Pray and ask for guidance. Of course, some people will laugh at me! There also some people who are already angry with god for “giving them this cancer” — why pray some more?

Well, I understand. Each of us has our own ideas about the Divine. For me, I know that there is a God who is loving enough to help you — to help and guide if you sincerely ask for His help — the way that this same God helps me in my work with cancer patients for the past twenty over years.

With these three suggestions I told Ms A to go home, without prescribing her any herbs. If you need my help in the future, you can come back and see me again. 

Let me remind everyone who wants to come and see us. Our therapy is not easy to follow. If you are not fully committed or are half-hearted in your belief, my advice is to go and see someone else for help.

For those who believe that tamoxifen is “scientifically proven” and herbs are hocus pocus, you may wish take a pause and read a bit more.

  1. Go to the net and read what others, you are in the same boat like you, wrote about tamoxifen: https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/38/t/140439

Posted by Lizzy4u, 19 October 2017

I’ve been on Tamoxifen for 10 months and have awful side effects. The worst being joint pains, so bad that I can hardly move at times. My oncologist said to stop the Tamoxifen for 6 weeks and see if there is a difference… I am stiff when I wake up, then once I get moving it eases off but then if I’ve been on my feet longer than an hour it get worse and worse. My daughter said to me the other day she has not seen a day go past that she’s not seen me limping. I’m also experiencing the most awful hot flushes that I get no sleep and I’m exhausted all the time, have itching when I have these flushes. Etc

Posted by LondonLass, 19 October 2017

Hi Lizzy4u, I had exactly the same issues as you. I lasted 20 months but that was only because my oncologist kept pushing me to keep going, his view was the first 2 years were the most important. I won’t go into what happened with me as it doesn’t help you. I will however say there are other options!

However, I think you have to bear in mind that all of these treatments will cause menopausal symptoms and of course it’s worse for us as we are being forced into menopause! …. Worth discussing everything with your oncologist, the more information you can get the better. You need to be able to make an informed decision. At the end of the day it’s your body, your life and your decision! I know how it feels to feel so old and unhappy!

  1. If you want to know what happened to those patients who came to CA Care after being on tamoxifen … read these two stories …..

No more tamoxifen for me

Breast Cancer: Part 4: Radiation Helped but Did Not Cure, Tamoxifen Disastrous

 3. If you think alternative healers are just quacks, read what some researchers and doctors have got to say about tamoxifen.

Pierre Blais, a well known drug researcher, said: Tamoxifen is a garbage drug that made it to the top of the scrap heap.

And here are more for you to digest ….

 

 

 

 

 

Who asked you to come here?

Two sisters came to seek our help.

Younger Sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone a mastectomy. She was then asked to go for follow up treatments — 6 cycles of chemo and 26 sessions of radiation. Then she needs to take tamoxifen for five years.

Younger Sister lives in Hong Kong and she does not know what to do next. She decided to come to Penang and ask our opinion.

As usual, my first question is: Who asked you to come and see us?

Younger Sister: My mom used to see you!

Elder Sister explained: About 15 years ago, I came to see you with the medical reports. My mom didn’t come. My mom consumed your medication for like a year. She is still alive until today. She is 85 something now.

(Note: Mom had breast cancer when she was 69 years old).

 

 

A few days after the above episode, another two sisters came with their mother.

Chris: You are from Medan. Who asked you to come here? 

Daughter: A relative. She came here for her treatment. Now cured! 

C: You know her personally? 

D: Yes.

D2: Praise God she is cured!

C: And she is still alive?

D: Ya, alive.

C: Healthy?

D: Yes, healthy.

C: What cancer?

D: Breast.

C: When was that?

D: About two years ago.

 

Comments 

At CA Care — sometimes the morning is most depressing — to see how patients suffer after all the treatments that they had gone through — but sometime it could be a blessed morning, knowing that some patients benefited from our therapy.

When we first started CA Care in 1995, we were confronted with strong opposition that herbal therapy is just quackery!  Not proven, not scientific. If at all there is good result, it is due to luck.

Watch this video!

We have come a long way since this video was broadcast live over the national TV in 1999.

Over the past twenty plus years, I have produced almost a thousand videos in YouTube and written over seven hundred case studies to show that the results we achieved are real. Herbal therapy is not quackery! To me, it is all about God’s blessing.

Let me close with these quotations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liver Cancer: Took Nexavar for about a week. Wife said, “Disaster!”

Shah (not real name) is a 57-year-old Indonesian. He was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in 2010. He came to a private hospital in Melaka and was prescribed Legalon or milk thistle. He did not take his medication seriously. His problem became more serious and in 2015 his problem developed into a full blown liver cancer or hepatoma.

He was admitted to a hospital in Jakarta for treatment. He did TACE (transarterial chemoembolization) twice followed by four times of RFA (radiofrequency ablation). RFA cost him IDR 35 million each session.

In addition Shah had to take the following 11 medications, one of which is Nexavar – a oral chemo-drug for his liver cancer.

Nexavar — IDR 200 million (??) 

Listen to our conversation of what happened.

 

Chris: Did the doctor tell you why he gave you Nexavar?

Wife: To make sure that the cancer is under control.

C: How long were you on Nexavar?

W: Just about one week, and the supply was for a month.

C: What happened?

W: Disaster! (BadanNya hancur!) He gave up and did not want to take it anymore.

C: Did the doctor say how long he has to take Nexavar?

W: For as long as he lives! Now the doctor said take a rest first. After the side effects subside, continue with Nexavar again.

C: What are the side effects?

Wife and patient: Vomiting, loss of strength, giddy, fever, hard stools.

C: How much did you pay for this drug?

W: IDR 200 million per month.

Comments

I am not sure if the figure, IDR 200 million for Nexavar, is correct. This is equivalent to RM 57,000 ringgit.

The wife must have been confused. It could have been the total cost of his hospitalization, including other drugs as well.

In Malaysia, Nexavar cost about RM 20,000 per month. Sometimes you get an offer: buy one, free one! That is you pay for the first one month, then you get free supply of the drug for the second month. One patient took this drug for a week and died. So she lost her deal for a free supply!

Is this the first case of Nexavar giving problems to patients? No. Many patients told me similar stories of side effects.

So, why do the doctors keep on prescribing Nexavar? Well, I really don’t know. Perhaps Nexavar is more “scientific” than herbs. If you don”t die from it, keep taking it — that’s the message given to Shah and his family.

As I am writing this story, here is an email I received.

Dear Dr Teo, 

I am writing to you with regards to my father, aged 82 years old. In December 2017, he was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma  (liver cancer). Tumor was approximately 7 cm in size. He has subsequently went for TACE early January 2018. The latest CT scan has showed that there is necrosis of the tumor. However, the APF reading this week shows a level of 2,000+. 

His hepatologist and us agree that we should take action to find a way to heal and hopefully, prevent the recurrence of tumor again. He has recommended that we think about Nexavar or  seek alternative herbal treatment. 

My father has indicated that he would like to start on herbal treatments.  

I am wondering if you would be available to meet us next week? 

Think about it: His hepatologist recommended Nexavar or herbal treatment! What say you?

 

 

 

Extensive Liver Cancer: TCM University Hospital prescribed chemo drugs! After three days patient gave up due to side effects!

Henry (not real name) is a 58-year-old Indonesian. In 1994 he was diagnosed with Hepatitis B. He took herbs and was okay. But about three to four years later, a checkup showed the virus count has gone up high. He did nothing about it. In September 2017, Henry started to have bloated stomach. The doctor in Indonesia diagnosed it as gastritis. Later he went to the hospital and was told that he had liver cancer. He was prescribed some drugs.

No satisfied, Henry went for further treatment in China in early January 2018. He ended up in a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) University Hospital.

A PET scan was done and the results showed the cancer had spread from the liver to his lung and lymph nodes around his neck.

Henry was prescribed three drugs to take:

  1. Adefovir (or Hepsera) – pharmaceutical drug
  2. Bicyclol – drug from a Chinese herb
  3. Sorafenib (or Nexavar) – pharmaceutical drug

A two-day consultation together with the above medication cost IDR 50 million (approx. RM 15,000).

Not satisfied, Henry went to another hospital (not a TCM hospital) for a second opinion. A blood test was done and the results were as below:

ALT 29.0
AST 40.0
Alk phosphatase 332.0
GGT 548.0
Alpha-fetoprotein 275,330.70
CA 125 278.50
CA 19.9 7.36
CA 15.3 24.80

The oncologist in this second hospital told Henry to go for chemotherapy. He refused and went home to Indonesia. 

What happened after taking the chemo-drugs?

Listen to his conversation with us this morning.

Excerpts

Chris: You took the three chemo-drugs that the doctor in TCM University hospital gave you. Then  what happened?

Patient: Not suitable for me! Just after three days, I had severe pain in my abdomen. This was after taking the Nexavar.

C: You itch too?

P: Yes, after taking the first two drugs (Adefovir and Bicyclol).

C: Then you gave up?

P:  Yes, we went to another hospital for blood test.

C: Did the doctor prescribe any medication (after they know that the AFP was 275,330.70)?

P: No medication. He asked me to go for chemotherapy. I refused and returned home to Indonesia.

Information from the internet 

It is not difficult in this information age to know what the drugs prescribed by your doctor would do to you. What you need to do is read or have the desire to “know”. The problem with most patients is they don’t want to know! They believe that doctors know best.

These are what I got from the internet.

Adefovir (Hepsera)

This drug is used to treat a chronic viral infection of the liver (hepatitis B) in people 12 years of age and older. It is not a cure for hepatitis B and does not prevent the passing of hepatitis B to others.

The possible side effects are:

  • muscle pain or weakness
  • numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs
  • trouble breathing
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak
  • stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, or
  • fast or uneven heart rate.

Bicyclol 

This is a novel, drug derived from Fructus Schisandrae (Wu Wei Zi), a Chinese herb for treating hepatitis B and C.

Sorafenib (Nexavar) 

This drug is commonly prescribed by oncologists worldwide to treat:

  • kidney cancer that has spread outside the kidney and who are no longer being helped by other treatments.
  • liver cancer that can’t be removed with surgery.
  • thyroid cancer that is no longer being controlled by radioactive iodine treatment.

The possible side effects are:

  • Rash
  • Hand – foot syndrome (Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia or PPE) – skin rash, swelling, redness, pain and/or peeling of the skin on the palms of hands and soles of feet. Usually mild, starting 5-6 weeks after start of treatment. May require reductions in the dose of the medication.
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure (particularly in first 6 weeks of treatment)
  • Hair loss (thinning or patchy hair loss)
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Low platelet count
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding
  • Increased amylase/lipase blood counts
  • Low phosphorus level
  • Constipation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Numbness, tingling or pain in hands and feet.
  • Dry skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bone, muscle, joint pain
  • Headache
  • Weight loss

These side effects may occur in 30% of patients taking Nexavar. Some patients or their family members shared their experiences with Nexavar.

  • From Hepatitis to Liver Cancer: Nexavar for Free – No Thanks

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/11/06/from-hepatitis-to-liver-cancer-nexavar-for-free-%E2%80%93-no-thanks/

  • Liver Cancer: Benefit and Side Effects of Nexavar

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/02/14/liver-cancer-benefit-and-side-effects-of-nexavar/

Comments

This is a sad  and pathetic story! Let’s start thinking a bit and ask some questions.

  1. Henry went to a TCM university hospital and he was prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. Does this sound right? Why do you need a TCM hospital then? Don’t you think the oncologists in a modern medicine hospitals are better trained and educated than those TCM professors or sinseh when it comes to prescribing pharmaceutical drugs?

Personally I was really disappointed after hearing this story. When I started CA Care more than twenty years ago, I learned and read a lot about TCM from the Chinese. My experience showed me that the traditional wisdom of healing can help cancer patients. And up to this day, I know I am still not wrong!

I would want to believe that those trained in TCM — in TCM university mind you — should be better and well placed to help cancer patients than me. To dish out chemo drugs to cancer patients is indeed a “betrayal” of sort. Hello TCM professors (I know that most TCM practitioners like to be called professors!) you can do better than that! 

Another disappointing thing is, even with TCM experts, they never teach patients that to get well patients need to take care of their diet and change their lifestyle. This is a real let down. What has gone wrong here?

Sun Simioa, China’s great physician said, Only those who apply diet for treatment are superb physicians. Doctors should first understand the cause of disease, then treat it with diet. Medicine should only be used if diet fails.

Indeed, you don’t have to be a TCM professor or scholar to understand this. Even some oncologists in the Western world know this very well.

  1. Sun Simiao also said, Whenever a great physician treats diseases, he should not give way to wishes and desires, but has to develop first a marked attitude of compassion. Above all, keep an open heart. “As I move on the right path I will receive great happiness as a reward without asking for anything in return.

From this great master of Chinese medicine, I learned about medical ethics, Sun Simiao was especially concerned about physicians being influenced by a desire for rewards, including financial rewards, fame, or favors granted to them: they should not have these as their goal. In the same note physicians should be honest — especially to their patients.

So, do you think the TCM doctor gave Henry an honest advice?

Take a look at the PET scan done in the TCM university hospital. His cancer is serious. His liver is badly damaged. And the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes and lungs. What is his chance of cure? Can we be honest about it?

Let’s be honest professor, what do you think can be achieved by asking Henry to shallow Adefovir,  Bicyclol and Sorafenib?

I believe this TCM professor would be able to help Henry better if he is well armed with the real art and deep knowledge of TCM. There is no need to “ape” what the western doctors do.

After looking at Henry’s PET scan and his blood test results — take note his alpha-fetoprotein was at 275,330 — I frankly told Henry no one on earth can ever “cure” him. He has to be realistic and know that his liver cancer is incurable. If he is able to live a quality life — can eat, can sleep, can move around and no pain — then be grateful and don’t ask for more.

This I believe can be achieved with the proper guidance of TCM principle and use of TCM herbs. For the past twenty plus years, I have given terminally ill patients herbs and taught them to change their diet and lifestyle. The results were amazing.

Let me end with this story …. A Tale of Two Patients: Alive and healthy — miraculous healing or fluke shot?

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2017/05/20/a-tale-of-two-patients-alive-and-healthy-miraculous-healing-or-fluke-shot/