Part 4: More treatments, more medical bills. But will these cure you?

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SF was diagnosed with cancer. She came to Penang to undergo the necessary treatment. Initially after chemotherpy, the tumours shrunk and the oncologist told her she was cured! But it was not true. The tumours grew back again after one month. SF was asked to go for radiation followed by more chemo.  Then she has to go for surgery. That means more medical bills, but the big question remained unanswered: Can the treatments cure her cancer? She wanted a cure. Is cure possible?

 

 

C: They asked you for go for 5 sessions of radiation and then chemotherapy. If the tumour shrinks they want to remove the tumour. In addition they want to remove your right kidney and the urinary tube.  Okay, let me know – do you have any problem urinating now? If you cannot urinate, I see the need to operate immediately. But you look well and healthy. I also agree that if you get those tumours removed, the cancer will all be gone. But can surgery cure your cancer?

Husband: Right.

C: What if I say that surgery will not cure your cancer?

Consultation without charge

C: At CA Care we have the responsibility to advise patients who come to us. We are committed to give honest evaluation of your situation. We give advice without having an ulterior motive of wanting to sell our therapy. I have made a promise that I shall do my best to read and learn — to be knowledgeable. And I shall share that knowledge with those who need it without charging any fee, no matter how long I talk to them. Most important, I don’t want to mislead patients. But as much as we want to help, please also know that I am not god. I can only do my best.

Go for medical treatments, you die. Follow our CA Care Therapy, you also die. What is your choice?

C:  Let me ask you one question, frankly and bluntly. If you go ahead and undergo the medical treatments as suggested by your doctors — i.e. radiation, chemo, surgery, etc. — for sure, you will have more medical bills to settle! And at the end of it all, there is no cure and  you die. Are you satisfied with this route?

P: No, I am not happy with that.

C: I understand because even if you do all these treatments, no one can guarantee that you will be cured. There was one lady from Medan. She had breast cancer and underwent surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, etc.. The treatment lasted 3 years but the cancer did not go away. She had to go into the ICU twice after her chemotherapy. She had to sell a piece of land to pay for her medical bills. During one visit to her oncologist she asked, Why is it, after 3 years already, you still cannot cure me? The oncologist replied, Ibu your cancer cannot be cured. This lady decided to give up chemotherapy and came to seek our help. It was too late, even her liver was “gone”! The daughter said, We felt cheated by all these. Yes, I understand. To me, I believe patients should be told well ahead of time the probable outcome of the treatment — even before embarking on any treatment. In this case, she was told the truth only at the very end of the game.

Now, do you understand what I am trying to tell you?

This brings me to another point. You come and see me. Can I cure you? My frank and blunt answer is, No, I cannot cure you. So if you take my herbs and follow my advice — after a month or two you feel healthy and well — can eat, can sleep, can move around but may have some pains here and there. Are you satisfied? Then one day you die. Are you ready to die without undergoing the medical treatments? Tell me, which path do you want to follow.

P: Yes, I am prepared to take this path.

C:  Are you sure?

P: Yes.

Husband: Now that you have explained to us clearly, we understand.

C: There is this man who came to see me. His father had lung cancer that had spread to his brain and was semi-conscious in the hospital. The doctors did a biopsy and then gave him 5 sessions of radiation (which cost RM6,000). The man told me, I want my father to live.

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I shook my head in despair. I told him, It is better to bring your father home quickly when he is still breathing. It would cost you a lot of money (RM 8,000 instead of RM200) if you have to bring him home in a coffin.

I also told him, There is no need to fight. You cannot win. No chance. Commonsense tells me that 5 sessions of radiation is not going to cure anything! Let us be realistic and honest about this.

Let us understand that all of us will have to die one day. But many say they don’t want to give up easily. They want to fight and fight until death. That is okay with me. Be a fierce fighter. Ibu do you also want to fight until you die? Or are you prepared to say, Okay, I want to live as long as I can without sufferings. When the time comes for me to go, I shall go I don’t want to put up a fight.

Fighting may mean sufferings. Ibu, what is your choice?

P: I want to take your herbs and shall leave everything else to God. If God says I have to go, I shall go.

C: Are you prepared for that? You will not get angry at me if you cannot find a cure?

P: No, our life is in God’s hand. When I came here for medical treatment, I did not understand all these. I really did not understand why the initial treatment did not cure me and the cancer came back. Now, I understand what is going on. Nobody talked to me like this before.

Husband: We came to consult you. Probably God had opened a way for us.

C: People often tell me that God led them to us. May be God did that, but I also need to remind everyone that to get well is also our responsibility. So again, I want you to think carefully before you make this important decision.

P: I have made up my mind. I don’t want any more chemo.

Understanding the CA Care Therapy

  1. Take care of your diet. Those who follow our dietary advice do not die because they cannot eat this or that.
  2. After talking to a patient for 5 minutes, I would know his/her attitude. Cancer is about human being. If you want to get well you have to change — change your lifestyle, your diet, your attitude. I don’t have herbs to make you change. You have to want to change yourself.
  3. Don’t worry so much. Make time for yourself and go for exercise, meditate, etc.
  4. Take the herbs. But remember, these are not magic potion. They don’t cure your cancer.

So, with all of the above — clean mind, clean diet, clean body and with God’s help, I hope you body heals itself.

Tell the tumour inside you, Let’s live together and let’s not give each other any problem. You don’t disturb me and I don’t disturb you. One day, when I die, you –the tumour– will also die along with me. But if you grow too much, I will die earlier and you also die with me. So let us live in peace. If you have this kind of attitude, you will have peace of mind. But if you fight with the tumour, you will suffer. Undergo all those treatments, you suffer. But at the end, you also die.

So, it better that you learn how to live with your cancer. There is no further need to do any more CT scan or PET scan if you don’t want to go for medical treatment. Do all these for what? Nobody can do anything anyway.

One day, if you can’t live a normal life, that means the cancer has come back. I can’t help you anymore. Go to the hospital and ask the doctor to chemo you. Accept reality — if you die, so be it. What else can we do?

So, Ibu you need to understand what can happen if you take this alternative option.

Be grateful

There is this man who had his kidney removed due to cancer. He was asked to undergo follow up chemo. He refused. He did not want to suffer. So he decided to follow our therapy. Now, he is doing fine. He is able to travel the world. He and his wife went to China. Just recently, they went to Portugal. His wife said, He followed your advice. He is happy. No problem at all. He is normal. If he went for chemo, he would surely suffer. So life is good for us. One day, when he has to die, so be it.

So Ibu, I want you to decide carefully.

P: I want to follow your therapy.

C: Are you sure of that? And you would not blame me if things don’t turn out well?

P: No, no, we will not blame you. Please help me right from today.

Comments

  1. This indeed a hard case to handle. If I have a choice, I would not want to take on this case. But I cannot betray our principle that we are here to help the “helpless and the hopeless.” I felt real sorry that SF was let down by her first oncologist. However, I need to remind everyone that not all patients who come to us benefit from our therapy. Only 30 percent would probably benefit, the rest cannot. It is all about you — your belief, your commitment and your willingness to change.
  2. In part 3 of this story, I raised the issue of money. Many people would disagree with me on this. To many of us who benefit from treating those who are dying, the argument is life is valueless. Many would say, if you are going to die why let money stop you from doing what is best! One oncologist told one patient, If you don’t have any more money to pay me, ask your husband to go and rob the bank. Indeed crude.

But look at this problem of money from the viewpoint of the one who has to pay the expensive medical bills. For these common people, raising money to pay the medical bills means selling the house the family is staying in.

I recalled Pak Jam who came to us, looking disoriented and broken. He had to spent RM2,000 per day on his wife who was undergoing chemotherapy for her leukemia in a private hospital. After 2 weeks he said all his savings were gone. He resorted to borrowing from friends and relatives. He came to seek our help because he could not afford treatment anymore. I told him to bring his wife home quickly. Don’t die in Penang. He followed my advice. His wife took the herbs and continued to life for another 3 years! She died because she went for a blood transfusion and they put in the wrong blood type into her!

  1. In this story, I appeared to be against chemo and surgery. No, I am not anti-medical treatments. But at the same time I also know through experience that these treatments can kill or do not cure cancer. This is an undeniable reality. Let me lists some of my experiences.
  • One lady had a hysterectomy in Jakarta. The surgeon told the patient, You need to go for chemo after this. The patient asked, Can chemo cure me? The surgeon replied, I was practising in Germany for more than 30 years before I came back to Jakarta. I sent ten patients for chemo, ten patients died!
  • As I was writing this story, one lady form Kuala Lumpur came. She had a big ovarian tumour. She consulted a surgeon in a private hospital who told her. Surgery is not going to cure you. But after surgery, you need to go for chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is not going to cure you either!
  • A lady from Surabaya was asked to go for chemotherapy for her gallbladder cancer. She refused. Why? She said, My 39-year-old son had lung cancer. He died after undergoing 5 or 6 cycles of chemo. That’s the reason why I don’t want to do chemo.

Ella from Melbourne had a big tumour removed. Her doctor said she must do for chemotherapy. No chemo, you have three months. With chemo, it would be two-and-a-half years. This means even with chemotherapy, Ella would not be cured. Ella refused chemotherapy and opted for our therapy. Ella remains well up to this day (since November 2008).  https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/01/28/cancer-of-the-endometrium-no-chemo-you-live-only-three-months-with-chemo-two-and-a-half-years-with-herbs-she-is-still-having-fun-after-more-than-three-years/

Part 3: You should not continue with your medical treatments if you have run out of funds.

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SF had already spent around RM 150,000 for her treatment. She said her financial reserve was running low. My advice: You should not continue with your medical treatments if you have run out of funds. It does not make sense to give up half way through the treatment due to lack of funds. Think carefully.

 

 

C: We are here not just to sell our herbs. We want to help people. We want to open their minds to new possibilities. We want them to think for themselves and not led by the nose — jumping into a bottomless pit and at the same time leaving a big hole in your bank account.

So let me ask you this — what do you hope to get from rounds and rounds of treatment. I guess you want a cure, right? Unfortunately, from what I read and know, there is no cure for cancer. So first, understand that there is no cure for your cancer. Second, these treatments are going to bring you more sufferings. Third, you will have to spend a lot more money.

So Ibu (mama) even if you undergo another round of treatments, I don’t see how you are going to be able to solve your problem. After the radiation and chemo, you needed an operation if the tumour shrinks. If the tumour does not shrink, you will go for more and more chemo. So your journey does not end yet. It may just be the beginning of another long journey. Please think carefully.

Many Indonesians who came to see me underwent medical treatments without asking any question or much thinking. After undergoing the treatment half-way, they said: I have no more money. So I don’t want to continue with the treatment.  My response was: Why are you so dumb. If you don’t have enough money to go through the entire course of treatment, why did you ever start with the treatment in the first place?

There was this 35-year-old lady from Palembang. She had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. After the operation, she was asked to undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and be on oral medication. The total cost of these treatments came to about RM200,000. I asked her: Do you have money to pay for this treatment? Her reply, No.

Yes, I understand a 35-year-old cannot be expected to have RM200,000 in her bank account. So even if she wanted to undergo the recommended treatment, she could not. So, I said to her, It’s okay. No need to do the treatments. There is no point undergoing the treatment half-way and then stop!

Did you understand what I am trying to tell you?

P: I understand.

C:. This is one important point I want you to consider now. In the next 2 days you need to go for chemo. You were told you needed 3 cycles initially. Okay, how much will that cost? Then calculate the cost of your stay in Malaysia. After that you need to go for an operation. What is the cost of that surgery?

Husband: RM 25,000 for the surgery alone.

C: Okay, RM 25,000 plus 3 x RM4,000 for the chemo and previously RM6,700 for the radiation. After the surgery you may need more chemo, and more chemo. Consider all these costs. I don’t know about your financial status. So you need to make a decision after careful consideration.

Is the chemo and surgery going to cure you or bring your more sufferings?

P:  I don’t want any more chemo or surgery. I only want you to help me. The doctor said he would remove my right kidney together with the ureter (tube that carries the urine from the kidney to the bladder).

C: What is going to happen to you after that? They will fix a tube. And one kidney gone.  Do you really want to undergo such treatment?

P: At first I didn’t want.

C: What is the purpose of removing these? Think first! One important question to ask. Will the doctor be able to remove all the cancer inside you? And after the operation it is all clean and the cancer would not come back again? Can surgery do that? What happen if after the surgery the cancer becomes more aggressive and spreads more widely.

Learn from nature — for example the ant’s nest. What happen if you take a parang and cut the nest into two? What if you leave the nest undisturbed?

P: All the ants will spread out.

C: I am not an expert in cancer but I use my head to think. And I also want you to think properly. Now, after you have just received 3 sessions of radiation, you had diarrhea. That bothered you a lot. You have not even started with your third rounds of chemo yet. You have already had 12 cycles of chemo and I don’t know what can happen to you if you have more chemo. You may end up dead?  Again, if the tumour does not shrink this time around, you will need more and more chemo. When will that end?

Do you understand what I am trying to tell you?

P: Before this, I don’t understand. I just accept what I was told to do. I don’t know that there is another way out.

C: No, there is NO way out of this.

P: I know. Everything is in God’s hand.

By all means, sell your house or land to pay for the medical bills if the treatment is going to cure you!

C: There is this young man who came to see me. His mother had lung cancer and had gone to China with a few of her friends for treatment. After the first trip to China, the mother ran out of money. She wanted to sell her house in which 5 of her children were living in. The son came to seek my advice. My answer: If you sell the house and your mother is cured, that’s okay. Worth the gamble. But what happen after all the treatments — money gone, and she is not cured? House gone, mother dead? And the children left out in the street without a home to go to.

My advice was not to go to China for the treatment anymore. She survived 3 years after following our therapy. She had a normal life and was able to help her son in his motor-bike repair shop. Her friends who had money and continued with their treatments in China were ALL dead.

I have no magic potion for your cancer

C: I want you to think carefully. If I just want to sell you my herbs, I would have asked you to buy all that you need and go away. Why talk so much and so long? But the mission of CA Care is to help others. That is why I want you to go home and think carefully first. There is no need to take the herbs now. Why? Because in two days time you want to start with your chemo. Go and do your chemo first.

Our herbs are no magic potion. Healing cancer takes more than just drinking herbs. Cancer is about human being — the need to change your attitude, life style and diet. I am not asking you not to go for chemo. I just want you to give a careful thought to what I have said.

Husband: You have opened our minds. I begin to understand what is happening now.

P: I did not understand all these before.

 

 

Cancer: Is doing nothing an option?

If you or someone in your family is diagnosed with cancer, you may wish to take time and reflect on the following.

1-cancer-statistics-in-malaysia

  1. In 2012, there were 37,400 new cancers and in the same year 21,700 died of cancer. That’s a lot of death due to cancer, in spite of them being treated?
  2. The most common cancers in Malaysia are: colon, lung, NPC (nose), lymphoma and prostate for men. For women — breast, colon, cervical, ovarian and lung.
  3. We do not know WHO will get WHAT cancer in our lifetime. But do we have to wait until we get cancer to know what went wrong? That would be too late!

We know that bad diet (e.g. smoking, excessive sugar intake, alcohol, etc.) and unhealthy lifestyle can lead to cancer. Instead of spending so much money to treat cancer why don’t we spend money to learn how to “prevent” or minimize the chances of getting cancer in the first place? Bah, who is interested in that!

1b-no-money-if-no-cure

  1. The cost of cancer treatments is expensive. You may need to spend all your lifetime savings, pawn your jewelleries or sell your property — land, house, etc., to pay for these treatments.

2-economic-impact-of-chemo-drugs 3-hospital-bill 4-costly-to-die 5-brancrupt-rate-in-us

  1. What if we do nothing?

12-cancer-is-doing-nothing-an-option

10-why-treat

  1. What ???? … you may die sooner if you undergo all those treatments dished out to you. Doc., you can’t be right on this?

6-cynthia-foster

  1. What ??? again ???? … chemotherapy is a waste of money?

  1. Hi doc., you must be joking, right?

9-martin

7-ken-murray-1

8-ken-murray-2

richard-smith-stay-away-from-oncologist

 

More advice ….read what Dr. Gilbert Welch wrote:

 

gilbert-welch-do-nothing-is-better gilbert-welch-fight-the-battle-to-the-end

 

 

 

 

Holistic Healing of Cancer — Sharing our 20 years of experience

Forty-three Video Clips on Workshop by Chris Teo, organised by CanSurvivepc-workshop_0002

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Part 1 IntroductionWe are not anti doctors: http://youtu.be/e2UbMA5jRSM?a

Part 2: Medicine is broken: http://youtu.be/qv603Vw8PWw?a

Part 3: Empower yourself Part 1: http://youtu.be/Fz7jOBKyIS8?a

4  Empower yourself Part 2: http://youtu.be/hrBD582tuLA?a

5  Empower yourself Part 3: http://youtu.be/YrVNMzz_sdU?a

Part 4: Treating the Incurable: http://youtu.be/O1c4Ms5lA2w?a

7  You don’t have to die if you don’t do chemo: http://youtu.be/lfcXLyIW978?a

8  More harm than good: http://youtu.be/FaTslmXFLlc?a

9  Prolong life or prolong misery: http://youtu.be/_MIL-a0rH-Y?a

10 Making sense of what is going on: http://youtu.be/xomIZWjcBIc?a

Part 5: Is doing nothing an option?: http://youtu.be/n8bW9K750Gs?a

Part 6: Mission of CA Care & Sharing of Information: http://youtu.be/W2_sENlOmsU?a

13  Miraculous Healing: http://youtu.be/AqkXlmmOM9k?a

14  More Healing Stories: http://youtu.be/fELj9ZqjJDI?a

15  Non cancer problems: http://youtu.be/ubrAobuOGdI?a

16  The CA Care Therapy: http://youtu.be/7E8o4u0nqB8?a

17  Challenges to Healing: http://youtu.be/PD4YcKk2wNM?a

18  Healing Journey of a Patient: http://youtu.be/iZlPDWRZ0UY?a

19  Cancer is about YOU — Change!: http://youtu.be/tlqprwXeo34?a

20 Death — the ultimate healing: http://youtu.be/gn2rat7NkVQ?a

21 Gratitude: http://youtu.be/3eqth3jYfdU?a

A Time to Share

1 Truth from different perspectives: http://youtu.be/k0GNsY4nJoc?a

2  My first patient did well on herbs: http://youtu.be/bnqZUzo0Blw?a

3  I am glad that I am still alive: http://youtu.be/1mR1myzDXG4?a

4  I outlived my two doctors: http://youtu.be/BV0NSiTTrzs?a

5  Colon-Liver Cancer: Twelve years — I am healthy and full of energy: http://youtu.be/KcCHJeMSeWg?a

6  No chemo for me: http://youtu.be/6RsVSUCAtWI?a

7  I want to be beautiful when I die. But with herbs and good diet I am still alive and healthy: http://youtu.be/cOXBIIZlXLA?a

Question Time

1  Belief & Commitment: http://youtu.be/Fxf2STFwELM?a

2  His kidney function improved. Her blood pressure back to normal: http://youtu.be/qkHvK8pnaF0?a

3  Health is your responsibility: http://youtu.be/pdKGzGj_bqw?a

4  Sharing: http://youtu.be/4NigjKmPzi4?a

5  Diet and no durian: http://youtu.be/YiZE_kuVRlw?a

6  Cost of CA Care Therapy: http://youtu.be/gqVtuJQhdZw?a

7  Bringing herbs overseas: http://youtu.be/jbn2ObhVRcw?a

8  He married his doctor: http://youtu.be/ZG9jg1kmkz4?a

9  Would you go for surgery and chemotherapy again?: http://youtu.be/SLxnCphO55s?a

10  Our experience with kidney tumour: http://youtu.be/LSdF3CgTAe0?a

11  Flow with life: http://youtu.be/eg4njhQHZHY?a

12  Genetic or are you creating your own cancer?: http://youtu.be/6csebTHhHEk?a

13  Should I go for surgery?: http://youtu.be/nKf-gE2NosE?a

14  Healing crisis: http://youtu.be/ext7r29Zmzw?a

15  Kidney failure — Go see your doctor: http://youtu.be/-HlT5S9kTV0?a

 

 

Question Time: CanSurvive Workshop – 17 September 2016

qt

  1. Belief & Commitment

 

  1. His kidney function improved. Her blood pressure back to normal

3 Health is your responsibility

  1. Sharing

  1. Diet and no durian

  1. Cost of CA Care Therapy

  1. Bringing herbs overseas

  1. He married his doctor

  1. Would you go for surgery and chemotherapy again?

  1. Our experience with kidney tumour

  1. Flow with life

  1. Genetic or are you creating your own cancer?

  1. Should I go for surgery?

  1. Healing crisis

  1. Kidney failure — Go see your doctor

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at Cancer From a Christian Perspective by Larry Burkett

Larry Burkett was an American author and radio personality whose work focused on financial counseling from an evangelical Christian point of view.

Born-again Larry left his electronics company to join the staff of a nonprofit ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ, as a financial counselor. In 1976 Larry left Campus Crusade to form Christian Financial Concepts (CFC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching the biblical principles of handling money. In September 2000, CFC merged with Crown Ministries, creating a new organization, Crown Financial Ministries. Burkett served as Chairman of the Board of Directors until his death. Burkett died of heart failure after a long battle with cancer and other health problems.

His book, Hope When It Hurts, contains many advices to fellow Christians who are facing life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. After all, the author himself had surgery to remove his cancerous kidney and shoulder blade.  After reading though this wonderful book, I was much taken aback by his sound, down to earth advice. I have learned and was blessed by his advice and outlook about what it means having to go through life with cancer. To my Christian friends, I say — Read this book!

Hope when it huerts Larry Burkett

Here are some quotations from Larry’s book.

Peace with God

  • In the years since I was diagnosed with cancer, I can honestly say that God has been good to me. He hasn’t chosen to rescue me from this difficulty but rather, has sustained me through it.
  • I have never asked God WHY this happened. It really doesn’t matter why. Instead, I have asked WHAT God would have me to do as a result of having cancer.
  • We’re all going to die some day; that is NOT a choice. We can choose to live in fear or anger or pity or in the peace of God. that’s OUR choice. I choose to live in God’s peace, enjoying each and every day as best I can. I sincerely pray that all of God’s people will choose to do the same. Happiness REALLY is a choice.
  • There are times when I was afraid … I trusted God and still felt afraid. Perhaps it was the fear of the unknown. Usually the things we fear are those things that haven’t happened yet. Almost all of us are able to cope with the present, no matter how good or how bad it might be. Franklin Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
  • Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to look fear in the face and proceed with your life.
  • When emotional storms raged in my heart, I prayed to Him with words similar to the disciples, “Lord, don’t you care what’s happening?” He did and He blessed me with His peace. My testimony to you is that God is in control. He is holy. He is righteous. He is completely sovereign. He never makes a mistake and He is completely worthy of your trust.
  • (After cancer diagnosis) … I knew that as long as God wanted me on this earth and He had a plan for my life, nobody could take me. And when God’s plan for my life was finished and God no longer wanted me here, nothing could keep me here … That’s why I … always temper my prayers with the caveat “if it is Your will.”
  • Most of all I asked the Lord for peace, His peace. I have experienced a lot of trauma in my life, and I know what it’s like to live with God’s peace and without it.
  • To receive a blessing from the Lord in your time of need, I point you to John 14:27, John 16:33 and Philippians 4:4-7.

God’s Ways

  • Often God uses natural things to rescue His people. They are not always those instantaneous, miraculous answers that we see sprinkled through God’s word.
  • We helped one another to be strong. When one of us got down, the others comfort, console, encourage and pray…That’s why God put other people in the world to be able to help you when you aren’t functioning at 100 percent.

What will happen to the ministry if I die?

  • So what does happen to a major Christian ministry when the leader becomes gravely ill …or dies? That was on my mind, as well as the minds of many of our supporters.
  • The ministry of Christian Financial Concepts is not my invention or my creation. Instead, this ministry exists because of a calling from God … As is the norm in our society, people give praise and accolades to teachers and writers, but I have tried over the years not to let that go to my head because … we’re stand-ins for what the Lord wants to accomplish.
  • If the ministry is built solely on me, and if it cannot survive without me, then it’s not the work of God. I have consistently told my staff: “This is God’s ministry and He will supply our needs. The day He stops supplying our needs is the day we will close our doors, because there will no longer be a need for what we do.”

Note: Many people (and I too)  have asked a similar question, What is going to happen to CA Care when Chris Teo is gone! Yes, the answer is with Go. We are just His stewards. My wife and I are just as happy to close CA Care ANYTIME  if this is His will — Let your will be done, Lord.

Prayers Make A Difference

  • I cannot overstate how much it meant to know that God’s people were praying for me. I could literally feel their prayers. I could sense God’s hand upon me.
  • Though God didn’t remove the tumours supernaturally, He certainly did provide what He promised to me, and that was His peace. I believe it came as a direct result of God’s people caring and praying.
  • When ask how could (others) pray for me, I replied with four items: that God would grant my doctors mercy and grace in the upcoming surgery; that the cancer would not return; that God would sustain us in His supernatural peace; and that He would use the circumstances to draw us closer to Him.

Why People Become Ill

  • I personally believe there are at least four reasons why people become ill.
  • First, we live in aging bodies in a fallen world, which results in sickness and suffering. If I drive my car long enough, I know the parts must eventually be replaced and the same is true with our bodies.
  • Second, some people get sick because of sinful behaviour which is, in fact, harmful to their bodies.
  • Third, God allows an illness to come upon people for the benefit of the kingdom of God. Obviously God didn’t cause (the) injury, but He allowed.
  • Fourth, God sometimes allows Satan to buffet Christians to determine the caliber of their faith. The clearest example of that in Scripture is Job.
  • The idea that no Christian should ever be sick or experience any kind of problem …. except as the result of unconfessed sin, is not biblical and it comes very close to heresy. Certainly God “allowed” .. . cancer because He knows about everything that happens to each of us. Probably none of us will know WHY these things happen. But I don’t believe that God goes around zapping His people with disease as a reminder of their previous sin.
  • Be careful when you box God into one, and only one, way of responding. He is sovereign, meaning He is completely free to rule and act as He chooses. He is not a magical genie to be called out of an old lamp to rescue us upon demand.
  • We also can be presumptuous with God when we conclude that only good things happen to His people. I disagree with the basic premise that bad things never happen to good people.
  • If you are building your Christian foundations on the idea that your commitment to God will automatically insulate you from suffering here on earth, you’re in for a big shock.

Bear Witness

  • …Even if you have cancer or some other terminal illness, live in such a way that others can detect the hope that is within you, and then be prepared to tell the reasons behind your hope… Don’t be phoney about it; just ask God to grant you joy and peace in your affliction.
  • Let God’s grace and strength transform what looks like a problem for you into an opportunity to witness to other people.
  • It’s true that we can be discouraged, but we’re never in despair … Our Lord promised: I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18.
  • God is faithful. He is a forgiving God. God is merciful. He cares about the pain and suffering you are experiencing, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Trust Him and He will give you peace.

Thoughts from Judy Burkett

  • Few things in life are as upsetting as having a loved one facing a serious or life-threatening illness and not knowing what the outcome will be.
  • It didn’t occur to either of us to ask God, “Why is this happening?” Instead … we began to focus more on “How are we going to cope with this?”
  • We prayed steadily that God would give us His peace in the midst of the turmoil.
  • There are times when we worried and were upset. And we prayed for God’s peace on my occasions, particularly when we were afraid or things seemed to be spinning out of control. And the results seemed to be the same each time: We felt like God was literally holding us in the palm of His hand.
  • So if you’re in turmoil right now … let me encourage you to diligently seek God’s peace. Pray specifically for it, and ask others to pray for you.
  • Knowing .. that God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11) we did not assume that Larry has “special status” with the Lord. Sometimes God heals people outright; at other times, though faithful, godly saints succumb to serious illnesses.
  • God, show us the way. …Our prayers was for God to supply wisdom and guidance to us… we faced many decisions without the luxury of time to think them over.
  • We needed wisdom to clearly discern what God was responsible for and what we were to take responsibility over.
  • Clearly discerning the things God was responsible for helped us to identify the things we need to relinquish to Him: the first was Larry’s life. Neither I, the doctors, nor anyone else could keep Larry here on earth one second longer than God desired. That’s one major issue I had to give back to the Lord. Doing so also relieve a great deal of pressure, because that meant God, and no one else, was responsible for keeping Larry alive.
  • God, give us strength. Coping with a medical crisis is exhausting. Sleep patterns are interrupted. Comfortable daily routines get cast aside. Watching a loved one hurt is hard work too. … we assumed the posture of faith — trusting God to meet our needs and to supply what we could not supply ourselves. And true to His Word, God raised us up and enabled us to endure days that we never thought we’d see the end of.
  • God, you will be done. Our deepest desire was that God would be glorified through the circumstances we faced. I know that’s easier said than done.
  • I conclude with this thought: God made you. He knows what you can and cannot handle. He promises never to give you a burden you cannot bear without a way of escape. When you find yourself overwhelmed and exhausted by the stress of it all, you may well be taking on more than God want you to assure. Remember, you’re just a part of God’s plan.

Words from CA Care to All Patients

You and I have to die one day. We cannot

run away from this reality. It is how we die that matters.  If you can eat,

can sleep, can move around and have no pain; what more can we ask for? You want

a cure, but there is no cure! Let us learn to be grateful for what we are each day.

Read more:

Cancer — What to do next?

Larry Burkett’s Cancer Experience: The Undemocratic and Monopolistic  American Medical System for Cancer Treatment

 

 

 

 

Being alive and healthy is not good enough, he wanted a “CURE”

Jack (not real name) is a 69-year-old Indonesian. Some 20 years ago, he was told he had hepatitis B. For all these years he did nothing about it. And he did not have any symptom.

In May 2013, he went to a private hospital in Melaka for a checkup.

  • Blood test — tumour markers and liver function enzymes — were all within normal range, except for a slightly low platelet count.
  • Ultrasound of upper abdomen showed a heterogenous solid lesion in segment 7 measuring 5.7 x 6.8 cm. There are multiple cysts in both lobes of liver measuring 7 to 12 mm in size. Multiple cysts in left kidney, largest 2.9 x 4.9 cm and a large right renal cyst, 8.4 x 10.1 cm.
  • CT scan of abdomen confirmed a 7 x 6 x 6 cm tumour in segment 7 of liver. This is suspicious of HCC (liver cancer).

Not satisfied, Jack went to Singapore for second opinion.

  • MRI on 4 June 2013 confirmed the presence of a large enhancing mass lesion in segment 7 and 6, measuring 6.2 x 6.2 x 5.3 cm. The right kidney cyst was 10.3 x 6.8 cm in size.
  • There was no MRI evidence of extrahepatic metastatic disease.

 Composite-S-396-Liver

 Jack came back to Penang again. Blood test done in a private hospital on 12 June 2013, showed everything was normal. Two days later, he and his family came to seek our help. Listen to our conversation that day.

 

 

Chris: You have consulted three doctors. What did they ask you to do?

Son: All the three doctors suggested surgery, remove 45 percent of the liver.

C: Did you ask if doing this can cure?

S: There is a high chance that the cancer would recur after 2 years.

C: How much is it going to cost you?

S: If done in Singapore it is SGD 45,000. If in Malaysia it is RM 45,000.

C: So, what do you want to do? Go for surgery?

Patient: If possible, I want to avoid that.

Jack was prescribed liver herbs. On 30 April 2014, almost a year later, Jack’s son wrote:

Dear Dr. Chris: My father shows no sign of pain and has good appetite. He lost a lot weight but has since maintained at around 59 kg. Apparently last month he went for USG on his own without us knowing. The result showed slight increase in the size of the tumor.

One month later, May 2014, Jack and his son came to our centre.

Chris: How are you doing?

P: Fine, except that the food is not delicious. Because I cannot eat meat.

C: Okay, you can go home and die!

Listen to this story: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/12/24/liver-cancer-better-to-become-a-full-stomach-ghost-than-a-hungry-ghost/  This patient who was medically given up told us that he would like to eat what he liked because he did not want to die with an empty stomach and turned into a hungry ghost! One year 8 months later, he died.

P: I am growing thinner.

C: Why do you want to grow fat? You are not a pig or a cow — to be sold by the kilos. Being alive and healthy, with no pain, can eat, can walk, can sleep — what else do you want?

Comments

Unfortunately, most patients are like Jack. When they feel well — the first problem they encounter is their diet. Cannot eat this, cannot eat that. This is the most common complaint!

Read this story and listen carefully to the video: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/08/07/lymphoma-part-3-digging-my-own-grave-with-my-folk-and-spoon/

Not long ago, I received an email from the daughter of a patient with medically-given-up pancreatic-liver cancer. She wrote:  Doctor, my father getting fed up eating food without oil. Is it ok if we use small amount of oil or ghee to cook his food? 

To that, I replied:  Let him die if that is what he wants. Go eat what he likes and see what happens. I am not god to give patients permission to eat this or eat that. I am telling you, if you eat bad food you die. As simple as that.

Apart from the diet, another problem facing patients like Jack is the sheer ignorance or the lack of wanting to know the reality of their illness. Three doctors have told Jack that 45 percent of his liver had to be cut off. Does that not sound serious to you? Spend SGD 45,000 or RM 45,000 (take your choice) but within two years, the cancer is expected to come back! Giving you two years is rather generous indeed! You could be dead after the surgery!

Read these stories:

  1. Liver Cancer: 3 cm Tumour OUT, 8 cm Tumour IN After 9 Months and S$28,000-Surgery
  2. Cancer Recurred Three Months After Surgery
  3. And this story — the mother of all disasters, A Great Failure and Let Down. Sam was operated on in October 2008 and by April 2009 he was dead. That was just six months after his liver surgery.

Apart from the sad experiences above, here are what the experts said about liver cancer, like the one that Jack has.

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma is an aggressive cancer that frequently occurs in the setting of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. It is typically diagnosed late in the disease course, often precluding curative surgical therapies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3421475/
  1. A total of 850 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were seen during the last 8 years.
  2. The median survival of 229 patients who received no specific treatment was 1.6 months — 0.7 month for Stage 3 patients, 2.0 months for Stage 2, and 8.3 months for Stage I.
  • From January 1999 to December 2010; 320 out of 825 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of HCC and not appropriate for curative or palliative treatments were followed and managed with supportive therapy. The median overall survival was 6.8 months, corresponding to 33% of the patients being alive at one year. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3468702/

For the above data, it is clear that patients with HCC or liver cancer would not be able to survive long — average 6.

When Jack came back to see us ONE year later, he was well — only on herbs and change of diet, without any medical drugs. What was not well with him was his dissatisfaction of not being able to eat what he likes — our suggested diet was not delicious enough!

We have many liver cancer patients who are like Jack. They were on our therapy and lived much longer than 6 months. That is if they take care of their diet.

Read these stories:

  1. 8 cm Liver Tumour Shrunk After 8 Months On Herbs. Still Alive and Well After 2 Years
  2. Liver Cancer: Two months to live yet still fine after one and a half years!
  3. Only On Herbs And She Lives More Than Five Years!

So, to patients like Jack we ask: Being alive and healthy, with no pain, can eat, can walk, can sleep — what else do you want?

Unfortunately, we know that some patients, even if they are getting better, they do not have a sense of gratitude — to appreciate and be grateful for what they are blessed with. They demanded more — they wanted a total cure! They wanted to eat what they like. They want to go back to their old way of life.

Jack’s story did not end yet. After two years of being alive and healthy, he courted disaster!

Disastrous Ending?

In October 2015, we received an e-mail from Jack’s son.

Dear Dr. Chris,

In April 2015, my father had decided to take up treatment in X Hospital, China. Some of the treatments are interventional embolism therapy, cryoablation therapy — in the last six months. His weight before treatment was 59 kg, now 51 kg.

Even though I was against this idea of going to China for treatment, I respected his decision. Currently, he developed ascites in his body. The doctor helped to drain the fluid, around 3.5 litres. From your website, I understand that you have herbs for ascites. Could you prescribe for my father?

Jack and his family made 3 trips to China and spent about SGD 60,000 for treatment there. According to his medical report these were what the doctors did for him:

  • Interventional embolization with LOHP + 5FU + Lip.
  • Immunotherapy.
  • Cryoablation.
  • He was given Genoderma lucidum (Linzhi) capsules to take on discharge.

Jack’s son came to Penang and sought our help again. Listen to what Jack’s son had got to say that day.

 

 

Chris: Your father. Already two years. How is he now?

Son: As I mentioned in my e-mail. Six months ago he decided to go to China.

C: What did they do to him there?

S:  Interventional embolization, immunotherapy and cryo-therapy!

C: Wah, how many times did you go there and how much did it cost you?

S: Three times, costing about SDG 60,000.

C: Why did he want to go to China?

S: Before going there, we had a family discussion. I told my family. Dr. Chris is not a saint but what he said is very logical. It is about quality of life. I told my father, perhaps after you got to China may end up worse off. It turned out to be true. There are four of us, and three of my brothers were against him going to China.

C: There is this man from Medan. He too went to China (same hospital). He spent almost IDR 3 billion! And he did not find any cure — became worse. I asked him: Why do you come and see me? He replied: I have no more money! This man also told me that he know about CA Care even before he went to China but he did not want to come here because he did not want to follow our recommended diet. So I asked: Now you are here, do you want to follow our diet?  He said yes. I told him if you want to eat what you like, you better leave. I cannot help you.

S: My father said Dr. Chris’ herbs cannot block the growth of the tumour. But I told him you only follow 90 percent of his recommended diet. Cannot.

C: Yesterday, one patient with liver cancer was here. He was told he had only 9 months. Now with the herbs and proper diet, he is still alive and healthy after one year! He can play golf and walk long distance. Then he told me a friend sent him a video which said he must not eat rice but eat a lot of meat and eggs instead. I told him, Okay, go home and eat these. Be prepared to die after one month!

S: When we were in China, the doctor there also said it is not right NOT to eat meat and eggs. I didn’t want to argue with the doctor because I was not able to speak Chinese. Two weeks ago, my father’s stomach was bloated with fluid inside. We had to go to the doctor (in our hometown) to tap it out. But the doctor said the fluid can come back again.

C: Before going to China, did you ask if the treatments they are going to give, is going to cure your father’s liver cancer?

S: They cannot! I already told my father. In the website they never ever mentioned cure. They only say they may be able to extend his life. I said told my father, Dr. Chris already extended your life for 2 years, what else do you want!

C; That is what I mean by people not being thankful. They do not acknowledge and thank God for what is good. They only want what they want. This is the problem with many cancer patients. Okay, you went to China many times. Did your father get better and better — after spending all that money?

S: Weaker …. one time my father asked the doctor why after coming here (China) he became weaker. The doctor did not answer!

C: Does he know that he is not getting better?

S: Now he knows he is not good!

In summary, for patients who come to seek our help, we would like to tell you these once again — frankly and bluntly.

  1. Read and Learn. Know what your cancer is all about. Know what you are up against. Don’t depend entirely on others to tell you what t do. Learn and heal yourself. Know that there is no cure for cancer but you can find healing. If you don’t want to read or know, you may end up being a “dead duck”!
  2. Be grateful for what you are each day. To be able to live — free of pain, being able to eat, sleep and move around, etc. Thank God for each day that you have. But if you are always asking for the impossible, you will never be able to be happy and satisfied. You will never find healing with such an “ungrateful” attitude.
  3. To heal, you need to accept the hard reality that you MUST change — change your attitude about life, change your lifestyle and change your diet.
  4. Know that your health is your responsibility. Others around you may be able to help but they cannot cure you. You need to help yourself and heal yourself. And make no mistake, you cannot find healing on your own terms.

 

 

 

What really matters at the end of life

At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love.

BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project. Listen to what he has to say.

Gist of what Dr Miller said:

  • The American health care system has more than its fair share of dysfunction … I’m a physician … a hospice and palliative medicine doc, so I’ve seen care from both sides. And believe me: almost everyone who goes into healthcare really means well — truly. But we who work in it are also unwitting agents for a system that too often does not serve.
  • Healthcare was designed with diseases, not people, at its center. Which is to say … it was badly designed. And nowhere are the effects of bad design more heartbreaking … than at the end of life.
  • For most people, the scariest thing about death isn’t being dead, it’s dying, suffering.
  • It can be very helpful to tease out suffering which is necessary as it is, from suffering we can change.
  • The former is a natural, essential part of life, part of the deal, and to this we are called to make space, adjust, grow. It can be really good to realize forces larger than ourselves. They bring proportionality, like a cosmic right-sizing.
  • After my limbs were gone, that loss, for example, became fact, fixed — necessarily part of my life, and I learned that I could no more reject this fact than reject myself. It took me a while, but I learned it eventually.
  • Another great thing about necessary suffering is that it is the very thing that unites caregiver and care receiver — human beings. This, we are finally realizing, is where healing happens. Yes, compassion — suffering together.
  • On the other hand, so much of the suffering is unnecessary, invented. It serves no good purpose. But the good news is, since this brand of suffering is made up … we can change it.
  • How we die is indeed something we can affect. Making the system sensitive to this fundamental distinction between necessary and unnecessary suffering … our role as caregivers, as people who care, is to relieve suffering — not add to the pile.
  • Palliative care — a very important field but poorly understood — it is not limited to end of life care. It is not limited to hospice. It’s simply about comfort and living well at any stage. So please know that you don’t have to be dying anytime soon to benefit from palliative care.
  • So much of what we’re talking about today is a shift in perspective. Perspective … turning anguish into a flower.
  • After my accident, when I went back to college, I changed my major to art history. Studying visual art, I figured I’d learn something about how to see — a really potent lesson for a kid who couldn’t change so much of what he was seeing.
  • In my work over the years, I’ve known many people who were ready to go, ready to die. Not because they had found some final peace or transcendence, but because they were so repulsed by what their lives had become — in a word, cut off, or ugly.
  • We know, from research what’s most important to people who are closer to death: comfort; feeling unburdened and unburdening to those they love; existential peace; and a sense of wonderment and spirituality.
  • We need to … set our sights on well-being, so that life and health and healthcare can become about making life more wonderful, rather than just less horrible.
  • I am asking that we make space — physical, psychic room, to allow life to play itself all the way out — aging and dying can become a process of crescendo through to the end. We can’t solve for death.

Comments

We are indeed fortunate to have a medical doctor to share his thoughts about death and dying. Many terminally ill cancer patients come to us hoping to find a “miracle” — hoping us to “cure” their cancer. Don’t be misled, we cannot cure your cancer! To make your life a bit better, may be. As Dr. Miller said, our role as caregivers, as people who care, is to relieve suffering — not add to the pile. Not to add more  man-made misery to the unnecessary suffering.

We always tell patients who come to us:

Be committed to your healing, change your lifestyle and diet and take the herbs. Go home and find peace with your Creator. If you can eat, can sleep, can move about and have no pain — then be grateful for what you are. When it is time to go, “go home” in peace. 

After hearing these words, gladly some patients fully agree with us. Perhaps, for some, the healing process starts if they realise and learn to “accept” the reality of the situation they are in.

TN was a 65-year old lady with lung cancer that had spread to her bones and brain. She had 5 times radiation to her spine and ribs (end of October to early November 2013), 5 times radiation to her brain (January 2015) and another 5 times radiation to her spine, hip and brain in April 2015.

In addition she took Tarceva, starting 15 November 2013 and  stopped in April 2015. The medication cost about RM 8,000 / month. She suffered dry skin and had a black spot on her nose after taking this medication (picture below).

Composite

The oncologist recommended chemotherapy since Tarceva was no longer effective. TN and her family decided not to go for chemotherapy as recommended by her oncologist. They came to seek our help in May 2015. She presented with constipation, breathlessness when walking, swelling of both legs and difficulty in sleeping (had to take sleeping pill). TN was prescribed some herbs and told to change her diet.

The following are two follow up e-mails from  her daughter.

Dear Dr. Chris,

My mom has taken the capsules & herbal teas for a week. Briefly here is her condition:

  1. She has regained some strength – she can walk longer.  Previously she felt breathless after 3 steps of walking.
  2. Appetite slightly improved. (Thanks to the variety of recipes from your wife’s cookbook)
  3. However she finds it difficult to speak more now due to shortness of breath.  Her speech sometimes slur.
  4. Still unable sleep well at night, feel tightness/heaviness in the chest.
  5. No constipation – she passed motion after drinking the constipation tea for three days (3 times).
  6. Stomach & feet remain bloated and swollen.

I have brought my mom to see the oncologist.  This is a follow up visit after the last radiotherapy session on 20 Apr.  The current X-Ray report is unfavourable.  She has a lot of fluid in her lung as compared to the previous X-ray. Oncologist recommended to flush out the fluid from the lung and this to be followed by pluerodesis. This is to give my mom some relief. I am quite concern of this and unsure if this will be beneficial to my mom.

Dear Dr. Chris,

My mother was discharged from hospital on Monday (25.5.15).

  1. The amount of fluids drained from her left lung is about 1.2 litres.  The fluids were mixed with blood.   We were informed by the doctor that was due to the bleeding from the tumour at her lung.
  2. In addition her left lung has also collapsed due to the fluids.  Thus, she is still experiencing shortness of breath when she walks far.
  3. From the x-ray reports, it was found that some of the bones at the spine area have became brittle (osteoporosis).  My mother was give 1 injection of XGEVA to relieve her pain.

Sadly, TN died not long after this. And this is the letter we received from her daughter.

Dear Dr. Chris,

My family and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for your kindness and efforts to help my beloved mother in her journey of cancer illness.

My beloved mother has passed away 2 weeks ago peacefully. I believe the herbal teas . medicinal herbs prescribed by your had helped a lot in making her illness less painful and rough.

Once again thank you for everything you did for my later beloved mother.

Best regards. Daughter of late Mdm TN.

Datukn Haji A was playing golf when he suddenly felt severe abdominal pain.  Subsequent medical check-up showed cancer in the pancreas that had spread extensively to his liver. The doctor told him to go home… no surgery or chemotherapy. Not knowing what to do, Datuk and his family flew to seek our help. Datuk told us, “I understand. The doctor indirectly told me to go home and wait to die.” He presented with severe pains. Indeed his condition was beyond “help.” Anyway, we prescribed him some herbs – at least to lessen his suffering.

The following are some e-mails that his wife wrote:

Fri, Aug 7, 2015

Dear Prof,

My husband hs been in great pain at his tummy & lower back especially in the evening & night till 4a.m. this morning.

This morning he woke at 8a.m., pain reduced.  Now after the superfood pain again. It relieves when  taking gastrovit in warm water. Thank you.

Dear Prof,

My husband’s condition is better today. Less feeling of vomiting, less pain at his tummy & able to do more exercise.  Thank you.

Dear prof,

He is in great pain now. since last night on off pain. Ok. If he can’t bear I’ll give him hospital’s pain killer. He said he will try to bear it till he can’t. He always feel good after gastrovit. Thanks Prof.

Dear prof,

Suddenly he feel much less painful. Can read newspapers. Will this pain subsides after 2 weeks?

Dear Prof,

Of course 2nd week better than 1st week physically (rashes on skin disappear,  energy level better, no vomiting, etc.) except for the pain inside which we don’t know why?

1st week pain was at the tummy. now no more at tummy and had gone to the back and at the bowel area. The pain could be sharp at times. He said, this week energy is better than last week except for the pain.I hope it is not the cancer attacking. Good night.

Dear prof,

The pain is so great he can’t lie down to sleep. Terrible. Backache. So worry. Is this normal?

Good morning Prof,

Last night  was better. This morning pinggang & bowel area not painful but lower abdomen (below pusat) pain & urine not good. Stomach & lower back skin dry. Still Hiccup. What to do? Thank you.

Dear Prof,

He is admitted to hospital. Kaki bengkak & not able to urine (now fix a tube to drain out) & sakit at pinggang & lower tummy. Stomach bloated. Doc injected pethidine.

Yes Prof.  His condition not good.

Thank you.
Sep 6, 2015 at 5:30 AM

Dear Prof & wife,

My husband passed away peacefully on 4th Sept 2015 @ 3.30am. Thank you for everything. The herbs help me a lot at this difficult time. No more discomfort at the tummy area. Thank you.

Let us end this article by highlighting a report in the mass media. Take time to reflect on this.

Survey shows nearly half Malaysian cancer patients go broke a year after diagnosed

See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/survey-shows-nearly-half-malaysian-cancer-patients-broke-a-year-after-diagn#sthash.rBFWg066.dpuf

A  survey was done in eight Southeast Asian countries, and in Malaysia, had followed 1,662 cancer patients in public and private hospitals through their first year following diagnosis, with 44 per cent of them at 50 years old or younger.

The Asean Costs in Oncology (Action) study by Sydney-based George Institute for Global Health made the following conclusions:

  • 44 per cent of respondents would survive the cancer with no financial catastrophe, while another 11 per cent died.
  • Around 51 per cent will be pushed into “economic hardship” after a year from diagnosis, with 49 per cent of them already used up all their personal savings, while 39 per cent of all respondents could not pay for their medication.
  • Of the respondents, 35 per cent could not pay for medical consultation fees, 22 per cent could no longer pay for their rents and mortgages, while 19 per cent of them just discontinued treatments altogether.
  • “The cost of cancer does not only affect patients, but also their families and society as a whole,” the institute’s Prof Mark Woodward said.
  • The survey found that the median age where Malaysians are diagnosed with cancer is at 52 years, and subsequently died at 59.
  • “Cancer diagnosis at stage III or IV (late stage) makes treatment more costly, less likely to succeed, and reduces chances of survival.”
  • It also found that patients become financially vulnerable from two reasons: high out-of-pocket spending on loans, debts and depletion of assets; and high treatment and medical spending.
  • The Action report said even patients in public hospitals face high out-of-pocket spending for many health services such as chemotherapy, biopsy, biomarker testing, innovative cancer treatments, and palliative care.
  • UM’s cancer epidemiologist Prof Dr Nirmala Bhoo-Pathy said the average cost for breast cancer treatment could reach up to US$15,000 (RM65,000) per year, and those earning less than US$1,100 (RM4,700) per month would have “a very difficult time” to pay for it.

Read more  Are Medical Bills Killing Patients?https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2013/04/11/are-medical-bills-killing-patients/

Question to ask: How do you want your life to end? Leave a hole in the family’s bank account? Many patients from Indonesia had to sell their houses or land before they died. You have a choice!

 

 

 

Health is your responsibility. How responsible are you?

Seventy-four-year old LAE suffered stomach bloating sometime in December 2014. She did not tell anyone in the family about her problem. Then around Chinese New Year 2015 time (February), she became really sick. LAE was brought to a private hospital. A CT scan on 20 February 2015, showed, “large lobulated matted lymphadenopathy in central mesenteric-para-aortic region measuring 118.3 x 109.5 mm. There is also adjacent thickened mid ileal wall segment which is adherent to this lymphadenopathy. Extensive surrounding omental and mesenteric streakiness seen.”

LAE’s problem was subsequently diagnosed as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, B phenotype.

She had ascites (fluid in the peritoneal cavity) and pleural effusion (fluid in the lung cavity). LAE was breathless and needed oxygen. The doctors in the hospital could not do anything for her, because of her old age – 74. So no chemo, no medication. LAE could not eat anything since the last one plus month. Her lips and the inside of her mouths are full of sores.

LAE remained in the hospital for 2 weeks and then requested to go home. But the doctor said if her oxygen was removed she would go into a coma and die within the next 24 to 48 hours.

LAE nevertheless decided to go home. However, she did not die as predicted. LAE remained alive at home, just like she was in the hospital, for 2 weeks.

On 27 March 2015, two ladies came to seek help and related the story above.

They asked: What can you do to help?

Our reply: We are sorry, there is nothing much we can do. According to the doctor LAE could die anytime or by now should have been dead without the oxygen support. What do you expect me to do?

I turned to one of the lady: What do you want me to do? Give her herbs? And what will you say if after taking  the herbs she dies the next day? Will you blame me?

She could not answer. She looked towards the other lady — hoping to get some response from her. The other lady was equally dumb founded — unable to say a thing.

I sensed something was amiss. I asked the lady: Who is this patient — your mother? Both ladies said LAE is their mother-in-law.

Who many children are there in the family?

Answer: Three sons.

Where are the sons? Why are they not here?

The ladies fumbled again. Later, I came to understand that the three sons do not see things eye-to-eye, hence leaving things to their wives to handle.

I told the ladies. As daughters-in-law, you all CANNOT make any important decisions. Your husbands or LAE’s sons need to make whatever decisions for their mother, not you – the daughters-in-law. If anything goes wrong with LAE one of the sons will blame you — the woman in the house! If not even one son can have time or make the effort to come and see me personally to ask for help, I don’t see how I can help their mother.

After further explanation, the two daughters-in-law understood my message. Go home and discuss what I have said with your husbands.

Two day later, another lady came to our centre. Her mother is 89 years old and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to her liver in mid-January 2015. She was hospitalised for 10 days.

Her problem started with high fever and she was jaundiced. She had some blue-black marks on the skin. The doctor installed stunt to relieve the blocked bile duct. The jaundice was resolved. Mother recovered.

Unfortunately her hospital stay had to be extended (for more three days) because on the 7th day, she contracted a serious  infection. The doctor told the family it as an ESBL infection. As a result Mother had to be quarantined ( placed in an isolated room by herself).

The daughter learned from the internet that ESBL infection is caused by a certain strain of  drug resistant bacteria. Many types of antibiotics are not effective for such infection. Though the doctors would not admit it, the daughter suspected this infection was due to  the poor hygiene in the hospital. The total hospital bill for a 10-day stay was RM31,000.

Mother was discharged from the hospital but the doctor was not able to do anything for her pancreatic-liver cancer. Therefore, her daughter came to seek our help.

Chris: Who is she, your own mother?

Daughter: Yes.

C: How many of you are in the family?

D: My mother has 7 daughters but one passed away. And I am the youngest.

C: Did your other 5 sisters know that you are coming to see me?

D: Yes, we are a close-knit family. I have discussed this with my other sisters. In fact my sisters have two friends who are your patients. So they know about you.

C: Do they agree that your mother undergo our therapy?

D: Absolutely.

C: The herbs are bitter and have awful smell. Can your mom take them?

D: No problem. She likes to take Chinese herbs.

C: Now, what would you say if after your mom takes the herbs and she dies?

D: We all know that.

C: You are not going to blame me for that?

D: Absolutely not. We understand that. We want you to help Mother. Let her have a quality life – can eat, can sleep and no pain. We do not expect you to cure her. We all understand that.

C: It seems that you have been reading what I wrote in the website?

D: Yes.

C: Okay, let’s try. I would not prescribe too much herbs for now. We will introduce the herbs slowly and observe what happen after two weeks.

Comments

In my book, Cancer what now? I wrote this:

  • Over the past 16 years or so, since we started CA Care, we learned a lot about cancer, about people who get cancer and how they respond to their problems … So here we are, having to deal with a diversity of personalities besides having to deal with many different cancers. It is hard and often a frustrating task indeed.
  • Over the years dealing with cancer patients, it dawned on me that cancer is not just about a tumour in your breast, lung or liver. It is about you as a human being. 
  • Not all people who come to seek our help will benefit from our work. Only 30 percent of them benefited in one way or another, the remaining 70 percent did not. Why? I also tell you this: By talking to you for five to 10 minutes, I can more or less know whether I can help you or not. How patients present themselves would indicate to me if he/she can make it or not. His/her attitude, facial expressions, emotional problems, lifestyle, commitment, family support, etc., are observed and noted – all these enable me to assess and figure out the REAL person we are dealing with. No two ways about it, it shows!

Let us stress again. Many come to us hoping to find a cure … hoping that we have the magic bullet to make their cancer disappear. They are disappointed when told that, “I cannot cure your cancer. You cure yourself.”

We also know from our statistics, only 3 out of 10 who come are serious in wanting to heal. The remaining 7 are just “shopping.” Many come to dump their problems onto us and expect us to solve their problems. It is very frustrating indeed. The stories above illustrate what I mean. But at least these people did make an effort to come to our centre and talk to us. At least, we will take time to explain (without any consultation fee).

Don’t get me wrong. You have the right to “shop” — as the saying goes, “Go ahead and shop till you drop dead.” I have no problem with that. In fact, to help you I have posted hundred of articles, videos and e-mails that people wrote to me. In addition, I have written more than a dozen books. I have done my part to provide vital information that you need to know. But you need to do your part. Just read them! Is that so diffocult? Unfortunately, some people don’t want to read or search the information for themselves. They just abuse that “privilege” of writing us because they have easy access to us.  Why waste our time? Spare us the time to help others who really  need our help. To the “shoppers” — we say, please find other shops.

The most “frustrating”  are those who use e-mails to find quick fixes … expect us to read their medical reports, read their long winded emails and then answer their long list of questions. No, we do not provide consultation through emails or phone. Sorry about that.  If these people do not see the need to come and see us personally, we suggest that they go and find someone nearby to help them. There are many other “doctors” who can help and can cater to their wishes and mindset.

Don’t get me wrong. Some people do need help through e-mails. We understand that. And we do answer them.  But know this, what can I do by sitting in front of the computer? Act like god and play god? 

As I am writing this article, two e-mails came in. Here is the short one. Let’s not bother about the long, winded e-mail.

On Sun, Mar 29, 2015 at 11:56 PM.

Dear Dr Chris

Please help me. My husband is diagnosed with liver cancer.  The doctor has give only 30% chance of recovery.  He is currently hospitalized.  Underwent chemo on Friday.

I am confused, don’t know what is happening.  He’s on catheter to drain the liquid from his liver, yellowish green liquid.

Please help me.  My children are young and still studying. We live in Singapore.

Are there any treatment you can suggest? Thank you

Reply: Let the doctor take care of him … after all he is doing the chemo already. What can I do now?

For more of such e-mails go to: https://adaywithchristeo.wordpress.com/ There are over 600 such e-mails.

For those who write me e-mails … this is the reply you will get. Come and see me with all your medical reports. Period.

Don’t be surprised. The next day or a few days later, these people show up at our centre. No, they just don’t come from Butterworth or Taiping or Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Some of them take 2 days to fly to reach Penang. Such people deserve our utmost attention and help.

And for those who want to know if we can cure them by writing e-mail, this is the answer they will get: I cannot cure your cancer. Over the years, we have learned that no one of earth can cure any cancer. So we give this honest answer which we know many patients don’t like to hear. Some even shot back at us. So why have CA Care then? Tell you the truth that no others may not tell you. Make your life better, perhaps! But cure you? There is not much to boast about.

Let me end by saying this. Health is your responsibility. Your are responsible for your own health. If you think we can help you in anyway come and see us. There is no quick fix, no magic bullet. And sitting in front of the computer expecting me to help you? Forget about that too. I am not God and I also don’t play God.

Notice: Consultation by appointment only, Monday to Friday at 10.30 am to 11.30 a.m.(NO more consultation on Friday afternoon or Sunday night).

Pain Recurred After Eating Rojak

Patient, 66-year-old, was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her bones and brain. She had undergone radiotherapy, took Iressa and later switched to Tarceva but the treatments failed her. After 9 months of medical treatment she decided to try out our CA Care Therapy.

Patient led a miserable life. She was constantly in pain and had difficulty sleeping. Patient, her husband and daughter came to CA Care Penang on 8 June 2014. She was started on the e-Therapy. After 4 days, her pains were gone!

When she got well – no more pain, good appetite, happy, etc…. she ate young coconut followed by rojak at 10 p.m. About an hour later she started to cough badly and the pain recurred. Things went bad for the whole night.

Listen to her story.

 

 

Our message to all cancer patients.

1. Take care of your diet if you want to live.

2. This is my observation. When patients are dying they will listen to our advice. But the moment when they get well, they easily forget what we teach them.

3. Patients come up with various reason why they want to eat whatever they like! One amusing story. A liver patient told his family. He would not want to die with an empty stomach, else he would turn into a hungry ghost. He ate whatever he like, he lived for 1 year and 8 months, went into a coma and died. Everyone in the family was happy!

4. Very often you were told you can eat anything you like. Food has nothing to do with your cancer. It is your choice!

5. Learn, please learn from this story.

Using Bad Statistics to Mislead

Dr. Ben Goldacre in Bad Science, pg. 186-187, wrote:

  • We can look at how these numbers  and calculations … are repeatedly misused and misunderstood.
  • Numbers … can ruin lives.

Sensationalising

  • Newspapers like big numbers and eye-catching headlines (only newspapers? No, all those with vested interests love to indulge in them too! In fact this is the way they can mislead you and me!).
  • They need miracle cures and hidden scares… small percentage shifts … will never be enough for them to sell readers to advertisers.
  • To this end they pick the single most melodramatic and misleading way of describing any statistical increase …..

Example of How to Massage Data: Reporting of Relative Risk Reduction

Take a hypothetical case. Out of 100 men in their fifties with normal cholesterol, 4 will be expected to have a heart attack, whereas out of 100 men with high cholesterol, 6 will be expected to have a heart attack.

How to make a cholesterol scare?

If you put it in layman’s language (i.e. using the natural frequencies) there is no impact. Among those men with high cholesterol  only an extra of 2 heart attacks per hundred. No big deal, right?  Cholesterol will not scare you.

Here is how the professional of numbers or statisticians play their tricks on us.

It is equally right (mathematically speaking) to say that cholesterol increases the Relative Risk of heart attack by 50 percent!

This is how they massage the same data to make it more dramatic. Four men out of 100 will have heart attack with normal cholesterol, 6 men out of 100 if the cholesterol is high. The increase of 2 heart attacks out of 4.  You can then legitimately say cholesterol increase heart attack by 50 percent!

In chapter 2 of Honest Medicine Dr. Donald Murphy wrote:

  • Let’s consider the aspirin … a hypothetical study.  Researchers found that 10 of 1,000 volunteers who took one aspirin a day had a heart attack. They found that 20 of the 1,000 volunteers who took the placebo (sugar pill) had a heart attack.
  • How will the medical journals and the medial report this difference? How will the scientist and the media emphasize the importance of this finding? They will most likely report the relative risk reduction (RRR).
  • In this example, the RRR is an impressive 50 percent: going from 20 to 10 is a 50 percent change.
  • You get the impression that you can cut your risk of a heart attack in half by taking aspirin.
  • Take a closer look at these numbers. Only 10 out of the 1,000 volunteers taking aspirin benefit from this drug. The study also shows that 980 of the volunteers taking aspirin wouldn’t have a heart attack anyway because 980 of the volunteers taking the placebo didn’t have a heart attack. 10 of the volunteers would have a heart attack whether they took aspirin or not. The other 10 volunteers are the only ones who prevented a heart attack due to aspirin.
  • In this example, going from 2 percent (20 /1,000) to 1 percent (10/1,000) is only a 1 percent change. That is the likelihood that you would prevent a heart attack if you took aspirin — benefit of only 1 percent.
  • “Cut your risk of a heart attack by 1 percent” doesn’t have the punch of the headline as “ASPIRIN CUST RISK OF HEART ATTACK BY 50 PERCENT”.

Do you see how the benefit of 1 percent can be massaged and made to look great by “legitimately” turning into 50 percent relative risk reduction? Again let me emphasize, the stark reality is that out of the 100 people who take aspirin, only 2 people will benefit from it, in terms of preventing heart attack. Data presented in simple, raw form tells the truth more honestly!

A Word about Statistical Significance

When medical journals and the media report important findings, they refer to statistical significance. Statistics are based on probabilities, not on absolutes. A study that is statistically significant may not be clinically significant for you.

If a medical study reports that a finding is statistically significant, it means the finding is probably real and not just a matter of chance … science does not consist of only black and white facts. It is full of gray areas and can be very subjective …facts may not be so factual after all …. and health care is not black and white.

Things Get More Complicated

When prescribed medication or told to undergo chemotherapy, some patients are full of trust, taking for granted that this is best for them.  But some patients are more empowered. They wanted to know the possible outcome of the treatment. The want simple straight forward answers, as below:

For example when undergoing breast cancer treatment, you may wish to ask: For all the surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy (and tamoxifen) that you have been told to go for.

• How many patients were cured?

• How many died?

• How many survived after one, two, three, five or ten years after the treatments?

• How many contracted metastases of the liver, bone, lungs, etc.?

• Is there any correlation between the treatments they received and the metastases that occurred?

These questions and their answers are pertinent to all people. You need to know the answers to these basic questions, to be able to make some kind of informed decisions. Unfortunately when you need the medical literature, you will be carried away! Lost in medical or statistical jargons! You don’t get straight answers to the questions above.

Terminology Used to Clinical Trials

Oncologists use the term endpoint to refer to an outcome they are trying to measure with a clinical trial. Understanding endpoints is absolutely critical to understanding the technical medical literature. All journal articles reporting on clinical trials will report the results in terms of the endpoints which were measured. If you don’t understand what they mean, you can’t understand the article.

For example, oncologists frequently use the term “respond” to treatment; or they say, “you are responding to the treatment.”  Do you know what “respond” might mean?

Response

Response is about measuring tumor shrinkage. Response is not used where the primary tumor has been removed surgically since in that case there are no detectable tumors to measure.

There are many kinds of responses:

  • Complete Response (CR): This means all detectable tumor has disappeared. A complete response does not necessarily mean the patient is cured. Even when no tumor can be seen on scans, there can be residual tumor which is too small to detect, and so unfortunately, complete responses may not last. A patient who has had a complete response may be said to be “NED”. NED means “No Evidence of Disease”.
  • Partial Response (PR): This roughly corresponds to at least a 50% decrease in the total tumor volume but with evidence of some residual disease still remaining. Partial responses aren’t usually cures and usually aren’t a long term benefit because significant tumor remains.
  • Minor Response (MR): This roughly means a small amount of shrinkage. Roughly speaking, a minor response is more than 25% of total tumor volume but less than the 50% that would make it a PR. A minor response is not enough to be considered a true response.
  • Stable Disease (SD): Stable disease means the tumors stay the same size or “insignificant” changes. This may include either a small amount of growth (typically less than 20 or 25%) or a small amount of shrinkage.  You may wish to know that some periods of stability are relatively common in some kinds of cancer even without treatment. Therefore, it is difficult to know if stable disease is the result of treatment. Claims of benefit for new treatments involving stable disease should be examined skeptically.
  • Progressive Disease (PD): Progressive disease means the tumor has grown significantly or that new tumors have appeared. The appearance of new tumors is always progressive disease. Progressive disease normally means the treatment has failed and in most cases is the signal that it’s time to try something else (or stop treatment altogether if no good options remain).
  • Objective Response (OR): Objective response means either a partial or complete response (In the literature you’ll frequently see “CR+PR” which means the same thing). When you see an objective response rate be sure to look at how many are complete responses and how many are partial since benefits from complete response tend to be greater. Often news reports and especially press releases by self-interested companies blur this and don’t reveal that the CR rate is low or non-existent. Track down the original source and find out!
  • “Clinical Benefit”: Clinical benefit is an informal term which usually means anything other than progressive disease. Use of this term is suspect, particularly if it is in a press release or news report. It isn’t automatically clear that patients with stable disease are benefiting from treatment since the natural history of cancer can include periods of apparent stable disease and since tumor shrinkage is not equal to clinical benefit to begin with.

Survival

Improvement in survival is generally considered to be the gold standard and is therefore a very important endpoint in cancer trials. It directly benefits patients.

Survival is an unambiguous end point that is not subject to investigator bias or interpretation. It is an end point that can be assessed easily, frequently, and without reliance on tumor measurements of any kind.

Therapies with a high treatment-related mortality might fail to show a survival benefit even if tumor control is substantially better with the new treatment.

Frequently, a big deal is made out of treatments which improve median survival by only a few weeks or months.

The common jargon used is OS, Overall Survival besides the different shades of survival.

Progression Free Survival

Progression Free Survival is the length of time you are both alive and free from any significant increase in your cancer (free from progression).

Disease Free Survival

Disease Free Survival is a special case of Progression Free Survival used as an endpoint in the clinical trials of adjuvant therapy to prevent recurrence after surgery to completely remove all visible cancer. In this case “progression” means the patient has had a recurrence.

Progression free survival and disease free survival can translate to an improvement in quality of life since symptoms from the cancer are delayed – but only if side effects of treatment aren’t worse.

Quality of Life

Quality of Life is supposed to measure how you feel and how you function. Although quality of life is certainly important in the broad sense, unfortunately, there is no unambiguous physical measurement or definable property which corresponds to your “Quality of Life”.

Quality of Life is therefore measured using a brief questionnaire in which patients rate their ability to function in various ways and enjoy life. Patients typically fill out the questionnaire several times during the course of the trial.

Quoted from:  http://cancerguide.org/endpoints.html

 

Using Emotions of Fear or Hope to Sell Cancer Treatments

Our website, http://www.cacare.com has this opening sentences:

CANCER ! Don’t panic ! Haste is from the Devil ~ Arab saying.

Why do you visit this website? We believe you are seeking information to enable you or your loved ones to make certain decisions about his/her cancer. Our advice is: Read as much as possible. Gather information from different sources. Cast your net wider and read what others from different disciplines have to say about the same subject. Get out of the box and view your problem in a different light.

Often, in the face of fear, hopelessness and panic we forget to use our commonsense. Calm down. A decision made in haste or under pressure is never a good decision. Remember, you don’t get cancer just only yesterday.

When we go to the hospital, we go with full faith and trust. We believe that the doctors have our best interests in their hearts – after all,  medicine is a noble profession! Unfortunately medicine has morphed into something else today!

The treatment of disease is not a science … but a thriving industry ~ Sir James Barr, Vice President, British Medical Association.

Physicians are called to service, to put patients’ good above our own. That’s a very spiritual calling. But with … making medicine a business, we’re … losing that sense of purpose and meaning ~ Christina Puchalski, professor of medicine, George Washington University. Reader’s Digest Sept. 2001.

People go where the money is, and you’d like to believe it’s different in medicine, but it’s really no different in medicine. When you start thinking of oncology as a business, then all these decisions make sense ~ Dr. Robert Geller, oncologist. New York Times, 12 June 2007 by Alex Beresen.

On the morning of 31 May 2014, I woke up to read the following titles in the internet! It is sad. But this is the reality of the medical industry! Please read these …

1. Cancer Ads Focus On Emotion, Not Facts: Are Consumers Being Misled About Treatment Options?

  • Advertisements released by U.S. cancer centers in magazines and on TV may be delivering the wrong message.
  • The grueling battle with cancer is one that many people undergo with little knowledge already at-hand. Popular outlets such as TV and magazines may prove unhelpful in that regard … these ads focus more on emotion than on facts.
  • Consumers gain little information about treatment costs, risks, or even its benefits in concrete, quantitative terms.
  • If the ads were anything to go by, the data suggests that patients would hope for survival rather than evaluate their chances.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/cancer-ads-focus-emotion-not-facts-are-consumers-being-misled-about-treatment-options-284828 

2. Analysis Shows Advertising by Cancer Centers Frequently Evokes Hope and Fear, but Provides Little Information.

  • Advertisements frequently promoted cancer therapy with emotional appeals that evoked hope and fear, while rarely providing information about risks, benefits, costs, or insurance availability. The researchers suggest that the ads may lead patients to pursue care that is either unnecessary or unsupported by scientific evidence.
  • Pursuit of unnecessary tests or treatment may … expose patients to avoidable risks and contribute to increasing costs.

http://www.ascopost.com/ViewNews.aspx?nid=16259

3. Nine of 10 cancer center ads use emotional fluff to attract patients, with little mention of success rates, risks or cost.

Cancer centers and hospitals are competing for your business …. Many cancer charities use the same methods to raise money, which I discuss in my most popular video.

http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/cancer-center-ads-use-emotional-appeals/

4. Cancer Center Ads Use Emotion, Promise Cure.

  • In their advertisements to the general public, cancer centers in the US use emotional appeals that evoke hope and fear, and rarely provide information about risks, benefits, costs … The approach may lead to unrealistic expectations and inappropriate treatments, it warns.

Emotional appeals were a cornerstone of most ads …. Most stressed survival or potential for cure rather than comfort, quality of life, or patient-centered care.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/825701

5.  Study: Cancer ads tug at heartstrings, leave out caveats.

  • Advertisements for cancer centers are inflated with emotions, but fail to disclose the fine print….
  • A systematic content analysis of these ads found that the content is sharply directed at a would-be patient’s heartstrings:
  • 85% made emotional appeals to consumers
    b.  61% used language about hope, extension of life, or a cure
    c.  52% touted innovative, or advanced technology or treatments
    d. 30% evoked fear by mentioning death, fear, or loss.
  • Noticeably missing from most of the TV and magazine ads is information about the risks, scientific-supported benefits and cost:
  • a.  2% disclosed the risks of the cancer treatment
    b.  5% mentioned cost of treatment
  • Emotion-based advertisement is a powerful means of persuasion and potentially harmful to the consumer.

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/26/study-cancer-ads-tug-at-heartstrings-leave-out-caveats/comment-page-1/

6. Cancer Center Advertisements Focus on Emotional Appeals. 

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Dr. Schenker: Cancer center advertisements are increasingly common.  I think it is important for clinicians and patients to be aware of the focus on survival and potential cure in these advertisements, as well as the use of emotional appeals.  I would encourage patients to seek more complete and balanced sources of information – and to talk with a trusted physician – when facing important decisions about their cancer care.

http://medicalresearch.com/cancer-_-oncology/cancer_center_advertisements_focus_on_emotional_appeals/5545/

The above comments came about as a result of research conducted by Vater et al and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 27 May 2014,  What Are Cancer Centers Advertising to the Public?: A Content Analysis.

A total of 102 cancer centers placed 409 unique clinical advertisements in top media markets in 2012. They found out that the:

  • Advertisements promoted treatments (88%) more often than screening (18%) or supportive services (13%).
  • Benefits of advertised therapies were described more often than risks (27% vs. 2%) but were rarely quantified (2%).
  • Few advertisements mentioned coverage or costs (5%).
  • Emotional appeals were frequent (85%), evoking hope for survival (61%), describing cancer treatment as a fight or battle (41%), and inducing fear (30%).
  • Nearly one half of advertisements included patient testimonials, which were usually focused on survival, rarely included disclaimers (15%), and never described the results that a typical patient may expect. 

The Journal’s editorial weighed in with more comments:

  • In her classic essay, Illness as Metaphor, Susan Sontag suggested that the negative metaphor and myths surrounding cancer increase the suffering of patients.
  • Vater and colleagues ….found that … benefits of advertised therapies were emphasized more often than risks, and specific data were rarely given.
  • Appeals were largely emotional rather informational, sometimes seemed to equate treatment with cure and most often focused on survival rather than comfort or quality of life.
  • The authors suggest that the focus may contribute to unrealistic expectations about treatment benefits among patients with cancer … and may even lead to inappropriate treatments.

Almost every day I have people writing or coming to me asking for help about their cancer. This is my advice, no matter who you go to – medical doctor or alternative practitioner.

If you are asked to undergo any treatment, ask the following questions first (don’t be led by the nose):

a. Can the treatment cure your cancer?

b. If the answer is “Yes”, better think a million times before you take the recommended path! My experience shows there is no such thing as a cure!

c. If you are told you have a 60 percent chance of success, make sure that you understand what this percentage means to you. Know that only 6 out of 10 patient succeed! Success may not mean anything! What is it, cure? Know that that this statistics may not apply to you at all. Six succeeded but how sure that you belong to the 6 and not the 4 who failed?

d. Patients tell me that often they get these answers when they ask about their cancer of cure: Ask God!  or  We shall try and see. Such answers imply that you are in the game of luck, not science anymore.

e. Another favourite answer is, No cure, but can prolong life. Ask, prolong life for how long? Some drugs only prolong life by a few days, a few weeks or a few months, rarely years!

f. Even if the treatment prolongs life, it comes with a great cost in terms of side effects and money. Decide, if the extra time of being alive (but ended up being a vegetable) is worth it?

g. Ask about the side effects of the treatment. Very often the “bad effects” are toned down! Some don’t want to even tell you about them! It is wise to visit the oncology ward of the hospital and see for yourself  (and ask) those who have undergone the treatments. Check about treatment by reading what others say in the internet.

h. Ask about the total cost of the treatment. It is foolish to proceed with the treatment half way and then found later that you don’t have to enough money to complete the journey!

Information about Cancer: Don’t Panic!

stupid defined 2

If you or your loved ones happened to have cancer, there is no need to panic. Take time to learn by reading from different sources. There is  NO right or WRONG way to handle cancer. It is only your way.

So without knowledge or information, how can you handle this situation? Read, Ask, Think and Reflect and Make Your Choice using your COMMON SENSE.

At the end of it all, it is you and you alone who pay for the consequences of your own choice.

We have written 3 comics to help you understand the “Cancer Game.”

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Available: http://bookoncancer.com/productDetail.php?P_Id=76

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Available: http://bookoncancer.com/productDetail.php?P_Id=78

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http://bookoncancer.com/productDetail.php?P_Id=79