A Tale of Two Patients: Alive and healthy — miraculous healing or fluke shot?

There is a town in Indonesia where it appears everybody seems to know everybody — that is, if you are a somebody in town. Many patients came to see us because “somebody” told them about us. For us too, we often learn about the wellbeing of our patients from “somebody” who came to visit us!

Here is a story of two patients who are from this dynamic town.

AS with Liver Cancer

AS was 65 years old when he was diagnosed liver cancer. His problem started in late December 2011 when he felt gastric-like pain in the abdomen. His doctor suspected gallbladder infection. He went to Jakarta and underwent a surgery to remove his gallbladder. During the operation, the surgeon also did a liver biopsy for suspicious liver tumour.

In February 2012, AS went to the National Cancer Centre in Singapore for follow-up treatment.  A PET / CT revealed a  3.2 x 2.6 cm in the left lobe of his liver. AS did nothing after this. But two months later,  AS did another CT scan. The tumour had grown in size.

On 3 May 2012, AS underwent a surgery to remove the tumour. The procedure cost him SGD28,000. Liver histology indicated a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC or liver cancer) and it was 4 cm in size.

About three months after the surgery,  AS went back to Singapore for a review. A repeat CT showed NO evidence of recurrent HCC or focal liver lesion.

Unfortunately six months later (i.e. about 9 months after the surgery) another PET /CT revealed a new recurrent mass in the liver measuring 8.0 x 4.8 cm. Surgery failed and AS was asked to undergo chemotherapy.

On 22 March 2013, AS underwent TACE (transarterial chemo embolization). Unfortunately, the interventional radiologist was unable to access the tumour feeding vessel. TACE was aborted. In spite of the failure, AS had to pay S$5,000 for the procedure.

AS was discharged on 25 March 2013 and was referred to an oncologist for intravenous chemotherapy. AS was disappointed with the doctors and  decided to give up further medical treatment. He came to seek our help.

AS was prescribed Capsule A, B, C and D. In addition he had to take LL-tea, Liver 1 and Liver 2 teas. We sent him for a blood test. The results as of 15 April 2013, showed his alpha-fetoprotein = 1,064.0 and total bilirubin = 25.0. Other liver function enzymes were within normal range.

After the CA Care Therapy

Eight months after taking the herbs, a CT indicated the tumour had shrunk to 5.2 x 2.2 x 3.9 cm in size (from 8.0 x 4.8 cm).

About 2 years later, 18 January 2015, AS and his wife came to visit us. AS’s wife was very agitated and upset. Since the past few weeks AS had been taking “bad food” – food that we tell patients not to eat. On top of that AS sometimes was not taking the herbs properly.

Briefly my message to AS (and also all cancer patients) that night was very clear, crude and blunt.

  1. When patients are “half dead,” they would follow our advice without protest. But when they get well, most of them will “misbehave.” That is normal.
  2. To live or to die is your choice.
  3. There is no need to be upset about the patient’s choice. If he wants to die, let him die.
  4. My experiences have shown that if patients eat anything they like, this “good time” would probably last about 2 months. After that the cancer would recur and they would not be able “enjoy” food anymore.
  5. I also told AS, Perhaps it is time you stop taking the herbs. Go home and eat a lot of what you want to eat and “go” faster.
  6. AS had lived for almost 2 years. He should be grateful that he is still alive – healthy and without pain. What more do you want? Be grateful for what you are now!

I wish to state too that telling AS the above was not done with anger! But I suspect these words were too harsh for him. I did not get to see AS again!

Later I learned that AS is a somebody in his town! He owns rubber plantations and his son-in-law is a medical doctor!

Did his son-in-law stop him from taking our herbs? No, on the contrary, his son-in-law was the one who asked him to come and see us after the medical treatment in Singapore had failed.

It is now 2017 — it has been four years since we first met AS. What has happened to him? Many visitors from his town told us he is still healthy and doing fine!

Let’s hear what Jaya has got to tell us about AS in the video below.

 

Gist of our conversation

Chris: Let me ask you about your friend with liver cancer, who brought you here. I did not get to see him anymore. Is he still alive? And healthy?

Wife of Jaya: Yes, yes.

C: Have you seen him lately? When was the last time you saw him?

W: I met him and his wife in the market, a few days ago.

C: And he is really healthy?

W: Yes and he has a big tummy and his face looks pink and healthy.

C: Still alive!

W: Yes, very much alive! His son-in-law is a medical doctor. It is his son-in-law who asked him to come and see you.

C: Oh, the son-in-law did not object him taking our herbs?

W: No, no.

C: I am really happy to know that he is doing fine. That is the most important thing. Good for him. In your past conversation with him, did you ever hear him saying that the herbs are not effective and that is why he does not want to continue taking it anymore?

W: No, never. He said he is already old (72 years already). So there is no need to take anymore herbs. But he said he still takes care of his diet.

C: The last time he and his wife came here, I remember I scolded him for not wanting to take care of his diet. His wife was also mad at him. May be because of that that he did not want to see me anymore.

Jaya: Before we came here, his wife talked to me over the phone. She wanted me to send you her regards and let you know that AS is doing fine. Only that he does not want to continue with the herbs anymore.

C: That is okay. As long as he is fine, there is no need to take the herbs. Why waste time to come here and waste all the money. I am not unhappy about that. What is important is to know that he is doing okay.

Jaya with colon cancer

Another somebody in town is Jaya. Actually it was AS (above) who brought Jaya to see us in 2015.

Jaya was then 48 years old when he was diagnosed with colon cancer — T3N8X, stage 2. He underwent an operation in October 2014. This was done by a surgeon in a Jakarta hospital. A chemo-port was installed and Jaya had 2 cycles of chemotherapy with FLOFOX 6 regimen (oxaliplatin + Leucovarin + 5-FU).

The first chemo was on 16 November 2014 and the second on 30 November 2014, done in a hospital in Jakarta. Jaya was scheduled for 10 cycles of chemo,  every 2 weeks.

Unfortunately after the second chemo, Jaya developed serious infection. He was rushed to Singapore and was hospitalised for 17 days for Staphylococcus aureus infection (because of chemo-port infection).

While in the hospital he remained unconscious for 3 days. The doctor had asked the family members to “get ready.” Fortunately, Jaya recovered from this ordeal. The treatment in Singapore cost him SGD31,118.

Jaya and his wife flew together with AS and his wife flew to Penang to seek our help. Jaya did not want to continue with his chemotherapy anymore although his wife insisted that he follows the doctor’s advice.

Jaya was started on our herbs and was told to take care of his diet — no more chemo!

It has been two years now, Jaya is doing fine, like his friend AS.

 

Gist of my advice to Jaya

Chris: What is important now is to ensure that you maintain our wellbeing as it is now. Continue to do the right thing that you are doing now. It has been two years since you first came to see us and was started on the herbs. It seems (based on the blood test results) that everything is just fine.

But be careful and know that being good for two years is NOT a cure.

Jaya & Wife: (nodding their heads). Ya.

C: Don’t ever think that your cancer is already gone and cured. From my experience, I know that we cannot cure any cancer. It will come back! Look at one of our patients there (pointing to a picture). He was with us for more than twenty years. Doing fine. Then the cancer recurred (because he did something wrong). Now he is dead.

Comments

When AS with recurrent liver tumour first came to see us, we told him that he had a serious problem. I was not sure if I could help him in anyway. I can only do my best. Back in my mind, in a case such as this — 8 cm recurrent tumour in the liver — at best, survival would be six months! I did not expect him to survive! But as this story has it, it has been 4 years now and AS is still healthy.

AS had given up further medical treatment after surgery and attempted TACE had failed him. He took herbs and changed his diet. And he survived. That’s amazing!

Then you have Jaya. After surgery, he did the so called “right thing” medically. He had two shots of chemo which almost killed him. He had to be rushed to Singapore for help — to clear off his severe infection. Luckily he survived the ordeal when even the doctors thought that he would die.

I remember clearly when AS, Jaya and their wives came to see us that night. Jaya wanted to give up chemotherapy. Jaya’s wife wanted him to continue with the chemo. Later commonsense prevailed. Jaya decided to follow our therapy.

It has been two years now and Jaya is as healthy as anyone else — yes, without chemo!  He took herbs and watch out for his diet.

Often patients are being told, If you don’t operate you die! You don’t do chemo you die! You take herbs — that’s unscientific and unproven! Quackery. In the USA, they call people like me, snake oil salesman!

Which do to prefer? Snake oil or chemo that may kill you?

Related stories

  1. Liver Cancer: 3 cm Tumour OUT, 8 cm Tumour IN After 9 Months and S$28,000-Surgery
  2. 8 cm Liver Tumour Shrunk After 8 Months On Herbs. Still Alive and Well After 2 Years
  3. Colon Cancer: My Chemo Experience

 

 

 

Gallbladder Stone to Stage 4 Liver Cancer: How is that possible? Would you like this to happen to your mother?

crocodile-2

 

This is a sad story, narrated by John (not real name) about his mother’s problem before her death.

CL was a 63-year-old lady. About six/seven months ago, she had abdominal pain and felt bloated. She went to a private hospital and the doctor did an MRI. She was told that it was due to stone in her gallbladder and had to be removed. CL underwent surgery immediately. This procedure cost RM 7,000.

Unfortunately, her problems did not go away. John started to consult some doctor friends who was told him that it was normal. After the surgery, the pains and bloating would not go away immediately. John also asked the doctor who did the surgery why the problems were not resolved. He answered, “There are so many other patients who had the same problems and they did not complain!” The doctor then prescribed medication of gastritis.

In October 2016, CL became very weak and started to vomit and went back to the same hospital again. A CT scan was done and the son was told that shadows in her liver. CL was referred to an oncologist in the same hospital and was told that it could be Stage 4 liver cancer.

Chris: When they removed the gallbladder, did they not check the liver as well?

John: I asked the doctor this question. The answers were: “We only focused on the gallbladder and not any other area during the first time. Also, MRI could not detect liver cancer as easily as the CT scan.”

The oncologist told John that this was a stage 4 cancer and CL had a maximum of 6 months. To confirm, a biopsy was done.

While in the hospital, CL continued to vomit and was put on drip. When she got better, she was discharged; went home and started to vomit again. CL became dizzy and John brought his mother back to the hospital again. The doctor did another MRI. This time he targeted the brain. There was nothing in her brain!

John was told that the cancer was very serious and CL had only 1 or 2 months to live. The oncologist proposed that CL try the oral drug, TS-One.

Chris: Did you take the TS-One?

John: No.

C: Did you ask if TS-One is  going to cure your mother?

J: I asked him that question and he did not answer my question. He only said, “Take the drugs for 2 weeks and come back and see me again. And we will see what happen.”

C: Did you ask how much this is going to cost you?

J: No, I did not ask but from the internet I understand that it is expensive.

C: People would tell you that at this point when the patient is at the last stage and is dying, we should not think about money. Money is not important. Do what is necessary. But I think money is important. You do not want to do things just for the sake of doing things — futile efforts with no chance of any positive results.

J: Money is important! But I understand that by giving her the drug, it is going to cause her more problems — the side effects would be severe. There is no quality of life.

(The above is just a gist of our conversation. For more detail, listen to the video carefully. CL died one week after this conversation).

Comments

It is really hard to swallow the idea that when they zoom in on the gallbladder, they could not see or know what is going on in the rest of the surrounding organs! Let’s try to understand a bit of basic anatomy.

The diagram below shows the gallbladder in relation to the liver and pancreas.

gallbladeer-liver

The MRI and CT images below show the gallbladder in relation to the liver and pancreas!

gallbladeer-liver-6

gallbladeer-liver-3

According to the images of subsequent careful examinations, we know that from the ultrasound of the abdomen LC had:

  • an ill defined 3.8 x3.3 x 2.5 cm mass in the left lobe of her liver.
  • an ill defined 5.9 x 5.8 x 4.9 cm mass in between the left lobe of liver and pancreas.

CT showed more tumours:

  • ill defined enhancing areas in segments 2,4,5 and 8 of her liver.
  • ill defined 2.3 x 2.1 cm enhancing areas in the anterior part of the body of the pancreas.

It is not for me to suggest that LC’s problem and subsequent death could be a result of incompetence, carelessness, wrong diagnosis or wrong treatment. It is up to you, those who know how to read, to figure that out. But for one, none of us would want such thing to happen to our own mother. Money gone, suffered and died!

How can we avoid such tragedy? My answer is: Be an empowered patient. Before you undergo any operation, seek a second or third opinion first! Don’t just immediately jump into any hole that you are asked to.

There are three more disturbing events which I think we can learn from this case.

  1. John was told that his mother had Stage 4 cancer, very serious and at most could live no more than 6 months (later reduced to 1 or 2 months). These were masses in her liver and pancreas. She needed a biopsy to confirm this. But, did she really need to do a biopsy? What benefit can a biopsy bring to LC?

Anyway, the USG and CT scan suggested cancer of the pancreas with liver metastasis. Then there is the results of her blood test below:

Total bilirubin 108 H
Direct bilirubin 82.3 H
Alanine transaminase 80 H
Alkalline phosphatase 318 H
Gamma glutamyltransferase 433 H
AST 98 H
CEA 9.9 H
CA 19.9 48,577.12 H

With the above blood test results, ask again: do we really need a biopsy to be performed on a dying person?

  1. LC went home after the biopsy. She started to vomit and later felt dizzy. MRI was ordered. Again, you would want to ask, is this necessary? What benefit can MRI of the brain bring to LC? Yes, there may be brain tumour. But so what if there was a brain tumour? What can we do about it?
  2. After the biopsy result confirmed metastasis to the liver and pancreas, the oncologist suggested LC try TS-One!

Smart of John to ask what TS-One can do for his mother. This is the classical example of the mantra,”Cannot cure but we have treatment.”

Wait a minute doctor, but what is TS-one actually used for? Is this for treating liver cancer and/or pancreatic cancer?

From the internet, we learn that TS-One Capsule is used for the treatment, control and prevention of stomach cancer! Was LC having stomach cancer?

Beside the money — having to pay for the expensive drug, you also need to know that you may be led to buy misery in the form of the following side effects.

side-effects-of-ts-one

Source: http://www.mims.com/singapore/drug/info/ts-one?type=full 

2-doctor-rob-and-kill-you

When I first read what Dr. Anton Chekhov wrote, I thought it was meant to be just a joke since he was also a dramatist besides being a doctor! Now, with the above story do you see what he wrote may not be a joke? Do you want this to happen to your mother?

The point we want to ask further is, can medical error happen? Yes, it can … more often than we care to admit. Read what Dr. Atul Gawanda and Dr. Paul Ruggieri wrote in their books.

 

11-atul-gawenda-doctor-make-mistakes 12-ruggieri-mistakes-by-surgeon

One patient sent me this note ….

1-doctor-mistakes-buried-in

 

 

 

Liver Cancer: Cultivate Gratitude Not Greed — Two years on herbs, okay; 6 months on medical treatments, dead

Jab was a long-standing hepatitis B carrier. He was a rather conscientious person and went for regular medical check-up. Everything was okay. Then in May 2013, CT scan showed a 7 x 6 x 6 cm tumour in segment 7 of his liver, suspicious of HCC (primary liver cancer).  His blood test showed low platelet count (124) but his liver function values were normal. His CEA, CA 125, CA19.9 CA 15.3 and PSA were all within normal range.

Not satisfied, Jab went to Singapore and did MRI. The result confirmed a mass lesion in segment 7 and 6 measuring 6.2x 6.2 x 5.3 cm — consistent with the presence of a large hepatoma.

Composite-1

Jab was still not satisfied and came to consult a doctor in Penang. He was prescribed BARACLUDE (entecavir), a drug commonly given to those with chronic hepatitis B. In addition, Jab was given medication for his heart.

According to the doctors Jab had an option to undergo surgery to remove the tumour. In this procedure 45% of his liver would be cut off. However, Jab was told that the cancer would recur within 2 years after the surgery. The procedure would cost SGD 45, 000 if done in Singapore. If done in Penang, it would cost RM 45,000 (three times cheaper!).

Jab refused surgery and came to seek our help and was started on liver herbs. He was doing fine. He looked fit and healthy. The only complaint he had was not being able to eat anything he liked!

On 18 October 2015  — about two years later, we got an e-mail from Jab’s son.

Dear Dr. Chris,

…. In April 2015, my father had decided to take up treatment in X Hospital in China. Some of the treatment are Interventional Therapy, Cryotherapy … 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 ascites developed in his body. The doctor … helped to drain the fluid, around 3.5 Litres.

On 23 October 2015, Jab’s son came and told us this sad story.

 

Report-1-edit Report-2-edit

Feb 23, 2016   Dear Dr. Chris,    

As my father has a very heavy ascites, from October until now already 4 times and the last 3 times are 6.5L, 6.5L and 4.5L (9  days from the third one).

The last 3 times, the liquid has blood color.

At this moment my father cannot walk and very slim, looks like left the skin covering the bones.

His food only in the form of liquid, each time around 100 to 150 ml. Few times a day.

Dr Chris, we truly believe God has plan for all of us but I still believe you can give me advise on what to do. I still can fly to Penang.

My father still can sit with our support and very soft spoken but his brain is still in superb condition and he is a fighter as he keeps trying to live as long as he can.

What can I do Dr. Chris? Any herbs can he take with his conditions?

Thank you.

Reply:  I have given you Ascites and Abdominal Distention teas — these are the only 2 teas I have …but if they are not effective, I really don’t know what else to do.

2  Mar 2016   Dear Dr Chris,

As of today, the doctor installed silicone piping for my father for liquid consumption.
13 March 2016  Dear Dr Chris,

My father has passed on. We want to thank you for your guidance during this time.

Comments 

We often tell patients, To die or to live and get well is your choice. So choose wisely!

This is a sad story. Jab had to spend SGD 60,000 only to suffer and died. He never get what he wanted. But he made that choice himself, even against the advice of his three sons.

Home run strike out Jerome

This is a story with many lessons if we are willing to listen and learn! But,  are patients prepared to learn? We are aware that what we are going to say here is not nice to hear. But for the sake of knowledge and also for the sake of those who want to learn, we are going to say it anyway. And we are going to say it as clearly as we can! No apology.

  1. Jab was with us for about two years and he was well, but this did not mean he was cured of his liver cancer. He led a normal, happy pain-free life. The only thing that he could not do was to eat anything he wanted! He had to abstain from “bad” food. From our experience, we know that when patients are half-dead, they will abide by our advice, but the moment that they become well, more often than not, they will complain about their dietary restriction. They wanted to eat what they like. Jab was no exception. Like most cancer patients, when they became well food became their problem! To make things worse, patients probably are encouraged by relatives, friends and their doctors that they can eat anything they like — after all, they are already well or looked thin, etc. etc.

8-Diet-must-be-integral-par

  1. With a 7 x 6 cm tumour in his liver, Jab ought to know that no one of earth can cure him. The three doctors that he consulted offered to cut off 45% of his liver. But this procedure was not going to cure him — he was told than the cancer can recur within two years. Two years is already a blessing, if indeed what is said is true! We have seen patients suffered recurrence or even died only months after surgery.

5-Patients-die-sooner-if-fo

  1. We understand, Jab was a conscientious person. We wanted the best for himself. He wanted a find cure for his incurable cancer. Unfortunately cancer treatment is more dangerous than going to a casino. In the casino at worse, you lose everything in your pocket. In cancer treatment, you not only lose your entire life’s saving but also your life!

 

2 Doctor-rob-and-kill-you

  1. It is indeed hard to convince patients to be contented and be happy with what they have or what they are. They always want more and more. All patients who come to us, expect us to cure them! They ask for the impossible. Listen to the advice of this professor.

6 Cancer-incurable-Jew-prof

  1. In cancer healing, we have to learn to be grateful for what we are and what we have. This is probably the only way we can stay happy from day to day. Cultivate gratitude, not greed! It is hard to make patients understand this. To most of them, it has to be fight and fight all the way to the grave. No, at CA Care we never tell you to fight — we tell you to learn how to live with your cancer! We ask you to tell you cancer, If I die, you will die too. So let’s have a win-win situation. You live in there but don’t disturb me and we all live together happily. Of course, many people may think we are talking “rubbish”.  May be true, but what other option do you have?

2 All-die-but-learn-to-live-w

11 Cannot-cure-everything-deat

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer Recurred After Liver Surgery: The same story again and again!

In the past few weeks, three liver cancer patients came to seek our help. These are their stories and we hope readers and patients can learn from their tragic experiences.

Case 1

Patient is a 66-year-old man from Singapore. He did not have any symptoms. His liver function was normal but a CT scan in September 2014, showed he had liver problems. Patient was referred to a liver specialist in a government hospital. MRI was done and on 26 February 2015, patient underwent a laparoscopic liver resection of segments 5, 6, 7 and 8 of his liver. At the same time, he also had a cholecystectomy (removal of gallbladder).

Histopathology report confirmed a hepatoceullular carcinoma (HCC).

Five months later, 14 July 2015, MRI showed new foci of the HCC seen in segments 7 and 2/3 of the liver. The cancer had recurred.

In August 2015, patient underwent a second liver surgery. This time it was a wedge resection of segments 6 and 7 of his liver. At the same time FRA (radiofrequency ablation) was performed onthe tumour in segment 2/3.

Three months later, 13 November 2015, MRI showed the cancer had come back again — “interval progression of disease with numerous bilobar foci of HCC in the remnant liver.”

Patient was told another surgery was not an option anymore. He could go for TACE (transarterial chemoembolization) or a liver transplant.

Patient and his son came to seek our opinion. We told the patient: “If you come here expecting us to cure you, then we are sorry to say that we have no magic bullet to cure you!”  Patient went home disappointed.

Case 2

Patient is a 73-year-old Malaysian. Sometime in December 2014, he had jaundice. A CT scan showed his liver was really bad.

CompositeOoi

On 29 January 2015 patient underwent surgery in a government hospital. His gallbladder was removed. Segment 3, 4B and left lateral section of his liver were also removed.

Histopathology report confirmed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with foci of angioinvasion.

Two months later, March 2015, a CT scan showed a few spots in his liver. The doctor suspected recurrence.

A CT scan on 1 December 2015, showed “innumerable arterially enhancing nodules seen in both lobes of liver. Disease in progression.”

Patient was referred to a private hospital in Penang and was offered to participate in Phase 3 Clinical Trial — Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)  versus Sorafenib.

Sorafenib (also known as Nexavar) is a so called targeted oral chemo drug. Normally it cost RM 15,000 to 20,000 per month. The SIRT (radiation) would normally cost RM 50,000.

Can the above treatments cure patients? This patient was told it would just prolong life. Prolong for how long? No one does not seem to know! Patient was also told that he “qualifies” to participate in this clinical trial, Nexavar would be provided to him for free but he was pre-warned about the following side effects of Nexavar.

Case 3

Patient is a 67-year-old Malaysian. On 16 December 2014, he had biliary sepsis (infection of the bile duct which is generally followed by obstruction of the bile duct). A biliary sphincterotomy was performed (Sphincterotomy is a complex procedure…. involves deep cannulation of the bile duct followed by severance of the sphincter of Oddi with the electrocautery).

Unfortunately, his problem persisted. On 29 January 2015, his blood test returned the following results.

Globulin 40     H
Alkaline phosphatase 135   H
ALT 46     H
GGT 363   H
AST 46     H
CA 19.9 85.17  H

A CT scan on 20 February 2015, showed an ill-defined hypodense lesion in the left lobe of the liver and para-aortic lymphadenopathy. Findings are suggestive of cholangocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) and bile duct obstruction.

Blood test on 23 February 2015 showed his condition had deteriorated.

Total bilirubin 239.8  H
Direct bilirubin 169.0  H
Indirect bilirubin 70.8    H
Alkaline phosphatase 245  H
ALT 91    H
GGT 666  H
AST 92    H
CA 19.9 85.17  H

On 23 February 2015, patient underwent another operation — a left hemihepatectomy and radical choledochectomy (removal of a portion of the common bile duct).

2

1

 

Everything seemed to work well for a while. Patient returned to his surgeon for routine check-up every 3 months. Unfortunately, 9 months later, the cancer started to recur in his liver again.

A CT scan on 7 December 2015 stated: There are “at least 9 low attenuation lesions in the right lobe of the liver, largest at anterior segment 8 measuring 4.1 x 3.8 cm. These could be due to recurrent tumour and metastases.

Patient spent RM 74,910 (covered by medical insurance) for the above failed treatment.

Like the patient of Case 2, this patient was referred to the same oncologist and was offered the following options:

  1. Sorafinib or Nexavar
  2. TACE – transaterial chemoembolization
  3. SIRT (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy).

Daughter Told About CA Care

While flying from Penang to Singapore, the patient’s daughter was seated next to an Indonesian lady who is our patient. During their casual conversation, the patient’s daughter came to know about CA Care. As a result, father and daughter came to seek our help and decided not to pursue further medical treatment.

Comment

For the treatment of HCC, Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 15th Edition, page 589 says:

  • Surgical resection offers the only chance for cure; however, few patients have a resectable tumour at the time of presentation.
  • Randomized trials have NOT shown a survival advantage after chemoembolization.
  • The liver cannot tolerate high doses of radiation.
  • The disease is not responsive to chemotherapy.

If there is a tumour in the liver, the answer is probably “CUT it out”. But take note that cutting does not necessarily cure your cancer because in the first place it is not suitable for cutting — it could be too big in size or the cancer has already spread too extensively. But cutting seems to be the only sensible option.  And many patients, like the above cases, have gone through it. Disaster.

One important aspect of liver surgery which you should know is that, as in the above cases, the cancer can come back again 3 to 9 months after an apparently “successful surgery.”  Patient No: 2 spent RM 75,000 for the operation and 9 months later, 9 new lesions were found in his liver.

After surgery has failed, patients are offered the next “useless” line of defence — Go for TACE, i.e. chemoembolization, radiation or chemotherapy. The above medical textbook says, all these are not effective.

Reflect on these Quotations

Insanity both

5 Ssurgery come back again

 

 

 

 

 

Xeloda for Liver Cancer: Is that the best treatment possible? What do you expect to achieve?

KDL is a 55-year-old Indonesian lady. For the past 10 years she had been having problems of “wind” in her abdomen. She consulted doctors for this problem and was prescribed medications. Unfortunately these did not solve her problems.

Eventually in June 2014, KDL went to a hospital in Johor. The doctor did a scope and found nothing! She was again prescribed medications but they were not effective.

In November 2014, KDL went to a private hospital in Melaka. A CT scan was done. The findings were:

  • Multiple liver nodules in both lobes, predominantly right lobe. The largest is 3.3 x 3.4 cm in segment 8.
  • Extensive intra-abdominal adenopathies involving porta, coeliac and para-aortic nodes — largest being 1.2 x 1.6 cm, in retropancreatic region.
  • Normal gallbladder configuration is not demonstrated. Hetergenous wall thickening seen.

Conclusion: CT features of gallbladder raises the possibility of GB malignancy with metastatic liver nodules and intra-abdominal adenopathies.

No surgery was indicated. KDL was prescribed an oral chemo-drug, Xeloda. This cost her RM 2,400 per cycle. A cycle consisted of taking 5 tablets per day for 2 weeks followed by a week of rest.

One year later, 27 July 2015, a CT scan was done and the result showed:

  • Several heterogenous hypodense nodules in bilateral lobes — largest is 4 x 4 x 3.5 cm in segment 8. (note: this has grown bigger).

An X-ray of the chest showed:

  • Several ill defined lung opacities of sizes from a few mm to 15 mm.
  • A 2 cm right hilar opacity also seen.

Impression: Suspicious of lung and right hilar secondaries.

Blood test showed:

CEA 135.0 (High)
CA 125 388.0 (High)
CA 19.9 179.0 (High)

 

KDL said that after a year of taking Xeloda her condition became worse!

  • She developed sleeping difficulties.
  • Her stomach was very uncomfortable, with “wind” moving around.
  • Her backbone felt numb / sore.

Comments

This is indeed a very sad story — and is this also a story of bad management?

Why bad management?

  • KDL has been having “wind” problems for the past 10 years. Why was her problem not correctly diagnosed in spite of her consulting the doctors even at an early stage?
  • One lesson we can learn from this case is, If you go to your doctor and was told that there is nothing wrong — please know that you may be in trouble later! That is, if after taking the doctor’s medication the problem still persisted. Again, don’t take “NO problem” as a good answer. Go and find 2 or 3 more doctors who may be able to do a better job.
  • Her stomach “wind” problems could be an early sign that something serious was coming. Could it be problems related to the pancreas? stomach or colon? or ovary? But, at the early stage, no one bothered to properly diagnose her — only prescribing drugs after drugs which did not work.
  • KDL’s problem was left to simmer for too long. Then 10 years later, someone decided to do a CT scan. Why wait for 10 years to do a scan? By that time it was too late, it was already a disaster.

Liver composite

After the CT scan the doctor could not do much, except to offer KDL Xeloda, which she faithfully took for a year. Xeloda made her worse off — physically and financially!

The question we may want to pose is: What can Xeloda do for KDL? Realistically, what do you expect to achieve from consuming Xeloda? Would Xeloda do more harm than good?

Would it not be better if the doctor just send KDL home without any medication? To most people —  patients, their family members and doctors — this suggestion may sound ridiculous, “madness” and unacceptable. But hang on, read this article and see if you can learn anything from it.

People die from chemo

Source: http://www.weeklyhealthylife.com/horrifying-professor-from-berkely-college-says-people-do-not-die-from-cancer-people-die-from-chemotherapy-and-in-terrible-pain/

For 25 years, the professor was studying the effects of chemotherapy and came to a horrifying conclusion!

The cancer industry is just an industry after all! Doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders in this industry profit whenever a patient accepts the toxic treatment that is chemotherapy, radiation or surgery …. despite the claims from the medical industry that chemotherapy does not work in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Hardin B. Jones, a former professor of medical physics and physiology at the University of California, Berkeley, has studied the life expectancy of cancer patients for more than 25 years, when he concluded that chemotherapy does not work.

He testified that chemotherapy patients often die a horrible death. They also died much faster and more painful than patients who opted for a different approach. What he found was that chemotherapy actually shortened the life and killed patients, and everything is kept secret because of the millions of dollars in play!

“People who refused chemotherapy treatment live an average of 12 and a half years longer than the people who are receiving chemotherapy,” Dr. Johns said in his study published in the New York Academy of Sciences. “People who accept chemotherapy die within 3 years, and many just a few weeks after starting the treatment.” “Patients with breast cancer who reject conventional therapy live four times longer than those who follow the system. This is something you will not hear in the mass media that will continue to spread the myth that chemotherapy is the best medicine to fight cancer!”

Modern medicine hides the truth about cancer therapy. One treatment costs 300000-1000000$! That is why it continues offering chemotherapy to cancer patients. Chemotherapy does not remove cancer nor extend the life. It just burdens the body so much that the patients eventually die from it.

After putting full faith in the doctors, KDL and her family finally realised that it was a big mistake. KDL stopped taking Xeloda. KDL’s son started to surf the net and found CA Care. Then the family came to Penang in late October 2015 to seek our help.

 

 

When KDL came into our centre, I asked if she had a “stroke” before. She said, No. But since the past 2 weeks, she was not able to lift up her left arm. She walked dragging her left leg. Her walk was unstable. One question came to mind, Has her cancer gone to her brain? An X-ray on 27 July 2015, showed lung metastasis. Or, could Xeloda have caused a blood clot leading to a stroke — could this be the reason why she presented as such?

We discussed the possibility of a brain metastasis. To know for sure, a CT or MRI of the brain may be indicated. But, what is the use of spending more money just to know if there is something in the brain? Okay, after the scan, can anyone cure her? There are enough tumours in KDL’s liver and lungs to worry about anyway.

Since herbs are not poisonous like chemo-drugs, KDL was given teas for her liver, lungs and brain. We told her: Let’s see what happen after a month.

Lack of Knowledge

When KDL and her family came to see us, we understood why she was “neglected” and left in such a limbo. She and her family were not educated. They trusted their doctors and have full faith in them. They did not know how to ask questions. They were clueless about their problem. They believed KDL was given the “best” treatment.

Indeed we felt very sorry for KDL and her family.

Let us repeat what we have always said to patients. Please read and learn. If you choose to know nothing about your health and put your full belief and trust that others can help you, know that you may end up “a dead duck.” So, patients, please empower yourself. But in KDL’s case, we understood. She was not educated. She was helpless and naive. She needed help. 

Another case: Xeloda did not stop recurrence of colon cancer 

As we were dealing with KDL case, a friend dropped by our centre. He is 70 years old and was diagnosed with rectosigmoid cancer in October 2014. He underwent a surgery and the histopathology report indicated a Duke Stage B cancer with no spread to the nodes or other parts of the body. The patient was given Xeloda which he took faithfully.

Barely a year later, October 2015, the cancer recurred. The patient underwent another surgery. The histopathology report confirmed a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma of the colon, recurrent in the abdominal wall.

This patient took Xeloda, but was Xeloda useful for him? It did not stop the cancer from coming back. Our friend decided not to undergo further chemotherapy and came to us for help. 

What is Xeloda?

1

This is the “in thing” drug of today, being prescribed to patients with various cancers. Let me give you what they say about Xeloda in the net.

Xeloda is its brand name.  Its generic name is Capecitabine. It is used to treat advanced metastatic breast cancer, colon cancer, and many other cancers.

Xeloda is taken as a pill and when inside the body is converted to 5-FU (5-fluorouracil). Since 1957 – 1980s researchers and doctors were experimenting and treating cancer with 5-FU. Therefore 5-FU is actually an old drug, used to treat colon and rectal cancer, breast cancer, anal, esophageal, pancreas and gastric (stomach) cancer, head and neck cancer, liver cancer, ovarian cancer, etc. This is given as injection, not taken orally like Xeloda.

So it reality, 5-FU is an old drug. But Xeloda is considered a “newer drug” although it is the same old thing. So can we say that Xeloda is like an old wine packed in a new bottle?

Another drug which is like Xeloda is UFT (tegafur plus uracil). UFT is not popularly prescribed yet but perhaps one day someone may decide to make it as popular as Xeloda and push it for cancer treatment.

Why is Xeloda popularly prescribed?

I think it is because it is easy to use. Just send patients home and ask them to swallow the pill and you get 5-FU inside the body. Before Xeloda, drug like 5-FU, had to be given as an injection. So there is a lot of hassle. Also, chemo-injection has already earned a “notorious” reputation of causing adverse side effects. So, giving patients a new “form” of the same drug perhaps would be a better strategy. Most patients may not even know that Xeloda is a chemo-drug anyway!  So, the treatment  would not sound as scary as the dreaded “chemotherapy.”

The one most important question to ask is, Can 5-FU or Xeloda cure cancer?

Well, if it is effective people would not die of cancer then.

We got to know 5-FU since the 1990s. Two of our patients who had colon cancer were treated with 5-FU. They died. Even today, as you can see from the above stories, patients who took Xeloda did not get any cure. 

Side effects of Xeloda` 

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Hand -foot syndrome -skin rash, swelling, redness, pain and/or peeling of the skin on the palms of hands and soles of feet. Usually mild, start as early as 2 weeks after start of treatment.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dermatitis
  • Elevated liver enzymes (increased bilirubin levels)
  • Poor appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Low white blood cell count.
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Low platelet count.
  • Mouth sores
  • Numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Eye irritation (watery eyes, inflammation of the eyelids, redness).
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Chest, back, muscle, joint, bone pain
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia (sleep disturbances)
  • Excessive sleepiness, confusion, very rare seizures
  • Dehydration
  • Cough
  • Blood clots (Blood clots rarely can lead to pulmonary embolus or stroke)
  • Loss of balance
  • Nail changes, darkening of the skin
  • Taste changes

(Reflect on what happened to KDL after taking Xeloda for a year. Take note of the side effects written in red)

Yes, doctors who prescribe Xeloda would say this drug will do you a lot of good. So, go ahead and believe them and hope for the best!

Here are other views on Xeloda that I got from the internet.

 Xeloda killed my mother: http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/rxlist_view_comments.asp?drug=xeloda&questionid=fdb7906_pem

  • Xeloda killed my mother. She died on December 27th, 2007, ten weeks after starting a Xeloda regimen. She was 83, and she was in very good shape before beginning her treatment, in spite of the presence of secondary liver cancer (breast cancer metastasis). The drug destroyed the lining of her digestive system, and allowed a combination of bacterial infections to attack and kill a portion of her small intestine. She was within hours of death when emergency surgery repaired her intestine on 11/24/07. It appeared as though she would recover from her surgery, but she contracted pneumonia while hospitalized, and her system was too weak to fight back. I am heartbroken. I don’t want my mother’s death to prevent others from seeking proper treatment, but everyone should be aware of the dangers presented by bacterial infections that could cause major damage while this drug is being administered. James W. Moore jim@ed2c.com

Side effects of Xeloda

  • I have been taking Xeloda for over 6 months. My side effects began with very much pain in every part of my body … I have developed hand-foot syndrome. I’ve lost all the skin of the bottoms of my feet and I’m now my hands are peeling. My feet and hands are very sensitive to anything with a texture. I even have trouble opening a water bottle. Sometimes I want to stick my feet in buckets of ice! …. I just recently developed severe eye irritation which I brushed off as bad contacts or pollen in my eyes. I finally went to my eye doctor and he found severe eye irritation and swelling in my cornea. After speaking with a corneal specialist, he determined it was the result of taking Xeloda.
  • I have been on Xeloda for 3 years. I have the cancer cells in my left lung and spine, hip and left leg bones. Stage 4. Some new growth in the bones but no new growth in the left lung and no fluid build-up. I also have the hand and foot symptoms and sometimes I cannot walk and my hands are so smooth and sore I can’t even hold an envelope. Wear gloves most of the time and us a cane. BUT, life does not stop and neither should you. I still travel air, sea and land. And I have lots of praying friends and family. I have also changed my diet. NO SUGAR and very little meat mostly vegetables and fruit, organic if I can. Go till the Lord calls you home.
  • Xeloda is sort of an odd drug. For most people, it is viewed as an “easy” drug which is quite effective.  For others, including me, it is more problematic.  Usually, side effects start appearing in 7 – 10 days.  For me, they start getting bad on about day 10 and it lasts through day 21, getting slightly better, but never going completely away, depending on the particular side effect.
  • The most common side effect is … hand and foot syndrome … Hand and foot syndrome with Xeloda is the redness and tenderness of the hands and feet. With me, I slough off skin, bit sheets of skin on my hands and feet.  They become tender, and have a burning sensation.  In addition, they swell and feel tight. It is not unusual for the heels, toes and sides of the feet to develop deep fissures or cracks. Up to 60% of the patients taking Xeloda suffer from this, and it varies in severity.
  • When I first started taking the correct dosage of 4,000 mg a day … two weeks on and one week off, I had massive issues. I had diarrhea, gas, nausea, and constipation (yes, even while I had the diarrhea), dehydration, dry eyes, dry mouth (cotton mouth), cramping, stomach pain, loss of appetite.  It was severe enough that the oncologist backed it off to 3,000 mg. a day That took care of the most severe problems–the nausea, and diarrhea and stomach pain.
  • With 3,000 mg. a day, I still have: periodic constipation, hand and foot syndrome, vision changes (dry eyes which makes things sort of hard to focus on), dry mouth/cotton mouth, lack of taste, toxicity rash (the rash you see in the bottom picture which can also blister and tear easily…I call them my toxicity evening gloves), thinning hair (boy is this one annoying! I just got hair back and then I started to lose it again!), sensitivity to the sun, higher blood pressure than I usually do, discoloration of my nails and the worsening of a nail fungus, fatigue, anemia, heart burn. My feet also often get little blood blisters, which my onc says is probably because my skin is so thin…you bump it, and then you get a blister.  Fortunately, I only had mouth sores (stomatitis) once.
  • I had breast cancer in 2000 which had spread to my spine in one of my vertebrae. I was prescribed Xeloda by my oncologist. Despite the severe side effects of hands and feet going red, blisters in my mouth and skin disorders, the oncologist insisted on this drug. I decided to terminate the use within 11 weeks. I am now experiencing numbness in both my hands, swelling and stiffness in all the joints of my hands. I believe patients should be warned about these side effects so that they understand the risks involved in taking such severe treatments. These side effects may take six months or even a year to appear.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drugreview-7906-Xeloda+Oral.aspx?drugid=7906&drugname=Xeloda+Oral

http://www.cancernetwork.com/review-article/infusional-5-fu-historical-evolution-rationale-and-clinical-experience#sthash.qo9g7xhu.dpuf

To round up, here are the links to stories of some patients who came to us after taking Xeloda.

  1. Breast Cancer: Surgery, Chemo, Radiation and Hormonal Therapy Did Not Cure Her. Xeloda made her miserable! Patient, Only You Should Decide What You Want To Do!

 2. Breast Cancer: Surgery, Chemo, Tamoxifen and Xeloda failed her!

  1. Leo was not convinced that Xeloda would do him any good. He had fevers and diarrhea. In addition he vomited and had pains around the colostomy stoma after taking Xeloda. https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2013/12/25/dissecting-chemotherapy-15-couldnt-afford-avastin-gave-up-xeloda/

 

 

Liver Cirrhosis (& problems with the pancreas?): Two Years On, Still Doing Fine

SS (s-406) is a 61-year-old Indonesian. Sometime in 2011, he had to be hospitalized. Something was wrong. Fluid accumulated in his abdomen and this had to be tapped out.  In 2012, he landed in the hospital again, twice. In February 2013, he again had to go into the hospital to have fluid tapped out of his abdomen.

In July 2013, SS came to seek our help. Since then, he need not go to the hospital anymore!

What was wrong with SS?

An utrasound on 16 May 2013 showed a 8.9 x 6.6 cm mass in his pancreas.  And he had fatty liver.

A follow-up CT scan the next day showed liver cirrhosis with:

  • ascites (accumulation of fluid –usually serous fluid which is a pale yellow and clear fluid — in the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity. Ascitic fluid can have many sources such asliver disease, cancers, congestive heart failure, or kidney failure).
  • cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder).
  • cholangitis (infection of the biliary tract with the potential to cause significant morbidity and mortality), and
  • pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

Composite

 

The report said: tidak terlihat nodul /massa atau lesi fokal (no nodule or mass seen).

So, how can we make out of this case with two conflicting imaging reports?

SS was prescribed herbs for his liver and pancreas and was told to keep to a healthy diet.

Listen to the video clips below.

 

 

April 2014: Almost a year on CA Care Therapy, SS said he was far better off than before!

September 2015: According to his niece, SS is doing find fine up to this day. Since on CA Care Therapy he need not have to go back to the hospital anymore. SS had just came back from a holiday in Bali. Chris: Thank God for this!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Liver Cancer: You are still around? It’s a miracle

Ben (not real name), 65-year-old Indonesian, first came to see us in 2013. This is what was written in his medical report dated 13 August 2013.

The above named gentleman first came to see me at Z Hospital on 12 August 2013 with a presenting history of abnormal liver enzymes. Of note, he is a known case of chronic hepatitis C infection (since 2000), diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, old stroke and post cholecystectomy. He also has allergy to penicillin.

Laboratory investigations, ultrasound abdomen and CT scan abdomen were done for further evaluation.

Ultrasound Abdomen dated 13 August 2013

  1. Finding suggestive of liver cirrhosis, associated with multicentric hepatoma. The large mass in right lobe liver is 8.4 x 7.2 cm. There are also multiple smaller nodular lesions in right lobe liver, which are about 1.0 cm to 2.0 cm. A calcification in right lobe liver.
  2. The spleen is enlarged, 14.5 cm.
  3. Small right renal cysts.

CT Abdomen and Pelvis dated 13 August 2013

  1. Multiple enhancing masses seen at the liver. The largest one measures 6.9 cm x 7.4 cm.
  2. Liver cirrhosis with portal hypertension.
  3. The spleen is enlarged measuring 14.8 cm.
  4. Small right renal cyst, 0.9 cm x 1.5 cm.
  5. Prostate is enlarged measuring 4.9 cm x 6.1 cm with no focal lesion seen.

Composite

Mr. Ben was diagnosed to have the following medical problems:

1) Chronic hepatitis C infection with chronic active hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension (splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia and trasaminitis).

2) Multicentric hepatomas.

3) Post cholecystectomy.

4) Right renal cyst.

5) Diabetes mellitus.

6) Hypertension.

7) Old stroke.

He is currently on the following medications:

1) Legalon

2) Propronolol

I have advised him to seek early treatment from Consultant Oncologist in view of further treatment of his multi-centric hepatomas (i.e. TACE or RFA).

Based on the above, the doctor told Ben the following:

  1. Liver transplantation would be impossible due to his age.
  2. Liver surgery may be an option.
  3. He needed to undergo chemotherapy.

Ben refused further medical treatment and came to seek our help.

One Year Seven Months Later

Ben came to see again in late April 2015, one year seven months later.  He had gone to see his doctor and did a CT scan.

CT Abdomen and Pelvis 28 April 2015

  1. There are multiple enhancing masses seen at the right lobe of the liver. The largest one measures 10.5 cm x 15.4 cm seen at segment 6 of the liver. There are two small calcifications seen at the left lobe of liver.
  2. Spleen is enlarged with greatest diameter measures 14.5 cm.
  3. Prostate is slightly enlarged with greatest diameter measures 4.3 cm x 6.2 cm.

With much “satisfaction” in his face Ben told us:

  • Ben: When I saw my doctor yesterday, he shook hands with me twice!
  • Wife said: The doctor commented, “You are still around?” (implying that Ben should have been dead by now). According to the doctor, among his patients, in cases like this, the longest survival time was only 9 months.
  • B: Generally by 3 to 6 months they were gone. When I first saw him almost 2 years ago, I was given only two months to live.
  • Chris: Does he know what you are doing.
  • B: I told him I am on herbs.
  • C: Was he angry because you were taking herbs?
  • B & Wife: No, no. He said, “Good, go on with the herbs.”
  • B: The doctor said, “It is a miracle.”
  • C: Yes, at CA Care we see miracles every week! This is NOT something unusual. Thank God for this blessing.

Listen to our conversation that day.

Comments

Ask these questions.

  1. Almost two years now, Ben is still alive and well. Why? He was entirely on the herbs — no chemo at all (that was the only option he had). What does that tell you? Herbs are not proven? Hocus pocus?
  2. What about those who did medical treatment? Maximum of 9 months and they were dead? Even from Ben’s own experience, his many friends were gone after medical treatment. Ben told us he has a doctor friend (trained in Germany) who was very impressed with his progress. The doctor even asked for CA Care’s address!
  3. Sometimes, we tend to think that people who go for herbs and forsake scientific medical treatments are dumb fools, deficient in knowledge and uneducated. NO, that is a wrong presumption! Generally those who come to CA Care are well educated people. Like the case of Ben, he was once the President of a university! He knew what he was going into.

 

Have a new liver anyone?

Can do, if you have RMB 1 million

In July 2014, two patients came to seek our help. Patient One is 63 years old. Patient Two is 51 years old. Both are Indonesian males. They knew each other while staying in a hospital in China. Both had liver cancer and they went to China to undergo a liver transplantation procedure. Unfortunately both did not find a cure after spending RMB 1 million (per person) for their treatment. Both came to us after their cancer recurred.

Medical history

Patient One: He had hepatitis about 15 years ago. In 2010, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He went to Singapore and had TACE (Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization). Unfortunately the treatment did not help him.

In 2012, he underwent a liver transplantation in China. He waited for a month to get a donor. In total, Patient One stayed in the hospital for 90 days. The procedure cost him RMB 1 million. As a follow-up, he was given immune suppressing drugs, not chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Patient One was well for about 6 months. Unfortunately, on his third follow-up in October 2013, he was told the cancer had spread to his lungs. Patient One went to Singapore for help and was prescribed Sorafenat (a genetic Sorafenib or Nexavar). He was on this drug for about 6 months. In the first month on Sorafenat, he had blisters on his head.

In February 2014, Patient One came to Penang for more opinion. He was again told by the doctor to take Nexavar and at the same time do a biopsy. He refused.

Patient One came to seek our help in July 2014.

Patient Two: He was told that he had hepatitis B in 1985. He received about 100 injections of interferon every 3 weeks. Unfortunately, the treatment failed. By 2011, his hepatitis developed into liver cirrhosis and full blown cancer. He underwent TACE and RFA (radiofrequency ablation) in Singapore. Both treatments failed.

Patient Two went to China in March 2012 and underwent a liver transplantation procedure. He stayed in the Chinese hospital for 90 days.

In November 2013, on follow-up, Patient Two was told everything was fine. But in January 2014, his alpha-fetoprotein started to increase and was 49.9. Follow up CT/MRI/PET scan in Singapore showed a tumour in his liver and another tumour near his heart. In short, his cancer had recurred and even spread to his heart.

In February 2014, he underwent RFA again for his liver lesion.

In May 2014, he underwent a surgery to remove the tumour on the surface of his heart.

In July 2014, CT scan revealed 2 new lesions in his liver and the tumour near the heart had infiltrated into the heart muscle.

His alfa-fetoprotein had increased from 49.9 to 110 plus and then to 159.6. In August 2014, it was at 161.5. The doctor told Patient Two that he could not do anything more.

On his own initiative Patient Two continued to take these drugs: Prograf, Everolimus, Baraclude and the generic Nexavar from India. After taking the Indian “Nexavar” for 2 months he had diarrhoea and his skin peeled.

Patient Two started to take herbal teas and herbal tablets. He also tried the “Terapi Rompi” for 5 months. In July 2014,  he came to Penang to seek our help. 

Sweet Statistics from the Net

We made a google search using this phase, liver transplantation survival rate. Here are some of the results.

Survival rates after liver transplant

  • Four thousand consecutive patients who underwent liver transplantation between February 1981 and April 1998 were included in this analysis and were followed up to March 2000. The overall patient survival for the entire cohort was 59%. Between 1967 and 1980, 170 liver transplants were performed at the University of Colorado, with a 1-year survival rate of 30%.Between 1968 and 1983, 138 liver transplants were performed in Cambridge (UK), with similarly poor outcomes.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1421181/

Transplant Patients with Hepatitis or Cancer

  • For patients with hepatitis C, recurrence of the hepatitis causing damage to the new liver is the most common reason for the new liver to fail. This can happen over many years, but in rare cases, it can also occur within the first few months.
  • Patients withliver cancer can experience recurrence of the cancer after transplant, even if the initial cancer was small. Small tumors (micrometastases) may be present outside the liver at the time of transplant that are not visible on imaging tests. These can grow and cause symptoms later. Fortunately, recurrence is uncommon after transplantation (there is about a 30 percent risk of recurrence) if patients have early-stage liver cancer (Stage I or II).
  • Patients with hepatitis B can also experience recurrence, but much less commonly than with hepatitis C. http://www.montefiore.org/gastroenterology-liver-center-transplant-longterm-success

Who Are Not Candidates for a Liver Transplant?

  • Not all patients are appropriate candidates for liver transplantation … patients with cirrhosis and decompensated liver disease and those with cancer that has spread outside of the liver. http://transplant.surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/liver-transplantation.aspx
  • Liver transplantation definitively cures a patient of HCC, provided that the tumor has not spread beyond the liver. http://transplant.surgery.ucsf.edu/about-us.aspx
  • Not all liver cancers can be treated by liver transplantation. Only small, early tumours have an acceptable chance at success. Liver transplantation is not suitable for everyone, so all potential transplant patients must be carefully assessed.
  • Can there be a recurrence of the original disease in the transplanted liver? Often, the original disease can return and cause similar liver damage. For example, a liver transplant for hepatitis C does not eradicate the illness. In many cases, the virus will re-affect the liver within one year. http://www.liver.ca/liver-disease/liver-transplants/how-do-transplants-work/

We started to refine our search to: liver cancer and  liver transplantation success rate. The rosy statistics started to become more bleak and blur!

  • The numbers below come from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, and are based on patients who were diagnosed with liver cancer (hepatocellular type) between 2003 and 2009.
Stage 5-year Relative Survival Rate
Localized 28%
Regional 7%
Distant 2%

Dr Vinay Kumaran, Head of the Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai tells us all about liver transplants. 

Are there many cases where a transplant cannot be done even if a patient needs one? 

A transplant cannot be done unless there is a donor. In most cases there is a living donor from the family who volunteers to undergo an operation to remove part of the liver which is transplanted into the patient. Occasionally, the family of a brain dead patient agrees to donate the organs but this is quite rare.

Can liver be taken from cadavers too like the eyes?

Yes, in a very specific situation. The cadaver should be a person who has died of brain damage (head injury, stroke, etc) and is on a ventilator at the time of death. The heart continues to beat for some time after brain death and we can continue to ventilate the lungs and give medicines to maintain blood pressure and nutrition. As long as adequate blood flow and oxygen delivery can be maintained to the other organs of the cadaver, they can be removed and transplanted with the permission of the next of kin.

What is the rate of success of a liver transplant?

A liver transplant can be said to be successful when the patient returns to a normal productive life. The success rate is about 85-90% at one year after transplant and about 75% 5 years after transplant. Some patients will have a recurrence of their disease, side effects of the medicines, complications of the transplant etc. hence the difference.

What are the side/after effects of getting a liver transplant? What is the rate of rejection? 

The patient has to be on medicines to prevent rejection for the rest of their life. This increases somewhat their risk of getting infections and such infections have to be recognized and treated. There is also a higher than usual risk of cancer over their lifetimes, predominantly skin cancers. The medicines have side effects including a risk of kidney problems, diabetes and blood pressure over the years at a higher rate than the normal populations. In general, the life of a liver transplant patient is similar to that of a patient with a chronic but controllable medical condition like high blood pressure in that periodic (once in 3 months long term) checkups and adjustment of medication is required. Episodes of rejection occur in 10 to 30% of patients who have undergone a liver transplant.

http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/liver-transplants-frequently-asked-questions-answered-by-a-renowned-liver-transplant-surgeon/

Lessons to Learn

Patient One told us, “I had to sell one house to pay for my medical bills.” We asked him, “Did you ever ask the doctor if the liver transplantation would cure your cancer?” No, he did not ask that most important question!

By sharing this story with you, it is our hope that patients can learn some lessons from the experiences of others. You need not have to travel the same road that they did!

So, Lesson One: Patients, know what you are doing – ask where you are going? What are your chances? You don’t want to do things just to end up being a looser later.

Lesson Two, don’t be misled by deceptive sweet statistics. Read a bit more and learn. When we started reading, it was great to know that survival of liver transplant patients could be up to 80 to 90 percent! Fantastic! But hang on, is that for patients with liver cancer? According to the SEER database, survival for those with distant metastasis is only 2 percent! So ask, is liver transplantation suitable for you?

Lesson Three: Your chance of success is only good if you have early stage liver cancer – which has not spread anywhere. In the above two cases, what do you think are their chances? If you were one of them, would you go for a liver transplant?

Beware and reflect on these quotations.

5 High-tech-mentality

4 Oncology-all-about-money

8 cm Liver Tumour Shrunk After 8 Months On Herbs. Still Alive and Well After 2 Years

About a year ago, we documented the story of AS in our posting,  Liver Cancer: 3 cm Tumour OUT, 8 cm Tumour IN After 9 Months and S$28,000-Surgery.

Briefly these were what happened to AS.

  • He underwent a cholecystectomy on 31 December 2011 in Indonesia due to gallstones. During the open surgery the surgeon also did a liver biopsy for suspicious liver lesions.
  • AS went to Singapore for a second opinion. A review of his biopsy tissues showed poorly differentiated liver tumour.
  • PET/CT scan revealed a mass in the left lobe of his liver, measuring 3.2 x 2.6 cm
  • AS subsequently underwent a liver surgery in Singapore.
  • CT scan on 16 August 2012 showed no evidence of recurrent HCC.
  • However, PET/SC scan on 11 March 2013 revealed recurrent HCC with mass measuring           0 x 4.8 cm.
  • Trans-arterial chemoembolization (TACE) of the liver tumour was attempted but failed.
  • With no other option left, the doctor suggested chemotherapy or Nexavar.
  • AS promptly rejected chemo and came to seek our help on 14 April 2013.
  • His alpha feto-protein on 15 April 2013 was at 1,064.

Video 1: Liver tumour: Surgery and TACE failed.

 

 

The question we all wish to ask is, What happened to AS after taking the herbs? The answer is, He is well and very much alive. CT in December 2013 (8 months after taking herbs) indicated the tumour had shrunk to 5.2 x 2.2 x 3.9 cm in size.

About 2 years later, 18 January 2015, AS and his wife came to visit us. AS’s wife was very agitated and upset. Since the past few weeks AS had been taking “bad food” – food that we tell patients not to eat. On top of that AS sometimes was not taking the herbs as he used to do.

Listen to this video.

Video 2: To live or to die is your choice!

 

 

Briefly my message to AS (and also all cancer patients) that night was very clear, crude and blunt.

  1. When patients are “half dead,” they would follow our advice without protest. But when they get well, most of them will “misbehave.” That is normal.
  2. To live or to die is your choice.
  3. There is no need to be upset about the patient’s choice. If he wants to die, let him die.
  4. My experiences have shown that if a patient eats anything he/she likes, this “good time” would probably last about 2 months. After that the cancer would recur and he/she cannot “enjoy” food anymore.
  5. I also told AS, Perhaps it is time you stop taking the herbs. Go home and eat a lot of what you want to eat and “go” faster.
  6. AS had lived for almost 2 years. He should be grateful that he is still alive – healthy and without pain. What more do you want? Be grateful for what you are now!

I wish to state too that telling AS the above was not done with anger! I have learned a lesson from one of our patients earlier on. His argument for wanting to eat anything he likes is because he does not want to go hungry. After all he is going to die anyway, so why go hungry and die with an empty stomach? He would probably become a hungry ghost! (Click this: Liver Cancer: Better to become a full-stomach ghost than a hungry ghost).

I am equally glad that AS took the message sportingly. He was not upset and only smiled. So let us respect his choice! 

Comments

Study the data below critically and then try to reflect on the questions posed.

PET/CT scan
2 February 2012 Post-cholecystectomy. Left hepatic lobe tumour, 3.2 x 2.6 cm.
3 May 2012 – liver surgery – hemihepatectoomy
16 August 2012 THREE MONTHS: CT abdomen/pelvis showed no evidence of recurrent HCC or focal liver lesions.
11 March 2013 TEN MONTHS: Interval development of an intensively hypermetabolic measuring 8.0 x 4.8 cm at the hepatic resection site consistent with recurrent disease.
22 March 2013 – TACE, blockage, procedure aborted
Declined chemotherapy or Nexavar
14 April 2013 – Came to CA Care, Penang. Started on liver herbs
26 December 2013 EIGHT MONTHS ON HERBS:   CT done in Jakarta: Hepar: Tampak lesi dengan enhance minimal ukuran 5.2 x 2.2. 3.9 cm disekitar klip lobektomi. Dibandingkan dengan CT scan Mei 2013 tampak menencil secara signifikan.Liver lesion is 5.2×2.2×3.9 cm. Compared to CT scan of May 2013, significant decrease in tumour size.
18 January 2015 Almost TWO YEARS ON HERBS:  Patient still well and healthy.

 

  1. Can surgery cure liver cancer? In this case, the answer is plain and simple. Surgery cannot cure liver cancer. For the initial 3 months, there was reason to be happy because CT showed no recurrence. The operation was a great success! But this success lasted only a few more months. The cancer came back. Is this not expected — a norm?
  2. Before surgery the tumour was only 3.2 cm. After surgery it grew to 8.0 cm. TACE was attempted and failed. The doctor suggested chemotherapy or taking of Nexavar. AS rejected further medical treatment. He and his family came to CA Care instead. He was started on herbs. What can you expect if you do nothing (medically) after that? At best within 3 or 6 months AS would be dead. That is what the medical literature would tell you.

11-Mar-13-recurrence

11 March 2013. The liver tumour recurred and grew to 8 cm in size (initial size was 3 cm)

  1. AS did not go for any more medical treatment. He said he had lost confidence in the doctors who failed him twice. He only took herbs and changed his diet according to our advice. It has been almost 2 years now. He is still alive and well – leading a normal, pain-free life. Herbs are said to be “unproven and unscientific.” What say you now? Or is this recovery merely due to “pure luck” (another favourite medical argument)? Or is this recovery merely due to luck – yet another favourite medical explanation!

 

Liver Cancer: 3 cm Tumour OUT, 8 cm Tumour IN After 9 Months and S$28,000-Surgery

AS (S-357) is a 65-year-old Indonesian. He came to seek our help on 14 April 2013 after having undergone a failed liver surgery in Singapore.

His problem started in late December 2011 when AS felt gastric-like pain in the stomach. An ultrasound at a hospital in his hometown indicated a possibility of gallbladder infection.

Not satisfied, AS went to Jakarta and on 31 December 2011 underwent a cholecystectomy (surgery to remove gallbladder). During the operation, the surgeon also did a liver biopsy for suspicious liver lesions.

In February 2012, AS went to the National Cancer Centre in Singapore for a second opinion. The histology slides from the early surgery and liver biopsy were reviewed. The liver biopsy showed poorly differentiated tumour.

A whole body PET / CT on 2 February 2012 revealed left hepatic lobe mass, measuring 3.2 x 2.6 cm (picture below).

2-Feb-12-before-surgery

On 25 April 2012, AS had another CT scan. The report indicated interval increase in size of the dominant heterogenous  hepatic mass from previous 2.9 x 2.6 cm to currently 0.3 x 3.5 cm. No other new focal hepatic lesion seen. (Note: this report stated a different tumour size compared to the earlier report. A mistake somewhere?).

On 3 May 2012, AS underwent a hemihepatectomy – i.e.  a surgery to remove one-half or a lobe of the liver. The tumour was at the left lobe of his liver. AS was discharged on 9 May 2012. The procedure cost S$28,000.

Liver histology indicated a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC or liver cancer), 4 cm, Edmondson Grade 3 with 3 satellite nodules. Resection margins were clear. Vascular invasion was present. The 2 diaphragmatic nodules were metastatic HCC. Gallbladder shows chronic cholecystitis with no malignancy seen within.

About three months later, 16 August 2012, AS went back to Singapore for review. A repeat CT of abdomen and pelvis showed NO evidence of recurrent HCC or focal liver lesion.

Unfortunately this euphoria did not last long. Six months later (i.e. about 9 months after the surgery) another PET /CT scan on 11 March 2013, revealed a new recurrent hetergenous hypodense mass in the liver at the resected margin measuring 8.0 x 4.8 cm (picture below).

11-Mar-13-recurrence

On 22 March 2013, AS underwent TACE (transarterial chemo embolization) for his recurrent liver tumour. Unfortunately this procedure failed. The interventional radiologist was unable to access the tumour feeding vessel. So TACE could not be completed and the chemo drug not delivered. In spite of the failure, AS had to pay S$5,000 for the procedure.

AS was discharged on 25 March 2013 and was referred to an oncologist for chemotherapy. AS decided to give up further medical treatment and came to seek our help on 14 April 2013.

While talking to AS, his wife and son I posed this question:  Why don’t you want to go for chemotherapy? After all AS had willingly undergone surgery and TACE – why chicken out now?

The wife replied, We are scared!

AS replied: The doctor did not show any responsibility.

My reply: What do you expect from the surgeon? What more do you want him to do? His job is to cut you. And has cut you and there is nothing more that he can do. He has done his job. Now, he is passing you to the oncologist because he is a surgeon and not an oncologist!

From his reply I fully understand how AS felt – being let down by the surgeon. He was totally disappointed. He came to the surgeon in Singapore believing that he was in the safe hands of the expert. He was willing to pay S$28,000 for the surgery but he did not get what he had bargained for.  Now, he was passed on to another doctor – where is the responsibility then?

Let me tell you – AS is not the only one who felt let down or cheated. There are many, many others who come to us with a similar story. I am reminded of one really pathetic case. A man from Pontianak was pushed into undergoing surgery for his liver cancer (see  A great failure and let down )   He was told that his condition was serious and surgery must be done immediately.  The wife said: The surgeon even hugged me and assured me – Don’t worry, he (my husband) would be well and alright. Oh, it was so sweet of him. Unfortunately after the surgery, the cancer recurred. The patient and his wife tried to seek clarification from the surgeon. They were snubbed. The surgeon did not even want to talk to them. The wife was full of tears when she related this story.

Yes, I fully understand how patients feel after a medical failure.

I told AS and his family that his is a big problem and I am not sure if I could help him. I can only do my best. AS was prescribed Capsule A, B, C and D. In addition he has to take LL-tea, Liver 1 and 2 teas. We sent him for a blood test. The results as of 15 April 2013 showed his alpha-fetoprotein = 1,064.0 and total bilirubin = 25.0. Other liver function enzymes were within normal range.

Question You Should Ask: Can surgery cure me?

I always pose this question whenever a patient comes to see me,  Before you undergo surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, did you ever ask the doctor if the treatment he is giving you is going to cure you?  You will be surprised   most cancer patients don’t ask such question. They take it for granted that they will be cured! 

 

AS told me. I did not ask that question. I only asked, What is the best way out for me! I told him, That’s the wrong question to ask! If you go to a barber, he will tell you the best option for your head is to cut your hair. If you ask a hammer what all of us look like in this world, the answer would invariably be, You all are nails meant to knocked down! You go to a surgeon he would most likely say, Operate.  That’s his best option for you. Ask the oncologist, he would invariably say, Go for chemo! You have missed the point here. Is the procedure suggested going to cure you? This ought to be the main concern.

By asking the wrong question, you get an answer that brings you elsewhere – perhaps where you don’t want to go. So, my advice to all patients, Ask this all important question – can your treatment cure me? Don’t be afraid, ask.

After you get the answer then use your commonsense to evaluate what the doctor tells you. Does it make sense? Do you believe in the statistics or percentage or whatever claim the doctor gave you? If this is not what you are looking for, go elsewhere. Look for another path.

Likewise, when you come to CA Care and tell me that you want me to cure you of your cancer I would tell you this, Go elsewhere – I don’t have the magic bullet and I cannot cure you! In my many years helping cancer patients I don’t really see any so-called cure for cancer. Cure means the disease goes away and never come back. Generally, the cancer recurs   after some years. My auntie died of metastatic cervical cancer after an apparent cure, 13 years later! Where is the cure?

In the case of AS, surgery did not cure him! After 9 months, the tumour grew back and this time it grew more than twice its original size. Where is the cure?

The next question you probably need to ask is about your diet.  This question will give you some idea about the kind of doctor you are dealing with! His answer shows his perception about health in general. And more important whether he is well read or not. Today the medical literature is replete with information about diet in spite of how important it is in helping cancer patients.  If he says you can eat whatever you like – I am sorry, I am not sure if this is the kind of doctor you should go to! I am fully aware that diet in cancer is a big, sore point between medical doctors and alternative medicine practitioners. Suffice for me to quote what two doctors said about diet (below).  Think hard about what your doctor tells you about diet and come to your own conclusion.  If you are not convinced that he is right, how do you expect him to be able to solve the bigger problem of treating your cancer?

1 deVita

1 Crime-med-ignore-nutrition

Liver Cancer: Better to become a full-stomach ghost than a hungry ghost

This is an interesting email we received on 16 December 2011.

Hi Mr. Chris,

Good Day, I’m H from Tanjung Pinang – Indonesia. I’ve visited you in 2007 when my late father suffered from Liver Cancer. However we did not revisit you since our first visit. Frankly I thank you for your help to heal my father. My father passed away in October 2008. I have faith and believe in you to help cancer patients.

Now my friend’s father suffers from lung cancer, his condition is very week. According to the doctor, maybe he will only live for six months. Now his family decided to seek your help. And will visit you as soon as possible.

Since his condition is too weak, is there any possible not to bring him (patient) to visit you at Penang?

His son will bring his medical report and visit you in Penang. If the patient must come along, we will have to wait until his condition is better and pay you a visit. Now he has no appetite, so the condition is not good.

Hope you can understand our situation and give us your advice.

Thank You & Warmest Regards.

The writer of the e-mail and his friend came to our centre in Penang three days later, on 19 December 2011.

This article is not about lung cancer. Let us relate the story of his father who had liver cancer and died. This is what his son said about his father when he came on 19 December 2011. His father was diagnosed with liver cancer. There was nothing doctors in Singapore and China could do for him. In Singapore, the family was told that the patient would have only three to six months to live. The family brought him to CA Care on 18 May 2007. He took our liver herbs. His son said, “My father did take the herb from CA Care regularly, until he went in coma a few weeks before he passed away in October 2008.” With the herbs he survived almost one year and half years. According to his son, the herb helped to stabilize his condition. He did not suffer any pain and was active like normal people.

 

Flashback

Patient and his family came to CA Care on 18 May 2007.

The patient was 54-years old. Being a businessman, he was an alcohol drinker and a chronic smoker. Sometime at the end of 2006, he went into partial comma and was hospitalized for 5 days. The doctors were unable to diagnose what was wrong with him. He was brought to a hospital in Singapre. A scan showed he has epilepsy. He was put on epilepsy medication for two weeks while in the hospital. After being discharged he went home to Tanjung Pinang.

Three days after the Chinese New Year 2007 (note: after CNY season – meaning, he must be feasting all the “bad” food) he became confused, his eyes were blur and he was unable to recognize family members. He was unable to respond to people.

The next day, he was brought to Singapore General Hospital – 26 February 2007. A CT scan done, showed liver cirrhosis with evidence of portal hypertension.  There were multiple hypodensities in the right lobe of the liver. Massive swelling of the spleen.

Primary diagnosis: multiple hepatocellualr carcinoma.

Secondary diagnosis: Alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

Secondary diagnosis: Diabetes Mellitus.

This is what the SGH doctor wrote in his medical report dated 1 March 2007: “ No role for resection based on Milan’s criteria. In view of poor liver reserve no role for chemotherapy although possibility of using a new drug (Sorafenib – NEXAVAR) which has some activity but very toxic, costly and non curative. Best supportive care advised to family (based on evidence). Option of liver transplant also given to the family. Family will consider their option.”

The family was told that patient would have three to six months to live.

Patient went to a hospital in China from 7 March to 4 April 2007. Medically there was nothing much that could be done.

 Comments:  Extracted from Food & Cancer, pg. 17 – 19)

 

All of us love to eat. Many years back, my family also enjoyed going out to eat and adopted this dictum: we just live to eat. Indeed, many people would find it difficult to give up their favourite food for a healthy diet. One cancer patient said to us: I would rather die if I cannot eat laksa. Some friends would cheer on their sick friends: Life has no meaning if you cannot eat what you want to eat. 

Fair enough, it is your health and your life. Eat and do whatever you like if that is what makes you happy. It is a matter of whether you love your life or your taste buds more. Unfortunately, even people with no taste buds still want to eat tasty food. We recall another patient who had to be fed through a tube in his mouth. He wanted to put in fish, shoyu, pepper, etc. into his food. We asked him if all these seasonings made any difference to the taste of his food!

Let us address these two very important questions:

• Can what you eat cause you any problems?

• Can cancer patients eat anything they like?

Can What You Eat Cause You Any Problems?

The answer is YES ! There is enough objective evidence in literature to document this fact. There are people who suffer headaches after taking coffee. One other cause of headaches is the well-known monosodium glutamate. Recurrent ear infections can be due to the sugar in the diet. Do not get us wrong. We are not saying that all people taking MSG, sugar etc. would suffer all these problems. Not all people do, but some people may suffer varying degrees of problems. Of course, one popular contention is that if you are hale and hearty, there is nothing to worry about food. Simply eat whatever

you want but do it in moderation. As much as we like to agree with this and be popular, we still feel that you must take care. Avoid bad food if you want to stay healthy – take the long-term view! 

Can Cancer Patients Eat Anything They Like?

Our answer is NO. We have seen too many cases of cancer patients who were well but had relapses after they went back to their old, bad diet. In such instances, the cancer patients themselves have to make this important choice – do they want to live or take the other option of enjoying their food and be prepared to die if that is what it comes to? Cancer patients must know that their diet can influence the course and healing of their cancer. Let this fact be known so they can be warned.

Dr. Vincent deVita, Director of the Yale Cancer Centre and the former Director of the National Cancer Institue wrote this: We know that the cause of more than 70% malignancies may be in some ways related to what we eat……what we eat has tremendous influence on whether we will develop cancer (The Cancer Recovery Eating Plan by Dr. Daniel Nixon, 1966).

In spite of all these comments, there are still people who would argue that people can eat anything and  food has nothing to do with your cancer! Indeed, mankind is ever so slow to learn. As one German saying goes: An old error is always more popular than a new truth. Such is human nature.

For us, we believe that where cancer patients are concerned, their diet is an important aspect of therapy and the food that they eat can determine the direction and progress of their healing. It can be a matter of their life or death!

The problem of misinformation about food arises because schools or universities in our country do not teach much about this subject and – in some sad and serious cases – they often teach the wrong thing! Medical doctors receive little or no training on nutrition. And those who receive formal Western training on nutrition are engrossed and skewed towards technology that invariably, they ignore traditional wisdom on account of it being unscientific. So often, the Western trained professionals talk about food in terms of calories, mineral content, vitamins, etc. Food to the oriental healers goes beyond the physical content – they talk of vital energy and healing powers for the body.

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

Sonny (not real name) is a 59-year-old male. He was diagnosed with Hepatitis B about five years. He opted for herbal treatment from Taiwan. After six months, his alpha-fetoprotein increased further indicating it was not effective. Nevertheless he continued to take the Taiwanese herbs up to this day.  About three years ago he went to see a doctor and was prescribed Lamivudine and ever since he has been taking both Lamivudine and the Taiwanese herbs.

In September 2011 Sonny had bloated stomach and lost his strength. An ultrasound of his abdomen indicated liver cancer. On 30 July 2011, his alkaline phosphatase was at 224, AST = 79 and GGT = 354 (all these values are beyond normal range). He was told by the doctor that he had an incurable, terminal stage liver cancer. He probably has two months to live or at most six to eight months. Before he dies he would vomit blood.

Sonny went to Singapore for a second opinion. A CT scan on 4 October 2011 showed a 14 x 12 x 12 cm tumour  in the caudate lobe. There was also a 3.8 x 3.4 x 2.4 cm nodule in Segment 2 of his liver. There was tumour thromhus demonstated in the right portal branch and the main portal view. Thrombus was also seen in the proximal left portal branch. In addition he had liver cirrhosis with mild splenomegaly and moderate ascites.

Blood test on 4 October 2011 showed elevated alkaline phosphate = 315, AST = 164, ALT = 73 and GGT  = 614.

His tumour markers, however, were within normal range – AFP 14.7, CEA 0.8 and CA 19.9 27.2.

There was nothing the doctor in Singapore could do for him. He was offered oral chemo drug, Nexavar which cost S$10,000 per month. He was told this would not cure him but could prolong his life for two months. However, the Malaysian doctor who first saw him did not recommend Nexavar because of its severe side effects.

Sonny then went to the University hospital in Singapore for another opinion. There was nothing more that could be done. Since the University is currently carrying out a clinical trial on Nexavar, Sonny was offered to take this drug for free. He said no thanks to this offer of free Nevaxar – listen to what he has got to say in the video below.

 

Dissecting Chemotherapy 11: No Chemo for Dad’s Liver Cancer – Wisdom of a Daughter

Daughter: My father was diagnosed with liver cancer in August 2011.

The doctor wanted him to do chemotherapy. We did not allow him to do so. I argued with the doctor.

The doctor did not get angry with you? Yes, he was but I did not bother. Since we did not want to go for chemo (injection) he was asked to take an oral drug for his liver. This cost RM 20,000 per month.

Wait, wait. Let’s start from the very beginning. Actually what happened and when? D: My father had winds in his stomach. This was in August 2011. He consulted a doctor who told him that he had a gallstone. His liver had some shadows. The doctor then suggested that my father do a CT scan. He went to do a CT scan and the result showed a Stage 2 liver cancer. The doctor suggested chemotherapy. We told the doctor we wanted to go home first and consult with all the members of the family. After that we went to seek a second opinion from a liver specialist.

The Second Opinion – the Liver Specialist

D: The liver specialist studied the CT scan. He also suggested chemotherapy. This time I accompanied my father to consult with this specialist because I did not want him to undergo the chemotherapy. I told the doctor, “We do not want chemotherapy.” When the doctor saw my father, he encouraged him to get admitted into the hospital. He said, “Uncle get admitted immediately and tomorrow we shall start with the chemo.”

I was not happy. The first doctor we consulted with told us that my father had to stop all his heart medications before undergoing chemotherapy. My father had a heart by-pass before. But this liver specialist did not even consider this. He was pushing my father to do chemo quickly. But I refused.

Okay, you refused chemo. What did the doctor say? D: I argued with him. Then I requested that he do another CT scan for my father. So, a second scan was done.

Did you ask the live specialist if chemo can cure your father of his liver cancer? D: Cannot. I asked him, “Doctor, you want to give chemo to my father – can you cure him?” The doctor could not give me an answer. He just kept quiet – no answer. Then he said. “It all depends on the patient himself.”

What ? It now depends on the patient? D: I asked the doctor further – “ You give my father the chemo, what can  happen to him after that?” He answered, “The liver may become hard, the patient becomes yellow (jaundice). And his eyes may become yellow.” I countered the doctor, “Okay doctor, my father currently has no pains, can eat, can sleep, can walk and move his bowels – after the chemo, his health is jeopardised  and he may not be able to do all these – what’s the whole idea?

What did he say to that? D: The liver specialist said, “I have found the best oncologist to do the chemo for your father, do you know that? I have already made the necessary arrangements for your father to do the chemo tomorrow. Now you tell me you don’t want to do it.” But I said, “In the first place, we never ever agreed to undergo chemo.”

But he told you, There is no cure and the patient becomes yellow – why do the chemo then?  D: I eventually told the doctor very bluntly, “My father doesn’t want to do chemo.” My mother also said, “The patient refused chemotherapy.”

How did he respond to that? D: Okay, if the patient did not want chemo, there is nothing we can do.

Did you ask him how much the chemo is going to cost you? D: No, we never get into that. He did not tell us about the cost and also how many cycles of chemo he was going to give.

Assistant to the Liver Specialist:  Patients come in healthy, they go out yellow! Why not try the RM 20,000-per-month oral drug for liver cancer?

D: The second CT scan report was ready after two weeks.  I requested to have a copy of the report so that I can bring it to you (CA Care). I went to the hospital and met the assistant of the liver specialist. He is also a medical doctor – a nice person. I asked him, “From your experience giving chemo to so many patients, how many really do well? This nice and friendly doctor answered, “To tell you the truth, patients come in looking healthy, but they go out looking yellow after the chemo.” This is what the assistant told me. Then the assistant said, “If you don’t want to do chemo, why don’t you take the oral drug instead. “ This drug cost RM 20,000 per month. But I told the doctor, “But doc., this drug has so many severe side effects” (Read this post: Benefit and side effects of Nexavar).

My Friend’s Husband Took the Oral Drug for Liver Cancer, He Vomited Blood and Died Within Two Weeks

D: The doctor replied, “ No, no serious side effects – you only feel itchy and have reddish palms.” I told the doctor, “My friend ‘s husband had liver cancer. He took the oral drug that cost RM 200,000 per month.  He vomited blood and within two weeks was dead.” The doctor went silent. He kept his cool and smiled. The he asked, “If you don’t want to do chemo for your father, what do you want to do then?” I replied, “I am going to bring my father to take herbs.”

What was his response? D: He said, “Go ahead and try it.”

He did not get angry with you?  D: No, he was not angry.

Did you know what is the name of that oral drug? Nexavar? D: I did not take note of that. I only know that it can damage the liver and kidney. I read this on the packaging of the medication.

They Just Want You To Do Chemo – That is the way it is

D: Unfortunately, that is the way it is with doctors today. They just want patients to do chemo. After injecting the chemo into you, the poison is already in the body – if you die, you die. That is your business.

Wife: The doctor told us, my husband is still strong. He will be able to withstand the chemo – he can withstand the chemo. D: No, no, I think he will die.

This is the way our world is now. You need to take care of yourself. You have to be responsible for your own health and wellbeing. If not, it may be like “just jumping into the sea.”

Read related story: My friend – business partner – died after chemo for his liver.

Liver Cancer Part 2: After chemoembolization and Radiofrequency Failed, He Turned to Herbs and e-Therapy

TD (S21), 67-year-old Indonesian male had a 7.8 x 6.5 x 8.4 cm mass in his liver. He underwent He underwent six cycles of chemoembolization (TACE) and one radiofrequency ablation procedure. In addition, he received six monthly injection of Zometa. About six months after the completion of the treatments, new growths were found in his liver, around the right and left adrenal glands and T12 of his backbone.

TS decided to give up further medical treatments and came to seek our help on 14 August 2011. He was prescribed Capsule A and B, Liver 1 and Liver 2 tea, Bone Tea and Pain Tea. For his pain, TG underwent the e-Therapy.  Since he has four stents in the arteries of his heart, he was started on Ray therapy, followed by Detox 2 program the next day. Since there was no side effect, TD continued with the e-therapy from 17 to 21 August to 2011. He was happy with what he was doing.

Listen to his conversation.

Gist of our conversation.

TD had lower back pain and was not sleeping well. Otherwise he had no other symptoms.

  1. Since TD has four stents in his heart arteries, we had to be careful. We initially used the Ray e-Therapy using the Ray #29 – Lumbago program. As a result of this treatment, he had 20 percent less pain.
  2. On the second day, TD received e-Therapy using the hand paddle. The program used was Detox #2. As a result of this treatment, there was 50 percent less pain.
  3. On the third day, TD received Detox # 3. His pains and discomforts were reduced by 70 percent.
  4. On the fourth day, TD received Detox #3 and Lumbago # 98 programs. His pains and discomforts were further reduced by 90 percent.
  5. Five days on herbs and e-Therapy TD has less pain, felt better, could sleep well and bowel movements were good. It was time for TD and his wife to go home to Jakarta.
  6. TD was reminded to take care of his diet, take the herbs as prescribed, do the e-Therapy, be happy and think of best possible things that can happen and pray!

We also reminded TD that he is welcome to go to his doctors for more chemotherapy or radiotherapy if he wishes. The decision has to be entirely his.

Comments

No one cure can cure liver cancer – that is what we believe after seeing so many tragic cases that come to see us. Coming to CA Care does not mean we can offer a cure either. And patients are told this fact clearly. But what we can do is to offer relief and perhaps an ability to live a normal life. And for how long? No one can tell.

Read full medical history:  Liver Cancer Part 1: Tumour shrunk after chemoembolization (TACE) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) but new growths after six months.