Lung Cancer: Free “Tarceva-for-life” failed

FY is a 50-year-old Malaysian. His problem started with headache, poor appetite and weight loss. He consulted a doctor in a private Hospital A in his hometown. He was told there could be something in the brain. A CT scan was done and there was a lump in his lung. A biopsy confirmed a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma.

FY was referred to a private Hospital B in Penang. The biopsy tissue was sent to Kuala Lumpur for further analysis. EGFR mutation was detected. In the meantime, FY underwent five times of radiation to the head (due to the headache). This treatment cost RM11,000. The oncologist suggested taking oral chemo.

FY decided to seek further treatment in another private Hospital C. The oncologist in Hospital C prescribed oral drug, Tarceva. This was the deal. Take Tarceva for ten months, thereafter it will be provided free of charge for life. Each month’s supply cost RM4,500, meaning FY will have to fork out a total of RM45,000 first before he could enjoy the free supply of Tarceva.

In all, FY took Tarceva for 11.5 months. So, he managed to enjoy free Tarceva for 1.5 months.

Medical Reports 

The progress of FY’s treatment was monitored by scanning and blood tests. 

CT scan thorax done in Hospital A, 29 August 2017.

  • a suspicious 3.4 x 2.8 x 3.3 cm lump in the lower lobe of his left lung.

CT scan of brain, neck, thorax, abdomen and pelvis done in Hospital C, 26 September 2017.

  • lesion at apical segment of left lower lobe of lung and small cavities due to primary carcinoma.
  • multiple small metastases in both lungs.
  • enhancing lesions at left parietal lobe, vermis and right cerebellum.
  • patchy sclerosis of body of T1 vertebrae suggestive of metastasis.
  • lymph node at level 4 of neck.

MRI thoraco-lumbar spine done in Hospital C, 3 October 2017.

  • abnormal signal intensity within C7,T1 and T2 vetebral bodies. Features suggestive of metastases.
  • L4/L5 disc bulge.
  • L5/S1 disc bulge. 

Whole body PET Scan done in Hospital C, 18 January 2018.

  • metabolic activity noted in the right (1.8 cm) and left sides of neck (1.9 cm) .
  • metabolic activity noted in the left base of the tongue.
  • metabolic activity left axillary lymph node (2 cm).
  • irregular metabolic active mass (3.2 cm) seen in the apical segment of the lower lobe of left lung.

Whole body PET Scan done in Hospital C, 21 August 2018.

  • metabolic activity node see in the left (1.3 cm) side of the neck.
  • metabolic activity left axillary lymph node (0.6 cm).
  • FGD-avid mass (4 cm) seen in the apical segment of the lower lobe of left lung. This is larger and has more metabolic activity compared to the previous PET CT on 18 Jan. 2018.
  • metabolic active nodule (1.9 cm) seen in the posterior segment of the upper lobe of right lung – not seen in the previous scan.
  • another metabolic active nodule (1.7 cm) seen in the posterior basal segment of the lower lobe of the left lung — not seen in the previous scan.
  • a few 2-5 mm, non metabolic active nodules seen in the right and left lungs. These are not seen in the previous scan.
  • increased metabolic activity seen in the left adrenal gland (1.4 cm).
  • metabolic active lesions seen in the spine of C7 and T1. These re larger and more metabolic active compared to the previous PET CT scan.
  • metabolic active bony lesions seen in the spine T12, left sacrum and medial wall of the left acetabulum. These are not metabolic active in the previous scan.

You don’t need to be a doctor to know that FY is getting worse, not better, after taking Tarceva.

Below is a table with values of CA125, CA15.3 and CA19.9 taken over a period of about a year while FY was taking Tarceva. The most telling results are the values of CA125. In September 2017, the value was 434. After taking Tarceva it gradually decreased to 48 and down to 15 in February. But in March 2018 (barely five months later) the CA125 started to increase and in August 2018 it was at 46.5.

Date CA 125 (0-35) CA 15.3 (0-31.3) C19.9 (0-37)
26 September 17 434 9.8 39.4
24 October 17 48 7.7 16.9
28 November 17 15 n/a n/a
27 December 17 15 n/a n/a
23 February 18 15 4.9 8.2
26 March 18 18 5.8 15.6
23 April 18 19 5.9 11.0
22 May 19 22 5.2 17.0
25 July 18 40.6 5.1 17.2
17 August 18 46.5 n/a n/a

The numbers above clearly showed that Tarceva was gradually losing its effective after five months!

In August 2018, the oncologist told FY that Tarceva was not effective anymore. He has to switch to i/v chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A cycle of chemo would cost RM12,000.

If FY does not want chemo, he can opt for another new, more expensive oral drug (probably Tagrisso which cost RM30,000 per month).

FY and his wife came to seek our help. They decided not to continue with further medical treatment – at least for the moment.

Chris: Can this new drug cure you?

FY: No, only control.

Comments

This my third case in which patients were asked to take Tarceva for ten months with the promise that at the 11th month onwards they get Tarceva without charge for life!

Do you ever wonder why patients are offered Tarceva for free, after being told to buy a ten-month- supply first?  Is it a noble, charitable intention or “smart” business deal?

Read this story: Lung Cancer: Spend RM80,000 and You Get Free Tarceva for Life

Daughter: My father has lung cancer. It is positive for EGFR. The doctor suggested taking the oral targeted therapy, Tarceva. One box, lasting one month, cost about RM8,000. After we take Tarceva for ten months, and if the medicine works, for the rest of his life the medicine will be free. But must complete the ten boxes first. That’s the deal!

Chris: You mean after spending RM80,000 they will give you Tarceva for free for life? But what happen if your father dies before the ten months?

D: I was thinking. May be my father cannot last that long. Maybe before the ten boxes, sure die one.

C: I have one patient who came and see me. She was asked to take Nexavar (for liver cancer). The deal was buy one, free one. But must pay RM20,000 first (for the first month’s supply) and next month she will get one month’s supply of Nexavar for free! But after she took the drug for a week, her health deteriorated, had to be hospitalised and she died. Already paid RM20,000, cannot claim back.

Another question that bugs me is, why free only after TEN months? Why not earlier? Why not buy one, free one like they offered for Nexavar?

Let’s study the blood test numbers critically.  Let’s look at the bigger picture. The CA125 was at 434 in September 2017. After taking Tarceva the value dropped to 15. Bravo! Tarveca seemed to do the magic. But this euphoria did not last long. A month later, in March 2018, the CA125 started to increase. By August 2018, it was at 46.5.

By offering patients free Tarceva after ten months, seems appealing and noble at the first look; but in reality does the drug company or doctor not know that by a few more months, patients don’t need Tarceva anymore because it is not effective?

From a business point of view, it also does not make “sense” why the drug company would give Tarceva for free. Business is to make money. Just imagine what could happen if all patients get free Tarceva for life — will that not make  the drug company go bankrupt?

Let me share with you what my favourite Jewish rabbi, Harold Kushner said:

When I started to ask these questions, I became more curious. To kill the curiosity in me, I googled cost of generic Tarceva in India.

This is what I get.

  • In many countries, the brand-name Tarceva 150 mg drug costs about $18,700to 19,000 (price subject to vary) per 30 tablets. However, the mass production of generic cancer drugs versions are available for less than 15% of the retail price of the brand-name drug. Mar 22, 2018

Click this link and you get prices of generic Taceva available in India

https://dir.indiamart.com/impcat/erlotinib-tablets.html

(Exchange rate: Indian Rupee 10,000 = RM 563)

In India you can buy a month supply of generic Tarceva for less about RM563. Wow, amazing — I learned something new today!  At one time Tarceva was selling for RM 8K per month. Now the price dropped to RM5K — and that is still many times more expensive than the Indian generic.

Erlotinib   Rs 11,900, 150 mg, 30 tablets

Erclocip  Rs 7,230 for 30 tablets

Erlonat  Rs 6,000 for 30 tablets

Erlonat by NATCO,Rs 10,000 for 30 tablets

I have another question. I wonder why the Power-that-Be in developing countries do not look to India for the cheaper, generic drugs? Is that not a good way poor for poor countries to save money?

If you are skeptical about this suggestion, that is okay. Go ahead and spend your money.

But if you are poor and cannot afford to buy these expensive, American drugs, I believe my suggestion makes sense.

Take this case, FY paid for the  “expensive original” Tarceva, right? For less than a year, he already spent RM45,000. Look what happened to him?

Go to these links and read:

Generic cancer drugs that we can trust

Access to cancer medicines in India

India to supply generic cancer drug to US 

India approves generic cancer drug

Dying to Survive: Indian generic medicines have a tale to tell

Terminally ill dad saves more than $200k bringing in cancer drugs from India

 

 

 

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Alimta for lung-liver-lymph nodes-bone cancer: Buy two, free two. If you make it to 12 cycles, free for life!

A young couple came to me on behalf of his father. The young man sounded very disorientated. I could not figure what he was saying in his soft voice. Luckily he brought along his wife who could present their father’s case clearly and logically.

Ono (not real name) is a 64-year-old. He lives in an Indonesia town about seven-hour-bus ride to Kuching, Sarawak.

Ono’s problem started about four to five years ago when he had abdominal problems. He consulted a doctor in a private hospital in Kuching. According to the doctor there was stone in his gallbladder. He was told not to worry and was sent home.

About two to three years later, Ono suffered a mild stroke. He was given medication and was okay after that.

In July 2018, Ono had severe abdominal pain with cold sweat. According to the daughter-in-law this was not due to gastritis or wind in the stomach.

In mid September 2018, Ono went to a private hospital in Kuching. An USG showed his gallbladder had pus and there was infection of the liver.

Ono underwent an operation to remove his gallbladder. A pathology report indicated a perforated gallbladder with malignant glands. It was a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma.

Blood test on 10 September 2018, showed elevated liver function enzymes.

Alkaline phosphatase 133 H (30-120)
GGT 152 H (0-50)
AST 34 (0-45)
ALT 44 (0-55)

CT scan on 27 September 2018 indicated the following:

  • metastatic liver nodules.
  • metastatic paraortic lymph nodes.
  • right upper lobe lung mass (2.3 x 3 cm), likely tumour, metastasis.
  • small left lower lobe nodule, likely metastasis.
  • right hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes.

Biopsy report dated 29 September 2018 confirmed:

  • right upper lung lobe mass — moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma.
  • subcarinal lymph node — no malignancy. Another report C2354-18 on the same date, subcarinal lymph node aspirate: few atypical cells that are suspicious for carcinoma.

MRI on 2 October indicated:

  • T4 pathological facture causing compression on the thecal sac and spinal cord.
  • T2 – T7 and S1 – S2 metastatic vertebral lesions.
  • mild L4/5 posterior disc bulge.

EGFR PCR 6 October 2018: None of the mutations were detected.

11 October 2018: Tumour cells do not demonstrate a staining reaction to ALK-1.

Blood test on 13 October 2018 showed the following:

Alkaline phosphatase 114 (30-120)
GGT 137 H (0-50)
AST 32 (0-45)
ALT 65  H (0-55)
CEA 69.3 H (0-5)

Ono was referred to the oncologist for follow up. He underwent one cycle of chemotherapy using Alimata, dosage 690 mg. The total cost per cycle is RM8,500. Ono was told that he might need to go for four to six cycles.

Was Ono better after the first shot of chemo? According to the son, he had less pain but he is still in great pain. The pain was in the chest. It was more severe at night than daytime. Ono’s son said he had to massage his father’s legs throughout the whole night to make him comfortable. In fact that was the reason why he was so disorientated when he came to see us due to lack of sleep. Ono had no energy and need to lie down all the time. His breathing was difficult.

I had to be up front with Ono’s children. I said, I cannot cure your father. Actually I told them to go home and continue with the chemo if they want to. Either way, the  outcome would not be different. Ono’s children was very disappointed. They wanted to try the herbs.

Comment 

At CA Care I learn many things each day. Today’s lesson is something I did not know before until I encounter Ono’s case.

The total cost of one cycle of chemo (Alimta and Carboplatin) is RM8,520.70. Of this total

  • Alimta 500 mg cost RM4,600
  • Alimta 100 mg cost RM2,560
  • Kemocarb – carboplatin 450 mg cost RM151.50

So the total cost of the chemo-drugs is RM7,311.50. The remaining RM1,209.20 is the cost of hospital care inclusive of RM500 oncologist’s fee.

There are two interesting points to highlight after studying the detailed medical bills.

 Alimta Special Offer

From the above, for every two cycles of Alimta, Ono will get the next two cycles free of charge. So it is like buy two, free two. And the offer gets even more attractive after that. If Ono could make it to a total of 12 cycles of Alimta, he will receive free Alimta for life!

One point that bothers me is this, does the offer: buy two free two and after 12 cycles you get free for life, really makes business sense? Like the Malay saying, ada udang disebalik batu? (is there a prawn behind the rock?). I am sure you are smart enough to come to your own conclusion.

Why not use generic Alimta from India?

Ono paid a total of RM7,160 for Alimta. Just for curiosity, what would this generic drug cost in India?

In India you have a choice between the expensive and cheap generic Alimta.

  • Eli Lily or US brand cost Rs 91,343 for 600 mg injection (or RM5,175 as opposed to Kuching which cost RM 7,160)
  • The generic Alimta cost one-fourth the price, Rs 23,990 to Rs 24,000 (or RM1,359).

Indeed if the Power-that-Be in the developing countries is wise, why don’t they opt for the cheaper generic drug from India?

But you may say, the Indian stuff does not work. The American one is better. Really?

Take a look below. In addition to Alimta, Ono also received carboplatin. The oncologist in Kuching did not use the American stuff. He used generic carboplatin from India called Kemocarb. Ono paid only RM151.50 for this generic carboplatin. Great doc., you tried to save money for your patient. That’s the way to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lung Cancer Part 2: Treatment with Tarceva and Zometa failed — what now?

For 13 months, GG was treated with Tarceva and Zometa for her lung cancer. About seven months on Tarceva and Zometa, GG started to have serious problems: double vision, eyes highly sensitive to bright light, ear ringing, legs with no strength, severe muscle pull at the neck. GG did ask the doctors if the sufferings that she had to endure was due to the side effects of the treatment, i.e. due to the Tarceva and Zometa. The doctors categorically denied that her suffering was NOT due to the treatment!

GG told us that in the next few days, she would have to see her oncologist again. Since Tarceva is not effective anymore, she will be told to take another new drug. Because of the severe headache, she would consult the brain specialist again. All along, MRI showed nothing in the brain.

Sensing that GG is still not done with her doctors yet, I suggested that GG go and see her doctors first. There is no need to panic or rush to do something.

I told GG to find out in more detail what the oncologist has to offer her. The oncologist had indicated earlier that GG might be prescribed a new drug. This is more expensive (about RM10,00 per month). She will have to pay for this — so the deal of free Tarceva for life vanished.

For this new drug, besides the cost, I reminded GG to ask if it can cure her or not. GG quickly responded, “But I cannot afford” to pay for the treatment anymore. After all she had spent more than RM100K thus far. She is running out of funds. Her health insurance would only pay RM50K per year for her medical treatments.

I assured GG and if everything else fail, she can come and see us again. I shall do my best to help her.

I warned GG that our CA Care Therapy is not easy to follow. The herbs has to be boiled. It is smelly and taste awful. Besides she cannot eat anything she likes. No oil, no sugar and don’t eat anything that walks (i.e. with legs).

Then my last shot. I asked GG whom she prays to. GG prays to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. I suggested that GG go home and pray first and ask Kuan Yin for guidance — whether she should continue with the medical treatment or opt out of medical treatment and start following our therapy.

In this way, no one can make us a scapegoat if GG never get well or die.

Two days after sending GG home without any herbs, GG came to see me again.

Chris: Did you talk to Kuan Yin? What did she say?

GG: It is okay to take your herbs.

 

Comments

Decide for yourself how truthful it is the doctors when they told GG about the side effects of the treatment. Is it the whole truth? Read what doctors say about themselves.

So, don’t swallow everything that the doctors say. Google side effects of Zometa / side effects of Tarceva and see what you get!

Let me share with you what I got.

Side effects for Zometa

  1. Bone Pain
  2. Feeling Weak
  3. High Blood Pressure
  4. Low Amount Of Magnesium In The Blood
  5. Low Amount Of Phosphate In The Blood
  6. Low Amount Of Potassium In The Blood
  7. Trouble Breathing
  8. Backache
  9. Chills
  10. Chronic Trouble Sleeping
  11. Constipation
  12. Cough
  13. Diarrhea
  14. Dizzy
  15. Feel Like Throwing Up
  16. Fever
  17. Fluid Retention In The Legs, Feet, Arms Or Hands
  18. Flu-Like Symptoms
  19. Head Pain
  20. Inflammation Of Skin Caused By An Allergy
  21. Inflammation Of The Eye
  22. Intense Abdominal Pain
  23. Joint Pain
  24. Low Energy
  25. Muscle Pain
  26. Pain
  27. Throwing Up
  28. Urinary Tract Infection 

INFREQUENT side effects

  1. Abnormally Low Blood Pressure
  2. Anemia
  3. Atrial Fibrillation
  4. Decreased Blood Platelets
  5. Infection
  6. Low Level Of Granulocytes In The Blood
  7. Confused
  8. Cramps
  9. Difficulty Swallowing
  10. Drowsiness
  11. Excessive Sweating
  12. Feeling Agitated
  13. Indigestion
  14. Loss Of Appetite
  15. Numbness And Tingling
  16. Painful, Red Or Swollen Mouth
  17. Taste Problems
  18. Upper Abdominal Pain 

RARE side effects

  1. Acquired Decrease Of All Cells In The Blood
  2. Acute Kidney Failure
  3. Atypical Femoral Fracture
  4. Blurred Vision
  5. Bone Necrosis Of The Jaw Bone
  6. Bronchospasm
  7. Fanconi’s Syndrome
  8. Giant Hives
  9. High Amount Of Potassium In The Blood
  10. Hives
  11. Hypersensitivity Drug Reaction
  12. Inflammation Of The Iris – The Colored Part Of The Eyeball
  13. Inflammation Of The Uvea Of The Eye
  14. Inflammation Of The White Outer Coat Of The Eye
  15. Kidney Disease With Reduction In Kidney Function
  16. Life Threatening Allergic Reaction
  17. Low Amount Of Calcium In The Blood
  18. Lung Tissue Problems
  19. Seizures
  20. Signs And Symptoms At Injection Site
  21. Slow Heartbeat
  22. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
  23. Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
  24. Worsening Of Asthma
  25. Arthritis
  26. Chest Pain
  27. Dry Mouth
  28. Extreme Loss Of Body Water
  29. Feeling Anxious
  30. Increased Feeling Of The Skin
  31. Involuntary Quivering
  32. Itching
  33. Leg Cramps
  34. Muscle Spasm
  35. Not Feeling Well
  36. Numbness
  37. Pink Eye
  38. Rash

Source: https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-21757/zometa-intravenous/details/list-sideeffects

Side effects for Tarceva

  1. Skin changes
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Increased risk of getting an infection
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Sore mouth and ulcers
  6. Cough and shortness of breath
  7. Liver changes
  8. Feeling or being sick
  9. Numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
  10. Headaches
  11. Hair loss
  12. Depression
  13. Tiredness and weakness (fatigue) during and after treatment
  14. Tummy (abdominal) pain, indigestion and wind (flatulence)

Occasional side effects

  1. Nosebleeds
  2. Bleeding from the stomach or bowel
  3. Cracked skin (skin fissures)
  4. Swelling around the fingernails
  5. Eye problems
  6. Rare side effects
  7. Liver damage
  8. A hole in your stomach, food pipe (oesophagus) or bowel
  9. Abnormal hair growth

Source: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/cancer-drugs/drugs/erlotinib/side-effects

Do you need to pay RM100,00 to collect such possible side effects? Think carefully — why do you think GG is suffering so badly now?

My last word. If I have a choice, I would rather NOT take on this case. I am not sure if GG is here just wanting to hunt for a magic bullet. I cannot cure her. But I have no choice. I have to help GG the best I know how, if she is committed to her healing. Let’s see if she turns up again in the next two to three weeks.

From what I can see, right now she is in severe pain and discomforts. My prayer: Oh God, please give me the wisdom to make her life a bit more comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

Lung Cancer Part 1: Free Tarceva for Life — A Crashed Dream

GG is a 59-year old Malaysian lady. About four years ago (June 2014) she had a bit of cough. She consulted a GP who  said there might me something in her lung. GG was asked to consult a lung specialist in Hospital A in Penang.

A CT scan on 5 June 2014 indicated mild fibrosis in both lungs. There was a 1.6 cm nodule in the right lower lobe, likely benign in nature. Minimal atelectasis (collapse or closure of a lung resulting in reduced or absent gas exchange) in the right lung base. Conclusion: Features are suggestive of infective process, such as tuberculosis.

GG was sent home without any medication.

Unfortunately, GG did not get any better in spite of returning to see her doctor again and again.

Her tongue became crooked. GG went for acupuncture. Great! Her headache went away and her tongue became straight again. The acupuncture treatment was for about two months. She received two treatments per week. Each treatment cost RM 8.00.

Unfortunately again, GG’s problems did not go away. In September 2017, she developed severe headaches and could not stand the pain. She started to cough, especially at night. GG went to consult a neurologist in Hospital B. A scan showed nothing in her brain but there was a 2.6 x 2 x 2.5 cm mass in the left upper lobe of the lung. There was also a 2 x 1.6 x 2 cm mass in the right lower lobe.

There was partial collapse of her T3 vertebra. There were lytic and sclerotic lesion seen in the right 6th rib and the left 10th rib.

A core needle biopsy of the lung mass was done. The result confirmed cancer — an invasive moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma.

GG went for a second opinion in Hospital C. A PET scan was done followed by a biopsy again.

The PET scan results suggested primary lung cancer with metastasis to the perihilar node and multiple bony metastasis involving the spine, pelvic bones, bilateral ribs, right skull base, left scapula and left humerus.

A tissue specimen sent to Kuala Lumpur for further analysis indicated positive for EGFR gene mutation.

GG was started on oral drug Tarceva in October 2017. And she had been taking this drug until now. GG had to pay RM5000 plus per month for this medication. In addition she received monthly Zometa injection for her bone. This cost about RM1500 per month.

Chris: Did you ask the oncologist if these treatment can cure you?

GG: No, cannot cure. Can control only.

C: How long do you need to be on the medication?

GG: Take Tarceva until I die.

When GG came to see us, she was already on Tarceva for 13 months.

The oncologist offered an interesting deal. GG has to buy Tarceva for 10 months. After that she will be given free Tarceva for life. In other words, spend $50 to 60K on Tarceva first and then you get whatever Tarceva you need for life.

For the past three months GG received free Tarceva but had to spend about RM300 per visit on hospital expenses.

Unfortunately, about two weeks before she came to CA Care, GG had to be hospitalised for ten days. This cost her RM21,000.

All in all, up to this point in time, GG said she had already spent RM100,000 for her medical treatments. Never mind, insurance pay!

C: Why do you come and see us. Why don’t you continue taking the Tarceva. After all it is for free now!

GG: The oncologist said Tarceva is not effective anymore! I need to change to another more expensive drug. And this time I need to pay for that drug. It will probably cost RM10,000 per month and I cannot afford that.

C:Did you suffer any side effects while on Tarceva?

GG: Initially there was a bit of hair loss. My skin was dry and there was a bit of itchiness. After about seven months on Tarceva and Zometa, I started to have more serious problems.

  • Double vision. If I close one eye, it is okay. With two eyes opened it is havoc.
  • Cannot stand the bright light with my eyes opened.
  • Both ears with ringing sound.
  • Legs no strength.
  • Severe muscle pull at the neck.

C: Did you have such problems before taking Tarceva?

GG: No such problem.

 

 

Indeed when GG came to see us she was really in a bad shape. She could not sit up for long and needed to lie down. Her son pushed her around in a wheel chair.

I asked GG to leave behind her stack of medical reports and CDs of the scan. I need to do some “homework” to understand what had happened.

One month after commencing Tarceva, GG had a CT scan. Did the tumours in her lung disappear? As shown by the scan below, there was no magic.

One year after consuming Tarceva, CT scan showed GG’s condition did not get any better either. Study the images (above and below) and see for yourself that the tumours in the lungs did not go away.

GG had been a RM1,500-Zometa-injection every month. Her bones did not get any better either. MRI in September 2018 showed severe compression fracture of body of T3 vertebra and sclerotic lesions in bodies of T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7 and T11 vertebrae.

Every month, GG did blood test and her CEA, CA 153 and CA 19.9 were monitored. The results (as in tables below) were disappointing.

In September 2017 when GG started seeing her doctors in Hospital B, her CEA was only 11.7. Then GG started to take Tarceva  prescribed by an oncologist in Hospital C. The CEA increased to 58.6. Over the months, even with Tarceva, the value fluctuated. It August 2018 (after almost a year on Tarceva) it was 42.5. In September 2018, it was 14.8 (Table below).

The rise and fall of CA 15.3 and CA 19.9 showed similar trend. Look at the big picture.

GG started off with CA15.3 = 35.5 and a year later it was 98.

For CA 19.9, it was at 120.4 in September 2017 and it was at 178.9 in September 2018.

You don’t need to be a doctor to know that the treatment did not work. GG needs to try her luck elsewhere. If she continues with the medical treatment, she was told that she needs a new, more expensive drug. This time she has to pay for the drug. Her dream of enjoying free Tarceva for life turns out to be just a “crashed dream” or an illusion.

 

Patient said her condition had improved after taking herbs but doctor said she had deteriorated!

YN is a 54-year-old Indonesian lady. She had problems with her lungs. The doctor in Surabaya diagnosed it as TB. YN had been taking TB medication for the past seven months. Her condition did not improve.

YN then did a CT in May 2008.

The result showed:

  • 8 x 5.5 x 5.5 cm mass in right lung.
  • Segmental atelectasis, that is collapse of one or several segments of a lung lobe.
  • Multiple subcentimeter nodule in both lungs.
  • Subcentimeter lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph node).
  • Fluid in the lung.
  • Gallbladder stone.
  • Thyroid lesion, 1.5 cm.

YN came to the cancer hospital in Penang. The doctor wanted to perform a biopsy and if cancer is confirmed YN will have to undergo chemotherapy.

YN refused further medical treatment and came to seek our help instead.

Chris: Why don’t you want to go for chemo?

YN: My late husband had colon cancer and had surgery in Singapore. Then he had six cycles of chemotherapy at another private hospital in Singapore. He died immediately after receiving the sixth treatment. In all we spent about 1 milyar (one thousand million rupiah) for his treatments. And he died within six months after his diagnosis.

C: Did the doctor say chemo can cure your husband?

YN: Yes ,he said chemo can cure! So, I don’t want any chemo. I shall try your herbs and if they help me, I shall come back to see you again.

Having seen the CT scan (above) I explained to YN that taking our herbs would NOT cure her at all. To help her may be but to cure, no. YN understood this.

I was a bit more curious. Most Indonesian men smoke and ended with lung cancer. YN does not smoke. What about her working environment? She sells things at a store in the market.

YN told me that in 2011, she had a hysterectomy in a hospital in Jakarta. Was it cancerous? YN did not know.

Then in 2013, she had another operation to remove her ovary. Again, was it cancerous. YN did not know either.

Looking at the scan and know her medical background, it appears to me that YN has metastatic lung cancer — I cannot figure out how the doctor ever diagnose her with TB.

Part 1: YN first visit

Two Months on Herbs

YN came back to see us again after taking the herbs. Her condition has improved very much.

  1. All pains throughout the body were gone after taking herbs for a month. Before the herbs, she had pain all day long.
  1. She used to have pain in the left side of her chest. This was also gone.
  1. She was still unable to sleep due to the coughs. Unfortunately the Cough 5 and Cough 6 that we prescribed did not work for her because each time she was taking only one TEAspoonful instead of the recommended 2 or 3 TABLEspoonful.
  1. YN was not able to sleep flat and needed to be propped up when lying down. For this, I suggested that YN add in Lung Phlegm into her lung tea. The problem could be due to fluid in her lung (pleural effusion).
  1. YN does not feel tired anymore after taking the herbs. She can also climb up the stairs. Before this she was always tired and unable to climb up the stairs.
  1. The problem of wind in her stomach disappeared after taking our Gastrovit herb.
  1. Breathing is normal now. Before YN was breathless.
  1. Before seeing us, her right ear oozed out blood. This happened about once in every two weeks. After being on our therapy, this problem resolved.

Before YN came to see us for this second visit, she did a chest X-ray. According to the doctor her condition had deteriorated and she has much “less hope” now compared to before.

Chris: Before you came, did the doctor say medical treatment can cure you? Any hope?

YN: He said I have no hope. Now, he said I have much more “no hope”.

C: Two months ago, before taking the herbs, you had so many problems. And now most of the problems are gone. You are much better now. And the doctor said you have even LESS hope now. Do you believe what he told you?

YN: No, I never believe him.

Part 2: Better after taking the herbs 

 

 

 

 

Lung Cancer Patient from Selat Panjang — still alive and healthy?

I once asked an Indonesian patient who came to see me. Do you know where Selat Panjang is? He shook his head — No. 

Well, I don’t expect him to know — the Indonesian archipelago has 18,307 islands!

But I am glad to say that over the years taking care of cancer patients, my geography about Indonesia has improved a notch! I know where Selat Panjang is — because I have patients who come from that Riau islands.

Let’s watch this video first.

Comments

When patients come here for the first time, I normally ask a few general questions, such as Where are you from? Who ask you to come here? 

Here are some lessons we can learn from my conversation with this lady (let us call her Alice) from Selat Panjang that morning. 

Where are you from? 

From her hometown, Selat Panjang, Alice had to take a three-hour plus ferry ride to Batam. From Batam, it  was another two-hour plus ferry ride to Johor. From Johor she took a ten-hour bus ride to Penang. Unfortunately, Alice got off  at the wrong place! This was her first time in Penang — a real daring adventure!

Over the years, I learned that some other patients need to travel for one or two days just to reach Penang. They had to take a train or bus for hours to the airport and then fly to Penang. Some patients had to change planes one or two times to get to Penang.

I really feel sorry for people like Alice who has to travel so far and so long just to come and seek our help.

So, those of you who live nearby, consider yourself lucky or blessed. You need not have to suffer such “ordeal” to come and consult us. I used to joke with some patients. Some patients just have to drive across the Penang Bridge to come and see us and that they consider “very far away”!  To others, taking one- or two-hour plane ride is considered “far”? Think about Alice and others like her! 

Who ask you to come and see us? 

Alice came because someone in Selat Panjang told her about us.

About three years ago, a lady came to seek our help on behalf of her father who had lung cancer. The father was bed-ridden and was unable to move his bowels and urinate. This lady brought back some herbs for her father. He was also told to take care of his diet. Within two weeks he got better. It has been three years now and he is still alive and healthy.

Can you believe this story? To be honest, I don’t. More often than not, people tend to exaggerate their “success”!

So I took some time trying to get more details from Alice. Did you really meet this patient? Yes. Alice met and talked to the patient himself. This patient made a photocopy of our name card and gave it to Alice. Up to this day, Alice said the man still takes care of his diet. I asked Alice if he is he really alive and healthy? Yes, he puts on weight and is not a skinny, half dead person! Really still alive? Yes.

If you ask me if a bed-ridden, lung cancer patient would survive that long my answer would probably be no way. The condition of Alice’s father is almost the same as this man, both of them have lung cancer and are bed-ridden.

One important lesson I learned about helping patients is the need to share.

When we started our cancer centre in Penang, the first thing I did was to knock down the wall of our consultation room to make it an open space. I see patients in this open hall. Why? From the very beginning I believe that we are all in here together — you and me, and many other patients who come to CA Care for help. There is nothing to “hide” from each other — let us learn to share and help each other.

When I first started CA Care in 1995, I knew nothing about cancer. I did not even know the difference between radiotherapy and chemotherapy let alone know what herbs to prescribe for various cancers. With time I read a lot and learned from the experiences of patients who came and shared their experiences.  My patients taught me how to heal them! I in turn shared those experiences to help others. As I said, we all are in here TOGETHER. And this how CA Care grows.

I am glad to learn that this lung cancer patient in Selat Panjang decided to share his healing experience with others who need help. It is noble of him to help his fellow islanders!

Over the years, I must say that 99.9 percent of the patients are very co-operative. They are willing to share their success stories. It is because of this willingness to share that makes CA Care what it is today. However, over the years, I have also come across some “rotten apples” who don’t want to share. They even ask me to delete their stories posted in the website. So be it, I respect their wishes.  Luckily, such rotten apples are rare, otherwise I would have closed CA Care years ago! 

Why are you here? 

Alice came with a strong feeling that we could help her father. Her father has lung cancer that has spread to his bones. Because of that he is bed ridden. According to the oncologist, without chemo her father would die within six months.

I was upfront with Alice and I did not want to play god in this game. I told Alice I would not be able to cure her father. I would not be able to repeat the success that happened to the patient who introduced her to us. Remember what happen to others, need not happen to you. What happen to you need not necessarily happen to others. In cancer, your healing or failure is uniquely yours.

I also ask Alice to ignore the oncologist’s prognosis. To me, telling patients that they have six or a few months to live if unethical.  When patient asks me how long he/she has, my answer is, Don’t worry we shall do our best to help you. Read what Professor Jerome Groopman, a well known oncologist at Harvard Medical School wrote:

I am also aware that one of the sales tactics, to push more treatment to patients, is to instill fear into them. Make patients helpless and you can pull them by their noses — tell them to jump into a pit, they would willingly do it. I would not want to do that.

Alice has come all the way to seek help. She deserved to receive the best from us as honestly as we can provide. After spending some hours with Alice, I asked her to relax, go back to her hotel first and call her family in Selat Panjang to explain what it takes to embark on this healing journey. It is not easy. If her father is not willing to follow our advice, it is better not to take our herbs. No, we do not wish to putting any fear into the family by rattling out meaningless statistics or create a do-or-die situation.  Be calm and think properly.

Healing needs a strong sense of commitment. Nobody can help you except you yourself. I am glad that Alice understood this. She took time to talk to her father and family. The next day she came back and said she wanted to try our therapy. For the rest that follows, I pray that God will guide and bless the patient.

 

Sarcoma Metastatised to Lung: Declined chemo. Still fine after 18 years!

In 2006 (wow! That’s about twelve years ago!) I wrote an article Healing of High Grade Soft Tissue Sarcoma Metastasized to Lung by Herbal Therapy in the Internet Journal of Health. 

http://ispub.com/IJH/5/2/11918.

This is a story about John (not real name) — 39 years old then. John’s problem started in February 1999 when he detected a small lump in his thigh. Since there was no pain he ignored it until the swelling increased to the size of a ping-pong ball some months later.

In March 2000, John underwent a surgery to remove the cancerous lump. The doctor resected quite a lot of the tissues out – the size of a “Milo tin”. The doctor tried to take out as much as possible, including the muscles – because it had already spread.

Histopathology report indicated a malignant tumour with features consistent with high grade soft tissue sarcoma. The doctor told John to get his papers in order and that he would probably have only 6 months to live.

About 3 months after the surgery, John sought a second opinion and was told by the second surgeon that the tumour was not completely removed during the first surgery. John underwent a second surgery. This was followed by 21 sessions of radiotherapy.

On both occasions – after the first and second surgeries, John declined chemotherapy.

About a year and half later, the cancer metastatised to his lung.

John underwent a third surgery to remove the nodules in his lung and the surrounding tissues. He again declined chemotherapy and opted for CA Care Therapy instead — that was in April 2000.Six years later, on 1 November 2006 I had the privilege of meeting John and interviewed him.

Chris: What made you so adamant in not wanting do chemotherapy?

John: I held on to my conviction of not doing chemotherapy after reading your book. You mentioned that after going through chemotherapy it does not really guarantee a cure or success. Chemotherapy kills both the good and the bad cells. The immune system will be weakened and compromised and you would probably succumb to the treatment rather than the disease itself. Based on that, I made my firm decision – no chemotherapy. If I had not read your book, I would have gone for chemotherapy because I had reached a point where I was about to say “yes” to chemotherapy. But then I pulled back. At that time the doctor was telling me that I could not afford to wait any more – he was putting pressure for me to go for chemotherapy.

Since then I have not heard from John and he was out of my “radar”.

Then came one blessed morning just before the Chinese New Year (2018).

A lady and her family came to seek our help for her cancer. As usual, my first question was, Who ask you to come here? 

The son replied, My friend. He was your patient many years ago. He had a lump in his thigh and then the cancer spread to his lung.

Chris: I can’t remember this case  … oh, oh … a man? I remember now — I think I talked to him once. You mean he is still alive? 

Son: Yes, doing well. He is a fighter and he takes care of his diet up to this day.

Listen to our conversation that morning.

 

 

 

Sarcoma: Without chemo die within 6 months! Six years on CA Care Therapy, still alive and well!

A few days ago, just before the Chinese New Year (2018), a couple from Indonesia came to seek our help. The husband, 58-years old was diagnosed with liver cancer.

As usual, my first question to patients who come to see us for the first time is, Who ask you to come here? The wife answered, H asked us to come and see you.

Chris: Oh H.  When did you last saw her? Is she still alive? Still healthy?

 Answer: Yes, she is doing very well. We communicate through handphone.  This is her picture she sent me yesterday.

C: I am really glad to know that she is alive! When you go home please tell her that I was thinking of her. I have not heard from her for a long time. I thought she had passed away.

Listen to this conversation this morning!

 

What is so special about this case you may want to ask. Oh yes, very special indeed.

About 6 years ago, H was diagnosed with a rare cancer — sarcoma “sitting” on top of her lung. The oncologist in Singapore said, Without chemo, 6 months to live. With chemo, you may live up to 2 years. But no cure.

H refused chemotherapy and came to seek our help instead. She was well. But we did not get to see H for some time already. The question in my mind, How is she doing? Still alive? Probably dead.

So, this is a miraculous case — thank God for such a blessing!

Below is her full story.

 

 

 

Woman, why do you allow this to happen to you?

The year 2018 started badly and sadly. I have many “sad” stories to share with you.

Rose is a 49-year-old Indonesian lady. About five years ago she had a swelling in her left breast. She came to a private hospital in Penang and have the lump removed. No further treatment was deemed necessary. The doctor probably thought it was just a fibroadenoma (a common non-cancerous breast lump).

Two years after the surgery, in 2016, the lump grew into a giant fibroadenoma and Rose underwent a mastectomy. Her whole left breast was removed. After surgery in Penang, she was sent home with no further treatment.

In early 2018, Rose started to cough and both her arms and legs are swollen. The lump in her breast grew back again. Rose came back to the same hospital and did a “health screening” test and paid RM 500 for a complied booklet about her health.

Her X-ray report said, “Lung metastasis from ? left breast carcinoma.”

 

Rose was referred to an oncologist of the hospital. She was told to undergo six cycles of chemotherapy.

Chris: Did you ask the doctor if chemotherapy is going to cure you?

Husband: We never ask.

Rose paid RM 160.00 for this consultation and was given a bottle of cough mixture to bring home!

What can we learn from this pathetic case?

  1. Your health is your responsibility. Many patients think that doctors know best and can fix all their problems. Once they go into the hospital, that’s it — they leave everything to the doctors! If that is your attitude, you will end up like Rose!

Rose found a lump in her breast. She had it removed. Hooray, it was not cancer — that is what everyone likes to hear. Then the lump grew back again — Rose went back to the same doctor and did a mastectomy. Did she ever ask any question — why this and why that? Probably not. The lump did not go away, as it grew bigger, Rose did not bother to consult another doctor — why did she allow the lump to grow so big like in the picture? Because it did not cause any pain, she said! When she started to cough and felt breathless, only then she decided to see the doctor again. She came back to the same hospital to do a “health screening” test. Is that the correct thing to do?

  1. Did Rose get the best of medical treatment? I am not too sure about that. A non-cancer lump became cancerous after two operations — is that a correct diagnosis? Did Rose go to the a “really good” doctor in town?

Remember, not all doctors are the same — in terms of experience, expertise and their empathy towards patients. As I was writing this story, one patient came. He said, The doctor told me there was about 5 liter of fluid in my lung. He tapped out 1 litre. I asked him why he did not remove the remaining 4 litre. He did not answer me. He was arrogant. What do you think of such doctors? Let him treat you again?

  1. Dr. Barry Boyd (in The Cancer Recovery Plan) wrote, “Most doctors don’t bother to counsel their patients after treatment. Once cancer treatment is completed, most patients are left on their own to cope with the rest of their lives. This is what I call falling off the cliff. Patients are left in free fall.”

Is this not what happened to Rose? Cut and cut, but was there any advice as to what to do to prevent or minimize the recurrence of the lump? No — just go home, do and eat what you like! Probably it is just your luck? If more problems crop up come back to us again and we cut you again or chemo you!

A taxi driver at the airport recommended that Rose come and consult us. When Rose came to see us, I thought it was a bit too late. Her health had deteriorated badly. I would try to help the best I can but I know I cannot make the big lump go away. I think it is not the lump that is going to kill her — it is the extensive lung metastasis.

 

 

 

Lung Cancer: After Surgery, Chemo and Radiation, the cancer spread to his healthy lung

CK is a 62-year-old male from Kuala Lumpur. He and his wife came to see us with copies of his medical reports neatly filed in a folder. This is a very pleasant couple who is now helpless and directionless. This is what happened.

1)  20 December 2015: Had food poisoning after taking expired red wine. 

2)  21 December 2015: Consulted a GP who discovered “cracking sound” in his left lung.

3) 22 December 2015: CT scan of chest showed a 3.2 x 5 cm mass in the left lung.

4)  2 January 2016: A CT-guided biopsy confirmed a bronchoalveolar adenocarcinoma.

CK was referred to a cardio-thoracic surgeon in a “heart hospital.”

5)  14 January 2016: PET scan confirmed carcinoma of the left lung with no associated locoregional or distant metastasis.

6)  23 January 2016: Admitted to the “heart hospital” for lower lobe lobectomy, i.e. surgery to remove a quarter of the lung.

The surgery was a “success” and histopathology report showed:

  1. a) Aortic wall adventitia was infiltrated by tumour.
  2. b) One pulmonary lymph node showed tumour metastasis.
  3. c) lower lobe of left lung — invasive adenocarcinoma with predominant bronchoalveolar and papillary pattern.

7)  February to June 2016: Underwent 4 cycles of chemotherapy and 20 sessions of radiotherapy.

Things seemed to be okay after all these treatments but CK had chest pains, coughs and fever. He was prescribed “strong” antibiotics.

8) 30 March 2017 — after slightly more than a year.

Follow up CT scan showed multiple nodules and patchy opacities in the upper and lower lobes of right lung.

Radiologist suggested: Differential diagnosis: lung metastases and pneumonia. Suggest close follow up CT lung after a course of antibiotics.

CK went back to his surgeon about this new development. The surgeon was pretty sure that the spots were not cancer related.

9)  1 June 2016:  CT scan of chest. The radiologists wrote the following:

CT on 23 March and 30 March 2017 were reviewed. The current CT is about 2-3 months after  the previous CTs. The current CT showed the following:

  1. a) The ground glass opacities in the right upper and lower lobes of the lung appears more dense and larger.
  2. b) Newer small nodular lesions are seen in the right upper and lower lobes.

Based on the above observations, the radiologist was of the opinion that this new development was a metastasis or recurrence. However, ground glass opacities may  be due to drug induced lung changes and infection.

The changes in the left upper lobe (note: left lower lobe was removed) are suggestive of non-neoplastic process and fibrosis. If DXT (radiotherapy) was given, these could be due to that treatment.

10) 18 September 2017: Went back to the same GP again (as in 2). “Cracking sound” at the lower part of my good lung.

Cancer marker in December 2016 was 16. In July 2017,it was 173.

CK and his wife decided not to go back to his doctors again. Because it will just be repeating the same procedures all over again — another biopsy and more chemo.

Total cost of treatment = RM130,000 of personal savings.

Comments 

I had my first lesson about lung cancer some 22 years ago. The second patient of CA Care is VJ. He had lung cancer and had one side of his lung removed and underwent treatments at the “cancer hospital.” I was at the hospital and saw him suffer and eventually died.. Surgery did not cure lung cancer. Treatments received in the cancer hospital also did not cure lung cancer.

My second lesson about lung cancer came a few years later when the mother of my student underwent radiotherapy for her lung cancer. Yes, I encouraged her to go for the treatment. After completion of her treatment she died. Lesson number two, radiation does not cure lung cancer. To understand why, just go to the market and buy a piece of lung. Bring home and place the lung over fire and see what happen! The lung hardened — and is this not why the patient cannot breath?

Over the years, I have seen this story being repeated over and over again. In the case of CK, it is another one of those cases I have come across over the years.

Can herbs cure CK’s cancer? No. Can we help him? May be. CK’s problem recurred less than 2 years after treatment. After spending RM 130,000 he got nothing out of it.

Perhaps some people would want  to tell you that if you don’t go for treatment, you would die sooner. Nope — I don’t believe so. Over the years, I have patients who led a much better life if they do nothing.

Perhaps you may want to read some of the articles I have written earlier:

  1. He Died Of Lung Cancer — Treated by the Best Oncologist in One of the Best Hospitals in the World

2. Medically Given Up Lung Cancer: She died after 5 years on CA Care Therapy

3. Lung Cancer: Six to 12 Months to Live. Must do chemo, that’s the only way. With herbs still alive after 2 years!

4. Lung Cancer: Given Honest Answers Patient May Run Away from Chemotherapy

5. Two Billion Rupiah, Chemo And Surgery Failed. Oncologist said, “More chemo, you just have to trust me!”

6. Lung Cancer: Chemo Experiments That Failed and Failed

7. Lung Cancer Success Stories

My advice to CK.

Don’t give up hope yet. We shall do our best. If you can sleep, can eat, can move around and have you no pain, don’t ask for more. To that CK and his wife totally agreed. In fact that was what they hope for when they came to seek our help … “to have quality life.”

 

 

 

May God bless you.

Skin Cancer That Spread to Her Lungs: Severe headache and numbness of face and jaw gone!

Su (not real name) is a 42-year-old Indonesian lady. Some years ago, she was told she had endometriosis and was given hormone medication. Then in 2013, she came to a private hospital in Penang and had her uterus removed. She was told nothing else was wrong and she did not need any medication.

A year later, 2014, she developed a lump, the size of a mole, on her head. Once a while this lump became painful. She did not consult any doctor and ignored the problem.

In September 2015, Su came to Penang again to seek the help of a doctor in a private hospital. This was because the swelling over her scalp had grown bigger, burst and was bleeding. It was something like 6 to 8 cm in size. This was after she was using some herbs for the lump.

A biopsy was done and confirmed as squamous cell carcinoma.

Su went to another doctor in another hospital to remove the lump. After the “successful” surgery, nothing else was done. Su came back once a while for follow up. Everything was okay!

The operation scar after a big lump was removed from the back of her head.

A year later, Su had a whole body check up. A CT scan showed 3 tiny spots in her lungs. The doctor was not sure what these were. She was told to come back after 3 months for another scan.

After 3 months, Su was told to go for a PET scan. She refused.

Su went to consult another specialist in another hospital. A CT of chest was done and showed multiple well defined nodules in both lungs. The largest of these is 16 mm in size. Conclusion: Lung metastasis.

Su was told to consult an oncologist. She refused. She went home and searched the internet. She found Keladi Tikus (not from CA Care) and started to take this together with other herbs.

Three months later, she came back to the doctor who did the surgery for her. A CT scan showed multiple bilateral lung metastases. The metastatic lung lesions are progressively increased in size and number.

 

Su was told to go and see an oncologist. She came to seek our help instead.

I prescribed her: Capsule A, C, D and M sides Lung 1 and Lung 2. We don’t have any specific herbal tea for skin cancer.

After 3 months on the herbs, Su said she got better — of course, far from being cured. We are glad that she look well, feel well and has no pain. Her severe headache which occurred for the past 3 to 4 months started to subside after a week on the herbs and eventually disappeared totally. Su said besides the headache which lasted from 2 or 3 p.m. until dinner time, she also had pain and numbness of her face and jaw. These too were gone after taking the herbs.

Listen to her conversation.

Comment

Melanoma or skin cancer is very rare. But fortunately, we have helped two melanoma cases with great success before. See here: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/category/melanoma/.

When Su came to see us, we were hopeful that we could help her as well. On the onset Su seems to be responding to our therapy very positively. She is leading a normal, pain-free life. That is a great blessing enough. My only advice I have for Su is to continue doing what she is doing. Unfortunately, my experience showed me that when a patient gets well, she/he will forget what we told them!

 

 

Lung Cancer: Spend RM80,000 and You Get Free Tarceva for Life

Sam (not real name) is 63 years old. Sometime in June 2016, he had pain in his right arm. An X-ray was done and the doctor said it could be due to muscle problem. He was asked to go for physiotherapy. It did not help.

In January 2017, his right arm was swollen and his condition became more serious. He consulted an orthopedic doctor. There was nothing wrong!

Sam was admitted into a private hospital on 11 February 2017 for further examination.

MRI on 12 February 2017 showed a 3.1 x 2.3 cm mass at the distal humerus (bone in the upper arm) involving the triceps muscle. Incidentally, the doctor also found a suspicious 4.4 x 5.2 cm lesion in the lower zone of his right lung.

A CT scan done the next day, 13 February 2017, confirmed the presence of an irregular 4.3 x 4.38 x 3.96 cm mass in his lung. There were also multiple enlarged lymph nodes in the pretracheal and carina. The largest being 2.69 x 1.77 x 1.9 cm and 3.48 x 2.91 x 1.61 cm respectively.

In short, the cancer had spread. But the question is: Spread from the lung to the bone, or from the bone to the lung? A biopsy of the bone showed negative for malignancy. A biopsy of the lung showed positive for cancer.

The total cost of the 4-day-stay in the hospital for the above procedures cost RM 12,595.90.

So what comes next? What to do. The doctor suggested the following options:

  1. Chemotherapy.
  2. Immunotherapy.
  3. Target therapy — taking of oral chemo-drug if it is positive for EGFR.
  4. Bisphosphonate, a drug that slows down or prevent bone damage. Depending on the type of drug given, this is to be taken either once a day, once a week (on the same day of the week), or once a month (on the same day of the month).

Listen to our conversation this morning!

Gist of our conversation.

Daughter: My father has lung cancer. It is positive for EGFR. The doctor suggested taking the oral targeted therapy, Tarceva. One box, lasting one month, cost about RM8,000. After we take Tarceva for 10 months, and if the medicine works, for the rest of his life the medicine will be free. But must complete the ten boxes first. That’s the deal!

Chris: You mean after spending RM80,000 they will give you Tarceva for free for life? But what happen if your father dies before the ten months?

D: I was thinking. May be my father cannot last that long. Maybe before the ten boxes, sure die one.

C: I have one patient who came and see me. She was asked to take Nevaxar (for liver cancer). The deal was buy one, free one. But must pay RM20,000 first (for the first month’s supply) and next month she will get one month’s supply of Nexavar for free! But after she took the drug for a week, her health deteriorated, had to be hopitalised and she died. Already paid RM20,000, cannot claim back.

So back to you, Tarceva is a good deal. Why don’t you want to take the drug? Can take the drug for life and no need to pay.

D: (Shaking her head) No, don’t want.

C: Did you ask if Tarceva can cure or not?

D: It will control the cancer cells, so that they never spread.

C: But cannot cure?

D: That’s what I asked him (doctor). The tumour is going to be there.

C: That means, cannot cure la because the tumour is still there.

D:  In about 5 percent of patients, the tumour shrink.
C: What happen to the 95 percent, tumour never shrink?

D; Under control.

C: I tell you. For some people the tumour was totally gone after taking the drug. But a few months later, the tumour came back again. And this time it was twice the size.

Did the doctor tell you about the side effects of Tarceva?

D: Ya, I asked. Diarrhoea, only that.

C: Only that?

D: Ya, mild one only.

C: You believe him or not?

D: May be not.

C: I tell you. Don’t just listen to me only. I can bluff you. Go back and read more. Read what others say.

D: I prefer natural medicine.

C: I shall do my best to help you. I shall give you herbal teas for his lung, lymph nodes and bone. The herbs are bitter — awful taste. Can or not?

Know that I cannot cure your cancer. But take herbs and see if they can help you or not. If you take the herbs for a month, I am going to ask you if you feel better or not. If you don’t feel better, then no need to come and see me anymore. If you feel better, continue taking the herbs.

When can you stop taking the herbs? I really don’t know. But if you are feeling better, why stop it? Because I know there is no cure for cancer.

In America, most people with stage 4 lung cancer die within a year. But, I am not saying you are going to die soon. Go home and read the stories (in the website).

Of course, all of us have to die. So don’t worry about death. What is important is, don’t die suffering. Want to die also cannot, want to live also cannot. That’s terrible.

So, I shall try to help you. If it’s good, continue. If no good, don’t continue. Go home, take care of yourself and take care of your diet.

Comments

They say knowledge is power. This is true! To me, with cancer, ignorance kills!

I am glad that Sam’s daughter is smart! She asked questions. And she “processed” the answers given!

In this world today, we read about “fake news”, “fake information”, “cybertrooper”, etc.. So please be on guard and beware.

As I was writing this story, one lady came to ask for help. She was also given Tarceva for her lung cancer. For about one month plus, Tarceva seemed good for her. Then she started to suffer side effects. After seven months the side effects were unbearable and she gave up Tarceva totally. No, she did not hit the 10-month-mark! The irony is, this lady is a medical staff of a hospital. She should know better!

Listen to her story.

Google “side effects of Tarceva” and you get this. No, it is more than just mild diarrhoea!

Side effects of Tarceva include:

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • blemishes on the skin
  • bloated or full feeling
  • bone pain
  • burning, dry, or itching eyes
  • diarrhea (mild)
  • difficulty with moving
  • dizziness
  • dry eyes
  • dry skin
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • excessive tearing
  • fear
  • feeling sad or empty
  • feeling unusually cold
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • irritability
  • itching skin
  • joint pain
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • nervousness
  • passing gas
  • pimples
  • rash, mild
  • redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
  • shivering
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • swelling
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • swollen joints
  • thinning of the hair
  • tiredness
  • trouble or inability to sleep
  • trouble with concentrating
  • weight loss
  • loosening of the fingernails
  • redness or soreness around the fingernails.

Source: https://www.drugs.com/sfx/tarceva-side-effects.html

More about the side effects of Tarceva:

Meaningless Shrinking of Tumor While on Tarceva https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/04/26/meaningless-shrinking-of-tumor-while-on-tarceva-treatment/ 

Meaningless Decline of CA 15.3 and Tumour Shrinkage Following Treatment With Iressa and Tarceva https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/04/26/meaningless-decline-of-ca-15-3-and-tumour-shrinkage-following-treatment-with-iressa-and-tarceva/ 

 

Update: Daughter wrote to say father died on 7 October 2017

Swollen face, palm and foot gone after three days on herbs

lotus-3

 

MS is a 68-year-old man. About four years ago, he had colon cancer. He underwent an operation but did not undergo follow-up chemotherapy. He went on vegetarian diet. His cancer did not go away.

CT scan done on 1 August 2016, showed large mass in his right lung measuring 10 x 7.4 x 10.0 cm in size. It invaded the mediastinum. There were also multiple smaller lesions in the right and left lungs, measuring up to 2.4 cm.

MS did not receive any more medical treatment and opted for supplements. He took Transfer Factor, Probiotics, Tea4Life, etc.

MS became breathless.  X-ray done on 29 August 2016, showed a 12.0 x 9.0 cm mass with pleural effusion (fluid in the lung) as below.

tham-lung-xray

Ultrasound guided drainage of the lung fluid was done. Blood test showed the following results.

Platelets count 522
CEA 900.7
CA 125 148
CA 19.9 193.07

 

MS stayed at home and took whatever supplements, but these did not help him. On 3 January 2017, a son of MS came to seek our help.

I was told that MS had difficulty breathing and his face, hands and legs were swollen. He was not able to lie down flat when sleeping.

This was what I told his son: This is a serious case and there is no cure. Let us try to tackle the problem slowly. First is to try and resolve this swelling and also get rid of the fluid in his lungs.

MS was prescribed Lung 1, Lung 2 teas plus Lung Phlegm. In addition he was given Upper Edema tea.

Wonderful results: Listen to what his son told us.

 

 

  1. Swelling of the face, hand and feet were gone after taking the herbs for three days!
  2. He had more strength.
  3. He urinated a lot.
  4. He coughed out a lot of phlegm (effect of the Lung Phlegm tea).

Comment:  We often tell people that we are not magicians and we cannot do magic. But sometimes that in this special case, magic did happen. It is beyond our expectation even though we have seen such results happened many times before!  Praise God for this wonderful blessing.

 

He Died Of Lung Cancer — Treated by the Best Oncologist in One of the Best Hospitals in the World

It was 3 a.m. when I finished reading the last page of this 224-page-New York Time #1 Bestseller.

When breath becomes air

The Author: Dr. Paul Kalanithi was an outstanding neurosurgeon with very impressive academic credentials. He graduated from Stanford University with a BA and MA in English literature and a BA in human biology. He earned an MPhil in history and philosophy of science and medicine from the University of Cambridge. Later, he went to Yale School of Medicine where he graduated with a cum laude. Paul then returned to Stanford to complete his residency training in neurosurgery.

To Paul, being a neurosurgeon is a noble calling. You can’t see it as a job, because if it’s a job, it’s one of the worst jobs there is.

Unfortunately, fate has it that Paul did not end up being a full-fledged neurosurgeon. Well into his six-year-residency  he was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. Less than two years (22 months) after the diagnosis he died — just when he was ready to graduate.

I read this book with a heavy heart — sad that such a brilliant and caring doctor like Paul had to leave so soon.  Lucy — Paul’s wife wrote, When I see the hospital where Paul lived and died as a physician and a patient, I understand that had he lived, he would have made great contributions as a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist. He would have helped countless patients and their families.

Such is the sad, cruel reality about life. Lucy wrote, What happened to Paul was tragic, but he was not a tragedy. True indeed. I always believe for anything that happens, there must be a reason if only we look at the bigger picture.

Salute the Neurosurgeon!

Paul did well in life — he studied literature, history and philosophy before doing medicine. With such academic background he was well prepared to become a caring doctor — a cut above others. Here are some quotations of what Paul wrote in his book:

  • As a resident, my highest ideal was not saving lives — everyone dies eventually — but guiding a patient or family to an understanding of death or illness. Where there’s no place for the scalpel, words are the surgeon’s only tool.
  • Our patients’ lives and identities may be in our hands, yet death always wins. Even if you are perfect, the world isn’t. The secret is to know that the deck is stacked, that you will lose, that your hands or judgment will slip, and yet still struggle to win for your patients.
  • Like my own patients, I had to face my mortality and try to understand what made my life worth living. With limited time, Paul wrote this book. He did not get to finish it.

Prognosis and Statistics

As a neurosurgery resident Paul had operated on brain cancer. After surgery it is the standard practice to send patients for follow up chemo and/or radiation. Here doctors often talk about prognosis with their patients and family members.

This is something Paul wanted us to know. He wrote, By this point, I had learned a couple of basic rules. First, detailed statistics are for research halls, not hospital rooms … Second, it is important to be accurate, but you must always leave some room for hope — Median survival is eleven months or You have 95 percent chance of being dead in two years — I come to believe that it is irresponsible to be more precise than you can be accurate. Those apocryphal doctors who gave specific numbers (The doctor told me I had six months to live): Who were they, I wondered, and who taught them statistics?

Limitation of Science

  • Although I had been raised in a devout Christian family …I, like most scientific types, came to believe in the possibility of material conception of reality, an ultimately scientific worldview that would grant a complete metaphysics, minus outmoded concepts like souls, God, and bearded white men in robes.
  • Scientific methodology is the product of human hands and thus cannot reach some permanent truth. We build scientific theories to organize and manipulate the world, to reduce phenomena into manageable units.
  • Science is based on reproducibility and manufactured objectivity.
  • Science … its inablity to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.
  • Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. 

Stage 4 Lung Cancer

  • At age thirty-six, I had reached the mountaintop; I could see the Promised Land …. then a few weeks later I began having bouts of severe chest pain … my weight began dropping … from 175 to 145 pounds. I developed persistent cough. Little doubt remained.
  • In May 2013, it was confirmed that Paul had a stage 4 non-small cell EGFR-positive lung cancer. At that time he was in his sixth year of residency — one more year to
  • The irony was that Paul had never smoked.

The World’s Best Oncologist

  • The search was on — to find who was the best lung cancer oncologist (USA). Houston and New York had major cancer cancers …The replies came back quickly and more or less unanimously: Emma (also in Stanford) not only was one of the best — a world-renowned oncologist who served as the lung cancer expert on one of the major national cancer advisory boards — but she was also known to be compassionate, someone who knew when to push and when to hold back.
  • On many occasions when consulting Emma, it was clear that this compassionate oncologist did not “dictate things” to her patient. I could hear Emma’s voice again: You have to figure out what’s most important to you.
  • Emma once told Paul: I’m totally happy for us to make your medical plan together; obviously, you’re a doctor, you know what you’re talking about, and it’s your life.
  • At their initial consultation, Paul wanted to discuss the prognosis — possibly how much time left. Emma evaded the question and said, We’re not discussing that.
  • Two months in, Emma remained vague about any prognostication, and every statistics I cited she rebuffed with a reminder to focus on my values.

Temporary Response

Paul had an EGFR-positive tumour. No intravenous chemotherapy was indicated for the moment. He was put on an oral targeted drug called Tarceva.

His cancer responded to the treatment — My lungs, speckled with innumerable tumours before, were clear except for a one-centimetre nodule in the right upper lobe … there had been a clear, dramatic reduction in tumour burden.

Paul regained strength and he returned to work in late 2013, completing his seventh year of residency.

Relapse — Chemotherapy: Too many cooks spoil the broth?

In spring of 2014, the cancer relapsed. The only option left was chemotherapy.  This was what happened after one of his chemo sessions.

  • I began to deteriorate, my diarrhea rapidly worsening … my kidneys began to fail. My mouth became so dry I would not speak or swallow … my serum sodium had reached a near-fatal level. Part of my soft palate and pharynx died from dehydration and peeled out of my mouth … I was transferred to the ICU. I was in pain …. a pantheon of specialists was brought together to help: medical intensivists, nephrologists, gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, infectious disease specialists, neurosurgeons, general oncologists, thoracic oncologists, otolaryngologist …. 
  • I was acutely aware that with this many voices, cacophony (unpleasant mixture of loud sounds) In medicine, this is known as the WICOS problem: Who Is the Captain Of the Ship? The nephrologists disagreed with the ICU doctors, who disagreed with the endocrinologists, who disagreed with the oncologists, who disagreed with the gastroenterologists. I felt the responsibility of my care… tried to corral all the doctors to keep the facts and interpretations straight.

It is hard to tell laymen, like you and me, to take charge of your own health and treatment when you are in the hospital surrounded by all those experts. But yet, that should be the way it should be!

Chemotherapy took a heavy toll on Paul. He wrote: Withered, I could see my bones against my skin, a living X-ray. At home, simply holding my head up was tiring. Lifting a glass of water required both hands. Reading was out of question.

Chemo Failed – He Died

  • Treatment wasn’t an option — not until I regained some strength.
  • Emma, I said, what’s the next step?
  • Get stronger, That’s it.
  • But when the cancer recurs … I mean, the probabilities …. I paused. First-line therapy (Tarceva) had failed. Second-line therapy (chemo) had nearly killed me. Third-line therapy, if I could even get there, made few promises.
  • You have five good years left, she (Emma) said. She pronounced it, but without authoritative tone of an oracle, without any confidence of a true believer. She said it, instead, like a plea… Doctors, it turns out, need hope, too.

Paul did not live to write the closing chapter of his book. It was left to his wife, Lucy, to document his last hours on earth in the Epilogue. Paul died, two months short of two years (on Monday, 9 March  2015) after his diagnosis. He was 37 years old.

  • In the Epilogue Lucy said, Writing this book was a chance for this courageous … (Paul) to teach us to face death with integrity.

To us who is still living, I also say, Let us learn to embrace death with courage and understanding.

Lessons from Paul’s Experience

As I read this book, I learned many things. And I kept thinking and asking. Let me share my thoughts with you.

Family of Doctors

Paul came from a family of doctors. His father, brother, uncle, wife  are all doctors. Paul was not any ordinary doctor. He was trained in one of the best medical schools in the country. When he had cancer, he had the best oncologist in the world to treat him. Few of us would not have that privilege and opportunity. Perhaps we don’t need the best when it comes to cancer? What difference would that make?

Modern medicine had contributed very much to lighten human sufferings. Let no one doubt about that. But when it comes to cancer and its treatment, perhaps we need to take a step backward, pause and explore more.

43 Wrong-battle-wrong-weapons

48-We-fought-ca-Cancer-won

Yes, many people wrote about the need to rethink the war on cancer, but there are many others who would strongly defend the status quo. Why change? Why look for something else when the present ways serve the Cancer Industry so well?

When my wife and I started CA Care in 1995, to help cancer patients, I knew absolutely nothing about cancer and its treatment. No, I did not go to medical school. I relied on my Ph.D. and my research experience on plants to do what is right for those helpless and hopeless patients. After 20 years of dealing with cancer patients, I can say this to all and sundry. As far as cancer treatment is concerned, there  are other options than just chemo and radiation. Perhaps by taking the non-conventional path, you could live longer, with less suffering and not having to deplete your life’s saving to pay for the medical bills.

I have written numerous studies in these two comic books.

Title-Page-600

Available at http://bookoncancer.com/productDetail.php?P_Id=75

In Lung Cancer – What Now?  I have documented 12 cases of lung cancers – nine of which are about patients who failed to find the cure that they wanted, in spite of spending hundreds of thousands of ringgit on their medical treatments.

Meaningless shrinkage of tumour by Iressa

1 2

Meaningless shrinkage of tumour by Tarceva

3

These two cases happened with patients in Jakarta (above) and in Malaysia (below). And this also happened some years later with Dr. Paul in Stanford. What can we learn from such cases?

Title-page-600

Available:  http://bookoncancer.com/productDetail.php?P_Id=73

In Lung Cancer – Success Stories, I presented 12 cases of patients who opted for “alternative” treatment for their lung cancer.

Statistics of Lung Cancer Survival

4 5 6 7

 

Dr. Paul had Tarceva. This drug helped him for about a year. Then the cancer came back again. He then had chemotherapy and died. He survived 22 months after his initial diagnosis. That happened in Stanford under the care of the best oncologist in the world.

Back in Malaysia, there is also a professor who is the best for lung cancer. According to him, most of his patients who were treated in his clinic died after two years.

The same achievement as in Stanford?

If you do the same thing over and over again. You can expect the same results. Is that not what science teaches us? Remember what Henry Ford and Einstein said.

Insanity both

In this story above, mom opted for CA Care Therapy. She declined chemotherapy even though she was told that without chemo she would die within six months. Professor X was surprised how mom had survived for four years without chemo. Is that an achievement or quackery (like many in the medical industry want us to believe)?

Why haven’t you die yet?

89 10 11

CA Care has been around for about 20 years now.  Like Dr. Paul, my wife and I went into this because it was a “calling” — an answer to my prayer. Looking back, we have no regrets. Instead, we feel blessed to be able to help patients who need our help. They come from far and near.

 

 

 

 

Chemo and Tarceva Did Not Cure His Lung Cancer: Another meaningless decline of tumour markers

Jack (not real name) was 43 years old when he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  His problem started in October 2013, when there was a swelling in the right collar bone. Apart from this, there was no other symptoms — no cough, etc.  Jack said in 2013, he had fevers on three occasions that make him feel tired.

A blood test on 24 October 2013 showed his CEA was at 133.3 and CA 19.9 at 9,524.0

A CT scan on 30 October 2013 showed:

  • An irregular lesion in the right lung apex, 35 x 42 x 28 mm.
  • Speckles of calcification in both lungs upper lobe suggesting prior tuberculous infection.
  • Bilateral supraclavicular lymph node 10 to 20 mm.
  • Multiple enlarged mediastinal and right hilar lymph nodes.
  • Numerous small nodules in both lungs – likely metastases.
  • Liver shows a least 7 hypodense lesions, largest 30 x 32 mm in the left lobe – likely metastases.
  • Multiple enlarged lymph nodes in the celiac and paracaval regions.
  • Sclerotic lesions at vertebral bodies of L3, L4 and L5 – likely metastases.

A tru-cut biopsy of the right lung mass was performed and confirmed a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma.

Jack underwent 6 cycles of chemotherapy. The drug used was Cisplatin. Each cycles cost about RM10,000. The treatment lasted until February 2014.

Let’s follow the progress of Jack’s treatment.

Table 1:  Blood test results during chemotherapy.

Date 24 Oct 13 25 Nov 13 16 Dec 13 6 Jan 14 27 Jan 14 17 Feb 14
Total bilirubin 18.1  H 13.7 15.5 13.5 14.8 17.8
Alkaline phosphatase 210   H 217 147 132 (normal) 148 125
ALT 49 62 59 34 26 23
AST 28 30 30 21 19 17
GGT 114   H n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Platelet 495   H 477 250 258 233
CEA 133.3  H n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
CA 19.9 9,524  H 2,394 325 268 246 195
Before chemo After chemotherapy
At this stage, chemotherapy was very effective and helpful.  Alkaline phosphatase declined. Platelet count was down and CA 19.9 decreased from 9,524 to 195. Bravo – great results.

After the completion of chemotherapy in February 2014, Jack was put on the oral drug Tarceva. He was on Tarceva until June 2015.

His tumour markers – both the CEA and CA 19.9, continued to decrease (Table 2).

 

Table 2: After intravenous chemo, patient was on oral drug, Tarceva.

Date 25 Mar 14 15 Apr 14 14 May 14 16 Jun 14 21 July 14 18 Aug 14
Total bilirubin 31.6 37.7 27.5 25.5 24.6 27.8
Alakaline phosphatase 142 136 125 84 78 66
ALT 26 43 36 17 16 14
AST 27 56 24 20 19 16
GGT n/a n/a 40 26 23 23
Platelet 370 253 281 313 266 281
CEA n/a 28 2.3 1.9 1.6 1.4
CA 19.9 n/a 14 5.0 6.5 <2.0 3.8
Six months on Tarceva (from February 2014 to August 2014) the CEA and CA 19.9 decreased significantly.Again, great results!

From April 2014 to December 2014 Jack also received 6 to 8 monthly injections of Denosumab. This is a monoclonal antibody used to treat bone cancer. It is also known by its brand name, Xgeva and Prolia.

 

Table 3:  CEA and CA 19.9 started to increase even though Jack was on Tarceva.

Date 22 Sep 14 20 Oct 14 24 Nov 14 29 Dec 14
Total bilirubin 21.8 21.6 21.9 27.1
Alakaline phosphatase 66 76 69 77
ALT 16 15 16 16
AST 18 22 19 20
GGT 23 23 26 24
Platelet 277 329 294 299
CEA 2.2 3.9 7.4 12.6
CA 19.9 7.2 6.6 11.4 27.9
From September 2014 both the CEA and CA 19.9 started to increase in spite of Jack being on Tarceva. In September 2014 the CEA was 2.2 and it increased to 12.6 by December 2014. Similarly, CA 19.9 increased from 7.2 to 27.9 during the same period.

Because of the rising CEA and CA 19.9, Jack was again given 4 cycles of chemo. This time the drugs used were Carboplatin + Gemzar. The total treatment cost RM40,000.

 

Table 4: The second round of chemo with Carboplatin + Gemzar produced limited benefits.

Date 26 Jan 15 27 Feb 15 6 Mar 15 13 Mar 15 27 Mar 15
Total bilirubin 24.6 17.6 19.9 15.6 24.7
Alakaline phosphatase 74 87 54 67 61
ALT 16 19 25 20 15
AST 21 17 16 16 14
GGT 27 27 27 27 23
Platelet 315 295 453 192 259
CEA 22.3 21.6 22.0 28.6 29.9
CA 19.9 47.2 44.6 31.9 52.5 70.2
From January to April 2015, Carboplatin + Gemzar regime managed to stabalized the CEA level ranging from 22 to 30. CA19.9 stabalized from 31 to 70 during the same period.

 

Table 5: CEA and CA19.9 on the march — treatment failed!

Date 3 Apr 15 17 Apr 15 24 Apr 15 19 Jun 15
Total bilirubin 20.4 25.8 24.8 33.7
Alakaline phosphatase 49 73 65 73
ALT 24 14 23 12
AST 16 14 18 14
GGT 24 22 24 24
Platelet 509 276 268 321
CEA 29.6 32.7 31.6 93.2
CA 19.9 45.1 52.5 37.7 511.5
Error in platelet reading? In April CEA was around 29 to 31 while CA 19.9 was around 37 to 45.But  barely 2 months after the completion of chemotherapy, the CEA shot up to 93.2 and CA19.9 went up to 511.

Jack said he was disappointed with the results, in spite of the initial good response to chemotherapy. He decided to “shop” for alternative medicine while waiting for his doctor to take the next step.

Comments

This is indeed a sad case but not a unique one. Over the years we have seen cases after cases like this. After the chemo, the tumour markers dropped or the tumour shrunk or disappeared. But such responses did not last long. After a few months, the cancer recurred and this time it became more aggressive.

We sat down with Jack and tried to understand what was going on. No doubt about it, he was very much encouraged with the initial results. Within 8 months of treatment his CA 19.9 which was at 9,524 dropped to less than 2.0. That was a great achievement indeed. Who would not be excited about such feat? But what many patients don’t know or what those who should know do not want to know is that such dramatic drop of CA 19.9 (or even total shrinkage of tumour) is not permanent. It NEVER translates into a cure. It is meaningful in the short term but meaningless in the long term.

Read some of the stories here:

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/04/02/lung-cancer-meaningless-temporary-drop-of-cea-after-iressa/

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2014/07/05/the-story-of-moms-lung-brain-bone-cancer/

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2014/04/24/two-billion-rupiah-chemo-and-surgery-failed-oncologist-said-more-chemo-you-just-have-to-trust-me/

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2014/01/27/lung-cancer-meaningless-shrinkage-of-tumour-and-decline-of-tumour-markers-reading/

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2013/11/29/lung-cancer-chemo-experiments-that-failed-and-failed/

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/10/08/metastatic-lung-cancer-meaningless-fall-and-rise-of-cea-with-iressa-and-tarceva/

Let me ask you to ponder what Einstein wrote:

1 Insanity-by-Einstein

Do you see any truth is that statement?

Many of us may want to ask: Where is the problem? What causes this problem? What can we do about it?

Jack told us that his oncologist is a very nice man and he was trying his best to cure him. Understandable. We cannot blame the doctor. Legally and medically, apart from chemo or oral drugs, he has nothing else to offer you. He can’t ask you to take supplements or herbs, etc.

Unfortunately, some oncologists will rip apart those who dare to suggest that patients  take herbs, vitamins or control their diet. Nonsense they say — all these non-medical ways are not scientifically proven.

But hang on, is the present day treatment like above  based on “real science”? Granted, these chemo-drugs have undergone clinical trials and have been approved by Government Authorities. But, what does all this mean? The approved drugs can cure your cancer? Far from it! Ask,  why do we see failures after failures being repeated over and over again? It appears that failures  seems to be the norm rather than an exception.

Chemo drugs 3 percetn effective chemo drugs only 25 percent effective

I have one suggestion for those who want to do something!  Think about it seriously.

Granted, chemo-drugs sometimes can make the tumour markers drop to normal level or the tumour shrunk completely after the treatment. But what do you do after this achievement? Send the patient home and ask him to live the same style of life that he/she had before — the earlier life that promoted his/her cancer?

Free fall

  • What if we have a program that teaches patients how to live a healthy life after being effectively treated?
  • What if we teach them to change their life style and diet?
  • What if we ask them to take supplements, vitamins or herbs to make them healthy?
  • What if we ask them to take time to exercise?

These are things that patients can do for themselves when they go home after their “apparently successful” medical treatment.  Above all, these are “harmless” efforts that can result in a better and healthier cancer-free life.

  • In short, why can’t the medical establishment work together with the alternative healers to try and help patients prevent or minimize their cancer recurrence?

At CA Care we teach patients all the above. We take over after patients decide not to go for any more medical treatments. And often for those who are really committed, we succeeded in helping patients to heal themselves.