Amazing Healing of Cancer Pain

Y is a 53-year-old Indonesian lady. In early February 2017 went for a pap smear. The result was okay but she was told that she had a 13-cm-cyst in her uterus.

Y underwent a hysterectomy. Histopathology report confirmed a leiomyosarcoma and endometrial stromal tumor.

After this operation, her right leg swelled and she could not walk (picture below).

Y was referred to an oncologist who suggested that she undergo three cycles of chemo to be followed by another surgery. According to the doctor, the swelling was due to a blockage.

Y refused further medical treatment and started to take Linzhi and Porcupine stone! One capsule of porcupine stone cost IDR300.000 and she took 2 capsules per day.

Y’s daughter came to seek our help on behalf of her mother. We prescribed herbs for her to try. After 10 days on the herbs, the swelling of her right leg subsided (picture above).

Y and her family decided to come to Penang. She went to consult a doctor in a private hospital. She was told the cancer had already spread to her kidney. She was asked to see a surgeon.

Y refused further surgery and came to see us.

Chris: You have a sarcoma that had spread to the kidney. What do you expect me to do?

Y: I want you to cure me.

C: No, I am sorry, I cannot cure you.

After talking to the family, I realised that Y is not an easy patient to handle. I advised her accordingly!

Some weeks later, Y’s children — daughter and son — came back to see us again. Listen to our conversation that morning.

 

 

Gist of our conversation.

Chris: When she (your mother) came to see me, I “scolded” her! When she went home, did she take the herbs?

Daughter: Yes.

C: After taking the herbs, did she get better or worse?

D: She is better now!

Pain Gone

C: She was in pain. So I gave her Pain Tea. After taking this tea, did the pain become more or less?

D: For the first two weeks, she still had pain. But after that the pain was reduced. The past two weeks, there is no more pain.

C: Before taking the herbs, how was her pain?

Son: Pain from head to toe. We could not even touch her — she would feel pain. She could cry when the pain was severe. The whole body was in severe pain. The pain came on and off.

C: For each attack of pain, how long did it last?

D: About half an hour or so.

C: In a day, how often did she get this pain attack?

D: Two to three times a day.

C: Was this pain attack a result of something that she did? Or for no season the pain just came on?

S: But the past week there was no more pain.

C: I remember you writing me to say that she wanted to take doctor’s pain medication.

D: No, no she did not take any doctor’s painkiller.

C: Before you said the pain was so severe that she cried. Now, there was no more pain — even if you touch her, she did not feel pain any more. I must say, I really don’t know how this works!

Swelling of Leg Reduced

C: You send me a picture of your mother’s legs. You said it was swollen after her operation but after taking the herbs for 10 days the swelling was reduced (picture below).

 

Declined Further Medical Treatment

C: Why did you not want to go and see the doctor?

S: Don’t want.

C: Why didn’t you want to go for chemo? Tell me, you don’t want her to go or your mother did not want to go?

Fatigue

C: Apart from the pain, what other problems has she now?

S: She is very tired, no energy. This is because she did not eat and sleep well.

Vomiting

S: When she drank the herbal tea, it went it and then out again — vomited. Even food or drink, she would just vomit out.

D: She had to take in little by little.

C: Even for the herbal tea? Do you think she even manage to take in 50 percent of the teas?

D: Difficult.

C: If she can’t even take in 50 percent of the teas — it’s going to be a difficult story. But what can we do. Let’s try our best.

The following are some of the emails written by her daughter.

Dear dr. Teo,

I need your advice about the result of blood, urine, and faeces test that my mom took 2 days before.

The doctor here said the result showing my mom’s vomit was because of ‘junk in the blood’ so he advised to take haemodialysis (cuci darah) to reduce the vomit. And from the CA125A test, he said that my mom was at 4th stage cancer.

Do you mind to see the result?

Reply: I checked your mom’s file. For the vomiting — still vomiting, still cannot eat? I asked to take Appetite and Vomit tea. Also did you take the Lower Edema tea for the¬†swelling of the leg?

Dear dr. Teo,

Yes, we prepared the drink you said and the swelling one. But she cannot drink at all too, once the drink swallowed, she will vomit again.

Reply: You should give her the Appetite and Vomit tea first. Stop other teas.

Yes, we’ve tried but also can’t drink at all ūüė¶

Reply:  Aya! susah (problem).

Yeah, I confused with this situation. Actually she said that it is not her not wanting to drink. She want but she can’t.

 

 

Mary’s Story: A Family’s Journey With Cancer

by Sue Stedman (Author), Jim Stedman (Contributor), Matt Stedman (Contributor), Anne Stedman Herwick (Contributor)

This is a unique diary, principally written by Sue Stedman (mother) about her daughter’s (Mary) cancer journey. This is a sad, heart-breaking story that kept me awake, on certain days to read up to 2.30 a.m.

This was what happened ….

  • In early July 1986, 22-year-old Mary went water skiing with some friends. She fell several times. The doctor suspected she had a hematoma (a localized collection of blood outside the blood vessels) in her leg.
  • Mary underwent an operation. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a low-grade malignant tumour of a type that particularly afflicts young people and she had a 60/40 chance.
  • The type of tumour Mary had was so rare, they would have to call around the country to get some consensus about what treatment they might try and what the percentages on its success might be.¬†
  • What came back was that we were in deep shit. This was a sarcoma — the type of cancer that is not responsive to radiation or chemo … rare, stubborn and aggressive.
  • Anyway, there was not much choice. Mary underwent about 6 weeks of radiotherapy.
  • It was too much to do the radiation and chemo simultaneously, but it was the doctors’ opinion that we had no time to lose. If there were metastases in the bloodstream, and they grow into tumours, chemo wouldn’t help — our only chance was to try to zap the little suckers now. He (oncologist) was convincing, Jim and I (both parents) were solidly together in urging it as “insurance”.
  • Chemotherapy was then started.
  • Mary shared her initial chemo experience.
  • It all went downhill. All night long I was so sick. I felt very nauseated. I had never been ill (vomited) that many that many times in my life. I almost wanted to end it I felt so terrible.
  • Then they gave me some medicine, and I finally started feeling better.
  • I took a shower today and then started to brush it slowly. I looked at my brush and there seemed to be a few extra hairs in it. Then I pulled at the hairs in my head and sure enough 15 or so were coming out at a time. It’s happening … I/m losing my hair! Over the days more and more came out.
  • I’m going to do it! Mom and I went into the bathroom and she started to cry …. We used the shears and cut, cut, cut …. I was standing there bald as a billiard ball.

 

  • The next “crisis” .. the effects of the radiation were like a gigantic sunburn. This played havoc with her just-barely-healed surgery scar, making it swell and weep.

 

  • ¬†Mary had a high fever. Their suspicion was that the inside tip of the catheter had gotten infected. Mary was put on antibiotics.

 Mary shared more of her experiences.

  • My hair is slowly but surely growing back. It is now 1/4 of an inch high.
  • I went to try to start my 3rd treatment. My blood count was still too low!

 4 March 1987: Mary completed her final 4th cycle of chemo.

¬†4 June 1987 (three months later): CT scan showed three small dots on her left lung and one in her right lung … they compared it to a previous CT scan … but, no, it was new.¬†

25 June 1987: They told us if we did nothing more, Mary would have about a year to live … there were now 4 or 5 (spots) in her left lung. There was a remote chance surgery would help.

 2 July 1987: Mary underwent an operation of her left lung. The surgeon found 12 tumours instead of 3 or 4. I became convinced there was no way this was going to be a cure. 

18 September 1987: The oncologist said, it was growing in the right lung and already showing up again in the left one … we were not talking about surgery as a possible cure … they really didn’t have a cure …. surgery might add weeks or months, but it would be one surgery after another … I ‘d rather live whatever time I had left doing what I enjoy. it seemed to me like it was time to put it in God’s hand.

 17 January 1988: Mary suffered internal bleeding.

¬†26 January 1988: Mary had a second surgery. It was a mess. It was so bad …. The bottom lobe of her right lung was removed.¬†

  • Mary lost a lot of weight and we tried to at least push Instant Breakfast to get a few pounds on her … she began vomiting and vomiting .. she couldn’t keep anything down.

 10 February 1988: Admitted to hospital for pneumonitis.

¬†30 March 1988: Need oxygen for breathing. She was having an anxiety attack, primarily from oxygen deprivation … and couldn’t sleep well at night.

¬†5 April 1988: One symptom or another …. nausea had been a major one …. Mary practically didn’t eat anything — it was too hard to swallow — too much trouble — and she wasn’t hungry. She had nausea pills, sleeping pills, cough medicine.

7 April 1988: Mary really couldn’t talk now — she could whisper out a few things .. but couldn’t make herself understood.

8 April 1988: 8:45 a.m. She was all practical purposes in a coma. Her breathing was labored … she couldn’t be roused when you called her name. Occasionally Mary’s breathing would kind of hitch — she’d stop breathing for a few seconds — and then start up again. Finally came a “hitch” that didn’t restart. Then it was over. No trumpets, no screams, nothing dramatic … the entrance or exit of the breath of God in a human being.

¬†It has been a long 20 month’s journey, and it was time to rest.

For her Holy Card for the funeral, Mary personally chose these words from the Bible – James 4:13-15.

Now listen to me, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will spend a year, and go into business and make much money. You do not even know what your life tomorrow will be like! For you are like a thin fog, which appears for a moment and then disappears. This, then, is what you should say: If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this and that.

We might want to ponder on the words said by family members after Mary’s death.

  • Why? Why her? Why so young? “Why?” is a question with no answer — and a dangerous one. It’s the question that’s the cutoff line between those who get bitter and those who grow.
  • ¬†The question has to be: “now that this situation is here, how will I chose to deal with it? As a family, we couldn’t control the “why” of it, but we could control at least some of the “how”, by trying to do as good a job as we were capable of in dealing with it.¬†
  • Cancer is a type of thing that can tear a family apart. The constant barrage of chemotherapy and surgeries followed by the possibility of more bad news becomes very stressful. Our family worked to support each other as we went through various stages of exhaustion and grief … It’s easy to become bitter and turn your back on religion in these difficult times, but we chose to put our faith in each other and God to help get us through.¬†

Mary’s story happened 29 years ago. This book was published in 2015. You might want to ask: Why take so long to write? This is what the author said: Maybe it’s that we’re now a lot older, in our 70s and feel a need to tell the story.

Jim (Mary’s brother wrote): For 27 years, only the family had copies of this journal but recently we thought it might help others going through similar circumstances and decided to make it available to anyone who wanted it. Hopefully, our story can help with whatever you’re needing at the time that you read it.

Comments

For over 20 over years, I have been helping cancer patients. I have talked to patients about their problems. I have heard all kinds of sad stories. But this book stands out to be one of its kind. Each page consists of a day to day “no holds barred” account of what and how 22-year-old Mary went through her cancer treatment.

As I read this book, I could also feel the anger, fear, frustration, disappointment, helplessness, acceptance and eventually peace. Mary had good, dedicated doctors to help her. But there was that much any human being could do. Even up to this day, we know that surgery, radiation, and chemo would not cure sarcoma.

As I am writing this review, I have three files of sarcoma patients in front of me: a four-and-half-year old  girl, and two ladies, thirty years old and fifty-three years old. They had gone through what Mary had gone through. Now, they came to CA Care for help, as a last resort. It is sad indeed.

The basis of the so-called scientific treatment of cancer remains unchanged over the decades, so is the result! Let me end this article with the following quotations ….

 

 

 

 

Surgery, Radiation and Chemo Did Not Cure Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumour (Neurofibrosarcoma)

Alex (not real name) is 23 years old. He was born with a certain nerve disorder. His right arm had many benign lumps. When he was 11 years old, his right palm started to swell. He could not write with his right hand anymore.

Composite-1-Hand

Alex underwent a debulking surgery — the lumps were removed. He was told that it was not cancerous. Later in September 2013, there was a swelling in his right arm pit. The mass grew bigger and became painful.

Composite-2-Armpit

A CT scan in January 2014 indicated:

  • A large axillary mass — malignancy needs to be considered. The right subclavian, axillary and brachial arteries pass above and lateral to this mass.
  • No evidence of lung or mediastinal metastasis.

A true-cut biopsy was done and indicated:

  • High grade spindle cell sarcoma favouring malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour.

Alex underwent an operation to remove this entire right upper limb. Below is the surgeon’s note indicating the extensiveness of the surgery.

Alaister Lim scan

Histopathology confirmed a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (T2bNoMo), Stage 3.

After the surgery Alex received 32 times of radiation treatment. There was no other medication.

Barely six months later, August 2014, the cancer spread to his lungs. Alex underwent 3 cycles of chemotherapy. The treatment was not effective. Alex again had more chemo — 12 cycles in all. The drugs used were Gemzar and Cisplatin.

lung--600

In February 2015, follow up examination showed:

  • Mixed response of the lung nodules. Some nodules are smaller but some previously small ones are larger.
  • A new nodule seen in the left upper lobe adjacent to the left 4th rib.

Chemotherapy did not help control his lung metastasis. Alex decided to give up medical treatment and came to seek our help.

Comment

It is indeed a sad story. As we talked to Alex, we had full admiration for his determined spirit. No, he did not sulk in spite of the fact that he had gone very rough patches since he was born. When he was not able to write with his right hand, he learned to write with his left. He attended university in Australia. When asked if there was anyone taking care of him there, he replied, No, I took care of myself. When medical treatment failed him, he said he wanted to try another way. There was no sign of bitterness in his voice. And he was determined to live.

Internet information about malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors — MPNSTs (also called neurofibrosarcomas):

  • are a type of cancer that occurs in the protective lining of the nerves that extend from the spinal cord into the body.
  • can occur anywhere in the body, but most often occur in the deep tissue of the arms, legs and trunk.
  • tend to cause pain and weakness in the affected area and may also cause a growing lump or mass.
  • occur more frequently in people with an inherited condition that causes nerve tumors (neurofibromatosis) and in people who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/malignant-peripheral-nerve-sheath-tumors/basics/definition/con-20035841

  • are aggressive, locally invasive soft tissue sarcomas, typically presenting as a rapidly growing and painful lump.
  • these tumours account for up to 10% of all soft tissue sarcomas.
  • a common cause of nerve sheath tumors is neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).
  • Evans et al. estimate the lifetime risk of developing MPNSTs in the population of patients with NF1 to be as high as 13%.

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sarcoma/2009/756395/

  • a very rare tumor, with an incidence of 1 per 1,00,000 population.
  • these tumors may arise spontaneously in adult patients, although 5% to 42% of MPNST have an association with multiple neurofibromatosis Type-I

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1560134/

  • are rare sarcomas with one of the poorest prognoses of all the soft tissue sarcomas.
  • information about adjuvant treatment is scarce.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21303750

  • NF1 is an autosomal dominant condition with a birth incidence of about 1 in 2500 and a prevalence of 1 in 4000.

http://jmg.bmj.com/content/39/5/311.full

  • A peripheral nerve sheath tumor (PNST) is a neoplasm arising from a peripheral nerve.
  • All ages and both sexes may be affected by PNSTs.
  • Sporadic MPNSTs are most common between 40 and 50 years of age, while those occurring in the setting of NF1 are diagnosed some 10 years earlier.

http://atlasgeneticsoncology.org/Tumors/PeriphNervSheatID5094.html

  • Peripheral nerve tumors are uncommon and many neurologists will see only a handful in their careers, unless they have a practice enriched in patients with neurofibromatosis.

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/peripheral-nerve-tumors

  • The role of chemotherapy in advanced malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) is unclear.

http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2010/07/23/annonc.mdq338.full

  • MPNSTs are highly aggressive in NF1. Conventional chemotherapy does not seem to reduce mortality, and its role must be questioned.

http://www.ojrd.com/content/8/1/127

  • The recommended treatment of this type of sarcoma is the surgical extirpation including wide margins and complementary radiotherapy.However, the prognosis is poor. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S174194090500004X
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors are rare soft tissue sarcomas. They are considered to carry a poor prognosis with current therapeutic approaches.

http://www.casesjournal.com/content/2/1/7612

  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) are uncommon, biologically aggressive soft tissue sarcomas of neural origin that pose tremendous challenges to effective therapy.
  • Prognosis is generally poor, with high rates of relapse following multimodality therapy in early disease, low response rates to cytotoxic chemotherapy in advanced disease, and propensity for rapid disease progression and high mortality.
  • MPNSTs comprise ‚ąľ2% of all sarcomas, a small fraction of a group of cancers that affect 5 people per million per year.
  • Whereas MPNST may arise at any age with no gender predilection, it tends to present earlier in life than most other complex sarcomas.
  • Half of MPNSTs are associated with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), the autosomal dominant condition that, affecting 1 in 3000 live births, represents the most common human cancer genetic predisposition syndrome.
  • The lifetime risk of developing MPNST in a patient with NF1 syndrome is 8%‚Äď13%.
  • In general, MPNST is known to have high metastatic potential and poor prognosis.
  • As is the case with all soft tissue sarcomas, complete surgical extirpation with clear margins is the treatment of choice.
  • In the case with most large (>5 cm) high-grade limb sarcomas, adjuvant radiation is advocated to reduce local recurrence. The risk-benefit profile of adjuvant radiation in patients with NF1 must be carefully discussed with all patients in view of the heightened risk of radiation-induced sarcomas.
  • There are no randomized data examining adjuvant chemotherapy specifically in MPNST.

http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/19/2/193.full

 

 

 

After All Else Failed He Came to CA Care Case of Soft Tissue Sarcoma: He believed “science” would cure him

BY DOCUMENTING THIS STORY IT IS OUR HOPE THAT YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONES CAN LEARN SOMETHING MORE THAN JUST “GOING TO THE DOCTOR OR HEALER” TO SEEK TREATMENT.

Alex (not real name) is 63 years old. His problem started about 3 years ago, in 2012 while visiting Australia he had severe pain in his right forearm. He was admitted into a hospital. An X-ray showed a growth in his lung.  On returning home, Alex had a biopsy and was told that he had a high-grade undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma in the right chest. The tumour was lodged behind the sternum but had spread onto the first rib. It was stage 3 cancer.

Alex underwent chemotherapy in December 2012. The regime used was Doxorubicin and Ifosfamide.  The tumor shrank a bit. Then Alex had a surgery. This operation was done in a heart hospital in early 2013. During this surgery the doctor also did a by-pass for his heart. (Note: Alex underwent an angioplasty in the same hospital in 2004).

After the surgery, Alex had 36 sessions of radiotherapy.

A small tumor on the first rib was not removed during the surgery and this started to grow again. Alex underwent another surgery in June 2014. This time the surgery to remove the first rib and part of second rib was done in  Singapore. After the surgery, Alex received another 36 sessions of radiation in October 2014 in a Malaysian hospital.

Hardly 2 months later, the tumor spread to the right lung membrane, spewing fluid into three-fourth of his right lung. Alex had to be hospitalised and fluid was tapped out. This happened  in late in November 2014.

On 11 December 2014, Alex was started on a new sarcoma drug called, Pazopanib. Alex wrote, I did suffer side effects such as , nauseating, vomiting, developing  blisters on my fingers and feet, tender skin, pains in my right forearm and coughing out blood which I was had to be hospitalized.  

A CT scan in mid-March 2015, showed no improvement  and the drug treatment was stopped on 26 March 2015.

Alex said, All this while, I was treated in the hospital and I have not started any herbal treatment.  Only when I was discharged recently did I start to drink some (black faced General) herbal drink and some root herb, which name I don’t know (to show you when we meet).

Comment

The next day after receiving an e-mail with the above story attached, Alex with his wife and 3 children (lawyer, engineer and allied health-professional) showed up at our cancer. What did this mean? We felt he was desperate and wanted us to help him. The entire family sat down and listen to what we have got to say. Then we asked them to take a break, sit down among themselves and make their own decision, what to do next.  

The first message we gave to the entire family. We cannot cure your cancer! Any person with any common sense will know that saying otherwise is not being truthful. Surgery (twice), chemotherapy, radiation (twice) and brand-new oral chemo drug could not help, what do you expect when you come to CA Care? We do our best to help but we would not be able to promise any positive outcome in anyway.

There are three points which we would like to share to you. Perhaps you may learn something from these.

  1. The Working of So Called Scientific Mind & Why I came to see you!

Alex told us that he was a student at USM doing chemistry. Alex said he believes in science and everything to be done must be “scientific.”

Naturally when Alex had cancer, he turned to scientific medicine; fully believing that science has the answer to his problem. Hence, surgery after surgery, radiation after radiation and chemo after chemo. Unfortunately the god called science did not deliver its promise.

After science failed, Alex turned to so the called “unproven and unscientific ” remedy. He took herbs, probably learned through friends or “newspaper cuttings.”¬† That was indeed a reversal of “being scientific.”

Then Alex stumbled into CA Care website. He said, “I went through what you wrote and found it to be organised and “scientific” in your presentation.” On top of that Alex said that he knew about Chris Teo while he was a student at USM. So that attracted him to come and see us.

  1. My World View as a Biologist

I told Alex, if he was doing biology in USM , he would have been my student.  I also told Alex that I would not blame him for believing is science. I understand science is the present god of modern day innovation. After all, this is what they teach students in school anyway.

I recall one USM student who wrote me. He wanted to come and work with CA Care. I asked him what he wanted to do? He said he wanted to extract the herbs and find the active ingredients — the stuff that make the herbs effective. I told him, “But I don’t believe that is the way to go. In herbal medicine we don’t talk about active ingredient like they teach you in chemistry or pharmacy.” Then he asked me to explain why. I replied, “I cannot explain this. You have learned the wrong things in school for years, how to make it right in just an e-mail?”

I told Alex this. As a chemist, you see 1 + 3 = 4. There is no two ways about it. It is definite, it is correct, any other answer is wrong. I understand you, for you are trained that way. Unfortunately, in biology 1 + 3 may turn out to 0 or 8 or 10 not necessarily 4 like you think. It is hard to explain this — you need to be wise and have some “scientific” experience to understand this.¬† Taking herbs A + X + Y will do good for some patients. But giving the same herbs to the next person with the same cancer can result in a total failure. Why? Because biology is about life! I have often told patients, Healing cancer is about you — your attitude, your lifestyle, your mind. All these imbalances or things that go wrong in you do not show up in the CT scan or PET scan.

Starting a war in your body “sounds scientific.” But cutting, poisoning and burning does not guarantee you win the war. My observation about the world is this — nonbody wins in a war. The generals don’t get killed, only the helpless civilians. The same applies to the war on cancer in your body. It is better to learn how to live with your cancer. Cancer is not something you “catch” like the germs. It is the result of something that has gone wrong within your body, probably even caused by your own doing.

As I was writing this, I remember a lady who cried yesterday. She has breast cancer. I told her, You make your own cancer. She broke down and cried and said, Doc, you are correct! (That needs another article to explain that).

So my view on cancer is “opposite” of the medical views. You are welcome to accept or reject it.

So I told Alex, if you want to heal yourself, you need to realize that health is your responsibility. No one can heal you except you, yourself. To do that you need  to initiate changes in your life.

By all means stick to your “science.” The next time your computer breaks down, fix it “scientifically.” But if your body breaks down due to cancer, I am afraid, you need more than science to fix it.

  1. Work for Your Healing – If you want to eat anything you like, there is no need to come and see us.

To follow the CA Care Therapy is not easy. The herbs have awful smell and lousy taste. There are several herbal teas to be brewed a day. This becomes a difficult chore if you don’t like to work in the kitchen. But the most difficult is, You must take care of your diet. You have been advised to take 10 or 30 eggs a day, or eat a lot of meat to boost your energy, etc. etc. We are sorry, we tell you the opposite. None of these! If you don’t want to take care of your diet, there is no point coming to see us. You cannot eat anything you like.

Let me end by sharing with you what I read from the medical literature.

In Your Medical Mind, by Dr Jerome Groopman and Dr. Pamela Hartzband, the authors wrote about Decision Analysis Meets Reality. They related a patient who used his scientific analytical knowledge to make decisions about his medical treatment. I am a scientist. I understand how research is conducted, what statistics show and don’t show. I was well aware of all the garbage that’s out there on the Internet. So I decided to go with top-tier journal, well-accredited papers, authored by specialists who are at recognized institutions.

After experiencing the medical system himself this patient suddenly came to this conclusion.

Clinical medicine is an area that moves away from clarity, an area that I think of as having higher uncertainty. You can’t really make rational decisions in this world. Doctors like to have what I call a “badge of rationality,” because it gives them authority, and they try to appear competent for the patients … even if the situation is highly uncertain, they go out of their way to appear certain, to ooze rationality?

They told me I had a 50 percent chance of getting graft-versus-host disease, with a 10 percent change of it affecting my liver, a 40 percent chance hurting my intestine, a 30 percent change involving my skin. I have no way to understand what all that means.

Dr. Manoj Kapoor, in The Wrong Prescription, wrote:

  • Medicine still remains an art in applied common sense while treating most ailments. The moment we leave reasoning and correlation out and start applying modern technology advances, we get trapped in misdiagnosing.
  • Science has progressed by leaps and bounds. A paradigm shift has happened. It is ‚ÄĚ I treat and I cure‚ÄĚ. However, the irony is that a cure for diseases like the common cold has still not been found.
  • Science has fantastic treatments for all the symptoms, but the disease has not been eradicated‚Ķ. and new ones are emerging.

Reflect on these quotations and ask, Where is the science?

13-Same-treatment-different

3 No-right-or-wrong-journey    15 Groopman Choice within you

 

 

After All Else Failed They Came to CA Care. Case of Pulmonary Artery Sarcoma

Within the first three weeks of March 2015, six patients came to seek our help. Each had his/her own tragic story to tell. By documenting this story it is our hope that you or your loved ones can learn something more than just “going to the doctor or healer” to seek treatment.

John (not real name) is 28 years old. His problem started sometime in August 2013. He felt dizzy while cycling and wondered what went wrong. He had another episode in May 2014 after he exerted himself. Otherwise, John was a very active person who did a lot of running and cycling.

A chest CT angiogram on 25 May 2014 showed clotting and extensive blockage of the arteries in his lung. The next day John underwent an operation. Unfortunately “the tissue appeared to be organised and adherent to the vessel wall, that was difficult to remove the “clot” in the right pulmonary artery. Histopathology report showed thromboembolus, without evidence of neoplasia.”

(Note: Pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or, rarely, other parts of the body. This is then referred to as deep vein thrombosis).

John went home, after his hospitalization, with nine types of drugs: Warfarin, Lasix, Hydrochlorothiazide, Digoxin, Sildenafit, Pantoprazole, Enoxaparin and Xarelto. Everything went well for a while.

Some months later, problems cropped up again. Could it be a heart problem? In December 2014, on the recommendation of a close relative who is a medical specialist, John went to a renowned hospital in the US for further treatment.

On 2 January 2015, John underwent surgery again.  A large amount of proximal tumor was resected but some residual gelatinous material could not be removed. Intraoperative pathology was consistent with a sarcoma.

Two days after the operation, John developed fevers and remained critically ill in the ICU with right heart failure, acute kidney failure, liver failure and DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation … characterized by systemic activation of blood coagulation … leading to microvascular thrombi in various organs).

Fortunately, with aggressive supportive care John recovered and by the 13th day he was out of the ICU.

John was referred to an oncologist who suggested adjuvant chemotherapy with AIM (dexorubicin, ifosfamide and mesna).

The total cost of John’s US medical treatment was about USD 100,000.

John returned to Malaysia and went to a cancer hospital. He was similarly told that he would need chemotherapy, initially 3 cycles to see how he would respond to the treatment.

Somehow, John and his parents end up at CA Care Centre in early March 2015.

Our Advice

  1. Sarcoma is a rarely seen case at CA Care and it is difficult to handle. And sarcoma of the pulmonary (lung) artery is something we have not seen before. So, as far as CA Care is concerned, this is the first case.
  2. Make no mistake, we cannot cure any cancer. We may be able to help patients find their own healing. So we told John that if he is here and expect us to cure his cancer then this is not a right place to come.
  3. During our conversation, we were told that John’s close relative is a medical specialist. He was the one who made all the necessary arrangements for John’s medical treatment in Penang and the US. John himself is working in a medical-related profession.
  4. We posed one question: Since your close relative is a medical doctor, does he agree that you come here to seek our therapy? The answer was: No, he did not believe in alternative medicine!
  5. Our final advice: Please go home and discuss with all your family members what you want to do. We cannot cure your cancer. If you come here believing that we can offer you a cure then it is a mistake. But if you think that we can help you in any way, then you can come back again. Take time to think. There is no need to rush to make your decision.

Comment

This is indeed a hard case to handle. If you believe in medical treatment, then we would think the logical thing to do is go for chemotherapy — irrespective of whether you like it or not, or whether chemo would cure you or not!

It is “dangerous” for us to tell patients to take our herbs and follow our diet therapy if patients and their family members come to us wanting to find the “magic bullet.” We don’t have any magic bullet.

Let us pose one question here: What … after following our therapy, the cancer does not go way?” Are we going to be blamed — held responsible and made a scapegoat? After all, to most people, alternative medicine is unproven, unscientific and just quackery!

Our core belief in handling cancer is that: We cannot cure you. You cure yourself.  We guide and provide you with the tools for your healing journey. But ultimately you are responsibility for your own healing. We know this is something not all patients who come to us understand or are looking for. They want us to cure them!

We tell John up front that this is the first time we hear of lung artery sarcoma. Such confession would be enough to make most patients run away! It is better to be crystal clear from the start that we are here to help you, not to mislead you.

However, let us share with you one success story — another equally rare sarcoma case which we had seen for the first time.

Capture 1

Capture2 Capture3 Capture4 Capture5

Comic available at: http://bookoncancer.com/productDetail.php?P_Id=73

We are indeed surprised that we could help this lady. It has been almost 3 years now and she is still doing fine. During the last visit, she came to our centre with three medical doctors. One of them is her sister! I asked the patient in front of her sister: When you first came to see us, you refused chemotherapy and opted for herbs. Did you sister ever objected to you following our therapy? Her answer: Yes, she strongly objected.

Seeing and experiencing it is to believe. Now, her sister and two other medical doctors came to seek our help because they believed in what they saw!

Why are we able to help this patient? When the patient first came to seek our help, she was helpless. Deep in my heart I felt hopeless but I kept that to myself. I told the patient, I cannot cure your cancer. I can only do my best to help you. Did she run away upon hearing this? Most patients would but not this patient. She knew what she did not want to do — I don’t want chemo! She wanted to follow our therapy. No two ways about that. She did not doubt what she wanted. She was determined and committed to find healing for herself. She did not come to seek the non-existent magic bullet. Let us celebrate and praise God for this wonderful blessing. She had found her healing.

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Metastatic Rhabdomyosarcoma: Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy Did NOT Cure Her

Tia is a 56-year-old lady from Indonesia. Sometime in October 2013, she felt a lump in her right groin. Tia underwent an operation to remove the mass. The doctor said it was a tumour (did not mention the word cancer!). Nevertheless, Tia was asked to undergo chemotherapy and was referred to a cancer hospital in Jakarta. However, the family decided that Tia come to Penang insted, for further treatment.

CT scan 5 March 2014

  1. Irregular soft tissue lesion at right inguinal region which could represent sarcoma.
  2. Well-defined soft tissue at right lower lobe adjacent to the right heart border.
  3. Ill-defined hypodense lesions seen at segment 6, 7 and 8 of liver.
  4. Multiple small mesentary lymph nodes at right iliac fossa.
  5. Small uterine fibroid. 

In a private hospital in Penang, Tia underwent a second operation since the doctor said the first surgery did not remove all the mass. After surgery, Tia had 30 sessions of radiotherapy and 6 cycles of chemotherapy, given as 12 injections.

Unfortunately the CT scan revealed that chemotherapy was not effective. Tia received another 3 more cycles of chemotherapy. Again, the treatment was not effective.

Date Chemo drugs
22 April 2014  

 

Intaxel + Gemita

29 April 2014
13 May 2014
20 May 2014
11 June 2014
11 June 2014
16 June 2014
30 June 2014
21 July 2014  

Andriamycin + Ifosfamide

Mesna

11 August 2014
18 August 2014
10  Sep. 2014
11 Sept. 2014
7 October 2014
8 October 2014

The cancer had spread to her lung and liver.

CT scan 8 July 2014

  1. Multiple nodes at both lungs fields which could represent metastatic lung disease.
  2. Bilateral nodular goiters.
  3. Ill-defined hypodense masses seen at the liver, which would represent metastatic disease.
  4. Subcutaneos nodule seen at the right lumbar region and adjacent to right iliac crest, which could represent metastatic nodules.

Impression: Metastatic lung nodules demonstrate progressive increase in size. The metabolic liver lesion is significantly large in size.

The oncologist told Tia to “Go home and wait. Come back again in February 2015 for routine checkup.” Unfortunately by December 2014, Tia developed severe pains in her abdomen.

A CT scan on 6 December 2014 in Indonesia indicated: “Progresive mass metastase pada hepar dan nodul pada paru kiri.” (Progression of liver metastasis in both liver and lung). The largest nodule in the liver was 16. x 9.7 cm.

Tia composite

In January 2015, Tia and her husband came to seek our help. They have decided to give up further  medical treatment.

Listen to her story.

Video 1:  Surgery, radiation and chemo did not cure.

 

Video 2: She came to CA Care after all medical treatments failed.

 

 

Here is the gist of our conversation that day.

Chris: You did two surgeries – before the surgery, did you ever ask if this is going to cure you?

Patient: My hope was to get a cure.

C: Everyone who comes to us also want to a cure. That is normal – expected. But my question is, did you ever ask the doctor if surgery can cure your cancer? Did you ask that question?

P: No, I did not ask. From my understanding if I undergo the surgery, I would be cured!

C: This assumption is not correct!

P: Yes, now it seems it is not correct!

C: You also had chemo – spent a lot of money on that – did you ever ask if chemotherapy was going to cure your cancer?

P: No, I did not ask.

C: See, these are two important questions I often tell patients to ask their doctors before undergoing such treatments. Now, if you were told that these treatments would not cure you, would you go through all these?

P: We have to “berusaha” (meaning, try our best).

C: Okay, “berusaha” or trying your best. Did you ever ask if by trying your best, what is the chance of you getting good result? If the chance is zero (like now) would you have gone through all these?

P: No. But doctor would not want to say such a thing. They say, let’s try and see.

C: Who ask you to come and see us?

P: Sari told me about CA Care four months ago.

C: You knew about us four months ago but did not come and see us. Why wait until now?

P: I had not completed my medical treatment yet.

C: So I now understand. You have done all the medical treatments and failed. They gave up and you come here. Yes, I understand. There are some patients who come after they have spent all their money – no more money to pay their medical bills – then they come to us!

You cancer has spread all over and went to the liver and lung. What do you expect me to do for you? Cure you? That’s impossible.

P: No, just to reduce my difficulties and hopefully also prolong my life a bit. But more important now is to lessen my burden – pain – that I am experiencing now.

C: I understand, but please don’t expect me to cure you! My experience – no human being on earth can cure your cancer. But if you ask me to help you a bit, may be that is possible. And to prolong life? That is only possible with God, I cannot promise you that.

Health is your responsibility. They don’t teach you how to become well. Go home and eat anything you like – that’s wrong. You have to take care of your diet. Please read these books, Food and Cancer and¬† Healthy Cooking. These can help you. Remember, cancer patients just cannot eat anything they like.

The herbs I am prescribing you are not nice to take – they are bitter and have awful smell. You need to boil them and then drink.

Also after taking the herbs, you may experience “healing crisis” – you may have more pain, diarrhea, etc. Meaning you may feel worse off. Don’t worry, continue taking the herbs and hopefully these will go away after a week or two.

Take the herbs for a month or two. If you don’t get better then you stop taking the herbs. Go and find someone to help you.

Next posting: What you need to know about Rhabdomyosaaracoma

 

 

 

What you need to know about Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a cancerous tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. It can occur in almost any part the body. Although these tumors can arise almost anywhere, the most common locations for these tumors to develop are in the structures of the head and neck (nearly 40% of all cases), the male or female genitourinary tract (about 25% of all cases), and the extremities — ¬†arms or legs and trunk (chest and abdomen), (about 20% of all cases).

RMS is the most common soft tissue tumor in children, especially those under 15 years of age. It is also the most common soft tissue sarcomas of adolescents and young adults. It is rare in persons older than 45 years.

Not very much is known about why normal skeletal muscle cells become cancerous. RMS is a very rare cancer. There are only about 350 cases of RMS diagnosed each year in the United States in children under the age of 21 years.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is very uncommon in adults. Adults are more likely to have faster-growing types of RMS and to have them in parts of the body that are harder to treat. Because of this, RMS in adults is often harder to treat effectively.

Symptoms

Symptoms of adult soft tissue sarcoma may not be noticeable until the cancer has gone past its early stages. The first sign is usually a mass or a swollen lump. The mass may or may not be painful.  If the tumor affects muscles or nerves, it may be painful, but this usually is not the case. Other symptoms may vary depending on where the tumor develops. It may cause bloody stool or abdominal pain if it develops in the abdomen area.

Tumors that arise in the legs or arms are usually amongst the most aggressive types of RMS. These tumors may grow from the size of a mosquito bite or a small marble to the size of a baseball or grapefruit in the course of only a few weeks. The tumors are usually hard, but only rarely are they painful unless they start pressing on nearby nerves.

Treatment

Often in young people and children chemotherapy is given first to try and shrink the tumour, before surgery. If all of the tumour is destroyed by chemo, then there may be follow-up radiotherapy.

Surgery: The aim of surgery is to remove the tumour. Sometimes, because of the type of tumour it can often be difficult to remove. It depends on where the rhabdomyosarcoma is as to the details of the operation. If the sarcoma is on the legs or arms, sometimes some of the bone will have to be removed. Either a prosthesis (a metal replacement bone), or a bone graft (bone taken from another part of the body) will be inserted to replace what is missing. This is known as limb-sparing surgery.

Unfortunately because of the location of the tumour, sometimes limb-sparing surgery doesn’t work and a limb might have to be amputated.

Surgical resection with negative margins remains the standard primary treatment. But adequate margins are often difficult to obtain. Consequently, recurrent disease and systemic relapse remain a significant problem.

The role of surgery in the management of patients with RMS is clearly site-specific. Superior outcome has been suggested when initial complete, gross total, or even debulking surgery is performed for patients with unfavorable site tumors.

It is important to remember that surgery by itself is never curative. It is also important to remember that the role of surgery is very dependent on the site of the tumor. Initial complete surgical removal of tumors arising in an extremity or in the pelvis may help improve the chance of cure.

Radiotherapy: This is often given to people with larger rhabdomyosarcomas. It can be given after surgery to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are destroyed. Sometimes it is given before surgery, to try and shrink the tumour and make the surgery easier. Whether you have radiotherapy before or after surgery depends on your individual case.

Radiotherapy  is done  to maximize the chance for cure.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is often given to people with rhabdomyosarcoma to shrink the tumour prior to surgery. This is called neo-adjuvant treatment (chemo before surgery) and usually means that the surgery will be less invasive because the tumour is smaller.

Alternatively, chemo might be given after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and stop them from spreading. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy (chemo after surgery).

All patients with RMS require chemotherapy to maximize the chance for cure. Example of drugs are:  Vincristine, Dactinomycin, Cyclophosphamide, Topotecan, Irinotecan, Etoposide, Ifosfamide, Doxorubicin, Carboplatin.

Late Effects of Treatment

Individual chemotherapy agents may have unique toxicities that may not become manifest until many years after the end of therapy, or that may steadily worsen with increased length of follow-up.

Damage from radiation therapy, and late complications from surgery, may not become apparent for many years. The long-term side effects of treatment are:

  1. Infertility(associated especially with the use of alkylating agents such as cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide).
  2. Bladder dysfunction: Although “non-mutilating” conservative surgery and full-dose irradiation has become the treatment of choice for bladder preservation in children with bladder/prostate RMS, approximately half of children with “intact” bladders will have one or more symptoms of bladder dysfunction including dribbling, incontinence, and enuresis.
  3. Radiation damage of head and neck structures: Well described complications of radiation include cataract formation, ¬†asymmetric facial growth as a result of permanently arrested bone development and fibrosis (“scarring”) of surrounding tissues; chronic sinus infections; growth failure due to pituitary damage;¬†and complex and multiple dental abnormalities.
  4. Secondary cancer: Perhaps the most devastating late complication of treatment for any type of cancer, not just RMS, is the development of a second form of cancer. The use of chemotherapy and radiation can cause second cancers to develop. Chemotherapy-associated secondary cancers are most commonly leukemias (typically Acute Myeloid Leukemia [AML]), and may be associated with the use of alkylating agents (cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide), and topoisomerase II inhibitors (etoposide and doxorubicin).
  5. Radiation is also associated with the development of second cancers, most commonly other sarcomas (either in bone or soft tissue). At the doses of radiation that are currently used to treat children with RMS, the risk of secondary sarcomas is approximately 5% at 20 years. Unlike the situation with secondary leukemias, which typically develop within four years of treatment, most cases of secondary sarcomas do not develop until 5+ years after the end of treatment.

Recurrence & Metastasis

Post-relapse survival for the majority of patients with recurrent RMS remains dismal. 95% of recurrences occur within three years of diagnosis.

Metastases develop during the course of the disease or, in about 20% of cases, are present at diagnosis.

Major metastatic sites are the lung, lymph nodes and bone marrow followed by the heart, brain, meninges, pancreas, liver and kidney.

The lungs are involved in at least two-thirds of patients with metastasis.

Source

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/rhabdomyosarcoma/detailedguide/rhabdomyosarcoma-what-is-rhabdomyosarcoma

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001429.htm

http://sarcomahelp.org/rhabdomyosarcoma.html

http://www.sharecare.com/health/soft-tissue-sarcoma-adult/what-symptoms-adult-soft-tissue

https://nowwhat.org.au/about-cancer/cancer-types/soft-tissue-sarcomas/rhabdomyosarcoma/

Soft Tissue РChapter 22: Rhabdomyosarcoma  by Sharon Weiss & John Goldblum

 

When I made a google search on “Can rhabdomyosarcoma be cured?” or “Effectiveness of treatment of rhadomyosarcoma” these are the pathetic answers I got.

  • Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed cure for rhabdomyosarcoma. However, treatment can be very effective, especially if the cancer is caught early. The most effective treatment usually includes surgical removal of the tumor and some surrounding tissue, followed by another treatment — usually chemotherapy or radiation therapy — to kill any cancer cells that may be left after surgery. http://www.sharecare.com/health/soft-tissue-sarcoma-adult/what-symptoms-adult-soft-tissue
  • When discussing cancer survival statistics, doctors often use a number called the5-year survival rate. The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live¬†at least 5 years¬†after their cancer is diagnosed.¬†If the cancer has spread widely, the 5-year survival rate is generally around 20% to 40%.¬† http://www.cancer.org/cancer/rhabdomyosarcoma/detailedguide/rhabdomyosarcoma-staging-survival-rates
  • In patients with localised disease, overall 5-year survival rates have improved to more than 80% with the combined use of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, there has been little progress in managing metastatic disease with a 5-year event-free survival rate less than 30%. http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Rhabdomyosarcoma

Related posting:  Metastatic Rhabdomyosarcoma: Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy did not cure her.

 

 

Chemotherapy for Sarcoma: He died after 8 months

In an earlier posting, I related the story of a 16-year-old son of Pak X. He had soft tissue sarcoma and went for treatment in China. His leg was amputated and he received chemo. These treatments did not cure him. The cancer spread to his lung and he died (2 years after his diagnosis).

Pak X related the story of another 16-year old boy who had soft tissue sarcoma like this son. He had chemotherapy and died within 8 months.

Listen to what Pak X said:

Pak X: Living in front of my house was a boy of 16 years old. He was also diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma – exactly like my son. His father came to ask me for advice. His father asked: “What treatment did your son had?” I told him: “I have failed, no result. I have made a mistake. Please don’t ask me about my son’s treatment because I did not succeed. I have made a mistake.”

Chris: No. Don’t blame yourself.¬† Tell me, when did this happen?

P: About 4 years ago.

C: What happened to this boy? Did he go for chemo?

Daughter: He went to Singapore and had chemotherapy.

P: He died after 8 months.

C: Only 8 months.

P: My son died after 2 years of treatment (in China). In a way, I have more success. I felt grateful because for the herbal treatment (in Beijing). So now in my head, I always believe in herbs.

C: Again, this boy you told me about was your neighbour? He stayed just in front of your house?

Daughter: Yes.

C: And he did chemo in Singapore and he died 8 months later?

P: It started as a small green-pea size lump. A month later it grew into corn-size. Two to three months later it became marble-size. Every day he cried in pain.

C: I understand. This is a similar story of sarcoma.

Related stories:

Regretted for not giving mom chemo for her sarcoma

Sarcoma: Son died after leg amputation and chemotherapy

Sarcoma: Son died after leg amputation and chemotherapy

Pak X, an Indonesian from Medan came to seek our help. His wife had a big,cancerous lump in her breast. She refused surgery. I told them: “If you don’t go for surgery, I would not be able to help you.” Reluctantly the patient agreed to a mastectomy. However, she refused chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

One day, I asked Bapa X why he was so adamant about not wanting to go for chemotherapy. Listen to what he said:

 

 

Gist of what Pak X  said:

  • I don’t want chemo. This is based on my son’s bad experience. I now know chemo is not effective. My son was 16 years old when¬† he had a painful, reddish rash on his shin. This was later diagnosed as soft tissue sarcoma.
  • I brought my son to Guangzhou, China for treatment. They amputated his leg up to the thigh. Then they gave him chemo – 5 or 6 times (I am not sure now). We stayed in Guangzhou for about 6 months. The treatments were not effective.
  • I then brought my son to Beijing for further treatment using herbs. This was done in a hospital. We stayed in Beijing for about one and a half years. The treatment failed, the doctors surrendered.
  • I brought my son home to Medan. He died after 4 months. The cancer had spread to his lungs.
  • At least I was grateful that my son survived for one a half years with the herbs.

Chris: When you were in Guangzhou – they cut off his leg and gave him chemo – did you ever ask if the treatments were going to cure him?

Bapa: Yes, the doctor said the treatments can cure him.

C: When the treatments failed, did you ever ask the doctor again why he was not able to cure your son?

B: I did not ask that question. I just packed off and went to Beijing instead. We did not return to Guangzhou again.

C: In Beijing, did you ask the doctor if the herbal treatment was going to cure your son?

B: “Diusaha” (we’ll try our best).

C: How much did it cost you to undergo all those treatments?

B: I cannot remember now, but I have to sell a house to pay for the medical expenses.

(Bapa broke down in tears after this. This was not the first time Pak cried. Earlier, while taking a ride in our car to his apartment, he broke down¬† and cried when relating his son’s story. Now, it is his wife who has breast cancer and they refused chemotherapy or radiotherapy).

C: I am very sorry to bring this matter up. It stressed you a lot. Please don’t regret for what you have done. Don’t blame yourself. You have done your best. Also know that things like this happen to many people – having to sell their house or land to pay for medical expenses.

B: You asked me earlier why I did not want my wife to go for chemo. No, she is not going to do that. No chemo – anywhere! Property gone, life also gone after chemo, besides having to suffer. No. No to chemo. If we take herbs, life may go but at least there is no suffering!

Related stories:

Regretted for not giving mom chemo for her sarcoma

Chemotherapy for sarcoma: He died after 8 months

 

Regretted for not giving mom chemo for her sarcoma

The husband of one breast cancer patient from Indonesia told us that he regretted for not subjecting his mother to chemotherapy after she had undergone surgery for her sarcoma. After the surgery, the cancer recurred and she had two more surgeries before she died.

I told this man, “You should not regret for not giving her the chemo. It is most likely that chemo would not be effective anyway.”

 

 

Review of Medical Literature on Sarcoma

Sarcoma is malignant tumor that can be divided into 2 groups:

1. Bone sarcomas, arising from bone or cartilage, and

2. Soft tissue sarcomas, arising from tissues such as fat, muscle, nerves and nerve sheath, blood vessels, and other connective tissues.

Soft tissue sarcomas are the most frequently occurring sarcomas. There are more than 50 different subtypes of soft tissue sarcoma. Some examples of soft tissue sarcoma:

  • Angiosarcoma arises from blood vessels
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma arises from blood vessels
  • Fibrosarcoma arises from fibrous tissue
  • Leiomyosarcoma arises from smooth muscle
  • Liposarcoma arises from fat
  • Malignant peripheral arises from nerve sheath tumor arises from Nerve tissue
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma arises from skeletal muscle.

Sarcomas are more common among children, accounting for 15% of pediatric cancers, but become less frequent with age, accounting for about 1% of all adult cancers.

They can occur anywhere in the body.  Around 60% of sarcomas develop in the arms or legs. The rest begin in the gastrointestinal tract (25%), the back of the abdominal cavity and its internal organs, called the retroperitoneum (15-20%), or the head and neck area (9%).

Treatment

1. Surgery

Surgery has been the preferred primary treatment for soft tissue sarcoma. The aim of surgery is to completely remove or excise the tumor. A border or margin of 2-3 cm of normal tissue around the tumor is also desirable to minimize the chance that tumor cells have been left behind.

Nonetheless, treatment with marginal surgery has been associated with local failure rates of 30 to 50 percent. Generally, small, low grade tumors can be treated with surgery alone.

2. Radiotherapy

The standard practice for the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas is radiotherapy in combination with surgical resection.

3. Chemotherapy

One of the major deterrents to adjuvant chemotherapy has been the difficulty in justifying exposure to the significant toxicities of these drugs for potentially non-responding patients.

Even in the best of circumstances, only 30 to 50 percent of patients with soft-tissue carcinomas will respond to standard chemotherapeutic regimen.

Systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy is generally not considered curative for patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcomas.

Treatment of patients with soft tissue sarcomas remains a challenge.

Recurrent Disease

There is always a possibility that a soft tissue sarcoma will recur.

Surgery may be possible if it is a limited recurrence.

It may be difficult to give additional radiation if the tumor recurs in an area that has already received maximum radiation in the past.

Chemotherapy is often offered.

Metastasis

The incidence of metastasis in high-grade soft-tissue sarcomas is 20 to  50 percent when the primary tumour diameter is greater than 5 cm.

Fifty percent of soft tissue sarcoma patients will die from distant metastasis.

One common site of metastasis (50 percent) is the lung, followed in frequency by liver, bone and to a lesser degree, skin.

Patients with retroperitoneal sarcomas had a greater tendency for local recurrence and disseminated disease throughout the abdomen.

Patients with head and neck and truncal sarcomas had a higher local recurrence rate than those with extremity sarcomas.

Prognosis

The overall relative 5-year survival rate of people with soft tissue sarcomas is around 50% according to statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The 5-year survival rates for soft tissue sarcomas have not changed much for many years. The 5-year survival rates were:

  • 83% for localized sarcomas (56% of soft tissue sarcomas were localized when they were diagnosed)
  • 54% for regional stage sarcomas; (19% were in this stage)
  • 16% for sarcomas with distant spread (16% were in this stage)

References

http://sarcomaoncology.com/s_as_sarcoma.html

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/sarcoma-adultsofttissuecancer/detailedguide/sarcoma-adult-soft-tissue-cancer-survival-rates

I.J. Spiro et al. Soft tissue sarcoma (in Clinical Oncology, Ed. Philip Rubin. Health Science Asia, Elsevier Science).

A. Yasko et al. Sarcomas of soft tissue and bone (in Clinical Oncology. Ed. Raymond Lenhard, et al. Amer. Cancer Society).

Vernon Sondak & A. Chang. Clinical evaluation and treatment of soft tissue tumors (in Soft Tissue Tumours, Ed. Sharon Weiss and J. Goldblum, Heath Science Asia, Elsevier Science).