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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Desperate and Unproductive Hunt for the Non-Existent Cure For His Lung Cancer

Tag (not real name) was a 59-year-old man from Indonesia. In April 2011, he had coughs with itchy throat. He went to see his doctors and was give medication but these did not help. In August 2011, he came to Penang for further consultation.  A CT scan on 22 August 2011 showed an irregular mass (6.6 x 8.0 cm) in the upper left lung extending to the pulmonary hilum with left hilar and mediastinal adenopathy. He also complained of pain in the left pelvis. MRI done on 6 September 2011 showed lesion at the body of C6, body and left pedicle of the L5 vertebra. This was probably metastatic in nature.  The doctor said Tag had a Stage 4 cancer.

Subsequently Tag underwent 5 sessions of radiation treatment to his neck area.  He also received Zometa injection and the oral drug, Tarceva. But later EGFR testing showed no mutation so Tarceva was discontinued. Tag underwent chemotherapy with Alimta (Pemetrexed ) plus cisplatin.

Tag was told that chemotherapy would not be able to cure him but would prolong his life. He was told he had 6 months to live.

After radiation and chemotherapy Tag seldom cough and the pain in the cervical and lumbar vertebrae nearly disappeared.

Re-examination of his chest CT scan showed his lung tumour had increased in size. Tag went to China for further treatment in October 2011. In China Tag underwent a biopsy again.  The cancer was again confirmed as a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma.  Tag underwent the following treatments in China:

  1. Microvessel interventional chemotherapy using Alimta + cisplatin and nano material.
  2. Cryotherapy under CT guidance.
  3. Iodin-125 seed implantation under ultrasound guidance – 10 seeds were implanted in the lymph nodes.

All done, the treatment in China consisted of 5 cycles of chemotherapy, 2 times of cryotherapy and one Iodine seed implantation. The treatment was spread over  a few visits, each lasting 1, 3 or 6 weeks.

In March 2012, Tag returned to Indonesia and continued to receive chemotherapy with Alimta at the local hospital.

In August 2012 Tag returned to China again. After receiving one cycle of chemotherapy his condition “dropped” (worsened). He was asked to go home to Indonesia.

Not satisfied, Tag came to Penang again – to be hospitalized in the same hospital that he had received his first treatment.  His main concern was his elevated leucocytes count. He was rather obsessed with this high number.  He was only given antibiotics infusion because he refused anymore chemo-drugs. In spite of the antibiotics Tag’s leucocytes count remain stubbornly high.

In the meantime while in the hospital, Tag’s wife came to CA Care and asked for our opinion.  The following are the images of his CT and PET scans.

Based on his medical history and failed medical treatment, I told Tag’s wife to learn how to accept and face reality. There would be no cure. And for him to come to Penang and check into a hospital trying to reduce his leucocytes count was surely mind boggling! He was barking at the wrong tree! Perhaps this is what Professor Jane Plant meant when she wrote, Conventional cancer treatment can process patients to the extent that they no longer understand what is really being done to them.  They have lost the ability to think rationally! They come wanting to only hear that they can be cured.

Tag’s wife told me that after a few days on antibiotics infusion, the doctor planned to do a PET scan. I objected to this idea. What is the whole rationale of doing scan  over and over again? Know that all these procedures are not good for cancer patients. Do it only if it is absolutely necessary. Just two months ago, you did a CT scan. Now you want to do it again. What do you expect to see and get?

I advised her to bring Tag home as soon as convenient.  And if he was agreeable to take herbs, then he can start on our therapy while at home. If he were to stay in Penang, he would have problems cooking, preparing the herbs, etc. It would do him a lot of good to stay home in a familiar environment.

Unfortunately, the next day my wife received a SMS informing us the Tag would want to go ahead and do the PET scan!

A few days later, Tag and his wife came to our centre after being discharged from the hospital. No, his stay in the hospital receiving the antibiotic infusion did not do any good at all. Then Tag complained that his arm was painful after the PET scan and asked if I have any herbs for this. My answer, Go back to your doctor and ask him to “repair” you.

After some days in Penang, Tag and his wife went home to Indonesia with a supply of herbs.

Sometime later, I received an email from his son informing that Tag had gone into a hospital in Jakarta. He still complained that his leucocytes count was high!  After a few days, his son wrote to say that Tag did another PET scan and this time he was concerned with the infected lymph nodes in his neck.

On 14 October 2012, I received an email from a medical doctor who is actually Tag’s relative. This is what the lady doctor wrote:

Hi Prof, I had sent you an email last week, did you receive it? Prof, last couple of weeks there was my family member with lung cancer  who  came to Penang..Now he is in hospital in Jakarta. There is fluid in his lung, The main tumor in his lung grew bigger and so he experienced dyspnea (breathlessness). Doctor wanted to do radiation to the main tumor  because it is pressing his airway. I want to ask, can we give him Ascites tea? What do you think of radiation? He keeps drinking your tea. What about the radiation, should he do it? Thank you for your help. Best regards

Reply:  Hello  B. Sorry for taking so long to write you. I have been busy with so many patients needing my attention. Okay about your relative. I am afraid it is difficult for me to say anything or help. He did not follow my advice. Even when he was in Penang he was in the hospital trying to make his leucocytes count lower!!! I told him you are doing the wrong thing in the wrong hospital. When the doctor wanted to do PET scan his wife SMSed my wife. I told him earlier not to do the PET scan.but the next day he did the PET scan! After he went home to Jakarta his son wrote that he had another PET scan!!!

I really don’t know. Since he is in the hospital, let the doctors take care of him. He is NOT like you …you followed what I said. He did not. Well, that is the way it is. I am not angry but I just give up. It is better for me to move on and help others who really need me. Take care and I believe you father is doing fine. Regards, Chris

23 October 2012: Prof, thank you for your reply, but unfortunately patient died last week in a hospital. He had been in ICU for 1 week. I have same problem here too. One of my family member  — 29-year-old, breast cancer metastised to the bone, liver, brain, pancreas and lungs. She did all that the doctor instructed — TACI, streotactic for her brain, etc. It is very difficult to persuade any person, if she does not believe us …even after she saw my father’s case. I also give up. Let her make her own decision. At least I have given her all the information. My father is in a good shape, he is gaining weight 12 kg, but still on Iressa. Regards, B.

(Note: Why did this lady doctor, B write such an email? The full story of her father’s recovery from advanced lung cancer is found in my latest book  below – Chapter 11 Lung-Bone-Brain Cancer: When Doctor and Herbalist Collaborate Miracle Happens.)

(Available at http://bookoncancer.com/productDetail.php?P_Id=56)

 Comments

  1. Blind faith and trust in technology

2. Difficulty to recognize that doing nothing could be a better option!

The behavior of this patient really puzzled me.  He came to ask for our opinion. He wanted to try our herbs, but he would not listen to what we say. There is no reason for such person to come and see us in the first place! Even more so, this man had done all the medical treatments and nothing had helped him. But why go on doing the same thing all over again?

In trying to understand him, I asked, What is your occupation?  This is one question I would never my patients, especially during the first visit. To me who you are is not relevant and I don’t want to be bias or influenced by your answer. But in this case I thought by knowing what he is will shed some light about the attitude of the person. His answer:  I am an administrator in the government.  That explains it all. I told him, Your job is to make people follow rules. If they don’t follow what you say, you give them “hell.” You follow the rules handed down to you without questioning.  You can do that with the human beings that you “administer”, but unfortunately cancer in you does not behave according to your wishes or rule. You have cancer in you and you want the leucocytes count to come down – by just decreasing that number does not cure you at all. I told you not to do the PET scan but you did it anyway because the doctor said so! You follow “the authority“ like you do in your job. Unfortunately it does not work when it comes to cancer. 

3. Not all patients who come to us find healing!

At our centre is a poster on the wall. It says:

You come to find the best doctor
There is none here, because the best doctor is found within you. 
We too wish to find the best, that is the best patient.
For it is with the best patient that we can both find healing together — for you!
Tag came to us after knowing that the father of the lady doctor above recovered from his lung cancer. This man had cancer in 2010, a year earlier than Tag. His cancer is more advanced than Tag’s –having spread from his lung to his brain and bone. Yes, this man is still doing fine as of this writing.  Why does he not die likeTag? It is because he chose “to do nothing.” Doing nothing does NOT mean that you go home and wait to die! It means you do not need to follow “the so-called established authority” and follow what they tell you to do. Dr. B’s father refused to “medical authority”. He went for alternative therapy. Unfortunately it did not work out well at first. He went down to the bottom of the pit before he found CA Care. That was when his two daughters flew to see us in Penang asking for help. Daughter B is a medical doctor and we agreed that we should work together and avoid as much invasive and toxic treatments as possible. The patient recovered.

Tag was able to see what happened to Dr. B’s father, who actually is a relative. But Tag wanted to follow his own path – doing things his own way. He followed the well established “rules” because he was “trained” not to question “authority.”

We just have to learn to understand him!

Dissecting Chemotherapy Part 7: Avastin + Alimta Nearly Killed Me

Avastin belongs to the group of chemo-agents called the “Smart Bomb” or Targeted Drug. It is used in combination with the conventional chemo-drug for metastatic colorectal, non-small cell lung cancer, metastatic kidney cancer and glioblastoma (brain cancer).

The drug is not only expensive but also comes with a variety of scary side effects. Patients receiving Avastin may suffer from the following:

  1. Serious, and sometimes fatal, side effect called gastrointestinal (GI) perforation. Perforation is the development of a hole in the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine.
  2. Serious and sometimes fatal bleeding, such as coughing up blood, bleeding in the stomach, vomiting blood, bleeding in the brain, nosebleeds, and vaginal bleeding.
  3. Nervous system and vision disturbances. Symptoms may include high blood pressure, headache, seizure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness.
  4. Stroke or heart problems, which can be fatal. Heart problems include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack and chest pain.
  5. Abdominal pain
  6. Nausea,
  7. Vomiting
  8. Constipation
  9. Fever
  10. Slow or incomplete wound healing
  11. Too much protein in the urine, which may lead to serious kidney problems
  12. High blood pressure.

Alimta is used in combination with the conventional chemo-drug for the treatment of non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Alimta is not indicated for squamous cell lung cancer.

Patients may be allergic to Alimta and suffer from hives, difficulty breathing; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding and unusual weakness.

The side effects of Alimta include:

  1. Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
  2. White patches or sores inside mouth or on lips
  3. Urinating less than usual, or not at all
  4. Chest pain, trouble breathing
  5. Swelling, rapid weight gain
  6. Skin rash
  7. Numbness or tingling
  8. Depressed mood
  9. Sore throat
  10. Tired feeling
  11. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, loss of appetite
  12. Muscle pain.

The most important question which patients want to know:

Can Avastin cure cancer? Try type this question on Google search and see what answer you get? You get nothing. No one is talking about cure at all. They only talk about prolonging life! And that too is amazingly ridiculous.

Q: Does Avastin cure colon cancer?

A: No.

Avastin (Bevacizumab): Good or Bad Cancer Treatment? http://yalepress.typepad.com/fightingcancer/2011/07/avastin-bevacizumab-good-or-bad-cancer-treatment.html

Dr. Richard Frank, M.D. wrote:  “The cost of cancer medicines is breaking the banks of Medicare and patients (private insurers continually raise their rates to cover costs) as well as forcing the closing of many oncology practices across the country. Access to basic cancer care and medicines is being jeopardized because of the exorbitant costs of the new biologic medicines. Unless these medicines can show at least a meager, repeatable improvement in survival for patients battling cancer, then they should not be approved and patients should not be given them in false hope.”

Q: Can Alimta cure lung cancer? This is the answer I got.

A: Alimta does not cure mesothelioma or lung cancer. 

Having understood the risks and the potential benefit (but what benefit are we talking about?) let us watch this video on what Alimta + Avastin did to a patient with lung cancer that had spread to his liver.

 

Note: We received a message on 18 September 2011 that this patient died.

When a lawyer makes a mistake, he loses his case in court; When an engineer makes a mistake, the building collapses; But when a doctor makes a mistake, it gets buried in his patient’s grave  ~ A Cancer Patient

 

Comments

In his website, http://www.utopiaawaits.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53&Itemid=2

Dr. Carlos Garcia, M.D. wrote, “Many patients and support individuals … get incensed when I state that chemotherapy has a FAILURE RATE of ninety-seven percent (97%), or a cure rate of a mere three percent (3%).  They are usually shocked and then appalled by this statement.  Their body posture changes, their mood becomes more confrontational, in short this statement touches the very core of their belief structure.  That is if I am correct, as I will attempt to corroborate with the attachments herein, then why were they not told this prior to being told that chemotherapy, along with surgery and radiation are the ONLY ways of treating cancer and furthermore that alternative practitioners are mere quacks.

The FACTS are that after years of trying, and FAILURE and trillions of dollars in research with no improvement in success why is chemotherapy still being used?  Are the oncologists just mindless heartless doctors in it for the buck?  How do they justify just recommending chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, while ignoring dietary changers, and emotional issues?  How do they justify the continued endorsement that was first known to be ineffective in 1985 and remains ineffective with a ninety-seven percent (97%) failure rate today?

Let’s be honest, spontaneous remission, has a higher success rate than chemotherapy.  So potentially one could reach the logical and perhaps factual conclusion that doing nothing when diagnosed with the symptom of cancer is a better medical choice than opting for chemotherapy, with definitely a higher quality of life than that presented by chemotherapy.”