Rectum-Liver Cancer: Part 1: Undergo surgery, chemo and radiation and you will be cured. Do you believe that?

Kanker Usus-Hati 1: Operasi diikuti kemo dan radioterapi bisa sembuh. Apakah ini benar? 

Jasmine (not real name) is a 54-year-old Indonesian lady. Her problem started with bleeding. The doctor was not sure if it was from the anus or the female reproductive organ. Jasmine consulted a gynaecologist who told her that her uterus was “dirty” and may need cleaning up (whatever that means!). Jasmine did nothing after that.

Some months later, while at home, Jasmine could not stand up. She was also bleeding. The doctor diagnosed the problem as vertigo (dizzy spell and feeling off balance).

A few months later, Jasmine went to see a doctor in Medan who performed a digital rectal examination. He felt  a mass in there! Jasmine was asked to undergo an operation.

Jasmine and her family came to Penang for further consultation. Her blood test results showed CEA = 247.03 and CA 19.9 = 72.2. Jasmine was also told that her cancer had already spread to her liver. She immediately underwent an operation in Hospital A. The procedure cost her RM 60,000 plus.

The pathology report indicated:

  • A moderately differentiated adeocarcinoma with metastases in pericolic lymph nodes (11/11) and segment 4a of liver. This was a T3N2Mx, Stage 4 cancer.
  • The non-neoplastic liver shows features of chronic hepatitis with grade 2 activity, Stage 3.

Jasmine was asked to start chemotherapy three weeks after the surgery but she was unable to do so because of infection. She was told she needed 8 cycles of chemo to be cured.

Later, Jasmine switched to Hospital B and had her first cycle of chemo there.

After her first shot of chemo, Jasmine suffered severe side effects and decided not to stop the treatment. No more chemo for her! Her daughter and son-in-law came to seek our help.

I asked her daughter: You had surgery in Hospital A but you went for chemo in Hospital B. Why did you switch hospital?

Daughter: The cost of chemotherapy in Hospital A is very expensive — RM7,000 per cycle. In Hospital B it was only RM3,500 per cycle.

How could there be such a great difference, I wondered.

In Hospital A the oncologist suggested using Oxaliplatin + oral drug, Xeloda or TS-One. In Hospital B, the drugs used were Oxaliplatin + oral drug TS-One. They are basically the same!

This is one lesson I learned this morning. Though the drugs used are the same, patients who don’t know enough, may be asked to pay twice the price for getting the same treatment. So beware!

Before I proceeded further with our consultation this morning, I asked this important question (which I hope all patients should learn to ask their doctors).

Before you undergo the operation, did you ask the doctor if the operation can cure your mother?

This was what the surgeon told Jasmine. You operate first and then go for 8 cycles of chemotherapy. In addition you also need radiotherapy. If you do all these you will be cured!

Did you specifically ask the doctor if he can cure your mother by the operation?

Daughter: I did ask exactly that and the doctor said it depends on chemotherapy — must do 8 times chemo first, otherwise the cancer may recur.

When you started the first chemo in Hospital B, did you ask the oncologist if the treatment was going to cure your mother?.

Daughter:  Yes, I asked. The oncologist in Hospital B replied: Cannot guarantee!

Did you tell the oncologist that the surgeon in Hospital A said that by undergoing 8 cycles of chemo it would cure your mother?

Daughter: Yes, I told the oncologist what the doctor in Hospital A said. He said just kept quiet. He said nothing!

Lesson number two I learned this morning — Someone is not telling the whole truth! Two doctors did not give the same answer for doing the same treatment! That much about the so called “scientific medicine.”

So patients, know that you are responsible for yourself. You have to find truth yourself. You can’t depend on others to tell you what you need to know!

So what is the truth in this story? You will know later. But in the meantime, please ponder carefully the following quotations said by doctors themselves:

 

 

 

 

 

 

NPC: Undergo chemotherapy,100 percent cure; if radiotherapy, 80 percent cure. You believe that?

Dear DR Chris Teo,

I apologize for writing without the benefit of an introduction, I am writing this email, with hope that I can scheduled an appointment with you, on behalf of my father who has been diagnosed with nose cancer(T2N1).

My father, Aba (not real name), 58 years old, has been diagnosed with nose cancer (T2N1) in February 2017 and was scheduled for 33 sessions of radiotherapy and 6 rounds of chemotherapy (4 hrs of cisplatin IV infusion),with an approximate total cost of SGD$9,700.

He declined the chemotherapy treatment (oncologists here are very persistent, we had to go thru series of ‘debates’) but complied to radiotherapy treatments. We was initially ensured a total recovery. Doctor mentioned that only 30% suffered from mild side effects and seeing my father is young he is confident that my father will be able to spring back to life in seconds.

Little did we knew, radiotherapy is just as bad. He is currently on his 13th session. The tormenting days started as early as day 2.  He is unable to eat maybe because of the many big ulcers, sudden chills, fever, nausea/vomiting and scalded skin. He is so weak. And ever since radiotherapy, I noticed he started to develop tight congestive cough at night. As of now, he said he had lost his sense of taste and hearing to his right ear.

On 6/6/17, during a scheduled consultation, we expressed our concern on his deteriorating health, and if there is anything that they can provide to aid him during this time, and they mentioned a few lists of medications in which they don’t recommended.  Their only advice is to allow his antibody to fight it off naturally. At the end of the day, we was only prescribe with a tin of Ensure Vanilla powder.

Disappointed with their lack of concerned and couldn’t help feeling betrayed, that was when we finally decided to called it off and stop the radiotherapy treatments.

It has been more than 48 hrs from his last radiotherapy session and he doesn’t seems to be getting any better.

Our family do believe in herbs but we have no knowledge on it.  He has been taking rodent tuber and  jus rerama (butterfly plant)  as supplements for almost a month now. We sincerely hope you are willing to look into my father’s case.  My father is eager to take all possible aggressive measures to combat this disease or at least to live peacefully with it.

We understand that this is one of many such requests that come across your desk and greatly appreciate any guidance that you can lend. We live in Singapore and ensure that I have no issues travelling to Penang on behalf of my father for the consultation and also the follow up treatments.

Thank you, in advance, for your help. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Best of regards.

Reply: Come and see me with all the medical reports and scans … no need to bring your father … only you come ….. fly in the morning … go back in late afternoon. 

Summary of medical reports:

  1. 9 Feb. 2017: Right PNS biopsy — Non-keratinizing papillary squamous cell carcinoma.
  2. 23 Feb. 2017: MRI – Nasopharynx and Neck — right nasopharyngeal mass (4.8 x 3.9 x 3.0 cm) with extension across midline and into the right parapharyngeal space with right mastoid effusion. Enlarged right lateral retropharyngeal node, 1.4 x 1.2 cm.
  3. 23 Feb. 2017: Bone scan — there is no conclusive scan evidence of bone metastasis.
  4. 5 April 2017: Diagnosed with T2N1 nasopharyngeal cancer, EBV negative, p16 positive.
  5. 30 May 2017: MRI — Since the previous MRI stuy dated 23 Feb. 2017
  • stable size and extent of the known right nasopharyngeal tumour.
  • slightly larger right lateral retropharyngeal lymph nodes — 1.5 x 1.2cm fro, 1.4 x 1.1 cm.
  • larger cystic right level 2 lymph node suspicious for nodal metastasis — 2.2 x 1.5 cm fro, 1.3 x 0.7 cm.

Aba’s daughter (let’s call her Linda) and her husband came to seek our help. We talked for more than an hour. Below are some excerpts of our conversation that morning.

 

 

Here are some of the points we discussed.

  1. Do chemo, 100 percent cure, if radiotherapy 80 percent cure

Linda: He was told to go for chemo – 6 times and radiotherapy – 35 times. He declined chemo but went along with radiotherapy.

Chris: Chemo! Can cure or not?

L: The doctor said, 100 percent cure with chemo. The doctor also said if the patient is my father or mother, I would also ask him/her to do the same.

C: So chemo can cure 100 percent. What about radiotherapy?

L: If he did radiotherapy it will be 80 percent cure.

  1. Only 30 percent of patients will suffer mild side effects of radiation

L: The doctor also said that only 30 percent of patients will suffer from mild side effects of radiation.

C: Mild side effects? That’s what the doctor said?

L: The doctor said my father is still young.

C: Did you father know that the doctor said the radiation side effects is very mild?

L: He knew.

C: And after 13 times of radiation, why did he gave up?

L: He had bad mouth ulcers, etc. When to see the doctor and was told no medication to help him. Only let the body’s antibodies (immune system?) help him.

  1. Why are you so against chemotherapy?

C: Chemo would give a 100 percent cure — why don’t you ask your father to go for chemo?

Son-in-law: He wanted to go for it.

L: I quarrelled with the doctor. I have read a lot of stories. Even my uncle — he had one cycle of chemo for his colon cancer and he wanted to die already. Only one shot, and want to die already.

  1. Oncologist pushing my father to go for chemo!

L: The doctor was very, very …

SIL: insisting.

L: When I told the doctor that I don’t want my father to go for chemo, she was like trying to put the blame on me — if my dies, I would be the one responsible for it.

C: The doctor was really pushing you on that? How old is this oncologist?

L: She is a young lady doctor.

SIL: Some  young doctors are like that! Very pushy — chemo, chemo, chemo!

L: She said, this is the standard American protocol.

C: (From my experience) Nobody can cure any cancer! There is another young oncologist who told one of our patients. In my professional life as an oncologist, I have not come across a case where a patient dies because of my chemotherapy!

  1. Fellow patient undergoing the same treatment already died!

L: There was another patient who also underwent the same treatment (like my father in the same hospital). Last week my father asked the nurse what had happened to him. The nursed checked and found out that he already died.

  1. Mom with colon cancer. Surgery but refused chemo. Ten years still alive!

L: I read a lot.

C: Before you father got cancer, did you also read?

L: Actually my mother also had cancer — colon cancer. She went for surgery but she refused chemo. It’s now ten years. She never go for any check-up and she is still alive.

7. My take on this case

  • We cannot change human attitude. So let me tell you honestly — out of ten patients who come and seek our help, only three patients would benefit from our therapy. We cannot help the remaining seven patients because we cannot change their attitudes. We can help the cancer but we cannot help human beings.
  • You need to take care of your diet. You cannot eat anything you like. So what to eat now? I can’t help people like that! I know many people swear and curse me because I say you cannot eat this and cannot eat that.

SIL: My father is a very stubborn person. He likes to eat — so we have to change him on that.

C: That is the problem. I have no herbs to make him change his attitude, his stubbornness. I can tell you, I give up on such person. No use. My experience is when he gets well, he will not listen to my advice anymore. He eats anything he likes and he dies.

Comments

There are many lessons we can learn from this story.

  1. It pays to read and read, to know more. It is not enough to just go and see an oncologist and believe he/she can take care of you.

Linda read about her father’s cancer treatment. She took note that her uncle almost died after one shot of chemo. Linda’s mother also had cancer. She was told to undergo chemotherapy after her colon cancer surgery. She refused. She is still alive after ten years!

When the oncologist told Aba and his family members that chemo was going to provide a one hundred percent cure of his NPC, Linda was skeptical. You can only be skeptical and dare to question the doctor if you have some basic knowledge of what cancer treatment is all about. Unfortunately, many patients dare not ask. And they don’t read. They swallow everything that is being fed to them!

 

  1. Experience and wisdom are what you need to look out for when it comes to making life and death decision. Read and ponder the following wise words of Dr. Ruggeiri below.

It is not difficult to understand what Dr. Paul Ruggieri is trying to tell us. Substitute the word surgeon with oncologist and see how the message strikes you! It may sound like this … the first ten years of practice, an oncologist learns how to chemo people …. she is eager to chemo anyone who walks into her office … she is going to show off her stuff …. bla, bla, bla.

So if I have a choice, I would choose an experienced, sympathetic and wise doctor rather than a sweet, young one! (I know it is hard, wishful thinking?).

 

  1. Radiotherapy provides a 80 percent chance of cure. And only 30 percent of patients suffer side effects. Even that, according to the oncologist, these side effects are mild. Do you believe that?

Obviously this oncologist does not know what it is like to suffer from the treatments she is dishing out to her patients!

Pastor Danny had NPC and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments (using the same drugs as recommended for Aba). And he suffered severe side effects.

  • Suffered severe side effects of radiation – mouth sore, difficulty swallowing, burnt skin, etc.
  • At the same time, he received two cycles of chemotherapy.  The side effects were worse than radiation and he had to be hospitalized. He was unable to sleep, was in pain and became anxious and depressed. He was put on morphine and as a result suffered constipation and hallucination.
  • The treatment caused much misery. I would rather die – it was miserable and never again!

Read more: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/05/21/a-u-turn-from-death-the-nose-cancer-journey-of-pastor-danny/

Dr. Peter Ooi related his NPC treatments as below:

Radiotherapy Experience

  • The treatment burnt my whole throat – like it was on fire.
  • My wife cried, because I couldn’t drink even a drop of water.
  • I could not walk by myself.
  • I was not told about the side effects of radiotherapy.
  • I have no more salivary glands (that is why in the video you see Peter having to taking sips of water very often when talking to us). 

Chemo Experience

  • I was not told about the side effects of chemotherapy – the only thing mentioned was hair loss.
  • I stopped chemo after the fourth cycle – I was too weak.
  • I developed a phobia for “needle”. The veins in my hands just “disappeared” when I see a needle!

Read more: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/01/29/nose-npc-cancer-eleven-plus-years-on-herbs-part-1-my-radio-chemotherapy-experience/

Doc, you call these mild side effects?

  1. The oncologist told Linda that chemotherapy can provide a one hundred percent cure! What the oncologist did not tell is that chemotherapy can also come with a heavy toll! Sometimes, chemotherapy kills.

According to Linda, a fellow patient undergoing the same treatment as her father died along the way!  Is that not proof enough? Read what these two doctors say.

Last week the newspapers reported that one of Singapore’s most prominent oncologist was suspended for eight months due to professional misconduct. According to this report, Dr. Ang Peng Thiam, a 35-year veteran and medical director of Parkway Cancer Centre, was found guilty of these charges:

  • That he made false representation to the patient who was suffering from lung cancer that there was a “70 per cent” chance of responding to the treatment he suggested, and
  • That he failed to offer her surgery as an option.

The patient died six months after seeing this famous oncologist.

The disciplinary tribunal found that Dr Ang “had no reasonable basis” for saying there was a 70 per cent chance of response and felt that he had “wrongly held out false hope” to the patient and her family. He made the claims intentionally even though he knew or ought to have known there was no basis for him to do so.

The judges said doctors were obliged to present the range of viable options and what the pros and cons of each of these were. Patients must get to decide for themselves what treatment they want, the judges added. “It was not Dr Ang’s role to decide, but to inform,” the judges said.

Cancer patients, can you learn anything from the above episode?

Read more: https://badscienceblindtruth.wordpress.com/

Let me end by asking you once again to reflect on the wise words of Dr. Ruggieri below:

 

 

 

 

Shopping for an illusive cancer cure!

A young Indonesian man and his sister came to our centre, trying to “shop” for a cure for their father’s cancer. They came with a long, rolled piece of fax-paper.

The following were written on that paper.

  1. August 2013. Father was diagnosed with cancer of the rectum which had spread to the liver.
  2. Went to a private hospital in Singapore for a biopsy.
  3. Underwent chemotherapy in a private hospital. Drugs used: Oxaloplatin + Leucovorin + 5-FU + Erbitux.
  4. After 4 cycles of chemo, underwent robotic surgery of the rectum in October 2013.
  5. One month after surgery, underwent 8 cycles of chemotherapy again. In total he had 12 chemos. His CEA reduced to less than 5.0. Metastases in liver disappeared!
  6. Took oral drugs: Xeloda and TS One.
  7. CEA shot up again.
  8. More chemo — 8 cycles. Drugs used: Compto + Leucovorin + 5-FU + Erbitux (note: same as before except for Compto instead of Oxaloplatin).
  9. CEA was 10.
  10. Through recommendation of his doctor in Indonesia, went to a doctor at NUH Singapore for surgery to remove the tumour in segment 5 of liver. This was in October 2014.
  11. Underwent radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in June 2015, in Mount Elizabeth, Singapore.
  12. Back in Indonesia, underwent TACE in Gatot Subroto Hospital, Jakarta in July 2015.
  13. CEA shot up to 40.
  14. Went back to the same private hospital in Singapore to undergo more chemo. Received 2 shots of chemo using the same previous drugs: Compto + Leucovorin + 5-FU + Erbitux.
  15. CEA reduced to 15.
  16. Continued with 6 more cycles of chemo with a private hospital in hometown, Semarang.
  17. CEA increased to 50.
  18. Continued with 4 cycles of chemotherapy in Semarang. Drugs used: Avastin + FOLFOX.
  19. Not effective.
  20. Chemo drugs changed to: Compto + Leucovorin + 5-FU + Erbitux (previous drugs as in Singapore).
  21. CEA reduced to 4.
  22. In February 2017, took Stivarga — oral drug (regorafenib).
  23. CEA shot up to 300 and in March 2017 it was at 800.
  24. Suffered severe side effects besides being not effective.
  25. Came to Penang cancer hospital and had one shot of chemo. Drugs used: Paritumumab (or Vectibix) + 5-FU + Irenotecan. One shot of this chemo cost RM 10,000.

After two weeks in Penang, this young man came to our centre. He came to know about CA Care from the internet and wanted to know more about our therapy.

While waiting to talk with me, this young man and his sister was given this notification to read.

Some important points for you to know before you see me

NO CURE FOR CANCER

  1. Most patient who come here, have already undergone medical treatments – surgery, radiation or chemo. Do these cure you?
  2. If you come here expecting me to cure you, know that I too cannot cure your cancer. From my experience, NO one on earth can cure any cancer. After some years cancer comes back again!
  3. But if you want me to help you – to give you another option, to have a better quality of life — may be it is possible. But it all depends on you. Because your health is your responsibility. Are you willing to help yourself? Are you willing to change your lifestyle, your diet, etc.?

OUR HERBS ARE BAD-TASTING, AND HAVE AWFUL SMELL

  1. Besides the bad taste and smell.
  2. You need to boil the herbs a few times a day — that’s a lot of work!
  3. You need to take two, three or four types of teas each day.

YOU MUST TAKE CARE OF YOUR DIET – YOU CANNOT EAT ANYTHING YOU LIKE

  1. You cannot each anything that walks – meaning, no meat, no egg, no milk, etc.
  2. Don’t take sugar (sugar is food for cancer).
  3. Don’t eat oily or fried food, table salt.

TRY OUR THERAPY FOR TWO TO FOUR WEEKS

  1.  May be the first 2 weeks on our therapy, you may suffer more pain, more tired, etc. That’s healing crisis. Don’t stop. Hopefully after 3 to 4 weeks you may feel better.
  2. If after a month on our therapy you still don’t feel better — the herbs are not helping you in anyway — then stop following our therapy. Please ask someone else to help you.
  3. If you feel better, continue with our therapy.

If you are still on chemo or radiotherapy (or are planning to do chemo or radiotherapy), or are taking other treatments elsewhere,

Go ahead and continue with these treatments first,  do not take our herbs yet.

 Comments

While waiting for me to talk to them and after reading the statements above, the daughter said: I don’t think my father can keep up with your therapy!

During the meeting I asked both of them the following questions:

  1. Why did you come to see me after everything else has failed?

Answer: Oh, we never knew that it is another option. We only thought medical treatment is the only way out.

  1. How much did the family spend for all these treatments?

Answer: Oh, could not count! So much.

  1. You were in Penang for 2 weeks already, what makes you take that long to come and see us?

Answer: I could not find CA Care!

  1. But, if you go into the websites: http://www.CancerCareMalaysia.com or CancerCareIndonesia.com, we have a google map in there that shows you exactly where we are.

Answer: Oh, I did not go into the website! I called your number but could not get through.

  1. We only answer phone from 10 am to 1 p.m. We close at 1 p.m. That is also stated in the website.

Response: I used my Indonesian hand phone and could not get through.

  1. Did you use the correct country code?

Answer: I just dialed without the country code!

  1. This a quotation:

Response: I agree.

  1. This is another quotation:

Response: I also agree with that.

After spending about 30 minutes with them, I sent them home to think carefully about the above.

I never get to see them again!

Let me close with another quote from an oncologist:

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

AS with Liver Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After the CA Care Therapy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Gist of our conversation

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

Wife of Jaya: Yes, yes.

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

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

C: And he is really healthy?

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

C: Still alive!

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

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

W: No, no.

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

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

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

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

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

Jaya with colon cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Gist of my advice to Jaya

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

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

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

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

Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related stories

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

 

 

 

Colon Cancer: Surgery and chemo failed to cure him. Part 2: Go seek spiritual guidance!

Guna is a 45-year-old Indonesian. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy for his colon cancer. Things were fine for a while. But two and a half years later, his cancer recurred in his abdomen and lung. The doctor suggested a PET scan to be followed by another surgery and/or more chemotherapy.

What to do now?

From our years of experience, this is the stage when most patients come to CA Care for help. And their expectation — to find a magic bullet to cure their cancer! To them I have this answer. No, I cannot cure you! That was exactly what I told Guna and his wife.

I spent about two hours listening to his sad story. But what can I say? What had to be done (based on the doctor’s recommendation) had been done. The result is a tragic failure.

If I have my way, I would want to send Guna and wife away and tell them to do what the doctors want them to do. Then we see what happen next and at the same time hope for the best! But I did not have the heart to say “no”.

I saw the despair in their faces. Guna and his wife probably expected me to say that I can cure them! I cannot! And I told them I am not god. It is better to be honest than to mislead them — to sell false promise or false hope!

It is always my policy to tell patients the truth — clearly and bluntly. I hope they can learn something from what I said. Likewise, I also hope that Guna and his wife have learned their lesson after this failure. The reality speaks for itself. But many people cannot see reality. You need to tell them that they are blind! Hopefully they learn how to see.

For Guna, there are two options.

One, go back to the doctors and undergo what medical science has to offer. But no, Guna and his wife did not want to do that.

Two, follow our therapy. His wife said, let’s take the herbs and hopefully this will cure him. But I said, No way!

Before I sent them away empty-handed, I asked one final question. To whom do you pray? The wife answered, Buddha.

Okay, why don’t you go home and take time to talk to Buddha. Ask Him for guidance. Then follow what He says. For those reading this article, this is exactly what I would say to YOU too, if you come and see me at this late stage. What else can I do?

Guna’s wife answer turned the table on me. After being told of his relapse, Guna’s wife  was very upset and confused, not knowing what to do. She then went to pray and consulted the medium of two Buddhist temples in Medan. She was told “not to undergo further medical treatment and should see Dr. Chris instead.”

They did exactly that — flew to Penang specially to consult with us. I could not send them home just like that — “empty handed.”

Listen to our conversation.

 

 

Gist of our conversation

Chris: What can you do now? Yes, follow the doctor’s advice. Go for a PET scan. With the scan we can know if the cancer has spread elsewhere. This is from the doctor’s viewpoint. But for you, I am not sure what benefit you will get out of it.

As you told me earlier, the first time you did chemotherapy the doctor said chemo was going to reduce the chances of recurrence. Without chemo, the chances of recurrence would be higher. You did what the oncologist asked you to do. And the cancer still come back! So, what is the benefit then?

Perhaps, if you did not do the chemo, you would be better off? Who knows?

How long after the chemo that the cancer came back?

Wife: After two and a half years.

C: Ask yourself this question. If after the PET scan they find more tumours. Can you cut out all of them? Not likely. Yes, can cut, but can that cure you? Earlier on one big tumour was cut out. What happened? It came back in spite of the cutting and the chemo. So what do you expect the result is going to be this time around?

W: According to your opinion, what is the best way out?

C: I don’t know. If I use my head, option1 is for you to follow your doctor’s advice. Go for a PET scan, operate and chemo. I really cannot say if this is going to do you any good. It is up  to you.

Guna: What is your advice? I am already confused.

C: I am just as confused. If I tell you to take our herbs, and after a few months the scan shows that the tumour has grown bigger, you will blame me! How?

Go, Seek Spiritual Guidance

C: Who do you pray to?

W: To Buddha.

C: Okay, you can go home. In your quiet time pray to Buddha and ask Him to show you the way. Take your time — one or two weeks, to meditate and pray. Ask Buddha to open a path for you. You are already  confused and lost. Ask Buddha to help you.

I am not Buddha. I can cheat you. Buddha will not cheat you. So go home and pray.

After that follow what Buddha tells you.

W: Last week, I went home to Medan. I went to two temples to pray. I consulted the medium. I told him about my husband’s problems. I also told him about my plan to fly to Penang to see Dr. Chris. The medium replied: Yes, go and see Dr. Chris. Both the two medium told me it is better to consult Dr. Chris instead of the doctor.

C: The medium did not tell you to go for medical treatment?

W: No, go and see Dr. Chris.

C: Are you sure?

W: Yes.

C: Did you really go to consult these medium?

W: Yes.

C: (Asking Guna) Now the medium told you to come here. Do you believe that?

G: I have no choice. No other option. I don’t know what to do. So I have to believe what the Spirit told me.

C: If our therapy does not turn out right — no good results — who is going to be responsible?

G: That’s my fate.

C: So, you would accept it as fated. And you are not going to blame me if our herbs are not effective?

W: No.

G: Yes right (we will not blame you).

C: Since you have no other way out, let me explain again. You have two options. One is to follow your doctors and do what they want you to do — scan, operate, chemo and chemo. Spend all your money and eventually you die. This is one option.

Option two, is to see me and follow our therapy. No scan, no chemo. But there is no cure. You want that? You want to follow this path?

G: You say cannot cure. But does that mean we can make the cancer stop growing? Can live longer?

C: I cannot answer that. I cannot guarantee. Different people react differently. But I know this — if I am a businessman and only think of making money — I can say these to you:

Yes, the herbs can shrink the tumour, they herbs will stop the cancer from spreading, the herbs will prevent recurrence. Also if you take our herbs, it will prolong your life.

If I say all these to you, know that I am just bluffing — telling you a bunch of lies.

Do you understand what I am trying to tell you?

I don’t want to cheat my patients. Also understand this — if you take our herbs and you believe that you will not be cured, know that you will never be cured! You will not benefit from our therapy. On the other hand, if you believe that our herbs will heal you, may be you will be healed. I cannot tell you for sure.

Do you understand this?

I have many patients who took our herbs and followed our therapy after their surgery. They did not go for any chemo. They survived for many years — eight years, ten years and are still okay today.

What does this mean? Healing is about YOU. And only YOU can heal yourself. Do you really want to take care of yourself? Do you really want to follow our instructions? Do you really want to change your lifestyle and your diet? What is in your head is important — the worry, the stress, etc. These are all important.

If you want to take our herbs but don’t believe in what we do, then don’t take our herbs. It is not going to help you.  No use.

In the same note, after taking our herbs, everyday you worry and ask when you will be cured — my answer is, you will never be cured! You make your life too stressful, fighting inside you!

If you take our herbs and feel good. Can eat, can sleep, no pain — don’t think too much. And don’t ask for more.

The most important thing to remember is to take care of your diet. Don’t eat what we tell you not to eat.

Be at peace without yourself. May be you may end up living longer a bit.

We tell our patients to learn how to live with their cancer.

A Patient Who Does Not Understand Gratitude

There was a man who had liver cancer. The doctor could not cure him. He came and took our herbs and he lived for two and half years without any problem. He was strong and healthy.

But I told him, I could not cure his cancer.

He came to know about a treatment in China. Someone said in the hospital there they can cure your cancer! So this man told his family: Dr Teo’s cannot cure me. I want to go to China for my cure. He spent S$60,000 and after six months of treatment he came home on a wheelchair. His stomach was bloated. He died.

Too bad. He was with us for two and a half years. He did not have to spend that kind of money. He was okay and well. But he wanted a cure!

So if any one of you come here and ask me to cure you, my answer is simple and blunt: NO CURE!

CA Care Therapy

Back to you. If this is what you wanted to do — take our herbs and follow our therapy, let me remind you again.

Take care of yourself.

Take care of your diet.

Change your lifestyle.

Believe in what you are doing.

I don’t know — may be one day you may end up healing yourself. I have many patients who survived for years and are still doing fine.

But can I cure you? I don’t think so. But can you live a normal, healthy life? Yes, many patients are doing fine but the moment they don’t follow our instructions, they die!

Comments

This is another article which I believe for many would not like to read or find it difficult to swallow. I make no apology for saying what I have said. If you want to survive cancer, you have to be on the right track — do the right thing and have to make hard choices. The question is: Do you really want to live or to die? What a question to ask!

Yes, many who came always tell us — I have a strong desire to live. I am ready to fight. Really?

Seventy percent of those who came to us, are patients I know cannot make it — say what you like. It is easy to say I want to live. But for these people, to do what it takes to live is another matter! If I cannot eat laksa, life is not worth living! And you dare say you have the will to live!!!

There are a few lessons we can learn from Guna’s tragic story.

  1. 1. Medical treatments — surgery and chemo — did not cure cancer. Chemotherapy was given based on meaningless expectation. If chemo can reduce recurrence by only 10 percent, then what use is it?

Guna was not explicitly told by the oncologist the reality that the treatment had a 40 percent chance of failure, based on the statistics he quoted.

Patients want 100 percent chance of NO recurrence. You don’t need to have a university education to understand that what Guna was subjected to did not make sense from day one!

Patients are just like  pawns. Trapped like the foot soldiers fighting in the battle field, while the general sits in the safety and comfort of his bunker. Helpless patients are confused and desperate. Full of fear, they panic and don’t know what to do.

That was how Guna and his wife felt after the battle was lost. They did not know what the next step is.

  1. There is another failure in medicine. Dr. Barry Boyd in his book, The cancer recovery plan, wrote:
  • Many 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.

Correct. After surgery and chemo, Guna was left on his own, to fend for himself. There is no guidance of what to do after the treatments. When the cancer recurred, the doctors have ready answers for him: do PET scan, go for more surgery and more chemo — more of the same treatments that did not work, right?

Now, let me share with you a few quotations written by doctors who understand a bit more about cancer. Hear what they said.

Dr. Martin L. Rossman in his book Fighting Cancer from Within, wrote:

  • Conventional medical care for cancer has for many years concentrated on destroying tumors without paying much attention to supporting the patient as a whole person, with innate healing capacities … Most people put themselves in the hands of an oncologist and did what they were told. While you almost certainly need a good oncologist to prescribe and monitor your medical treatment, there is often much more to surviving cancer. 
  • A strong spiritual belief system is helpful when fighting cancer.

Charles Smith, M.D., is a prominent urologist who specialized for years in treating prostate cancer. Then he himself  had prostate cancer. After going through medical treatment, he wrote:

  • Cancer is not just a lump in your body that can be cut out or killed by radiation or drugs. I have come to the conclusion that you, as a patient, cannot simply allow the management of your cancer and your life to be limited by the narrow views of the physicians you encounter. 
  • A major problem with the conventional approach to cancer …(is) it does little or nothing to promote the health, vitality, and well-being of the person who is fighting that cancer.

Rachel Naomi Remen was born into a family of doctors and nurses. At age 15 she was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease. Throughout medical school, residency and fellowship she was a very ill person. In all, Dr. Rachel Naomi was chronically sick for over fifty years.

She survived her sickness and is now professor of family and community medicine at the University of California San Francisco. This is what she wrote (in Foreword, Fighting Cancer from Within):

  • A diagnosis of cancer is a personal encounter with the will to live … the will to live cannot be measured, which puts it beyond the reach of science. 
  • Science defines life in its ways but life is larger than science. Many things happen that science cannot predict or explain. 
  • In my forty years of medical practice, people have often told me that they have recovered from their cancer because of chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. 
  • Chemotherapy and radiation may be the means by which we recover but the reason that we recover may be something quite different, something we brought with us to our doctor’s office and not something that we found there.
  • We each heal in ways that are as unique as our fingerprints.

In other words, to heal and survive cancer, patients need more than just surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Now many of you reading this, know this truth? How many of your doctors or oncologists dare to admit that patients need more than their surgery, chemo or radiation to overcome cancer?

Guna said he is just a layman. He followed everything what the doctors wanted him to do. He ended up in a deep, dark pit and did not know how to get out of it.

I really don’t know what is going to happen to Guna. I can only pray that he keeps to his words to live well, keeps up his spirit and perseveres.

 

 

 

Colon Cancer: Surgery and chemo failed to cure him. Part 1: So, what’s next?

Guna is a 45-year-old Indonesian. He was diagnosed with colon cancer and had an operation.  Guna then came to CA Care but decided to undergo chemotherapy instead. He received 8 cycles of chemotherapy. Each cycle cost about RM5,000. Every six-monthly follow-up examination showed he was well.

However, in March 2017, i.e. about two and half years later, a CT scan showed the following:

  1. An 8 mm nodule in left lumbar region, marginally increased in size. This could represent mesenteric lymph node.
  2. There is a 2.2 x 2.1 cm hypodense lesion in the left lower lumbar region, increased in size. Tumour deposit is considered.
  3. There is a 8 mm nodule in the left upper lobe of lung. This is suspicious of tumor or metastasis.
  4. Prostate is enlarged, measuring 3.4 x 6.8 x 4.6 cm.

The oncologist suggested that Guna do a PET scan to assess if there is any further spread of the cancer. If the metastasis is not extensive, Guna needs another surgery. If the metastasis is extensive, Guna has to undergo chemotherapy again.

Not knowing what to do, Guna went back to consult the surgeon who operated on him. He was given the same advice — go for a PET scan. A PET scan would cost RM4,000 plus.

Confused and not knowing what to do, Guna’s wife consulted the medium of two Buddhist temples in Medan. She was told “not to undergo further medical treatment and should see Dr. Chris instead.”

So, it was. A sad morning indeed. How did I handle such a case? Listen carefully to the video below.

 

 

Gist of our conversation

Guna: The oncologist asked me to go for a PET scan. If the result shows no extensive spread, then I need an operation. If the cancer has spread extensively, then no operation. Just chemotherapy.

Chris: PET scan can  show if there are any more cancer somewhere else. But after knowing this, what do you want to do? I don’t know what to say. I agree, you can go ahead and do the PET scan if  you like. This is to know exactly what is going on in your body. Correct logic – go ahead.

But after spending RM4000 plus for the PET scan what benefit do you hope to get? What if after the scan shows there are many more tumours. What do you want to do? Or what can you do?

The doctors say, go for another operation. Do you want that? You have to decide for yourself.

Or you have to go for more chemo. Do you want that?

Wife: My idea is this. We do not go for all these. Just take your herbs. May be that will help (cure?).

C: I don’t have any magic herbs to do that. You have already done 8 cycles of chemo and paid RM40K for that treatment. It did not cure you. It is not right for me to tell you that my herbs will make the tumours go away. How can? No, just not right and not honest! I am not god.

If you were to come and see me earlier — immediately after your operation —  and you started to take the herbs, maybe the story would be different. But you did not believe me then.

Now the cancer had metastatised and you expect my herbs to cure you. No way. But I am not blaming you. Cases like yours are very common! Operate, chemo and the cancer recurred. That is nothing unusual.

At CA Care, I want to be honest with my patients. I don’t want to mislead you. From my experience, I know that there is NO cure for cancer. Now, you have experienced this yourself. You have undergone the operation, had chemotherapy and spent so much money — did these treatments cure you? No, right? Now, you understand what I mean.

Most patients came here after their medical treatments have failed them. Then, they expect me to cure them! What can I do?

So, what do you want me to do for you?

As far as the oncologist is concerned there is a CT scan in the hospital. Okay use it. You pay RM4000 plus for that. I cannot dispute that suggestion. I also want to know what is going on in you. The scan can tell you that.

But think for yourself first, what do you want to do after the PET scan? Operation? Chemo again?

So, to ask you to go for the scan is not right. Not to ask you to go for the scan is also not right. My main concern is not to spend too much money to do something which may not benefit you.

So, what do you want to do now?

G: I really don’t know what to do now.

C: I too don’t know what to do. But I know the doctor knows what to do. He will ask you to go for more chemo.

Ask if Chemo Can Cure You

The last time you had your chemotherapy (two and a half years ago), did you ask the doctor if the treatment was going to cure you? Did you ask?

G: I did. The doctor said if no chemo, the chances of recurrence is higher. With chemo, the chances of recurrence is lower.

C: Chemo is said to reduce the chances of recurrence only? Reduction of a recurrence is not necessarily a cure. Right?

G: Yes.

C: Of course no one is going to say things honestly. Actually reducing the chances of recurrence also implies there is “no cure.” No guarantee that the cancer goes away.

Did the oncologist tell you about the percentage benefits you would get from chemo?

G: If no chemo, the chances of recurrence is 50:50. If chemo the chances of recurrence is 40:60, meaning 60 percent no recurrence.

C: This seems to say that the benefit of chemotherapy is only 10 percent. Chances of recurrence reduced from 50 percent to 40 percent. Right?

It also means that even with chemo there is still a 40 percent chance that the cancer can recur and the treatment will fail. Is that not what it means?

But cancer patients like you want a 100 percent chance of no recurrence, 100 percent of cure. Right?

Now you understand what I mean when I told you that there is no cure for cancer.

So, what can I do for you now?

Most patients who come to see me are asking for a cure. They expect the cancer to just disappear. Correct? It is not fair. You have undergone the surgery and had chemo and these did not cure you. Now, you expect the herbs cure you?

G: I am just a layman. I just did everything that the doctor wanted me to do.

C: I understand. Now, tell me what can I do for you? I am not god. I also feel very sad to hear your story. It breaks my heart.

G: I am confused.

C: I understand. I am also confused.

Comments

I am aware that some of you reading this would not like what I said. Surely you are entitled to your opinion. Most patients come wanting to hear what they want to hear only — they want to hear me saying that I can cure them.

If you belong to this group of patients, let me tell you. I know of some herbalists who can guarantee that their herbs can cure your cancer! You want to go there? Come and see me personally and I can show you the way to them if you like!

Take it from me, facing patients like this one is heart breaking. If I could have my way, I would want to send them away “empty-handed.” Go home and think first what you want to do. Or I would say, go to someone else who can help you. This is to say, I am being polite and indirectly telling you not to come and see me.

But for Guna and his wife this morning, it did not turn out that way. Both the patient and his wife went away rather satisfied. Part 2 of this story tells you why!

 

 

 

 

Part 2: What did you get out a failed, RM150,000 treatment?

zebra

We felt sorry for SF, her hope crushed. After 12 cycles of chemo and spending RM 150,000, she was told the tumors had shrunk and she was cured! (Or did she misunderstood her doctor’s message?). But after one month at home, she had bleeding and came back to her doctor again. Her tumour had grown back to its original size. It was a failure. Her doctor did not have time for her and hurriedly told her to for surgery.

With wounded feelings she and her husband left the hospital and sought the help of another oncologist in another hospital. She was started on radiotherapy to be followed by chemotherapy. We felt SF should just continue with her medical treatment and not take our herbs yet. We sent set her away without any herbs.

SF and her husband came back to see us again after a few days. We spent almost 2 hours talking. It was a “heart-breaking” morning for me. I laid out my advice as clearly, honestly and bluntly as possible.  But I was mindful not to cause panic or to instill fear in her. Many times during our conversation,  I asked her and her husband to think clearly and deeply the implications of what she wanted to do. She should then make her own decision based on what her heart wanted, after considering various points I raised.

What did you get out of your failed RM150,000 treatment?

 

 

  1. Diarrhea after radiotherapy

Patient: I had diarrhea after the radiation.

C: Did you have any diarrhea before you went for radiation?

P: No, the diarrhoea started 2 days after the radiation (note: it continued as of this writing — already 3 weeks).

C: I really cannot tell you what else can happen after this. Did you ever ask the doctor if these treatments — radiation and chemotherapy — are going to cure you?

P: No, we never ask.

C: You should ask before you undergo all these!

  1. Tumor shrunk after the first round of chemotherapy!

P: After 6 cycles of chemo, I was told the tumour had shrunk. And I needed another 6 more cycles. The doctor said I was cured. I requested the doctor to do a CT scan for me to confirm the result. The doctor said, No need, you are already cured. Go home.

C: What? He said chemo cured you?

P: He asked me to come back after 2 months for review. But one month at home, I had bleeding and we brought forward our travel and came back to see the doctor again.

Husband: The tumour had grown bigger (back to its original size, see table below).

pelvic-mass

C: Did you ask the doctor why? Only last month he said you were already cured. Now, what happened.

P The doctor was angry.

C: Har?

H: We were confused. We returned to see the doctor one day before he was to go on leave. It seemed he was “uncomfortable” and told us crudely — You just go for the operation! We then went to see another oncoloogist in another hospital.

  1. Elevated liver function parameters

C:  Let’s look at your liver function results (table below).

liver-function

On 8 June 2016, after finishing 6 cycles of chemo, your liver function was still okay. But you see what happened after you did 12 cycles of chemo. All the liver enzymes values were elevated. Your liver was going downhill. Okay, some people may want to rationalize that it is normal after chemotherapy. The liver function enzymes will go back to normal again after you stop chemo. Well, I don’t know if you want to believe that or not.

You are going to be given more chemo. I cannot tell you what is going to happen to your liver after this. I don’t know how many more cycles of chemo they are going to give you, and what drugs they want to use. If they give you the more toxic or aggressive drugs, what is going to happen to your liver?

They want to give you more chemo because they hope to shrink the tumour before they proceed with surgery. You have already done 12 cycles of chemo in Hospital A before. The tumour shrunk and grew back after a month. Think carefully, what do you hope to achieve this time with chemotherapy? Shrink the tumour again?

  1. Lung nodules disappeared

P: The doctor told me that the nodules in my lungs were all gone after the chemotherapy. At least, my lungs are free of cancer.

C: Wrong Ibu (mama)! Yes, the lung nodules were completely gone after the chemo but in the October 2016 scan, there was again a 0.6cm nodule in your lung. So the impression you had was wrong.

P: I did not know this. I did not understand all this. Only now that you have told me this.

lung-nodule

  1. Chemotherapy means sufferings

C:  Two days ago, a lady came to see me on behalf of her elderly father who had lung cancer. She consulted the same oncologist (the second oncologist, not the first oncologist in Hospital A) that you went to. This oncologist told the lady that her father needs chemo but chemo is going to cause many side effects and he would suffer. The oncologist also said that the father could go for oral drug. But oral chemo-drug can also cause sufferings.

On hearing this, the daughter “ran away” and would not want any more medical treatment for her father! At least we should be glad that this oncologist was honest to tell us this.

Patients are an ignorant lot!

C: This episode really make me sad. For years I have been trying to “educate” patients. I wonder if I have failed miserably? I understand all that you have said and gone through. You put your full trust in your doctors — they are your gods — and the gods failed you!

docs-are-gods

Also, unfortunately some of these gods are not honest. They don’t tell you the whole truth that you need to know.

doctors-lie

P: Indeed I don’t understand all these.

C: You came to see me twice. I have explained to you what I know and I ask you to think carefully what you want to do.

H:  Before this I believed that after the surgery — the tumour gone —  all problems would be solved! That was what I thought. I did not know all these before your explanation. Now, I understand and realise the implications.

P: I was hoping that after the chemo, I would be cured. I did not want to go for surgery!

 

 

 

After 12 cycles of chemo, his liver function worsened. So, what’s next doc?

capture8

This is a normal scenario I often encounter. A patient is diagnosed with cancer. He undergoes surgery immediately, followed by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. After completing these treatments, the patient is told to come back for routine check-up. What has to be done, has been done. Probably he thinks, he is cured! But if he knows enough about cancer, deep within, is this scary concern — Can the cancer come back again? Yes, the chances are very high that it would come back.

So, what can you do about it? Nothing much! Wait and see — that probably is the advice given.

The patient goes back for routine check-up once every few months. During this consultation, the doctor may ask a few questions,  press here and press there, do a blood test, X-ray, scan, etc. In reality, all these procedures would not help stop the cancer from coming back. On the contrary, it is during one of these procedures that patients could be told that the day of reckoning has arrived! There — another lump! Then more treatments are suggested.

Ask your oncologist what can you do, as a patient, to help yourself so that the chances of recurrence would be minimized? He would probably say, Okay, swallow this pill for prevention or may not be able to give any answer.

Let me share with you this classic example that I often encounter.

HT is a 61-year-old male. His problem started with having blood in his stools. He went to Dr. A in G hospital, and did a colonoscopy. The doctor found many polyps and signs of gastritis. There is a tumour in his transverse colon.

CT scan confirmed colonic neoplasm in the transverse colon with enlarged lymph nodes.

A CT scan done two days later showed two small pulmonary nodules – one in the middle lobe and the other in the left lower lobe, raising the possibility of pulmonary metastasis. There are hypodense lesions in the left adrenal gland which could be metastases.

HT was scheduled to undergo an operation by Dr. A but made a last-minute change to let Dr. B do the surgery instead. The surgeon removed most of the polyps beside performing a hemicolectomy, removing 58.5 cm long segment of this transverse colon.

Histopathology report indicated an invasive moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma. Four out of 28 mesenteric lymph nodes contain metastatic tumour. This is a Stage C2 cancer.

HT then underwent 12 cycles of chemotherapy. The treatment was completed by end of August 2016.

What’s next after chemo? Nothing. But is he cured? Your guess is as good as mine. HT went home to wait — to carry on with his own life! Do what you are doing, eat whatever food you want to eat! But come back for routine check up once every 2 or 3 months.

Dr. Barry Boyd, an oncologist, wrote this:

barry-boyd-cancer-recovery-plan-quotation

HT is a typical example of what Dr. Barry Boyd meant — and mind you, what he wrote is what most cancer patients experience most of the time, not only in America but also here. To me, this is one of the main drawback of medical treatment for cancer! Doctor only treats you! But treating does not mean cure. After the completion of the treatment patients are left “in a free fall. This is what I call falling off the cliff.”

HT tolerated the chemo rather well. He only suffered blackening and numbness of the fingers and toes. For that the doctor prescribed Neurobion. He also lost his appetite. His body itched and was given Claritin.

As the chemo treatment progressed, his liver function test values deteriorated. See the 2 tables below. At two months after completion of the chemo, these values deteriorated further which made HT rather worried. The oncologist prescribed milk thistle but HT was not satisfied and wanted more help. He came to see us.

During his first visit to us, I told HT to go home and think seriously what he wanted to do. Since he has been under the care of an oncologist, there  is no reason why he needs our help. Let the doctor repair the so called “damage” because if anything goes wrong later, then someone is going to make us the scapegoat! Remember, this is a Stage 3B cancer. It has spread to the lymph nodes and possible metastasis to the lungs and adrenal gland. The chances of recurrence is very high. And most of the time, if this unfortunate event occurs, people will point their fingers at us — It is because of your herbs! So this is what I told HT. Go home and think about what I have said. I cannot cure your cancer. You can come back again, if you think I can help you.

The next day, HT came back and wanted us to help him — after all, is he not about to fall off the cliff? He has seen his oncologist and was told his liver functions are not good! And he was prescribed milk thistle!

Below is HT’s blood test results over the months.

Table 1: Blood test results up to the 6th chemo.

lft-1

In January to February, HT had his operation and did not receive any chemo yet. His blood results were good. His blood test results were still okay after 2 shots of chemo. The third shot of chemo lowered his red blood count (RBC) and platelets. This is to be expected — the norm! If the RBC and platelets become too low, the doctor will give you the “red juice” or the “white juice” injection to boost this up again.

Now, let us try to understand what liver function test results tell us.

  1. Alanine transaminase (ALT). Large amounts of ALT occur in liver cells. When your liver is injured or inflamed (as in hepatitis), the blood level of ALT usually rises.
  2. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST). When a blood test detects high levels of this enzyme in your blood it usually means your liver is injured in some way. AST can also be released if heart or skeletal muscle is damaged.
  3. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP). The blood level is raised in some types of liver and bone disease.
  4. Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT). This may be elevated with even minor, subclinical levels of liver dysfunction. It is also raised in chronic alcohol toxicity.

After the third chemo, AST level started to become abnormal and this continued to be elevated throughout and even after  the treatment period.

Table 2: Blood test results from the 7th to 12th chemo and 2 months after completion of chemo.

lft-2

As chemotherapy progressed, HT’s RBC, platelets, alkaline phosphatase, ALT, AST (and later GGT) were adversely affected. We know that the use of chemo-drugs often results in elevated liver function enzymes, which may represent liver toxicity or damage.

In fact, even two months after completion of chemotherapy, HT’s liver function enzymes were elevated. HT started with a good liver, and now has it been damaged by the chemotherapy? Only time can tell what is going to happen next.

Since, HT is worried about this problem, we try to help him by prescribing some liver herbs. Of course, certain people would say, taking herbs would cause more damage to the liver! But, let me tell you, our experience shows otherwise — herbs can repair that damage! Again, only time can tell who is right.

Besides learning the chemo can cause liver toxicity or damage, there are two more lessons we can learn from HT’s experience.

Lesson 1: HT said, initially he was supposed to be operated on by Dr. A but at the last minute he requested to have  Dr. B do the operation instead. Why? He did a bit of “homework” and felt that Dr. B is more competent. Bravo! Patients, you must learn to be empowered! Don’t just be led by the nose “to be slaughtered.”

I understand, most cancer patients don’t like to read books or to put it mildly, don’t have time to read books. Let me share with you what I read. Dr. Paul Ruggieri wrote Confessions of a Surgeon, which can give you an insight of what can happen in the operating theatre. He said:

  • The “white coat code of silence” is a term I used to describe the dark side of a profession that, despite its noble intentions, enables incompetent surgeons to continue to work.
  • The operating rooms are even more insular; there, secrets are often not openly discussed; rarely going beyond the double doors.
  • The sad thing was … patients had no idea who they were getting as a surgeon. How does anyone who is about to have surgery truly know how competent the surgeon is? How can the public know?
  • Yes, doctors (especially surgeons, because of what they do) are human, and capable of making mistakes. When mistakes are made, people get hurt or die.
  • There is no website, no ability to research important, relevant data on your surgeon’s track record before your operation … all we know … he or she has a “good” reputation. Is this enough?
  • Hospitals have relevant information … Operating room nurses quickly figure out which surgeons know what they’re doing and which ones should be looking for another profession.
  • I believe every person who is about to undergo surgery should have the opportunity to access unbiased performance information about his or her surgeon.

Unfortunately, this ideal is yet to be recongised, let alone practised in hospitals. So, patients, the only way out is for you to use your intuition! If you “feel inside you” that a doctor is not good for you, go find another one!

Lesson 2: I asked HT, How much did he spend for all these treatments — surgery and chemotherapy? He did not know! Because the health insurance paid for everything.

Then HT added, Actually I learned from the Accounts Department that the costs of my treatment were inflated because I have insurance!

Yes, it is common knowledge (not a secret anymore) that if you are insured and landed in the hospital, the treatment charges will automatically sky rocket! While it sounds okay for now, but at the end of it, it is the patients who would suffer from such practice. Your health insurance premium will go up! This unfortunately is one sickness of the health industry which we all know exists but cannot do anything about it!

 

 

Ovarian Cancer: Surgeon said, ten patients had chemo, ten patients died. Chemo would cost IDR 120 to 240 million — cost of a house!

capture5

Lan is a 55-year-old Indonesian lady. About two months ago, August 2016, her stomach felt bloated and she passed out “oily” urine. She consulted one doctor after another (five in all) and was told she had gastric problems. One doctor in Jakarta examined her and said there was nothing wrong with her! She was given medications by these doctors, but her problem persisted.

She eventually consulted a doctor in a private hospital in Jakarta. A blood test, done on 22 September 2016, showed her CA 125 was at 4,563.8 (normal = 35.0)  and her GGT was elevated at 92.0 (normal 9.0 – 36.0). The rest of the blood  parameters were within normal range.

A CT scan, done the next day, showed a cystic lesion in the right ovary, measuring 3.5 x 2.85 x 2.0 cm. There was a bit of fluid in the lower lobes of her lungs.

Lan underwent a total hysterectomy on 28 September 2016. The operation was done in Jakarta and cost IDR 49 million. Before the surgery, 3 liters of fluid was tapped out of her abdomen.

Histopathology report confirmed a malignant well differentiated adenocarcinoma, probably originating from the ovary.

As a “standard operating procedure” the surgeon suggested that Lan undergo 4 to 6 cycles of chemotherapy since there is no knowing if the cancer had already spread to other organs.

Lan asked the surgeon if chemo was going to cure her. The surgeon replied: From my experience (practising in Germany for 30 plus years) ten patients had chemo, ten patients did.

Lan returned to her hometown and consulted a gynae-oncologist. Lan was told that the doctor in Jakarta who operated on her did not remove the cancer completely. From the USG, he told Lan that the cancer had spread all over. Lan sensed that this gynae-oncologist was not happy with her because she did go to him for the operation but instead went to Jakarta for the operation. Lan had consulted this gynae-oncologist before her operation.

Anyway, according to the gynae-oncologist, Lan had to undergo 6 to 12 cycles of chemo. Each cycle of chemo would cost IDR 20 million.

Chris: That means with 12 cycles it is going to cost you IDR 240 million? Is that big money?

Daughter: That is roughly what a house would cost — IDR 240 million.

C: So, if you spend IDR 240 and is cured, it is okay. If you die, 240 million gone and a house also fly away. Did you ask this gynae-oncologist if the chemo he is giving you is going to cure you?

D: The doctor said: Mungkin sembuh (probably can cure) tergantung kepada semangat hidup Anda (it all depends on your will to live).

C: Did you ask if he has any medicine to make “your will to live” stronger?

My advice to Lan and his family members that morning:

  1. You now know that chemo cannot cure you for sure. And according to the Jakarta surgeon, ten patients underwent chemo, ten of them died. What does that tell you?
  2. You know that chemo will make your life miserable — all those side effects. That is, if chemo does not kill you and if you continue to live.
  3. Chemo is going to cost you a house — IDR 240 million.
  4. I cannot tell you to go for chemo or not to go. It is up to you to make your own decision.
  5. Even you take my herbs, there will be no cure. But at least, by taking the herbs and taking care of the diet, it is not going to cost you a house!
  6. I don’t know of any way to get out of this. You go for chemo, you will die one day. Take my herbs, you will also die. So what path do you want to take?
  7. I also warned Lan that our therapy is not easy to follow. The herbs taste awful. And she has to take care of her diet.

My advice to all patients: We don’t have any magic bullet for your problem. Our therapy is not easy to follow. If you cannot cope with that, then please do not come and see us.

 

 

My son died after chemotherapy. So no chemo for me!

push-rock

LS is a 64-year-old Indonesia lady from Surabaya. For the past 5 years she had been having problems with her stomach. The doctors said it was gastritis. She was prescribed medications. The problem persisted. In July 2016, she came to Penang for further consultation.

  • A blood test showed her GGT and AST were at 81 and 37 (high) respectively. And her CEA 125 was at 46.0 (high).
  • A CT scan showed features compatible with gallbladder carcinoma.
  • The cancer had already spread to her liver, portal and para-aortic and mesentric nodes.
  • There are multiple masses in her liver. The largest being 67 x 75 x 60 mm in size.

LS went to another hospital in Penang. Another CT scan was done. The results were the same. Her gallbladder was distended with a lobulated enhancing soft tissue lesion measuring 77 x 34 x 57 mm.

The doctors suggested a biopsy to be followed by chemotherapy. She refused.

LS then went to Singapore for further opinion. The doctor gave LS the same advice!

 

 

Chris: You were asked to do chemo and you refused. Why?

Patient: My son had lung cancer. He was only 39 years old. He underwent 5 or 6 cycles of chemo. And he died.

C: Is this the reason why you don’t want to go for chemotherapy?

P: Yes.

C: Did you ever ask the doctor, if chemo can cure you cancer?

Daughter: No, he cannot guarantee.

C: Then, why did he ask you to do chemo?

D: Just to prolong life.

C: But you know — chemo prolongs life or shortens life? In the case of your son, chemo killed him. The doctor did not tell you that even if you undergo chemotherapy, the treatment would not cure you? I am sorry but I have to be honest with you. I don’t want to mislead you. There is no cure for your cancer. Even if you take my herbs, these will not cure you. But if you take these herbs for a few weeks and they help you, then continue taking them. But if they do not make you feel better, then you can stop taking my herbs. I cannot cure you.

Cannot cure does not mean you die soon. I don’t mean that. There is this lady from Surabaya. She had a tumour in her chest. The doctor said without chemo she would die within 6 months. If she goes for chemo, she would live for another 2 years. No cure. She refused chemotherapy and came to seek our help. It is more than 4 years now and she is still okay. The irony is her sister is a medical doctor and was angry at her for coming to see us. Lately, she brought her sister to our centre! Her sister brought along another medical doctor who needed our help!

But you need to also accept that eventually we all have to die. I too have to die, you have to die and she (daughter) has to die. So Ibu, take life as it comes and don’t worry too much. That is how we all should look at life.

 

 

Breast Cancer: RM 200,000-treatment did not cure her

breach-sabah

AZ is a 45-year-old Indonesian lady. In early 2012, she had a swelling in her left breast. She went to a doctor in Palembang and did a biopsy. The result: not malignant! AZ did nothing after that.

In November 2012, AZ went to a private hospital in Melaka for a second opinion. She was told that she had cancer. A left mastectomy was immediately done on 21 November 2012. It was a Stage 3A cancer. Six out the 16 lymph nodes were found to be infected with cancer. The tumour was positive for estrogen, progesterone receptors and CerbB2 oncoprotein.

AZ underwent follow-up treatments: 6 cycles of chemotherapy, 25 sessions of radiation and was started on Tamoxifen. She had been taking Tamoxifen since 2012 until now.

AZ was well, but was not cured. About four years later, February 2016,  AZ felt pain in her left chest. Her surgeon said there was nothing wrong with her! However, AZ consulted another doctor in the same hospital. A lump was found in her chest.

composite-1

Impression: An active node, probably metastatic, is present in the left supraclavicular region. No other suspicious lesion is detected elsewhere.

AZ underwent another operation to remove the node in her chest. The histopathology report confirmed a recurrent invasive ductal carcinoma. AZ underwent another round of chemotherapy consisting of 6 cycles of oral Xeloda plus 6 cycles of Herceptin. In addition, she received another 25 sessions of radiation.

AZ was told that she had to monitor the progress of her cancer by doing PET scan every 5 months or twice a year!

A PET scan done on 24 October 2016, showed more tumours developed. In short, all the previous done failed.

composite-2

  1. The hypermetabolic node in the left supraclavicular region is much less active.
  2. Two small hypermetabolic lesions have appeared in 2 ribs of the left side.
  3. In the hilar region, there are a few new hypermetabolic nodes of about 1.0 to 2.0 cm.
  4. In the lower mediastinum, there is a hypermetabolic nodules of less than 1.0 cm.
  5. Several small metastases have appeared in the lungs.

AZ was asked to see her oncologist. She refused to return to the hospital again.

 

 

 

Chris: Before the operation, did you ask if surgery was going to cure you?

Patient: The doctor said must operate. Then go for chemo and radiation. Only then can we know if I am going to be cure or not.

C: Did you ask the oncologist, if chemo was going to cure you?

P: The doctor said, “Tak pasti” (not sure!).

PET scan

P: Doctor told me to come back for routine check-up and do a PET scan every 5 months.

C: What? Every 5 months? Do you know about radiation risks? If I ask you to go for a chest X-ray one time today, is that okay? Yes. But if I ask you to go for an X-ray 800 times a day, you will say I am mad, right? What if I say go 2,000 times of chest X-rays today. I must be real crazy.

radiation-risk

Total cost of treatment

C: For all the treatments that you have undergone, how much did you have to spend?

Husband: About RM 200,000.

C: Wah, that is about the cost of a piece of land or a house?

H: Yes, the cost of a house.

Don’t want to see my oncologist anymore

C:  What did the doctor want you to do now?

P: I don’t want to do anymore chemo — so far not effective at all. I don’t want to go back and see my doctor anymore. I suffered when I did the previous chemo.

C: I understand. And are you still taking the Tamoxifen?
P: Yes, until yesterday.

CA Care Therapy

C: Who ask you to come here?

H: A friend from Jambi. He had lung cancer and came to see you. Followed your therapy and he is now well — healthy.

C: You need to know that there is NO cure for cancer. I cannot cure your breast cancer. I don’t want to mislead my patients about this. But if I can help you to live a healthy life without problem, then that may be possible. You cannot ask for more. The doctor said you can eat anything  you like. No, I am going to tell you that you have to take care of your diet. You cannot eat anything you like. Keep to a healthy diet and lifestyle. What I can do is to try and help you but you must learn how to help yourself. As to how long you live, God decides.

4-amy-cohen-no-cure

 

 

 

Bring her home and let her die in peace and with dignity.

Part 2: Come back and see me again after a week!

Part 1: The mantra of  NO CURE BUT THERE ARE TREATMENTS is meaningless.

Part 2: Come back and see me again after a week!

Part 3: Praise God, She did not die!

 

On the second day, the 2 sisters came again. The family was fully aware of the seriousness of the problem. The family decided to get GM out of the hospital — no more medical treatment for her. Accordingly to the sister even the oncologist agreed that GM should not get anymore chemo! So GM had no choice but to come to us for help. One sister said, Nowhere else to go. Go to any hospital,  they will give her chemotherapy and radiotherapy! They wanted to try out the herbs – for better or for worse, with the understanding that GM might die anytime.

Oncologist’s Medical Report

(Note: This medical report is rewritten in layman’s language. The facts remain unchanged while the medical terminologies are omitted for our better understanding).

1 August 2016

To Whom It May Concern

NUT Midline Carcinoma T4N2M1 (bone)

  • Chemotherapy: TPF — Cisplatin, Docetaxel and 5-FU from April to June 2016)
  • Palliative radiotherapy to head and neck, 13 times (abandoned due to disease progression).
  • Doxorubicin, Ifosfamide and Vincristine from 15 to 17 July 2016.
  1. This 33-year-old lady came to my attention on 20 April 2016 when she came for an opinion. She had left sino-nasal tumour. Presented with severe protrusion of the left eyeball, swelling of the left cheek, blurred vision and severe headache.
  2. The post-nasal biopsy on 19 April 2016 was reported as a squamous cell carcinoma. But I consulted Prof P who communicated to me that it was a NUT Midline Carcinoma.
  3. CT whole body on 25 April 2016 revealed an extensive left sino-nasal tumour with extension into the left orbit.
  4. I made it clear to her and her family that this was a stage 4 cancer and the aim of the treatment was palliative in nature.
  5. On 26 April 2016, patient had a chemo-port inserted to facilitate the administration of chemotherapy.
  6. By Day 4 of chemotherapy, her eyes started to feel better but she began to develop a fever.
  7. She was given antibiotics — Co-Amoxiclav, Ciprofloxacin and Teicoplanin. Her fever failed to settle.
  8. Suspected infection of chemo-port. This was removed. Her fever subsequently settled after removal.
  9. Patient had a very good response to chemotherapy. She received 2 further cycles of TPF chemo.
  10. After completion of the third chemo, she was planned for radiotherapy — IMRT which was to start on 27 June 2016.
  11. But she complained that her left eye was starting to swell up again in the last few days.
  12. A repeat CT was performed. Unfortunately, she had developed progressive disease within 3 weeks of her last TPF chemotherapy.
  13. Nevertheless, we started her on radiotherapy and she responded after 5 to 6 times. Left eye swelling was reduced.
  14. Patient at the same time received 1 cycles of chemo with Cisplatin on 28 June 2016.
  15. After the 8th sessions of radiotherapy she was increasingly lethargic and listless with general weakness of her peripheral limbs.
  16. Her blood test showed severely hypercalcaemic with slightly raised urea and creatinine. This was associated with daily raised body temperature and fever of 38 C.
  17. Patient was given Zoledronic and Co-Amoxiclav. Her platelets were gradually dropping from 384 (on 4 July 2016) to 214 (on 8 July 2016) to 100 (on 11 July 2016). This was associated with a persistent fever and body pelvic pain.
  18. We felt that there were increasing bony metastases. She was having progressive systemic metastases as evidenced by the severe hypercalcaemia.
  19. We offered her second line chemotherapy using Doxorubicin, Ifosfamide and Vincristine.
  20. Patient’s radiotherapy was discontinued after 12 times.
  21. A chemo-port was again inserted on 11 July 2016 with a 3-day regime of Dox/Ifos and Vincristine.
  22. She developed a DVT in her left calf requiring anticoagulants. (DVT = Deep vein thrombosis — this occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body, usually legs.)
  23. She had persistent fever even before her chemo-port insertion and her antibiotics were switched to meropenem infusion.
  24. By Day 3 of chemo, her platelets were down to 53 and her calcium levels dropped to 1.75. Despite infusion of calcium gluconate she had persistent low calcium. Her Magnesium and Phosphate levels were low. Her urine output was high.
  25. It was felt that she had developed Ifosfamide-induced Fanconi’s Syndrome causing renal tubular leakage of her electrolytes and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Patient also suffered transient episodes of agitation which was attributed to post-Ifosfamide Grade 1 encephalopathy (see explanation below).
  26. Her platelets which had been on a reducing trend before chemo, continued to drop during and after chemotherapy. She required daily infusion of platelets since Day 3 of chemo to prevent bleeding.
  27. Xarelto which had been her DVT was discontinued.
  28. To correct her electrolyte imbalance she was given daily infusion and oral calcium, phosphate and potassium supplementation. Desmopressin was given daily to reduce her urine output but she developed fluid retention.
  29. Her persistent high body temperature and fever continued. She was switched from Meropenem (completed one week) to Gentamicin and Ciprofloxacin. Patient was kept on regular paracetamol.
  30. Patient developed neutropenia (low white blood cell) on Day 6 after the chemo. She was given daily G-CSF and Pegylated-GCSF.
  31. Due to the persistent fever and the clinical diagnosis that she may have tumour-related fever. Her Gentamicin and Ciprofloxacin antibiotics have now been stopped after 5 days of infusion.
  32. She no longer required any platelet transfusion.
  33. Patient is mainly bed-bound but is able to mobilise with the assistance of 1 to the toilet.
  34. Her CT was repeated yesterday and shows progressive skeletal metastases. There is some mild basal atelectasis (one or more areas of the lungs collapse or don’t inflate properly) and likely reactive mild left pleural effusion (fluid in the lung).
  35. Her prognosis remains poor. Overall, her disease management has been challenging. Her disease improves dramatically but also relapses rapidly. Her chemotherapy was also complicated by the uncommon adverse effect of renal dysfuntion.

Yours sincerely,

Consultant Radiotherapist & Oncologist.

Comments

  • Thank Sir, for your detailed 3-page-report. It was well written and well understood. You must have taken a lot of your precious time to write this. Also, we appreciate your frankness in telling us what had happened.
  • I must admit I felt intimidated after reading your report. You tried your best and your medicine failed you. We understand that. Then as a last resort, the patient’s family came to us for help. So what help can we give her? Nothing much, the like of those expensive, potent and destructive drugs that you prescribed. What we can offer is a simple advice. We could not offer GM what the doctor did. We are not doctors! And we don’t think like doctors too. We only used our commonsense to reason things out and try to figure out why GM went into that “bottomless pit.” So this is what we said and did.
  • Our advice: Go home and let her die in peace and without suffering. Heaven is a better place where no one suffers from any cancer. Courage is not about fighting a battle that you know you cannot win. Courage is not about fighting a battle you have to suffer before you lose. Here, radiation and chemo were given. GM suffered blood clot in her left calf. Then there was the chemo-induced Fanconi Syndrome, kidney failure and diabetes. Her platelets and blood counts were nearly wiped out by these toxic drugs. Her immune system was probably destroyed. Her body became sick with high temperature and stubborn fever which no drugs in the hospital could fix the problem. So to us, courage is about accepting reality and giving up that fight which seemed to be the cause of more problems. So to us, if this reality is accepted, we have won the first round of the battle. 
  • Four months before this disaster (in April) GM was still a “healthy” person and was able to sell curry mee in her stall. Then she had “flu-like” symptoms and took a variety of antibiotics. Within three weeks her left eye and face were swollen. Her sister said the left eye was “swollen like the eyes of gold fish”. So, common sense is needed here. How could this be? What caused the swelling? Unknown to many people antibiotics can cause havoc in some people. Paul Ruggieri, in his book Confessions of a surgeon (pg.39), wrote about one of his patient. I am sure Mrs. Grady had contracted an infection in her large intestine … she had contracted the infection from the oral antibiotics prescribed by her family physician. The antibiotics used to treat her pneumonia inadvertently wiped out some of the “good” bacteria living in her large intestine.  Mrs. Grady was on this antibiotic for just 10 days. Mrs. Grady had stopped making urine and her kidneys had completely shut down. Mrs. Grady had to undergo a major surgery to remove her large intestine. In another book, Bitter Pills, Stephen Fried wrote about his wife, Diane, who was give antibiotic  pill to treat her urinary infection which she didn’t know she had. Diane swallowed the first pale yellow oval tablet with breakfast. Six hours later Diana landed in the emergency room. She was disoriented and hallucinating. Her mouth was dry and she felt tingling in her left arm and hand. She was having trouble talking. When she went to lie down, she started shaking uncontrollably and then saw white. She was sure she was dying.
  • Chemotherapy caused drastic drop in blood counts and platelets. GM’s platelets count was low yet she developed blood clot in her left calf. How could this be? From the internet we learn that, ” When you don’t have enoughplatelets in your blood, your body cannot form clots.”  Otis Brawley, an oncologist, in his book How We Do Harm, wrote: Cancer patients are often given this blood boosting injections (erythropoiesis stimulating agent — ESA) after chemo causes drastic drop of blood counts. ESA are shown to increase risk of blood clot in the veins.  If what Dr. Brawley wrote is true, one cannot help but ask if the ESA injections that GM received be the cause of her Deep Vein Thrombosis? 
  • Common sense also prompted us to ask — Is the cancer that aggressive? Or is it the treatments that make the cancer aggressive? The literature in the internet is replete with this kind of statement: Patients do not die of their cancer, they die of their treatments. 
  • Having said that, our priority for now is not to go for the cancer yet! Let us fix the problems of the stubborn fever and high body temperature. That was what prompted GM to tell her family that she preferred to die. So we prescribed the minimum of herbs. After stopping the chemo and antibiotics from the hospital, my suggestion was to take the juice of young papaya shoots! This may sound like a bad joke! This advice costs nothing, and the papaya shoots can be obtained from plants grown in the garden or roadside. So, this is the battle between traditional knowledge versus modern scientific medicine!  Over the years, my experience showed me that the very bitter juice of papaya shoots help in cases of low blood / platelets or stubborn fevers! My son (medical student!) had very high fevers that did not respond to 2 rounds of antibiotics. One shot of papaya shoot extract solved the problem within a few hours! Read more here: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2016/03/07/from-gods-awesome-natural-pharmacy-papaya-leaf-for-stubborn-high-fever/
  • After prescribing some herbs, this were my last words to the sisters: Come back and see me again next week (if she is still alive.)

 

 

Bring her home and let her die in peace and with dignity.

Part 1: The mantra of  NO CURE BUT THERE ARE TREATMENTS is meaningless.

Part 1: The mantra of  NO CURE BUT THERE ARE TREATMENTS is meaningless.

Part 2: Come back and see me again after a week!

Part 3: Praise God! GM came to see us! She is still alive!

 

GM is a 33-year-old female. Her problems started about 3 months ago (mid April 2016), when she had a “flu.” She took some medications from the pharmacy but these did not help her. Then she went to three hospitals. Doctors prescribed antibiotics. These did not help her either. Then  a CT scan on 15 April 2016 indicated a left sinonasal polyposis (presence of multiple benign polyps in the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. It causes a particular pattern of chronic sinusitis). Since the antibiotics did not help, there was nothing much the doctors in her home state could do.

On one of the sisters own initiative GM came to consult an oncologist in Penang. MRI on 21 April 2016 showed the following:

  1. Lobulated irregularly enhancing soft tissue involving the left frontal, left maxillary, left ethmoidal sinuses, nasal cleft, etc.
  2. Bony breech of the anterior aspect of the left ethmoidal/orbital bone with tumour extending anterior to the subcutaneous tissues.
  3. Enlarged both submandibular and left cervical lymph nodes.
  4. Enhancing foci in the right body and both rami of the mandible bone suspicious of metastatic deposits.
  5. Fluid filled left frontal and left maxillary sinuses. Mucosal thickening in the left sphenoidal sinus.

Impression: Features are suggestive of left sino-nasal carcinoma with diffuse local infiltration.

Composite

 

It was suggested that GM suffered from a rare, aggressive and “almost uniformly fatal” cancer known as NUT Midline carcinoma. From the onset the family was told that there would be NO cure, but the disease can be treated!

From end of April to 1 August 2016, GM underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In addition she received a variety of antibiotics and medications (details, Part 2 of this story).

It was a losing battle all the way. In all, the family spent RM 100,000 for the treatment until “everyone” gave up. It was at this point that GM’s two sister came to seek our help.

On the first day of the sisters’ visit to us, we did not prescribe any herb. We only asked that the family had a discussion first. For us, this is a gone case. In fact even the oncologist told the sisters that he preferred not to offer any more chemotherapy. Nothing that were done worked! So the notion of there is NO CURE BUT THERE ARE TREATMENTS for the disease turned out to be a cruel joke. GM suffered badly — from the treatments? From the cancer? In fact GM had twice told her father that she wanted to die and the family should not worry anymore about her. She knew her time is up.

Our advice to the 2 sisters on their first visit was: Bring her home and let her die in peace and with dignity.

Listen to our conservation below.

 

 

 

 

 

Extravasation: Leakage of Chemo-drug

This is an e-mail we received from the brother of a 58-year-old breast cancer patient.

My sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The lump on her right breast had been removed on 23 March 2016. Upon strong recommendation by the doctors, first cycle chemotherapy (FEC regimen) was done on 24 April 2016 but due to chemo extravasation, she is now having a deep and large wound with pus on her left arm and needs daily dressing at the hospital, although it is recovering but the rate is slow.

Due to the harsh chemo side effects, we do not want to proceed further with the chemo anymore and decided to consume your herbs. She might not be able to go to Penang for the time being because of the need to do daily dressing for her wound, I am able to see you in Penang if necessary.

 

The patient’s brother came to seek our help. His sister was supposed to undergo 6 cycles of chemotherapy. But this has to stop because after the first shot of chemo, the injection site in her left forearm developed blisters which later progressed to deep wound (picture) below. It has been more than 2 months and the recovery of her wound has been very slow. Fortunately, the patient did not suffer any pain from the wound.

 

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It is sad that such a thing ever happened. And I was curious why it could happen! I spent one Sunday afternoon surfing the internet for more information. Problem like this is known medically as EXTRAVASATION.

In my book, Cancer War, I had a picture as below but I would never imagine it could be that bad as the picture above.

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Let us do some serious thinking!

  1. If a little of the chemo-drugs leak out and spill onto your unprotected arm and cause such damage, dare you imagine what is going to happen when the drugs get into your body? Honestly, I dare not imagine and also I cannot understand how such a toxic or corrosive drug can ever cure anything.
  2. Imagine again, just a few ml or drops can cause such damage, what could have happened if you pump in a bottle of such toxic drug.
  3. I am amazed. Our blood vessel must be very, very strong and resilient to be able to withstand such corrosive drugs. Yes, they need to pump the drugs into the vein. Surprising indeed the vein does not “rot away” like the picture above.
  4. From the information below, you will learn why such a catastrophe can happen. And such things should not have happened. Also in the literature we learn that such incidence is rarely reported!

Information from the Internet

  • Extravasationis the process by which any fluid or drug accidentally leaks into the surrounding tissue. In terms of cancer therapy, extravasation refers to the inadvertent infiltration of chemotherapy into the subcutaneous or subdermal tissues surrounding the administration site.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extravasation

  • Many cytotoxic agents can cause severe tissue damage if an IV needle or catheter delivers the drug into tissues rather than into the bloodstream. The term extravasation is used when a cytotoxic drug infiltrates into local tissues.
  • To avoid infiltration the larger veins of the arm are used for IV administration.

Source: http://www.rnceus.com/chem/admin.html 

  • Data on the incidence of either extravasation are scant due to the absence of a centralized register of chemotherapy extravasation events.
  • Incidence rates vary greatly. Estimates between 0.01% and 7% are noted in various publications. Some data suggest that the incidence is decreasing probably due to improvements in the infusion procedure, early recognition of drug leakage and training in management techniques.
  • In order to minimize the risk of extravasation, the staff involved in the infusion and management of cytotoxic drugs must be trained to implement several preventive protocols.
  • Should an extravasation occur, it is important to remember that the degree of damage is dependent on the type of drug, the drug concentration, the localization of the extravasation and the length of time a drug develops its potential for damage.

Source: http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/suppl_7/vii167.fulldefinitions

Incidence

  • Extravasation is not as rare as many people think, and it may occur even in the most closely monitored situations. A study which investigated extravasation over a five-week period in a UK hospital established an incidence of 39% in adults, almost double that of previously published reports.
  • Extravasation injuries remain uncommon, with an estimated incidence published in the literature of between 0.1% and 6% in patients receiving chemotherapy.
  • The published rate is likely an underestimation, however, as many cases of extravasation go unreported.

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664495/

  • The true incidence of chemotherapy vesicant extravasation is unclear since there is no central reporting mechanism. With an increasing awareness of the risks from extravasation, the frequency appears to have fallen.
  • As such, this rate probably underestimates the true incidence of chemotherapy extravasation injury.

Source: http://www.uptodate.com/contents/extravasation-injury-from-chemotherapy-and-other-non-antineoplastic-vesicants

 

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Source: Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2740528/

Cytotoxic agents have the potential of causing destruction of healthy cells. Due to the relatively low number of cancer treatment centres, it is often not possible for a patient to take the complete course at the centre itself because of financial constraints and long distances from their home towns or villages. After the initial one or two courses, many patients find it convenient to take the remaining treatment at their nearest health institution. However, physicians in such nonspecialized centres may not be aware of the local side effects of the drug. Very often, even in oncology hospitals, the work of infusion of cytotoxic drugs is left to a junior house surgeon or an intern, whose inexperience in venupuncture and ignorance of precautions for infusing a cytotoxic drug can lead to extravasation of the drug.

Extravasation of the drug can produce extensive necrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. This not only adds to the misery of the already seriously ill patient, but can also cause serious functional loss, as most often, the forearm and hand veins are used for infusion.

This study was done in the Department of Plastic Surgery of a Medical College in the period from January 2002 to December 2006. There were twelve patients. All the patients were from rural areas and belonged to lower socioeconomic strata. None of the patients was educated beyond middle school.

Mitomycin C was used in seven cases (58.33%), vincristine in two cases (16.66%), 5-Florouracil in another two cases while doxorubicin was responsible for extravasational side effects in one case (8.33%). The size of necrosis ranged from 3.75 cm2 to 25 cm2 with average area of 9.6 cm2 [Picture below].

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In terms of the area involved, the dorsum of the hand was involved in five cases (41.66%), the wrist in another five cases (41.66%), and the cubital fossa in the remaining two cases (16.66%).

Extravasation of cytotoxic drugs leads to symptoms which are self-explanatory for this catastrophe. The majority of the patients will complain of excruciating pain and itching in the infusion site. Within a few hours, the extravasation area will show erythema, edema, and induration. Within a few days, these signs and symptoms will increase and the skin will show discoloration and desquamation of the epidermis or blister formation will follow. If a large dose of a cytotoxic drug is extravasated or no intervention is taken at this step, the area will show ischemic changes and ulcer formation will be inevitable.

It is well said, “Prevention is better than cure” and this holds true for extravasation injuries also. Once there is an extravasational injury to the tissue, morbidity is inevitable. Extravasations of cytotoxic drugs further increase the suffering of cancer patients. This catastrophe can only be avoided by vigilance.

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Source: http://www.cancerjournal.net/article.asp?issn=0973-1482;year=2015;volume=11;issue=4;spage=835;epage=839;aulast=Salunke

Use of chemotherapeutic drugs is commonly associated with substantial complications. These drugs are infused in veins of dorsum of hand or antecubital fossa.Subcutaneous extravasation is a known complication of intra-venous administration of chemotherapy agents. There are limited cancer centers throughout the globe with properly trained medical professionals. Due to lack of specialized centers and experienced medical professionals, chemotherapy infusions can lead to higher incidence of extravasation injuries. The overall incidence of extravasation injuries varies from 0.1-7%.  It is characterized by drug escaping out of the vessels in subcutaneous tissue plane due to repeated venous punctures and its cytotoxic effect of the chemotherapy drug. The infusion area over dorsum of hand is having minimal subcutaneous fat tissue and so it is more prone for severe damage by extravasation injuries; this injury can damage underlying tendon, joint, and neurovascular structures.The extravasation injuries are difficult to treat due to lower immune status of the patient and complexity of the wound with exposed bone or tendons.

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At our center over 3-years period, 32 patients were treated for chemotherapy extravasation wounds. Out of these 32 patients, seven had wound over dorsum of hand. Two patients were treated with chemotherapy for carcinoma lung. Other patients were of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Osteosarcoma, Breast carcinoma, Oropharanyx carcinoma, and Brain tumor.

Cyclophosphamide was used in four patients (81%), Doxorubicin in three patients (43%), Adriamycin in two patients (28%). Vincristine, Prednisone, Cisplatin, 5 Flourouracil, Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide, Docetaxel, Procarbazine, Vincristine, Lomustine was responsible for extravasation injury in other patient.

 

 

 

Breast Cancer: She died after three shots of chemo

Mas (not real name) was a 44-year-old Malaysian lady. In May 2015, she felt a lump in her left breast and did not bother about it. About 7 months later, in December 2015, she went for a check-up. Why did you go for a check-up? Just to know what it was. An ultrasound and mammogram confirmed breast cancer. Mas also had pains in her backbone and a CT scan showed the cancer had spread to her bones and liver.

Mas underwent a mastectomy in January 2016.  In February 2016, Mas was started on chemotherapy (drugs: EC). The treatment was scheduled for 6 cycles but after 3 cycles the doctor stopped the treatment because of her deteriorating liver function.  Blood test on  22 March 2016 showed ALP = 455 (high), ALT = 96.1 (high) and AST = 200.4 (high).

Mas and her family came to seek our help in late April 2016. She was prescribed herbs for breast and liver.

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A few weeks later Mas’s cousin to seek our help. At the same time informed us that Mas had passed on about 2 weeks after her visit to us. Mas benefited from taking our herbs. She felt much better.

This is indeed a sad story. But can we learn anything from such a tragedy. Let me quote what others say and leave them there for you to ponder on deeply.

Michael Gearin-Tosh was, for 35 years, a tutor in English at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. But he became famous as the author of Living Proof – A Medical Mutiny (2002) in which he described how he had challenged the medical establishment after he was diagnosed with myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) in 1994.

He was given six months to live. He was told to undergo chemotherapy.

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Gearin-Tosh discovered that, according to one cancer statistician, chemotherapy brought significant hope of survival to just four per cent of patients with the same cancer, and that many doctors would not prescribe it for themselves. His conclusion was simple: “Touch it, and you are a goner.” Instead he embarked on a series of “alternative” treatments.  Confounding the medical prognosis, he survived a further 11 years and when he did eventually die (on 29 July 2005, at age 65), it was from a blood infection rather than cancer.

Living Proof triggered angry responses from doctors and from patients undergoing chemotherapy. Some accused him of peddling false hopes and ignoring statistics which indicated a higher survival rate for patients given chemotherapy. “If there was anything in this stuff,” wrote one consultant physician, “don’t you think that the medical profession would have grasped these ‘cures’ with both hands years ago?” But for others Gearin-Tosh was living proof that alternative therapies do work, and that it is possible not to be dehumanised by the disease or its specialists.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1495451/Michael-Gearin-Tosh.html

Let’s do some calculation!

Gearin-Tosh was given 6 months to live. He refused chemotherapy and opted for alternative therapies. He went on to live for another 11 years before he eventually died of blood infection (and not cancer).

In May 2015, Mas found  lump in her left breast. Eight months later, she had an operation to remove her whole breast. Even with cancer growing in her, she was still alive but of course with some discomforts and anxiety.

In February 2016, Mas was started on chemotherapy. Three months later, she was dead.

Is it not better to just learn how to live with the cancer and not do anything? Gearin-Tosh reasoned: Why treat if you cannot cure?

Is doing nothing a better option?

Dr. Atul Gawande is a surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School. He shared his thought as below:

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Before you folks undergo chemotherapy, do you ever ask what the treatment can do to you?

4 Chemo die OK if follow protocol

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