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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Comments

  1. Blind faith and trust in technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We just have to learn to understand him!

Don’t be misled – Surviving Five Years Does Not Mean Cure

Patients are often told that if they can survive five years after their treatment, it means they are cured of their cancer! What an untruth! My Aunty had cervical cancer and she received all the necessary medical treatments. She survived thirteen years, then the cancer struck back and went to her lungs and she died.  Where then is the cure? One lady had breast cancer. She survived for some nine years and when she was about to attend the hospital “Survivors Celebration for Life” gathering she had a swollen arm. The cancer had spread to her brain. She received radiation but could not complete the course. She became a “vegetable” and died. Again – where is the cure?

Over the years, we have encountered many cases like the above. Let me present another case for you to contemplate on.

1 February 2012

Dear Dr. Chris,

A friend gave us your Website. I am a lung cancer patient, diagnosed with Advance Non Small Cell Lung Carcinoma, have been and still going through chemotherapy for more than a year. Last week I had fluid drained from my right lung.

My husband and I decided to consult you for treatment. We are from Singapore and do not know how far is your clinic from the airport. How much do you charge for your fee and medication? Do I need to stay at your clinic during the treatment?

Reply: Since you are still on chemo and also have been on chemo for that long … I am not sure if you really need my help. If there is still fluid in the lungs, it just means the chemo is useless. But I am not going to ask you to stop what you are doing. It is your choice. My only problem is, the chemo can kill. But when patients take my herbs and die they will blame my herbs not the chemo. Because of that I would rather you finish with all your medical treatments first. And when you have nowhere else to go after that, then come and see me.   

5 February 2012

Dear Dr. Chris Teo,

Thanks for your prompt reply. My last chemo (the 8th Chemo) was on 26th January 2012. After this, 8th February I shall go for PET scan, then on the 9th Feb consult Dr. This 2nd doctor we consulted said he is going to surrender if the tumor continues to grow. After the 4th chemo, the PET scan showed the tumor was growing. The doctor increased the chemo dosage and included Iressa. And I was hospitalised one month later due to very fast heart beat, 251/min, Electrolytes were replaced. The chemo drugs I was given wereTaxotere, Cisplatin and Iressa.

As what you said, it is my choice, I find no meaning, here protein and booster jab, there chemo. I will not hold anyone responsible for my life and commit everything to God’s hand.

I will make photocopies of my medical results when I get it from the doctor this Thursday. My husband and myself had booked a flight to Penang … we would plead with you whether you could help to see another patient that evening. I am having aching, coughing, body, fingers, toes cramps, head ache and extreme tiredness. This is like an everyday affair after chemo.

9 February 2012

Dear Doctor,

Thanks for your reply. Appreciate your advice and concern. I was hospitalised on Monday due to fast heart beat. Doctor said electrolytes not balanced. Last night, my heart beat went up again to 240/min. I am not discharged yet so I wouldn’t be going to Penang tomorrow.

On 12 February 2012, patient’s husband came to CA Care with details of her medical history.

  1. In 1993, patient underwent a hysterectomy for menorrhagia (abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual period).
  2. In 2001, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A mastectomy was done. Subsequently she underwent 12 cycles of chemotherapy and 25 times of radiation treatment. She also took Tamoxifen for 5 years.
  3. In October 2010, patient had a swelling (lymph node) in her neck during a routine medical examination. She was investigated and was confirmed to have a metastatic lung cancer – an adenocarcinoma.
  4. From 23 October 2010 to 11 May 2011, patient underwent chemotherapy consisting of Gemcitabine + Carboplatin for 12 treatments.
  5. From 3 June 2011 to 10 August 2011, she received 4 cycles of Taxotere.
  6. From 12 September 2011 to 12 October 2011, she received 2 cycles of Alimta.
  7. From 10 November 2011 to 8 December 2011, she received 4 cyles of Taxotere plus Cisplatin.
  8. From 22 December 2011 to 26 January 2012, the dosage of Taxotere plus Cisplatin was increased by 20 percent. She had two cycles of this increased dosage. Since CT showed that the tumour was still growing, patient was given Taxotere + Cisplatin + Iressa for the next 2 cycles.
  9. She ended up in the hospital because of:
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fevers.
  • Severe coughs with white phlegm.
  • Pain in the shoulder and neck.
  • Swelling of the jaw.
  • Slow to talk.
  • Pale and very tired.
  • When she coughed too hard, her urine flowed out (stress incontinence).

This was when the patient wrote to us, “This 2nd doctor we consulted said he is going to surrender if the tumor continues to grow. After the 4th chemo, the PET scan showed the tumor was growing.” According to her husband, she is going to stop chemotherapy.  Below is what her latest PET scan showed.

 

Comments

In 2001, the patient had breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  She then took   Tamoxifen for 5 years. That basically is all what modern medicine can offer any breast cancer patient.  But is she cured? Yes, by the “common medical definition” because she had survived 5 years.  But about 9 years later, October 2010, the cancer recurred in a form of a swelling in her neck and this was later confirmed as lung metastasis.

Is such story a unique and rare occurrence? No. This happens very often. What has gone wrong? Reflect on the quotations below.

 

The conclusion from this case is – medical treatment did not cure her breast cancer! She got lung cancer after 9 years. So, to say that surviving for 5 years is considered a cure is simply not true. It is another big lie! Or, half truth. And this half truth is dangerous. Misleading statement or advice like this could lead you to your grave. Patients often are overjoyed after hitting the 5-year mark and they are often thrown off guard and become complacent. Most go back to their old lifestyle. Then cancer strikes back! As in the case of this lady and my Aunty.

I was curious as to who came out with this idea of “living for five years and you are considered cured”. I searched the internet for a possible answer. This is what I got.

  • The number five used is an arbitrary figure. There is no scientific basis of choosing this number.
  • Dr. David Johnson, deputy director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center thinks that: The five-year benchmark becomes a balm for doctors and patients who find the unpredictability of their situations intolerable. Physicians are reluctant to say you might recur, so they would rather use these terms like: “OK, in five years, you’ll be cured.”
  • According to Dr. Karrison, patients need to survive for 20 to 25 years before we can say they are cured. To ask patients to wait this long may be bad for business!

From much reading, I have come to understand that numbers and statistics are often sweet and deceptive – they cannot be trusted and must be viewed with skepticism. Scientific data can be and are often massaged and manipulated to make things look good. Patients like to hear “good news.” They are ready to swallow everything when they hear what they want to hear – what more when it comes from “scientists”! 

What now after the metastasis? 

In this case, patient was given chemos after chemos –  and the combination of cytotoxic drugs changed and changed.  In total this patient had 26 cycles of chemotherapy for her lung cancer. Alimta is the “newest” bullet used. But the “heroic” effort failed. The doctor told the patient that he was about to surrender. Patient landed in the hospital.

When everything else failed, CA Care comes into the picture! So, that’s the reason why I wrote, My only problem is the chemo can kill. But when patients take my herbs and die they will blame my herbs not the chemo. 

That’s the way it is.

Reflect on  the following quotations.