Breast Cancer: You want a 100 percent chance of cure, right?

Fay (not real name) is 44-years-old. In July 2015, she found a lump in her left breast.

  • Mammogram showed a cluster of subtle heterogenous microcalcifications in the left breast, suspicious of malignancy.
  • Ultrasound confirmed the presence of a 1.5 x1.0 x 1.3 cm irregular lobulated hypechoic mass lesion at 2 o’clock of left breast.
  • A fine needle biopsy confirmed a ductal carcionoma.

Fay proceeded to have a mastectomy in September 2015. Histopathology of the left breast and axillary lymph nodes indicated:

  • Invasive micropapillary carcinoma, grade 3 with in situ carcinoma.
  • Lymphatic and vascular invasion by malignant cells seen with metastasis to 3 of 12 lymph nodes.
  • Nipple and excised surgical margins are free of neoplasia.
  • Receptor status: Tumour cells are positive for ER, PR and c-erb-B2.

The total cost of the operation was about RM 13,000 (inclusive of RM 2,000 surgeon’s fee).

Fay was asked to see an oncologist for further management. The breast surgeon told Fay that she did not have to do radiotherapy but chemotherapy is a must.  The surgeon said:

  1. If no chemo, the chances of survival is 57 percent.
  2. With Tamoxifen (take for 5 years) the chances of survival is 68 percent.
  3. With Tamoxifen and Chemo, the chances of survival is 81 percent.
  4. With Tamoxifen + Chemo + Herceptin, the chances of survival is 88 percent.

After being told the above, Fay decided not to go and see the oncologist. She also decided NOT to undergo chemotherapy. She came to Penang to seek our help instead.

Why did Fay come and see us?

  1. She had a friend who had breast cancer, similar like her cancer. She did not go for chemo and opted for alternative therapy. She remained well for many years. So Fay knew alternative therapy is effective.

2. Fay came to see us with her best friend whose sister-in-law is our patient. Let’s call this patient, Jane. Jane had breast cancer. The tumour was ER and PR negative and c-erb-B2 positive. She was asked to go for radiotherapy and chemotherapy with Herceptin. Jane refused after seeing her mother-in-law died after 2 cycles of chemo. Today Jane  is still very healthy — more than 5 years now after her diagnosis.  Breast Cancer: Does chemotherapy and radiotherapy make sense? https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2013/06/10/breast-cancer-does-chemotherapy-and-radiotherapy-make-sense/

  1. Fay also knows that her best friend’s father had prostate cancer. He also refused medical intervention and was on our herbs. He is still doing fine — almost two and half years now.

Why did Fay refused chemotherapy?

She knew about the side effects of chemotherapy. Fay said before coming to CA Care, she and her family had already decided that she would NOT go for chemotherapy! Why? Fay said even after doing all these treatments, as suggested by her surgeon, there is no guarantee of a cure!

Let us try to fully understand what the doctor told Fay.

  • If Fay does not go for chemo after the surgery, her chances of survival is 57 percent, or something like 50:50. So not going for chemo does not mean that she is going to die because of the cancer. She can still live a healthy life. Or, if she does not get it right, she dies. Her chance is like flipping a coin, head or tail.
  • If Fay takes Tamoxifen for 5 years, the chances of survival is bumped up to 68 percent. This means Tamoxifen provides only 11 percent benefit. But this comes with a price. Fay is aware that Tamoxifen has many side effects — and the greatest fear is getting another cancer! Read these:

1 Babara-Tamoxifen-does-not-c 2 Jane-Plant-No-to-tamoxifen

5 Sellman-Tamoxifen-initiate-

3 John-Lee-Tamoxifen-more-har

Ask yourself, are you happy to go ahead and take Tamoxifen with the hope of getting 11 percent benefit but exposing yourself to the many risks above?

Hang on. Read this: Breast Cancer: Do this chemo – 100 percent cure! You believe that? https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2014/07/30/breast-cancer-do-this-chemo-100-percent-cure-you-believe-that/

Now, they are asking women to take Tamoxifen for 10 year instead of 5 years! That means a longer exposure to side effects and risks?

  • If Fay takes Tamoxifen and undergo chemotherapy, the chances of survival is 81 percent.
  • If Fay takes Tamoxifen + Chemo + Herceptin, the chances of survival is even higher, 88 percent.  Take note, the addition of Herceptin to chemo provides a 7 percent benefit. But at what cost? Money wise, it is going to cost RM 150,000 for 1 year of Herceptin injection. In addition Herception has side effects. Check the internet if you want to know more about this. But here are some examples:  it can cause flu-like symptoms in 40 percent of patients. This include fever, chills, muscle aches and nausea.

WP can tell you what it is like after receiving Herceptin: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/09/28/metastatic-breast-cancer-she-found-her-healing/

One danger which you may not be told is, Heceptin can damage the heart and its ability to pump blood effectively. This risk has ranged between 5% to 30%. The risk of severe heart damage is greater when Herceptin is given along with other chemotherapy drugs that are known to cause heart damage. Adriamycin is an example of a chemo-drug that can cause heart damage.  http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/targeted_therapies/herceptin/side_effects

  • So you have to decide if getting an extra 7 percent benefit from Heceptin is worth it! Remember, you have to spend RM 150,000 in addition to enduring the side effects. Game for this?

Can chemotherapy cure breast cancer?

Fay was told that if she takes Tamoxifen and undergo chemotherapy, the chances of survival is 81 percent. So this cook-book treatment provides a 24 percent benefit over not undergoing chemo + Tamoxifen.

Are you happy with this 24 percent benefit? Fay said NO, because even if she does nothing after surgery, she still have a 57 percent chance of survival. So the benefit of 24 percent due to chemo + Tamoxifen is not good enough.  She wanted a 100 percent chance of cure, which unfortunately Fay knows no one can offer her!

Fay also knows that going for chemotherapy is not like going for a “honey moon.” It can be a hellish experience. If you are unlucky, you may be dead even before the schedule treatment is completed.  Just read this:

3 Chemo attempt to kill cancer before killing patient JohnLee

 

Read these stories:

2.3 cm Malignant Breast Lump: Surgery, Chemo and Radiation — Disaster. https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/04/25/2-3-cm-malignant-breast-lump-surgery-chemo-and-radiation-disaster/

Breast Cancer: Surgery, Chemo, Radiation and Tamoxifen Did Not Cure Them https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/03/22/breast-cancer-surgery-chemo-radiation-and-tamoxifen-did-not-cure-them/

 

We can’t cure Fay either!

When Fay came to see us, she and her husband have already decided what road to take — no more medical treatment after the mastectomy. She wanted  an alternative route. Let us be clear. When you come to us we would not tell you to go or not to go for chemo. That has to be your decision, not ours.

Of course, if you need to know more about chemo, radiation or Tamoxifen, we shall provide you with as honest information as possible. But do not make us a scapegoat if something goes wrong along the way.

Dr. Barbara Joseph is a medical doctor and she too had breast cancer. This is her advice to those who have cancer.

6 Babara-ASK

Dr. Susan Love is one of the world’s most outstanding breast cancer surgeon. Listen to what she has got to say below:

3 No-right-or-wrong-journey

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

Nose (NPC) Cancer: Eleven Plus Years on Herbs Part 3: I Want Healing Not Cure

  • My radiologist was strongly against me taking herbs – NO herbs. She said there is no evidence that it is going to help. But I told her, “No evidence does not mean that it does not work!”
  • Later while on the treatment, I found that in cancer they are just talking about cure for five-years (i.e., 5-year survival rate). The doctor was very clear. She said after five years if the cancer comes back it is going to be a new cancer – a new disease. Meaning I collect another new cancer. Then patients will have to undergo a new treatment regimen all over again.
  • When I talked to God, He promises healing not cure. That was when an “angel” came into the picture and told me about you and the role of CA Care. Your role is about healing not curing.
  • I told the radiologist, “I am going for healing not cure”. She replied, “There is no such thing as healing.” She told me, “Our job is to cure you!” But look at the 5-year-survival rate of Stage 2 to 3 for this cancer. There is a 70 percent chance of survival – for five years and 30 percent will die within five years.
  • Before starting with the treatment, did you not ask the doctor about the survival rate? At that point in time, you don’t ask anything. You are more concerned with how to go forward. The assumption was that doctors know everything and they know what they are doing. And they will be able to cure me!
  • I did not realize all these important questions at that time because I was not yet there. But I went through with the treatment I began to ask questions. The initial impression given to me was that doctors have all the answers to my cancer. And they will be able to cure me. When I asked if there was a possibility of something might go wrong the answer was, “In NPC, this is the standard procedure with very good recovery rate.”
  • I assumed that doctors will tell you about all the side effects. My assumption was wrong!
  • At that time, I was looking forward to getting out of it, so there was no desire to go and find out what was going to go wrong with the treatment. No, no, we don’t do that.

My Comments

In life there are many things we take things for granted and we live with our assumptions. Often such assumptions are wrong! Peter had to learn it the hard way.  The book that had opened my eyes to the dark side of modern medicine is the book by Robert Mendelsohn, Confessioin of a Medical Heretic. I think everyone should read this book. Dr. Mendelsohn was not any ordinary doctor. He was a director of Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital and associate professor at the University of Illinois Medical School.  Read what he said,

  • I believe that … the greatest danger to your health is the doctor who practices modern medicine…I believe that more than ninety percent of Modern Medicine could disappear from the face of the earth – doctors, hospitals, drugs and equipment – and the effect on our health would be … beneficial.
  • I believe that modern medicine’s treatment for disease are seldom effective and that they’re often more dangerous than the diseases they’re designed to treat.
  • If you are sick … your first defense is to have more information about your problem … You’ve got to learn about your disease and that’s not very hard. You can get the same books the doctor studied from. (Read them. It is most likely that after reading you will be more informed than the doctor himself).
  • Doctors in general should be treated with about the same degree of trust as used car salesman. Whatever your doctor says or recommends, you have to first consider how it will benefit him.
  • You should seek out and talk to people you regard as having wisdom. (Doctors tell you – don’t listen to the untrained, the quacks or pseudo-scientists). But Dr. Mendelsohn wrote, They are wrong – they are protecting their sacred authority. You may find that you can do without the doctor!
  • Doctors are only human – in the worst ways … because doctors turn out to be dishonest, corrupt, unethical, sick, poorly educated and downright stupid more often than the rest of society. (For more click this link: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/01/16/dr-robert-mendelsohn-a-medical-heretic-and-his-shocking-revelation/

 

Unfortunately we live in the world where we are made to believe that modern medicine and its accompanying technology is proven and scientific. This is far from the truth. Dr. Peter Ooi is no “school kid” and he understands what science is.  When the radiologist said there is no evidence that herb is going to help she is just being naïve – ignorant at best.  Peter ‘s answer to her was right on the spot,  “No evidence does not mean that it does not work!”  If you don’t look for evidence – you find no evidence. And if you deliberately don’t want to find evidence you will not find one either. It is as simple as that!

Dr. Sydney Singer is a medical anthropologist. Read what he said.

In 1972, Dr. Samuel Epstein – one of the world’s authorities on chemical causes of cancer – told the US Senate Select Committee – “ In this country you can buy the data you require to support our case.”

Now, I hope you see some light.

Curing and Healing

 There is a big difference between curing and healing. A cure is a successful medical treatment that removes all evidences of the disease. A cure is what the physician hopes to do and hopes to bring to the patient. For example, the liver is resected. The tumour is gone. That is supposedly to be a cure! Healing goes beyond curing. It is an inner process through which a person becomes whole. Healing takes place at physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. The capacity to heal physically is necessary for any successful cure but healing can also take place at deeper levels whether or not physical recovery occurs.

There are cancer patients for whom curative treatment ultimately proved impossible; yet inner-healing process takes place. Healing brings inner peace and a sense of connectedness with the Absolute One, thus makes a transformative difference in the quality of life. For those who have found inner peace, travelling the healing journey takes a new meaning. At that point, there may be pain but there is no suffering.

Dr. Bernie Siegel, M.D. (in Faith, Hope and Healing) said, ”Healing and curing are two very separate processes …  when you focus only on the mechanical aspects of treatment and curing your disease while neglecting yourself and your life, you are expending your energy by engaging in a struggle and your life becomes more like a war than a process of healing.”

In the many years dealing with cancer patients I have to come to realize that you will not win fighting a “war” with cancer. You also cannot defeat cancer with your professional pride and ego. To win, cancer patients need to look inside themselves – know what their weaknesses are and then learn to live with their cancer.

Read the full story of Peter’s experience

Part 1: My Radio-chemotherapy Experience 

Part 2: An Angel Led Me to CA Care 

Part 3: I Want Healing Not Cure 

Part 4: Lessons From My Cancer Experience 

Part 5: My Advice to Cancer Patients