SA, a 34-year-old Malaysian lady, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013. Her problem started with abdominal distension for about 2 weeks. She was unable to eat or drink and was vomiting.
- A laparotomy and left hemicolectomy were done on 20 July 2013.
- Fourteen out of 19 lymph nodes were affected.
CT scan on 16 January 2014 showed:
- Multiple ill defined hypodense lesions in the liver. The largest at Segment 8 is about 2.9 x 2.3 cm.
- Large mass in the anterior abdomen which extends into the pelvis, size 9.6 x 9.2 x 9.6 cm. likely to originate from the mesentery.
- Gross ascites.
Impression: Disease progression.
SA underwent chemotherapy and the following were the results:
- From 24 September 2013 to 1 April 2014, SA had 8 cycles of palliative chemotherapy with Xelox (Oxaliplatin and Xeloda).
- PET scan on 2 May 2014 showed no local and distant metastasis. All liver lesions completely regressed.
- Barely 2 months later, in July 2014, follow up showed increasing trend in CEA level.
- PET scan on 19 September 2014 showed a few active lesions in the pelvis and liver. Impression: disease progression.
- On 19 November 2014, tapping done to remove the fluid in the abdomen.
- On 24 December 2014, SA was again started on palliative chemotherapy with Xelox + Avastin, and then Avastin alone.
- Post chemotherapy, SA developed very severe laryngomalacia on exposure to cold.
Note; Laryngomalacia (literally, “soft larynx”) is commonly found in baby in which the soft, immature cartilage of the upper larynx collapses inward during inhalation, causing airway obstruction and breathing difficulties.
- Palliative chemo was continued with Xelox + Avastin until 26 March 2015. Progress: Initially before chemo, SA had to have abdominal tapping for ascites almost every week. But after the chemo, the last tapping done was in January 2015.
- 2 November 2015, CT scan showed:
- Abdominal mass measures 10 x 14.1 x 15.9 cm (previously 9.4 x 6.4 x 7.1 cm).
- Gross ascites.
- Multiple liver lesions seen in both liver lobes which appears similar in number and size.
- Hypodense thyroid nodule within the right thyroid lobe, similar to previous study.
In addition to the above treatments (done in a university hospital), SA also received treatments in a private hospital. She had 10 cycles of Ebitux (RM 12,000 per cycle). After the chemo SA developed severe rashes in her face.
SA also had chemo with Irinotecan and she developed cramps of her facial muscles. Her gum bled after brushing her teeth.
In spite of all the above treatments, SA ended up having to go for abdominal tapping once every 4 to 5 days.
The doctor wanted SA to under more chemotherapy. SA and her husband were not keen to receive more chemo. They came to seek our help. Unfortunately after a week on our herbs, her ascites and distended stomach still persisted. She still had to go for tapping. It appeared to us that we could not help her. So we told SA that there was no reason for her to continue taking our herbs.
Comments: It is indeed a very sad story. Perhaps we can learn a few lessons from this case.
- From 24 September 2013 to 1 April 2014, SA had 8 cycles of palliative chemotherapy with Xelox (Oxaliplatin and Xeloda). The results showed all liver lesions had completely regressed. Bravo! Very effective, ya?
But how many people understand that this “victory” is short-lived — just a illusion that happen time and time again? A few months later, the cancer can come back again. That was exactly what happened in SA’s case.
Read what researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, USA found out:
- SA were subjected to many kinds of chemo-drugs. Fist it was Xelox, consisting of Oxaliplatin and Xeloda. Then later, Avastin, Irinotecan and Ebitux were also used. All these drugs are toxic and SA suffered devastating side effects. Surf the net and learn about the side effects of these drugs before you decide to use them.
Below is a long. long list of problems you can expect to encounter if you are treated with Erbitux and Irinotecan. (For the rest of the chemo-drugs you can do you own homework!).
At the end, Raymond Francis concluded that In fact, most people who die from cancer are not dying from cancer, but from their treatments!
Erbitux side effects Source: http://www.rxlist.com/erbitux-drug/patient-images-side-effects.htm
- an acne-like skin rash or any severe skin rash;
- redness, swelling, or puffiness under your skin;
- eye pain or redness, puffy eyelids, drainage or crusting in your eyes, vision problems, or increased sensitivity to light;
- sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough, feeling short of breath, coughing up blood;
- chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out, slow heart rate, weak pulse, slow breathing;
- symptoms of infection–fever, flu symptoms, mouth and throat ulcers, rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, fainting;
- symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance–leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, extreme thirst, numbness or tingling, vision problems, muscle pain or weakness;
- kidney problems–little or no urinating; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your feet or ankles; or
- severe skin reaction–fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common Erbitux side effects may include:
- mild itching or rash;
- changes in your fingernails or toenails;
- dry, cracked, or swollen skin;
- diarrhea; or
Irinotecan side effects Source: http://www.drugs.com/sfx/irinotecan-side-effects.html
- black, tarry stools
- blood in the urine or stools
- blurred vision
- changes in skin color
- chest pain or discomfort
- chest tightness or heaviness
- clay colored stools
- cold hands and feet
- constricted pupils
- cough or hoarseness
- dark urine
- diarrhea with or without stomach cramps or sweating
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- full or bloated feeling or pressure in the stomach
- increased production of saliva
- increased tear production
- lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- loss of appetite
- low blood pressure or pulse
- lower back or side pain
- nausea or vomiting
- numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs
- pain in the chest, groin, or legs, especially calves of the legs
- pain in the shoulders, arms, jaw, or neck
- painful or difficult urination
- pale skin
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- redness or swelling of the leg
- runny nose
- severe headache of sudden onset
- shortness of breath or troubled breathing
- skin rash
- slow breathing
- slurred speech
- sore throat
- stomach pain
- stopping of the heart
- sudden and severe weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body
- sudden loss of coordination
- sudden vision changes
- swelling of the abdomen or stomach area
- temporary blindness
- tenderness, pain, or swelling of the arm, foot, or leg
- trouble with speaking or walking
- ulcers, sores, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- warm, red feeling over the body
- yellow eyes or skin
- Bleeding gums
- coughing up blood
- decreased urination
- difficulty with swallowing
- dryness of the mouth
- increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
- increased thirst
- prolonged bleeding from cuts
- wrinkled skin
- Decreased amount of urine
- decreased frequency of urination
- fast, irregular, or troubled breathing
- increased blood pressure
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- rapid weight gain
- Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain and tenderness
- bloated or full feeling
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
- heartburn or indigestion
- muscle pain and cramps
- muscle twitching
- pain in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- rectal bleeding
- severe abdominal or stomach cramping or burning
- severe and continuing nausea
- swelling of the face, lower legs, ankles, fingers, or hands
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds
- Acid or sour stomach
- blistering, peeling, redness, or swelling of the palms of hands or bottoms of the feet
- cracked lips
- excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- numbness, pain, tingling, or unusual sensations in the palms of hands or bottoms of feet
- passing gas
- right upper abdominal or stomach pain and fullness
- sensation of spinning
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- trouble sleeping
- unable to sleep
- weight loss
Incidence not known