Colon Cancer: Surgery and chemotherapy did not cure. Disease got worse.

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:

  1. From 24 September 2013 to 1 April 2014, SA had 8 cycles of palliative chemotherapy with Xelox (Oxaliplatin and Xeloda).
  2. PET scan on 2 May 2014 showed no local and distant metastasis. All liver lesions completely regressed.
  3. Barely 2 months later, in July 2014, follow up showed increasing trend in CEA level.
  4. PET scan on 19 September 2014 showed a few active lesions in the pelvis and liver. Impression: disease progression.
  5. On 19 November 2014, tapping done to remove the fluid in the abdomen.
  6. On 24 December 2014, SA was again started on palliative chemotherapy with Xelox + Avastin, and then Avastin alone.
  7. 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.

  1. 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. 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.

Face rashes

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.

  1. 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:


  1. 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!   

10 conventional med never work Raymond

Erbitux side effects         Source:

  • 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;
  • headache;
  • diarrhea; or
  • infection.

Irinotecan  side effects        Source:

More common

  • Anxiety
  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • blurred vision
  • changes in skin color
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • chills
  • clay colored stools
  • cold hands and feet
  • confusion
  • constricted pupils
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dark urine
  • diarrhea with or without stomach cramps or sweating
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • full or bloated feeling or pressure in the stomach
  • headache
  • increased production of saliva
  • increased tear production
  • itching
  • 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
  • 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
  • sweating
  • swelling
  • 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
  • unconsciousness
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting of blood
  • warm, red feeling over the body
  • yellow eyes or skin

Less common

  • Bleeding gums
  • coughing up blood
  • decreased urination
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dryness of the mouth
  • increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
  • increased thirst
  • nosebleeds
  • paralysis
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • sneezing
  • wheezing
  • wrinkled skin
  • Rare
  • Decreased amount of urine
  • decreased frequency of urination
  • fast, irregular, or troubled breathing
  • hives
  • 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
  • agitation
  • bloated or full feeling
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
  • coma
  • constipation
  • depression
  • heartburn or indigestion
  • hostility
  • irritability
  • lethargy
  • 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
  • stupor
  • 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

More common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • 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
  • sleeplessness
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • weight loss

Incidence not known

  • Hiccups




Colon-Lung Cancer: Surgery, Twenty-seven Cycles of Chemo and SGD 100,000 Did Not Cure Her

Sar (S12) is a 63-year-old lady from Indonesia. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2008. Her daughter wrote, “ It was a shocking news. We decided to bring mom to Singapore to get the best possible treatment.”

Sar underwent a laparoscopic anterior resection for localized rectal cancer in April 2008. Four of 15 nodes were infected with cancer. Histopathology report confirmed a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma – pT2N2. Sar did not receive any chemotherapy after the surgery.

About a year later, in June 2009, during a follow-up, the doctor detected her CEA was rising. Further investigation showed the cancer had spread to her lungs. Sar underwent chemotherapy. The regimen used was Xelox-Avastin (Capecitabine or XELODA +Oxaliplatin + Bevacizumab or AVASTIN). Sar received 6 cycles of this treatment. According to her doctor, the treatment helped stablised her disease. Unfortunately, such “fortune” did not last long. In less than a year, the cancer showed progression.

In January 2010, Sar underwent more chemotherapy. This time the regimen used was FOLFIRI + Avastin (Irinotecan + 5-FU + Lecovorin + Bevacizumab).  She received a total of 8 cycles of this chemo. Again, according to her doctor, the treatment stablised her disease.  But the doctor also suggested another new drug, Cetuximab (or Erbitux) to be added to the treatment regimen. But Sar could not afford the extraordinary high cost of this drug.

FOLFIRI + Avastin did not help Sar. The cancer continued to progress. In October 2010, a clinical trial comparing Cetuximab (or Erbitux) and panitumumab (or Vectibix) opened at Johns Hopkins Singapore.  Sar participated in this trial from November 2010 to June 2011. She received a total of 13 cycles of the treatment at Johns Hopkins. Sar had initial response. But that turned out to be meaningless because later the cancer started to progress.

A PET scan evaluation on 26 July 2011 showed lung metastases as well as lymph node involvement in the mediastinum and para-aortic region. The conclusion: “Overall findings indicate disease progression on comparison with the previous PET study.”

Sar was asked to undergo more chemotherapy. On 29 July 2011, she and her two daughters came to seek our help.  We prescribed her some herbs for her colon and lung. Unfortunately we do not get to see them again after this.

The only news we got was what we read in her daughter’s blog, “In total she (mom) has undergone 27 x chemo with three different drugs plus almost a SGD 100,000 loan. The debt is really pressurizing for her and her family who are average income earners. As for mom, she is still surviving in a fairly good condition and now taking herbs since the last chemo had stopped responding.”


It is indeed sad to hear such a story.  Patients and their family went to the “best” for their medical treatment but the “best” failed them. But such a story is not an exceptional story – or is it a norm that happens most of the time? The conclusion is yours to make.

What saddened me most when dealing with cancer patients is their “lack of knowledge.” We can understand if patients are illiterate and therefore have to depend entirely on others – the “experts” to help them deal with their problems. But if you are able to read what I am writing now – then it would be most unfortunate indeed if you still choose to remain “uneducated”, ignorant or “blind”.

Let me pose some questions for you to ponder on.

  1. Her daughter wrote, “We decided to bring mom to Singapore to get the best possible treatment.”  The patient received the best treatments alright – and the most expensive treatment as well? But what about the outcome? Did she get the best outcome?
  2. Do you still believe that money can “buy” the cure for cancer? I am reminded of what I wrote in the website earlier.  Click this link, and you can read about the case of Tony Snow. I gave that article the title – the World’s most well fought battle… Why? This is because the man involved in this battle against colon cancer, Tony Snow, used to walk along the corridor of power in the most powerful political office on earth. He lost his battle against colon cancer and died. Did he not get the best – the best doctors, the best hospital and the “best” support from the most powerful man on earth? Why did he die? And if you have time, browse through the  same website and  learn for yourself why many patients who did not get the “best” still survive their colon cancer.
  3. Did it ever occur to you that before you undergo invasive treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy that you should ask your doctors if these treatments would cure you cancer? Most people don’t ask – they assume that since they get the best, the treatment outcomes would also be the “best”. I always remind patients – ask what the chances of you getting a “cure” are before you undergo any treatment. If you want make sure that you speak the same language like your doctor.  Cure means getting rid of your cancer altogether, not just “remission” or buying of time. If the “expert” you are dealing with do not give you a clear cut convincing answer, you might want to seek a second or third opinion from different sources. Weight out the pros and cons before you decide on the path to take.
  4. In this case, Sar was given 6 cycles of  Xelox-Avastin. Did it ever occur to you to check with reliable sources what these drugs can or cannot do for patients with lung metastases? Does Avastin ever cure lung metastasis? How effective is the Xelox regimen for metastatic colon cancer?

You can get all these answers if you spend enough time at your computer. Or do you prefer to remain blind and ignorant. For some the easy way out is to be ignorant – after all this is what they often say, ignorance is bliss.

If you have some money to spare, why not get some books and read. Take for example this one, Read what the author, a medical doctor said about chemotherapy for colon cancer.

  1. After Xelox-Avastin had failed. Sar underwent more chemo. But this time following the FOLFIRI + Avastin regimen.  Is this not doing the same old thing over and over again? Different combination of poisons but the mindset remains the same. This is what Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
  2. Avastin seems to be popular. And it is also expensive.  Exclusive and expensive stuff must be good, right?  If you read this article, you will learn that a cycle of Avastin plus another drug cost about S$12,000. But is Avastin effective for cancer? You judge for yourself.
  3. From the internet, information on the effectiveness of Avastin and other expensive chemo-drugs are readily available. To get you started, just click the links below. From there, I wish you a happy journey – go, read more!

This is what her son wrote,

“My mom’s oncologist told us her cancer had recurred and if she does chemo it will extend her life by another six months, and if lucky another twelve months.  But the oncologist does not recommend chemo and thought the treatment would make her worse. He suggested waiting until her condition becomes painful or other symptoms appear. He told us chemotherapy does not cure her cancer and it does not make much difference.”