A lady school teacher came to see us in early 2012. Her husband is a medical doctor (later, I got to know that her daughter is also a medical doctor). She did not come with any medical report – she just wanted to tell me her story and based on that prescribe her herbs.
She had colon cancer that had spread to her liver. She had completed her chemo and had also undergone a RFA treatment (radiofrequency ablation). In spite of that, her CEA was rising.
The first question I asked her, “What do you want me to do? What do you expect to get when you come and see me?” Her answer, “I want to find a cure.” To that I told her, “No, I am sorry I don’t have anything to cure anybody. My herbs are not magic.”
Then I asked her to read my two books, Cancer – Why They Live and What You Need to Know About Chemos … She would not even look at the books! But she insisted on wanting to try my herbs. My answer was, “No. For now, I would not prescribe you any herbs. Go home and pray to your god (s) after you have gone through my websites – www.cacare.com and www.CancerCareMalaysia.com ”
Were we being cruel to send her home without giving her the herbs? Sometimes we need to be “apparently” cruel to be kind and honest. While we fully understand that patients who come to us are helpless, desperate and lost – it is extremely unfair and wrong for us to make them believe that we can offer them a cure for their cancers. Our experience over the past 18 years dealing with cancer patients tells us this fact clearly – No one on earth can cure cancer! You just have to learn to live with your cancer and heal yourself. Saying that the treatment gives you a response does not mean a cure. To achieve a tumour shrinkage after treatment is equally meaningless. Shrinkage generally does not translate into a cure. And saying that if you remain alive for 5 years means your cancer is cured is scientifically baseless.
These are the “truths” that you may have missed out or you have not been told. Read the medical literature, no one ever talks about cure for cancer. If they do, they generally mean being alive for 5 years. That is not cure! It is only a remission. We have seen cancer recurring even long after that. My aunty had a recurrence after 13 years. Her cancer spread to her lungs and she died.
So when we sent this lady teacher home to “learn” more we were just being truthful – we cannot cure any cancer. Unfortunately she did not want to learn. She portrayed as a well-informed patient who knew all the medical terms — “after all I am the wife /also mother, of medical doctors.”
Patients who come to us with this kind of “shopping-for-magic-bullet” mentality, are sure to be very disappointed with us. We would send them home without any herbs and ask them to think over.
We understand most patients who come to us are generally medically given up – they have gone though all possible medical treatments and failed. They have nowhere else to turn to for help. I used to jokingly tell patients, “Yes, we are the last one stop.” Given that situation what do patients expect us to do? Cure their cancers? And we, at CA Care, promising them a cure? Don’t be misled – we cannot cure your cancer. We also do not cure your medical results. At CA Care we want to heal you as a person. Healing is different from cure. Healing happens at all levels – physical, mental and spiritual.
Fast forward, April 2014 – about 2 years later. This same lady teacher came to see us again. I could not recongise her. She was dark (due to too much chemo?). I asked for her medical reports. Again – like before – she did not bring any. And she started to rattle her story below.
P: I was diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2010. I had an operation followed by 8 cycles of chemotherapy. I was okay for about 6 months. After that the tumour marker (CEA) started to go up. The cancer had gone to the liver. I did one time RFA (radiofrequency ablation). After one month, it seemed to be okay but my CEA did not go down. It was still climbing.
I did a PET scan and the result showed 2 tiny lymph nodes (collar bone) was infected, but the liver was okay.
I was started on chemo again – another 8 cycles. The CEA went down. It seemed to be okay. While on chemo, I was also given Avastin. After the chemo was completed, I was still on Avastin as maintenance.
A bit less than 6 months later, I did a PET scan. The doctor said everything was okay. But after the PET scan, the CEA started to go up again.
About a month later, I did a CT scan. There were tiny nodules in my lungs.
The oncologist started me on chemo again. This was the third round and I had 12 cycles. I was also given Erbitux.
After 12 cycles of chemo my CEA went down to 1.7 (normal 5). I continued to receive Erbitux as maintenance.
A scan later showed the nodules in the lung were still there but there were no other additional metastasis.
In October 2013, my CEA started to go up again. It was like 1.9.
My oncologist sent me to see a surgeon, to see if the infected lymph nodes could be removed. But the surgeon asked me to do a PET scan first before considering surgery. I did a PET scan. The result showed everything was clear except for one nodule in my right lung. This could be an early metastasis. The surgeon was unable to proceed with the surgery because the nodule was too small. So nothing was done.
Today my CEA started to go up again. And all this while I was still on Erbitux.
Just before the Chinese New Year (January 2014) the oncologist started me on 5-FU (chemo again). My CEA was going up and Erbitux was not effective anymore. That was why the doctor added the 5-FU. I received this every week.
Even with the added 5-FU my CEA had gone up to 5 (from 1.7 before October 2013).
I have been going for the chemo but for a few times now, I started to feel restless 5 or 10 minutes after receiving the drug. I felt restless and did not know where to put my legs, where to put my hands. I could not concentrate. When I talk to you, my eyes cannot focus on you. I am just restless and don’t know what to do. I don’t know whether this is the effects of the drug or it is psychological effect.
Two weeks ago, when they put the drug in, I felt very difficult. They called the doctor in. The doctor wanted to give me steroid (prednisone). But the week before I have asked the oncologist to take off the prednisone because it made me very drowsy. So when they wanted to give this again, I said no!
Last week I went to see my oncologist again. He stopped the Erbitux and said I was already too long on this. So he just gave me only 5-Fu. But I still felt restless even with only 5-FU.
In total I am on chemotherapy for three and half years. (Note: 3 rounds of chemo with a total of 28 cycles besides the weekly 5-FU, maintenance Avastin and Erbitux).
Chris: To be honest, I am surprised that you are still alive today. I really don’t know what I can do to help you. What do you expect me to do in this situation? Because I don’t believe that by taking the herbs your CEA is going to come down, honestly. Now it is just at 5.
Patient: But I am scared that it will go up.
C: Why do you worry wanting to get the CEA down – CEA is not going to kill you.
P: But every time the CEA went up, I went for a scan and they found something in there.
C: That is normal. We all know that. Nobody can cure any cancer. That’s my experience. What is more, even when you get cancer, they tell you to eat anything you like.
P: But I did “pantang” (abstain from certain food).
C: But the way you “pantang” is not the way we teach you to “pantang” at CA Care. It is useless if you don’t do it right. Follow what I tell you fully or don’t. No half measure. Again let me tell you. If you come and see me hoping that your CEA can come down, no, I don’t think that is the correct logic. Honestly, I don’t think it will come down. For three and a half years the doctors could not get it down, and you expect me to do it!
P: It will not come down but I hope it will not go up.
C: I don’t know. You need to know that cancer cells are not the same, they are different. After round and round of chemo, some cancer cells are killed, but some can still remain alive or are not affected by the chemo drugs. Because of that some patients suffer from “more aggressive” cancer after chemo. Researchers have shown that chemo makes cancer more aggressive. That is why chemo does not work.
This is the attitude of patients. When all else have failed they come to us and expect me to do magic. How could I do it? My answer to you is, I am not going to be able to do it – as simple as that.
Other people may say, “Yes take this and take that, your CEA will go down, etc., and etc.” But I am not sure if this is going to be true or not. Why don’t you come back to see us only after you have decided you don’t want to do anymore chemo?
P: I thought of stopping the chemo.
C: It is not a matter of thinking you want to stop chemo. You have to decide – do you still want to continue with your chemo. If you want to continue, go ahead with the medical treatment. You have to be clear about this. I suggest that you go home and continue with your chemo.
Come and see me only after you have decided to give up chemo totally. When you reach that point, and you don’t want to do chemo anymore, and you have nowhere to go, then come and see me. Then we will try the herbs.
For now, don’t take the herbs yet. Go back and when you tell yourself. “I don’t want any more chemo and I have nowhere else to go,” then come and see Chris Teo. Then I’ll give you the herbs.
P: Now, I want to take a break from chemo and I want to take the herbs.
C: Take the herbs for how long?
P: Your wife suggested to try the herbs for one month.
C: You can take the herbs for one month, but I am going to tell you it is not going to give you any significant effects. No way. You have been on medical treatment for three and a half years and it never worked and you can’t expect to take the herbs for a month and it is going to work!
P: Not to go down but to see if it can control it or what.
C: Let me tell you again. When doctors have failed to help you for three and a half years, how can you expect my herbs to help you in a month. No way.
P: But Dr. Teo, I have a friend in Kuala Lumpur. He has lung cancer. The doctor said he only has 3 months to live. He did not go for medical treatment and he took your herbs instead. He is still alive today. It has been one year already.
C: Of course, patients who have not gone for chemo do better with our herbs!
I am obliged to prescribe this patient some herbs. She came back to collect the herbs the next day. She asked my wife:
a) What are the side effects of the herbs?
b) What are these herbs?
c) Some herbs could be dangerous and affect the kidney, etc.
My wife replied: No one has died because of our herbs. And many have been taking these for years. If you are afraid of the side effects or think they are dangerous, please don’t take them!
Comments: For those who have cancer and who know how to read, I strongly suggest that you read my recent book, Cancer – What Now?
In this book I have discussed many topics that are important to you and your survival. Going for whatever treatment for your cancer is about you and your choice. Your life is in your hands. When you get cancer, it is also about you. YOU, the person. It is not just about the tumour or the rising CEA, etc., etc.
I have written many articles trying to let you all know that shrinkage of tumour and decreasing of CEA are often meaningless. It makes you feel good for a few months and the cancer comes back again. Is this not what happened to the lady teacher above? PET scan said okay, all clear but soon something pop up again somewhere! More chemo again. When do you stop chemo?
In Chapter 3 of the book I talked about the types of patients who come to see us and their attitudes – wanting to find a magic cure when there is NONE. Of course, you can go for chemo, surgery, take this supplements and that supplements – beware of the empty promise! In Chapter 6, I wrote about the virtue of doing nothing!
I am aware that my way of dealing with cancer is rather non-conventional and against the commonly accepted norms. If you are following my writing in the websites, you will know that what we do in CA Care do help many patients. It is just whether you want to believe or not!
Look out for another story after this one. This is about a man with colon cancer who was at the point of death in the hospital and was asked to do chemo! His wife preferred to do nothing and brought him home in an ambulance! Like the Chinese say, if you have to die, die at home! This man remained alive at the point of time when I am writing this article.