Liver Cancer: Took Nexavar for about a week. Wife said, “Disaster!”

Shah (not real name) is a 57-year-old Indonesian. He was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in 2010. He came to a private hospital in Melaka and was prescribed Legalon or milk thistle. He did not take his medication seriously. His problem became more serious and in 2015 his problem developed into a full blown liver cancer or hepatoma.

He was admitted to a hospital in Jakarta for treatment. He did TACE (transarterial chemoembolization) twice followed by four times of RFA (radiofrequency ablation). RFA cost him IDR 35 million each session.

In addition Shah had to take the following 11 medications, one of which is Nexavar – a oral chemo-drug for his liver cancer.

Nexavar — IDR 200 million (??) 

Listen to our conversation of what happened.

 

Chris: Did the doctor tell you why he gave you Nexavar?

Wife: To make sure that the cancer is under control.

C: How long were you on Nexavar?

W: Just about one week, and the supply was for a month.

C: What happened?

W: Disaster! (BadanNya hancur!) He gave up and did not want to take it anymore.

C: Did the doctor say how long he has to take Nexavar?

W: For as long as he lives! Now the doctor said take a rest first. After the side effects subside, continue with Nexavar again.

C: What are the side effects?

Wife and patient: Vomiting, loss of strength, giddy, fever, hard stools.

C: How much did you pay for this drug?

W: IDR 200 million per month.

Comments

I am not sure if the figure, IDR 200 million for Nexavar, is correct. This is equivalent to RM 57,000 ringgit.

The wife must have been confused. It could have been the total cost of his hospitalization, including other drugs as well.

In Malaysia, Nexavar cost about RM 20,000 per month. Sometimes you get an offer: buy one, free one! That is you pay for the first one month, then you get free supply of the drug for the second month. One patient took this drug for a week and died. So she lost her deal for a free supply!

Is this the first case of Nexavar giving problems to patients? No. Many patients told me similar stories of side effects.

So, why do the doctors keep on prescribing Nexavar? Well, I really don’t know. Perhaps Nexavar is more “scientific” than herbs. If you don”t die from it, keep taking it — that’s the message given to Shah and his family.

As I am writing this story, here is an email I received.

Dear Dr Teo, 

I am writing to you with regards to my father, aged 82 years old. In December 2017, he was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma  (liver cancer). Tumor was approximately 7 cm in size. He has subsequently went for TACE early January 2018. The latest CT scan has showed that there is necrosis of the tumor. However, the APF reading this week shows a level of 2,000+. 

His hepatologist and us agree that we should take action to find a way to heal and hopefully, prevent the recurrence of tumor again. He has recommended that we think about Nexavar or  seek alternative herbal treatment. 

My father has indicated that he would like to start on herbal treatments.  

I am wondering if you would be available to meet us next week? 

Think about it: His hepatologist recommended Nexavar or herbal treatment! What say you?

 

 

 

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Dissecting Chemotherapy 14: Please Tell Patients the Real Truth

 

Author: Dr. Morton Walker, D.P.M., is the author of 2000 clinical articles and 92 published books. Dr. Walker is the recipient of 23 medical journalism awards and was named, “The World’s Leading Medical Journalist Specializing in Holistic Medicine” by the American Cancer Control Society. (Note: Podiatric medicine is the study of human movement, focusing on the foot and ankle. A doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) is to the foot what a dentist is to the mouth or an ophthalmologist to the eye).

Why Write this Book? When cancer took my wife, my mother, my sister, and my fiancee who had pledged to spend her last years with me, I knew I had to step up …let the world knows about it.

Fiancee With Pancreatic Cancer: We planned to be married within the early months of 2005, instead, during late fall and early winter of 2004, I frequented the reception areas and consultations of Massachusetts General Hospital … because my fiancee had been admitted to this hospital with pancreatic cancer.

Prognosis:  Such cancer (pancreatic cancer) is an illness with a devastating prognosis … less than 7 percent of cases are detected early. The rest are spotted when pain or other symptoms appear. Some 37,680 new cases of pancreatic cancer occurred in 2008, with a mere 2 percent experiencing a five-year survival rate.

Oncologists and Radiotherapists Push: I was astounded at how distorted the physicians’ presentations were when they discussed the side effects of their treatments. The doctors appeared to become almost like used-car salesmen in a pitch for their surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

I know something about medical practices and oncology from my work as a medical researcher and as a former practicing podiatrist. In my opinion, the information the oncologists gave my fiancee was hardly an honest assessment of the relative benefits and risks associated with the recommended treatments.

My fiancee, her two educated, middle-age sons and I consulted twice with a group of oncological specialists. The decision was made that this 62-yera-old woman, diagnosed with an aggressive pancreatic cancer, required immediate surgery employing the Whipple’s operation triad. The Whipple’s is a very extensive operative procedure that involves the excision of at least three internal organs, including a majority of the victim’s pancreas.

Preoperative radiation was recommended for her, and following operative recovery, postoperative chemotherapy was also mandatory.

Both radiation and chemotherapy oncologists went about selling their separate treatments to the patient, her sons, and me. When I asked about the residual side effects of the typical treatment, her oncologists told us that there were none. My fiancee, her sons and I were astounded. “No side effects? How could that be?” The oncologists were steadfast in their declarations. I knew they were lying.

I observed literally hundreds of bald-headed women waiting in the radiotherapy and chemotherapy hospital areas for commencement of their next treatments. I thought, with no small amount of disgust, “Isn’t the loss of hair with resultant baldheadedness a side effect of one or both of these cancer therapies?” All of us know that it is.

I was opposed to the radiation therapy, but that’s what this patient and her two sons elected for her to do.  When I finally encouraged my fiancee to take Dr. Beljanski’s botanicals … Her two sons, a stock broker and a computer programmer, would have none of my recommendations. Beljanski’s herbals ended up being flushed down the hospital room’s toilet. They considered holistic-type therapies outright quackery.

Condemned by these young men, I was literally ordered to leave the hospital scene. They said, “Get out of my mother’s life!” She died within two months of her sons sending me away.

Comments:  Take note of what other authors said below:

 

 

 

Dissecting Chemotherapy 13 : Experiencing the Harmful Side Effects and Collateral Damage

 

by Terry Thompson. His wife died of breast cancer, his eldest brother died of lung cancer and another brother died of a rare cancer that attacked his heart. Thompson is a retired colonel in the US Air Force. He was also a staff pastor of a large church. Later he became the GM of a nationally syndicated outdoor sports TV program. He is professor of John Brown University, a private, Christian liberal arts college in Arkansas, USA.

The best way I know to describe the debilitating nature of chemotherapy is to reference my personal experiences. The following account of the three years my former wife (Connie) suffered under the oppression of aggressive chemotherapy.

The treatment and its impact on our lives were the worse experiences I had faced in my life at that point. Today, I can assure that its devastating effect was eclipsed only by Connie’s death. And. of course, my experience was nothing compared to what she had to deal with.

  • Immediately after receiving the first infusion, Connie became nauseated… it usually takes days or weeks before the dosage and anti-nausea supplements can be adjusted to individual tolerance and need.
  • The vomiting and diarrhea were devastating for the first several treatments. She was confined to the beds for days. Hardly anything she ate would stay with her.
  • She continued to have occasional regressive bouts with nausea.
  • When the nausea was in check, lack of appetite still plagued the pursuit of healthy nutrition. Connie had to force herself to eat without any feeling of hunger. The food she was able to eat was virtually tasteless.  Imagine weeks and months looking on any food item with disgust … the smell of food from another room would cause her to gag or vomit. Meals were never a pleasurable experience as long as chemicals were being infused.
  • After several treatments, mouth sores, a common side effect of chemotherapy, made eating a painful experience.
  • Connie had been an athletic person with seemingly boundless energy. Throughout the chemo regimen, she was constantly tired. After the lightest task, she would have to lie down on the couch or recline in a chair for a while before attempting anything else.
  • Social activities virtually ceased, since a few minutes of standing and small talk would exhaust her… just physically drained from the chemical attack on her body.
  • From the beginning of treatment, a weak immune system caused by a low white blood count often kept her from being near other people.
  • The cumulative effect of the chemo began to more severely restrict the immune system.
  • Collateral damage to the body is another serious concern. Many medical procedures are accompanied by risks of injury to otherwise healthy parts of the body. In Connie’s case, the highly qualified surgeon punctured her lung in the process of “chemo” port insertion. This is a rare occurrence, but just one of several anomalies that can violate the body during conventional treatment.
  • Another ever-looming threat of collateral misfortune is that of serious, even deadly, infection. The actual condition that caused the precipitous slide that ended Connie’s life was a bacterial infection so potent that the strongest antibiotics could not faze it. She developed septic condition. Even though the official cause of her death was metastasis of breast cancer, it was an infection, probably from the treatment, that led to the ultimate loss of the battle.
  • For anyone, especially those who love to be around people, conventional cancer treatment is usually accompanied by feelings of alienation, disconnection, loneliness and even guilt. Physical distress, coupled with psycho-social grief is a poor foundation from which to build a healing force to combat cancer.

The Agony of Chemotherapy

Naga (H568) is a 46-year-old male. In July 2010, he lost his voice. He went to a government hospital for a check-up. He was told that nothing was wrong with him. Later, he went to another government hospital. A scope was performed and again he was told nothing was wrong with him.

In November 2010, Naga had breathing difficulties. A CT scan done at a private hospital indicated lung tumour. A biopsy was performed and confirmed it was a cancer. Naga was asked to undergo six cycles of chemotherapy. He received the first cycle of chemotherapy on 17 February. His wife said since then he suffered severe side effects.  On 3 April 2011, he came to our centre asking for help. This was three days after receiving the third cycle of chemotherapy.

The side effects he suffered were:

  • Unable to eat
  • Unable to sleep
  • Vomiting
  • No energy to even walk
  • Difficulty breathing and breathlessness
  • Severe stomach pain

The following video recording on 3 April 2010 demonstrated how Naga, his wife and I, agonized over the issue of chemotherapy.  There is nothing much I could do to help. That is the way it is. The only thing I could offer is for Naga to take the Chemo-Tea which generally helps patients in a situation like this.

Comments

Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and the newly introduced targeted drugs are the “gold standard” of cancer treatment.  But the success of this standard treatment remains controversial.  Reynold  Spector wrote: “The war on cancer has not gone well. Although there has been some progress in the war on cancer initiated by President Nixon in 1971, the gains have been limited”  (1). After conducting much research on cancer Guy Faguet came to the conclusion that “the current cancer treatment is based on flawed concept. The cell-kill approach has failed to achieve its objectives” (2).

The sacred cow in the paddock is chemotherapy which seems to be losing its luster. Chemo-drugs are designed to kill cancer cells, but being non-selective and non-discriminating, they also kill the actively dividing healthy cells of the body. For this reason the bone marrow cells, hair cells, cells lining the mucous membrane and the digestive system, reproductive cells of the testes and ovaries, etc., are also destroyed by the chemo-drugs. In fact, all anti-cancer drugs approved by the US-FDA are toxic and they compromise or destroy a patient’s immune system, thus reducing its ability to provide natural resistance to the body (3).

Let me invite you to some take time and ponder on the wisdom of the following quotations:

  • Everybody knows that our present cancer drugs are lousy ~ Wolfgang Wrasidlo, director of drug development, Scripps Clinics, La Jolla, California (4).
  • Drugs for cancer are only effective in 25% of the patients ~ Allen Rose, worldwide vice-president, Glaxo-SmithKline (5) .
  • Chemotherapy is an attempt to poison the body just short of death in the hope of killing the cancer before the entire body is killed. Most of the time it doesn’t work ~ John Lee et al (6).
  • Chemotherapy has been misused to just prolong the dying process and enrich the drug companies and “health care industry” ~ Philipp Shepard, M.D. (7).
  • If we didn’t kill the tumour, we killed the patient ~ William Moloney.

References

  1. Reynold Spector. The war on cancer- a  progress report for skeptics. 2010.    http://www.csicop.org/si/show/war_on_cancer_a_progress_report_for_skeptics
  2. Guy Faguet. The war on cancer: an anatomy of failure – a blueprint of the future. Springer, 2005.
  3. Chris K. H. Teo. Cancer: what you need to know about surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, pharmaceutical drugs and the politics of medicine. 2003. CA Care Publication.
  4. Barry Sears. Enter the zone, pg.164. Regan Book. 1995.
  5. Daily Express, UK. 8 Dec. 2003, The Sun, Malaysia. 9 Dec. 2003.
  6. John Lee, David Zava & Virginia Hopkins. What your doctor may not tell you about breast cancer. Wellness Central. 2003.
  7. http://ejtcm.com/2011/03/17/effectiveness-or-ineffectivenes-of-chemotherapy-part-1-what-some-oncologists-say-%E2%80%A6/ Comment, 11 April 2010.