PATIENTS'

NATIONAL

 

By Recovered Patients

 

CANCER

 

Not Governmental

 

INSTITUTE

 

Cost Free, Non-Profit

A Step-by-Step Guide to Recovery for Cancer Freshmen by Cancer Graduates

www.PatientsNCI.org, July 7, 2006

C. PATIENTS' PROTOCOL

 TREATMENT INDEX AND INTRODUCTION

Featuring INTEGRATIVE MEDCINE

Please scroll down below this treatment index to read the INTRODUCTION.

PHASE I. PREPARE THE PATIENT FOR MORE SUCCESSFUL CONVENTIONAL OR ALTERNATIVE THERAPY. Suppress the cancer, and fix the patient's natural cancer-killing immune system. We expect over 30% of patients may eliminate or shrink their cancer at this level of treatment.

 

PHASE II. NON-INVASIVE TREATMENTS TO ATTACK THE CANCER DIRECTLY, while continuing to build the patient's cancer killing immune system. Doctors experienced in INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE estimate about 80% of patients can eliminate or control their cancer at this level of treatment.

1. SELECT A WINNING TEAM

 

8. NON-INVASIVE THERAPIES TO ATTACK CANCER

2. HEALTH WORK-UP AND TESTING to establish cancer baseline measurements and images. Also to uncover any other medical problems that might be inhibiting the immune system such as heavy metal toxicity, etc

 

PHASE III. INVASIVE TREATMENTS TO ATTACK THE CANCER. By adding these invasive conventional treatments, over 90% of patients could reasonably be expected to have a positive response.

3. SUPPRESS METASTASIS

 

9. MINI-CONVENTIONAL THERAPY

4. DIET, JUICES, SUPPLEMENTS

 

Future web pages under development:

5. IMPROVING LIFESTYLE

 

10. PATIENT NOW FORTIFIED FOR FULL CONVENTIONAL THERAPY

6. DETOXIFICATION

 

PHASE IV. RECOVERY. A healthier, happier, wiser YOU

7. IMMUNOTHERAPY

 

11. PAIN RELIEF

 

  

I. INTRODUCTION

 

The PATIENTS' PROTOCOL is designed to walk with each cancer patient step by step - from diagnosis, through that initial panic, to treatment selection, to recovery, to staying well - by sharing our own journeys along the same path. Please remember that we are recovered patients - not doctors. We hope to save you from serious mistakes many of us made and to bring you the best cancer therapies we found, including INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE

 

 

Several of the tips we will share have been shown in clinical studies to increase average survival time more than 100%, yet they are frequently overlooked if the patient doesn't ask for them. 

 

 

WELCOME TO A WONDERFUL NEW ERA OF CANCER TREATMENT CALLED "INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE"

 

This is big news for patients. Our experiences, and scientific studies which we will also reference, show that INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE is easier, healthier, safer, and much more effective. From what we have seen, most cancer failures in the past were not due so much to the aggressiveness of the cancer, but to the limited selection of treatments. INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE is curing that problem.

 

For half a century, American doctors have been limited to treating cancer with three 50-year old modalities - surgery, radiation and chemotherapy (including hormones). This was known as Conventional Therapy.

 

Meanwhile tens of thousands of American patients who needed more to get well had to go to international hospitals to get other treatments that saved them. These treatments were known in America as Alternative Therapy.

 

Conventional Therapy specialized in destroying the cancer by external means, and after 50 years it became very good at those techniques. Alternative Therapy specialized in building up the body and the immune system to destroy the cancer by internal means, and the body has usually been very good at that. We believe it is a perfect combination, that can be synergistically much more effective.

 

Now modern American doctors, 80% of patients surveyed, and even Congress have insisted that the full range of proven cancer treatments be made available in America. This combination of the two schools is now becoming mainstream. It is called INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.

 

Under INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE doctors can start treating cancer more logically. In most diseases doctor's logically start with the least invasive treatments first, and only escalate to more invasive treatments if they are needed. Now cancer doctors can start with nutrition and lifestyle to "freeze" the cancer in place (See our web page on how to inhibit metastasis) while they try to make it recede with other non-invasive treatments like immunotherapy. If needed, they can escalate to attacking the cancer directly with certain minimally invasive treatments especially selected to also permit strengthening the immune system. Finally they can reserve surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for those patients who's immune system does not respond sufficiently to eliminate the cancer.

 

This website explains how you can get the substantial benefits of real INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE and not just the old therapy disguised with pleasant niceties that have little to do with improving survival time. INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE is relatively new to most doctors, so in the future, this website will add a list of doctors already familiar with it. Patients or their doctors will be able to consult with them if necessary. Also we currently share the actual experiences of recovered patients who have pioneered INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE here and abroad.

 

 

One of our founders cured cancer that was diagnosed as terminal by using the combination of conventional and alternative medicine over 20 years ago, but she had to go to an international hospital to do it. We have been helping other cancer patients to find a way ever since.

 

 

Another of our founders recovered over 8 years ago using early INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE, finally becoming available right here in America. We decided to celebrate that breakthrough in availability by creating this website to share the good news with everyone. It is designed to be a companion to the government's National Cancer Institute website by covering key information on integrating the treatments that saved thousands of us, but that they don't yet include. Also we cover quality of life tips on how our doctors helped us avoid hair loss, pain, loss of energy and dignity, etc.

 

We hope our small efforts over these 20-some years have contributed to building the momentum that has made INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE the new mainstream way to treat cancer.

 

 

You have read our HOME PAGE and you know that cancer cells are a natural condition, similar to how we always have some germs in our body. We expect the body to heal small sores by itself, and cancer cells are no exception - the body usually cures them by itself, all life long. That's why most people don't have tumors.

 

We now know that the number of cancer cells in our body can be increased dramatically by smoking, poor diet, etc. Even so, some scientists speculate that at least six of our many anti-cancer armies have to be exhausted or ill for a cancer cell to survive in our body. This is because our body usually fights cancer so successfully on so many different levels.

 

 

SOME OF YOUR BODY'S ANTI-CANCER DEFENSE SYSTEMS

DNA Repair Enzymes - cut and paste corrections to cancer cells

Antioxidants - prevent cancer-causing cellular damage

Liver enzymes - detoxify carcinogens

P53 Gene System - stops cancer cells from reproducing

Apoptosis - makes non-repairable cancer cells self-destruct

Tumor Suppressor Genes - induce death of cancer cells

B-Cells - make antibodies against certain cancer cells

Anti-Malignin Antibodies - kill cancer cells upon contact

Helper T-Cells - direct other cells to attack cancer

Cytotoxic T-Cells - poison cancer cells with their chemotherapy

Natural Killer Cells - bind, kill cancer cells

Tumor Necrosis Factor - chemotherapy made by many cells

Lymph Nodes - trap cancer cells for destruction

Macrophages - devour cancer cells

Neutrophils - digest dead tumors

Anti-neoplastons - five newly recognized anti-cancer peptides

Fruits and Vegetables - Your body's daily chemotherapy, including literally thousands of phytonutrients shown to strengthen and activate all of the above anti-cancer defenses, stimulate anti-cancer genes, inhibit cancer-promoting genes, inhibit blood supply to tumors, protect cells with antioxidants, inhibit cancer enzymes, balance hormones with phytoestrogens, detoxify carcinogens, repair cancer cells, attack cancer cells directly, etc, etc.

 

  

If a cancer cell evades these armies for 5 to 20 years, it can finally grow big enough for doctors to see. Most cancers are slow growing initially, unless they are disturbed by invasive medical procedures. (Please see PROTOCOL STEP 2 on testing and biopsies to reduce this risk.) Most cancers are not immediately life threatening. Still, when the cancer has persisted this long, it indicates that the patient's anti-cancer armies probably need some outside help, sooner rather than later. There are basically three approaches to treatment: the anti-cancer armies can be strengthened, or the size of the cancer burden can be reduced, or both.

 

 

Cancer treatments can be viewed as temporary first aid for the current cancer. The lasting cure may be to select a diet and a lifestyle that keeps all these anti-cancer defenses strong, and reduces the daily burden of carcinogens to a safe level.

 

Cancer is a big, billion-dollar business, with room for many wrong turns. The PATIENTS' PROTOCOL is a report to cancer freshmen from cancer graduates who have been there. It identifies the good conventional treatments that helped thousands of us to recover, and the bad conventional treatments that made things worse. We also do the same for alternative and international treatments. These treatments have now come together as the new mainstream cancer therapy called INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. After 20 years of experience helping one another get well, we hope to save other patients from re-inventing the wheel.

 

 The PATIENTS' PROTOCOL can be used:

 

The treatments have been selected by recovered patients themselves. Although we have been through the experience, most of us do NOT have professional medical training, so we do not try to make specific treatment recommendations. To be featured here, the treatments cited had to help us get well, ALSO had to be recommended by licensed American or international medical doctors and hospitals, AND they had to be supported by published scientific literature. These treatments made us well, but there are no guarantees.

 Even if a magic pill were available to eliminate tumors overnight, that might only be a temporary first aid. It may be at least as important to restore all the body's natural anti-cancer armies. Then they can provide long-range protection against future cancer cells, which may develop daily. The PROTOCOL is aimed both at eliminating the current cancer and at restoring these anti-cancer armies for future protection.

 

 

BEST CASE SCENARIO FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPY

Month 1 and Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Strengthens the body's attack on cancer*

Suppresses growth of cancer

Reduces cancer

Eliminates cancer

*The immune system may increase swelling and symptoms as it attacks more vigorously. 

 

 

II. OVERVIEW OF THE PATIENTS' PROTOCOL

 

IDEAL RELATIONSHIP WHEN COMBINING THERAPIES UNDER INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE

Phase I. Alternative therapy strengthens patient and immune system. May reduce or eliminate easy cancers.

Phase II. More Alternative Therapy to attack cancer directly while continuing to strengthen immunity.

Phase III. Some cancers may need mini- or full conventional therapy, even if it damages immunity.

Phase IV. Alternative therapy cleans up cancer crumbs, restores immunity.

 

 

The PATIENTS' PROTOCOL, as you might expect, emphasizes promoting patient health. The PROTOCOL treats the patient along with the disease. It is a different paradigm from isolated conventional therapy that only attacks the cancer, sometimes to the detriment of the patient's health. Long ago patient health was considered the essence of conventional medicine, but somehow that often became labeled alternative therapy. Whether it is called conventional or alternative, improving health also restores our own anti-cancer armies to attack the tumor in deeper and more selective ways, cell-by-cell. INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE includes both schools of treatment.

 

Invasive treatments are added incrementally as more help is needed. Naturally, the more chemotherapy and radiation given to patients, the harder it can be for them to heal. The patient and doctor should agree in advance to avoid the point where too much radiation or chemotherapy can ruin a patient's chances to recover by any treatment.

 

On this website the list of successful treatments is grouped by similar function into logical categories which we call STEPS of the PATIENTS' PROTOCOL. The selection and intensity of different treatments used within each logical step depends on each patient's requirements. The specific treatments and intensity within each step/category are often determined individually by scientific testing.

The steps are divided into 3 Phases. Phase I steps are to freeze cancer growth while strengthening the patient and restoring the body's natural ability to kill and heal cancer. Phase II is to launch a direct attack on the cancer using treatments that allow the patient's anti-cancer defenses to continue to improve. Phase III uses invasive conventional treatments, even though they may weaken the patient's defenses. This is for the most difficult cases.

 

For ease of explanation and description, the PROTOCOL starts with the Phase I least invasive steps and proceeds to Phase II if needed. But the steps can be used in any sequence. In cases where the cancer is within days of being life-threatening, it may be necessary to start with the Phase III most invasive steps immediately. But this is rare. Get a second opinion right away if a doctor tells you that.

Cancer hospitals that are experienced in combining alternative and conventional therapy usually START WITH MOST OF THE PHASE I AND PHASE II STEPS SIMULTANEOUSLY, as soon as baseline testing permits. Then they add the Phase III more invasive treatments later, if needed.

For patients who have completed successful therapy, a simplified PROTOCOL can be used to stay well and enjoy a new life that is healthier, happier and wiser.

  

PHASE I

FOR BOTH CONVENTIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE CANCER THERAPY

Suppress the cancer and strengthen the patient's natural cancer-killing systems.

 

The first 7 STEPS are highlighted because they were so frequently used by the most successful patients. Just like baking a cake or fixing a car, patients who implemented all of the first 7 STEPS seemed to do much better than patients who left some STEPS out.

 

Few hospitals or doctors were expert in all 7 steps, so we usually had to take the initiative ourselves to insist on obtaining any treatments that were missing or inadequate, from some other source.

 

Patients tend to fall into two groups: those who want to do as much as possible to get well, and those who want to do as little as possible to get well. You know the prognosis for each group.

 

During treatment there were milestones that served as rules of thumb to distinguish those patient most likely to reverse their cancer, with the least need for invasive treatments. Note that all recovered patients did not always have to reach all of them. Key milestones included:

 

1. Successful elimination of drugs, especially tobacco and alcohol products. A single glass of wine or beer per day can raise certain cancer risks as much as 20%. 1-2 drinks PER WEEK appear to be safe statistically, if not psychologically. No amount of smoking appears to be safe for any cancer, since there are so many cancer promoters involved, including nicotine itself. Tobacco and alcohol can raise carcinogens and lower immune activity, accounting for some 35% of all cancers in America. Sometimes doctors have to suspend prescription drugs that may be carcinogenic or just interfering with the body's fight against cancer.

 

2. Successful elimination of all animal foods, including seafood, poultry, livestock and dairy. Animals accumulate toxins every day of their lives. They are the worst dietary sources we know for carcinogens, hormones, pesticides, PCB's, dioxin, tumor growth factors, antibiotics, "super bugs," heavy metals, etc, etc. Toxic accumulation is compounded by the common practice of feeding them on sewer sludge and feces! Even cooking certified organic meat can create fumes that contain the same types of carcinogens that make tobacco smoke so lethal. If you can smell it cooking, you may be at risk.

 

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Singh P., 148, 1998) found that a single serving of poultry per week increased the risk of colon cancer 55%. No wonder several studies show animal products account for at least 40 to 50% of all cancers. Patients who did best replaced them with a plant-based diet emphasizing fresh, organic vegetables. (Yes, vegetables contain protein!)

 

 For details on animal products, please see PROTOCOL STEP 3 on suppressing metastasis.

 

With those two milestones, the main external cancer burdens were lifted from the body. Now it could focus all energies on the internal cancer that was left. The next two milestones seemed to supercharge all the body's anti-cancer armies.

 

3. Drinking freshly-made vegetable juices at the level of 4 to 16 cups per day, depending upon the extent of the cancer and the quality of the juicer. Fresh vegetable juices are nature's powerful chemotherapy, with side effects of more energy and stronger immunity for the patient. (More details will be explained under PROTOCOL STEP 4, Nutrition)

4. Raising immune system activity until large mononuclear cells or T-cells are 30% above the top of the normal range. (PROTOCOL STEP 7 will explain how.) These cells seem to be indicative of the patient's cancer-killing armies, and at this high level they are ferocious!

WARNINGS: Tumors may swell up initially from the invading immune cells, and flu-like symptoms may develop during such a vigorous attack. Though symptoms can be frightening, this is the very best sign. It shows that the immune system is active and strong and catching up on its job of destroying the cancer. Doctors warn patients not to keep the immune system this high after the cancer is gone. Patients with auto-immune problems must consult with their specialist before undertaking immune therapy.

 

Make no mistake, it is a lot of work to implement all these steps, and it takes a lot of strength and courage from a sick cancer patient to achieve these personal milestones. A partner is very important. Patients often had to maintain this high intensity for as long as 90 days, and sometimes longer. But it was worth it to be CANCER FREE!

 

"After she reached the last milestone, her cancer lumps began to melt away. It was such a joy to see

that I felt like crying."

 

 

Phase I, STEP 1 of the Patients' Protocol explains how to build a winning health care team while getting second opinions. Specifically this includes asking how much time there is to consider options. Since the cancer has usually been around 5 - 20 years, there is seldom any need to rush into invasive treatments. But each case is different, and this must not become an excuse to delay urgent treatment in that rare case.

 

This begins the successful patient's education all about their cancer. We think this web site and our companion, the government's National Cancer Institute web site are two of the best places to start. Other selected sites are recommended on the ADDED FEATURES/Other Web Site of Interest section, available from the home page.

 

In considering second opinions, we preferred to give most weight to those hospitals and physicians who practice both conventional and alternative cancer therapy. They have no special axe to grind, and should be able to offer a more balanced opinion. Otherwise we consulted at least one M.D. of each school. Be aware that a second opinion from a colleague in the same organization may just be getting the same opinion a second time. Seek a different perspective.

 

STEP 2, Testing, is to get a complete health work-up while interviewing these doctors, and begin the necessary baseline and diagnostic tests. This web page explains how we reduced the risks of biopsies and X-rays. Besides monitoring the cancer, another objective of testing is to discover and clear up any other medical problems that could be interfering with the body's fight against cancer. Results of these tests often dictated specific treatments, and their intensity.

 

STEP 3 explains how to suppress metastasis, a step that is often overlooked. We didn't want to skip this opportunity to freeze the cancer so we could relax a little bit and concentrate more on how to get well. Simple steps like reducing calories temporarily and completely eliminating animal protein and tobacco may begin to inhibit cancer growth overnight.

 

STEPS 4 - 7 of the PATIENTS' PROTOCOL make patients about as healthy as they can stand. These steps include the two main powerhouses against cancer - nutrition and lifestyle.

 

The Nutrition Step explains the wisdom of returning to some of our original Garden of Eden/paleolithic dietary roots. A modern version, called a Vegan diet, has been shown to help reverse cancer, heart disease, arthritis, adult-onset diabetes, deprssion, obesity, etc, etc. It seems to be our ideal fuel.

 

The Lifestyle Step rivals nutrition in importance according to most recovered patients. The lifestyle web page will provide guidelines and referrals covering exercise, sleep, meditation, improving attitude and facing the expected waves of fear, anger and depression positively. We had to learn ways to handle stress - balancing effort and relaxation to leave 50% of our energy for healing. We'll share what we learned about ways to free ourselves to become that social and playful, creative and purposeful person we were designed to be - happy and self-healing.

 

The Detoxification Step will explain how we tested for and cleansed our body of pollution and fats. Now our anti-cancer armies were no longer toxic and blinded like birds in an oil spill. The Immunotherapy Step will tell how we now could supercharge those armies to rapidly and selectively destroy the cancer cells within us

 

Phase II. Attacking the cancer directly in ways that allow the patient to continue to grow stronger.

Step 8 includes additional alternative treatments that many of us found to be helpful to eliminate the cancer, but they did not interfere with restoring the patient's cancer defenses.

  

We found that these 7 - 8 steps began to shrink our cancers. We had the options to continue shrinking the cancer until it was gone, or to escalate to more invasive treatments if more help was needed. . The first 8 steps also prepare those patients requiring full conventional therapy to have an easier and more successful outcome, because now their own anti-cancer armies are strong enough to help.

 

 

Phase III Patient is now fortified for conventional therapy, hopefully with a soaring immune system.

 

STEP 9 is called mini-conventional therapy. It does just enough to slow down the cancer without damaging the immune system too much. Then the immune system can catch up to finish the job. This "lite" version should decrease side effects such as hair loss and immune suppression dramatically

 

In STEP 10, The PROTOCOL shares improvements in conventional therapy that our doctors made for us - to have the patient healthier, the immune system stronger, and to perform the treatments incrementally with more finesse to protect the patient's quality of life.

 

In most cases, alternative therapy can make conventional therapy much more successful, but in some cases alternative treatments such as certain antioxidants should be temporarily suspended. Studies have shown that complementary use of antioxidants and other alternative therapies have DOUBLED the success of conventional therapy alone. Consult an experienced doctor who really knows when they help and when they don't. All doctors must be kept fully informed so their treatments won't cancel each other out.

 

Phase IV RECOVERY

 

STEP 11 PAIN CONTROL will explain alternative methods of pain control that studies find to be more effective. They may be healthier and help speed recovery. Conventional doctors who visit alternative cancer hospitals are usually amazed at the minimum need for strong pain killers.

 

STEP 12, STAYING WELL is especially important after conventional therapy, which can create secondary new cancers. The patient normally continues a "lite" version of the PROTOCOL for some months to clean up the crumbs and to eliminate the new cancers that may have been caused by conventional treatments. IT CAN TAKE MUCH LONGER TO RESTORE ALL THOSE ANTI-CANCER ARMIES THAN IT TAKES TO ELIMINATE THE CANCER. Then a permanent diet and lifestyle are designed to provide a lasting cure.

 

It may be too early for cancer freshmen to appreciate what has happened to many of us cancer graduates.

We became grateful to this cancer adventure for leading us (actually, pushing us) through a doorway to a smarter diet and lifestyle - much happier for us and our loved ones.

 

 

WARNING - DO NOT BE RUSHED INTO

INVASIVE TREATMENTS THAT DON'T WORK

ALWAYS GET ANOTHER OPINION. A discovery that shocked many of us is that mdical treatment is not always based on good scientific evidence. A study by congress has confirmed that most medical practice in general is based on old traditions and methods that are not supported by current scientific research. This has launched a new movement in American medicine called "Evidence-Based Medicine" that is just starting up. This will be a wonderful companion to INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. Meanwhile, we had to work with what is out there now by insisting on getting the survival statistics from our doctors whenever they recommended invasive treatments.

 

When considering invasive therapies, American cancer patients have to be especially careful. In America, normal medical ethics ("First of all, do no harm.") have been suspended for cancer patients, and doctors are allowed to use invasive treatments even if the treatment even if there is not a likelihood of benefit!

This policy is deplored by other nations, but justified in American medical journals for "research" and especially, to keep patients "from the hands of quacks and charlatans."

 

It is up to the patients to protect themselves from useless and dangerous treatments that could sabotage their recovery, by insisting on real answers to questions like these:

QUESTION 1. How much will this treatment lengthen my TOTAL survival time or shorten it compared to other options, including the option of doing nothing?

For example, Mayo Clinic studies tell us that 92% of prostate cancer patients may do better by refusing today's invasive treatments. Only the 8% of advanced cases are likely to benefit. The great majority of men with prostate cancer will die of old age before they have any symptoms from the cancer, unless they are talked into invasive treatment.

A major review of prostate cancer conducted by a panel of experts in 2000 found there were no gold-standard randomized clinical trials that show surgery, chemotherapy or radiation improve survival time over "watchful waiting." Instead they often create unnecessary side effects like urinary and fecal incontinence, impotence, infections, etc. for the rest of the patients' lives. That's just one example of why impartial medical experts often recommend "watchful waiting" instead of treatment for many cancer patients - maybe for you.

If a treatment is FDA approved, they should have the statistics to prove the benefit. If they say, they "donít know," be careful. That can be a diplomatic way of admitting that they haven't been able to prove any benefit after all these years.

 

QUESTION 2. If this treatment hasn't proven to be effective for this situation, what other conventional, alternative, or international treatments are there? For one example, if radiation has not proven effective at improving survival time, is chemotherapy better? Ask for the statistics. Also many patients and doctors don't realize there are other choices of radiation and other choices of chemotherapy that may be more effective. They will be covered in STEP 4 NUTRITION and in STEP 8 MORE ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

NOTE

We are not trying to criticize radiation or chemotherapy here. They can be very helpful, and will be discussed in more detail in STEPS 9 and 10 on conventional therapy. We use them here as an example to demonstrate the problem of indiscriminate use of any invasive and potentially harmful treatments, in situations where they are not effective, and especially when there may be better domestic and international alternatives. Too often treatment decisions are dictated by econmic issues if you don't speak up.

 

The right type of radiation treatment or conventional American chemotherapy for the correct situation has been credited with saving many lives. We are very grateful to have these weapons in our arsenal.

 

QUESTION 3. Will this treatment make the quality of my life better or worse compared to other options such as doing nothing? (If it's worse only temporarily, maybe it's worth it.) What are all the risks and side effects? Some treatments may destroy the cancer, but lead to another disease later. Radiation of one organ may cause cancer later in another. Sometimes chemotherapy commits the patient to a life of misery.

 

When asking for statistics, do not be misled by 5-year survival rates. A 70% survival rate for a treatment may sound good, until it is compared with an 85% survival rate by doing nothing. In other words, some invasive treatments may shorten survival time. Also improved tests can sometimes detect cancer 5 years earlier now, producing an automatic 5-year survival rate statistically, even with no treatment.

Another problem of misleading information is "tumor shrinkage." There are good and bad reasons for tumor shrinkage, and it may or may not correlate with improved survival time. So we insisted on answers specifically in terms of improvement in survival time and quality of life. These are the two most important things we needed to know before making an informed decision.

.

FULL DISCLOSURE

 Often doctors forget to disclose to patients that surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can themselves cause new cancers. Surgery, like biopsies (See STEP 2 on biopsies for more information) can spread cancer cells throughout the circulation. Doctors used to think this only happened 1 - 3% of the time. More accurate tests now suggest it can happen as often as 50% of the time. Chemotherapy and radiation are well-known carcinogens that can create new cancer cells the day of treatment.

It usually takes 5 -20 years after these therapies for the new cancers caused by the treatments themselves to become large enough to detect. (For some chemotherapy it only takes 2 years.)

When doctors were careful enough to warn us about this looming problem, we had the opportunity to take steps to head it off. One simple solution was to keep our immune system high enough to destroy the new cancers before they could grow. If we weren't warned, and allowed our immune system to remain weak, we could have found out about this problem the hard way - when those new cancers became detectable years later.

 

Look out for the red-flag word "experimental" on the consent agreement. If you are not part of an official experimental protocol study, this may just be a way to duck liability for unproven "off-label" treatments that have not been approved because they have not been found effective.

Even if it is a legitimate experiment, there is rarely any need, nor do we recommend, hanging your main hopes on an experiment with the newest conventional or alternative gee-whiz miracle cure. We all found many successful cancer treatments already available, so we are skeptical about gambling on any invasive treatment without a good clinical track record. When one is open to both conventional and alternative treatments, we found plenty of treatments to do the job. Under INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE, there should be plenty of treatments to do the job in most cases.

Ninety-nine percent of miracle cures end up not working in real cancer patients. We believe it usually saves time and money to wait until any new treatment establishes a successful track record in human trials (if it ever does) and side effects are known.

Instead, we found that it usually was better to get more second opinions from other professionals with different backgrounds and points of view until a better treatment with a good track record was found. Sometimes that took a while. That's why it is important to "freeze" the cancer in the meantime (PROTOCOL STEP 3), and to do careful "watchful waiting" under regular medical supervision.

 

For a more complete guide on questions to ask, see the book, "QUESTIONING CHEMOTHERAPY" by Ralph Moss, PhD. He is an advisor to the government's National Institutes of Health.

 

THE ABOVE WARNINGS GO DOUBLE FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPY. Look for a long, established track record, and talk with recovered patients before wasting precious time on alternative treatments that don't work. Many of them are really inventions of a marketing department, not an effective treatment. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

You don't have to re-invent the wheel, if you check out the treatments we have already used to get well. More experience will shed new light on these established treatments to see if they have been reaffirmed, or replaced with something better.

 

In the end, all of us found compassionate and skilled doctors, some of whom even risked their professional reputations and careers to give us controversial treatments that saved our lives. We are extremely grateful to our doctors and think it was an American tragedy that they had to face such risks to choose a better treatment. Hopefully this new era of INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE will put those times behind us.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AN EDITORIAL BY SOME OF OUR CANCER GRADUATES

Only in America do doctors routinely start with the most expensive and most invasive cancer treatments first - even if they won't help. Then if they don't do the job, the patient may turn to healthier, less invasive international treatments, known in America as alternative therapy. This way may work, but we find that it causes much needless expense and suffering.

We would like to reverse the way America treats cancer. If alternative therapy is used first to strengthen patients and their anticancer systems, it may make the most invasive treatments unnecessary. If the immune system is extra high before hand it won't be so hard on the patient if conventional therapy (that brings it down) is required. Recovery can be much easier and faster.

We think that American doctors' first treatments of choice should be the healthier, less-invasive treatments. Then they should go on to the expensive, invasive treatments only if and when they are truly needed and truly effective.

 

OUR OPINION OF THERAPIES

ALTERNATIVE

THERAPY

CONVENTIONAL

THERAPY

Focus on Healing the Patient

Focus on Attacking the Tumor

A Synergy of Many Poweful, But Less-Invasive Treatments

A Few Powerful, Invasive Treatments

Best For Long Term Survival

Best For Emergencies

Works Even For Widely Metastasized Cancers

Surgery Works For Large, Isolated Tumors

Favor less-invasive blood tests

Favor invasive biopsies

Strengthens the Immune System

Weakens the Immune System

Can Prevent Future Cancers

Can Cause Future Cancers

Can Improve Quality of Life

Can Reduce Quality of Life

Can Enhance Hair Growth

Can Make Hair Fall Out

Can Protect Brain Cells

Can Destroy Brain Cells

Non-Narcotic Solutions For Pain

Use Narcotics For Severe Pain

Most Healthful Modalities

Most Invasive Modalities

May speed recovery

May slow recovery

Works better before conventional therapy

Works better after alternative therapy

 

--------------------END OF EDITORIAL-------------------

 

IN CLOSING this introduction, please remember that we are recovered patients, not trained doctors. What worked for us may not be appropriate for everyone. And most important, cancer is not a do-it-yourself project. That's why Step 1 of the PATIENTS' PROTOCOL is SELECTING A WINNING TEAM of experienced professionals with a track record of successful patients you can talk to.

 


 

 To continue on to STEP 1 of the PATIENTS' PROTOCOL, just click "Next Page" below.

 

Please email your questions, suggestions and comments about this web site to Webmaster@PatientsNCI.org.

Thanks for helping.

 

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