Breast Cancer: Fancy Gadget and Half A Million Ringgit Failed to Cure Her – What Now?

May possibly (not actual name) is a 39-year-old-female. In mid-2008 she delivered her child. Two months prior to delivery, she observed the hardening of her left breast. Ultrasonography did not show something incorrect. The medical doctor suggested it could be due to the breast becoming engorged with her milk. Even though she breast fed her child the breast remained tough. There was no difficulty with her right breast. She went to consult order doctors and all of them came to the identical conclusion – no dilemma!

Utrasonograhy of her breasts on 1 December 2008 indicated diffused inflammatory process. The left nipple was retracted. Conclusion: almost certainly diffuse mastitis. A biopsy is advisable. Subsequent needle biopsy accomplished did not show any malignancy. Not satisfied, a tru-cut biopsy was carried out on 29 January 2009. The result showed atypical proliferation of cells suggestive of an intra ductal carcinoma. An open biopsy of the breast lump confirmed invasive ductal carcinoma with high grade intra-ductal carcinoma.

May possibly sought a second opinion from a doctor in a private hospital in Singapore. The histology slide was restudied. It was concluded that it was a ductal carcinoma in-situ, intermediate grade with comedonecrosis and infiltrative ductal carcinoma.

CT scan carried out on 31 January 2009 showed: a) no metastataic deposits in the liver, b) several rounded sclerotic lesions seen in the thoracic and upper lumbar spine suspicious of metastatic lesions, c) a tiny nodule in the upper lobe of the proper lung – almost certainly a solitary pulmonary metastatic nodule. A bone scan confirmed bony metastases at the left scapula, left third rib and internet sites along the spine.

Histopathology report showed carcinoma cells are immunopositive for oestrogen rerceptors and progesterone receptors. HER2 oncoprotein is overexpressed.

Might was advised to begin chemotherapy instantly. The initial chemo-therapy began on two February 2009. A pump was fitted to continuously deliver 5-FU. Could also received two doses of Navelbine for each and every five-FU cycle. In addition, Could was given Zometa for the bone. In total Might received 13 cycles of chemotherapy from February 2009 to October 2009.

At this point I asked two queries:

1. What did the oncologist say about the probabilities of a cure? The answer was: The medical doctor said there would be no cure. The treatment was only to control the problem.&#132. You must have spent a lot for this treatment? The answer: Yes, around RM 500,000. That is half a million ringgit – right? Yes, it is.

A CT scan on 27 April 2009 showed: a) a solitary pulmonary nodule in the appropriate middle lobe. This measures less than 5 mm. It shows no alter from prior examination, b) several sclerotic bony lesions. These were already noted in the earlier CT scan.

May possibly went to China for one more opinion in Could 2009. A PET /CT scan was done. The physicians in China concluded that May’s condition had stabilised and there was no want for treatment.

A CT scan carried out on 12 October 2009 showed the cancer had stabilised. Nevertheless, throughout the whole month of October 2009, Might complained of headaches, pains in the neck and shoulder. The oncologist stated the pains had nothing to do with her cancer!

In October 2009, Might completed her 13th chemo therapy in Singapore.

In November 2009, Could went to India for further treatment utilizing the Cytotron (Cytotron is the trade name of the device developed in India. It looks like a MRI machine that makes use of Rotational Field Quantum Magnetic Resonance Generator).

May possibly received an hour of Cytotron therapy per day. Even though undergoing the Cytotron treatment, May continued to receive the 5-FU-Navelbine regimen (the 14th cycle). The therapy was scheduled for a total of 28 days but right after the 20th tretment, Might developed poor coughs and chest discomfort. The doctor thought this was due to pneumonia and she was given antibiotics and cough syrup. An X-ray indicated left pleural effusion (i.e., fluid in the lung). A week later the pains nonetheless persisted and the coughs became undesirable whenever Could moved. A CT scan was ordered and revealed pulmonary embolism (blockage of the arteries in the lungs by blood clots that travel to the lungs from other parts of the physique). Could was place on Heparin, an anti-blood coagulation medication.

May possibly returned to Malaysia in mid-December 2009. Might started to have pains once again. Her shortness of breath also persisted. She coughed wherever she moved. The oncologist in Kuala Lumpur mentioned that the cancer appeared stable and there was no hurry to continue with chemotherapy but the pulmonary embolism had to be resolved very first. Might was prescribed Warfarin. Her pulmonary embolism cleared off.

A PET CT scan on 23 February 2010 showed stable results. The oncologist said no further chemotherapy was necessary for the time getting. But May possibly had to continue receiving Bonefos (for the bone). In addition May was started on Tamoxifen beginning March 2010.

In June 2010, May’s left breast hardened once more. The oncologist did not assume chemotherapy was needed but May was asked to continue with her Tamoxifen and Bonefos.

In July 2010 the skin colour of her left breast turned dark. A PET scan on 29 July 2010 indicated elevated FDG avid activity and this could represent an inflammatory method of tumour activity. There was also elevated FDG uptake in the thymus. At this point, the oncologist recommended a mastectomy.

On 2 September 2010, Might had her left breast removed. There were some wound infections immediately after the surgery and it took two months to recover. The histopathology indicated invasive ductal carcinoma, grade 2 with a couple of foci of ductal carcinoma in-situ, high grade. Twelve of the 13 lymph nodes were entirely infiltrated by malignant cells with infiltration into the surrounding adipose tissue in 4 nodes.

On 20 October 2010, there was a slight swelling in May’s right breast near the nipple. Ultrasonography of the appropriate breast did not show anything wrong. May was prescribed antibiotics. Considering that there was no improvement, a needle biopsy was carried out on 27 October 2010. The appropriate breast tissue showed invasive ductal carcinoma.

The medical doctor suggested mastectomy of the appropriate breast. This would be followed by radiation treatment for the left breast. There would also be radiation therapy for the correct breast right after the wound has healed. Bonefos would be altered to Zometa.

A PET scan done on 10 November 2010 showed cancer activity in the correct breast.The bone lesions which were stable prior to had now turn into active. In view of this, the oncologist recommended a lot more chemotherapy.

May possibly underwent 3 cycles of chemotherapy utilizing a combination of five-FU, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide (FEC) together with Zometa. The 3rd FEC cycle was completed on 14 January 2010.

How CA Care Got Into the Picture

On 3 November 2010, we received this e-mail:

Hi Chris,&#13I am Don (not true name) and came across your website while searching for some alternative cancer treatments. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 4 in February 2009. She had undergone chemo and just recently did a mastectomy of her left breast. Sadly now her right breast is also affected. Last week the biopsy shows it is an invasive ductal carcinoma. Doctor is suggesting one more mastectomy but we are worried as we do not believe it can aid.&#13Can you support us? How excellent is your treatment? Can I send you the reports for assessment?&#13Hope to hear from you soon.

On 14 January 2011 was one more e-mail:

Dear Chris,&#13I would like to come to Penang and meet you to talk about regarding my wife. I have got the newest scan outcomes with me. What are the days and time handy for you to see patients?

Really prior to these e-mails, Don came to our centre to collect some herbs but did not take them due to lack of self-confidence. Then she began to obtain her first chemo treatment and suffered serious side effects. She had headaches, felt nauseous and was dizzy.

Prior to receiving her 2nd cycle of chemotherapy, Might began to take our Chemo-tea. The side effects of this second chemo treatment were reduced by about fifty percent. This built up her confidence in our herbal teas. When May possibly had her 3rd cycle of chemotherapy, she felt even greater.

The War Has Not Ended However – possibly a “surge” is just about to begin

May possibly was scheduled to obtain three more cycles of chemotherapy. This time the drugs to be employed are Taxotere plus Herceptin. May possibly is supposed to obtain Herceptin indefinitely once every single three weeks (but at least a year). Could is also to obtain Zometa as soon as every single 3 months.

From March 2010 to end of July 2010, Could was on Tamoxifen. According to the oncologist because there was a recurrence, Tamoxifen was for that reason not effective. He is of the opinion that Might ought to switch to an additional drug – the newer generation of aromatase inhibitor. But for the aromatase inhibitor to be efficient patient need to be in her menopause. So to achieve this menopause, the oncologist suggested removal of May’s ovaries.

Don (husband) came to our centre in Penang and told us the above story on 18 January 2011.&#13Comments:

1. The Breast Cancer War – fancy gadget plus half a million ringgit

Most patients (particularly those who by no means had the knowledge of having a family member undergone medical therapy for cancer) have the misconception that right after surgery / chemotherapy, their cancer will go away. Sadly, this is far from getting correct. Read the following two quotations.

Amy Soscia, a cancer patient stated: There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer. It by no means goes away. You just move from therapy to therapy.

A renowned oncologist in Singapore wrote: Oncology is not like other medical specialties exactly where doing properly is the norm. In oncology, even prolonging a patient’s life for 3 months to a year is thought to be an achievement. Achieving a remedy is like striking a jackpot.

In a evaluation entitled: In the End What Matters Most? A Critique of Clinical Endpoints in Advanced Breast Cancer (Oncologist, January 2011 16:25-35), Sunil Verma et al, wrote:

– Several agents are getting studied for the therapy of metastatic breast cancer (MBC), but couple of studies have demonstrated longer overall survival, the major measure of clinical benefit in MBC.&#13- Of the 73 phase III MBC trials reviewed, a strikingly tiny proportion of trials demonstrated a obtain in general survival duration (12%, n = 9).

From the really starting Might was told the treatments she received were to only control the scenario – and in this case, exactly where is the control? Virtually half a million ringgit has been spent but May possibly was not obtaining any greater. In reality her condition became worse. She is starting the second phase of one more battle now that the cancer had spread to the other breast, immediately after one had been removed. The war will go on. Based on the critique paper published in The Oncologist a week ago, the general survival benefit due to chemotherapy could just be an illusion.

Can we not learn a lesson from May’s experience? Albert Einstein said: Insanity is performing the identical factor more than and more than once more and expecting different outcomes.

two. Total Commitment – do you genuinely believe in herbs?

Not all patients who come to seek our assist believe in what we do. We are firm in saying that It is not for us to “influence” you to comply with our techniques. This has to be entirely your choice.

We are totally conscious that right after spending thousands of ringgit on the so-known as scientific, high-tech treatments offered by the finest brains in medicine, it is challenging to think that some roadside weeds could support your cancer. To the educated mind it appears like a big joke. So believing in what we do is an essential ingredient for success. Past statistics showed us that only 30% of those who come are actually committed or believe in what we do.

3. Chemo-Tea Helped Her – she gained much more self-confidence

I told Don that I would be writing this story. Otto von Bismarck wrote: A fool learns from encounter. A smart man learns from the encounter of others. So the primary aim of writing this story is to share May’s experience with other individuals – perhaps those who wish to learn would not have to encounter related bitterness.&#13Some patients believe even before they experience, but other people require to experience ahead of they can believe. It is a option.

four. Cancer War – In a war, no one particular ever wins!

Tragic stories about breast cancer war abounds. But all is not lost. There are some patients who have the guts to say: “Chemo? No thank you!” A lot of of them survived to tell their sweet stories.

Let me close by quoting Dr. Bernard Jensen (in Empty Harvest): “Even though the scenario is dire, ought to worry be the correct catalyst for modify? I don’t think so. For fear is a disease in itself – a disease of the mind. Consequently, it is not out of fear, but courage, that mankind will be most successful in restoring well being and harmony.”