Nov 25, 2015 03:40AM ChiSandy wrote:
Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but your friend is very, very mistaken and has been sold a bill of goods. Yes, the concept of “transfer factors” (substances taken from people with a strong immunity to certain conditions and given to patients with those conditions who have weak immune systems) has been studied for awhile and is still in the experimental stages--but no reputable clinical trials exist for it in the breast cancer setting. And the way they are administered is by injection or infusion. “4life Transfer Factor” is NOT one of those being studied: it’s an unregulated nutritional supplement, and G-d knows what’s really in it. Sorry, but it’s essentially "snake oil," no better than those laetrile, sheep cells, and other what-have you bulls--t substances that have given countless patients false hope and caused them to abandon proven treatments that might have given them many, many years of cancer-free living or at least some meaningful remission..
There is no “cure” yet for breast cancer, only treatments that can achieve very long-term cancer-free status (“NED,” or “no evidence of disease”), to the point where many patients live out a normal-length lifespan. You say despite your mom’s chemo she is showing “no improvement.” That’s not how breast cancer, nor its treatment, works. The cancer cells aren’t making her feel sick but they are making her ill nonetheless. The whole point is to kill the cancer cells before they do any damage. Chemo is like breaking eggs to make an omelet--there are side effects that are tough to take (especially if your loved ones are going through it). You don’t see “improvement,” only no recurrence or spread. Your mom will get better but first it’s going to be rough going for her for awhile. Those side effects are actually evidence that the cancer cells are being destroyed by the chemo and "targeted therapies." HER2-neu-positive cancers are also treated with injections of Herceptin or Perjeta, drugs that are “targeted" to affect just those tumor cells. Your mom’s condition will slowly improve after treatment is over, but it’s really scary to watch her suffer when you think you can’t do anything about it.
Ah, but you CAN. You can reassure her, be there for her, do for her, help her through the side effects and tell her to hang in there. There are things like meditation, acupuncture, yoga, aromatherapy, etc. that can help her cope with the side effects--but they have to be coordinated with the care she’s getting from her cancer doctors to make sure they’re safe for her. But don’t suggest she take some phoney-baloney over-the-counter unregulated and unproven “cure,” especially if it can interfere with her chemo and targeted therapies or, worse, she takes it instead of chemo and targeted therapy. Don’t fall for that load of bulls--t, and don’t let your mom take it. And it sounds cavalier to say this, but please be patient with her progress.