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Topic: Thoughts on why natural health is so vilified

Forum: Alternative Medicine —

This forum is a safe, judgement-free place to discuss Alternative medicine. Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used INSTEAD of standard, evidence-based treatment. Breastcancer.org does NOT recommend or endorse alternative medicine.

Posted on: May 12, 2019 09:42PM

Amyadipose wrote:

It almost feels as though most doctors are struggling to keep hold of methods they know to be the only way, and are increasingly frustrated with societies push to find answers that don't involve such toxic and deadly treatments. Like people who still think letting a baby cry it out and the methods of dr spock are correct. Or that formula is just as good as breast milk. It just seems like science and research in other countries are evolving quicker than the old school American medical establishment, and we as patients have access to this info but no access to utilize new methods. Thoughts? I imagine in 25 or 50 years from now, people are going to look back and be horrified by how breast cancer was treated . I'm grateful to have this now instead of 30 years ago, my heart goes out to those who had to endure even harsher treatments back then.

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May 12, 2019 10:41PM juniper wrote:

While I don’t believe that you can compare crying it out and formula feeding with treatment for a deadly disease, I do hope that one day chemo will be no longer be needed. We will have new treatment methods or better yet - a way to prevent breast cancer from occurring at all.

An ethical doctor can only prescribe treatments that are the standard of care. An ethical oncologist cannot offer alternative treatmentsin lieu of the standard of care. An ethical oncologist should explain the options available to a cancer patient- including no treatment to chemo, rads, and hormonals or herceptin. He or she should be able to explain the benefits and risks of said treatment without emotional/scare tactics such that the patient can are an informed decision.

Dx 7/31/2007, IDC, two nonpalpable tumors, 5cm and 6cm, Stage IV (mets to mediastinal nodes), Grade 3, 18/18nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 12, 2019 11:07PM - edited May 12, 2019 11:08PM by Beesie

I don't think people looking back in 25 or 50 years will be horrified by how breast cancer was treated today. I think they will see step-by-step progressive change that advanced treatments from today's standards to whatever the standards are in 25 and 50 years. I think they will understand that the treatment in 2019 was the best that the medical and scientific communities had available at the time, and was more advanced than what was available 25 and 50 years before, which was the best medical science had to offer at that time. That is simply how human knowledge advances. We live in the times in which we live. The past always looks draconian and primitive, and the future always looking promising and progressive.

I don't think that doctors are struggling to hold onto old methods of treatment, nor do I think they vilify more natural treatments. I think most doctors would be thrilled if they could offer their patients better treatments that are more natural and have fewer harmful side effects. But a doctor's job is to offer up the best treatments available, based evidence of efficacy. At this point, the only treatments that have the supporting evidence are conventional treatments such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and endocrine therapy. Most doctors would probably consider it inappropriate to lament the lack of natural treatments and bemoan the current range of treatment options when talking to patients to whom they are recommending rads or chemo or endocrine therapy. However in private conversation I'd bet that many would express their frustration. We only get to see the doctor's "game face" and I don't think it's fair to draw from that the conclusion that most doctors wouldn't be pleased to see more natural treatments - if those treatments had evidence (statistically significant research studies) supporting their efficacy.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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May 13, 2019 12:40AM ShetlandPony wrote:

I remember my surgeon telling me about the bad old days when a radical mastectomy was the standard (more extensive than current type or lumpectomy), and how glad he was that he could now do more modern surgeries, and how women can now know before “going under” what is to be done. Similarly, he was all over the sentinel node biopsy safely taking the place in many cases of what would have been removal of all the axillary nodes for everyone. I went to a conference at my cancer center where alongside physicians and researchers reporting on mainstream developments and research projects, there were presentations on acupuncture to help with pain and side effects, a presentation by a physician who is a full-time Chinese medicine practitioner, and other topics that probably would not have been discussed at a medical center in the past. And I read current research in scientific journals about the importance of gut health and circadian rhythms in fighting cancer. So I hope we are moving toward integrating all we can learn. Somehow we need to deal with the trust issues so patients will not feel they have to choose a side. In general I feel that traditional folks should try to be open-minded and holistic, and alternative folks should be willing to acknowledge the need for evidence-based treatment.

2011 Stage I ILC 1.5cm grade1 ITCs sn Lumpectomy,radiation,tamoxifen. 2014 Stage IV ILC mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD
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May 13, 2019 06:08AM gb2115 wrote:

Is there research from other countries that shows alternatives to chemo, radiation, or hormone therapy? I would certainly love something other than tamoxifen, but only if it's proven to work at least as well!!


Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
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May 13, 2019 07:52AM santabarbarian wrote:

A double blind clinical trial costs $50M. There is no way anyone will spend $50M to prove the utility of something like high dose C or mebendazole (an old repurposed drug) has value against cancer... they can't make the $50M back.

This is where anecdotal evidence can be important. The Intgrative cancer MD I consulted has been practicing for 30 + years, and has lots of experience and evidence from his practice, but no double blind clinical trial. I decided to listen to him. He still gives chemo, rads, etc, but offers a ton of nutritional support, IVs and he administers the chemo in unique ways (slow drip over 24 hours, or pulsed according to circadian rhythms when cancer is bioactive). He gives High dose C and Curcumin IVs.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices; Proton rads. Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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May 13, 2019 08:15AM Amyadipose wrote:

thanks all, I'm frustrated because I'm in a small not very progressive town, we're 20 years behind everything.

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May 13, 2019 09:58AM sbelizabeth wrote:

When I was a kid, my grandma came a couple of times to stay with us when my mom went to the hospital for a "biopsy." We all held our breath until we knew Mom had emerged from the operating room with her breast still attached to her chest. Even back then, I knew it was a horrible practice to subject someone to anesthesia not knowing if they would awaken with just a small biopsy incision or missing their breast, lymph nodes, and muscles of the chest.

I've taken letrozole for 7 years now, and yeah, I'm not a fan of the muscle aches, sore hands, stiffness, and cramps. But with my Stage III cancer, I'm grateful to have a weapon to keep the beast chained up and asleep. This specific drug wasn't even available until 2004.

Remember the Star Trek movie when Bones was racing around a 20th century hospital and was appalled at the barbaric treatments he encountered? In 2099 people will be astonished that "back then, they cut off breasts to treat this disease..."

Amyadipose, I understand your frustration though. Maybe you could arrange a consultation at an NCI-designated cancer center and bring their recommendations to your local doctor.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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May 13, 2019 11:56AM Beesie wrote:

santabarbarian, while no drug company would sponsor research on high dose vitamin C (as an example), this is where universities/hospitals come in, along with funding from government bodies (NIH in the U.S., for example) and charitable organizations. As an example, University Health Network in Toronto, which is where I was treated and which includes Princess Margaret Hospital (one of the top cancer-only hospitals in the world), is one of the top 5 cancer research facilities in the world.

On the Clinical Trial database, when I input "Breast Cancer" and "Vitamin", I come up with 121 studies, almost all of which are/were being done at universities (I did see Novartis pop up on one study).

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=Breast...


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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May 13, 2019 04:08PM Salamandra wrote:

The studies continue to show that in most cases (where water quality is not an issue) formula feeding *is* just as good as breast-feeding...

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/2/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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May 13, 2019 04:38PM SummerAngel wrote:

To echo Bessie's point, studies are done on natural compounds in some settings. I was involved in a study for Essential Tremor using a widely available supplement called caprylic acid (i.e. octanoic acid), conducted at the NIH in Maryland. Here is the published study, which led to further studies using higher dosages: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3653213/

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 3/27/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/28/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/4/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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May 13, 2019 06:24PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

For those of you not familiar with radical mastectomies, read up on it. They cut and scraped off as much tissue and muscle as they could . Dr. Halsted was quite proud of scraping down to the bone! So relative to those days, we have made great improvements. My grandmother had a radical mastectomy and it was a hideous, deforming and crippling surgery. As was common, all the muscle was taken.

My treatment center, though conventional, offers many complimentary supports such as nutrition classes, organic farmer’s market, acupuncture, yoga etc. These support the standard care practices. I have used many of these services but do not consider them to be the main reason I’m doing well after 7+ years at stage IV.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 13, 2019 06:59PM Amyadipose wrote:

sbelizabeth I quote bones all the time! "What is this, the Spanish inquisition??" Lol

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May 13, 2019 08:05PM LoriCA wrote:

exbrnxgrl I wonder if it's a California thing - all of the hospitals here in south OC have Wellness Centers that offer a full range of integrative and complementary holistic therapies, my hospital even has a naturopathic center and Chinese herbal medicines which really surprised me. Like you said most of it is supposed to be used in addition to traditional treatment, not instead of, but it's so nice to have all of it available. Many of the classes are free (Qigong, tai chi, yoga, pilates, guided meditation, nutrition, art therapy), but the other services are usually priced well below the going local rate.

IBC Stage IV de novo - mets throughout skeleton (bones & now bone marrow), liver, dozens of distant nodes, chest wall/pec muscle, skin, tumor in brachial nerves, thyroid, polycythemia from bone marrow involvement Dx 9/8/2017, IBC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 9/26/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 2/6/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/6/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/30/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Kadcyla (T-DM1, ado-trastuzumab)
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May 13, 2019 09:40PM - edited May 13, 2019 09:43PM by Yndorian

This Post was deleted by Yndorian.
Dx 9/24/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/11/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 13, 2019 09:43PM Yndorian wrote:

The israelis said than in a year they will release a cheaper, effective and less harmfull cancer cure. I hope it will true

Dx 9/24/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/11/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 13, 2019 09:53PM Yndorian wrote:

Cancer treatments are very expensive. The big pharma won't accept to investigate nothing wich they will can't patenting, like euphoria turicalli latex, which investigation was prohibed because of his good result. There are many studies published about her eficacy. I won't to leave traditional treatments but y trate to complementary with natural medicine

Dx 9/24/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/11/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 13, 2019 10:09PM - edited May 13, 2019 10:10PM by exbrnxgrl

LoriCA,

Yes, however some might roll their eyes and say it's another weird CA thing. I'm a Kaiser member (Santa Clara) and I have always liked their focus on wellness. As a 7+ year stage IV patient who leads a relatively normal life, I will proudly be CA weird 😉.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 14, 2019 05:06AM ShetlandPony wrote:

Amy, it seems so unfair that some places are behind other places In their approach and offer less to patients. If you are interested in a DIY complementary therapy program, I can recommend some good books and ideas. Though Iknow that doesn't solve the problem of unenlightened or uncaring medical providers.

2011 Stage I ILC 1.5cm grade1 ITCs sn Lumpectomy,radiation,tamoxifen. 2014 Stage IV ILC mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD

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