An exciting fresh take on cancer treatment

This is an important development not just in breast cancer research, but in leading to a new, workable treatment for multiple cancers.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1260478-dalhousie-researchers-find-drug-combination-that-‘shut-down’-tumours

Normally I don’t post articles about new drug or treatment therapies because it gives false hope to desperate people. As soon as some new drug or therapy is mentioned in the press patients or their families flood doctors with questions and requests for the new miracle.

When faced with cancer, people will go to any length. I’ve known people so desperate for a cure they flew to Mexico to juice a type of sea grass in the hope it would do what a medical quack promised. It didn’t.

Over the years I have had numerous doctors from a radical cancer specialist to the leading surgeon in his field tell me there have been improvements in treatment, but no cure. The slogan that ‘cancer can be beaten’ is cruel to the point of misleading.

Which brings me to why I avoid mention of most new drugs and therapies. People who are inflicted need something now. But with anything new in medicine there is a multi-year process in place to test the effectiveness, safety and side-effects. That can take three-to-five years before anything moves from theoretical and experimental to a point where a physician can prescribe it. We don’t want to have another mistake like thalidomide. That time span gets lost or ignored in most medical reporting or is buried in the ‘fine print’.

This finding by Dalhousie University researchers is exciting because it represents a new way of thinking, using existing drugs. I don’t know if that would speed up the approval process, but it’s encouraging to see fresh thinking which, whether it is or isn’t effective for breast cancer, might have applications for other tumours. This could change a lot. BUT, if you are ill or know someone who is, don’t call your doctor just yet.

 

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2 Responses to An exciting fresh take on cancer treatment

  1. Bubbie says:

    As far back as I can remember there have been promises of discoveries with the possibility of curing cancer but none ever came to fruition.

    In the 80s it was Interferon and was even featured in Time Magazine (I still have that edition of Time) as a cure for cancer but turned out to be a dud. Around that same time there was a report in the newspaper ( I still have that clipping) that promised a vaccine within fifteen years as a prevention for cancer. Fifteen plus years have gone by since the vaccine was suppose to come on the market and the vaccine has not appeared. Just a few years ago Dal researchers were working on a cure for a virus that was affecting the seal population that was reputed to be a possible cure for cancer but it too went off into oblivion.

    The basic treatment for cancer has flat lined and has been the same for decades and is comprised of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the latter two being toxic to healthy cells in the human body.

    In his book, The End of Illness, David Agus states that for all the money spent on cancer research there has been little or no advancement leading to a cure for cancer. As a matter of fact, he illustrates with use of graphs the great advancements that have been made for heart disease and diabetes and in comparison the search for a cure for cancer is just about a flat line. Here’s what he says about research into cancer cures: “It’s been almost a century since deadly infectious disease was pushed into the background of the West’s mortality tables. Yet while deaths from the leading chronic killer, heart disease, have declined by 60 per cent in the developed world since 1950, the cancer death rate has barely budged.”

    His suggestion to avoid cancer is to control inflammation within the body and do everything to prevent the body from becoming inflamed such as a proper diet, rest, exercise and getting regular flu vaccinations as well as vaccinations for pneumonia and shingles, basically, anything that will prevent the lowering of the immune system to ward off cancer growth.

    Here are some suggestions from his book:
    – Take statins if you’re over 50, and baby Aspirin, too.
    – Drop the vitamin supplements like they were a lit cigarette.
    – Junk the juicer.
    – If the vegetables at the supermarket aren’t today-fresh, opt for fresh frozen.
    -Wear sensible shoes.
    – Eat lunch and go to bed at the same time every day.
    – Get your flu shot.
    – Move around a lot, even when you aren’t exercising.
    – Digitize your medical records, family history and genetic profile, and store this information on a USB stick. Carry it with you always. Share it, anonymously, with the world.

    Think of yourself as a system: cancer is not something the body gets and health is not something it has—both are states, dynamic processes really, that the body undergoes. And your system is not the same as anyone else’s: the daily glass of red wine that does wonders for your friend may be killing you. Take note of the specific, unchanging details of your system. Is your ring finger longer than your index finger? That ups the risk of prostate cancer for a man, and of osteoarthritis for a woman. (No one knows quite why, but the marker is well-established.) Keep an eye on your more changeable fine points. Check your nails: yellowish hue bad (go for a diabetes check); white crescent at the base good (iron levels are sufficient). Check your ankles: indentation marks from your socks or loss of hair could mean circulatory problems and increased risk of blood clot.

    Dr. Agus’ book is a must read, albeit, self promoting but uncovers the truth about cancer research.

    • You’ve mentioned Dr. Angus’s book before. It has obviously had a profound effect on you. I shall add it to my reading list.

      What interests me about the recent announcement is that, unlike the bulk of medical announcements, this wasn’t about inventing a new drug, but rethinking how to work with existing medications. To be simplistic, Aspirin was developed to address pain, only later did the researchers realize it could help some people reduce their exposure to a heart episode. Two years ago, while a friend was undergoing chemotherapy, I learned chemo can clear up psoriasis. Then if a person goes into coma, doctors try to bring them out of it. However, some medical cases are so extreme that doctors will induce a coma to get a patient past a critical period.

      I like this secondary thinking. Otherwise I remain a cancer skeptic. In the 28 years since we lost a young member of our family to breast cancer nothing much seems to have changed. Specialists can’t even agree on whether or not women should get a mammogram. I am hoping this one time such an announcement is about pure science and not fundraising.

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