How do lifestyle factors and exposure to environmental substances affect our cancer risk?
by past_the_past on Fri Dec 10, 2010 05:00 AM
I am 43 years young...................On Feb. 14th 2010 I was taken to the emergency room for abdominal pain. It had been nearly a week since I had had a bowel movement, and I honestly thought it was my gallbaldder. The shocking truth was unbelievable! The next thing I knew I was in the operating room having a 9 x 5 CM tumor removed from my ascending colon. It was almost like watching a movie, or having a dream. Unlikely events happening in varying degrees of fast and slow motion. The next day brought the worst news. Mets to both lobes of my liver, with no hope of surgical removal. Chemo it would be for me. Being the type "a" personality that I am, I was on the computer ASAP researching every angle. What about nutrition? What about wholistic medicine? What are my chances, etc. I received 14 treatments all together 10 FOLFOX+ avastin, and then the Ox was removed due to neuropathy. I chose to stop chemo when the scans revealed no change to the tumors from the previous scan (after about 1/2 reduction in size since the beginning). The latest scan, just 3 mos. into a "break" shows growth of the largest tumor, but other lesions remain stable. My doctor now wants to put me on FOLFIRI+Avastin aggressively. I don't like the idea of it. So, my question now is, has anyone any first hand experience with successful wholistic approaches to stage IV colon cancer?
by itsmelissa on Sat Dec 11, 2010 01:12 AM
When you find out any success, please let me know. I was on both treatments and they found reoccurrence two months after I stopped treatment. I am discouraged as I guess the next chemo treatment is the last one available and I will have to go on clinical trials in an effort to save my life. I was diagnosed June of 09, at 38 yo. Healthy, married and two young boys.
by past_the_past on Sat Dec 11, 2010 03:48 AM
I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I am overwhelmed by the number of young people who are developing this disease. Do yourself a favor and don't get down, it doesn't help you or the people who love you. A positive attitude may not be the cure, but it sure makes life more pleasant for everyone involved.
Have you changed your diet or done any research? I have done both, mounds of research, and a major change in my diet to mainly raw foods. I find hope through stories of improved quality of life and extention of life. It is encouraging, but I am still hopeful about long term remission. I truly believe there is more available than mainstream medicine offers. I am going to see a chinese doctor at The American Chinese Medical Association this Monday. They claim they can send cancer into remission and have a high success rate even with stage 4 cancers. They don't use chemo, but in stead a drastic and strict dietary regimen. At this point I am willing to try anything, because I don't have anything to lose. We heard about them from one of my husbands customers, who has been following their recommendations and has been in remission for 4 years. That is the only reason I agreed to go.
My heart goes out to you and your family. I am turning 44 on Monday. I have been with my husband since we were 18 years old, and I have a 21 year old son.
I would suggest, no matter how much you like your doctor, that you seek second and third opinions from doctors in hospitals that are known for cancer care. I am uninsured, and recently was accepted by medicaid. My resources are limited, so it's been a challenge to get real help. Cancer is big business, and a cure is not in the best interest of the medical field. Treatment is. Most conventional doctors will scoff at the suggestion that nutrition will play an important role in treatment. Doctors are not trained in nutrition, but in medicine. It is astonishing how ignorant they are about it. My doctor actually told me that if it made me feel better, I could go out and buy the cheapest multi vitamin on the market, but that it would do no good. HOW ignorant! Of course it matters what you feed your body, and in the past 50 years our society has seen a drastic decline in the healthiness of our food. Between fast food and processed boxed foods it's no wonder we are all getting sick!
For your family's sake (because this is commonly a hereditary disease) seek information on healthy foods, and get them acustom to it as soon as possible. My son is too "smart" to listen to me, but if your boys are still young, you could have a great impact on their future health.
Sorry to ramble, I will update you on what the doc says on Monday, and how I feel about it.
I am still scheduled to start the FOLFIRI on Wed.
by ernie58 on Sat Dec 11, 2010 05:43 AM
Dear Past the past and itsmelissa:
Don't resign yourselves to what the docs always say! The dr's do not know you. They know about disease. In June '05, I was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer. At the time, I was 43. I had been married for close to 16 years and my wife and I have 5 kids. Further, 3 weeks prior to my diagnosis, one of my then 2 yr old twins was diagnosed as an insulin dependent diabetic. However, I have seen one of my kids graduate high school and go to college, I have 2 others in high school now and my twins are in the 2nd grade. I have coached baseball and basketball for all of them. This past sunday, I went to my 30 yr high school reunion.
It has not gone as smoothly as I had hoped but I am still here. The disease has spread to my liver and I have had two resections. I have undergone several rounds of chemo ( will probably have to go back on treatment in'11), radiation and surgeries. All have bought me time that I have been able to be a husband and Dad ( although I still don't like it when they borrow the car! haha).
Please look at cyberknife, a hepatic pump and add more fiber to your diet. I am not out of the woods and managing the side effects can be very difficult but I still plan on going to the beach in July, teaching my kids to drive and apologizing to my wife for whatever she perceives that I did wrong that day ( haha).
Finally, keep praying. It will give you some peace and strength.
by nnpacker on Mon Dec 20, 2010 07:52 PM
Deja vu. I was 42 in 08 and in the ER for what I thought was gall bladder constipation too. In fact they sent me home for me to just be back 4 hours later vomitting. Then 48 hrs later I'm post surgery, with an ostomy and 3 active nodes. wackiness ensues and I have mets to cervix and have had chemo just about every 9 mos since. I'm fed up frankly so I relate to your type a personality and questions. A good place friends have tried for the holisitc approach is cancer treatment centers of america. You can call or computer chat with them. I am just astounded at the number of folks my age with this disease. I go to infusion lab and am easily 15 years younger than the rest.
by Cptmac on Mon Dec 27, 2010 06:08 AM
I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at the age of 43 in 2004. I was told that I has six months to live but that I could die at any moment. I seached until I found the right doctor for me, one who was willing to take me on as a patient.
Divide this list up from US News and World report and have you and your family call and get other opinions.
The U of Minnesota had the right trial for me. I have been cancer free since Sept of 2004.
I'd also look at the colon club it's for people under 50 who are diagnosed.
by kays65 on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:13 PM
My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer about 4 years ago with 1 lymph node affected out of 17 they removed. He did conventional chemo for 13 treatments. He didn't want to do the chemo, because they basically said the cancer was removed, but the oncologist convinced us that it would help keep it from coming back. It has now metastasized to his liver. He decided he was done with conventional therapy. I know that it helps people, however for alot of our own reasons, he refused the therapy. He is now doing Insulin Potentiation Therapy & getting a 10% chemotherapy dose. You may want to look into this. Most conventional Doctors will treat you like you are nuts, but it is your body. Also there is a good book you could read by Suzanne Somers called Knockout, Interviews with Doctors who are curing Cancer. Very informative. I agree that there is alot of money made in the cancer industry, and a cure would put a big halt to that. I also believe that Diet & Supplements can be very beneficial. His Dr. didn't educate him at all about diet, and basically told him to take what he wanted. When we asked him if Cancer loves sugar he said it wasn't true which I don't believe. So anyway, I could go on and on, but I encourage you to research alternative therapies, and read that book. There is alot of hopeful information in there, and stories of people who were told to "Get their affairs in order" who are living well years later. I'm hoping that this works for my husband, and he still has some side effects, but I can't imagine him doing it full force. Good Luck to you.
by tylasimone on Fri Jan 07, 2011 08:53 AM
I was diagnosed with staged 4 colon cancer a little more than 3 yrs ago. with lymph nodes affected. I did 5-6 wks chemo-radiation followed by surgery suposesively to remove a walnut size tumor, turns out over 1/3 of my colon was over radiated (burned) they won't admitted. they ended up removing over 1/3 of my colon & 8 lymph nodes. it was sugested i follow up with another 6-8 wks of chemo of which i declined. I also during the 2nd week of chemo-rad treatment, started an a very agressive nutritional treatment as outlined the the book by bill henderson "Cancer Free " (highly recommended). the cancer was in remmision for 6mos, the cancer came back & also metastasized to my lungs & more lymph nodes. The oncologists would only offer to extend my life afew months maybe a yr. with a very agressive chemo program of which i declinded, i continued the treatment outlined in the book by bill henderson "cancer free" also the book "outside the box" by ty bollinger (highly, highly reccommended) & also "knockout" by Suzane Somers and a host of other supplements researched online, a lot of trial & error DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Dr. Jesus Christ is my specialist. Today i feels great tomorrow ???
by kays65 on Fri Jan 07, 2011 03:11 PM
I agree tylasimone. It's not easy to say no to your Dr. and they can be very convincing that what they have is best for you. I'm learning, and I know Jesus is teaching me to trust in Him regardless of what we see. Thanks for the book suggestions, Cancer Free, and the other one. I will check that out also. Past to past, please do your own research & check out these books before undergoing this chemo plan. Another book that my husband found very informative was Questioning Chemotherapy by Ralph Moss. From what I've read, chemo will only help tumors initially, and then they aren't of much help. I'm hoping the delivery of my husbands treatment (ipt), and all the homeopathic things he is taking will be what he needs, but ultimately I know it is up to God
by asuehiro on Sun Jan 09, 2011 08:19 PM
Your story sounds familiar because my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Here is our story that I recently responded to another writer who's mother was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer:
"Sorry to hear about your mom. She is lucky to have someone like you who cares about her. Here is my story.
My wife had her colon cancer removed in April, 2008. It had also spread to her liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. Like you, I was devastated and I immediately thought that her life was measured in days (yes, I am a pessimist), Well, come April it will be 3 years of survival. She had been given less than a 5% chance of making it to 5 years, so I think she has been on the mend. Her CEA count (a blood tumor marker) has dropped to under 2.5, so she is almost like a normal person who does not have any known tumor (I think all of us have cancer floating around in us but it is only when we have tumors that it becomes life threatening), but a CT scan will offer real visual evidence. So far, chemo has been her ongoing treatment. The treatment was stopped for a couple of months so that she could get some dental work done and the CEA went up, so chemo was resumed after the dental work was completed and the CEA went back down from about 6.5 to the current level after just a few treatments.
One thing that she is doing that is sort of frowned upon by the medical staff is that she is fasting for 48 hours prior to each chemo session. Her reason for doing this fast is because there is currently ongoing human trials at USC by a scientist, Valter Longo, who believes that fasting causes non-cancerous fast growing cells to go into a sort of survival mode that resists the onslaught of chemo and some of the terrible side effects that we all know about. Meanwhile, the cancer cells don't have this ability to shield itself against the chemo and the chemo affects it as expected. While it may be true that the end result may not change as far as the chemo treatment goes, the ability to handle the chemo may be significantly better.
I can tell you that my wife is handling the chemo much better than I could have imagined and she isn't depressed. In fact, she is very upbeat and believes she is beating this disease. I know her oncologist greets her with a big smile...this coming from someone who is used to seeing his stage 4 patients go on a downhill slide.
Anyway, look up the 48-hour fast by Valter Longo. I think he may be on to something. My wife is doing th fasting on her own and is not part of the human trials going on at USC. And the fact that he was given a grant to do the human trials tells us that others believe that his hypothesis holds water. Another thing that happens when my wife does the fast is that she becomes proactive and feels she is doing something to make herself better and is not just passively lying down while drugs are pumped into her. It is a personal choice and I am actually proud of her. Needless to say, it just reinforces her positive outlook and who knows how important that can be when being depressed is the order of the day.
Good luck and try to stay upbeat.
Doing the fast may not be easy, but when your life may be at stake it is a small price to pay every other week. My wife also works a couple of days a week, so she still feels normal. Her hair has also ceased falling out and this may/may not be due to the fasting. The way I see it, living to year 3 with her cancer in remission is not a bad situation for a stage 4 patient. She just may make it. I hope your mom is as fortunate."
BTW, my wife is on the FOLFOX5 chemo regimen. It is funny that before my wife was supposed to start her chemo, she tried to "chicken out" after initially agreeing to do it. She let all the talk about chemo from relatives and friends scare her, but I convinced her otherwise because she should at least try it. I would certainly look into the 48-hour fast because I really believe that it makes a difference. Or contact the USC Medical Center and Valter Longo's research project. His previous findings using lab animals is worth looking at. We did...and no regrets at this point.
Good luck to you. And don't give up before even starting your fight.
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