Cancer Surgery- make the most of the most effective therapy

In many cancer diagnoses surgery to debulk or remove the cancerous tumor is the first and often, most effective therapy. As a newly diagnosed cancer patient we can research the risks and benefits of chemo or radiation before surgery compared to chemo or radiation after surgery. Or you might not want to undergo any chemo or radiation before or after.

But most everyone will agree that surgery to remove the cancer is the most important therapy, that therapy that is the biggest bang for the buck.

Be it a lumpectomy for breast cancer stage 0 to cancer diagnoses of stage 4 for surgeries that are major shocks to the body, prehabilitation and enhanced recovery protocols have been shown to  reduce infection rates, reducing hospital stays, reduce costs- in short, improve outcomes.

The studies linked and excerpted below report how to maximize surgical outcomes. For more information on both conventional and non-conventional therapies for cancer, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Patients Bounce Back Faster From Surgery With Hospitals’ New Protocol

“Though the evidence is strongest in colorectal surgery, the approach is being used with an increasing range of procedures including hip fracture and joint replacements and surgeries for bladder, pancreas, liver and breast cancer

With traditional regimens, patients can remain in the hospital for 10 days or more with complication rates of up to 48% and an average $10,000 in additional costs, according to researchers at Duke University School of Medicine…

Cancer Prehabilitation Improves Outcomes

“Cancer Prehabilitation is one or more therapies that each of us understands intuitively. Performing a certain exercise to prepare for surgery to improve the healing time or the recovery time just makes sense. Learning about your cancer diagnosis in order…”

‘Prehabilitation’ Before Colon Cancer Surgery May Aid Recovery

“Prehabilitation prepares patients to withstand the stress of surgery so they are able to recover faster and function better after the procedure,”

“Pre-surgery conditioning helps patients take an active role in their own recovery. We believe instituting prehabilitation before surgery when possible could improve health and recovery and reduce costs…”

Surgery is the primary treatment for colorectal cancer, the third most common type of cancer in the United States, the researchers noted…

“Even when there are no complications, colorectal cancer surgery patients suffer from a 20 to 40 percent reduction in functional capacity after surgery…”

Posted in Newly Diagnosed Tagged with:

Triple Negative Breast Cancer- Integrative and Complementary therapies…

Like all cancer diagnoses, the key to prognosis and a treatment plan are based on the stage at diagnosis. You may have read that triple negative breast cancer can be more aggressive and more difficult to treat. This may be true.

This is also true for my cancer-multiple myeloma. They key to my treatment and possibly triple negative breast cancer is pursuing the spectrum of therapies that PBC has researched and that I continue to take to remain cancer free.

Moderate daily exercise, mind-body therapies such as mediation, yoga or prayer, nutrition, coupled with conventional therapies linked and excerpted below as well as anti-triple BC supplementation, also linked and excerpted below. Taken together as a therapy plan gives me and perhaps the triple negative BC patient, the best long-term plan for survival.

 For more information on both conventional and non-conventional cancer therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Complementary Therapies Can Boost Survival in Cancer Patients

“A new review of evidence drawn from experimental and epidemiologic studies, as well as a few clinical trials, demonstrates that several of the integrative approaches and lifestyle changes might also influence cancer survivorship…

Treatment for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

“Triple-negative breast cancer is typically treated with a combination of therapies such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy…”
Chemotherapy Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment

“…chemotherapy has been shown to be the most effective triple-negative breast cancer treatment option because of the way it works in killing the rapidly dividing cancer cells. The most common chemotherapy regimen used includes a combination of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), which is commonly referred to as ‘AC.’ Some patients also are treated with a third drug — either fluorouracil (5-FU), Taxol (paclitaxel) or Taxotere (docetaxel) –along with AC chemotherapy. Other patients may be treated with Ellence (epirubicin) instead of the Adriamycin, which is then called an ‘EC’ regimen.

Curcumin exhibits anti-triple negative breast cancer action as well as acting to temper the toxicity of conventional chemotherapies.

Can vitamin D halt growth of triple-negative breast cancer?

“Vitamin D supplementation may be able to slow or even halt the progression of the most dangerous variety of breast cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers from Saint Louis University…”

Natural extract shows promise for preventing breast cancer, study suggests

“In a new study, the extract from rosehips — the fruit of the rose plant — significantly reduced the growth and migration of cells from a type of breast cancer known as triple negative. This particularly aggressive form of cancer does not respond to most available treatments and tends to affect young women as well as those who are African-American or Hispanic….”

 

Posted in Newly Diagnosed Tagged with: ,

Mythbusters: Does This Cause Cancer? Bisphenol A (BPA), Roundup and cancer

PeopleBeatingCancer is written for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. I research, consider and write about cancer issues based on what I do as a cancer survivor myself. I try to limit environmental factors that have been linked to cancer, such as BPA or the pesticide called Roundup (glyphosate).

In other words,  environmental or lifestyle factors that are linked to cancer do not need to be “zero-sum” for me. I don’t need a governmental institution or other authoritative source to proclaim that “BPA causes cancer.” Anymore than “couch sitting causes cancer.”

I read the type of information linked below that cites a number of animal studies that link BPA to cancer and I decide that I should limit BPA in my diet (and my son’s diet) as much as I can.

In short, I don’t need to read “BPA causes cancer.” Rather, “BPA Increases Cancer Risk” (supported by evidence) is enough to encourage lifestyle changes on my part.

I think all cancer survivors should avoid BPA and Roundup as much as possible based on the studies linked and excerpted below.

For more information about non-conventional therapies to reduce your risk of cancer or your risk of cancer relapse, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP. 

Thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term Cancer survivor, Creator, Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Does BPA Increase Cancer Risk?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s cancer research division, has classified 107 such agents to be carcinogenic to humans; these include tobacco, asbestos, benzene, arsenic, ionizing radiation, and ultraviolet radiation...

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 90% of Americans have BPA in their urine,[1] probably because the chemical can leach from bottles and cans…[2,3]

Aside from a link to cancer, research also suggests that BPA can promote a range of other health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and infertility…[14-16]

Despite the mounting evidence in animal models, a causal link between BPA and cancer risk in humans has not been confirmed. According to the World Health Organization’s 2014 World Cancer Report, “Definitive proof of the role of BPA in human cancer induction is likely to remain limited, not least by ethical limits to human experiments…

What the expert says: According to Dr Soto, “If we take the results in animal models together, I think we have enough evidence to conclude that BPA increases the risk for breast and prostate cancer in humans.

Verdict: Plausible to likely, given strong evidence in animal models.”

Weed Killer, Long Cleared, Is Doubted

“Thirty years ago, an Environmental Protection Agency committee determined that the popular weed killer Roundup might cause cancer. Six years later, in 1991, the agency reversed itself after re-evaluating the mouse study that had been the basis for the original conclusion…

The International Agency for Research on Cancer looks at a very narrow question: whether a substance or behavior might cause cancer under some circumstances, even if those circumstances are unlikely to occur. It does not weigh the benefit versus the risks of a chemical, leaving that up to national regulators…”

 

 

Posted in non-conventional therapies Tagged with: ,

Mythbusters: Complementary and Alternative Treatments in Cancer-Exercise

I’ve written about exercise as a beneficial cancer therapy on PBC so often I’m afraid that my readers will become tired of the subject. I write about the benefit of exercise to cancer patients before, during and after therapy so often because I come across research on the subject regularly. In fact, I have found research and therefore written about exercise more often than any other cancer topic.

No other therapy is more effective or cheaper for cancer patients than exercise. And I’m not talking about anything beyond taking a brisk walk around the block (30 min.) each day.

In this post I link and excerpt a Medscape article and then link all of the PBC exercise articles below that.

For more information about non-conventional cancer therapies for breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, women’s, AYA, pediatric, blood, or any other cancer, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Exercise

“Proposition: Engaging in physical activity, such as walking, running or recreational sports, can improve cancer survival.

What the science says: The benefits of exercise for both mental and physical health cannot be denied. Since 1996, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that adults engage in moderate-intensity activities, such as a brisk walk or jog, for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.[4]

A 2005 prospective, observational study, which followed almost 3000 women diagnosed with nonmetastatic breast cancer, found that those who engaged in moderate physical activity — equivalent to walking 3-5 hours each week at a modest pace — significantly lowered their risk of dying from breast cancer compared with their more sedentary peers.[7]

Exercise may also enhance survival for those diagnosed with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer.[8

Verdict: Confirmed. The evidence showing that regular moderate-to-vigorous exercise improves survival for men and women diagnosed with a range of cancers is compelling.

Frequent Moderate Exercise is the key to Surviving Cancer

Exercise, supplementation, lifestyle therapies after cancer treatment to manage short, long-term and late stage side effects

The key to your anti-cancer exercise program is “habit”

For All Body Types, Exercise May Reduce Endometrial Cancer Risk

Exercise May Put Breast Cancer on the Run

Cancer- Exercise Before, During and After treatment.

Anti-aging and anti-cancer- one and the same?

 

 

 

Posted in Newly Diagnosed Tagged with:

Vitamin D3 as anti-aging therapy?

The two excerpts below are almost the same. Both talk about the “cancer,” both talk about the “diseases of old age,” and both talk about a pill. At least when I supplement with vitamin D3, 1000 mg daily, it is in the form of a pill.

Seriously, one small pill daily and my blood serum of vitamin D3 is in the normal range.

Blood testing/diagnostics for the layman (me)-LabCorp blood work 10/14

Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy     31.9                                     ng/mL                          30.0-100.0″

For the sake of argument I think it’s important to point out that I don’t believe in an “anti-aging” pill. But I do take  those supplements that are supported by “evidence-based”  studies that reduce the risk of cancer. In the case of vitamin D3, this supplementation also reduces my risk of “cognitive decline, depression, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer…”

For more information on supplements and lifestyle therapies that reduce cancer and other debilitating diseases of old age, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term Cancer Survivor, Creator, Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Anti-aging and anti-cancer- one and the same?

“They want to test a pill that could prevent or delay some of the most debilitating diseases of old age, including Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. The focus of the project isn’t to prolong life, although that could occur, but to make the last years or decades of people’s lives more fulfilling by postponing the onset of many chronic diseases until closer to death…

Vitamin D may help prevent, treat diseases associated with aging

“Vitamin D may play a vital role in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with aging, according to researchers. Researchers reviewed evidence that suggests an association between vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases associated with aging such as cognitive decline, depression, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer…

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Termanally-Ill Children

Full disclosure: I have a son that I love more than life itself. Much of this post stems from my thinking about my own cancer experience and what I may do if Alex had cancer…

The three articles linked and excerpted below encapsulate my education regarding the cancer journey that is not cured.

Approximately 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer annually. About 70,000 of those diagnoses are Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer patients and about 10,000 are pediatric patients. Adults are old enough are responsible to make decisions for themselves.

It is AYA and pediatric cancer patients that I worry about. The first article linked and excerpted explains how the views of terminally-ill patients should be considered.

Should a parent or other caregiver have the final say about conventional chemo or radiation for the pediatric or AYA cancer patient? Even if that chemo or radiation is painful with little hope of increasing length-of-life?

Consider this: the therapy that saved my life, antineoplaston therapy (ANP), was allowed by the FDA on a “compassionate use” basis. Please read the post about the “right to try” movement in the United States today.

ANP was not painful. It was not aggressive in the way that toxic chemo and radiation can be. The doctor that discovered ANP is considered a quack by many people- Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski.

The third blog post linked below talks about Brittany Maynard. Brittany was diagnosed with brain cancer and told that she was “terminal.” The word, in this case, is defined by conventional oncology. My point being that there are other therapies that may have been used to treat Brittany’s brain cancer that may not have been painful and that may have meant that she was not “terminal.”

To look at cancer differently than conventional oncologists do, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term Cancer Survivor, Creator, Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Views of Terminally-Ill Children Should Be Heard: New UK Guidelines

“LONDON (Reuters) – Britain issued new guidance on Tuesday for doctors treating severely or terminally ill children, strongly advising that children’s own views on whether they want to live or die should be taken into account…

A child who has had many chemotherapy sessions, or a bone marrow or organ transplant that has not gone well “will have more informed views about continuing treatment than an adult facing such treatment for the first time”, the advice says…

Vi Larcher, a former consultant in pediatrics and ethics, and co-author of the guidance, said it sought to address “an underlying concern that we’re doing too much for too many for too long”…

Yet the guidelines, published in Archives of Disease in Childhood, urge doctors to consider carefully whether continuing treatment is always the right thing for a very sick child.”

Terminal Cancer, Compassionate Use, and The Right-to-Try Revolt

“Compassionate Use of an experimental cancer chemotherapy saved my life.

My story is pretty typical of multiple myeloma patients. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in ’93. I underwent three years of aggressive standard-of-care oncology-(VAD, Cytoxan, Auto PBSCT, local radiation) remission, relapse, remission, relapse and then the words that cancer patients fear, “there is nothing more that we can do for you.”

Who told Brittany Maynard that she was “terminal?”

“Let me begin by saying that I believe that all cancer patients who want to end their own lives have the right to do so. Second, let me say that a “terminal” diagnosis is almost unbearable for the patient and his/her caregivers. Yes, brain cancer can be both aggressive and painful. But the main reason why a terminal cancer diagnosis is difficult for a person like Brittany Maynard is that she believes that she has little alternative but to take her own life.

Have you ever heard or read about a cancer patient who beats the odds? When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma I was given 3-5 years and told that MM was “incurable.” That was in 1994…”

 

Posted in Survivors Tagged with:

CT risks and the cancer patient

Yes, cancer patients want more info about CT or (computed tomography) risk. But this risk, the concern on the part of the average cancer patient is not simply about one test, one dose. The first article linked below talks about cancer patients wanting more information from their doctors about the cancer risk from a CT scan.

The second article linked below talks about how patients overestimate the benefits of medical therapies and underestimate the harms.

If you are diagnosed with cancer you will probably face many, perhaps dozens, of doses of cancer during your initial therapy and follow-up diagnostics. Each dose will increase your risk of cancer.

So the question that you should be asking your doctor is about your lifetime risk of cancer that may occur from your lifetime dose of therapeutic radiation, CT or other diagnostic imaging tests in addition to any other forms of radiation.

To learn more about non-toxic therapies to reduce your risks from radiation or integrative therapies to enhance your conventional chemo or radiation, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Cancer Patients Want More Info About CT Risks

“Some cancer patients would like more information on the health risks of their radiology tests, a new study found…

The participants were generally grateful for the benefits that the imaging tests provide but were concerned about the cumulative risks of having several scans. They would have liked their doctors to explain in more detail which tests were being ordered, when, and their associated risks…

Some study participants wanted to know the rationale for ordering some tests versus alternatives.”

If Patients Only Knew How Often Treatments Could Harm Them

“For example, a study published in 2012 in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology asked patients to estimate the risks associated with a CT scan. A single CT scan exposes a patient to the same amount of radiation as 300 chest X-rays, and carries with it a 1-in-2,000 chance of inducing a fatal cancer. More than 40 percent of patients underestimated a CT’s radiation dose, and more than 60 percent of patients underestimated the risk of cancer from a CT scan…”

Radiation as CT, X-ray, therapy, know your risks-

“If the article linked below is accurate and “A single CT scan carries with it a 1-in-2,000 chance of inducing a fatal cancer,I’d say my risk of a treatment related cancer is pretty high….”

 

 

Posted in Newly Diagnosed Tagged with: ,

Frequent Moderate Exercise is the key to Surviving Cancer

My life as a cancer survivor has been dominated with two things. First, collateral damage from aggressive conventional therapies that I underwent during my first years after my diagnosis. Second, searching for non-conventional therapies in an effort to remain in complete remission while I heal my collateral damage.

Good news and bad news. I remain cancer-free but I haven’t healed my collateral damage. While I remain “ambulatory” (I can walk on my own) my lower body nerve damage is slowly inching me toward a wheelchair…

The point of this post is to credit moderate daily exercise (6 days a week) with both keeping me cancer-free as well as keeping me out of a wheelchair. The studies below document why I do what I do.

 For more information on non-conventional therapies to either enhance your conventional therapies or to lengthen your time in remission or help you remain cancer-free, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.
Thank you,
David Emerson
Long-term cancer survivor, creator, director PeopleBeatingCancer

Physical Activity: Can There Be Too Much of a Good Thing?

“Interestingly, the relationship between frequency of activity (either strenuous or any) and vascular risk was not linear but rather U-shaped; in women who engaged in strenuous activity (defined as “enough to cause sweating or a fast heart rate”) the optimal frequency of activity in terms of vascular risk reduction was 2-3 times per week which was associated with significant relative risk reductions of 17-19% compared with the rarely/never group. Any further increase in frequency of strenuous exercise beyond that point was associated with an increased vascular risk.
For any activity –that mainly included walking, gardening and housework – the optimal frequency was 4-6 times per week (compared with rarely/never) which was associated with a slightly greater 17-25% reduction in the risk of vascular outcomes in this population.

The benefits of pumping iron in later life

“While old-school wisdom held that older adults were too frail to pump iron, a growing body of research is showing that strength training helps stave off age-related disability, preserve bone mass in women and even boost brainpower...”

 

Posted in non-conventional therapies Tagged with:

Health Care Tech, Oncologists and Cancer Survivors

In his NYT Opinion article linked below, Robert M. Wachter does a great job of outlining  the current weaknesses of American medicine’s foray into high-tech healthcare as well as the potential benefits of the same high-tech healthcare.

Yet Professor Wachter talks about the keys to high-tech healthcare so superficially as to almost gloss over the main reason why doctors and hospitals are currently failing to reap the benefits of “health care tech” as Professor Wachter puts it.

  • guide the treatment of individual patients…
  • make it easier for patients to choose…”
  • “changes in the work force and culture…”

The key to health care tech? People. Both doctors and patients. When health care tech moves each group of users closer to each other with a shared o, then and only then will we begin to address the unique challenges of healthcare.

For more information about both conventional and non-conventional cancer management, scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

Cancer Survivor, Creator, Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Why Health Care Tech Is Still So Bad

“…Health care, our most information-intensive industry, is plagued by demonstrably spotty quality, millions of errors and backbreaking costs. We will never make fundamental improvements in our system without the thoughtful use of technology. Even today, despite the problems, the evidence shows that care is better and safer with computers than without them…

Big-data techniques will guide the treatment of individual patients, as well as the best ways to organize our systems of care…

New apps will make it easier for patients to choose the best hospitals and doctors for specific problems — and even help them decide whether they need to see a doctor at all…

Unleashing the power of computerization depends on two keys, like a safe-deposit box: the technology itself, but also changes in the work force and culture

Our iPhones and their digital brethren have made computerization look easy…

His answer, however, reflected his deep respect for the unique challenges of health care. “It’ll be when we have a technology that physicians suddenly can’t live without,” he said.

 

 

Posted in non-conventional therapies Tagged with:

Anti-aging and anti-cancer- one and the same?

Cancer and aging, aging and cancer. If you consider aging to be a disease, the two are almost interchangeable.

Therefore the Wall Street Journal article linked below is as much about managing cancer, as a disease, as it is about managing old age, as a disease.

The clinical trial discussed below, the TAME study, aims to do what I do in an effort to keep my “incurable” cancer, multiple myeloma, in remission. (for the record, I am not holding myself up as anything but a cancer survivor working to stay cancer free)

PeopleBeatingCancer is populated with blog posts about the anti-cancer benefits of supplementations such as curcumin, resveritrol, omega 3 fatty acids and lifestyle therapies such as moderate exercise and nutrition. According to the article linked below,  these anti-cancer therapies are anti-aging as well as anti-cancer.

To learn more about anti-cancer therapies (that are also anti-aging therapies), scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

Long-term Cancer Survivor, Creator, Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Scientists’ new goal: Growing old without disease

Aging is the major risk factor for all these diseases—heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s…”

They want to test a pill that could prevent or delay some of the most debilitating diseases of old age, including Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. The focus of the project isn’t to prolong life, although that could occur, but to make the last years or decades of people’s lives more fulfilling by postponing the onset of many chronic diseases until closer to death…

“Aging is the major risk factor for all these diseases—heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s,” said Nir Barzilai,  “If you want to make a real impact you have to modulate the risk of aging and by that the risk for all those diseases of aging.”

The scientists say that if TAME is a well-designed, large-scale study, the Food and Drug Administration might be persuaded to consider aging as an indication, or preventable condition, a move that could spur drug makers to target factors that contribute to aging.

Data from the study, which followed more than 3,000 adults for 15 years, are now being analyzed to see whether long-term use of metformin prevented the development of cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive decline and physical-function decline.

“We are suggesting that the time has arrived to attack them all (chronic diseases such as cancer) by going after the biological process of aging,” Dr. Olshansky said.

Effective interventions to delay aging already exist, Dr. Arbaje noted, such as exercise, nutrition, social engagement, stress reduction and getting adequate sleep. “These are reliable and effective ways to keep people healthy as they age,” she said. “The problem is they’re not as easy as taking a medication.”

 

 

 

Posted in non-conventional therapies Tagged with:

Cancer crash course

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