I know that is a scary question to ask. I’m sure you want to say, “absolutely”, but how do you really know? You can have millions of cancer cells in the body but it’s not enough to show up on a CT scan or an MRI.
Where you told “we see no evidence of disease” and told we will “wait and watch?” I’m sure there was a feeling of relief but also a concern of “what if it comes back?” I want to share with you how you can be proactive and gain peace of mind.
The Five Year Statistic
It’s important that you understand how these cancer survival rates are manipulated so you don’t have a false sense of security. Survival rates are measured five years out. They describe the number of people who are alive five years after a cancer diagnosis, excluding those who die from another disease. If a patient dies five years and one day after a diagnoses, that patient is still counted in the survival rate statistic. If the patient dies of a complication due to the treatment, such as pneumonia, this doesn’t count as a death from cancer.
The death rate from cancer has barely changed since 1950. It is simply not true to say we are winning the war on cancer. Cancer will soon pass heart disease as the number one cause of death. We are seeing cancer earlier and earlier and childhood cancer is the second highest cause of death among American children.
Because we have ways to detect cancer earlier, stage I and II, it also appears as if cancer patients are living longer, statistically, because they live past the five year survival number. The five year survival rate should be meaningless to you. You want to live longer than five years, don’t you? What you want, I’m guessing, is a treatment that will heal the body of cancer to the point where it will never return again.
Problems With Our Current Testing
When my husband was diagnosed with cancer thirty years ago, we had very few options to track for a recurrence. He would have blood work and a CT scan at six months after treatment was completed and again at one year, that was it. He actually had been told by his radiologist, “you’ve had so much radiation you’re probably looking at another kind of cancer ten years down the road.” He had had six weeks of full body radiation for lymphoma, at least the radiologist was being honest.
The most common testing we see is mammography, CT scans, MRI’s, Tumor Markers and PET scans. The problem is, millions of cancer cells can be present in the body and yet not show up on any of these. Another problem is the false-positives in PSA tests and mammograms, it is 58-77 percent. A major study reported in the British Medical Journal in 2014 concluded that “the rationale for screening by mammography should be urgently reassessed by policy makers.” That doesn’t leave us feeling very confident does it?
Don’t Wait, Watch and Wonder
I encourage you to be a proactive patient, not just an obedient patient. Don’t wait until you can see a recurrence on a scan or lab, create a tool kit of options that you can access either by yourself or with your doctors help.
I will give you some of the most popular ones in this article, but I encourage you to do your research as this is an emerging field and new tests come out regularly.
This is a new and emerging field and can be used to prevent cancer, target chemotherapy drugs and help the body to heal by looking at an individuals genes. The goal of this test in chemotherapy treatment is to identify the “genes” in the cancer cells and then make a determination of which drug would be most helpful.
This test will help you identify which conventional therapies and/or alternative therapies and nutraceuticals may work best for you, before you undergo treatment. Personalized cancer testing will detect early signs of developing cancer, help monitor existing cancers and produce an individual profile of chemotherapeutic drugs and natural substances that can be used to test your Circulating Tumor cells against approximately 98 drugs and 45 natural compounds to see what it responds to. It also tests 72 tumor related genes.
You can learn more at this website http://www.rgccusa.com
This is a new and emerging field that I have had the privilege of being part of since it’s early stages. This type of genetic testing will give you an insight into your unique “fingerprint” in the areas of methylation, detoxification, inflammation, neurotransmitters, and areas such as gluten sensitivity, absorption of vitamin D and gut sensitivities. This allows the practitioner to asses your nutritional needs and target supplements to your unique genetic profile. This is “customized nutrition” at the highest level. For more information go to www.chrismckeecnc.com and click on “genetics” on top tool bar.
Blood Cancer Marker Tests
These are tests that your doctor can order and may already be doing, but if not, ask that they be done periodically.
CEA: Broad spectrum tumor marker. Normal is <3.0 ng/mL. CA 125:
Ovarian cancer marker. Normal is 1.9-16.3 U/mL. CA 15-3:
Breast cancer marker. Normal is 7.5-53.0 U/mL. CA 19-9:
Colorectal/pancreatic cancer marker. Normal is <36 U/mL.
PSA: Prostate cancer marker. Normal is <4.0 ng/mL
A single blood test that detects 25+ different types of cancer by measuring a protein that is shed by malignant cancerous cells called ENOX2. Can be ordered by your physician (if they use it) or over the phone through Cancer Center for Healing. Learn more at https://www.econolabs.com
Navarro Urine Test
This $55 test measures the amount of cancer marker HCG in the urine. A test result under 50 indicates that cancer in the body is unlikely. Many patients use this test to monitor their progress monthly. Approximately 70% accurate – may not detect certain cancers. Order yourself. Results take about 3 weeks. http://www.navarromedicalclinic.com
A 70-gene test for early-stage breast cancer patients (0-3 positive nodes) that calculates the risk of a recurrence and whether or not a patient will “benefit” from chemotherapy. In the MINDACT phase 3 clinical trial, the MammaPrint test reduced chemotherapy prescriptions by 46% among more than 3,300 patients in the trial! This test is covered by Medicare and most insurance companies. Proven to be accurate in a phase 3 clinical trial. Learn more at www.agendia.com
An 18-gene test for Stage 2 colon cancer patients that calculates the risk of recurrence (low or high). A Low Risk result means that the patient has an 8% risk of relapse within 3 years, and an 11% risk of relapse within 5 years without adjuvant systemic therapy. A High Risk result means that a patient has a 20% risk of relapse within 3 years, and a 22% risk of relapse within 5 years without adjuvant systemic therapy. Learn more at www.agendia.com
There are many more tests that may be specifically targeted to your type of cancer. A great resource is the book “Cancer Free-Are You Sure?”, Jenny Hrbacek, RN, a wealth of information on different types of tests.
Keeping the Enemy Away
Has anyone talked to you about cancer stem cells? Cancer stem cells lie at the root of cancer malignancy and are the “enemy” that’s left after chemotherapy and radiation. Yes, they survive and their mission is to find another place to set up shop, “metastasize” and start to proliferate.
The good news is that there are numerous studies that show certain natural substances that can target and destroy these cancer stem cells. A powerful study published in the journal Anticancer Research titled, Natural Products That Target Cancer Stem Cells, has made our job much easier of identifying this special category of cancer killers by reviewing the literature on the topic and listing the top 25 substances in this category. I’ll give you this link https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/25-cancer-stem-cell-killing-foods-smarter-chemo-radiation to review them all.
For an overview you may recognize many of these; EGCG Green tea extract, Ginger, Curcumin, Genistein from soy, Cruciferous vegetables and Vitamin D to name a few.
Why Are These Substances So Important?
The primary reason the traditional treatment of chemotherapy and radiation has not had an impact on the cancer survival rate is because cancer stem cells are resistant to these therapies. In fact, chemotherapy and especially radiation are capable of increasing these stem cells and the virulence of these bad dudes. At present, the cancer industry has failed to produce a single drug that targets the cancer stem cell population of cells within a tumor. This is where you must take your health into your own hands and be proactive while in remission to prevent these stem cells from setting up shop.
If you have been a patient who has had the radiological “kitchen sink” thrown at you for a drug resistant cancer, then this is even more important for you to understand the options available to you for testing and natural treatments.
What normally occurs is that the treatment selectively kills the less harmful populations of cells (daughter cells), increasing the ratio of Circulating Cancer Stem Cells to the benign and/or less malignant cells. This is not unlike what happens when antibiotics are used to treat certain infections. The drug may wipe out 99.9% of the target bacteria, but .1% have or develop resistance to the agent, enabling the .1% to come back even stronger and more resistant the next time.
The reality is that the chemotherapy, even though it has reduced the tumor volume, by increasing the ratio of CSCs to benign daughter cells, has actually made the cancer more malignant.
Now, I don’t tell you all this to make you scared, I tell you so you realize how important it is to get on top of this as soon as your treatment is done.
Natural therapies have been shown to have a high margin of safety, selective cytotoxicity and the ability to target CSCs. Why wouldn’t you incorporate these into your lifestyle? I don’t see a down side to learning more about these substances and working with a wholistic practitioner to make sure you’re using the correct brands and dosages.
This may feel a bit over-whelming. I truly understand because we have been there and felt that way as well. Work with a knowledgable health care provider that is willing to do the testing you ask for, be open to you using natural substances that target cancer stem cells and fully supports your decision to take your health into your own hands!
A.B.Miller et al., “Twenty-five Year Follow-up for Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study; Randomized screening trip, British Medical Journal 348 (February 11, 2014)
Natural Products that Target Cancer Stem Cells Abstract authors: Jim Moselhy, Sowmyalakshmi Srinivasan, Murali K Ankem, Chendil Damodaran
Sayer, Ji, www.greenmedinfo.com Cancer Stem Cell Killing Foods Smarter Than Chemo & Radiation, May 7, 2018
Sayer, Ji www.greenmedinfo.com Are Cancer Stem Cells a Key to Discovering a Cure?
May 8th 2012.
Jenny Hrbacek, RN, Cancer Free – Are You Sure?, Siloam publishing, 2018 Pgs. 110,111, 112, 125, 126, 127, 148, 149,150