Abstract: Chemotherapy suppresses the body’s immune system. Even if the chemotherapy is partially or “completely” successful, that is, the patient survives treatment, the underlying factors that caused the cancer are still there acting as a time bomb waiting to be triggered by an event. This latter concept is not being recognized by conventional medicine.
Yeong Sek Yee & Khadijah Shaari
10, Jalan SS 19/1K, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-56342775 / 019-3278092
After surgery, microscopic cancer cells are still left behind in the body. As an insurance policy (just in case), cancer patients are usually advised to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The idea is to kill whatever cancer cells are left behind. How valid is this assumption that chemotherapy can just do that?
Cancer patients are often very baffled that, after spending a vast amount of money on such “evidence-based” conventional treatments, they either experience a recurrence within a short period or there is metastasis to other parts of the body like the lungs, bone, liver etc. Why does this happen if the chemotherapy drugs that have been given are claimed to be scientifically tested/proven, FDA-approved, latest state-of-the-art type?
To understand this phenomena better, we search various books, literature on cancer and cancer treatment written by medical doctors, oncologists, cancer researchers, scientists, professors of medicine, etc to try to understand the reasons why cancer patients may not respond to chemotherapy.
This is summarised in the ensuing pages. Please read on and find out more why chemotherapy drugs may not work for you, what is chemo drug resistance, why chemo resistance develops, what is half-life of a drug, why a person made toxic by chemo drugs is more likely to suffer recurrence of the cancer later on, why chemotherapy combination cause cancers to grow and spread much faster than would ordinarily occur, etc.
There may be a lot of information that your doctor/oncologist may not have explained to you (other than saying – this is the latest drug, scientifically tested, evidence-based, targeted therapy, etc, etc.). Find out more and evaluate your options.
1) NATURAL STRATEGIES FOR CANCER PATIENTS by Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon with more than 20 years experience. He is the Clinical Asst. Professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi.
In the book, Dr. Blaylock wrote extensively on how chemotherapy or radiation, although powerful and sometimes effective weapons, do have unwelcome and even dangerous consequences. Dr. Blaylock also wrote very frankly on some of the reasons why chemotherapy drugs do not work. These are quoted below:
a) In order for most of the chemotherapy drugs to work, they must be in the tumour in high concentrations during the time cancer cells are dividing. Unfortunately, the cells do not all divide at the same time. This means that some cells will be killed and others will escape as the concentration of the drug falls (page 172).
b) One of the major problems when using chemotherapy drugs is that the cell cycle of the cancer (the time required for cell reproduction) is longer than the half-life of the drug (the time needed for half of the drug to be cleared from the blood). Most of the chemotherapy drugs must be present during the cycling (cell division) of the cancer cells in order to be effective. Since the drug is gone before the cancer cells have completed their division, the cancer cells escape the drug’s killing effects. (page 147).
c) It is now thought that the main defence against cancers comes from the cellular immune system… The cancer cells have to be recognized before the immune cells can seek them out and kill them. Cancer cells have special recognition sites on their surface called tumour antigens that act somewhat like beacon lights. Some cancers have very strong antigens and some have very weak ones. The stronger the tumour antigen, the easier it is for the immune system to control the cancer. Cancers can change their antigens over time, making it more difficult for the immune system to find them. In addition, when cancer spreads, the metastasis will often have a different set of antigens than the main tumour. This explains why it is so difficult for the immune system to eradicate cancers. (pages 205 & 206).
d) … part of the reason cancer cells can become resistant to chemotherapy is that they increase the amount of glutathione inside the cells. (page 216) (In fact, some oncologists have proposed cellular glutathione levels as a way to predict multi-drug resistance). Notes: Glutathione – is the major antioxidant produced by the cells..and participates directly in the neutralisation of free radicals.etc.
e) … chemotherapeutic drugs are extremely toxic to numerous tissues and cell types, including brain cells (page 76). Many chemotherapeutic drugs also damage cells that do not divide, such as the neurons in the immune system. In addition, chemotherapeutic drugs are toxic to the liver cells … a person made toxic by these drugs is more likely to suffer recurrence of the cancer later on. Unfortunately most of these considerations are ignored by oncologists during the ongoing care of cancer patients (page 77).
f) More than twenty different chemotherapy drugs have been shown to cause cancer in humans. As with most toxins, when chemotherapy drugs are combined as a “cocktail”, the total toxicity of the combined drugs can exceed the toxicities of the individual drugs simply added together due to synergy… Again, through synergy, two plus two could equal twelve (page 77). Besides the synergistic toxicities, some evidence also exists that these chemotherapy combinations can cause cancers to grow and spread much faster than would ordinarily occur (page 78). NB: the probability that chemotherapy makes tumour more aggressive, inhibits the immune system, and damages vital organs was reviewed in the medical literature as far back as 1987… in many instances, chemotherapy make the cancer more aggressive and more likely to metastasize (page 78&79).
g) As the cancer develops and spread, the numbers of free radicals increase progressively. This causes the cancer to become more aggressive over time. Patients receiving chemotherapy also have high rates of free radical generation throughout their body. Logically this should increase the aggressiveness of the cancer, causing it to be more difficult to control later in the course of the disease. This would suggest that chemotherapy that does not successfully kill or control a cancer may actually make it incurable (page 164).
h) We know that once a chemotherapy program fails, further attempts at control of the cancer are extremely difficult, if not impossible – that is, the cancer becomes resistant (page 164).
i) Cancer resistance has been explained by assuming there are two basic populations of cancer cells mixed together within a tumour. One type of cancer cell is very susceptible to chemotherapy and it is easily killed off. The second type of cancer cell is extremely resistant to chemotherapy, even from the very beginning of treatment. This explains why tumours may shrink early in the course of treatment and then suddenly start to grow very rapidly. In time, the tumour is composed solely of the resistant type of all cancer cells, which grows very rapidly and frequently metastasizes (page 164).
j) … the resistant cancer cells differ from the susceptible cancer cells in that they have a special mechanism to expel the chemotherapy drug from the cell as fast as it can enter (pages 164-165).
2) WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT BREAST CANCER by Dr John R. Lee, MD., an international expert in the use of hormone progesterone, and on the subject of hormone replacement therapy for women, is a graduate of Harvard and the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Dr Lee’s comments about chemotherapy are extremely frank and brutal:
a) It is difficult to make generalizations about chemotherapy these days, because there are so many different kinds, most of them extremely poorly studied … women who agree to try new chemotherapies are guinea pigs for a type of treatment with a notoriously poor track record (page13).
b) Chemotherapy is an attempt to poison the body just short of death in the hope of killing the cancer before the entire body is killed. Most of the time it doesn’t work. There are new chemotherapies that target specific parts of the cancer process, but none have proven themselves truly effective in stopping the entire process (page 13).
c) Some chemotherapy does prolong life for a few months, but generally at the high price of devastating side effects, and if women does happen to get lucky and survive that bout of cancer, her body is permanently damaged; recurrence rates are high (page13).
d) The use of chemotherapy is purely a gamble and we don’t think it is worth taking. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it makes things worse. Precious little is known about why it works or doesn’t and it seems much smarter to find an alternative therapy with a good track record that will both support your body in fighting off the cancer and promote health (page 13).
On the subject of TAMOXIFEN, Dr Lee’s comments are also very clear:-
a) Tamoxifen has been available for 25 years and its effect on breast cancer prevention is still being debated. This in and of itself should tell us something (page 9).
b) Tamoxifen is not a risk-free drug. Healthy women have already died as a result of taking tamoxifen (page 204).
c) We know from research that tamoxifen halts some of the growth factors that are stimulated by estrogen. However, with its long list of serious and even potentially deadly side effects, we believe that the only reason tamoxifen is used at all is because conventional medicine has so little else to offer women with breast cancer (page 205).
3) STOP THE MEDICINE – A MEDICAL DOCTORS’ MIRACULOUS RECOVERY WITH NATURAL HEALING by Dr Cynthia Foster, MD., who turned to natural healing methods after conventional modalities could not heal her chest pains, asthma, migraines and a thyroid condition.
In chapter 23: ONCOLOGY – Indifferences, Gloves and Caustic Chemicals, Dr Foster explained why chemotherapy drugs may not work:-
a) Eventually, the side effects of the chemotherapy will become so severe that treatment will have to be stopped or the patient will die. For many of these drugs, the cancer cells will become resistant to the toxic effects through many different mechanisms. This means that the chemo does not work anymore to shrink the tumor. This resistant effect is minimized by giving several drugs at once. This is why chemotherapy usually involves several drugs given simultaneously – called a “regimen”. According to clinical results, resistance can still develop not only to a single drug, but also to multiple drugs. Now you are allowing yourself to be poisoned by many types of toxic materials all at once (pages 279 & 280).
b) Cytotoxic chemotherapy kills cancer cells by way of a certain mechanism called “first order kinetics”. This means the drug does not kill a constant number of cells, but a constant proportion of cells. So for example, a certain drug will kill ½ of all the cancer cells, then ½ of what is left, and then ½ of that, and so on. You can see that not every cancer cell necessarily is going to be killed. This is important because chemotherapy is not going to kill every cancer cell in your body. Your body will have to kill cancer cells that are left over after the chemotherapy is finished. NOW, how can you possibly fight even a few cancer cells when your immune system has been destroyed, you’re anaemic, you’re not getting any healing oxygen to the cancer cells to kill them, you’ve gotten an infection because your immune system is depressed (yet another stress on your body) and you’re bleeding because you have hardly any platelets left from the toxic effects of the chemotherapy? Doesn’t make much sense, does it? This is usually why, when chemotherapy is stopped, the cancer grows again and gets out of control and grows even faster than before (page 280).
c) You may ride an emotional roller coaster because at first it will appear as if the chemo is working–the doctors will be able to measure a reduction in the size of your tumor(s). You may eventually find out that there is no way off of this roller coaster; it only goes down from here. There is now a vicious cycle, where doctors are trying to kill the cancer cells, and you’re not able to fight the rest, so the doctors have to give the chemotherapy again, and then you can’t fight the rest of the cancer cells, and then they give you the chemotherapy again, and by this time the cancer has become resistant to the different drugs and regimens. This cycle usually involve you ending up in the hospital, taking even more toxic drugs in a ridiculous attempt by your doctors to heal your chemical poisoning by putting more toxic chemicals on top of it (pages 280 &281).
d) First come the antibiotics to kill the infections that you may likely get due to your immune system being destroyed … Then you may be given the toxic antifungal drugs, and they may add the antiviral medications, etc (page 281).
NB: The above scenario reminds us of how Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was treated for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was diagnosed with NHL in 1993 and underwent chemotherapy. She died on Thursday, May 19 in 1994.
4) CHOICES – THE MOST COMPLETE SOURCE BOOK FOR CANCER INFORMATION by Dr Marion Morra, MD, a former associate director of the Yale Cancer Center, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society.
The following are the main points on the effectiveness of chemotherapy:
a) What effects does chemotherapy have on cancer?
Chemotherapy can cure some cancers. In others, chemotherapy makes the tumor shrink. There are some types of cancer, however, for which chemotherapy has little or no effect on the growth of the cancer (page 251).
b) Do chemotherapy drugs ever stop being effective?
Sometimes drugs lose their effectiveness against a particular cancer. Scientists believe that in some cases, cancer cells are multiplying more quickly than the drug can kill them. Other times, cancer cells undergo change and are able to survive and even grow rapidly in the presence of drug that previously was effective. When this happens, the cells are said to “mutate” and are called “drug resistant” (page 259).
c) How do cells become drug resistant?
Some cancer cells make genetic changes that allow them to produce a large amount of enzymes that override a drug’s usefulness. In other cases, the cell membrane changes in a way that allows it to block the entry of the drug into the cell or reduces the active drugs that remains in the cell (page 259).
5) LIVING TIME by Dr Bernadine Healy, MD, a former Director of the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute, USA in the early 1990s. Dr Healy is a brain cancer survivor herself.
Dr Healy described chemotherapy resistance as follows:
Cancer is a clever demon, however, and its rapidly mutating cells fight back by knocking out the protective tumour suppressor genes or finding ways to build up their own survival proteins to drown out suicidal signals … cancer cells also can produce their own heat shock proteins to protect the very molecules that drive the cell’s malignant ways. They also co-opt angiogenesis, sprouting their own blood vessels to avoid strangulation from the lack of oxygen or the building of toxic waste products … cancer cells often retain enough of their original identities to slip through the immune system’s dragnet, tricking the body into believing they are the right stuff and are not to be destroyed by roving white blood cells as other invaders would be (pg 161).
This highlights a nagging problem for all cancer treatments. Cancer’s genetic instability makes it vulnerable in some cases, but it also allows multiplying cells to mutate rapidly under the onslaught of chemicals or radiation, causing a once-sensitive tumour to become resistant. These mutated cells once again hijack normal cell survival mechanisms, using them to pump toxic chemo right back out again, or in some other manner engineer their way around previously winning therapies. That’s another reason why chemotherapy is so often delivered in multi drug cocktails. The goal is to cut off cells that become resistant to one drug by giving another at the same time. However disordered cancer cells look under the microscope, they are rational in their own survivalist design (pg 161).
6) REVERSING CANCER, A SURVIVOR’S GUIDE by Dr Gerald Smith. Dr Smith graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry and has served, lectured at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Academy of General Dentistry, USA. In 2002, Dr Smith’s wife was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer—so this book is the author’s firsthand experience in orchestrating his wife’s rapid recovery with an integrated approach to cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy suppresses the body’s immune system. Even if the chemotherapy is partially or “completely” successful, that is, the patient survives treatment, the underlying factors that caused the cancer are still there acting as a time bomb waiting to be triggered by an event. This latter concept is not being recognized by conventional medicine (page 112).