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- Message of the Month
Cancer. The mere mention of this word conjures up thoughts of fear and death, and rightly so! According to the CDC, cancer is presently the 2nd leading cause of death in America, claiming over 574,743 innocent victims per year (just behind heart disease, the #1 killer at 597,689). Have you or someone close to you been diagnosed with this dreaded disease? Unlike other websites that supply desperate searchers a basic understanding of cancer and all the standard medical options available (chemotherapy, radiation and surgery), Bemadewhole.net presents real HOPE and proven medical and holistic options to eradicate this hellish disease once and for all.
What is Cancer? - Excellent Video
This short animated video gives a graphic 3-D look at the formation, development, and spreading of cancer cells throughout the human body.
The latest Research- Killing Cancer with Immunotherapy
Hear from CRI's panel of immunotherapy experts on the breaking news from the year's biggest oncology meeting (ASCO).
Anti-angiogenesis - Killing Cancer at the Source
William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.
Suzanne Somers - Cancer Prevention
On this health segment of Lifetime's "The Balancing Act," Dr. David Friedman talks to actress, author and cancer survivor Suzanne Somers. Suzanne speaks about the need for healthy living as prevention, and discusses her controversial book "Knockout."
Healed of Lymphoma
It all began in the fall of 1996. In September, Dr. Tom Renfro, a medical doctor in Norton, VA, found a small lump on the back of his neck. Being a physician, he treated himself with antibiotics for a possible scalp infection of some kind. However, on Friday, October 31,1996 he examined himself and found another lump on the back of his neck and one under his left arm. At this point, Dr. Renfro knew he had a problem. Watch the true story of how faith in God's miraculous power alone healed this medical doctor of one of the most deadly cancers known to man.
Dr. George Yu shares the importance of Detoxing the immune system to starve cancer cells.
In 1981, Dodie Osteen, the mother of television Pastor Joel Osteen, was given a death sentence. Doctors had diagnosed her with terminal liver cancer, giving her only three weeks to live. Refusing to accept her doctor's diagnosis, she trusted God and His Word alone for her total healing. Watch in awe as Dodie Osteen gives her personal testimony of one of the greatest miracles of our times.
Dave Hess was given a death sentence from his doctor -- an aggressive form of leukemia. The medical prognosis was that he had one month to live! Watch this true story of how Dave Hess received his miracle by turning to the only source of hope available.
If you or your loved ones will watch this video, you will find out WHY we get cancer and WHAT we can do about it. As the video states, every baby in America has 287 toxins in their blood the day they're born. There are 83,000 toxic substances in the environment. But this does NOT mean things are hopeless. There are things you can do to remove these deadly toxins from your body, but the choice is yours.
Another Liver Cancer Miracle!
On March 11th, 2007, Cindy Russell was given a death sentence - 75% of her liver was consumed by a deadly form of cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. Four months later, Cindy, a woman of unwavering faith, was diagnosed before the world cancer free. Watch this amazing story of how one woman's faith defeated the most deadly form of cancer known to man. Cindy's entire story can be seen @ curedoflivercancer.com .
Possible breakthrough in the treatment of colon cancer. Watch Dr David Samadi and Marc Siegel talk about how taking low dose aspirin can prevent colon cancer on FOX Housecall.
Flaxseed vs Prostate Cancer
A recent study involving men diagnosed with prostate cancer, those who took a flax-seed supplement and followed a low-fat diet saw their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels decline. PSA can be a measure of how fast prostate cancer is spreading. Other preliminary studies report that a low-fat diet supplemented with flaxseed reduced PSA levels in men with enlarged prostate glands (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and in those with prostate cancer.
Is BPA Giving Us Cancer?
BPA, an industrial compound primarily used to manufacture polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins and it is commonly found in household items including kitchen utensils, food storage containers, travel mugs and metal can linings, has been now linked to causing a variety of cancers.
Study links glucose to the growth, spread of cancer. Watch Dr David Samadi and Marc Siegel talk about Cancer on Americas News Hq and Sunday Housecall
Chris Beats Stage 3 Colon Cancer
When her boyfriend Michael Brown was diagnosed with cancer, actress Marilu Henner’s pursuit of a healthy lifestyle took on new meaning. Now Brown is her husband, and her co-author on a new book, “Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer.” Henner says they took a holistic approach combining immunotherapy, special diet and other approaches, as well as changing Brown’s none-too-healthy lifestyle.
Arming the Immune System Against Cancer
James P. Allison in his laboratory in Houston. He discovered an alternative to using radiation to fight cancer, finding a way to set T-cells loose on the disease. Credit: Scott Dalton for The New York Times
James P. Allison is the chairman of the immunology department at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. His seminal research opened up a new field in cancer treatment: immunotherapy. Instead of poisoning a tumor or destroying it with radiation, Dr. Allison has pioneered ways to unleash the immune system to destroy a cancer. Two years ago, Science magazine anointed immunotherapy as the “Breakthrough of the Year.” More recently, Dr. Allison, 66, won the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, often a precursor to a Nobel. Our conversation has been edited and condensed.
Q. The class of drugs you’ve helped invent has been hailed as one of the first truly new cancer treatments in decades. What makes it so different?
A. It’s a bit counterintuitive. Till now, most cancer treatments — radiation, surgery, chemotherapy — attacked tumors directly, with the goal of killing them.
In the 1980s, my laboratory did work on how the T-cells of the immune system, which are the attack cells, latch onto the cells infected with viruses and bacteria and ultimately kill them. That research lead me to think that the immune system could be unleashed to kill cancers.
Basically, I proposed that we should stop worrying about directly killing cancer cells and develop drugs to release those T-cells.
Looking to the immune system for a cancer therapy isn’t a new idea, is it?
No. There was a surgeon named William Coley in the 19th century who’d noticed that cancer patients who’d gotten infections after surgeries tended to have fewer reoccurrences than those who hadn’t. He thought that there was something in bacteria that provoked the body to do something therapeutic, and he tried to develop treatments based on that.
Coley had some success. His ideas disappeared with the advent of radiotherapy, which became the acceptable treatment.
In the mid- and late 20th century, particularly with the war on cancer, you had multiple attempts to develop therapeutic anticancer vaccines. There were literally hundreds of trials. Nothing really worked. The tumor seemed to thwart the immune system’s ability to attack. Eventually, the whole idea of using immunity to stop cancer became discredited. No one understood why immunity didn’t work.
But your laboratory came up with an answer. What did you discover?
My lab has done a lot of basic research on how T-cells find and mark viruses, bacteria and defective cells. In the 1990s, my team and another group showed that there was a molecule on T-cells that actually acts like an off switch or a brake pedal when T-cells encounter an infected cell. Instead of attacking the cell, this molecule puts a kind of brake on the immune response. We call it a checkpoint, and it may be why many of those therapeutic anticancer vaccines couldn’t work. We think the immune system may have multiple checkpoints. I wondered whether we could block this off switch to keep the T-cells turned on. And that’s what we did. We developed an antibody to plug this off-switch. It worked great in mouse models of many types of cancer.
More importantly, it worked for some people with skin cancer. The first drug developed out of this was Yervoy, which was approved by the F.D.A. in 2011 against metastatic and inoperable advanced melanomas.
Long-term follow up of 5,000 melanoma patients who received it found that 22 percent survived for at least 10 years, some longer.
Is that a good number?
Oh, yeah. These were patients with usually seven months, maybe a year, to live.
A woman in Santa Monica was one of the first people to get the drug. She had two kids in high school. She’d failed at everything.
And so Dr. Antoni Ribas at U.C.L.A. said: “Well, we’ve got this experimental thing. We don’t know if it will work. It may be toxic.” She said, “I’ll do anything if I can just live a few more months to see my son graduate high school.” And so they treated her. And her tumors went away within about four months.
I met her 10 years later. She said, “You know, my kids are through school, married, starting families.”
There are a lot of stories like that.
Are you one of these people who always wanted to be a researcher?
I’m one of those people who has always wanted to solve puzzles. As a kid, I wanted to be the first to know something that no one else did. I think that’s true of a lot of scientists.
I grew up in Alice, Tex. It’s a really small town. My dad was a country doctor. I was really interested in animals, biology. The high school had some good science teachers, but not in biology, because these people were religious, and biology involved teaching evolution.
Teaching biology without Darwin is like giving a physics course without Newton. I refused to take those classes, and that got me into trouble with those teachers who didn’t like anyone bucking the system.
Eventually, a compromise was worked out where I could take a correspondence course where I got sent these books and this box, and I did these experiments at home with the stuff they sent. It was a lot of fun. But I had to teach everything to myself. So I got a lot of experience in solving puzzles — alone.
There’s a lot of cancer in your own family, isn’t there?
My mother died of lymphoma when I was 12. An uncle died of melanoma, another of lung cancer. Both my brothers had prostate cancer — one died from it.
I was diagnosed with it, too. It was caught early. I had a prostatectomy. After seeing how fast it progressed on my brother and how gruesome it was, I said: “I’m not taking any chances. I’ll risk the side effects. Just get it out now.”
It got to the point with my brother where you felt, “Just let it go.” But you know, the body hangs on. It was excruciating.
Does it give you satisfaction that you’ve dealt a blow to something that’s caused your family such devastation?
Absolutely. I didn’t set out exclusively to do that. But I’ve thought about it, and I think my mother and brother would be proud. Just the other day, I was with a leukemia and lymphoma research group at M.D. Anderson. They’re starting a big program with drugs of this particular type that I helped invent.
Since Yervoy, there’ve been two other drugs of this type to win F.D.A. approval. And there have been trials with other cancers using Yervoy. It hasn’t been approved yet, but there have been responses with clinical benefits for prostate, kidney and bladder cancers.
At this moment, just about every pharmaceutical company working the cancer space is working on immunotherapy drugs. Not all cancers will respond as well as melanoma. But there’s no reason why they can’t figure out other things to make them as effective.
Viruses normally seem like evil little germs; they often invade our bodies’ cells and hijack their inner machinery to mass produce viral invaders, which eventually destroy their host cells as they bust out to besiege more cells. The process repeats ad nauseam. But what if that wicked master plan could be twisted to do our bidding? What if viruses only invaded cells we wanted them to kill—like cancer cells? Researchers got the initial idea of using viruses decades ago (PDF) and racked up a number of enticing anecdotes that suggested the idea could work. After all, cancer cells, in their altered state that allows them to replicate quickly and uncontrollably, often shut off their anti-viral defenses and are prone to infection. But scientists’ attempts at training viruses to be cancer assassins fell short in bigger trials—until now. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first viral-based cancer therapy. The virus, called talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), is a genetically engineered herpes simplex virus that can help treat advanced melanoma. Its genetic tweaks make it incapable of usurping normal, healthy cells. Thus, it doesn’t cause herpes. But when it meets cancer cells, it initiates cellular carnage. The virus is also engineered to carry a gene encoding the GM-CSF protein, which triggers the immune system. As the virus ravages cancer cells, GM-CSF gets released, boosting a patient’s natural defenses. So far, T-VEC isn’t a wonder drug, but it’s helpful. In a large clinical trial published in May in theJournal of Clinical Oncology, researchers found that the virus shrank tumors and extended patient survival by a median of 4.4 months. The results were just shy of showing a statistically significant benefit to overall health. Still, the researchers are hopeful that when the viral therapy is combined with traditional therapies, it could significantly boost survival rates in patients. And with T-VEC’s approval, researchers see a clear path for more viral-based remedies. Many such therapies are already in the works, and researchers are combing through the large varieties of viruses for the next potential cancer slayer.
The mental cloudiness and loss of ability to focus both accompanying chemotherapy are often referred to as “chemo brain.” Basically, patients going through treatment find it hard to focus, formulate thoughts, or simply pay attention — their heads are in the proverbial cloud. This can make work or school difficult and can be quite debilitating for those who are trying to carry on with their normal life while going through chemo.
In addition to the loss of focus, chemo will sap your energy, according to Mayo Clinic. Most people going through cancer treatment will experience fatigue, which means you can expect to be very tired and weak. There are a lot of factors that can impact fatigue levels, including your mental state, how much you’re eating, the type of cancer you have, and the treatment course you’re on. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, and eat enough to stay a step ahead.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy is not a pleasant experience. Part of its unpleasantness is that it can be painful — which can actually make other side effects worse, like fatigue. The cancer itself can be a source of pain (invasive tumors, blood clots, etc.), and the treatment can cause nerve pain. This pain can come and go in flares, and may be chronic or acute.
On the topic of nerves, chemo can actually create some nerve and nervous system issues. You might experience numbness and pain in your extremities, and those pain flares that we mentioned previously are all a part of what’s going on. The nervous issues caused by treatment are called chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, the ACS says, and can be treated by a doctor.
As if the fatigue and pain weren’t enough, many patients experience a number of gastrointestinal issues while going through the treatment. This manifests in a number of ways — vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and even sores in your mouth and on your tongue are all fairly common.
If you’re going through chemo, you may find that your body is bruising and even bleeding much easier and more often than usual. This is common, and while it’s unpleasant, is something to be expected. Your bone marrow — where blood cells are produced — can be affected by the chemo treatment. This makes it more difficult for your blood to clot, and disrupts your body’s natural repair mechanisms.
Finally, experiencing a drop in your sex drive is another common side effect of chemotherapy. Not only that, but it is possible that your fertility will be impacted during treatment. This can depend on the specific drugs being used in your treatment and is something that you should discuss with your doctor should it be a concern.