Why Choose Alternative Cancer Treatments? (35b)

Potential Serious Side Effects of Conventional (Mainstream/Orthodox) Cancer Treatment

Consequences of Ionizing Radiation Therapy (Radiotherapy/X-Rays), Chemotherapy & Surgery Doctors Might Not Have Told You About: Chronic Radiation Enteritis, Chronic Radiation Proctitis, Death from Malnutrition or Heart Disease & Other Hazards

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Apart from the better-publicised potential side effects of chemotherapy, radiation “therapy” and surgery such as nausea, hair & weight loss and weakness, here are a number of possible and very serious clinical complications, consequences and observations you should be aware of before deciding to submit to any one cancer treatment protocol recommended by conventional, orthodox or “mainstream” oncologists. Please note that this list of potential side effects is not (in fact, is likely far from) exhaustive, since there are more. See "official" websites such as www.chemocare.com, the ample content of which is provided by the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center. The chemotherapeutic drugs and their side effects listed there range from 13-cis-Retinoic Acid to Zometa ®, with dozens of more drugs in-between (also includes an alphabetical listing by acronym).

Chronic radiation enteritis

Radiation injury consisting in long-standing inflammation of the intestines (especially of the small intestine) expressed as constant daily diarrhea following radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis (abdominal or pelvic irradiation)

The National Cancer Institute writes the following on Chronic Radiation Enteritis: “Radiation enteritis is a functional disorder of the large and small bowel that occurs during or following a course of radiation therapy to the abdomen, pelvis, or rectum. The large and small bowel are very sensitive to ionizing radiation. Although the probability of tumor control increases with the radiation dose, so does the damage to normal tissues. Acute side effects to the intestines occur at approximately 1000 cGy. Since curative doses for many abdominal or pelvic tumors range between 5000 and 7500 cGy, enteritis is likely to occur. Almost all patients undergoing radiation to the abdomen, pelvis, or rectum will show signs of acute enteritis. Injuries clinically evident during the first course of radiation and up to 8 weeks later are considered acute. Chronic radiation enteritis may present months to years after the completion of therapy or it may begin as acute enteritis and persist after the cessation of treatment. Only 5% to 15% of persons treated with radiation to the abdomen will develop chronic problems. [Please note the use of the word “only”.] ... In general, the higher the daily and total dose delivered to the normal bowel and the greater the volume of normal bowel treated, the greater the risk of radiation enteritis. In addition, ...individual patient variables ... can decrease vascular flow to the bowel wall and impair bowel motility, increasing the chance of radiation injury.” You can read more on “major types of radiation injury” at their site www.cancer.gov .
More info on cause and “therapy” of Chronic Radiation Enteritis for instance at health.yahoo.com/health/encyclopedia/000300/0.html.

For advice regarding relief, see Combatting radiation poisoning tips: Chelating (detoxifying) excess ionizing radiation & destructive radioactivity from your body and treating radiation burns naturally and More tips on how to counter noxious side effects of chemotherapy and radiation cancer treatment naturally.

Compare What to do when the digestive tract has been damaged by chemotherapy: “Chemotherapy can destroy a person's stomach lining and the lining of their intestines. ...Many cancer patients die of malnutrition, long before they die of cancer, because chemotherapy has destroyed the lining of their digestive system and they literally die of nutrient starvation.”

Chronic radiation proctitis

Radiation injury consisting in inflammation of the rectum and anus/rectal inflammation as side effect of pelvic radiation/pelvic radiotherapy

“Chronic radiation proctitis represents a challenging condition seen with increased frequency due to the common use of radiation for treatment of pelvic cancer. Hemorrhagic [bleeding] radiation proctitis represents the most feared complication of chronic radiation proctitis. There is no consensus for the management of this condition despite the great number of clinical approaches and techniques that have been employed. Rectal resection represents an available option although associated with high morbidity and risk of permanent colostomy. The effectiveness of nonoperative approaches remains far from desirable, and hemorrhagic recurrence represents a major drawback that leads to a need for consecutive therapeutic sessions and combination of techniques.”[6]

Though reportedly a daily regimen of antioxidant vitamins E and C provides a successful and sustained treatment of chronic radiation proctitis, substantially reducing or eliminating discomfort, consider this testimonial: “...we have a patient in our group who underwent radiation therapy for prostate cancer. He now suffers from severe radiation proctitis and is experiencing severe pains. We understand that very high doses of Vit. C and E might help with this problem but now, even after some weeks on the vitamin treatment there is very little relief of the pains. I understand that uterine, ovarian and cervical cancer patients also stand the risk of radiation proctitis. Radiation enteritis is another horror that is possible with radiation therapy.”

For advice regarding relief, see Combatting radiation poisoning tips.

Late toxic effects of radiotherapy on the chest: heart attacks, pain, lymphedema, movement restriction

  • "Long-term cardiac morbidity and mortality in a randomized trial of pre- and postoperative radiation therapy versus surgery alone in primary breast cancer" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/9783890)

    The above study published in "Radiotherapy and Oncology: Journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology" in August 1998, arrived at the conclusion that "cardiac mortality was positively correlated with the cardiac dose-volume. Patients receiving high dose-volumes exhibited an increased mortality of ischemic heart disease, ... which implies another mechanism, e.g. radiation-induced microvascular damage to the heart."

    In fact "patients who received the highest dose of radiotherapy had a 30% increase in heart failure, 100% increase in deaths due to cardiovascular disease, and a 150% increase in death due to ischemic heart disease. This difference became clear after 4-5 years and continued to increase up to 10-12 years."[1]
  • "Late Toxicity of Radiotherapy: A Problem or a Challenge for the Radiation Oncologist?" (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/22619647)

    The above study published in "Breast Care", Basel, Switzerland, in 2011, concluded that "Radiotherapy may, to some degree, cause persistent pain in the breast, arm and shoulder in up to 30–50% of patients after 3–5 years, lymphedema in 15–25%, and restriction of arm and shoulder movement in 35%."
    The full article can be downloaded from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357174/
  • A private report illustrates and adds to the above after-effects incl. left-sided radiation damaging the blood vessels around the heart, the windpipe and thyroid (resulting in this case in hypothyroidism), “Post Therapy Pain Syndrome” (damage to the intercostobrachial nerve in breast cancer treatment can lead to constant pain), the risk of developing fibrosis, chest wall sarcoma and cancer in the other breast. Particularly fibromyalgia patients should never receive radiation.

Stroke after radiotherapy

[M]y grandmother ... had breast cancer and did the radiation [treatment]s. Only several years after she finished the [radiotherapy], I learnt about the research (including one that was published in The Lancet), that one of the side effects of the radiation [treatment]s is stroke. That way, people who die of stroke do not enter into the statistics of cancer death. So we "beat cancer" they tell us, "the statistics shows less cancer deaths thanks to radiations" but more stroke deaths from this same treatment. They don't tell us that.
If I had known that before, my grandmother wouldn't have done the radiation [treatment]s. We did save her from the Tamoxifen which we knew causes cancer [apparently Tamoxifen use leads to a much higher risk of developing endometrial cancer], and so she didn't agree to take it when the doctor gave it to her.
She also didn't agree to remove the lymph nodes because we knew it causes cancer to spread. But about the stroke from radiations, we didn't know, and not about alternatives.
My grandmother died of brain stroke. I would put money that it's from the radiation treatments she went through. Ignorance is our tragedy. (Anonymous)

Postsurgical radiotherapy and risk of metastasis

Professor Thomas Dao, former director of the breast surgery department at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo, NY), among other things researched the effects of postsurgery irradiation after mastectomy. As observed over a five-year period, of several hundred non-irradiated patients, 14 percent developed lung metastases and 34 percent metastasis to the skin. In a comparable group of patients who did receive radiotherapy, 37% developed lung metastases and 52% metastasis to the skin. In other words, postsurgical radiotherapy approximately doubled the risk of developing metastasis.

Whole-brain radiation therapy "risks"

Tumors that metastasize to the brain (from non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer, as well as melanoma) typically do not respond to radiation therapy. In spite of this known fact, whole brain radiation is widely used on patients with so-called brain metastases (and even "prophylactically"). Treated with whole-brain radiation, brain metastasis patients have an expected median survival of three to four months. New metastatic tumors may occur as soon as whole-brain radiation therapy is discontinued.

Acute side effects include the typical hair loss, nausea and vomiting, as well as dermatitis, otitis media, cerebral edema and lethargy.

Long-term or permanent side effects can include severe dementia (reportedly concerning 11% of one-year and 50% of two-year survivors), memory loss, speech impediments, loss of eyesight, leukoencephalopathy (diseases of the white matter of the brain), and radiation necrosis of the brain (killing off good brain cells). Whole-brain radiation can alter taste buds and may end the person's ability to swallow and go to the bathroom independently.

Deborah Walters Childs confirms in her book "A Dose of Reality: Losing William to the Big Business of Cancer in America"[2], " William had always loved everything I cooked, and he was never a picky eater - until after radiation. Things started to taste bland, and he would not eat them ... I did not connect the dryness of his mouth to a possible inability to swallow, which I came to suspect too late after reading more about the effects of whole-brain radiation. Patients and untrained caregivers should never be left to figure all this out on their own." William died within weeks after whole-brain radiation treatment.

Note: Loss of appetite and/or taste sensation can also happen after other types of radiation treatment.

Severe neuralgia pains and latent kidney failure after exposure to radiations

A man with aggressive throat cancer received extensive radium radiotherapy to the right side of his neck which destroyed the tumor. Several years later, extensive and continually progressing damage to his right vertebrae (C4, C5, C6 ) was confirmed by Echo sounds. This degenerative disease involved a narrowing of the lumen (the duct where the nerves are threaded). The compression of the nerve path caused by this radiation-induced vertebra damage led to severe neuralgia pains and concomitant impaired mobility. Doctors only knew to prescribe painkillers and antispasmodics to ease the worsening pain, with higher doses as the pain progresses. An equally worsening latent kidney failure was confirmed by blood tests. Hospitalisation likely to be the next stage.

Dr. Johannes Kuhl reported that massive radiation can trigger very painful and long-lasting neuralgias (frequently far from the locus of original application) as well as ulcerative skin and mucosal processes.

Radiotherapy and mental retardation

www.cancertutor.com/Other/Brain_Cancer.html reports the case of a woman with brain cancer who received radiation therapy which basically left her mentally retarded. It was only at this late stage that the treating radiologist admitted that her radiation treatment probably hadn't created any benefit. The woman died.

Torturous pain after multiple surgeries

I have recently discovered the possible cause of my pain (which I suspected to be due to cancer]. It’s good news and bad news. I have had 2 C sections (Horizontal incision, and 2 vertical from cancer surgery). Doctors never tell you the ramifications of surgery. I have extreme stabbing pains at the incision sites as well as in my inner thigh (which I assumed was swollen lymph nodes) and my outer thigh and buttocks burn with constant pain at night. I don't take any pain meds since I am on the Budwig Protocol so I suffer through it. And I mean suffer.
Note by Healing Cancer Naturally: There are actually many Natural Approaches & Alternatives to Cancer Pain Management, Medication and Relief Compatible With Dr. Johanna Budwig’s Health Diet & Protocol. And of course there are even more additional Natural Approaches & Alternatives to Cancer Pain Management, Medication and Relief.

Well, I came to find that this is actually very typical from multiple surgeries. The pain is from excessive scar tissue and adhesions. My nerves in those areas are sticking together. It’s awful. The surgeons never tell you this could happen. I can't stand up for more than 10 min at time without being in torturous pain. I now recall my last CT scan in Nov 06. The doctor told I was a mangled mess down in the lower pelvis area. I didn't question it at the time but it’s all scar tissue. So, it’s great news that it’s probably not cancer but it’s bad news that it’s something that may not be able to be corrected.
So please think twice before you cut anything out. I am suffering greatly.
My quality of life is gone. I believe ... the Budwig Protocol will take care of any cancer, you don't need to cut it out. If Only I knew this 3 years ago. (Author known to Healing Cancer Naturally)

Notes by Healing Cancer Naturally:

For possibly very effective help with adhesions and the resulting pain, see the page Natural Cancer Pain Management & Relief (scroll down towards the bottom to "Help with painful adhesions after abdominal surgery".

Also compare Surgery risks: Real-life stories & advice on how to reduce one’s chances of incurring serious side effects from cancer and other surgery and On Avoidable Suffering.

Miscellaneous serious sequelae of conventional cancer treatments

Case 1: from a letter received by Healing Cancer Naturally

“I was given radiation of 8000 rads to the left inguinal (groin) region in 1985 for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A colostomy[3] was subsequently done for the burst of the radiated site which was diagnosed as fecal fistula. Today the radiated wound is non healing and I feel you can help me.

My condition today poses formidable medical challenges and there is hope that some conscientious surgeon will come forward and help me on humanitarian grounds.

The photo[4] will give you the total scenario. I come from a middle class family and our financial resources are very poor due to the almost 20 years of bearing the increasing medical expenses.

I am currently receiving lymphedema treatments at a hospital and maybe there will be a correction surgery for my prolapsed colostomy.”

Case 2: from a post to a Budwig diet & protocol cancer support group

In our experience, with my husband who had a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma, the doctor was satisfied and called the transplant a success because my husband achieved "partial remission" after transplant.

This is considered a success for the doctor.
However, my husband almost died from:

  • infections (line infection, and other infections which they could not even determine where exactly they were localized).

On top of this...

  • he developed gastritis from all the medication he had to take
  • he could not eat for months a normal meal
  • lost completely his appetite and lost 50 lbs. in weight
  • was continuously nauseated having vomiting sensations, despite all the medication he took to "fix" this problem
  • he had to stay isolated because his immune system was wiped out, not in contact with children at all or even members of the family if they had a cold or something...
  • he developed shingles (which is almost "standard" for transplant patients exposed to high doses of chemo)
  • he had multiple colds and sinusitis and felt sick most of the time
  • his lungs were continuously filled will mucus (?) etc...and he had to blow his nose day and night not being able to rest and many others.....

And to top this, while in hospital with infection after transplant, we heard that a guy (younger than my husband) and who had the transplant in the same time as my husband, died from pneumonia. Of course pneumonia was related to the transplant and to the fact that his immune system was destroyed by the transplant itself. But what do you think the doctor wrote in his death certificate? I don't know but I can only guess.

So, yes...you can be "cured" by doctors and be extremely sick afterwards, or even die after the doctors are done with you.
Contrast this with this holistic multiple myeloma remission testimonial.

Case 3: from a Budwig diet & protocol cancer support group

Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) – Liver Cancer with spread of the cancer to portal vein, cancer caused by Hepatitis C received over two decades ago from blood transfusion during stomach surgery: Patient had severe side effects of chemotherapy and has been hospitalised. He started suffering from gases and breathlessness during the night just after the second dose of chemotherapy (gemcitabin and cisplatin). His blood counts dropped significantly (which were below normal before the first dose, so mild dosis was given). Platelets count dropped to 10,000.

Case 4: contributed by Elliot Yudenfriend

In "Cancer As A Turning Point," Lawrence LeShan describes the case of a woman who was to undergo a CT scan, which generally requires the injection of a contrast dye. The woman KNEW she was allergic to the dye, but the radiologist and his nurse convinced her to get the injection anyway. Sixty seconds after she received the dye injection she was dead.
Doctors are just people, and some of them are quite ignorant of or unconcerned about the needs of their clients. When we find this to be so, we either have to let them know they need to change, or we need to find another doctor [or become self-reliant in health matters].

Case 5: from a letter received by Healing Cancer Naturally

Chemotherapy & loss of sex drive/frigidity: “...when I went through chemo 3 1/2 yrs ago it completely destroyed my sex drive. I have very little sensations anywhere. Is there something that is all natural that can help me? My family doctor wasn't too helpful in this area.”

Case 6: chemotherapy can cause osteoporosis

See testimonial.

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (BON), bisphosphonate-associated or due to chemo or radiation

Destruction of the jaw bone and loss of the covering gum tissue is another extremely serious potential side effect observed in cancer patients receiving treatments such as radiation to the head and neck, chemotherapy, and particularly administration of intravenous bisphosphonates for the treatment of bone metastases.

The bisphosphonate drugs embed themselves in the bone tissues which means that the risk of developing osteonecrosis is high even several years after the administration of the medication.

Trigger events can be tooth extractions, other surgery or injury in the jaw area, ill-fitting dentures, periodontal disease and other oral inflammation, taking medications which reduce blood circulation, too much alcohol, smoking etc.

One example is a man who in 2003 was diagnosed with carcinoma of the tonsils. He underwent "successful" surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Unsurprisingly, in 2004 he had a relapse and again received the highest possible doses of chemo and radiotherapy, as in 2003. In January 2009 the dentist extracted two of his teeth (he was not given antibiotics). This is when destruction of his jaw bone set in. Excision of the necrotic bone did not stop the process. At the time his wife reported this case asking for help (in December 2009), he was no longer able to open his mouth to eat and could only take mashed food. His lower jaw swelled and the surgery scar broke open again.

Forgetfulness and mental fog of the 'chemo brain'

"The mental fog and forgetfulness of 'chemo brain' are no figment of your imagination.

A new UCLA study shows that chemotherapy causes changes to the brain's metabolism and blood flow that can linger at least 10 years after treatment. Reported Oct. 5 in the online edition of the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, the findings may help to explain the disrupted thought processes and confusion that plague many chemotherapy patients.

'People with 'chemo brain' often can't focus, remember things or multitask the way they did before chemotherapy,' explained Dr. Daniel Silverman, head of neuronuclear imaging and associate professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 'Our study demonstrates for the first time that patients suffering from these cognitive symptoms have specific alterations in brain metabolism.'"
(excerpted from a UCLA Press Release dated 5 October 2006)
Note by Healing Cancer Naturally: A 10 years survival time of chemo treatment seems by far the likeliest when positive inner and outer lifestyle changes are implemented.

Miscellaneous potential side effects of chemotherapy drugs

These include among others:

  • anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction which can trigger shock, low blood pressure and death)
  • seizures
  • blood clots (leading to deep vein thrombosis, stroke, heart attack or pulmonary embolism)
  • heart problems, heart failure, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), pericarditis
  • acid indigestion/reflux/heartburn
  • infection
  • insomnia
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • joint pain
  • weakness
  • kidney damage, bladder problems, cystitis (painful urination, blood in urine etc.), even fatal complications from kidney failure
  • bone pain
  • liver problems/dysfunction
  • bleeding (nose, rectal, vaginal), bruising
  • breathing and lung problems, shortness of breath, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary toxicity, flu-like syndrome (worst scenario: fatal complications from lung inflammation)
  • low blood pressure and dizziness
  • low red and white blood cell counts
  • low blood sugar, high blood sugar
  • high triglycerides
  • eye problems, cataracts, photophobia, glaucoma
  • mouth sores (mucositis, stomatitis) and xerostomia (dry mouth)
  • muscle pain
  • peripheral neuropathy (e.g. damage to the nerves in hands and fingers): one woman described waking up in the mornings with pain in her hands the worst she had ever had).[5]
  • fever
  • depression, anxiety
  • numbness (hands, feet, mouth, constipation up to intestinal blockage)
  • hand-foot syndrome (palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, chemotherapy-induced acral erythema)
  • hearing loss, tinnitus
  • skin: dryness, rashes, hyperpigmentation, photosensitivity
  • pharyngitis, esophagitis
  • edema
  • genital pain, impotence
  • weight gain
  • extreme tooth enamel erosion to the point of making eating impossible (see Products for remineralizing teeth and enamel for how one person was able to solve this particular issue)
  • inflammation of oral mucosa/mucous membrane epithelium, loss of taste sensation
    (see Dental healing reports & testimonials re the use of xylitol sugar for how one person was able to solve these issues (scroll to "7 Oral mucosa: big problems after chemotherapy").

Miscellaneous potential side effects of radiotherapy

  • strongly accelerated tooth decay even in places one would not normally find cavities, leading to loss of teeth
  • hypothyroidism (thyroid affected by the radiation) and resulting weight gain
  • some pictures: http://allaboutbreasthealth.com/breast-cancer-survivor-post-horrific-radiation-aftermath/

Important addendum: On the power of the human mind

While the reader is asked to send in any similar “medical horror stories” for the sake of those who might be spared a similar fate by reading about and thus choosing not to submit to dangerous damaging treatments, I need to add the following qualifying remarks:

Healing Cancer Naturally is about giving people hope and confidence, not about instilling fear. Many real-life examples are featured here which show the overriding influence the mind and emotions can have on “matter” (= energy), including the way a patient’s body reacts for instance to chemotherapy. See Chemotherapy & Mind Power: A woman who chose to undergo chemotherapy wrote upon the bottles containing the chemicals "PURE LOVE". She had no side effects whatsoever from the chemotherapy! On the other hand, in a scientific placebo chemotherapy tests on cancer patients featured on 14-04-04 in a medical programme shown on the Discovery channel, it was found that 1/3 of the patients who had received the placebo chemotherapy actually showed side effects (hair loss and nausea)! (Reported in path-ways.com/forums/printthread.php?t=2316.)

Both of the above examples furnish good illustrations of the powerful influence “intangible” elements such as mental, emotional and spiritual factors can have on our body and health.

You will find more impressive examples of the enormous impact of the mind and the power of belief to (literally) heal or kill in Mind power cancer (self-) healing testimonials. Similar astounding stories can be found among the featured Feelings and emotions cancer healing testimonials, and further uplifting stories illustrative of the beneficial and healing influence of various spiritual factors in the Spiritual cancer healing testimonials.

While keeping this in mind, there can be little doubt that many treatments offered as therapy by conventional oncologists are highly toxic, fraught with potential (and even lethal) peril and pain and therefore not advised and endorsed by Healing Cancer Naturally, but there is also little doubt that the human spirit, if properly used, and a cheerful, hopeful and/or philosophical disposition in spite of it all can victoriously rise above such assaults, not to mention the invigorating effect of strengthening foods and powerful energetic tools, see Healing Cancer With Nutrition, Energetics (particularly EFT), Healing Cancer & Your Mind and the many healing testimonials available here.

If you or a loved one has been “diagnosed with cancer“, also read Cancer “over-diagnosing” and “over-treatment”: Do be aware!

Footnotes

1 Quoted from George Bekker "Natural Treatment of Cancer".

2 See the extract from this book showing that standard treatment decisions may not be taken in view of the cancer patient's survival.

3 Colostomy: a surgical operation in which the colon is shortened to remove a damaged part and the cut end diverted to an opening in the abdominal wall (New Oxford Dictionary of English)

4 The shocking picture shows a man with what looks like a blood-filled colostomy bag whose right leg is grotesquely inflated and deeply blackened, with his testicles combined enlarged to the size of a football. It seems that either the radiation treatment or the colostomy surgery (possibly involving resection of major lymph vessels) brought on very serious lymphedema, an often hushed-up possibly grave consequence of tumor excisions and other cancer surgery as well as radiation treatment.

5 She managed to get rid of both pain and most of the numbness by using a lotion based on aloe. Aloe has been successfully used both to fight cancer and radiation burns.

6 Quoted from www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_abstract&pid=s0041-87812003000500008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en .

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