• Did you know....?

    Asked by Anastasia on Monday, October 29, 2018

    Did you know....?

    Oncologist said 12% of those treated with chemo/radiation do not have recurrences. 88% do. I am opting to have surgery and then Naturopathic treatment. The odds are not in our favor, it seems for chemo/radiation to be the answer for future cancer.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      We all have to follow the path that works best for us. We then have to be willing to live with the consequences of our decision.

      Did your oncologist say what the recurrence rate is for people who choose the naturopathic route? Have you considered a second opinion?

      I 1000% agree with everything Carool said. I would not trust stage 3 cancer of any kind to naturopathic treatment only, but that's just me.

      Best of luck with whatever you choose.

      6 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Did your oncological specify WHICH stages of breast cancer recur even after chemo and/or radiation? It's not the same for, say, stage 1 and stage 3.

      The stats you list seem very off. I looked at your profile and see that your cancer was stage 3B. If I were you, I'd do everything medical science offers, rather than "alternative treatments" such as naturopathic. Or do standard treatments and naturopathic, if the latter isn't contraindicated with chemo. Chemo isn't fun, but it's usually tolerable and still offers the best hope of surviving.

      I wish you all the best.

      6 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I always say each to their own, we all have to make choices for ourselves based on our own beliefs and research. I will say that those statistics are flat out wrong based on an overall population of patients being treated. Studies sometimes will produce numbers for certain types of cancer, in a certain stage, who have already tried certain other treatments. So I would want to see that study and all of the numbers and the population of the participants.

      The bottom line on this is that if you want to pursue a naturopathic route, I wish you the best and hope that you do well. My own belief about it is that in 30 years of dealing with and studying treatments, natural remedies, and combinations of both, through 3 diagnoses is that if I was diagnosed with #4 tomorrow, I wouldn't hesitate chemo or radiation, or both, and I wouldn't even open a book that had instructions on how to save my life with naturopathic remedies.

      If that is what you choose to do, again, I wish you the best and hope that you will stick around here and educate me and some others on how you do with this.

      6 months ago
    • Anastasia's Avatar
      Anastasia

      Carool

      The stats were from the oncologist. You would have to talk to him about his info "being way off". I would think the oncologist would know what he is talking about since he is the one who sees these patients day in and day out. Where did you get your statistics? and what are they?

      6 months ago
    • Anastasia's Avatar
      Anastasia

      Also, thank you to those who are wishing me good luck with my line of treatment. This is a very difficult road to travel whether you go conventional, conventional and natural or Naturopathic. Lots of doubts and fears. You have to go with what makes sense to you and what you are most comfortable in dealing with, i.e.what you can focus on.

      6 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Anastasia, I'm not any kind of medical pro, only a former breast cancer patient and a survivor of 19 years after my diagnosis.
      I just Googled "What is the chance of breast cancer recurrence after chemo and radiation." Here's what I found:

      "Survival and Risk of Recurrence | Susan G. ...
      Komen.org › ww5 › BreastCancer › Surv...
      Lumpectomy plus radiation therapy and local recurrence. The chance of local recurrence in 10 years is about 3-15 percent for women who have lumpectomy plus radiation therapy [123-124]. The risk of local recurrence depends on tumor characteristics such as hormone receptor status and HER2 status."

      There are many more sites. I've been reading about breast cancers and been on WhatNext for many years and have several friends who are longtime b.c. survivors. All but one of my survivor friends had lumpectomies and either chemo and radiation or just radiation (one friend, diagnosed with DCIS, had a mastectomy, but no other treatment was needed). All of them were diagnosed at least 18 years ago.

      Yes, this is all anecdotal "evidence," except for what I quoted from the Susan G. Komen site. However, that as large a percentage as 88% of women diagnosed with a breast cancer have a recurrence seems hard to believe. Of course, I may be wrong.

      As others here said, good luck with whichever treatment you choose.

      6 months ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I agree with both Carool and LiveWithCancer. I have opted for both with great sucess in the case of two cancers. When I was diagnosed with my first cancer, I was told that the tumor was inoperable. I got a second opinion. And had a new surgical procedure. The second cancer also carried dire odds. Again I went full throttle Traditional and Naturopathic. I have been cancer free of those two cancers for 5 and 1/2 years. (Picked up another cancer in September)
      Another thing that I would like to add is check-out immunology. Also do some hard research about your cancer. Go to the nearest University Library or Community College Library and research your cancer. These libraries have access to data bases not accessible through Google. If you are not near an academic library you could arrange with your local library to get the information through an interlibrary loan. You could then share the information with your Dr. there might be protocols out there that your oncologist is not aware of.

      6 months ago
    • Bellabu's Avatar
      Bellabu

      If you stop and think about that statement "only 12% effective", you would think that if that were true, how do we have more than 15 million cancer survivors alive and doing well, just in the US? Those numbers sound a little sketchy to me. I personally know at least a dozen people that have been through cancer, radiation, chemo, and they are doing great right now. So if only 12% worked, wouldn't that mean that 8 or 9 of them should be dead?

      6 months ago
    • Bellabu's Avatar
      Bellabu

      Someone suggested the "natural path" to me when I was first diagnosed, I remembered running across this site when I was researching my own treatments.
      https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/naturopathic-medicine-quackery/

      6 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I would strongly suggest that you seek a second opinion. I know you want to believe the oncologist, but before i trusted stage 3 cancer to natural treatments only, i would need to hear that suggested by more than one doctor.

      But, like many of us have also said ... it is your life, your decision. This could be a life or death decision, which you know. You must do what you feel is right. Just please make it a very educated decision.

      We will be here for you, whatever your decision.

      6 months ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      When I was diagnosed, I so wanted to go natural; however, my oncologist didn’t give me a choice. Get the chemo if you want the tumor safely removed. This being confirmed by my surgeon who said he couldn’t in good conscience remove it without shrinking it with chemo first. He said with my type of cancer and my young age, I wouldn’t be able to avoid chemo. I sure do wonder where your oncologist got their statistics? Those you quoted don’t sound right to me. When I called the ACS hotline in tears and told them about what the doctors wanted to do, they said the treatment plan is very common. Please tell me, would it be so common if they knew you had an 88% chance of it coming back? HUGS and God bless.

      6 months ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      Do your own research to verify what has been said above. Usher only established medical sites like Dana Farmer, Mayo Clinic or Cancer Society. Stage IIIB is certainly more difficult than 1a but it’s not an automatic death sentence. Having said that it’s your body and your choice as long ams you have all the facts. I am HERS2+ an,d scared myself doing online research. What I didn’t realize was that the studies on survival were done Before herceptin was used to treat my cancer. The survival rate increased dramatically.

      6 months ago
    • ChiSandy's Avatar
      ChiSandy

      Even if your onc was correct, she probably was not including early stage cancers. Could be because the cancers that get chemo and radiation (and if HER2+, targeted therapy) are on average more aggressive when first diagnosed. And “recurrence” could mean local or regional, not just metastatic; and you didn’t specify a time period—25 years out, if the same histology as the first, is still a recurrence no matter where it occurs. But it’s also a long survival period. Did you press your onc about overall survival? And statistics about how many patients with Stage IIIB who opt out of both chemo and radiation do not have recurrences; and of those who do,what kind and when?

      I don’t know of anyone who went the natural route with bc more advanced than IA who survived with only surgery—the only one I know personally who went all-natural was triple-negative, early 70s, and had a bilateral mastectomy a week past diagnosis...and she was IA with a tumor smaller than 1cm. She is 3 years out and counting. Every other report I read is secondhand and anecdotal. And remember, nobody lives forever.

      6 months ago
    • Jouska's Avatar
      Jouska

      I would go back to your oncologist and ask for clarification and also comparison with those who do not get chemo. My oncologist took the opposite approach and said to stay away from statistics because they can become very generic and not specific. He said we need to treat your specific cancer, Stage 2a, e+/p-, HER2+, in the way that is most likely to be successful long term. Which included a mastectomy, chemo (carboplatin & taxotere), Herceptin & Perjeta and now post treatment, Arimdex. I wanted a very aggressive approach and one that was best for me.

      6 months ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      The question is not necessarily whether you will have a recurrence. Wouldn't the question be whether chemo and radiation will extend your life, prevent your death, or prevent further metastasis? The statistic you quoted is missing qualifying information, so shouldn't be used to make a decision.

      To purposely reject treatments verified as effective by research is rolling the dice on your health. If your reluctance is due to insurance and money problems, there is financial assistance available.

      My best advice is to do EVERYTHING you can to prevent recurrence, including alternative treatments if you have your doctor's permission.
      Best wishes.

      6 months ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      Agree with opting to treat yourself with both traditional and naturopathic treatments providing natural remedies do not interfere with the performance of the traditional . You site statistics but many times these statistics are years old and do not incorporate advancements in treatments these past five years. Also, with any advanced cancer the odds of recurrence are of course much higher so any survivor needs to accept this and realize that there are many options for treatments should this occur. You seem to have the idea that if you have a recurrence why should I bother with the chemo or radiation? The answer is that even with a recurrence , you can very often go on and live life and enjoy your life in or out of treatment for years to come. I have two close friends who are doing just that, both are later stage cancers and the treatments they are on are keeping their cancer stable. Also, who is to say , you may very well be in the percentage of survivors that never experiences a recurrence? Some even experience only one recurrence , receive treatment, and never recur again. You owe it to yourself ad those close to you to explore all options and not throw the baby out with the bath water. Survivors “ surprise “, everyday.

      6 months ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more breast cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Breast Cancer page.