• How do you handle skepticism of your Dr.`s and their "treatment plans"?

    Asked by Gururobb on Sunday, May 13, 2012

    How do you handle skepticism of your Dr.`s and their "treatment plans"?

    When my journey started it was a given I listened to the Docs and did everything they say. After a few seemingly simple questions about diet my doubts about the quality of my healthcare seemed to start creeping in. Over time the more questions I asked and the more research I did on chemo and radiation the more skeptical I have gotten in regards to its benefit. Am I the only one who wonders about such things as our bodies ability to heal itself?

    Even more dramatic is the idea that I put faith in someone merely trying to extend my life by a matter of months when in my eyes my life isnt yet limited?

    What I`m trying to gauge here is the acceptance of things like the Gerson therapy and battling cancer with diet and supplements?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Your situation sounds more like a philosophical one rather than a medical one. Doctors (in this case, specifically Oncologists) are professionals who treat cancer with chemo and radiation. Skepticism about those treatments is not a reflection on Oncologist's ability to design and administer those treatment plans any more than the ability of an auto mechanic to fix a car, whether or not you are skeptical about the benefits of a car. I don't put faith in either one of them, I merely hire them to do the job they are trained to do.

      In my opinion, faith is more of a factor in "miracle cures" since there are no studies, clinical trials, or regulation to substantiate their claims.

      over 4 years ago
    • MamasLibrary's Avatar

      Hello! Im going through this now. I was stage 3b4. I had bi-lat vasectomy, 8 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiation. I had a PET scan pr-radiation which was 100% clean, but had radiation for extra "insurance". Now my Dr. wants me om Tampxifen for 5you teas and I have done a lot of research. Tamoxifen isn't best for me and they are battling me tooth and nail to get me to take this pill. I wish I could have been focused enough to handle this with diet and naturally but I didn't think I could stick to a ridged routine and decided chemotherapy was best. Its really up to you what you choose. There is a ltd of info about natural healing, but your traditional doctors will probably fight your choice. Good luck, Im thinking of you!

      over 4 years ago
    • workit's Avatar

      Be cautious about the sources of your alternative information. I'd avoid many '.com' sites if they don't provide the scientific references for the claims they make. Often .com sites are just trying to sell something, so investigate the site or claim.

      You can search most topics through the research database PubMed. Even on a site like PubMed, if you pull up a scientific abstract you should also read the materials & methods portion, not just the conclusion. In the materials & methods section you'll find out how much was taken/used/administered, etc. Often you'll find that doses are very large, beyond what is reasonable as a part of a lifestyle. If you can get the full text version of an article you'll get even more discussion than found in just the abstract.

      That said, oncologists, primary care physicians, and other specialists do make errors. In my journey I'm at 13 mis or poor diagnosis so far. The good ones will admit to it and try harder should you remain with them, particularly since they know you are fairly well informed. But also listen to them or get them to better explain themselves, if they don't have time or dismiss you, then you may have to seek another provider.

      It is a tall task for us to become 'arm chair' oncologists with a thorough understanding of it all. At some point you have to trust your healthcare team, including any online sources you may come across. Sadly to me, the oft said 'be your own advocate' is still very relevant. I now trust my own intuition until proven otherwise.

      Lastly, as a word of caution, if still in active treatment, be sure to tell your oncologist any supplements you are taking, as some antioxidants can interfere with some treatments. See if you can get an appointment with a registered dietician for nutrition advice. You can also check out the American Institue of Cancer Research (AICR), they have some great cancer fighting recipes (although I haven't searched their site for Gerson information).

      You'll sort it out, it may take some effort, but you're pondering good questions. I hope you soon get your plan where you want it.

      over 4 years ago
    • Alyce's Avatar
      Alyce (Best Answer!)

      I too believe cancer is tied to your diet, your lifestyle, your stress level and how you internally handle stress. If you as your oncologist if diet makes a difference, like mine, he said no. But then again, his specialty is chemo. The surgeon had the same answer, again, her specialty is surgery. If diet makes no difference, then to me, it does not make a difference if you change your eating habits or not....so I changed my diet. I got with a nutritionist as well. Dropped the following from my diet (since they said it doesn't make a difference, then it can't hurt)....NO processed foods, no sugar in the diet (more and more studies are showing having sugar in your diet is like throwing gasoline on a fire when battling cancer cells). As a whole, we eat way too much sugar any way. Home cooked meals, if it comes in a box or a can.....we don't use it. Went to frozen veggies because the nutrients are higher than those sitting in a can on shelves for month after month....I call those "fillers", just something to throw on your plate to think you are eating a balanced meal. No cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, etc. ON occasion, I will get "a" goodie. Everyone has cancer cells. It's figuring out what triggers them to take off. My cancer is being fed off of my estrogen, my progesteran, (sp), and my own fat cells. Commercial meat products in the stores are full of hormones and steriods as are eggs. I don't need more of those hormones or steriods, I need less. So we are buying farm fresh eggs. Limited meat unless we can confirm that it is hormone and steroid free. (hormones and steroids are used in animals, I call them hot feeds to boost animal growth to get a heavier product at the point of butcher, where the farmer makes his money...those hormones and steriods stay in the meat to be consumed by us.--beef, pork, chicken, etc) Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Have juicer as well to increase my intake of nutrients without so much fiber (I want to fill up on the nutrients not on filler) I am also taking various supplement in my diet to help my body offset the the side effects of the chemo and to boost nutrients that I need to help fight the cancer. Results are: 1st chemo for my breast cancer was 4/16, chemo is every 3 weeks. Grade 2 Stage 2A. Follow up with oncologist on May 2, he said my bloodwork reports for the last 3 weeks could not have been any better. The lump has gone from 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm, very hard substance (took 2-3 biopsy needles to pull off a chunk to test for cancer it was so hard), to a soft gel type consistency that was small enough now that the doctor could no longer locate the tumor without my "feeling it out" for him. He was amazed....but not more than I. So I have gone from a mastectomy, to a lumpectomy to possibly no surgery at all. For me, stress level, diet, supplements DO make a difference. The oncologist was amazed in the difference after one chemo treatment. I will take chemo every 3 weeks until the end of July and there are weekly bloodwork labs in between as well. I get copies of my bloodwork, they showed me what areas they are focusing on the bloodwork so I monitor those to see for myself how those are coming back into line and I share this info with my nutritionist as well. So in essence, I am eating a better diet of natural prepared at home meals. Cutting out the "goodies" for now to drop the sugar intake (includes no pop, no coffee, some tea and lots of water) and drinking more fresh fruit juice and veggie juices. I have seen the difference and it is amazing! Had the 2nd round of chemo on 5/7. I can tell the tumor is still shrinking even more after the 2nd round of chemo.

      over 4 years ago
    • babylady317's Avatar

      Hello, Knowledge is power I say. Try reading Kris Carr books like Crazy, Sexy Cancer tips. I do not care for the "sexy" in the title but Kris is VERY uplifting and has a great perspective especially on diet. Also Anti Cancer A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber MD who found he had cancer when a patient missed his MRI and he got in instead. It is also available at library on audiobook if you do not feel like reading.

      Like yourself I always thought if I should ever have cancer,all 7 of Mothers siblings had it) I would rather die from cancer than side effects of what I have seen. HOWEVER the stats are MUCH better these days. So I had my chemo and radiation. A positive attitude will serve you tremendously, it did me. For example when I first saw the linear accelerator that would deliver radiation I thought Holy s--T! This is serious stuff. When they turned machine on I felt like ok, I have this magnificent technology helping me and I felt empowered. I would say CANCER YOU CANNOT HAVE ME! Then I would pray for all the others battling cancer I know, including a 10 yr old girl !

      I continually asked my oncologist about sugar feeding cancer and they continually said do not worry about it, body converts many foods to glucose anyway. In chemo a lady even brought around COOKIES but I was fearful.

      THEN they asked me to participate in clinical trial for drug Metformin which is used to treat Diabetics. So I wonder why do they not worry about sugar when they themselves are researching diease involving sugar. They have found it protects cells 40% from reoccurance.

      So what I am saying is gain knowledge, accept what modern medicine can do for you and combine your own methods of fighting back. Previously patients considered Doctors Godlike, now however I think many people are learning all they can and taking charge of their own bodies, coordinating it all if you will.

      My family has given me such strength because they admire my attitude. I decided I would rather they admire my strength than pity me for having cancer.

      I think as long as you feel empowered in your fight against cancer, and know we are all behind you on this site you will gain confidence. Good luck !

      over 4 years ago
    • Keith424's Avatar

      Look for a naturopathic oncologist to assist you. They understand the role of lifestyle, diet, and attitude in cancer and are up on all the latest research. They can recommend supplements and other therapies to help prepare for, improve the effectiveness of, and help recover from surgery, chemo, and radiation. They will also spare you from having to research everything yourself. An example: modified citrus pectin has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the chance that cancer will be spread by surgery or biopsies. A naturopath is the closest you will get to a doctor who looks at the overall picture when it comes to your treatment. You will have to hire them out of your own pocket but that means they can serve as a patient advocate as well. A conventional oncologist is a chemotherapy expert, period. I do not talk to conventional doctors about diet, etc. I just tell them that I do not eat sugar, gluten, dairy, red meat, etc. for spiritual reasons. They won't argue with that, especially since my regular oncologist is a vegan! It is important to realize that exercise, diet, nutritional supplements, attitude, and other lifestyle changes are an adjunct to conventional therapies and that they will not likely cure cancer in and of themselves. They can improve the effectiveness of these therapies, mitigate side effects, decrease recovery time, and help you feel better.

      over 4 years ago
    • taxhelp4less' Avatar

      Very good question. I had the exact same questions, thoughts, and concerns. I agree with many of the comments. You have to be your own advocate and do lots of research on your own. Oncologists scare you into the Whole Chemo requirements. I have found an oncologist that will work with my integrative medicine team but still thinks Chemo is the only true way to eid my bidy of cancer.

      I am scared of what the Chemo is actually doing to my body in the short and long terms. In order to combat the negative effects of the oncologist treatment plan, I have a Enlisted the help of a team of Naturopath MD's and a Nutritionist. They have me on a diet without added Sugar, lots of vegetables and fruit. I am also on high doses is Vitamin C via IV. And on quite a few supplements. This team is a great asset to me in my battle.

      An improved diet can only help us in the fight against cancer. Good Luck in your battle. My thoughts are with you. Sheryl

      over 4 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      I have read that a good oil, like pure olive or flax oil, is also an important part of nutrition as it reinforces the immune system.
      Does anyone have more information about good sources of pure olive or flax oils?

      over 4 years ago
    • Weshallsee's Avatar

      The nutrients and antioxidants we find in our foods protect our cells from free radicals that damage our bodies. It is believed that these same nutrients and antioxidants also protect cancer cells. Chemotherapy was extremely effective in my treatment against breast cancer. Many oncologists believe that it may be counterproductive to increase cell protective nutrients during chemotherapy. I thought this line of thinking made sense to me and I made sure that I did not use supplements during my six months of chemotherapy and I did not over consume foods that may interfere with the effectiveness of my treatment.

      over 4 years ago
    • workit's Avatar

      Regarding the olive oil (apologies for the side bar to OP questions),
      excellent article in: Clinical Cancer Research; 16(16); 4207-16.
      It's kind of technical but has readable parts on first 2 pages and in the discussion.

      Otherwise, there is a good book: Extra Virginity, which helps to guide one about how to actually get good olive oils - all is not as it seems on labels and on the shelves!

      Bon appetite!

      over 4 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      I find that it is best to respect and surrender to my Doctor's expertise for the focused care I need for my particular cancer.
      Our doctors have seen it all. Where diet is concerned, I think we are all aware of what is good and bad for us and, certainly, each of us is unique so there is not a one size fits all prescription. In my case it is important that I maintain my weight. I am eating nutritious foods and not shunning that extra helping of pure cream in my coffee or dressing on my salad. I think exercise is also important to keep my body nimble and alert to any new challenge.

      over 4 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      Thank you, workit, for your answer to my olive oil post. I tried to find the Clinical Cancer Research article you mentioned but didn't have any luck. As for olive oils, it seems too many are tainted with residual oils and labeling is misleading. I am on a quest to find a good quality olive oil at a moderate price. My research leads me to a Costco, Kirkland, brand which gets fairly decent ratings. My guess is that there are others out there that are even better.

      over 4 years ago
    • Gururobb's Avatar

      Lots of good points here. Thanks for all the feedback.

      One of my biggest fears was to make decisions about my continued care that would seem unpopular to the general public. Current Cancer patients included.
      On this one I think I`ll stand my ground. One of the earlier comenter`s referred to it being an issue with faith. I agree totally. The entire time I was receiving radiation treatment I was certain my tumors where disappearing. I could feel them getting smaller by the breath. Same way with chemo. I started receiving it feeling healthy and confident of the outcome. It wasnt until I started feeling the chemo side effects that the game started changing. Ive said this over and over but the ONLY side effects AND symptoms I have from my "advanced, terminal, NON-CURABLE" stage 4 cancer is 1 seizure (that led to the discovery) and effects from treatment. Neuropathy and chemo brain come to mind as the worse. I`m more worried about things like liver toxins from the chemo and neurosis of whatever part of my body they decide to radiate.

      Why shouldnt I give myself 30 days? 60 days even? Follow a well documented procedure with living testimonials of its effectiveness. I have come across a thousand gimmicky feelin cures and hundreds of ones that seem to have merit. The one common theme is diet. The one most referenced for proof is Dr. Gerson. Its also proven he cured Dr`s and Nobel prize winners entire family of incurable diseases. I wish my brain was more focused as to remember specifics but i know longer write well.

      Anyways. There is proof out there if you look. In fact the proof is what has made me skeptical of research going on thats funded by big pharma. What sense does this make?

      I know, I know a lot of you dont believe that either.

      Somewhere yesterday I wrote, "I just want to feel like I am dying before I agree to being treated like it" That thought just wont stop running through my head.
      As silly as it sounds....Ill be in the bedroom drinking juice and doing coffee enemas for a few weeks. What exactly is it that could be so harmful.

      over 4 years ago
    • KendallHHC's Avatar

      Gururobb - whatever you decide, it's great that you are questioning what doctors tell you and being proactive in your health. Even my own doctor encouraged me to get other opinions and others encouraged me to include non-conventional treatment like diet changes, acupuncture and massage. I did go through surgery and chemo, but I also made big changes in my diet and other lifestyle habits. And if nothing else, it made me feel so much more energized, happy and healthy during cancer treatment - when at first I felt horrible. Today, I continue to eat well because I believe it will help keep me healthy and happy and help to prevent the cancer from recurring. And it's not just what I believe - research supports it,

      As you know, there is plenty of evidence that shows the link between diet and cancer. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal if given the right tools, and food is one important tool! Like you mentioned, it's always important to see who benefits from the information given, whether it's Big Pharma or otherwise.

      I think, in the end, we need to do what we feel most comfortable with in making decisions around our health. We have to be our own health advocates. Even the best doctors can't do that for you. It's your life, your decision and your journey. Personally, based on my own experience and research, I believe food and alternative or complementary medicine can do amazing things for us! And whether you choose to pursue these avenues with or without conventional treatment is a personal decision and only yours to make. Still, I always say that eating well will only help. Best wishes to you!!

      over 4 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar

      I know many, many people who have maintained impeccable diets full of all the right foods, organic and all and they too got cancer. While I fully endorse the idea that we are what we eat, and there is always the possibility that some things we eat may not be best for us, I reject the idea that some change in diet (even a radical one) is going to stop this incideous disease. I will grant the eating healthy can and does help all those things that the oncologists, surgeons and radiologists are trying to do to save or prolong our lives. I appreciate their care and expertise more than I can express in these simple words.

      over 4 years ago
    • Gururobb's Avatar

      The majority of my decision is being based on the research of 1 very much alive researcher.T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. Over 300 research papers on nutrition and cancer and his simplified summation? Animal protein, remove animal protein from cancer and it dies. Add animal protein and it continues to grow.

      I understand the doubts about diet alone curing cancer We all know healthy eaters, even vegans who get cancer. I just want to minimize the odds of having to continue with the much harsher traditional treatments at this point.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nfrancis' Avatar

      I go for treatment at the cancer treatment center, they are different in the sense that you have a team of Doctors, I have an net, oncologist, nautropatholic doctor and nutritionist on my team, plus access to accupuncture, reiki, massage, and spiritual counseling and traditional therapy if needed. You can get different perspectives on options. I have more vitamins and minerals then ever before. Hope that helps

      about 4 years ago
    • gmajan's Avatar

      After meeting with an oncologist who read the fine needle biopsy report to me and it stated that the mass in my right lung was presumed metastatic melanoma and ordered another biopsy. The oncologist tells me that chemo therapy drugs and radiation do not affect stage iv melanoma. I'm looking at all treatments that may be available as well as diet and supplements.

      about 4 years ago

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