• Newest treatments

    Asked by Larae55 on Friday, August 18, 2017

    Newest treatments

    With the advances being made in the medical field. What is the best way to treat breast cancer? I have beeen finding all these articles about how bad chemo is and that it actually spreads cancer

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Chemo does not spread cancer. Don't read junk-medicine articles. There are so many ways, old and new, of treating breast cancers. Check out reputable sources: the American Cancer Society; MD Anderson's site; MSKCC's site; many others.

      about 1 month ago
    • Larae55's Avatar
      Larae55

      Most of the research has come out of Europe. As you know they have cutting edge research.
      Articles in The Independent, The Telegraph, Science Blog, Science Magazine, Beat Cancer.org, Daily Mail, to name a few. That discuss the spread of cancer from chemo. I had heard rumors before I had chemo but did not know what else to do

      about 1 month ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      I'd Follow your Docs advice BUT Go to PubMed and look around. ALSO I'd use an ALL VEGAN Plant Food Diet.....No Cows Milk or eggs or cheese and NO Junk food. Just food grown in the ground. Lots of Curciferous Veggies. Check out Dr. Greger's site and chris warks site.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Larae55, I don't know that Europe has cutting-edge research. Actually, I do know that lots of cutting-edge research comes out of the U.S. - and I'm not at all someone who extolls our country over all others, but I do believe we have many of the foremost cancer treatment hospitals in the world. You've piqued my interest: I'm going to check out "Chemo causing cancer-spread." I still doubt its truth, however.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/does-chemotherapy-cause-cancer-to-spread/

      I found this link debunking the study analysis and the jubilation of alternative "treatment" believers. I did see link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248661.php. And others.

      Larae55, thank you for this info! Interesting. Well, scientists can use this, if it holds up to further scrutiny and testing, to further treat b.c. patients so as to avoid, if possible, this happening. Many women (and men) with breast cancer still get surgery first and chemo next (if chemo is needed).

      about 1 month ago
    • Jouska's Avatar
      Jouska

      Larae55, it is always best to take these concerns and the articles to your oncologist and discuss. There is always more to the story than can be put in a short article. If you have concerns and questions, discuss with him/her. I have frequently brought articles to my oncologist for our discussion and he has been very open to the discussion and has often known more about it than the article. You are right that there is quite a bit of research going on in Europe. The one that I plan to discuss with him next time is about not using chemo for HER2+ cancer, just herceptin and Lapatinib. It isn't relevant to me anymore, I've been through treatment and chemo, but am curious. That would be wonderful if it truly develops into a standard of care.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570 (Best Answer!)

      I too was upset by those articles that said chemo causes cancer to spread or become resistant to treatment. I had to take chemo prior to surgery because my surgeon didn't feel safe operating on me without shrinking the tumor first. I say ask your doctor, for he or she will have more up to date information than some Internet articles. I've seen ones that are years old and may have been debunked. HUGS and God bless.

      about 1 month ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      It is true that each chemo treatment the few really strong cancer cells remain and when they divide the new cells are really strong and we need stronger chemo....That is what they mean I think...

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Larae55, I've never heard that Europe has better medicine than the U.S. If they do, why would people from all over the world come to the U.S. for medical problems? Like everyone else, I recommend you talk to your doctor about your concerns. When you do, ask him/her how many years he/she has studied medicine and oncology, including residency.

      about 1 month ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      You really have to be careful what you read on the internet. When I researched my HERS2+ cancer I made sure I was looking at ACS, reputable hospitals like Mayo Clinic and Dana Farber or legitimate medical journals like Lanclet. There is tons of misinformation out there so be careful and run any questions you have by your treatment team. Good luck!

      about 1 month ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Europe has better patient care than the US

      In Germany, for example, cancer patients are given a month long reintergration into society after harsh dehumanizing treatment to get rid of cancer. It is basically a month long spa treatment including strength training, hot tubbing, psychological counseling, fear reduction training and games to get folks over the shock of debilitating treatments.

      Europe uses cold caps as a standard of care to try to prevent hair loss.

      I wish we also had a reintegration policy for soldiers.

      about 1 month ago
    • Larae55's Avatar
      Larae55

      I wish we had the reintegration policy also. Here they hardly do any thing about, helping with nutrition counseling, finances, cost of treatment, availability, etc. unless your wealthy enough to pay different people who specialize in all of these things. Well at least where I live I live rurally and it took me two hours to get to my treatments.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      I know what you mean. When I was going through active treatment, the cancer center where I was didn't offer the cold caps, nor did they provide any reintegration after active treatment has stopped. Not sure how my current cancer center would have handled things. I'm almost 4 years post surgery and still NED. Wish me well, I have an oncologist appointment Monday. I know it's been years, but I still get a little nervous when getting check ups. HUGS and God bless.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Geekling, soldiers with PTSD can get extra treatment. The guy who crossed the Mexican border accidentally with a firearm in his Jeep and got put in jail a couple of years ago had been to a PTSD treatment camp in California. I suspect some soldiers don't want to let anyone know how they feel and/or ask for mental help.

      I don't know about soldiers without known PTSD, except that because of so many suicides of returning soldiers the military and VA are supposed to be doing more to prevent suicides and help readjustment. VA Medical Centers have had a Veterans Readjustment Clinic with outpatient counselors for many years.

      Larae55, the clinic or hospital where you got cancer treatment should have people to talk to you about the things you've mentioned at no charge. Ask them if they have a Social Worker or Financial Counselor. Brief nutrition counseling was done with me by my Radiology Oncologist's Nurse. You could ask your Oncologist nutrition questions, and he will either have to answer you or refer you somewhere! Don't be shy---it's their job to help you get better and answer financial questions. Best wishes.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      geekling, at Sloan-Kettering, patients have many resources for physical and psychological help, during and after treatment. All of the adjuvant-treatment and post-treatment groups are free. The problem with Sloan is that they don't accept most insurance, I think, though they accept Medicaid and Medicare. I was on Oxford when I was diagnosed, and I had no trouble being treated at Sloan. I don't know which insurance carriers they accept now. Anyway, everyone I know who "graduated" from MSKCC is quite happy with their treatment there.

      about 1 month ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      @Carool .. But that is the point. Germany and much of Europe has nationalized health care so EVERY cancer patient has the same opportunity for phenominal rehabilitation after the tortures of treatments and they get treated more humanely regarding the cold caps, respect, pain meds or whatever. People have confidence wherever they are. Here you need great insurance and better doctors because there really isnt a standard of care except, until Obamacare, via your ability to pay.

      about 1 month ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      @BarbarainBham, ALL soldiers who have been in a war theater have PTSD. Unless a naturally born psychopath, one doesnt renounce the 10 Commandments, doesnt pillage, mistreat, threaten , disrespect or murder members of one's own species and then put down one's guns to pretend nothing happened.

      It is love and forgiveness, not pills, which releases a person from transgressions.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      geekling, I certainly want socialized medicine here. However, first, I bet there are many excellent hospitals here that offer the same kind of help to cancer patients as MSKCC does. I mentioned MSK in response to your blanket statement about European patient care vs. American. It's not all black and white. And if patients have Medicaid, they can go to MSK and other major cancer hospitals.

      Next, I don't consider cancer treatments "torture." Torture is never used to help save someone's life. And my own lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation were NOT torturous. Yes, I was lucky, in that my treatments were manageable - not anything I'd ever want to do again, if I didn't have to, but doable, and not torture at all.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Geekling, I didn't experience anything like "torture." Our low income and indigent, including homeless, have cancer treatment exactly like the treatment I received at an NCI-associated comprehensive cancer center (a university health system and medical school). Their care is funded by our County's 1-cent tax and/or Medicaid. A bigger problem is that homeless or low income patients aren't getting screenings to diagnose cancer early enough for best outcome, due to their lifestyle.

      If your county/state doesn't have good indigent health care funding, someone should suggest it to your local governments.

      U.S. hospitals have a standard of care. Every U.S. hospital is checked regularly by an accrediting body (JCAHO), and they aren't accredited if they're graded sub-par. Unfortunately, we are all human, mistakes happen at all hospitals, and errors will become more prevalent as they get more patients per employee. Our health care quality may go down if things continue as they are.

      about 1 month ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      I wasnt indigent when I submitted to treatment. I was a victim of lies, ignorance, stupidity (including my own), myopia, and greed.

      It took over 100 doctors and a 65 pound weight gain before I could get any one doctor to remove what they, each and all, called a wart or hemmorrhoid. That was over the course of 13 years. I had what was considered excellent insurance. I went to local specialists in a variety of specialties. I learned a new word, "biopsy" right before the agreed removal.

      Thereafter things go no better. The odds of my survival was so poor that I decided to not bother to submit to the treatment offered. It was many months later that new drugs were thunk up which increased my chances of survival to a point which made it seem sensible to submit.

      But I was sucked into a miasma of egos and greed and lies and disregard for my desires. I asked about side effects of radiation. I was given fairy tales, bubbameisters, outright lies based on a surety that I was unfamiliar with how treatment would work.

      I had 80 radiation sessions. They were torturous. The chemotherapy was bungled so I did not get a full complement of the drugs which brought me into the fold. The botched chemotherapy gave me a blood disease which the doctors tried to say they thought I already knew about and blame on me already knowing about despite it not being anywhere in my history.

      You may have had a walk in the park. I was tortured.

      I was prepped, the tumor patiently allowed to grow, kept in the dark, and then tossed down a chute where I surely did not wish to go. I was nothing but a lab rat in a series of horrific experiments. Every time I tried to object or escape, things got worse. On top of it all, this cutting, poisoning, and burning was all done to me while I was slowly being poisoned by an insurer which preferred to save $500 than the lives of my Mom and of me who were breathing in toxic mold we had been misled about, in writing, on three separate occasions.

      Dont ever say never because it just isnt true. Nobody gave a rat's patutie whether me and my Mom lived or died. In my humble experience, one simply follows the money and the greed.

      I am glad you werent tortured. I am glad your doctors were considerate of you. My experience was different. Nobody cared what I wanted or how I felt. The only interest was in growing the cancer to a reasonable size, experimenting on me without my permission, and then setting me up for a repeat performance.

      My experience with cancer and the medical profession was torture. You cant change history. You can only make things better today and tomorrow.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      geekling, many of us here know about and sympathize with your horrible treatment and the inept and unprofessional medical people who ignored your cancer until it'd grown threatingly dangerous. I, too, have encountered several bad doctors, and had I not had an excellent and very alert gynecologist, I might've waited a year to follow up on the breast lump I'd presented to a callous and ineffective radiologist.

      However, I won't stamp all doctors, here in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world, as being negligent, uncaring or unskilled. I am thankful to my cancer team at MSKCC for my being alive, and I know, from this site and others, that cancer teams all over the U.S. are equally wonderful to so many people.

      I'm not being smug, geekling, and I am truly sorry you suffered - and at the hands of horrible doctors. But, as I'm saying, there are all kinds of doctors. One other comment: I wouldn't go to certain hospitals or doctors in NYC. If I can help it, I'll go to the top ones. Some states and cities are overflowing with top doctors, some have fewer. I'm not saying that there aren't wonderful doctors in every state here. There are. But the chances of finding one are probably greater in some cities than in others.

      about 1 month ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      I read the articles on chemo spreading cancer as well. Troubling, but I think there is more to the story and more studies need to be done. Also, it only relates to using chemo before surgery from what I've read but yet the articles make a big splashy headline stating "Chemo for breast cancer may spread cancer." Of course everyone who has had chemo gets nervous.

      My parents are from Germany and I've gone to see family nearly every other year for decades. I have had family members who have had cancer in Germany. I have never heard of these spa treatments and year long reintegration. Sometimes I think these are isolated programs and get overhyped here in the US. I think their health care system is very good but most people in Germany also have private insurance through their employers or get a supplement privately. We here definitely need healthcare reform, but many stories about European healthcare are overblown and lack the full story. However, I got very sick over there and was able to access free health care easily. I can't imagine what a visitor to our country would have to pay if they needed emergency medical care.

      During my treatment for cancer in the US, I saw a psychologist and still see her now two years later. I was able to get lymphedema massage and treatments, physical therapy, oncology massage. In addition, our local cancer center had an abundance of free, continual, consistent programs for those of us in treatment or post treatment: fly fishing, horseback riding, yoga, meditation, walking, mindfulness, wellness and nutrition..... I felt I had it pretty good.

      about 1 month ago
    • Chachi's Avatar
      Chachi

      The type and amount of chemo you will receive depends on the type of Brest cancer you have and whether you are ER, PR, and /or HER2 positive or negative (to one or all of these. New cancer drugs are being tested all the time that will be more targeted to attack the cancer cells alone. And, for example, herceptin specifically targets HER2 + cells. And is extremely effective. Some of the older drugs are very effective but are very hard on our bodies. No one said ever that they enjoyed the AC combo of drugs.

      about 1 month ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      I dont know what to say.

      The radiologist who lied to me was immediately "moving on to practice in another State" when he failed to get me to agree that his lies were for "my benefit", the smug and callous pice of excrement inside a human looking body. I had simply asked my oncologist to transfer me to a different radiologist and give me a few day to consider whether or not I wanted to go forward with the "protocol". To his credit, the oncologist never asked me why and, I suppose, the radiologist was so sure of his superiority that he proudly told what he had done .. Fricking Nazi.

      It was the same oncologist who told me of the bungled chemotherapy but neglected to mention the blood disease giftie. He announced his retirement right after telling me "we thought you knew" when nearly a year after treatment I was diagnosed with the blood disease. I was only diagnosed because I argued that something was still wrong and was finally given correct blood tests.

      I dont know what it all means. I no longer trust medicos. They subscribe to a different altar than me. I only want to see one who is smarter than me and who is willing and able to explain, give me time to understand and to research, and further discuss why his or her methodology may be better than that of Mother Nature.

      I also wish to know the trade offs. All medicines fix this but make that wonky. Too many pharmeceutical companies hide what they know. I eventually took an experimental protocol to get rid of the blood disease because nobody had died. Dont you just know it was extraordinarily difficult? I found out 6 months later and by accident that the drugs were made of a base to which I am allergic. When I told the big shot blood disease doc he did not actually believe me. It took him 6 full minutes to find the truth hidden in the drug manufacturer's website.

      Just about the time I was tearing around 3 counties trying to find a decent dermatologist, it was finally announced that a side effect of that protocol is TA DA cancer. I was blessed that it was only a teensy weensy skin cancer cell and that I smoehow knew it was there and needed to be excised.

      I also dont recommend 80 radiation sessions to a most sensitive area or to any part of anyone's body. Because I am loud and feisty when pushed against a wall, I am luckier than others who have had the cancer (I believe breathing in mold caused) which I had in that my ravages are less. Also, unlike poor Farrah Fawcett, I am still breathing, even if it is mostly gasping for more oxygen. For all I know I was lucky to not get 2 rounds of the cancer chemotherapy. My brains are addled enough by the blood disease drugs.

      Best wishes to everyone. Even enlightenment wishes to Bush types and to Trumpeteers.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Geekling, I'm truly sorry about your cancer experiences with doctors, and I'm sure you're glad that's behind you. I hope you've found doctors you like by now and even had some counseling to help with your bad experiences. Unfortunately anybody can choose the wrong doctor---I did once, too, which is why I recommend patients go to a large health system rather than a private practice. In a large health system, the smart alecks and poor doctors are filtered out by complaints to their administrators. In private practice, doctors are in business for themselves with no one to complain to, unless it's serious enough for the licensing authority.

      I was actually commenting above on your reply to Carool, which was in part: "Here you need great insurance and better doctors because there really isn't a standard of care except, until Obamacare, via your ability to pay."

      JCAHO is a national accrediting body that checks hospitals and clinics approximately every year for the JCAHO standard of care. Grades are available, but JCAHO doesn't check private doctors---another reason to go to a large health system.

      Also our county's health care quality is NOT based on income or insurance. Low-income and indigent citizens are funded to have cancer treatment at the same clinic I go to, which is a NCI-associated comprehensive cancer center. In fact, the doctors don't even know about your insurance or billing, because the Financial/Billing Office handles it.

      about 1 month ago

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