Subscribe to our announcement list Your Email Address: In the DeVita textbook, Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, the authors report an average lifespan for women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer of years, with some variability. A Year Survivor Patient FK is a year-old woman who had been in good health when in mid, she first noticed a right breast mass.
She was referred for a breast biopsy, which proved to be benign. However, within a month of the procedure, her health began to decline rapidly: Her physician, assuming she had an infected breast, prescribed antibiotics, but the breast swelling only worsened and in August she was admitted to a local hospital for evaluation. On exam, FK was found to have a malignant appearing 8 by 8 cm mass, confirmed as cancer by biopsy.
Hormone receptors were negative. The tumor was thought far too large for resection, so in September , FK began radiotherapy to the chest wall, eventually receiving a total of rads. Shortly after surgery, FK began chemotherapy with CMF, a protocol she continued for the next two years. In August , while still on treatment, she developed pain in her ribs and sternum. A bone scan in September documented increased activity in the sternum and two right anterior ribs consistent with metastatic disease.
X-ray studies confirmed probable sternum metastases. Since she had developed recurrent disease while receiving aggressive chemotherapy, FK began investigating alternative approaches to cancer. She learned of my work and first came to my office in December , while she still continued chemotherapy. At that time, she complained of fatigue and severe depression, particularly worse after each dose of chemotherapy. After beginning her nutritional therapy in late , she proved to be a very determined and compliant patient.
Initially, because her oncologist had so frightened her with his dire prognosis, she continued on single agent chemotherapy, methotrexate. Usually, we discourage patients from beginning our program if they will be continuing chemotherapy, but in this case, I agreed to the combined approach. Once on her nutritional regimen, FK reported a dramatic improvement in her general health, with resolution of her bone pain and depression.
She continued chemotherapy intermittently for five years with methotrexate and later vincristine, before finally giving it up entirely and continuing only on my therapy. For many years, she avoided radiographic testing until May , when a bone scan showed that the previously evident lesions had resolved completely.
Also, chemotherapy, no matter the type, does not cure metastatic breast cancer into the bone. To put this unusual survival in perspective, in a comprehensive evaluation of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, all receiving conventional treatment, Elder reports a 2.
She had previously been in good health when in the fall of , routine mammography revealed a suspicious mass in the left breast, confirmed by biopsy as ductal carcinoma in situ. Although her surgeon suggested a modified radical mastectomy, IK insisted a lumpectomy be done. The surgeon agreed, and removed the cancerous tumor.
Since she had no evidence of metastatic disease, her doctors did not recommend additional adjuvant treatment. She subsequently did well until July of , when her physician detected a mass in the right breast. She underwent lumpectomy as well as excision of a 3 cm right axillary mass that proved to be a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, estrogen and progesterone receptor negative, invading and largely replacing the adjacent lymph node. After surgery, an abdominal ultrasound revealed a density on the right lobe of the liver consistent with metastatic disease.
In late , after completing three cycles, she refused further treatment and for several months, she did nothing before visiting Stanford in the spring of for a second opinion. There, after reviewing the previous biopsies and scans, the physicians concurred with the diagnosis of metastatic disease to the liver. Instead, after learning of my work, she decided to pursue my program and was first seen in my office in April of She was quite ill at the time, suffering chronic pain in her liver.
After returning home and beginning her regimen, the liver pain was so severe she required MS Contin for comfort. She also suffered fatigue and malaise lasting many months, before she finally began to improve. When I saw her for a return evaluation in May - a year after she had begun her nutritional protocol - she felt much stronger and her abdominal pains had largely resolved. A CT scan of the brain revealed a high-density epidural mass in the left sphenoidal ridge and a small low density area in the right temporoparietal region.
Instead, she resumed her full nutritional program with renewed dedication, quickly improved and never had another seizure. Our last formal contact with her was in October of , when she appeared to be doing fine, 15 years after her diagnosis of terminal metastatic breast cancer. Her course with such terrible disease is certainly unusual.
The disease then completely regressed when adherence to therapy improved. We usually tell new patients coming to us with a history of metastatic cancer that they need to follow their nutritional regimens indefinitely, and must never assume they are completely free and clear. Isaacs and I think of cancer as a chronic degenerative disease, akin to diabetes, that can be managed successfully for years as long as patients follow their diet and take their enzymes.
When a patient falls off the wagon, as in this case, cancer can return and cause havoc. Renewed dedication to the treatment can usually get the situation back under control. As the medical literature documents, breast cancer, when metastatic to either the brain or liver, is a deadly disease. In a series of patients with brain metastases specifically, Lentzsch et al report a median survival of 23 weeks for those with more than one lesion, despite aggressive conventional treatment.
Eichbaum et al studied a group of women with breast cancer that had metastasized to the liver. In this case, IK had evidence of liver, brain and bone metastases, as deadly a combination as can be imagined.
A Year Survivor Patient AR is a year-old woman who had generally been in good health when in July , she detected a left breast mass. A routine preoperative chest X-ray showed nothing, but a chemistry blood screen demonstrated markedly elevated liver functions tests with an alkaline phosphatase of normal less than , AST of 89 normal less than 50 and a ALT of normal less than The mass, which could not be completely removed, was found consistent with a well-differentiated mucinous adenocarcinoma of the breast, estrogen and progesterone receptor positive.
He suggested that after the procedure, she undergo a course of intensive multi-agent chemotherapy. AR also met with a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist, who both agreed that because of the size of the tumor, she required, after surgery, radiation followed by chemotherapy.
She refused additional surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, and instead investigated alternative approaches. After learning of my work through a friend, she first consulted with me in October and thereafter followed her program with great determination.
As an quick benefit, within weeks her liver function tests normalized. AR followed her program diligently for some eight years, until , when I last saw her in my office. Sixteen years out from her original diagnosis, she is in excellent health, active with various activities and hobbies. She follows components of the program, as much as her finances allow, and still refers patients to me regularly.
AR, though lacking evidence of metastatic spread at the time of her original diagnosis, certainly represents a remarkable success. The size of the original tumor, coupled with the fact that residual cancer remained after the original lumpectomy, portended a troubling prognosis, even had she agreed to the proposed chemotherapy and radiation. On my program, however, she has enjoyed a healthy and cancer free life. I included her because we have in our practice a number of women who despite evidence of substantial residual cancer in the breast after a positive biopsy, refused any further conventional intervention, instead choosing only our program for treatment.
Our decision has not been dictated by a negative clinical experience, but rather the extraordinarily hostile legal environment that exists for alternative practitioners such as ourselves. Standard-of-care criteria require a woman like AR undergo further aggressive surgery, and the world would need a consciousness shift before we would consider taking on such patients again.
Thereafter, her doctors followed her closely with frequent mammography, and two biopsies showing benign changes. However, repeated mammography in March showed a worsening picture: Once again, I note small nodule in the upper outer right breast, in association with many microcalcifications. Number of microcalcifications has increased slightly during the interval. At that point, in the spring of , VE underwent needle biopsies of eight lesions, four of which proved positive for ductal carcinoma.
Since she had diffuse disease throughout the breast, her surgeon insisted she needed mastectomy. However, the patient decided to refuse all further surgery and any other conventional treatment, instead opting for our regimen. When VE first consulted me in , she had, on exam, very dense nodular breasts but seemed otherwise in good health. During our lengthy initial interview, I encouraged her to reconsider surgery, which for early stage breast cancer can often be curative.
In a calm and determined way she explained her decision to refuse disfiguring surgery or toxic conventional treatment, whether I chose to be her doctor or not, so I agreed to treat her. She subsequently followed her regimen diligently, and over the years has done extremely well, though declining all further testing. Today, she adheres to a maintenance protocol and appears to be in excellent health, now As in the case of AR, Dr.
Isaacs and I most likely would not agree to treat a patient like this today. The legal climate for alternative medicine remains repressive, the power and authority of conventional medicine, despite its well documented and rather glaring limitations, is formidable. However, I am gratified by the success of patients AR and VE, and the others like them in our practice, who were able to avoid all aggressive surgery as well as toxic drug and radiation treatments. They still have their breasts, their lives, and their health.
A Year Survivor Patient BV is a year-old woman who had been in good health when routine mammography in October of revealed a suspicious breast mass.
In late she underwent biopsy and lumpectomy, with removal of a 2. Though no nodes were sampled, a bone scan in December as part of routine follow-up testing demonstrated increased uptake in the right proximal femur. An MRI in January documented a lesion on the right greater trochanter consistent with metastatic disease.
Her breast surgeon insisted BV proceed with mastectomy and subsequent radiation to the chest wall. However, after learning of our approach, BV refused all further conventional interventions, instead choosing to proceed with my treatment. When I first saw BV in early , she reported severe fatigue and chronic right hip pain, severe enough that she had gone on disability from her job.
After beginning her nutritional regimen, she proved to be a very determined, compliant patient. During her first months on therapy, she suffered migratory aches and pains, particularly severe in the right shoulder and hip, but these gradually resolved.
In fact, after a period of some months she felt so well she returned to work full time. Her case is very straightforward. At the time of diagnosis, a bone scan and MRI documented a large tumor in her hip that regressed while she followed only her nutritional program. Elder et al report a median survival of 2.