Dangers of standard treatments
Heavy bleeding, blood clots, heart attacks, strokes
Possible complications for any surgical procedure include:
Source: Mayo Clinic
- Complications related to anesthesia, including pneumonia, blood clots and, rarely, death
- Infection at the incision site, which may worsen scarring and require additional surgery
- Fluid build up under the skin
- Mild bleeding, which may require another surgical procedure, or bleeding significant enough to require a transfusion
- Obvious scarring or skin breakdown, which occurs when healing skin separates from healthy skin and must be removed surgically
- Numbness and tingling from nerve damage, which may be permanent
Atrial fibrillation after surgery increases risk of heart attacks, strokes
Source: Science Daily / University of Toronto
An irregular heartbeat following surgery known as post-operative atrial fibrillation (POAF) often is dismissed as a transient phenomenon. But a study has found that POAF can significantly increase the risk of heart attack or stroke during the first 12 months after surgery.
Biopsies and surgery can – and do – spread cancer cells.
Biopsies and surgery can promote metastasis in a number of ways, including neoplasm seeding.
This published review says: Dislodging neoplastically altered cells from a tumor during biopsy or surgical intervention or during simple procedure like needle aspiration is a possibility because they lack cohesiveness, and they attain the capacity to migrate and colonize…Many a times to obtain sufficient amount of sample during needle biopsy for diagnosis the tumor may need to be penetrated several times. This repeated puncturing and manipulation inside the tumor mass with needle may seed tumor cells into the needle track and also may spill the cancerous cells directly in to the circulation.
Here are more studies:
Study: Metastasis is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients. Both experimental and clinical evidence lend support to the idea that surgery which is intended to be a curative option to remove and reduce tumor mass, can paradoxically also augment development of metastases.
Study: We have shown indirect but compelling evidence that there is dormancy in breast cancer and that surgery to remove the primary tumor does occasionally break dormancy.
Study: Primary tumor removal, usually considered intrinsically beneficial, can perturb metastatic homeostasis, and for some patients results in the acceleration of metastatic cancer.
Study: The role of breast tumour removal is different from the role of surgery by itself. Our findings suggest that the major effect of reconstructive surgery is microscopic metastasis acceleration, while breast tumour surgical removal (either primary or IBTR or CBC) involves both tumour homeostasis interruption and microscopic metastasis growth acceleration.
Ways surgery encourages cancer spread
This is published on the respected website canceractive.com
Apart from physically disturbing and releasing cancer cells around the body, other cancer-proliferating activities happen with surgery.
- Surgery involves fundamental biochemical changes in the body, from the effects of stress to inflammatory response to the production of healing hormones. On top of that, Doctors give you drugs at the same time – anaesthetics and antibiotics. You simply cannot think of surgery as an isolated incident in the body.
- Anyway, your cancer may well not be an isolated island in your body. Far more likely is that the conditions of cancer exist all over your body. Research covered in icon Cancer Watch [a magazine published by canceractive.com] have shown that cancers produce secondary pre-cancer cells much earlier than previously thought. These rogue cells pass round the body to other tissues where they and their oncogenes lie dormant.
- Research has also shown that tumours actually produce chemicals that stop vascular growth to these dormant cancer cells lying in other parts of the body. In other words the cancer cells need a blood supply in order to grow into a tumour but the main primary tumour actually stops rivals forming. Remove the primary and the others can come out to play. A great deal of research has focused on Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). You can suppress VEGF with bioactive natural compounds like curcumin, green tea (EGCG), resveratrol, milk thistle and genistein (in soy and red clover).
- Indeed, the actual healing process from any surgery see an increase in growth hormone levels in the body. Major surgery will produce a large growth hormone response. (This is one reason why I believe strongly that people with cancer should not touch one drop of mass market cows´ dairy. Because of the way the cows are kept, it increases blood levels of IGF-1, a growth hormone). Surgeons know this and have been trying to minimise surgery – for example using more lumpectomies or key hole surgery.
- Surgery can cause localised inflammation through eicosanoids, short-lived but highly active hormones. Especialy if steroids are used at the same time. Cancer likes inflammation, it encourages its spread. Omega-3 from fish oil, a small aspirin, ginger, garlic, aloe vera, curcumin, and resveratrol can reduce the inflammation in the body. (Vane and others)
- The antibiotics and drugs administered will damage your microbiome, the crucial bacteria in your gut that control your immune system, and keep pathogens and yeasts in check. Friendly bacteria in your microbiome also produce your B vitamins, vitamin K that protects your liver and short-chain esters that prevent build up of bad triglycerides and inflammatory compounds in the blood stream. We suggest you read our article ´Heal Ur Gut´ with some urgency and take probiotics and B complex during the period of the surgery.
- The antibiotics and drugs actually reduce plasma levels of vitamin D. Yet it is known that people with cancer and low levels of vitamin D, survive least. Take 5000 IUs per day of vitamin D, at least.
- Surgery uses anaesthetic., which is also known to reduce the immune system via the gut microbiome. Doctors typically measure the white cell count, but as we continually point out, there are many different types of white cells (T-cells, B-cells, macrophages etc). Research has shown that surgery greatly reduces the numbers of Natural Killer (NK) cells circulating in the blood you will have a much harder job to kill off a cancer cell after surgery. Readers will know that we have always advocated going into surgery with a strong immune system we have suggested a combination of astragalus, cats claw, turmeric, echinacea, total natural vitamin E, zinc, selenium, grape seed extract and natural vitamin C with bioflavenoids. Vitamins D and K have also been shown to help fight cancer cells in research.
- The drugs and anaesthetic used during surgery, and the stress involved, can make the body more acidic. Cancer tumours are highly acidic. Research from Arizona, Chicago and H. Lee Moffitt has shown that acid conditions in the body increase metastases from tumours and that acidic conditions favour these metastatic cells ´taking hold´ and forming new tumours.
Source: Accuray (manufacturer of radiation therapy equipment)
Important Safety Statement: Most side effects of radiotherapy, including radiotherapy delivered with Accuray systems, are mild and temporary, often involving fatigue, nausea, and skin irritation. Side effects can be severe, however, leading to pain, alterations in normal body functions (for example, urinary or salivary function), deterioration of quality of life, permanent injury and even death.
Dangers of radiation therapy
Radiation therapy to the chest can cause:
Source: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Lung damage (scarring, inflammation, breathing difficulties)
- Heart damage (scarring, inflammation, coronary heart disease)
- Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
- Breast cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
Radiation therapy may double the incidence of solid cancers
Study: Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows dose to be concentrated in the tumor volume while sparing normal tissues. However, the downside to IMRT is the potential to increase the number of radiation-induced second cancers…
…Intensity-modulated radiation therapy may double the incidence of solid cancers in long-term survivors.
In this study published in the journal Cancer July 1st, 2012, researchers from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report that radiation treatment transforms cancer cells into treatment‐resistant breast cancer stem cells, even as it kills half of all tumor cells. Read more
Radiation increases cancer
This study done at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center found radiation actually induces breast cancer cells to form more tumors. Plus, malignancy in radiation treated breast cells was likely to be 30 times more probable. Radiation actually promotes malignancy in cancer cells instead of killing them, and it allows cancers to grow back with even greater force.
Radiation treatment generates therapy-resistant cancer stem cells from less aggressive breast cancer cells
Source: Wiley Online Library
Researchers from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report that radiation treatment transforms cancer cells into treatment-resistant breast cancer stem cells, even as it kills half of all tumor cells.1
“When we look at early-stage cancer patients, we compare patients receiving exactly the same treatment, and some fail and some are cured, and we can’t predict who those patients will be,” says Frank Pajonk, MD, PhD, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of radiation oncology and Jonsson Cancer Center researcher.
In some cases, cancer stem cells are generated by the therapy, but scientists do not yet understand all the mechanisms that cause this to occur. If they can determine the pathway and remove the reprogramming of cancer cells, they ultimately may be able to reduce the amount of radiation given to patients along with its accompanying side effects, says Dr. Pajonk.
The investigators found that induced breast cancer stem cells (iBCSCs) were generated by radiation-induced activation of the same cellular pathways used to reprogram normal cells into induced pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine.
In the study, Dr. Pajonk and colleagues eliminated the smaller pool of BCSCs and then irradiated the remaining breast cancer cells and put them in mice. They were able to observe the initial generation into iBCSCs in response to the radiation treatment through a unique imaging system. These new cells were highly similar to the BCSCs that had been found in tumors that had not been irradiated. They also found that these iBCSCs had a more than 30-fold increased ability to form tumors than the nonirradiated breast cancer cells.
Their findings show that if tumors are challenged by certain stressors that threaten them (such as radiation), they generate iBCSCs that may, along with surviving cancer stem cells, produce more tumors.
The researchers’ work continues as they begin to identify the pathways and several classes of drugs to prevent this process from occurring. To date, they have identified 2 different targets and drugs that could prevent it. The group has published their results of the study in breast cancer but also has made similar observations in both glioblastoma and head and neck cancer.
Dr. Pajonk says the study does not discredit radiation therapy. “Patients come to me scared by the idea that radiation generates these cells, but it truly is the safest and most effective therapy there is.”
1 Lagadec, C, Vlashi, E, Della Donna, L, Dekmezian, C, Pajonk, F. Radiation-induced reprogramming of breast cancer cells. Stem Cells. 2012;30:833–844.
Breast irradiation causes breast and lung cancer
Young women treated with radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease (HD) experienced a threefold increased risk of breast cancer, which rose with higher radiation doses to the breast. HD patients treated with radiotherapy had a sixfold risk of lung cancer, with risk related to dose of radiation received.
Women who received pelvic radiotherapy for cervical cancer were found to have a twofold risk of new cancers in organs that were heavily irradiated.
Source: Second Cancers – Landmark Studies
The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute
Radiotherapy treatments and their impact in reproductive health
Radiation therapy is a component of curative therapy for a number of diseases, including those presenting frequently in young patients such as breast cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, head and neck cancer and gynecologic cancers. It is often indicated for the treatment of prostate cancer as well.
It is known that cancer cells present with defects in their ability to repair sub-lethal DNA whereas normal cells have the ability to recover. Although radiation therapy is aimed to a loco-regional application and although cancer cells are the target, radiation may also induce damage to normal cells in the tissues.
The response to radiation therapy depends on various factors such as the phase of cell cycle the cells are (cells in late G1 and S are more resistant), the degree of cell ability to repair the DNA damage and other factors such as hypoxia (hypoxic cells are more resistant), tumor mass and growth fraction. Non-dividing cells are more resistant than dividing cells.
Except for the bone marrow, the most sensitive organs to radiation therapy in the body are the gonads, both the male testis and the female ovary. The extent of damage in the female and male gonads depends on the dose, fractionation schedule and irradiation field  . Radiation therapy can be administered as teletherapy, which aims at treating a large volume of tissue. For small volumes of tissue, such as in the case of cervix cancer in the female, radiation therapy can be administered in encapsulated sources of radiation that can be implanted directly into or adjacent to tumor tissue.
Whenever female reproductive organs are involved in the irradiated field, i.e., the ovaries, the uterus and the vagina may be compromised and damaged by direct irradiation. Scattered radiation may also damage reproductive organs. In the female, radiation therapy results in dose-related damage of the gonads by the destruction of primordial follicles, which constitute the nonrenewable follicle pool. In women, the degree and persistence of the damage is also influenced by age at the time of exposure to radiotherapy and due to a reduced reserve of primordial follicles in older women, the number of follicles remaining may be also be reduced at older ages . Table 2 presents a compilation of current knowledge on the impact of radiation doses and age at radiotherapy in male and female gonadal function . In general, a dose of about 2 Gy applied to the gonadal area destroys up to 50 % of the ovarian follicle reserve. In pediatric patients, failure in pubertal development may be the first sign of gonadal failure in both sexes. Total body irradiation (TBI) given in conjunction with myeloablative conditioning prior to bone marrow transplantation is one of the most toxic treatments for the gonads and it is highly related to gonadal failure in both sexes  .
In men, the gonadal stem cells responsible for the continual differentiation and production of mature spermatozoa, the spermatogoniae, are extremely sensitive to radiation. The Leydig cells, which are responsible for the hormonal production of testosterone, are on the contrary more resistant to radiotherapy and adult patients may thus preserve hormonal production although becoming infertile. In prepubertal boys, the sensitivity to radiation therapy of Leydig cells is greater than that of older males at very high doses . Prepubertal patients may retain Leydig cell function after radiation therapy during childhood and in those cases they will present with normal pubertal development and well-preserved sexual function later in life. Nevertheless, most of those patients present at adulthood with reduced testicular size, impaired spermatogenesis and infertility.
4.1. Gonadal shielding and ovarian transposition
The standard medical procedure currently offered to reduce scatter radiation to reproductive organs and preserve fertility in male and female patients, both adult and prepubertal, is the use of shielding. When shielding of the gonadal area is not possible, the surgical fixation of the ovaries in females far from the radiation field known as oophoropexy (ovarian transposition) may be considered. It is estimated that this procedure significantly reduces the risk of ovarian failure by about 50% and those patients may retain some menstrual function and fertility . Scattered radiation and damage of the blood vessels that supply the ovaries are related to the failure of this procedure .
4.2. Radiotherapy of the uterus
Radiotherapy of the uterus in young women and girls has shown to induce tissue fibrosis, restricted uterine capacity, restricted blood flow and impaired uterine growth during pregnancy, as shown by follow-up of cancer survivors  . The uterine damage seems to be more pronounced in the youngest patients at the time of radiotherapy. As a consequence, radiotherapy-treated female patients present with a high risk of unfavorable pregnancy outcomes such as spontaneous abortion, premature labor and low birth weight offspring  . Irradiation of the vagina is related to fertility and sexual issues due to loss of lubrication, anatomical impairments and in some cases vaginal stenosis.
4.3. Cranial irradiation and hormonal dysfunction
Cranial irradiation may induce disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, which is a recognized potential complication that can lead to infertility in both female and male patients. Follow-up of female patients treated for brain tumors with cranial irradiation post- and pre-pubertally has evidenced a high incidence of primary hypothalamic and pituitary dysfunction with consecuent disturbance in gonadotropin secretion. In some cases, precocious puberty may also be induced by cranial irradiation in childhood, which has been attributed to cortical disruption and loss of inhibition by the hypothalamus.
Read the full article at Intech.com
Chemotherapy can cause very serious adverse effects – including death.
Breast Cancer drugs Paclitaxel and Herceptin can cause fatal lung disease.
On 16 July, 2019, The Worthing Herald reported on the case Cecilia Francis, known as Celia, died at Worthing Hospital from lung disease induced by the chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and herceptin, which she was given as ‘add-on’ treatment for breast cancer, on October 28 last year.
An inquest into her death, held at Crawley Coroner’s Court on Friday, July 12, heard that the 61-year-old of Furzeholme, Worthing, had not been informed that pnemonitis, an inflammation of the lungs, was a potentially life-threatening side effect of these drugs in the literature from cancer charities that she was given at hospital.
This 2017 study shows that Paclitaxel promotes the spread of cancer cells to the lungs.
One dose of 5-FU chemotherapy can kill you if you have a DPD enzyme deficiency.
5-FU (5-fluorouracil) includes the following brand names:
This meta-analysis published in 2019 by The American College of Cardiology, reported that cardiovascular disease symptoms and heart attacks were observed in as little as 12 hours of intravenous infusions of 5-FU. Toxic reactions also include heart failure, seizures, and coma.
Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase (DPD) is the liver enzyme largely responsible for deactivating and detoxifying more than 80% of 5-FU from the body. Without the DPD enzyme, fluorouracil-based drugs (5-FU and capecitabine) continue to poison the body indefinitely, resulting in overwhelming toxicity, collateral damage, and for some, agonizing death.
There is a blood test to check for the DPD enzyme deficiency, but most cancer patients are not given this test, or even told about it, before they are given 5-FU.
There is also an antidote to 5-FU poisoning called Vistoguard (uridine triacetate), but it must be given within 4 days, and it is very expensive.
Accidental Chemo spill
More studies showing the dangers of chemotherapy
A study published in The Lancet (Sept. 2016) found: Out of 28,364 patients with Breast Cancer who received Systemic Anticancer treatment (chemo), 700 died within 30 days of treatment start date. Out of 15,045 patients with Lung Cancer who received Systemic Anticancer treatment, 1,274 died within 30 days of treatment start date.
Some of these patients died of disease progression or from other causes.
SACT = Systemic AntiCancer Treatment
Read the full article in Lancet Oncology
This study published in 2017 says chemotherapy “ may increase cancer cell dissemination and induce a more aggressive tumor phenotype with increased metastasis.”
Breast cancer patients initially treated with tamoxifen have a twofold increased risk of uterine corpus cancer, with particularly high risks seen for rare tumors of the mixed mullerian type.
Source: Second Cancers – Landmark Studies (The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute)
Platinum-based chemotherapy for ovarian cancer increased the risk of leukemia three- to fourfold, and risk rose with increasing cumulative doses to reach eightfold.
Source: Second Cancers – Landmark Studies (The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute.)
This study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), concluded: Although palliative chemotherapy is used to improve QOL for patients with end-stage cancer, its use did not improve QOD for patients with moderate or poor performance status and worsened QOD for patients with good performance status. The QOD in patients with end-stage cancer is not improved, and can be harmed, by chemotherapy use near death, even in patients with good performance status.
QOL = Quality of Life
QOD = Quality of Life near death.
Press Release issued by the US National Cancer Institute:
Study finds elevated risk of certain rare blood cancers after chemotherapy for most solid tumors
The study concluded: We report an increase in the number of patients with elevated risk for developing tMDS/AML [Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myeloid Leukemia] after cancer chemotherapy in the modern treatment era. … Although the absolute risk of developing tMDS/AML is low, its treatment is often resource intensive and associated with substantial morbidity; overall survival is poor, highlighting its clinical significance.
This study found:
Large-scale, United States population-based data demonstrate excess tMDS/AML [Myelodysplastic Syndrome and Acute Myeloid Leukemia ] risks following chemotherapy for nearly all solid tumor types, consistent with expanded use of known leukemogenic agents in the 21st century. ..Overall survival following tMDS/AML diagnosis was poor (1270 of 1619 patients [78.4%] died; median overall survival, 7 months). For patients treated with chemotherapy at the present time, approximately three-quarters of tMDS/AML cases expected to occur within the next 5 years will be attributable to chemotherapy.
Ulrich Abel, PhD, of the University of Heidelberg, is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on chemotherapy.
In the 1990s, he conducted a study on the benefits of chemotherapy. He reviewed several thousand publications and sought the views of oncologists in over 350 clinics before publishing his results. Here’s what he found:
“With few exceptions, there is no good scientific basis for the application of chemotherapy in symptom-free patients with advanced epithelial malignancy”.
In his book Chemotherapy of Advanced Epithelial Cancer , he stated: “There is no evidence for the majority of cancers that treatment with these drugs exerts any positive influence on survival or quality of life in patients with advanced disease”
Speaking in Stuttgart in 1990, he stated:
“The success of most chemotherapies is appalling. There is no scientific evidence for its ability to extend in any appreciable way the lives of patients suffering from the most common organic cancer. Chemotherapy for malignancies too advanced for surgery, which accounts for 80 percent of all cancers, is a scientific wasteland.”
This 2017 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) concluded:
This systematic evaluation of oncology approvals by the EMA in 2009-13 shows that most drugs entered the market without evidence of benefit on survival or quality of life.
This study entitled Lessons from a century of cancer chemotherapy, found:
“… the results of over a half-century of clinical trials have shown that the therapeutic approach of combined/dose-dense chemotherapy has not been successful in achieving its primary purpose, which is the induction of long-term disease-free survival in the majority of patients with systemic disease”.
Risk of stroke
This study concluded: although this study does not provide definitive proof of a causative role of chemotherapy in ischemic stroke, a relation is suggested by the short interval between administration of chemotherapy and the occurrence of ischemic stroke. The risk of ischemic stroke after chemotherapy is predicted by the use of cisplatin-based chemotherapy, the first 10 days after chemotherapy, the first cycle of chemotherapy, but not cancer histologic type. The infarct is usually located in the middle cerebral artery and cardiovascular risk factors are not common.
This study concluded:
The Quality of Life near Death in patients with end-stage cancer is not improved, and can be harmed by chemotherapy use near death…
Chemotherapy worsens outcomes in Stage II colon cancer patients.
This study followed 453 stage II colon cancer patients over a two year period following diagnosis. The study authors concluded:
In this study, stage II colon cancer patients who received chemotherapy treatment were more likely to have poor quality of life, recurrence, and all-cause mortality after 24 months compared to those who did not receive chemotherapy.
While chemotherapy is effective for a very small number of cancers (testicular cancer and childhood leukaemia), this 2017 study shows that a review into more than 1,200 published articles found that
- The average life expectancy of childhood cancer survivors is 30 per cent lower than the general population.
- Childhood cancer survivors are up to six times more likely to develop a secondary cancer, compared with the general population.
In general, cancer survivors are also more likely to develop long term conditions, such as heart problems, lung scarring, secondary cancers and frailty. They will also get age-associated illnesses sooner than the general population, the analysis suggests.
The researchers say much of the illness and accelerated ageing is down to harsh treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which damage the body’s ability to fight back from illness and repair itself.
Some cancer drugs were also found to be associated with hearing loss, reduced thyroid gland activity, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, muscular weakness, arthritis, kidney and liver diseases, chronic constipation, and infertility.
While ageing prematurely is a better alternative to dying prematurely, the use of effective non-toxic treatments would, obviously, be a far better approach.
Proof that cancer patients’ increases in survival is not ‘because of better drugs’
A study published in 2018 in JAMA Oncology found that colorectal cancer patients who improve their diet and lifestyle survive longer with a 42 per cent reduced risk of death than those who do not make the changes. This is way beyond anything drugs have to offer…and with only positive side effects!
Chemo can cause cancer to return
This study states:
Interestingly, rates of tumor cell repopulation have been shown to accelerate in the intervals between successive courses of treatment, and solid tumors commonly show initial responses followed by rapid regrowth and subsequent resistance to further chemotherapy. Our results indicate that damage responses in benign cells comprising the tumor microenvironment may directly contribute to enhanced tumor growth kinetics.
New Study Delivers Another Black Eye for Chemotherapy
What if chemotherapy actually helped to spread cancer? Many within the medical and research communities are becoming emboldened to speak out against outdated and failed healing modalities still in use today.
UK Headlines were made in 2015 when a study in the British Journal of Cancer was published claiming 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men will develop cancer at some point in their lives. Two years later on June 20, 2017, a report titled Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017 released by the Canadian Cancer Society stated for males, the lifetime cancer risk is 49% and for females it is 45%.
Another study showing the dangers and ineffectiveness of chemotherapy has just been published and it has gone viral. The study titled Neoadjuvant chemotherapy induces breast cancer metastasis through a TMEM-mediated mechanism was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine describing how chemotherapy could allow cancer to spread, and trigger more aggressive tumors. By studying the process of intravasation, or entry of cells into the vasculature, the study’s authors discovered that chemotherapy, in addition to targeting tumor cells, can also increase intravasation. The authors found that chemotherapy increased groups of cells known as tumor microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM) which collectively usher tumor cells into the body’s vasculature. The study discovered that several types of chemotherapy can increase the amounts of TMEM complexes and circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream. Why is this important? The chances of survival dramatically decrease once cancer begins to metastasize through the bloodstream and effect other organs and systems.
Is the recent study the only one painting chemotherapy as a dangerous treatment option? In 2016 a groundbreaking study was commissioned by Public Health England and published in the journal Lancet Oncology. The study represented the first time that national data has been gathered together and analyzed for 30-day mortality after chemotherapy. It found that a larger proportion of patients are actually dying after chemotherapy than in the clinical trials carried out by the drug companies. The death rate in the clinical trials of drug treatments for lung cancer was 0.8%, but in the present study the reality shows it is actually 3%.
What happens when the extended survival rate of chemotherapy as a cancer treatment is studied beyond 30 days? An Australian study published in the journal Clinical Oncology found the contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the US. In fact, the study concluded by stating:
“To justify the continued funding and availability of drugs used in cytotoxic chemotherapy, a rigorous evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life is urgently required.”
By now, many are beginning to understand that one of the problems with chemotherapy is that it doesn’t address the underlying cause(s) of cancer. Chemotherapy originated from an idea and consciousness that was far from idealistic. The whole generation of chemotherapeutic drugs that are being used today, and there are over one hundred of them, developed from poisonous nerve gas created for warfare. As reported in 2012 by Green Med Info, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the developed world, and yet much of the medical and research communities are still in the dark ages when it comes to treating and understanding it. However, in the age of information, great strides are being made by doctors and researchers who are going against the grain of the failed convention ‘wisdom’ in cancer treatment. In addition, individuals are beginning to take responsibility by educating themselves. GreenMedInfo has been at the forefront with the world’s most widely referenced, evidence-based natural medical resource database containing over 30,000 abstracts and articles.
© [Article Date] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.
A look at just a few of the chemo (and other) drugs commonly given to cancer patients.
The side-effects listed below are only a sample of the full range of side-effects observed. Please see individual manufacturers site for further details.
Generic Name: Trastuzumab
Brand Names: Herceptin
Condition or Diseases treated: Breast cancer
Information source: herceptin.com
Boxed WARNINGS and Additional Important Safety Information
- Herceptin administration can result in sub-clinical and clinical cardiac failure. The incidence and severity was highest in patients receiving Herceptin with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens
Infusion Reactions; Pulmonary Toxicity
- Herceptin administration can result in serious and fatal infusion reactions and pulmonary toxicity. Symptoms usually occur during or within 24 hours of Herceptin administration.
- Exposure to Herceptin during pregnancy can result in oligohydramnios and oligohydramnios sequence manifesting as pulmonary hypoplasia, skeletal abnormalities, and neonatal death.
- Herceptin administration can result in sub-clinical and clinical cardiac failure. The incidence and severity was highest in patients receiving Herceptin with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens. In a pivotal adjuvant breast cancer trial, one patient who developed CHF died of cardiomyopathy
- Herceptin can cause left ventricular cardiac dysfunction, arrhythmias, hypertension, disabling cardiac failure, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac death
- Herceptin can also cause asymptomatic decline in LVEF
- Herceptin administration can result in serious and fatal infusion reactions
- Infusion reactions consist of a symptom complex characterized by fever and chills, and on occasion include nausea, vomiting, pain (in some cases at tumor sites), headache, dizziness, dyspnea, hypotension, rash, and asthenia
Condition or Diseases treated: Breast cancer
Information source Medicines.ie
Pregnancy. There have been a small number of reports of spontaneous abortions, birth defects and foetal deaths after women have taken Nolvadex, although no causal relationship has been established.
An increased incidence of endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma (mostly malignant mixed Mullerian tumours) has been reported in association with Nolvadex treatment. The underlying mechanism is unknown, but may be related to the oestrogen-like effect of Nolvadex. Any patients receiving or having previously received Nolvadex, who report abnormal gynaecological symptoms, especially vaginal bleeding, should be promptly investigated.
A number of second primary tumours, occurring at sites other than the endometrium and the opposite breast, have been reported in clinical trials, following the treatment of breast cancer patients with tamoxifen. No causal link has been established and the clinical significance of these observations remains unclear.
Breast cancer patients initially treated with tamoxifen have a twofold increased risk of uterine corpus cancer, with particularly high risks seen for rare tumors of the mixed mullerian type.
Source: Second Cancers – Landmark Studies
Manufacturer: Roche Group
Condition or Diseases treated: Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Information supplied by: Genentech USA
Possible serious side effects
Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):
A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
Wounds that don’t heal
A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal.
This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding.
What are the other possible serious side effects?
% = Percentage of patients who had this side effect in clinical studies across different cancers
Severe high blood pressure 18%
Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain.
Kidney problems 7%
These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
Infusion reactions 3%
Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that
may lead to stroke
decreased oxygen in red blood cells
a serious allergic reaction
Severe stroke or heart problems 2.6%
These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain.
These can sometimes be fatal
Abnormal passage in the body 2%
This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
Nervous system and vision problems 0.5%
Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness
What are the side effects seen most often?
In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:
- High blood pressure
- Too much protein in the urine
- Rectal bleeding
- Back pain
- Taste change
- Dry skin
- Inflammation of the skin
- Inflammation of the nose
- Watery eyes
Condition or Diseases treated: Breast cancer
Information source: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
- Non-infectious pneumonitis: Monitor for clinical symptoms or radiological changes; fatal cases have occurred.
- Infections: Increased risk of infections, some fatal.
- Renal failure: Cases of renal failure (including acute renal failure), some with a fatal outcome, have been observed.
- Angioedema: Patients taking concomitant ACE inhibitor therapy may be at increased risk for angioedema.
- Oral ulceration: Mouth ulcers, stomatitis, and oral mucositis are common.
- Impaired wound healing: Increased risk of wound-related complications.
- Laboratory test alterations:
Elevations of serum creatinine, urinary protein, blood glucose, and lipids may occur. Decreases in hemoglobin, neutrophils, and platelets may also occur.
- Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Can cause fetal harm.
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly
Condition or Diseases treated: Non-small cell lung cancer
Information Source: Eli Lilly
ALIMTA can suppress bone marrow function, which may cause low blood cell counts.
Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, diarrhea, or mouth sores. These symptoms could mean you have an infection, which may be severe and could lead to death.
The most common side effects of ALIMTA when given alone or in combination with cisplatin are:
- Stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Low blood cell counts:
- Low red blood cells. Low red blood cells may make you feel tired, get tired easily, appear pale, and become short of breath.
- Low white blood cells. Low white blood cells may give you a greater chance for infection.
- Low platelets. Low platelets give you a greater chance for bleeding. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your blood counts before and during treatment with ALIMTA.
- Tiredness. You may feel tired or weak for a few days after your ALIMTA treatments.
- Redness or sores in your mouth, throat, on your lips, or in the tube that connects your throat and stomach (esophagus). You may get redness or sores in your mouth, throat, on your lips, or in your esophagus (stomatitis, pharyngitis, esophagitis) or you may feel pain or have difficulty when drinking or swallowing food. These symptoms may happen a few days after ALIMTA treatment.
- Loss of appetite. You may lose your appetite and lose weight during your treatment.
- Rash. You may get a rash or itching during treatment. These reactions usually appear between treatments with ALIMTA and usually go away before the next treatment. Skin reactions or rashes that include blistering or peeling may be severe and could lead to death.
- These are not all the side effects of ALIMTA.
Condition or Diseases treated: Prostate cancer
Information supplied by: Drugs.com
- Cardiovascular Diseases:
Increased risk of myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death and stroke has been reported in association with use of GnRH analogs in men.
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Bone, muscle, or joint pain
- changes in skin color of the face
- fast or irregular breathing
- numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes
- skin rash, hives, or itching
- sudden, severe decrease in blood pressure and collapse
- tightness in the chest
- troubled breathing
- Pain in the chest
- pain in the groin or legs (especially in the calves of the legs)
Minor Side Effects
- Sudden sweating and feelings of warmth (also called hot flashes)
- Blurred vision
- burning, itching, redness, or swelling at the place of injection
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- nausea or vomiting
- swelling and increased tenderness of the breasts
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
- trouble sleeping
- weight gain
- Bone pain
- decreased size of the testicles
- inability to have or keep an erection