EXPLORING INTEGRATIVE CANCER TREATMENTPosted on November 30, -0001 by .
'By academic freedom I understand the right to search for truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true'. - Albert Einstein -
MESSAGE BY DR. VIJAE
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. 7.6 million people died from cancer in 2008 and every year almost 13 million new cancer cases are diagnosed. More than half of all countries worldwide are struggling to prevent cancer and provide treatment and chronic care to cancer patients (World Health Organisation 1.2.2013.
In America, cancer is the second leading cause of death, second only to heart disease and the risk of cancer incidence continues to increase at an alarming rate. It is estimated that 50% of adult Americans will be diagnosed with cancer by the end of 2013.
EXPLORING INTEGRATIVE CANCER TREATMENT
My first experiences with caring for cancer patients were quite negative as I felt helpless in combating the devastating ravages of the disease. By a twist of circumstances this changed in 1995 and I became more involved in gynae-oncology and eventually subspecializing in this field. In 2011 I underwent a complete revolution in my approach to cancer and in this guidebook I hope to share some of my experiences in this journey.
The fear of cancer
Whenever cancer is diagnosed, many cancer patients believe that it is a death sentence. It’s no wonder, as the disease appears to be something over which they have little control. Patients also dread the aggressive treatment options and the exorbitant cost of cancer care.
In the state of confusion and desperation, sadly most people submit to one, two, or all of three conventional ‘therapies’ of – cut, radiate and poison, without the chance of knowing the available alternatives. Many patients after a few rounds of treatment simply give up and would rather take their chances with the cancer than continue to suffer the negative side effects of the treatment.
My journey into integrated cancer treatment
I was trained in conventional (Western based, allopathic) medicine and went on to become a Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, having been admitted as Member Of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG – UK). Subsequently, I went to one of the best cancer hospitals in the UK (Saint Bartholomews ) to subspecialize in Gynae-Oncology (Gynaecological cancer treatment). Prior to joining private service I had the opportunity to learn from the world renowned laparoscopic surgeon in Japan, Dr Masaaki Andou, on the latest advancements in laparoscopic surgery involving cancer.
Upon completion of my specialty training I have been involved in the management and treatment of thousands of cancer patients and am very familiar with the three modalities of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation in combating cancer. With the addition of Laparoscopic surgery, I was able to offer the full range of cancer surgery and at this point felt confident I had reached the pinnacle of my medical career. I was to be proven wrong.
Through the years I’ve seen loved ones, friends and patients suffer dreadful complications from cancer treatments which destroyed their immune system followed by unrelieved suffering and slow death. It is indeed ironic that in these days of modern medicine, the treatment of cancer is almost as bad as the disease with the harsh statistics indicating limited progress in the conventional war against cancer (especially advanced disease - which accounts for almost 70% at time of diagnosis). Somehow death from cancer is accepted as the eventuality, and those who survive it are usually those fortunate enough to have it detected in the earlier stages of the disease.
Something was not right and deep within I knew that there had to be better ways to heal cancer. It was upon this realization that I decided to keep an open mind and search for other approaches to treating cancer (the so-called ‘alternative’ treatments). The advances in information technology, made vast amount of data available in ways previously not possible.
I was able to directly access medical journals, clinical studies, conference papers, and books which are not usually published in the mainstream journals and publications or taught in medical colleges. I found widespread information on the groundbreaking work performed by pioneering doctors and researchers on various cancer treatments in alternative, complementary and integrative medicine, and all these have been clinically proven in their efficacy. This torrent of medical information and knowledge exposed the limitation in our conventional medical knowledge especially in relation to cancer treatments, and also other degenerative diseases. In Germany for example, cancer clinics which use alternative medicine, have long been using such treatments as hyperthermia, oxygen therapy, magnetic-field therapy, Photo Dynamic Therapy etc. in the treatment of cancer and thousands of patients travel from America to Germany for medical care and alternative cancer treatment.
I began to focus my energy on unravelling and defeating this dreadful disease. Towards achieving this I have gone beyond the published journals and the handouts received from pharmaceutical companies and looked at various independent studies and applied logic and common sense, (and after 28 years of clinical practice and an almost equal amount of time involved in teaching and training undergraduates, postgraduates and subspecialists, I was sure I had earned the right to question the very things that I had taken for granted as undisputable facts) in evaluating them. The re-learning of my medical knowledge eventually transformed my understanding of cancer and my approach to healing cancer.
Integrating the best of conventional medicine with complementary therapies
Integrative oncology if done by a qualified professional is no quack medicine. It is based on sound science.
Increasingly, we are seeing many people coming to the clinic looking for ways beyond the conventional way to fight the cancer raging within their bodies. Many of them have ‘deserted’ mainstream approaches because they’ve exhausted what there is for them in the conventional treatment. Some have armed themselves with information on the alternative therapies and are determined to find a way to reclaim their lives from cancer but needed reassurances and guidance in helping them achieve their goals.
Through integrative oncology, we have treated many patients with extra-ordinary results (these data are currently being collected and analysed). But we offer no silver bullets and no promise of cure or immunity to cancer. Healing does not entirely depend on the physician and is very much dependent on the patient. For example, we can’t heal patients who have lost the will to fight or patients who do not have the discipline to follow through with the lifestyle changes. Furthermore they ought to have an unwavering belief in their inner healing power.
I believe that conventional therapy can be the foundation for most treatment regimes especially in the diagnosis and evaluation of disease status and subsequently the judicious use of appropriate therapeutic interventions. However, if the treatment is likely to be debilitating i.e. one that would seriously affect your health, strength, immune system and quality of life, then you should seriously check with your doctor if there are other safer options.
Let’s face it, we all have a finite time on this planet, for some this may be less than others, but it is worthwhile to make that time as pleasant and fulfilling as possible. What is to be gained by increasing one’s lifespan from x to y months with powerful treatments, if you are suffering most of that time? On the other hand, we have seen cancer patients whose cancer is nothing more than a nuisance as they continue to enjoy life while they are alive, by pursuing healing therapies.
There are complementary and/or alternative* treatments which are also powerful, and if used intelligently can greatly increase the possibility of cure, in addition to improving quality and length of life. I believe in the need to integrate medical care, as well as explore and evaluate all the modalities that may help and heal the people we care for.
*alternative simply means that it is not being prescribed in the mainstream conventional treatment and protocols.
To prevent and reverse cancer, you need to be aware of the following vital information about cancer:
- cancer is preventable and there is scientific medical evidence to support this statement,
- cancer need not be feared (everyone has cancerous changes at some point of their lives),
- cancer is a process that needs to be recognized and halted,
- cancer can be overcome and many people have been cured from every type of cancer at one time or another,
- successful cancer treatment does not have to be expensive, it needs your discipline and most importantly a positive attitude towards the illness. The strength of your resolve to recover is more important than any specific treatment. The power to heal is within each and every one of us.
- conventional treatments have their place but are useful only for certain cancers and are often inadequate in the absence of a holistic approach which includes dietary modifications, detoxification and other therapies.
The healer ultimately is you.
You have to recognize that “expectation and beliefs” (biology of belief) is a powerful healing force (or a killing force) that should not be ignored. Unfortunately, this extraordinary tool is seldom utilized in most conventional treatment centers. You need to give your body a chance, as well as unleash the mind and spirit in a journey of healing.
Our society has unfortunately been brainwashed into thinking that chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are the only effective treatments when in reality there are other safer, natural, gentler and/or non-intrusive breakthrough alternative treatments which the conventional doctors are unaware of or refuse to acknowledge. You would not know about these alternatives unless you open your mind and receive appropriate counseling by an expert.
The journey is yours and the choice is yours too!
Whether cancer is going to be a threat to your life or a chance to take control of your future – the choice is yours and it is only possible if you have knowledge and understanding. There are a multitude of alternative cancer treatments being promoted on the internet, in support groups, and elsewhere, and it can be challenging for an average person to know which treatments to pursue. Eventually the struggle and the dilemma faced by the patient is to sort out treatment options; ‘which therapies to use?’, ‘who to go to?’, ‘what to believe?’
We have over many years of experience in managing cancer. 20 years in the forefront of conventional medicine, where we learn what not to do and what to do, chances of survival, traits of a survivor, complications etc. This is further enhanced with the complementary therapy, which aims to restore you to a position where you can take o the challenge of overcoming the cancer. We would be in a better position to sift through the confusing and sometimes contradictory information presented especially from those who are zealous of promoting one form of treatment against the other. Being informed will always allow you to make the best choices for yourself or your loved ones.
We believe that cancer therapy should never be allowed to follow a “set protocol” as each and every patient is unique and has special circumstances and special needs. Treatment must be individualized, taking into consideration most of all the patient’s wishes after a detailed counseling of all options and supporting the decision in a non-judgmental way.
Every cancer patient ought to be able to participate in planning a therapy pathway with some understanding and confidence. I therefore encourage you to discuss all forms of treatment with your health providers.
It is a very brave choice to go against conventional (Western) medicine and embrace the integrative route let alone the alternative route. For many, it is easier to try the conventional route and then, if it fails, go to the complementary and/or alternative, but sometimes it can be too late. It ought to be emphasized that the best chances of cure are seen when the patient still has abundant healing reserves, the very reserves often targeted by chemotherapy, due to indiscriminate tissue destruction and weakening of immune system.
“Good information is your best medicine.”
We provide the starting point, and the rest of the journey is yours. Ultimately, the choice is also yours.
We wish you all the best
Dr. Vijaendreh Subramaniam
MBBS (University Malaya), MRCOG (UK)
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynae-cologist
Specialist in Laparoscopic (Keyhole) Surgery
American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)
International Organization Of Integrative Cancer Physicians
Views and ideas presented are meant to supplement the care and guidance of a competent medical professional. Readers should exercise their own care, and diligence with respect to the reliance of this guidebook. The content here is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended as medical advice nor as a substitute for medical counseling, or as a treatment/cure of any disease or health condition.
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