J 2008-03-22 08:46:53
April 09, 1999
(if it’s a little disjointed, read the full article)
It got to the point that family members couldn’t even talk with Patti
Davis about breast cancer, a disease that killed her last month at 39.
When she was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago, she opted for alternative
medicine, and refused to undergo conventional therapy. Her care
included week-long trips to a Mexican clinic that prescribed lifestyle
changes ranging from exercise and positive thinking to grass juices
and coffee enemas.
Family members here in Pittsburgh believed she was killing herself.
Eventually, they had to silence their views for fear they would lose
Davis not just in death, but in life.
According to the newspaper accounts, Toste supported Davis throughout
the ordeal, as she adopted a rigorous 13-hour-a-day treatment plan
called Gerson Therapy. The therapy – based on a combination of diet,
exercise and coffee enemas – is controversial. Doctors in California
warned Davis against relying exclusively on the alternative
But the couple held out great faith in the therapies, which were
prescribed at the Center for Holistic Life Extension in Tijuana. To
support his wife, Toste adopted Davis’ diet and at one point they were
eating about 15 pounds of carrots per week between them.
Family members in Pittsburgh also stressed to Davis that conventional
treatments can be effective. Pat Davis thought her example of being
diagnosed with breast cancer at 47 and living 22 years after radiation
and chemotherapy would have shown her daughter the way to go. But
Patti didn’t see it that way.
In a December newspaper account, Davis said of adding conventional
therapy: “I realized I needed to be open to all kinds of treatment.”
In that article, Davis and Toste said they didn’t regret delaying
seeking radiation and chemotherapy.
“She did whatever she believed was best for her at the time,” Toste
told the newspaper.
Davis talked with her daughter for the last time on a Wednesday, three
days before her death on March 20. Her daughter was being cared for at
a Tulsa hospital that specializes in combining Western and alternative
medicine. She asked if she should visit, but her daughter told her she
would be fine and would expect to see her during a future visit to
Davis said that at one point in the last few months she asked if her
daughter had regrets about her treatment decision.
“All she said was ‘Yes,’ ” Davis said. “It was too late, and in her
heart I think she knew it, but she was confident until the last two
days that she was going to make it.”
Mombu 2008-03-23 00:36:11
People often die, when using the standard medical treatments for cancer
So far, I don’t know enough about alternative treatments, to have formed
opinions yet about each of them.
However, I do Not believe that the standard medical therapy only (that
is, the doctors’ using a few very-expen$ive PHARMA drugs, & ignoring all
else), is a good approach to fighting cancer or any other chronic
We need doctors who are trained in both PHARMA care, & in complimentary
& alternative care, … who can give us informed opinions, not only
about each treatment, but also about combined treatment plans.
We need doctors who are extremely well-trained in Integrative Medicine.
Susan, Su_Texas my opinions
Vegandingopup 2008-03-23 10:04:30
I am so sorry for another cancer death. However, to blame alternative
treatment for this is a little far-fetched. A very good friend died
only three days ago from breast cancer that had spread to her lymph
system. She had radiation/surgery/chemo during the first six-months of
her illness and it seemed to work. And then it came back with a
Poor thing. Her immune system had been destroyed and she had no hope.
Steph 2008-03-23 10:04:45
There are many drugs, many surgical procedures, many types of radiotherapy and hormone therapy…..
Many of us are
Many of us are. We are also trained to critically judge the evidence and
reject what is nonsense.
Steph 2008-03-23 18:45:41
Your point being?
The cancer killed her, “immune system destruction” by treatment. If anything
damages the immune system it’s a serious illness like cancer…….
J 2008-03-23 18:45:53
Vitamin Deficiencies and Toxicities
Thumbs down on juicing, excessive carrot diets and enemas to treat cancer.
Thumbs down on juicing, excessive arrot diets and coffee enemas to treat
(except where necessary warm water enemas for constipation)
Thumbs up (maybe) for same for about a week, once a year (for an otherwise
healthy person), to give the digestive system a break.
Mombu 2008-03-23 18:46:25
Vitamin Deficiencies and Toxicities
Thumbs down on juicing, excessive carrot diets and enemas to treat
Thumbs down on juicing, excessive arrot diets and coffee enemas to treat
(except where necessary warm water enemas for constipation)
Thumbs up (maybe) for same for about a week, once a year (for an
otherwise healthy person), to give the digestive system a break. J-jmo
That wasn’t a thumbs down to juicing & carrots.
It was a thumbs down to taking excessive Vitamin A in supplement form.
Carrots contain Beta Carotene (sp?), which the body can convert into
Vitamin A, but which isn’t toxic.
So far, I don’t know much about carrots & juicing, but I’d think that an
excess of any one food item, might Not be a good idea.
Susan, Su_Texas my opinions
J 2008-03-24 10:53:37
The lady above was young, could tolerate the side effects of chemo and obviously did not
have an aggressive type of breast cancer, or she’d have been dead within approximately
There’s another that Lisa knows who was given 6 months and 7 years later, is still alive
after chemo. She was riddled with cancer that began in her breast. Did she have quality
of life? Apparently, else she’d have stopped the treatment.
Now she’s in remission.
Every cancer/person is different.
And that’s the issue I have with you Marc.
You went to the house design newsgroup with an obvious chip on your shoulder. If that
was due to depression (for any reason), then get some medication for yourself. As best I
can tell, you did your own research, then read here for a while and came in here also
with a chip on your shoulder.
If you’ve unduly influenced your wife to not try, then I’m mad as h*ll at you. I don’t
recall you saying there was a biopsy. I have read where some GBM’s were actually oliog
(I forget the spelling, but the type Curly had). As best I can tell your wife is fairly
young. Are you afraid you can’t deal with her side effects? that it will be a nuisance
factor for you? Why isn’t it possible for her to try and if it’s not “working”
(shrinking the tumour) and/or the side effects cannot be controlled, then just give up.
Why give up so easily? Are you both quitters?
(I’m the first one to tell older patients to think about it very carefully..they’ve had
their careers, they’ve had their families, they’ve “lived” and some of them have other
I’d like to hear directly from your wife what treatments were offered by her oncologist
and why she decided not to try them.
She may have misunderstood at the first meeting, she may be unduly scared of trying or
she may be doing what she is doing to please you or make your life easier. I’d like to
see her go back to the oncologist and have (s)he run it by her again. And tell us from
her own mouth, what the choices are, the location and size of the tumour, so I know you
aren’t controlling her non-action.
and why isn’t she posting here Marc, if she’s doing so well? Do you control the
computer and the mouse?
J – frustrated with you.
Vegandingopup 2008-03-24 10:53:46
My point being; the cancer killed the lady using alternative therapy
after two and one half years while the chemo/radiation/surgery lady
lasted less than one year….
Steph 2008-03-24 10:53:48
And you think that’s meaningful information?
Don’t you think the 85% of my larynx cancer patients who are cured by
radiotherapy might have done worse with “alternative therapy” instaed?
Or are you completely out to lunch?
Alayne 2008-03-24 10:53:51
Don’t be too hard on Marc. His wife Jane has a GBM and in their opinion
they are doing what they feel best to deal with it. Jane was given a
prognosis of 3 weeks, she has out-lived that and at the end of the day that
is what is important, not the means that has allowed her to do so.
I don’t stand in the corner for alternative treatment by any means (we gave
“Brian” all that conventional had got) but if a form of treatment (when the
outlook is so bleak anyway) offers some form of hope, surely that can only
be a positive thing.
I don’t speak from any form of medical opinion, purely from an emotional
one – having been there myself and therefore having some understanding of
exactly what Marc and Jane are going through.
J 2008-03-24 10:54:05
Something’s wrong with that Alayne.
Nobody can give that narrow of a prognosis.
So either they’ve misunderstood or they were told that to “scare” them into
Or Jane’s dying now, in which case, whatever they do or don’t do, won’t make any
Vegandingopup 2008-03-24 10:54:34
I am a curious how you deduce that my asking critical questions on the
building group could be due to depression. Frustration, possibly, is
the term you are looking for as we were very, very frustrated with the
architect designed house we had built a few years back. It looked
pretty on paper and it turned out to be awful to live in. We decided
to design our new home ourselves and it suits us very nicely. Is
being creative due to depression?
Jane has never used the computer at all. We have had the latest
machines for over twelve years now and she has never even tried to
turn one on. Her choice. Do you believe this is because of some male
dominance thing, J?
My wife was told she had three-weeks to live in October. Today she is
alert, going to the beach and swimming, enjoying conversations with
friends, and doing ten kilometres on her excercise bike daily. She is
very aware of what her choices are and I have never told her what she
must do or not do. If you knew her then you perhaps would know how
strong willed she is. I am amazed at her inner strength and at the
obvious peace within her self, especially at this time in her life.
The bioposy involved a risk that she was not willing to take as she
was not willing to undergo radiation or chemical treatment. Surgery
was not an option. We have a very good friend who had a sister and a
niece both die of brain tumors. They were both treated by the
conventional way and she describes their treatment and decline with
much horror and regret. She has told Jane many times that she is
convinced that if her sister and niece had done what Jane is doing
then thay would both be alive today. I don’t claim this, I only know
what she has told us.
If you could offer us some positive information on the outcome of
radiation/chemical treatment for a glioblastoma mulitforme we would be
very grateful to you.
Marc 2008-03-24 10:54:45
Could you give us your statistics for breast cancer with your treatments?
Or for a glioblastoma multiforme?
I am not against conventional treatments per se, I am only doing what seems
logical considering what the stistical facts are.
J 2008-03-24 10:54:49
Marc, how do you and Jane define positive information?
shrinking the tumour, quality of life, extending life or ?
I’ll try to get to the other issues later.
Steph 2008-03-24 10:54:53
tumour, so I know you
It is undoubtedly the case that radiotherapy prolongs survival compared to
no radiotherapy for patienst with GBM. The trials are all there.
Steph 2008-03-24 20:33:36
Breast cancer is an entirely different disease, btu there are several large
clinical trials showing that both chemotherapy and radiotherapy improve
survival and local control in patients with high-risk breast cancer.
And although there is no curative treatment for GBM, there is very good
evidence that radiotherapy prolongs survival.
How can it be logical to dismiss things for which there is good evidence,
whilst being prepared to substitute things for which there is no good
J 2008-03-25 05:15:13
Trying this another way.
What if they were right and she has outlived her prognosis but would have
outlived it by longer with chemo, worth it (or not)? from yours and Tony’s
Alayne 2008-03-25 05:15:28
Hard one to answer J!!
I sometimes “dwell” on the thought that would Tony have been “better off”
not going through Radiotherapy, knowing that at the end of the treatment we
were given “sorry, don’t know how to tell you this but it hasn’t worked”?
The number of hours that he spent up at the hospital in clinics and waiting
for transport. How do I know that some of his symptoms were not due more to
radiotherapy than to tumour. I don’t.
All that I do know is that we were far more positive by doing “something”,
rather than just sitting back and accepting.
Pyscologically facing the “grim reaper” in my opinion, is the hardest thing
about facing cancer. People will “try anything” when they are fighting for
their life. Tony once read that eating cauliflower and broccoli had “cancer
fighting properties”, inanely, he tried it – by the bucket load (not
pleasant to live with!!) and yet we both had our feet quite firmly planted
on the ground. He also wanted to “operate himself”, insane as it sounds.
It is so hard to accept that you have your life in other people’s hands,
with no control over the situation whatsoever.
I certainly don’t advocate alternative courses of action, but from an
emotional aspect, I do see where people are coming from.
Alayne – pondering (!!)
J 2008-03-25 05:15:39
Aren’t these hard to thrash out?
Definition of “hasn’t worked”? No cure, no shrinkage? make it go away?
but how do we know that the radiotherapy (or chemo if applicable) doesn’t/didn’t
stop it from growing more, which could be life-shortening..
Operate himself, I can sure understand just wanting the danged thing out and
wanting to do it oneself, because when getting close to one area, could tell a
person when to stop, whereas under anesthetic, I don’t think if they can totally
tell until afterwards how much of the brain they’ve affected (like speech,
mobility eyesight, hearing etc).
Seriously though I’m glad he didn’t try. Many years ago, Mom was shaking her
head ..heard on the news that a man in UK drilled a hole in his head, trying to
stop pain, I think. Little did she know that years later, she’d be saying “I’m
out of my mind from the pain”..
cauliflower and broccoli ? did it help with your fuel bill?
Alayne 2008-03-25 05:15:51
Definition of “hasn’t worked”: We were told that radiotherapy would offer
no cure, HOWEVER, we were informed that it was the best available form of
treatment and a best case scenario would be blitzing it down to the size of
a pea. Everyone in the radiotherapy dept. boyed Tony along into believing
that it was the best thing since sliced bread, you therefore believe and
strongly so, that they were indeed going to blitz it. You combine this,
okay in hindsight with innocence, that they would not be spending 30K on
this form of treatment if it was not going to do the trick.
So therefore we understood “hasn’t worked” to mean no shrinkage (also backed
up by CT scans) and therefore not done what we told would be expected.
The trouble is, you truly believe in the opinions of medical people, they
are the people that know what they are talking about and you are the
ignorant ones. Unfortunately now that I am no longer quite so ignorant I
realise that a lot is based on mere opinion. I have lost so much “faith” in
the medical profession (not necessarily talking about radiotherapy here),
okay that is more down to my local GP than anyone else, but it will always
leave me with questions that there is no way I can find the answers to.
Boy, am I glad he didn’t operate too!! Considering that his comprehension
was the first thing to go – he could have ended up removing virtually
Combine cauliflower/broccoli and chemo. pills and boy what a rally bog you
have!!! Didn’t save on fuel bills, just increased the air freshner!!
J 2008-03-25 12:13:40
for his treatment ? or the cost of the equipment?
I rather doubt they’d have tried if there had been no hope of. (not in UK)
I’m surprised Steph hasn’t commented. (or did he, way back when, if you remember?)
This is so hard by newsgroup. You mean after he started treatments (or before)?
(for the comprehension problems).
Are you now thinking he may have survived the same length of time but with
better quality of life without any treatments?
I have something about longer term survivals (I’ll find it and post it, but then
it might make you feel worse, so we’re all kind of in between a “rock and a hard
place” about discussing these for a number of reasons), but it’s Canadian, (and
rare/r) and wondering if the quality of rad onc’ing is better in Canada…since
I believe it’s here that the technology started (or came out of).
I’ll post it later, but now marc and Steph seem to be at a stand-off, nobody’s
replying to each other (nor marc answering the question I asked him), except you
Alayne 2008-03-25 12:14:00
- He was told it cost 1K a hit!! That is where his joke about having a
more expensive hair cut than David Beckham came from when his hair fell out
in patches – something he was very proud of!!
Can’t recall if Steph commented or not – seems a very long time ago now.
Comprehension went as soon as radiotherapy started.
No, but it makes me wonder if we “wasted” his time with all the time spent
at the hospital but that comes from the “emotional” part of me. The
“realistic” part of me knows that there was no option but to go ahead with
treatment. We were not going to just sit back and let it happen without
putting up a fight. We were aghast when his local GP (who still deserves a
smack) told us that some people opt for no treatment at all, Tony had a wife
and two kids to live for. But I still, and always will, question my
ignorance about not pursuing any other options, about letting other people
control the situation. But my defence to myself (and to Tony) is that we
felt very much out in the “wilderness” and I simply did not know on which
door I should be knocking.
I have no gripe with the medics/treatment (h***, I work for the NHS myself),
I probably have more of a gripe with myself for whole-heartedly believing
and trusting my local GP (who said he had experience with 5 GBMs before) and
not kicking up more of a fuss earlier when he so obviously didn’t have a
clue. I wouldn’t let a cowboy fix my bike, so why did I my husband!!
I understand myself in that I know perfectly well that there never will be
an answer to my own questions. It is like reading a school report “could
have done better”. We all make choices in life and it is only when/if those
choices fail us that we regret them.
I replied/supported Marc’s response because I truly emphathise with the
situation that he is in – having bought the t-shirt for that one myself.
Cheers & Hugs J
Steph 2008-03-25 12:14:10
UK radiotherapy is as good as anywhere.
it’s also very cost effective, but it’s never done because of certainty it
will “do the trick”! It’s done because there is a realistic chance it will
do the trick. Whatever the trick happens to be in that particular situation.
Steph 2008-03-25 12:14:13
Though not necessarily because of it. Almost certainly not, in fact.
Alayne 2008-03-25 12:14:26
My point started out in connection with Marc – I felt that he was jumped on
for their choice of treatment. At the end of the day the prognosis for a
GBM is incredibly poor so therefore how can he be criticized for their
choice, if in the meantime Jane’s quality of life has improved considerably.
I am in touch with Marc outside of this NG so am probably more empathetic
towards him knowing more of their background.
J 2008-03-25 21:43:06
Well, that’s fine with me, as long as nobody insults our intelligence by trying
that what they are doing is somehow treating the cancer/tumours.
Steph 2008-03-25 21:44:00
It is certainly very poor – but better on average with radiotherapy than
Jonleipzig 2008-03-27 07:11:47
You must be reading the wrong literature.
PBS Air date: February 27, 2001 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/2805cancer.html
NARRATOR: Today, treating cancer often involves extreme measures and
some of the most poisonous substances known.
DON INGBER (Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School): Conventional
cancer drugs, most of which are still derivatives of, basically, the
mustard gases used in warfare in World War I and are really toxic to
any cell, have the known side effects of you losing your hair, losing
your immune response, affecting your intestinal tract.
Jonleipzig 2008-03-27 07:11:53
Seems to me, the last place I’d go for unbiased info would be to a
(would you take your Chevy to the Ford Proving Grounds for
Lots of “anecdotal” evidence of ppl curing themselves, in part, with
“excessive” juicing. (see the former trauma surgeon, drday.com)
Jonleipzig 2008-03-27 07:11:56
Part of the problem is, these Quackologists derive about 2/3 of their
income from chemo/radiation. Imo, it wouldn’t matter if common grass
clippings were proven to shrink/dissolve tumors. They wouldn’t tell
their victims (patients).The downside of profit oriented medicine is
that only profitable remedies will be used. In my native Germany
there’s a wide variety of “alt” remedies used by mainstream
practitioners. (what’s _mainstream_ depends on the stream you’re in)
This professor supposedly discovered milk was a major culprit in her
My homie, Dr. Budwig, tried a different approach. Instead of attacking
the tumor, she cleaned up the terrain, by giving an oil change.
A couple yrs ago, I followed with interest the postings of a Webtv
lady from my former neighborhood in Milwaukee. (she was so naive, she
had her home phone & street addy on her sig!) Amazing, how an
uneducated layperson can discover what makes her cancer grow, &
shrink. Colorectal, I think she had. She did a modified version of the
Gerson remedy, w/out the enemas. When she “disappeared” from the
boards, I thot she’d failed……months later I saw her in a Politics
group…very much alive & well! (she’d graduated to a computer & AOL.
Jonleipzig 2008-03-27 07:11:59
Just one more 🙂 http://www.ralphmoss.com/rwmspeech1.html
On a recent trip to Germany I was astonished to see the scope and
freedom with which many progressive oncologists treat cancer. They use
a combination of the conventional approaches with such things as tumor
vaccines; mistletoe therapy; local, regional and whole-body
hyperthermia; thymus and other organ extracts; fever therapy;
orthomolecular and antioxidant therapies; psychoneuroimmunology; music
and art therapy; sports and physical therapy; and many, many others.
Their government not only allows such approaches, but encourage and
pay for them as well.
It is astonishing that the average American oncologist knows little or
nothing about any of these approaches. The FDA has done everything in
its power to block their development over here. The NCI has not
seriously examined a single one of these. Our war on cancer has fallen
woefully behind developments in other parts of the world, not just
Germany but Japan, China, and many other countries as well.
The approach of the war on cancer has been relentlessly that of
chemotherapy. Reliable estimates put the sales of cancer therapeutics
at over $12.3 billion this year. Most of that is controlled by
American firms. And so it has been a big business success story, with
double-digit growth rates every year for over a decade. But it has
done little for the cancer patient.
The FDA has approved approximately 40 drugs for the treatment of
cancer. But it has never approved a non-toxic agent or one that was
not patented by a major pharmaceutical company. The approved drugs are
all toxic and many of them cause second cancers in those who are lucky
enough to survive the treatment. And the NCI, FDA, and comprehensive
cancer centers are tied by a thousand strings to the multi-billion
dollar pharmaceutical industry. Recently, a top FDA official went to
work for Elan Pharmaceuticals. But this is nothing new. Two past
directors of the FDA became drug company officials, as did Dr.
Klausner’s predecessor at the NCI. It is a time-honored tradition, the “revolving door.”
J 2008-03-27 07:12:02
Anecdotal doesn’t cut it here.
Stage, type, surgery (some cancers are removed during investigation)..my Dad’s was.
J 2008-03-27 07:12:05
J 2008-03-27 07:12:07
see Steph’s Questions to Ask it’s in the Google archives many, many times
J 2008-03-27 07:12:10
I took my Chev to a Ford place, they did a great job on it.
J 2008-03-27 17:23:43
J 2008-03-27 17:23:45
J 2008-03-27 17:23:47
http://tinyurl.com/23p9y Unconventional Therapies – Evaluating Alternative / Complementary
Steph 2008-03-27 17:23:50
I don’t get most of my medical information off PBS……
Steph 2008-03-27 17:23:54
Who had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy……….