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    Stage 3: Double Mastectomy/opting out of chemo/radiation
    blaze1012 posted:
    Anyone Stage 3 survivors out there who had a double mastectomy and chose Alternative Medicine following surgery?

    I was diagnosed with multifocal bilateral bc on May 3, had a double mastectomy July 1 which resulted in 1 positive lymph node of 8 taken and a section of one tumor not taken because it was attached to the chest wall. I'm curious if anyone has opted for using high dose vitamin C given intravenously, supplements, balancing ph levels, and an organic vegan diet?
    georgiagail responded:
    What would be your purpose for doing this?

    blaze1012 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Why? I'm looking at survival, lack of toxicity in my body, and completing this phase of life with the least damage to my mind, body and spirit. I met several people) in my own geographical area that I could meet in person) who opted out of surgery; chemo and radiation for alternative approaches and are 3,5,and 10 years cancer free without every experiencing the side effects of traditional treatments. These are individuals whose cancers were far more progressed or aggressive than my own and if anyone does do the research and not just follow the path the doctors ordered I feel many more would be seeking these answers. It's a tough decision once you've done the research. The health care system has many flaws causing many Americans to seek other options. There are treatments practiced in other countries successfully but banned in the USA by the FDA. I'm taking control of my responsibility to be part of my own health care rather than just follow what the doctor ordered. It's bothersome that I'm met with three oncologists and I have 3 different approaches. There is no solid course of treatment except what each doctor prescribes so I'd like to be open minded to make the best decision. Honestly what I've found is both sides are beyond strong emotions discussing this subject while all I'm seeking is information - one of the strongest tools in fighting cancer today.
    georgiagail replied to blaze1012's response:
    You're not seeking information; you've already made up yor mind.

    Look; you'll likely not listen to what I'm about to write but I'm a registered dietitian as well as someone dealing with breast cancer right now myself. High dose vitamin C injections, supplements and organic vegan diets are TOTALLY useless in curing or stopping the progression of breast cancer...and it is impossible to change the pH of the body no matter how hard you try to do this. This is all feel good junk science.

    If you wish to try such alternative methods, PLEASE do this along with the traditional methods that have scientific, research based evidence behind them to prove success (or failure) in treatment. Many chose to go both routes and feel better for doing so as they believe they remain in control of the decision making over their own body.

    Good luck...

    blaze1012 replied to georgiagail's response:
    I appreciate your opinion Gail particularly coming from a professional viewpoint. I have not made up my mind and am seeking input. It's quite frustrating to have met survivors who have done just what I stated before and reversed their cancers. While we can't change our blood ph levels we can change the our body's environment and what systems are working too hard to digest food therefore not eliminating toxins. Cancer cannot survive in an environment with a ph level of 7.5 or higher. Do you agree with this statement and believe that alkaline food products do help maintain a healthy ph level?
    georgiagail replied to blaze1012's response:
    "Cancer cannot survive in an environment with a pH level of 7.5 or higher".

    This is untrue as this is close to the normal pH of blood (typically 7.35-7.45).

    Bodily fluids actually have a fairly wide range of pH levels. The pH level in the stomach for example is highly acidic; near that of battery acid. This low level is needed to begin the process of breaking down protein in the foods we eat.

    Those that believe in this pH idea focus on having folks check saliva or urine with test strips to make certain their levels are alkaline based on an antiquated and totally unproven theory first touted back in 1933 that ALL diseases are caused by an acid environment in the body.

    All eating certain foods that turn test strips alkaline really do for folks is give them a false sense of well being that they must be doing something right because these little test strips tell them so.

    Again, there is nothing wrong with alternative health choices EXCEPT when they have no scientific basis behind them and a person chooses them over a more traditional approach with research backed to show actual cure or improvement rates.

    I understand the lure of alternative treatments. In my case, my own profession of nutrition has been depressing to me. I breastfed my two children for an extensive period of time, mainly because I very much enjoyed it but also for the possibility of the protection against breast cancer somewhere down the road. Didn't work, although I'm blessed that mine was very small, caught quickly, removed via lumpectomy and I will require just radiation and I have an excellent chance of recovery. In addition, I've often joked that over the years I've consumed...literally...a hayloft of fiber for health reasons...still didn't "save" me from the development of colon polyps with the type being those most likely to eventually become cancerous and having to "donate" a foot of colon when one of those stinkers could not be removed via colonoscopy.

    Would I have chosen an alternative treatment for these health issues? Not only my life! Please don't risk yours by choosing this unproven theory of manipulating your pH level in your saliva and urine. Use both traditional therapy and the alternative focus if you wish but please don't risk your life (especially since your first posting states that all of your tumor was not able to be removed surgically) on just the alternative focus.

    SharonNVirginia replied to georgiagail's response:
    Dear Gail,

    Have you ever read "The China Study" by Colin Campbell, Phd?

    He quotes numerous studies over the past 30 years which have shown that a mostly vegan diet (I believe he says no more than5% protein from animal sources) can prevent initial occurences, repeat occurences and even shrink existing cancers. It seemed very authorotative to me although extremely difficult for an American to follow.

    I am a single mastectomy and lymphectomy survivor, 5 years now. I know that my tumor was encouraged by estrogen, so I am losing weight and cutting meat from my diet.

    Because of what you have said, I will do some more research on Dr. Campbell. I was planning to tell my oncologist about it to see what he'd say.
    georgiagail replied to SharonNVirginia's response:
    Interesting that you bring this up. A friend just emailed me a blog his brothers granddaughter wrote regarding her experiences with breast cancer. She is/was a strict vegan and a runner, required chemotherapy prior to her mastectomy due to the size of her tumor, ended up with a double mastectomy, then further surgery, then radiation.

    I see the risk of some of the alternative choices falling into three categories.

    1. That someone would chose alternative therapy over traditional when traditional would cure them and they will die needlessly (or wait too long until traditional therapy is no longer an option for them).

    2. That some alternative therapies are so strict they contribute to malnutrition (we've seen this in some of our patients who have tried these things). Had a PA I worked with in Cardiology whose brother had end stage pancreatic cancer. The PA was pushing him to try a Macrobiotic diet and asked me about it. I told him"your brother is at the end stage of this disease. He is dying. You wish to force him to eat sea cucumber? For what purpose? Let him eat what he can, take his pain medication and enjoy his last days on earth without you making him consume some ghastly item you wouldn't touch yourself".

    3. That someone will try an alternative therapy, find it too difficult to follow and be overcome with guilt that they didn't try "everything" they should have when in reality following such therapy would not have made a whit of difference in the outcome of ones health in the end.

    blaze1012 replied to georgiagail's response:
    There is much more to alternative treatments than a vegan lifestyle and balancing ph levels. Please also read about vitamin and mineral deficiencies, high dose Vitamin C and The role of Vitamin D in breast cancers. While I appreciate each persons right to choose their own course, it is bothersome to be told alternative treatments would not made a world of difference when there are so many survivors resulting from exactly this approach. I'm open minded enough to know for some traditional approaches are the correct approach but I would never be do closed minded as to direct anyone to a specific type of treatment without doing all of my research and talking to survivors from all approaches and why these approaches are slowly being integrated into mainstream medicine. I went to my oncologist today pleasantly surprised they ordered Vitamin D levels to be checked. I come from a family with 5 family members with breast cancer, (and 7 others lost to lung, colon, pancreatic, small tissue sarcoma and melanoma) This was the first time that test was ordered.
    georgiagail replied to blaze1012's response:
    There are many options for alternative therapies, although neither vitamin nor mineral deficiencies cause breast cancer.

    Blaze1012, it would appear that you have the bad luck of picking a family with an unfortunate genetic tendency toward breast cancer! In my case, I have no family history of such and so it's unlikely I'd ever get an explanation as to why I developed this. I'm subscribing to the theory that "c**p just happens sometimes; you play the cards you're dealt with and move on as best you can.

    blaze1012 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Gail I have had genetic testing and was found negative for the gene. I'd hardly consider being in my famy a choice of bad luck. I would suggest googling Vitamin S relationship to breast cancer and on another note their role in eliminating toxins in our body. I dong claim to know the cause or cure for cancer just that there is not only one way to be cured. Best of luck to you.
    georgiagail replied to blaze1012's response:
    Fine. Do the vitamin C injections if you believe these will help. But please don't discard the traditional methods of effectively treating breast cancer.

    jenna291 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Hi ladies, well I had no family history, ate a relatively good diet rich in vitamins and minerals, exercised regularly, and then ended up with IDC, stage II which was missed on my mammogram.
    I don't believe there is a correlation between vitamin deficiency and breast cancer, even all the talk about vitamin D is controversial.
    If you feel that alternative therapy is right for you, so be it.
    I did have chemo, then radiation and a lumpectomy 5 years ago. I felt this was the best plan for me to give me hope at a future.

    best of luck to you and let us know how you are doing -
    cindy12345678 replied to jenna291's response:
    I agree, I don't think vitamin deficiency caused the cancer.
    If that were true how are small children getting cancer?
    I think it is a genetic mishap they haven't figured out yet.
    Or exposure to things we cannot control.
    I do agree that keeping your immune system strong
    cannot hurt.
    I did chemo and surg. And now tamoxifen. I too believe
    this gave me the best shot.
    since then I have changed my diet some. Even more
    veggies, cut down on red meat. I am using less toxic
    cleaning products, taking fish oil.Exercising more.
    I don't know what else to do, except enjoy every day I get!!
    SharonNVirginia responded:
    Blaze 1012,

    Remember dear that there is also a thing called "spontaneous remission" in which the cancer just goes away.

    Remember that Steve Jobs of Apple decided he knew more than his doctors and opted for exactly the type of treatment you are considering and it shortened his life significantly.

    I am 59 and I remember well when people would not even speak the word "cancer" aloud. It was so completely devastating a diagnosis that there was nothing to do but make your will. Our treatments today for cancer are terrible, but the alternative is worse.

    And I think there is a special place in Hell for people who peddle false hope to cancer patients.

    Love, Sharon

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