Success Stories: Cancer

Patient #1 - What A Difference One Visit Makes

An elderly gentleman, age 79, came with a diagnosis of bladder cancer (likely Stage IV--not a favorable stage for those non-medical folks).  He had received one chemotherapy treatment from his oncologist and he decided further chemo was not for him.  "It almost killed me," he said.  

His cancer had contributed to a significant weight loss and decline in energy and endurance.  He weighed 115 lbs. at his first visit (he is 5 feet, 11 inches tall--rather slender!).  His appetite was down and he could only walk one block without having to rest from fatigue.  

The Schachter Center practitioners ( MD, PA, and Lifestyle Counselor) made suggestions about diet -  he was told to avoid artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates.  He was given a fairly extensive list of supplements with potentially more as his laboratory work and/or symptoms suggested.  

By the second appointment (4 weeks later), he reported an improved appetite, he had gained 8 pounds, and had been able to walk three miles without any problems.  We've suggested other possible therapies with our psychological counselor, our acupuncturist, and perhaps if and when the time is right, intravenous antioxidants.  (11/06/01)

Patient #2 - Integrative Medicine Is A Good Idea

A 57-year-old woman first came to our office last year.  She had been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer and although surgery was attempted, it was not done at that time because the area was affected by extensive cancer.  Chemotherapy was suggested and she opted to do that along with a healthy diet which included fresh juices and a nutritional supplement program as outlined by our office.  

After she completed the course of chemotherapy, a CT scan suggested surgery might then be an option.  When the surgeon operated, he found there was no evidence of visible cancer and the lymph nodes were also negative showing there was no metastasis.  This occurred earlier in the year.  

She tolerated the chemotherapy well, maintaining her weight and energy, and was able to continue her normal activities.  This is a common observation of the patients who combine supplements with chemo (apparently in this case the supplements did not interfere with the chemo -- a concern often expressed by some oncologists).  

When seen about two months ago, she was feeling well, staying on a "clean" diet, taking her supplements, and had had a CT scan in September which showed no cancer.  She will continue to be carefully monitored by her oncologist---and by the center!  (11/13/01)

Patient #3 - Breast Cancer Conquered

This pleasant 35 year old woman first came to our Center in April of 2012, having been diagnosed with localized left breast cancer in December of 2011. She had undergone a lumpectomy and due to the size of her mass (1.5 cm.), her young age and the invasive nature of her cancer, she had been advised to undergo multiple post-op therapies. These included multiagent chemotherapy, breast irradiation, 5 years of Tamoxifen and possibly other therapies. Refusing these treatments, she then went to an Arizona clinic that started her on an aggressive, natural anti-cancer regimen. Finding this helpful, she came to our office to continue her program and receive other opinions.

It is now 20 months since the patient's diagnosis of breast cancer. She has continued her special diet, oral nutritional supplements and intravenous Vitamin C infusions. She continues to do well and remains cancer-free at the present time. She never underwent chemo, radiation or Tamoxifen therapy and plans to avoid these treatments indefinitely. 

Patient #4 reports in his own words - Prostate Cancer

"I'm a 42-year-old male who was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  I was told by the urologist and my primary care doctor that my options were surgery or radiation.  The recommendation was surgery.  I was told it needed to be radical.  I did extensive research on both conventional and alternative cancer treatment.  I chose alternative only since the side effects are far and few.  Surgery didn't guarantee the cancer would not spread.  MY PSA test was over 17, my Gleason Score was a 4.  

I decided to see Dr. M. B. Schachter since he is known for alternative treatments for cancer.  I followed his recommendation for diet, nutritional supplements, herbs, weekly vitamin C drips along with other intravenous treatments.  

It is now six months later.  I have no trace of cancer.  I am now going to have drips every two weeks and continuing with supplements.  I feel fine.  Thank you to Dr. Schachter and other staff.  I believe that cancer patients should have the choice to choose alternative treatment.  Being fried, cut, or poisoned are not the only options.  A.L."  (9/7/99)

Patient #5 in her own words - Toxic Treatments Unnecessary!

"Ten years ago I was diagnosed with DCIS, a pre-cancerous condition in my right breast. Conventional medicine prescribed a mastectomy or radiation and tamoxifan, even though I had no tumor. As a Registered Nurse, I was well aware that these toxic treatments were over-kill.

Fortunately, I found Dr. Schachter who came very well recommended. After a very thorough work-up, he determined the cause of the cancer cells to be high levels of mercury, cadmium and lead that were suppressing my immune system. I began a treatment of chelation treatments to detoxify as well as nutritional supplements and acupuncture to protect me and boost my immune system. I also had all my mercury amalgam dental work removed. Dr. Schachter also diagnosed my Wilson's Thyroid syndrome and treated me according to the protocol.

As a result of his excellent care and my adhering to lifestyle changes, including diet, supplements and chelation, I am much healthier and have not developed any breast cancer.

I am very grateful to Dr. Schachter and Sally Minniefield, PA-C, for shepherding me through to much better health and highly recommend their care to anyone."

Patient #6 in her own words - Breast Cancer, Conquered

This particular patient has written a wonderful success story, and because it is so remarkable, we are featuring it on its own web page here. (2-7-12)

Patient #7 reports - Cancer of the Tongue - "A Miracle"

"No one in my immediate family ever had cancer of any kind, anywhere. So when I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the tongue that spread to my left lymph node, I was devastated. Only two months after retiring at age 55, the only two questions were, 'How?' and 'Why me?'

The prognosis was poor and a semiglosectomy and removal of the left lymph node with possible left jaw amputation was the first recommended course of action -- a surgery that would have taken me from Tiny Tim to Frankenstein for the rest of my life.

However, I had known of the Schachter Center and their successes with respect to cancer and I immediately sought their advice and course of treatment. They advised me to avoid surgery, but they did strongly advocate the other medical norm approach which was chemo and radiation. Being fully aware of the adverse effects of that medical approach, they assured me that they would get me through it with the least hardship.

Dr. Kopelson and his knowledgeable staff prescribed a diet and a natural supplement regimen that got me through it with flying colors, so much so, that the regular doctors were amazed with my progress and results.

I was diagnosed on June 8, 2009 and by my 56th birthday in November, my PET scan showed the tumor and cancer were gone. The doctors said and still say to this day that my case was one of the worst and my recovery  was nothing less than a miracle -- a miracle at the Schachter Center." DD (2-23-12)

Patient #8 - Breast Cancer: How Important is Radiation Therapy?
A Critical Look at the Standard of Care Treatment
for Stage I and Stage II Breast Cancers

Diane (not her real name), a 52 year old single, career woman, was first seen by Dr. Schachter in June 2005 for help in managing her breast cancer. She specifically wanted to discuss the advisability of continuing radiation therapy, which she had already begun. Diane also wanted to discuss therapeutic options available to her that might not have been presented by the conventional physicians with whom she had previously consulted.

She had been recently diagnosed with right breast carcinoma that was positive for over-expressed estrogen and progesterone receptors and negative for Her2/Nu receptors. The receptor status of breast cancer is important because it relates to both the prognosis and to which therapy is recommended. Diane had a lumpectomy and a second surgery to establish clear margins (surgical margins devoid of cancer - theoretically, her breast was now free of active cancer). A lymph node from under her right arm was removed and showed no evidence of cancer. The cancer was classified as a stage I.

Diane consulted with three specialists, including a nutritionally oriented oncologist who was also a radiation oncologist. All of these specialists advised a series of 30 radiation treatments to the right breast area.

Following the radiation  treatments, Diane was told that she would need to take tamoxifen daily for 5 years. This drug blocks estrogen receptors (recall that her estrogen receptors were over-expressed).  Studies have shown some improvement in 5 year survival for women receiving tamoxifen for up to 5 years. After that time, any protective effect seems to disappear. The use of tamoxifen is associated with significant adverse effects, including an increased risk for cancer of the uterus, eye problems and depression in some women.

By the time Diane met with Dr. Schachter for the first time, she had already received 4 radiation treatments. After a long discussion on the pros and cons of radiation and tamoxifen, she called 5 days later to say that she had decided to stop radiation and would embark on an agressive alternative program. This included specific dietary recommendations, therapeutic nutrients and intravenous vitamin C.

She returned to the office for a full workup (completion of history and physical examination) with the physician's assistant, Sally Minniefield, PA -C. Sally also outlined the specifics of Dr. Schachter's consultation, listing the nutrients and how to take them and arranging for the infusions with the nursing department.

A nutritional program was considered to be an extremely important part of Diane's program. This included the elimination of all refined sugar and starches and a reduction of sugars in general, since sugar fuels the growth of cancer cells. Diane was advised to eliminate processed food and to eat as much organic, whole food as possible. Artificial sweeteners and other chemicals were to be avoided. Diane's program also included a regular exercise program as studies clearly show that regular exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Her nutritional supplement program involved vitamin D to help achieve optimal blood levels, vitamin K, iodine, a balanced vitamin and mineral supplement, probiotics and herbs or food extracts that show evidence of anti-cancer activity. Efforts were made to make sure that her fatty acid profile was balanced and that she was receiving enough protein. A significant part of her program involved eating a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables both cooked and raw. The raw vegetables could be eaten in a salad or as a freshly made juice.

After the intense IV program which involved coming twice weekly for the first 3 months, once weekly for 3 months, followed by every 2 weeks for about 6 months, she has continued monthly maintenance to the present.

Diane is monitored with tests and routine office visits, alternating appointments with Dr. Schachter and Sally Minniefield. She lives several hours from the Center and was able to find an alternative practitioner nearer her home who could administer the infusions in between visits here. However, we continue to oversee her protocol, updating laboratory tests and making changes when indicated.

Her surgeon discharged her in 2010 after going 5 years without recurrence. Her mammogram was normal in June 2012. She works full-time, maintains a healthy diet, is active physically and continues a full complement of oral nutrients along with the monthly infusions.

She saw Dr. Schachter for an office visit in July 2013. Dr Schachter discussed the possibility of adding salvestrols to her regimen, which the Center has been recommending since the end of 2012. A number of patients have started this supplement during 2013 and the results have been quite gratifying.

Sally Minniefield, R.N., P.A. -C (8-18-2013)

Dr. Schachter comments:

Diane's case is very significant, as it deals with several important and controversial issues. The standard of care for stage I and stage II breast cancers in the United States generally involves a lumpectomy, radiation therapy, sometimes chemotherapy (not recommended in Diane's case), and a medication that either blocks estrogen receptors (like tamoxifen) or inhibits the formation of estrogen (so-called aromatase inhibitors like Femara, Arimidex, or Aromasin) when estrogen receptors are over-expressed in the cancer cells. When the Her2/Nu receptor is over-expressed, oncologists will frequently recommend the drug Herceptin every few weeks for a year or more. Diane's Her2/Nu was negative and Herceptin was not recommended for her.

I'll not discuss the issue of a lumpectomy here, but will discuss the options of radiation and the use of drugs that affect estrogen.

Radiation, as part of the protocol to treat breast cancer, is used to help prevent local recurrence of the disease. Several studies indicate that this is effective. However, there is little to no evidence that it affects either regional or distant metastases or that it affects the likelihood of long-term survival (5 to 20 years or more).

It is well-known that radiation can cause cancer. In fact, Madame Curie and her colleagues who were convinced that they had found the cure for cancer when they observed that cancers in animals tended to disappear when exposed to radiation, all wound up dying from cancer. There seems to be a disconnect between the studies that clearly show radiation increases risks of cancer (think about Hiroshima, Fukushima, and cancer associated with increased diagnostic radiation) and the fact that radiation is routinely used in breast cancer for its role in preventing a recurrence.

Aside from its apparent lack of effectiveness for preventing regional and distant breast cancer metastases and improving survival, radiation results in significant side effects. For some women, radiation may damage the heart and lungs when the chest is irradiated.  For others, it impairs immune functioning. There is certainly damage to the skin and underlying tissue. There is an increased risk of a secondary malignancy in tissue devitalized by radiation.

When Diane was presented with all of this information, she concluded that she did not want to continue with radiation and stopped. Most women will never question the issue and will simply follow the directions of their doctors. My guess is that at least 99 out of 100 doctors (probably more) when consulted as to a therapeutic plan for breast cancer will recommend radiation as part of the standard of care protocol. This brings me to another basic premise that guides my discussions with patients about therapeutic plans for dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The current standard of care may not offer the best plan for treatment.

In this case, Diane decided against continuing her radiation therapy and is thrilled with her decision, now more than 8 years after her original diagnosis. Another important principle that is illustrated by Diane's case is that you don't have to complete a course of treatment once it is started. In her case, she had already started radiation therapy by the time she came to see us. Rather than completing her 30 radiation treatments, she stopped after four, thereby drastically reducing subsequent damage.

Besides radiation treatment, Diane's doctors suggested that she also receive tamoxifen for 5 years. There is some evidence of improved survival at 5 years for patients receiving tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor. However, all of these medications have significant side effects associated with them. A patient then must decide whether to go ahead and take the drug for the prescribed period of time or have faith that a strong alternative program, which stresses changing the environment where the cancer developed in the first place will offer sufficient protection against cancer recurrence. My bias is this latter position, but I certainly understand those patients who want to take one of these medications. It is unlikely that there will ever be studies to show that foregoing the drug altogether and just focusing on lifestyle changes, nutrition and natural substances will be sufficient because of the many variables involved and because there is no economic motivation to do so, as studies like this would not involve patentable substances.

 

 
 

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