Surgery no help to some breast-cancer patients
By Monte Morin MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS
Patients with metastatic breast cancer who respond to chemotherapy are unlikely to see any additional benefits from surgery or radiation therapy, according to leaders of a new clinical trial.
The randomized, controlled study, presented yesterday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, was intended to settle a long-running dispute among oncologists about the best way to treat women whose tumors had spread to other parts of their bodies, said Dr. Rajendra Badwe, director of the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India, who led the trial.
“For a surgeon like myself, knowing when to do surgery is important,” Badwe said. “But even more important is knowing when not to do it.”
The message might come as welcome news to some breast-cancer patients, who now have medical evidence if they opt to take a pass on painful, invasive procedures that aren’t likely to extend their lives. But for other women with metastatic disease, the message that there’s not much they can do beyond chemotherapy is sure to be unsettling, patient advocates said.
“It can be very disheartening for a woman diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer to learn that surgery is not recommended for her,” said Musa Mayer, a breast-cancer survivor who operates the website Advanced BC.org .
Researchers conducting experiments in animals and studying the clinical records of human patients sometimes have observed an association between the surgical removal of primary cancer tumors and the rapid growth of secondary tumors in other areas of the body.
The cause of this phenomenon, which does not occur in all cases, remains unclear. Oncologists offer several possible explanations, including that as the body recovers from surgery, it releases growth factors that accelerate the development of new tumors. Others speculate that the primary tumor might somehow inhibit the growth of distant metastases, and that this influence is lost when the tumor is removed.
Cancer specialists are split over how to deal with this potential problem. If chemotherapy is already working, some doctors recommend against further treatment with surgery or radiation unless there is bleeding or ulceration, a sign that a tumor is causing serious problems and needs to be removed immediately. Other doctors say the risk of accelerating new tumor growth is only theoretical, and that surgery increases patient survival.
From what is expressed in this article, it becomes clear that “Medicine” is still in the dark with regard to breast cancer; why it happens, or what to do about it. There isn’t generally an understanding that the entire body is overloaded and needs help with it’s burden.
A more ‘holistic approach’ would be the body is in trouble due to toxic overload, usually chemical from a variety of sources (environmental, dietary or pharmaceutical), or that it’s nutritional needs are not being addressed, from either of which, the body begins to breakdown. The body must be relieved of it’s burden which is to say — cleansed or detoxed from the poisons afflicting it as it is difficult to expect it to heal while it is still coping with it’s danger. If a patient is being beaten up, one must first stop the beating, then the patient can heal.
No matter the efforts administered to an ailing body, if the effort is in alignment with the body’s ‘needs’, it will heal itself. It is a complex effort, multi-dimensional and, amazingly — often quite variable according to the physician and his/her methods. Whatever is offered and done in service to the sick patient. . . . it is ultimately, the body which does the healing. . the wisdom is innate and is within. It was designed that way. What we must do is become in tune with that wisdom, open to it, learn about it. First comes the desire to serve — the open heart; then comes the open mind, which is the eyes and ears to see and hear with.
While this seems overly simplified, it is how most of the fabulous doctors who have been showcased and discussed here at smokinchoices have started out. When they saw that the pills they were dispensing weren’t curing their patients, they asked why and dug deeper and their paths of rewarding discovery paid off for their patients. Simple foods, clean, whole and organic, clean, pure water without fluoride and other chemicals. It’s the food! You are what you eat! Jan)