I just finished reading a fascinating article published in “The Scientist” a few days ago. It discusses cognitive problems in chemotherapy-treated cancer patients…what we call “chemo brain.” The section discussing children who receive chemo was of particular interest to me, since I had no idea that “chemo brain” affects many of them as they get older. Sad.
Here’s the link to “After Chemo”: http://goo.gl/uS9Fk
Unlike the author of the article, = a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Temple University, though, I’m not optimistic. Not now, anyway. Not as long as there is no attempt to protect our healthy cells from damage and/or death during the administration of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. No…as long as we wear big pharma blinders, nothing is going to change…And cancer patients will continue to suffer from side effects, both cognitive and physical…
The Vermorken study (see yesterday’s post, one of my strongest to date, I think…) was really enlightening in this sense. I mean, here we have some researchers telling us, in paragraph 5.5, that anti-angiogenic drugs eventually make myeloma cells more “invasive,” that is, more aggressive. So yes, sure, these drugs may delay the time to progression, but ultimately the effects are going to be devastating for the patient…I don’t know what you thought of that scenario, but I didn’t care for it one bit.
The obvious implication is that these drugs should NOT be used to treat myeloma or any other type of cancer…
But here’s the problem: there’s very little that can replace them. Most myeloma drugs are anti-angiogenic, you see. And so it’s a vicious cycle. But please don’t tell me, Dr. Vermorken, that curcumin might possibly be as dangerous as these toxic substances that require special handling, special chemotherapy gloves and gowns, even safety goggles, special chemo disposal bins, special chemo spill kits and so on and so forth. There is no comparison.
The “After Chemo” article, the Vermorken study and other things I’ve read throughout the years have done nothing but cement my firm conviction that there needs to be a better alternative–something that is lethal to cancer cells but also less toxic to healthy cells.
It doesn’t exist?
Fine. Well, it’s time to find it. And it’s also time to lessen the obvious and, frankly, disquieting hold that big pharma has over our myeloma organizations and specialists. And over some MM patients, too, I hate to say…We need to shake the status quo, which clearly isn’t working. Not in the long-term and not for most, anyway…
Well, while we’re waiting for things to change (probably won’t happen overnight, though, so don’t hold yer breath! 😉 ), let’s take steps to protect our healthy cells. That much we can do.
As you know, I support integrative treatments, which combine both the conventional and the alternative worlds. If I were to progress to myeloma at some point and decide to start some sort of conventional treatment, I wouldn’t stop taking my supplements, especially curcumin. Oh no. If anything, I’d increase my intake.
Obviously, I hope I’ll never be faced with that decision…
I wish I knew what I know now when I started on this trip. Thanks for creating such a wonderful resource!
Has anyone heard from Terry L (I thnk from Ne York area) lately ?