What Your Oncologist Neglected to Tell You About Conventional Cancer Treatment

In Cancer on April 27, 2015 at 9:32 am

Cancer treatment hasn’t changed much in the past 40 years.  Drugs come and go, but still the “cure’ eludes the medical community.  While drug therapies in some cases help patients to live longer, this is often at the expense of a sharp decline in quality of life, and most often results in recurrences requiring further treatment.  While we know cancer is a big business, could well-meaning doctors be over-looking the reason for failure?  Several years ago, researchers discovered a clue.  They found that not all cancer cells are the same, that some of these cells, known as cancer stem cells, are not only resistant to chemo and radiation therapies, but that they are actually stimulated to grow by these therapies–chemo and radiation make cancers grow faster and more virulent.[i]  Stem cells are also the only cancer cells that can metastasize to other parts of the body.  Cancer mortality is directly related to cancer stem cell activity (metastatic and proliferative).[ii]

As stated by Brad Weeks MD in Cancer Control Society Controlling the Cancer STEM Cells, “Treatment which fails to address the toxicity of cancer stem cells is futile and irresponsible. Do not be misled into thinking tumor reduction means you are making progress. “[iii]  The cancer stem cell theory has been around for quite some time—therefore the ignorance of the majority of the medical field to blatantly ignore the research does indeed make such action irresponsible.  That said, in order to successfully treat cancer using the standard of care, including use of the ‘kinder and gentler’ IPT,  a viable protocol must include adjunctive care to minimize cancer stem cell stimulation and to “re-educate”  confused cancer stem cells so they can be transformed into more differentiated and more targetable, treatable, cancer tumor cells. Please view the following video:

In the video, Weeks quotes Daniel Haber MD:

“If the cancer stem cell hypothesis is true, treating the majority of dividing cancer cells will shrink a tumor but won’t cure the cancer unless we can target the cancer stem cells themselves.  That would explain why tumor shrinkage—the gold standard for measuring a drug’s effectiveness—doesn’t always translate into longer survival for patients.“ Daniel Haber, MD and Director Mass General Hospital Cancer Center

Should tumor shrinkage be the gold standard or goal of treatment?  Sometimes shrinkage is necessary, but given what we know about the limitations of chemo and radiation, it would seem  prudent not to ignore the very cells that lead to metastasis and challenge mortality.  Targeting stem cells might be as simple as prescribing the drug Metformin or an anti-inflammatory drug, so a conventional doctor arguably has the tools—and thus no excuse.  (Metformin is cheap and has very few side effects, but few doctors understand that this diabetes drug can reduce the risk of metastasis). However, there is a vast array of remedies available in nature and stress modifying activities that he or she may not be aware of that can do the job without the negative effects of drug treatment, and collectively might be even more effective.

“Cancer mortality is directly related to cancer stem cell activity (metastatic and proliferative).”  Brad Weeks MD

For the full story, view Cancer Control Society Controlling the Cancer STEM Cells video above. For more on Cancer Stem Cells and what we can do to target them, read Cancer Stem Cells—Could They Be the Key to Metastasis?

So what is a patient to do if chemo or radiation has been recommended?  Dr Weeks shared with me the five questions that he encourages his patients to ask their oncologists:

  • What chemo-sensitivity testing will you do to determine which chemotherapy agent to use?
  • How will you nourish and protect my healthy cells while you’re poisoning my cancer cells?
  • What will your proposed treatment do to my cancer STEM cells? (That’s really the game changer. If the doctor says, “What do you mean cancer stem cells?” you’re in the wrong office.)
  • How are you planning to interrupt the interleukin 6 and interleukin 8 SOS message, which my targeted and dying cancer tumor cells will emit in response to your chemo therapeutic radiation? (Admittedly, you’re going to be probably kicked out of the office by the time that sentence rolls off your tongue.)

And if the oncologist is still in the room at this point……

  • Would you give this same conventional treatment to your wife or children, and if not, what would you give them? Would you take it yourself?

You may also want to read: Is it Safe to Take Antioxidants and Other Natural Agents During Chemo and Radiation?

For more information, advocacy and educational services, please visit Dr Bradford Weeks at http://www.weeksmd.com or contact him at md@weeksmd.com.

Cancer stem cells are not just an issue if you have chemo or radiation –which is why we recur even if we just have surgery.  Distant metastases are often in place and undetectable when we have our surgery. For more information on cancer stem cells view these videos: Breast Cancer Stem Cell Regulation and Cancer Stem Cells with Professor Max Wicha MD.


~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Brad Weeks MD completed undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College (major: Political Philosophy) then, prior to medical school training at the University of Vermont, Dr. Weeks worked in the Harvard system doing two years of research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s mineral metabolism unit working on osteoporosis (calcium, magnesium and vitamin D). In addition, he studied nutrition (including macrobiotics with Mishio Kushi in Brookline, MA), acupuncture, massage (shiatsu), music therapy (Tomatis method, power of chant), Anthroposophical medicine and classical homeopathy. Medical school at the University of Vermont was followed by medical internship (1 year) and psychiatric residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (3 years). He is a specialist in psychiatry and developed the field of “corrective medicine and psychiatry”.

After serving his patients for twenty years using “centsible” (safe, effective, and cost-effective) corrective care protocols, the Washington State Medical Board (MQAC) shut down his medical practice in March 2013. He is appealing what he and his attorney maintain was a vindictive, unjustified assault on his practice (and those of other holistic medical doctors in Washington State) as well a tremendously unfortunate deprivation of his patients’ rights to the care of their choice.

Please understand that Dr. Weeks considers this to have been politically motivated, as there were no patient complaints, no allegations of harm to any patients, and the Medical Commission attorney in charge admitted that it was a “self-generated” investigation. More information about this case is available upon request.

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer strategist, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and well-being. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health, and Breast Cancer Answers and has written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, Surviving Beautifully, Body Local and more, and writes the Options for Life column for the Natural Healing-Natural Wellness Magazine. Elyn hosts the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. She is on the Medical Advisory Board for BeatCancer.Org and is on the Advisory Board to the Radical Remission Project. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys. https://elynjacobs.com/about/

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[i] Max Wicha MD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYmEIuZVJeU; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG22BEXscQE

[ii] Brad Weeks MD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYmEIuZVJeU

[iii] Brad Weeks MD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYmEIuZVJeU

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