We are taught to respect authority from an early age i.e. at school as well as the notion that truth comes from authority.
There are many reasons for this and one is to respect and obey everything your doctor or consultant says, and in this case we are talking about oncologists. Why is this? Medicine is big business, which we don’t seem to get in the UK because it’s free at the point of delivery; however £130 Billion a year is far from being free to the taxpayer.
Also the perception of being “free” can make many of us feel awkward about questioning the people who work in the service or the service in general.
But in reality we have paid for this service through our taxes and the doctors, consultants and managers make very decent salaries and the companies who supply equipment and drugs to the health service make very good profits, especially the pharmaceutical companies aka Big Pharma.
Bear in mind that we are not talking about a hip replacement or getting your appendix out, which for the most part are relatively straightforward and have decent recovery results. Unfortunately with cancer the procedures are more invasive and highly toxic, be it surgery, radiation or chemotherapy as well as causing many long term, permanent side effects, including secondary cancers as a direct result of these 3 conventional therapies.
Doctors are busy, but that is no excuse to be economical with the truth and facts about these highly dangerous interventions, especially when doctors are supposed to be bound by The Hippocratic Oath, which states that doctors should “Firstly do no harm”.
They’re just not telling patients everything they really need to know, by glossing over a lot of important stuff and consequently you are at a higher risk. Therefore you have to take the initiative by preparing yourself with questions and that is the reason for this blog; so without further ado, here is a list of questions to ask your oncologist.
What’s my diagnosis?
You need to find this out as it is important. What kind of cancer do you have? By the way, it’s a good idea to get a second and a third opinion to make sure that your diagnosis is correct. Don’t just trust one doctor’s opinion on your diagnosis.
Is this a fast-growing cancer or a slow-growing cancer?
How long has this been growing in my body? This is important because if it’s a slow-growing cancer, you may have a lot more time than you realise. This will alleviate the sense of urgency that maybe your doctor or whoever may be trying to impose on you. If you have a slow-growing cancer that’s been growing on your body for 5 or 10 years or maybe longer, guess what? You probably have more time. You need to know how much time you really have in the sense of, “Is this fast-growing or slow-growing?”
Do you think an unhealthy diet, or pollution, or stress have anything to do with this?
You’ll be surprised how many doctors say, “No, it’s not your diet. No, stress doesn’t have anything to do with it. No, you’re just unlucky”. Luck is not a factor in cancer development, nor a factor in health, and has no place in the discussion.
What treatment do you recommend?
Very simple; they’re going to outline it, “Okay, we think you need surgery and chemotherapy and you need radiation.” You want to take really good notes. Take a notepad and write down everything or even better take a Dictaphone and record the conversation for future reference. You can obviously be polite by asking permission, but remember it’s your right.
What are the side effects of these treatments?
This is important for obvious reasons. What you need to know is chemotherapy drugs cause brain damage, heart damage, liver damage, lung damage, immune system damage, hearing loss, kidney and bladder damage, intestinal damage, internal bleeding, peripheral neuropathy (that’s where you lose the feeling in your fingertips and toes, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently) and chemo drugs can cause new, secondary cancers to form in the body.
If they’re not mentioning all these potential problems, then they are omitting some serious complications. This is what the conversation may go like, “Well, you’re going to throw up, you’re going to lose your appetite, you’re going to lose your hair, you’re just going to feel bad all round, food is not going to taste very good”.
If that’s all they’re telling you, then they’re feeding you all the trivial (by comparison) side effects that everybody knows about, and hiding the major damage that chemo drugs are going to cause in your body short and long term.
In 2015, a report was published that said nearly one in five new cancer cases are secondary cancers; that’s 20% of new cancer cases are secondary cancers. This basically means that cancer patients are developing new types of cancer in different parts of their body caused by treatment of primary cancers.
Since 1970, the amount of secondary cancers has increased by 300%. Secondary cancers can come quickly within the first few months or few years of treatment, or they can come decades later. It’s important that you know that. Your doctor should acknowledge that when you talk about this.
Are these drugs the latest innovation?
You would think that the older the drug, the better, because it’s been extensively tested. That’s the way the oncologists try to talk up these drugs, “We’ve been using these drugs for years.” The truth is, the top 10 most prescribed standard chemo drugs are between 20 and 60 years old.
- Methotrexate, Fluorouracil (that’s 5-FU) and Cyclophosphamide were developed in the 1950’s
- Doxorubicin was developed in the 1960s
- Cisplatin was developed in 1978
- Gemcitabine was developed in the 1980s
- Etoposide was developed in 1983.
- Chlorambucil was developed around 1984
- Docetaxel and Paclitaxel were developed in 1992
Does that give you a whole lot of confidence in what they’re doing, the fact that they still have to resort to drugs 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years old? The cancer industry is constantly boasting about new innovative life saving treatments. Yet, they’re still using drugs that are decades old; something is amiss.
Is this treatment palliative or curative?
Curative means it will get rid of your cancer and palliative basically means your condition is terminal, but the drugs will give you a wee bit of extra time. They may give you a few months, but you will be miserable in pain and discomfort.
A study concluded that two thirds of patients think they were getting curative treatment, when in actual fact they were being treated palliatively. Their doctors knew there’s no way this treatment was going to cure them. You need to know the difference and make sure you ask that question.
If they say, it’s curative treatment, then ask them,
What’s the recurrence rate after this treatment?
They will probably throw a figure or percentage chance at you. Ask them where they got it from. It needs to be from an unbiased source; hint, not a drug company or Government agency.
How much time do you think I have to live if I do this treatment?
You may or may not want to know, but bear in mind two things; firstly they are only guessing themselves and secondly, oncologists have been known to inflate the survival time to coax you into taking the treatment.
Remember the Big Pharma industry runs Governments and conventional medicine. See here.
How much time do you think I have to live if I do nothing?
Usually, it’s always going to be, “You’re going to live less time if you don’t do treatment.” We know that’s not the case. See here.
What is the five year disease free survival rate for my specific diagnosis with your treatment protocol?
It’s all about the words here; we are not talking about “survival rate” because that could mean you are not that well, but since you are alive (just), they record it as a survival success. That’s the Government for you. Make sure you use the words DISEASE FREE.
What is the five year disease free survival rate for my specific cancer if I do nothing?
They won’t know this, but you can ask them anyway. The truth is it is higher by doing nothing. See “How much time do you think I have to live if I do nothing?” above.
How much does chemotherapy contribute to five year survival for my type of cancer?
An extensive study in The Journal of Clinical Oncology (2004) concluded that chemotherapy contributed only 2.1% towards the five year survival rate i.e. not that much. Some drugs were better than others and some have a zero contribution to the five year rates, so you will have to check your own cancer in this study.
I wouldn’t bring this study up with them as it won’t make a blind bit of difference.
NB Although the study is 11 years old, the chemo drugs used then are still being used today.
May I have copies of the safety data sheets on all the drugs I’ll be taking? I like to take them home with me today if possible.
The safety data sheet is the drug insert that pharmaceutical companies have to provide to doctors for each drug; it lists all of the known side effects and damages to your body, including any known counter indications with other drugs. This is your right and comes under the Health & Safety Act. Make sure you don’t leave until you get copies of the data sheets on these drugs.
Would you (the oncologist) or your family do this treatment if you had the same diagnosis as me?
90% of oncologists would refuse chemo for themselves and their family if they had cancer. See here. That’s pretty damning, don’t you think?
Is it true that chemotherapy drugs can make cancer more aggressive?
Absolutely is the accurate answer, but let the oncologist talk just to see how honest he is going to be; he may just brush it off or say it’s not that big of an issue. It certainly is and is called chemo resistance and is driven by cancer stem cells, which become resistant to chemo and radiation. Here is a great article for your information.
Does chemotherapy kill cancer stem cells?
They will say yes they do for sure; however that is only part of the story. They cause heavy collateral damage to healthy cells, as well as failing to kill cancer stem cells, which cause chemo resistance, increased malignancy and secondary tumours. Also there are many natural plant compounds that outperform chemo with no side effects. See here.
I read that chemotherapy drugs are carcinogenic. Can this treatment cause more cancers in my body?
Yes they are, but the oncologist in all probability will down play it or use the drug company’s official (biased and inaccurate) data.
Most if not all chemo drugs are registered carcinogens at the Government level. Even the ones which have slipped through the net are cancer causing. Why? In simple terms they destroy the mitochondria (the energy producing part of your cells) of your healthy cells, which not only cause healthy cell death, but cell proliferation; cell proliferation is the hallmark of cancer, in this case secondary cancers.
How do we know this? Well Professor Thomas Seyfried wrote a ground breaking book in 2012, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease”, which postulates that mitochondrial damage or dysfunction leads to DNA damage, in turn cell proliferation i.e. cancer.
What other options are available besides standard treatment?
They will probably say “other options don’t work” or “these are the best options that we have”. This is actually nonsense as there are many natural plant extracts that are more effective than chemo and actually kill the cancer stem cells, the main cause of secondary cancers and increased malignancy.
What do you recommend I eat while I’m doing chemotherapy?
They will probably tell you to go ahead and eat anything you want. This is shocking and demonstrates their lack of training and understanding in nutrition. Cancer cells are ravenous for glucose, which they get mainly from carbohydrates of all kinds. Hence limiting carbs (using a ketogenic diet), will help starve cancer cells. See here.
What’s the best anti-cancer diet? What is the best diet for a cancer patient?
They will have no clue; sorry, but this is the sad reality of modern cancer care in the UK and further afield. What they should be saying is a low carb, mainly plant based diet with raw organic fruits and vegetables, green juicing, probiotic and prebiotic foods and sprouted seeds e.g. broccoli seeds, with at least 80% of the diet coming from raw, uncooked foods.
Are there any foods that I should avoid?
They will probably reiterate what they said above and that was to eat anything you like. Instead they should be saying, NO grains e.g. wheat, cereals, corn, rice etc., NO sugar, NO refined vegetable oils, NO alcohol, NO processed or junk foods, NO charred foods.
How many patients do you treat per year? How many do you see per day?
He or she may say, “I treat a thousand patients a year, or something.” By the way, you’re setting them up for the next question. You want to ask this one first.
How many patients have you cured of my disease?
He or she may have just been boasting about how many patients he treats, and now you’re saying, “How many of them have you cured?” You can follow this up with…
I’m just really nervous about this. I’d like to get references. Can I speak to five patients with the same cancer as me that you’ve cured that are cancer free after five years? Is that possible?
They will probably say that we can’t give that information out, since it is confidential. Then you can say well could you call them and ask if they would talk with me directly; I’m sure they would only be too happy to sing your praises if you helped them back to health.
Do you have any former patients that have been in remission for over 10 years? That’s even better. I would really love to speak to them if you have any.
This may sound a bit much, but think about it logically; if you were having a new roof on your house or a new kitchen fitted, you would want references from the tradesmen surely.
This is your health, which trumps every other part of your life so you will want some kind of references into the oncologist’s success rates. There is nothing unreasonable about it.
What about Insulin Potentiated Therapy
They won’t have a clue in all probability since it is not part of their training and it would never be considered as such, since it only uses 10% (in a highly targeted fashion) of the standard drug doses; one tenth is not a lot of drug, which would equal a fraction of the chemo drug profits compared to the profits that would be reaped when the standard doses of drugs are administered.
You can make the point that there is much less collateral damage to healthy cells due to the highly targeted (directly to the tumours) delivery system and then ask them, would that not be in line with the Hippocratic Oath, which states that doctors should firstly do no harm?
You can say to your oncologist, if you would like some time to research it, I can point you in the right direction and you can give them this article to read.