August 18, 2011
New Treatments for Cervical Cancer
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A forensic researcher, Lindy Hess was 32 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2005. Hess used her investigative techniques to determine what treatment would work for her. And, like half a million other Americans, she traveled outside the country for a natural approach to cancer care. According to TMD Limited, a medical tourism company, nearly 10,000 people leave the US every week to get medical treatment, and most of them travel to Mexico, Germany and the Philippines.
Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, the opening at the lower part of the uterus. Cervical cancer is the 3rd most common cancer among women in the US. This slow growing cancer often begins with precancerous cells called dysplasia, which can be detected by a pap smear. If not treated, it can spread to the bladder, intestines, lungs and liver.According to the National Cancer Institute, 12,200 US women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2010, and 4,210 died of the disease. The 5 year survival rate if discovered and treated early is 90.9%, but once it spreads, survival drops to 18.7%.
Hess had no symptoms, but a routine Pap smear found cancer cells on her cervix. More advanced cervical cancer may cause back, leg or pelvic pain, bone fractures, fatigue, heavy bleeding, leaking urine or feces from the vagina, loss of appetite and weight loss or a single swollen leg.
Risk factors include early sexual activity or many partners who indulge in unsafe sexual practices, a mother who took the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES) during the 60s to prevent miscarriage during pregnancy, smoking and a weak immune system. Most cervical cancers can be prevented by getting regular pap smears, practicing safe sex and not smoking.
Early stage cervical cancer can often be treated by cryotherapy to freeze the abnormal cells. Laser surgery can destroy cancer cells with light, and LEEP procedures use electricity to remove cancer cells. Unfortunately, Hess's cancer had begun to spread. After a cone biopsy, CT scans and intravenous pyelogram, Hess was referred to an oncologist, who recommended a radical hysterectomy. During this procedure, surgeons would remove her uterus and surrounding tissue, lymph nodes and her upper vagina. Some patients undergo a pelvic exenteration - removing all organs in the pelvis, including the bladder and rectum. Both surgeries are followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
Hess had watched a close friend battle breast cancer, and she saw firsthand the side effects of conventional treatment. Her friend lost her hair, vomited constantly and when she died looked like a skeleton. However, she researched traditional treatments, their effectiveness and side effects, and decided she wanted none of that.
In her research, she learned about Merck's Gardasil vaccine for cervical cancer, approved by the FDA in 2007. Hailed as the end of this disease, some states, like Texas and Virginia, mandated that all school age girls from 9 up must take the vaccine. According to the National Institutes of Health, between June 2006 and April 2008, there were almost 8,000 adverse reactions from the vaccine in the US, and 1300 girls in the UK had negative reactions, according to the Medicines & Health Care Products Regulatory Agency there. Negative reactions include balance difficulties, fainting, paralysis, loss of vision, blood clots, seizures, Guillain-Barre syndrome, miscarriages, hospitalization and death. After a vehement uproar from parents and health care providers, the mandates were lifted everywhere except Washington DC. Some parents are vaccinating their daughters anyway, and a similar vaccine for boys is in the works.
Hess researched many home remedies. There were teas, drops, castor oil packs, supplements, wheat grass enemas and special diets that all claimed to cure cancer. Hess was skeptical of flashy websites and magic teas. While her oncologist urged her to schedule surgery, Hess was not yet willing to give up the possibility of having children. Her chiropractor told her about a clinic in Baja, Mexico that had unique treatments for cervical cancer.
Hess called the clinic and made an appointment to see Dr. Antonio Jimenez, medical director of Hope4Cancer Institute. "I wanted to make sure this clinic existed, that it was clean and professional. I wanted to speak to patients being treated there. I'm an investigator, so I needed to investigate," Hess said.
"Dr Tony spent an hour with me, and then I got a tour of the clinic. It was right across the street from the beach. It's a small clinic, but they have a gym, juice bar, Wi-Fi, and lots of treatment rooms. There are 8 doctors on staff, and they only take 10 patients at a time," Hess learned. "The patients I spoke with were happy, felt great because the treatments didn't have any side effects, and they were positive they were getting the help they needed. Almost everyone I spoke with came to this clinic because they knew someone else who had been treated there successfully. I met with patients with bladder, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer. They were all positive and happy with their choice."
Next, Hess researched the treatments offered at the clinic. Hyperthermia was first introduced in Germany over 20 years ago. This treatment kills cancer cells by heating them from the inside out, without harming normal cells. This selective heating occurs because cancer cells form a hard shell around themselves, made from a sticky protein called fibirin. Normal cells pass heat right out through the cell wall, but the heat is trapped inside the fibrin shell around the cancer cells, so the heat builds up and destroys only the cancer cell. SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy (SPDT) is used in China, the UK and at Hope4Cancer Institute. SPDT pulses sound and light frequencies through the body, and when it hits a natural sensitizer in the cancer cells, it causes a chemical reaction (photo-synthesis) that explodes free radical oxygen directly into cancer cells to kill them. Hess discovered that as cancer cells die, the dead cells become cytotoxins in the body. Alternative clinics use detox strategies to rid the body of dead cells, and residue from cancer drugs. She studied the long list of IV therapies and read articles on nutrition for cancer patients.
Hess was convinced. She was admitted 3 weeks later. Her treatments included local and whole body hyperthermia, SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy, a natural cancer vaccine, nutrition, detoxification and other holistic cancer treatments that were tailored to her specific situation. "I was in treatment all day, every day," she said. "I learned so much about nutrition and how lifestyle affects health. And I kept all my body parts. I got married 3 years ago, and we have a healthy daughter, and we are expecting a son in November. I treasure each moment with my family, and am so thankful I found Hope4Cancer. When investigating at work, I look at all possibilities and keep an open mind. This worked to my advantage when I began searching for the right treatment for me. I think all cancer patients owe it to themselves to explore all options."
SOURCE TMD Limited