Let's begin with the facts that doctors are human, have stressful schedules, see thousands of patients and don't have the time or ability to be intimately familiar with each patient and each variation of every disease. Mistakes don't just happen...they are unavoidable. This is why it's foolish in the extreme for a patient to just swallow whatever the doctor says about something as serious as cancer. You must verify what the doctor is saying and make sure the therapy recommended is appropriate for you, given your life situation and specific cancer. The following is my experience helping my Father-In-Law (Dad) after he was diagnosed with "skin cancer". For more information, here are the top books on Merkel Cell Cancer.
Marsha and I were there for Dad's surgery on his cheek and post-surgery consultation with the plastic surgeon. He said he thought he got it all, with this type of cancer there is little danger of spreading, and no further treatments of any kind should be necessary. I asked for the specific name of the cancer (Merkel Cell) and researched the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and related websites for myself, discovering something the doctor hadn't even hinted at. This cancer was very rapidly spreading in ways difficult to detect and, once spread, it was usually fatal. The standard treatment was surgery followed immediately with radiation to the tumor area and nearby lymph nodes to kill stray cancer cells impossible for surgeons to detect. If caught soon enough and treated quickly enough, the cancer had a very high cure rate. If not, relapse had a 0% 5-year survival rate. Ever try to change a doctor's mind?
The surgeon confirmed it was Merkel cell carcinoma but, even when confronted with the NCI documentation, insisted there was no more treatment necessary. I asked to talk to Dad's Oncologist...he hadn't been assigned one. We saw his Primary Care Doctor who was irate and defensive, but after reviewing the NCI data and about 15 minute of badgering on my part, scheduled an Oncologist appointment while muttering how hard it is to keep up on all the rare diseases. Note to doctors: If tests reveal your patient has a rare and deadly disease, it's O.K. to admit you don't know and do the research to find out how to treat it. Note to patients...don't bet your life on one doctor's opinion...do the research yourself...nobody cares like you care. Because of the stubborn and slow response we got from Dad's medical providers, we had to change hospitals and doctors to get him the treatment he needed. It has now been over 6 years since he was diagnosed and has had no sign of the cancer returning.
Signs And Symptoms of Merkel Cell Cancer: With this very rare and potentially fatal cancer, a tumor appears usually on the face, head or neck. It looks just like a relatively harmless form of skin cancer that spreads very slowly, if at all. But Merkel cell is not that. A biopsy of the tumor tissue is the most reliable way for doctors to tell the difference between the two cancers. If you have something pop up that isn't normal...please see your doctor.
Causes of Merkel Cell Cancer: It's believed that exposure to sunlight or a weakened immune system (due to surgery, disease or malnutrition) increase the risk of this cancer. It occurs most often in people over 70 years old.
Treatment of Merkel Cell Cancer: In it's early stage, it's very important to act rapidly with surgery to remove the tumor and a margin of healthy tissue followed by radiation therapy of the tumor area and the nearby lymph nodes. If the tumor has been present for longer than a few months, sometimes the surgeon will remove nearby lymph nodes to check for cancer cells. If found, the situation isn't hopeless...there are still effective treatments, though more complex. Once it spreads to other organs, treatment options change to easing pain and fighting symptoms with chemotherapy and other drugs.
What You Can Do About Merkel Cell Cancer: If you've been diagnosed with a malignant Cancer, always retest and get a second opinion from another doctor. Once confirmed, work with your doctor to make sure nothing you do interferes with the medical treatment. Get the specific diagnosis in writing, including the name and stage of the Cancer. Search the National Cancer Institute and other websites to learn all that's being done for your cancer. Print relevant pages and make a list of specific questions for your doctor. Write down his answers and check them on the web. I know the doctor has a good education, but this is your health and your life. The actions to help prevent Cancer below can often be used in stronger doses to fight cancer, but check with your doctor.
To help prevent Cancer: If your
family or lifestyle (see causes, above) puts you at a higher risk, you should
consider these things essential to help prevent Cancer: Follow a low fat
diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fill your life with
aerobic activity and
exercise. Make sure you're
drinking enough water.
Supplement your diet with natural
Multi-Minerals, along with extra
doses of the following to strengthen your immune system:
Vitamin C and
Organic Germanium; 300-450mg
divided into 3 doses a day.
Fiber; 12-15 grams extra from
vegetable sources or supplements.
Garlic; 3 cloves
Omega 3; 3 per day, 1 at beginning of each meal. Lecithin; taken with the Omega 3. Molybdenum Selenium Echinacea Lipoic Acid
Complete Healing: Cancer is at best frightening, frustrating and painful...at worst, fatal. We both know there are no guaranteed cures or quick fixes, whether medicine, nutrition, herbs or anything else. Many illnesses are "incurable" from the medical standpoint. Complete healing is possible...including mind, body and spirit...from God. If you want God's help with this or any problem, go to Healing From God.
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