When you go through a cancer journey, you don’t really put everything behind you right away after the good news of the remission. Of course such a great news changes your life – and I thank God everyday for that – but the word cancer itself doesn’t go away overnight.
Among other things, I am still reading a lot about cancer. I like to read survivors stories as they can be very inspiring. Others’ experiences are also very valuable because it can provide tips for your current condition (how to manage such side effect for instance). But what I like the most is to read exciting news about medical breakthrough that will eventually lead to a world without cancer, like in this YouTube video from The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
But one of the problem with all the resources available on the web is that you find a lot of scams and garbage when it comes to cancer cures and treatments. And it is very tempting when in a desperate position to fall for those. But when the traditional medicine doesn’t have an answer for you, it is also tough to find reliable information about alternative solutions. So over the last 18 months, I slowly developed my own “circle of trusted sources” and sharpened – so I think 😉 – my personal judgement when it comes to find good info on the internet about cancer treatments.
Quick tip here if you are looking for a serious database of herbs and supplements: I personally use the database from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Every time I want to try something new that I think would help me, I check it against this database (it is also available as an app). This is how I found out that ginger helps for nausea, but also that coral calcium isn’t going to do anything to fight cancer.
So among all the things I read, I recently came across an article which talks about a cancer therapy that was used in the first part the 20th century, way before chemotherapy and radiation became the prevalent treatments. The concept seemed very fascinating to me. So in short, this surgeon – Dr. Coley – discovered at the end of the 19th century that multiple cancer patients went into remission after they fought an acute infection. Indeed, triggered by the infection, the immune system had been stimulated to fight back, and in the meantime, it killed cancer! From his research, Dr. Coley developed a vaccine containing two killed bacteria – also known as “Coley’s toxins” – that he used on cancer patients to trigger a response from their immune system and therefore kill cancer. It seems that the key of this therapy was to be able to reach a certain level of fever, high enough but without being life threatening so the immune system would go “full speed ahead” and the overall response be more effective against cancer.
The whole concept of this treatment is mind blowing to me. And it relates to modern cancer treatments like immunotherapy, which is defined by the American Cancer Society as a “treatment that uses your body’s own immune system to help fight cancer”. I can tell you about that since my second chemotherapy was the result of the latest breakthrough in this field. The drug I have been given then was indeed able to recognize the cancer cells thanks to a specific antibody, and kill them. In medical terms, the drug used is a monoclonal antibody. Today, in remission, I am very grateful that doctors discovered this type of treatment.
You can read the full article about Dr. Coley and his special “fever cancer treatment” HERE.
Lastly, as I did in my last post, I invite you to join me and pray for friends that are currently battling cancer: Sego, in France, who is fighting relapsed leukemia and hopefully will go soon through a bone marrow transplant; Sam and Shericka, here in the US (Hampton Roads, VA) who both will soon kick colon cancer out of their body and forever; and baby Gideon, here in Hampton Roads as well, who is now going through his last round of chemo to get rid of brain cancer (he is expected to be done with chemo by Thanksgiving!).
And as a closing and hopeful note for this post, I invite you to watch this video about another amazing new treatment for leukemia.
See you for the next story.