Posted by: themossreports | December 6, 2009

Oncologists who need sensitivity training!


I speak to cancer patients almost every day. One of the things that we speak about is their treatment…and I don’t only mean their medical treatment but the human treatment they receive at the hands of their oncologists. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think there are some wonderful oncologists out there. I have some of them on my advisory board. So I am not talking about all oncologists here, or even a majority of them, but a minority who treat their patients with insensitivity. They are a shame to their profession.

I am thinking in particular about a letter I received the other day from a reader of my weekly cancerdecisions.com newsletter. He wrote about the request that he and his sister made to her oncologist for information about a procedure called chemosensitivity testing. Here is what he wrote:

“Through one of your messages, I came across the idea of chemosensitivity testing. I did more research to understand what exactly it was all about. After that, I thought that it could be great for my sister’s cancer. She has cervical. This morning during our appointment with her oncologist, we brought this possibility to the attention to her doctor. We were BLASTED. All the way up and down as if we were committing a crime of cosmic proportions. The doctor was so mad…you can not imagine the scene. Could you be so kind, to consider writing in depth about this? Please, we are alone trying to treat my sister with something better and every time we try something new we are blasted like this. And I know we are not alone. If you elaborate more, many other people can take advantage of our sad experience, and maybe you can give us more elements to fight back. Thanks a million.”

Now, rest assured: I do intend to write a special report on the topic of chemosensitivity testing. But the reader could have substituted any number of other topics for this one and the story would have been the same. The doctor in question probably has a chip on his shoulder against complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). He is also probably used to patients being passive and submissive — the way they used to be when he was training to be a doctor. Today, patients have become better informed and that puts demands on him to learn more and to relate to patients in a different way — more as equals than as subservient beings.

Being a cancer doctor is admittedly a hard job. There are so many drugs and drug combinations to learn about and to administer safely and effectively. Add to that having to learn about the many and varied CAM treatments, and it can be daunting. But, that said, there is simply no excuse for this type of arrogance. Blustering  is no substitute for knowledge and compassion. So in addition to “sensitivity testing” for tumors we also need “sensitivity training” for oncologists who need to learn to treat their patients with understanding and respect.


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Responses

  1. Ralph,

    I really liked your response to the reader who wrote you about the blustering of the oncologist when asked about chemosensitivity testing. You really have listened to both patients and doctors and understand the issues.

    Nancy

  2. Dear Dr. Moss:

    I agree with you completely. When I was going through treatment for breast cancer three years ago, I interviewed the head of radiation at a local hospital to talk about tomotherapy, which had come to light in my own research prior to buying your report. Admittedly, I had a lot of questions, however when I said that I was planning to eschew chemotherapy, this doctor told me that if I did, I was going to die a horrible death…….. On to the next hospital, which turned out to be Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and where patients are treated with such a high degree of caring, sensitivity, and correctness, that it’s referred to as if all the staff were my mother (and I mean even the van drivers).

    In addition, when I informed my surgeon (who unbeknownst to me had interviewed at CTCA and decided against it, and was very caring at the beginning of my treatment, telling me that everything was MY decision) that I was going to complete my treatment at CTCA with tomo, he stiffened, and said, “Well, you’ve made your decision. Now you’ll have to suffer the consequences.” This same surgeon actually said to me that tomo was not appropriate for my cancer. However, I believed that it was, and was told at CTCA that I was actually the perfect candidate for it. I later found out that tomo was available in my area, but not at the hospital at which my surgeon practiced.

    I had a friend with me at both of these interviews. This kind of egoism and patriarchal, threatening behavior and disregard for the patient is not only childish, but it could have undermined my confidence in my own decisions. These men took it as a personal attack when I disagreed about treatment. As it turned out, I was right.

    The psychological treatment of a cancer patient is more than merely important, and the doctors I mention above need refresher courses. What can be done to make sure that they get it?

  3. Though I am sadden by the incident of the oncologist who blasted his patient and her brother for even asking a question, I am not surprised at all: I had one that who was so arrogant that she thought nothing of going on and on with aggressive chemotherapy without taking into consideration test results that clearly showed that this patient should not have been put through that chemotherapy to beging with. Prosecuting such “doctors” should be much easier if we lived in a fair world.

  4. I just asked my fathers oncologist about Chronotherapy – he is about to start his 6 months chemo next week for stage 4 colon cancer in the UK. His response was dismissive, saying it is mostly exclusively used in France, and that “most oncologists do not believe that this has any major advantage over other methods of delivering systemic chemotherapy and therefore would not recommend its use in my father’s condition”. And yet, in your report, it seems as though it is a very beneficial way of administering chemo drugs.
    I think oncologists are so overwhelmed with the new knowledge that their patients and families have gained through the internet that they brush us off with these statements, as they can’t/won’t go the extra mile that we hoped they would.

    • After reading E. Van’s experience with his father’s oncologist, I felt the need to respond. Having run an integrative cancer treatment center for the past 3 decades and providing chronomodulated chemotherapy since the mid-nineties, I find this doctor’s comments disturbing. The research supporting this unique form of chemotherapy infusion demonstrates a reduction in toxicity, enhanced response and improved outcomes and survival in a number of studies. In fact, the literature contains studies showing chronomodulation of chemotherapy can even allow patients to be re-challenged with the identical drugs they previously received and needed to discontinue, either because they were ineffective, became ineffective prematurely, or were too debilitating to tolerate. When drugs are administered at the optimal time, about 40% of patients whose previous treatment failed them will respond favorably. There are some studies evaluating patients with more advanced cancers where chronomodulation markedly improved the number of patients reaching the 5 year survival point. Of course, not all methods of chronotherapy are the same. Just giving the drug at the correct time is generally not enough. The administration curve of the infusion is equally important. The French research and our own patient research and experience demonstrates that when drugs are administered via a specific “sine wave curve” (where the drug is incrementally increased over the hours of infusion until it reaches the peak and optimal time and then is slowly decreased back down again) it provides a more effective response and is better tolerated. Is more research needed? Sure. But this shouldn’t take away from the fact that considerable research already supports this innovative approach to treatment. What I find a bit confusing among some medical colleagues is why integrative strategies are questioned at all. If a patient who is nutritionally, physically and emotionally healthier can tolerate treatment better, then of course they can stick to the dose and treatment schedule more easily as well. Thus, it only stands to reason that integrative treatment, nutritional interventions and administering chemotherapy via chronomodulation would improve tolerance and treatment outcome.

      Keith I. Block, M.D.
      Medical Director
      Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment
      Director, Integrative Medical Education
      University of Illinois College of Medicine
      Editor-In-Chief
      Integrative Cancer Therapies, Sage Science Press
      Editorial Board for Physician Data Query, CAM
      National Cancer Institute
      Scientific Director
      Institute for Integrative Cancer Research & Education
      http://www.BlockMD.com
      Tele: 847-492-3040
      1800 Sherman Avenue, Suite 350
      Evanston, Illinois 60201

  5. I can relate completely with the experiences these patients have had with their oncologists. When I asked breast surgeon, from a very well known cancer center, about the effects of nutrition on breast cancer, she blew it off and said that most oncologists, “don’t think that way”. With all of the new research out showing the substantial benefits of diet and lifestyle in preventing breast cancer and recurrence, shouldn’t they get with the program??

  6. Dear Dr. Moss and others,

    My experience is quite different. I have CLL and began to have significant problems last summer after 4 years of watch and wait and few symptoms. My local oncology group is extremely open and supportive. They give me all my test results, explain every procedure or drug. Chemo nurses are as nurturing and caring as I could ask for. When I have gone for consults to MD Anderson I have had the same experience. Never were condescending to me. Locally, I have experienced confusion and disappointment when chemo did not work but they were honest. It has been a blessing to have open and caring oncologists and a staff that gives you hope. I hope that others can find that. I don’t know how I could handle all of this without it so feel very sad that so many others have this negative expeirence.

    Gerald

  7. I am a long time subscriber to The Moss Reports and have read with great interest the articles on CAM for cancer. As a result, when the cervical cancer I had in 2001 mesastasized in 2008, I researched alternative methods in addition to chemotherapy. I was so sick from chemo the first time that I decided I would rather die than do that again. The docs were recommending the same chemo treatment, plus a couple of additions, this time. I was referred by a friend to a wonderful MD who does homeopathic treatment for cancer.

    The first thing this doctor said to me was “I can’t cure cancer”. He also told me that, in his 60 years of practicing medicine, he has never seen anyone who was “cured” of cancer using chemo. When I told him I’d just like to live longer than the six months I had been given (18 max WITH chemo), he simply said “I think we can do better than that”. How’s that for honesty and true caring? I have now lived 16 months past that original diagnosis, but not without problems, I admit. I also was diagnosed with mononucleosis about a week before I was diagnosed with metastic disease and that has been a real bear. I’ve had mycoplasma pneumonia twice since October, 2008. This doc has treatment me with Zithromax both times – he IS an MD and is not opposed to conventional treatment when he thinks it will help.

    Now..to the point about conventional doctors. I am having a serious bout of EBV currently. I started coughing and had some hoarseness, so called my regular PC. She asked me to have a CT scan, which I did. The radiologist read the scan as “possible lymphoma (which we already know it is not). Cannot rule out metastic disease”.
    So, my PC thinks the metastatic disease is active again. The homeopathic MD, who is actually treating me for cancer, says lymph glands can be swollen for a variety of reasons and he isn’t worried about it. I am continuing the homeopathic treatment for EBV.

    I’m not sure my PC is being “insensitive”. She has been completely supportive of my treatment choices, but knows NOTHING about homeopathy, EAV testing and diagnosis, etc. I’ve given her some information, but she says it doesn’t even make sense to her. I had to push her to get her to say she thinks it’s cancer. BUT…she says her training and her instincts tell her that it is. This has caused me untold stress, but she didn’t want to “fool” me when I asked her a direct question. I asked if she wanted me to get a biopsy and was told “no one will do a biopsy now because you are refusing chemo”. THERE is the insensitivity – the oncologists, as you said. So I am in limbo – thinking it’s EBV and I am recovering VERY slowly if I feel well and thinking it’s cancer and I might as well give up if I feel poorly.

    I guess I think that conventionally trained MDs aren’t really given any options. I think they are taught – “it’s our way or the highway”. Couldn’t they be cross trained in other therapies in medical school so at least they “get it”?

  8. Patients wishing to try low dose naltrexone often get this treatment as well. Doctors should be more respectful of patients’ instincts when they feel a certain alternative approach may be beneficial, and recall that the real goal is the best outcome for the sufferer, which can only be augmented by an open-minded compassion.

  9. I suspect the reason Oncologists get “blustery” about chemosensitivity testing has to do with their defensive knowledge that it may bring most of their chemotherapeutic treatment work to a screaming halt. The nasty side effects of chemo coupled with its very poor track record in curing MOST types of cancer predict that accurate chemosensitivity testing would make defunct standard chemo use for most metastic cancer. In the interests of Canadians, this information should be brought to the attention of our Federal Minister of Health who is always looking at cutting Publicly funded Health Care costs. With Cancer destined to be the leading cause of death within the next decade, there are substantial financial savings to be gleaned by erradicating the fraudulent use of futile chemotherapy that definitely does patients harm if it does not help destroy their type of cancer.

  10. well, my husband had lousy treatment with noi compassion at MD an derson Houston, waited 6 weeks for path report. Went to MD Anderson Orlando, same thing, I asked the nurse some questions and said I know I am being a pest, she said “no comment” My husband refused chemo, I have Dr. Moss r book and his chemo book, so not doing it was for us. We are looking for other avenues. My husband had his bladder out and cat scans every 3 months bothers me, all the radiation. They were not sympathed. We are looking for natural doctor and a new place where we are treated well.

    • For Joyce,

      Luckily there are always a variety of healthcare providers available in every state. If you check the Links section on our site, we have an area called Professional Referral Network. This takes you to the websites for licensing groups for Integrative practitioners of all types. You can put in your state and then refine it down to find the right doc for help.

  11. Dr. Moss: I love this new blog. Thanks for all of your research and work. I really enjoyed the anticancer.com tumor video. Knowledge is power.
    Best wishes

  12. Sadly, my experience w/oncologists in our lost battle with my wife’s SCLC (neuroendocrine), here in Ottawa Canada, the Nation’s Capital, parallels that of ‘Nancy’ above. Already ‘late stage’ by time of dx, the best we could get out of the socialized system here was CUPS (cancer of unknown primary site) – unfortunately the 8th most common dx in North America; pleas and bargaining to seek a more specific dx fell on deaf, dismissive and frankly hostile ears.

    It took us four months, and this only through the auspices of a befriended surgeon late in his career and hence somewhat impervious to ‘consequences’, to achieve even a needle biopsy for tissue sufficient to allow us to do a molecular profile of the cancer, paid for privately via Genzyme in LA, and the concurrent chemosensitivity in vitrio profiling; the resistance to such ‘translational medicine’ was heartbreaking.

    I spent some 2000 hrs online researching her recnac – I was not naive as to the parameters and limitations of treatment protocols and algorithms (I would have saved myself 1000 hrs of this had I been aware of Dr. Moss’s work, and reports, earlier in her 14 month trial) – this knowledge and clear, evidence-based presentation of possible options was met at nearly all points of compass with a stone wall, and a resentment that deepened directly according to how much I revealed I knew about what they posited and presented, at every step.

    Indeed, as Jerome Groopman MD points out in his indispensible book “How Doctors Think”, doctors are not trained to recognize the biases in their own cognition; in general they dislike truly sick patients, as it calls deeply into question their own competance and potency.

    From our first meeting with the assigned oncologist at the Ottawa Cancer Center, we had indication of what we could expect going forward.

    Walking up to my wife’s bedside (she had a dehydration mini-seizure while waiting in a wheelchair for 4 hours to be seen and had been placed on a gurney), his first words were that he was ‘running late’ and couldn’t talk for any length of time, his second words were that “it was probably lung cancer, and she had at most 4 months w/o treatment”, and his third words, in response to a query and request to direct that she be put on TPN (total parenteral nutrition) to build strength for treatment, as she had been misdiagnosed as DM2 gastroparetic 7 months previously and the cancer only found a month previously (note: – no doctor, gastroenterologist, internist, neurologist, resident, clinician, ever admitted to this mistake or it’s consequences) and had lost half her weight (80 lbs) and was subsisting on IV electrolytes w/dextrose, privately purchased amino acid infusions, and a cup of broth a day – he replied he “did not believe in feeding cancer patients”. These words, along with his statement that ‘she’d been investigated enough’ in refusing to countenance any suggestion that he do a needle biopsy so we could know with what we were dealing, private pay, and that he’d already decided on a course of treatment based on her previous workups, certainly served to remind that my wife was just a number, and don’t forget it.

    In any case, my wife refused chemo, full-knowing consequences, and her insight was perhaps shown precient once we received the dx from Genzyme -only 5% survive this particular recnac, being that it is likely precipitated by a genetic susceptibility to benzines in cigarette smoke.

    We were able, by main force and subterfuge, to implement TPN and an rx for LDN (low-dose naltrexone), and she gained weight and stabilized, for several months. We were in process of arranging through another palliative care MD and a close friend compounding pharmacist, a program for megadose IV Vit C when she went into crisis and into the ICU.
    {{We had also fought our way through to a doctor willing to sign off on special dispensation for import of Kangliate from China for potential use in concert with a chemosensitivity targeted ‘cocktail’, should she have come to agree to accept chemo at all, or to travel, Kangliate in hand, had we had time and her more weight and strength, to the Block Center for chronochemotherapy – I was prehaps ‘dreaming in technicolor that I’d be able to find an oncologist in Canada willing to employ Kangliate as part of normative chemo, but had in back of mind that we could administer this ourselves, as stand-alone, w/IV Vit C}}.

    She was again offered chemo in the ICU, and the chemosensitivity results coincidentally arrived from LA during this week. The “cocktail” offered, (by a different oncologist, a program of TWELVE TREATMENTS! – she was DYING!) was shown to be that of LEAST likelihood of having any effect on her particular cancer (and paradoxically, the ‘off the cuff’ CUPS ‘cocktail’ originally offered, the best likelihood)

    Irrespective, my wife declined chemo in the ICU as she had at her first diagnosis. Having being misdiagnosed through 9 hospital admissions (for dehydration and malnutrition due GP) before the cancer dx; starved and essentially tortured and stressed by repeated, fruitless and pro-forma invasive procedures, and with 14 months of constant vertigo, nausea, and a steady progression to full loss of hearing, smell, taste and peripheral neuropathy (which by now, ONLY through our own research, we understood to be paraneoplastic neuropathies – to the contradiction of some doctors who earlier came to dismiss her symptoms as psychosomatic), she chose to leave us and the ICU pulled her breathing tube, and she slipped away.

    I’ve not been able to write about this experience till now, two years on. It’s still not clear to me what lessons are to be gained from this, for anyone, but personally, I ‘know’, believe, a few things: –

    My wife’s life was prolonged, not without suffering, but allowing priceless opportunities for family reconciliations, goodbyes and ‘celebrations of her life by friends’ and closing of affairs, by the TPN and LDN, alone – fully twice the prognosis seen by the government oncologists.

    Had it not taken 7 months to rid ourselves of the ‘sticky’ original dx of DM2 gastroparesis (note: acute onset of full GP in 48 hrs, in a 50 yr old woman, with no other diabetic symptoms beyond high blood sugars controlled w/o insulin), and the cancer found earlier before the full paraneoplastic pantheon appeared), she could have had better strength to undertake, and we would have had more time to determine what, if any CAM or translational medical techiques might have been hopefull.

    Had she been allowed by our Ontario medical “system”, to immediately ascertain WHAT the cancer was, privately paying, before being offered a ‘take it or leave it’ option of treatment, she could have known in mere weeks her true prospects, and through the concurrent chemosensitivity testing, where the best conventional hopes lay, however dismal. Would it have changed ultimate outcome? Very unlikely, but HER choices and how she lived through to the end may have changed – there were many months, some better than others, between her dx and death.

    And finally, …. generally-speaking. I have developed a…certain…disdain, for doctors, for conventional medicine in general, and for our Canadian/Ontario ‘medical system’ in particular. Out of 43 doctors that had a hand in her treatment, I can count on the fingers of one hand those that I’d count worthy of the title; the others, I’d not stop to boost their car in a snow storm.

    • Dear David,

      It is very sad to read about the missed diagnoses and stupid treatment plans. But your wife got to make her own decisions and I am sure she appreciated your support in doing so. Sometimes the family hold back their loved one from doing what they want for fear of upsetting the doctor. Or in fear.

      AnnF .
      The Annie Appleseed Project

  13. Dr. Moss,
    Long time fan.
    I am a non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
    cancer patient with the VA.
    Five years now. Going on 6 since original diagnosis of stage 4. My first oncologist with the VA got very angry when I started asking questions about my Lymphoma. He said I must be one of “Those internet people” When I replied to the affirmative, he emphatically refused to answer any questions except “On anything I will tell you.”
    I asked for another Oncologist and my request was granted, however, my present doctor’s attitude is “I won’t ask what alternative therapy you may be doing and don’t tell me.”
    This is the sad part, since all of the nurses marvel at my short period of recovery, my good health, my longevity, and how long I go between treatment.
    The only drugs I do are the chemo, when I am in protocol. I have discovered several things that help my treatment and I wish they would list them on their computer so others could benefit or at least have a record of what has worked for me.
    There needs to be a corner turned in Oncology.

  14. Ralph,
    With the trend to customized therapy for cancer treatment (i.e. targeted drugs and vaccines), it seems only logical that the use of CCDRT (Cell Culture Drug Resistance Testing) be a part of choosing the appropriate therapy option. Drs. Robert Nagourney and Larry Wiesenthal have done a fine job of convincing the So. California oncology community of it’s efficacy, but despite repeated attempts to bring their story to the medical community here in the Midwest, particularly Mayo, via cancer patients who they are treating, there has been no movement toward this procedure.

    Dr. Nagourney has responded to a number of challenging questions relating to cancers that are not homogeneous like LMS or highly differentiated:
    [Robert Nagourney] We have a large series of patients who achieve excellent response, who when they relapse, undergo a second biopsy. At this point we often find that indeed there has been clonal selection. With the new profile in hand we then pursue the “new” dominant clone until we have maximal cytoreduction, sometime even going on to a third biopsy if needed. Several of my Stage IV NSCLC patient are out 4 and 5 years with this exact approach.

    Below is his response to other questions raised by doubting oncologists: (This may be helpful as you write your report on Chemo sensitivity testing)

    “How a chemotherapy agent performs in test tubes may be very different from the performance inside a body. Because there are many factors which happen in tumors and bodies which are not applicable to studying in a tissue culture:

    1. whether enough tumor cells will grow in the test tube for proper evaluability:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    We don’t grow tumors, we isolate them and study their death in a 3 day window.

    2. Excluding nonmalignant components, i.e. stromal, vascular, and necrotic, usually present in tumor specimens from the test tube:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    We specifically include stoma, vascular and inflammatory elements in what we call the ecology of the tumors.

    3. Preserving cell-to-cell interactions present in the original tumor in the test tube:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    Indeed these are absolutely essential and well preserved in our microspheroid method.

    4. The drug’s ability to get into the tumor in the body:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    Clearly pharmacokinetics and phamacodynamics play important roles but the ability of the drug to kill the tumors is fundmental.

    5. Variations of the micro-environment in and around the tumor in the body:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    See above

    6. Whether the drug acts on hypoxic tissue [ parts of the tumor that don’t get enough blood supply to be well oxygenated]:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    Valid point but to some degree the state of the tumor in the microspheroid at about 50 microns from the surface can mimic relative hypoxia.

    7. Metabolism of the drug to its active metabolite within the body:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    WE only use active metabolites i.e. Nitrogen mustard for Cytoxan etc

    8. Likewise, anti-angiogenesis drugs, which work by preventing new blood vessel formation in order to stall tumor growth, cannot be tested by tissue culture:
    [Robert Nagourney]
    The VEGF story is only still unfolding. As an epiphenomenon of HIF1a it may be a survival factor via BCL2 upregulation Beyond that, the vascular elements in the microspheroids maintain function and can be accuratley tested as has been reported in the literature using our model.

    9. While it appears from published remarks that there may be some value in determining “resistance” if not “sensitivity” with cells that are heterogeneous, can one be confident in any test results for either “resistance” or “sensitivity”?
    [Robert Nagourney]
    WE measure drug sensitivity not resistance. It is more than semantics. Drug resistance tests eliminate drugs. We select drugs…Accurately!!!!

  15. I couldn’t agree more. When my mother had cancer, her oncologists & surgeons waltzed into her room like knights in shining armor, told us what they were going to do, then waltzed out just as quickly. They all had a god-like air about them (self-imposed, since we didn’t buy it), as if we should worship the gound they walked on. The last surgeon always referred to how we had cured my mother…up until his cure quit working.

    Unfortunately, it’s not just oncologists. I’ve been dealing with severe cervical dysplasia over the last 2 years. I decided I wanted to try to treat it naturally through diet & supplements before going under the knife. I met with a new gynecologist who had already predetermined that she was going to do surgery (the nurse was waiting outside the door with the consent form). When my husband & I started asking questions about treating naturally, she said “Cervical cancer is not a fun cancer to have. It spreads quickly, goes into your bladder & your bowel, & then you leak urine & feces into your vagina, & if you have radiation & chemo you can never have sex again.” We told her we needed a few minutes to think & when she left we got out of that office & never looked back. I did end up having the abnormal cells excised, but that woman wasn’t going to touch me if she was the last doctor on earth!

  16. I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage2B Grade 3) in April 2005, which the doctors believed to be caused by prior radiation from my Hodgkins in 1984.

    I won’t get into the surgery that they wanted to do at this time. They wanted to do radiation, which they thought caused the breast cancer, and after looking at my records from 1984, they realized they could not do it because the breast cancer was on my left breast, same side as my heart, and that could cause heart problems. So, no radiation, but I asked the radiadion speciatlist why they would even consider giving me radiation, and he stumbled, and said that is standard treatment.

    Then, my oncologist decided to give me 3 or 4 courses of A/C chemo, and then multiple different drugs after that for 5, 10 years of forever. I researched the A/C chemo before the appt., and knew that they have the potential to weaken heart muscle, along with other potential side effects. I told him that I would take time to decide what I was going to do, and he go mad at me saying: “If you don’t quickly do this, you will lose your life to breast cancer. ”

    I felt terrible, and decided that even if I were to do anything related to chemo, that he would not be my doctor. These types of occurrences make the whole cancer episode that the patient is facing so much worse. I remember crying in my car.

    This doctor was a highly regarded, well known oncologist that people want to be referred to, and he does not know how to treat patients. Most oncologists don’t know how to deal with the situation, because they know that they are giving people things that make them sick, and that most of them don’t work. I have another story about a different oncologist who never knew what was in my chart when I went for the eppt. I had to make sure that I knew every number, test result, etc. before the appointment so that I could tell him what was going on. My friend also currently uses this dr., and has the same problem. I don’t know why he keeps this guy, but my friend has prevented himself from getting getting hurt by things he did not need, but this doctor set up without knowing previous test results.

    Cancer should not be escalating like it is. I live in prevention and extreme health now because I have had it twice by the age of 45.

  17. As a patient at the Block Medical Clinic with Stage IV colon cancer, I would like to point out that I am not getting chronotherapy. The reason is that I am female, and it is my understanding that chronotherapy is advantageous for men but not women. Dr. Block does not mention this in his comments above, but I think it might be useful to point this out.
    I chose the Block Clinic after bad experiences with my prior oncologist. Some of her first words to me were “You will die from this, probably within 2 years.” Not the best way to begin a discussion of appropriate treatments. Worse yet, she did not listen to me nor understand any of my concerns. My experience at the Block Clinic is just the opposite. All my concerns are addressed and I feel fully supported in every dimension of the fight.

  18. You must reember that Ongologists have a monetary interest in giving their legal treatments of Chem, Surg, and radiation. Especially in their offices or clinics.
    Some of their attitude is determined by the number of Patients, that reject the only treatments that they are permitted to prescribe by the Rules of the Medical Community.
    Unfortunately, to fit in and be accepted by the rest of the their Medical friends, they feel they cannot offer Alternative approaches, which they were not trained in.
    Their stern determined approach goes on long way in creating fear and anxiety in the patient, so that not reject their RX and go ahead with destructive chemo, etc.

  19. Dr. Moss, I am new to your blog and am excited about the wealth of info that will be available to us.

    I would like to add that my experience with my husband’s oncologist was as devastating as the accounts I have read about..no hope, just criticism, scorning and making us feel that we were certain to cause death with any decision but theirs.

    Thank goodness, we work with a patient advocate doctor who guided us (along with God’s helping hand) to a local doctor in Long Beach, CA who does the chemo sensitivity testing. He was honest and forthright about the outcomes, but was compassionate and gave us hope that he could at least find something that could or may work on my husband’s re-occurring anal squamous cell cancer.

    We did the biopsy for live tumor tissue, gave it to the lab, Rational Therapeutics, and 6 days later they gave us 3-4 different “formulas” that look really positive to kill the cancer.

    We are not “trying” anymore therapies that do not show the greater possibilities for healing and remission…we did that already and the tumor only grew and made my husband weaker.

    We will be meeting next week with Dr Nagourney, who has been doing this type of testing for years, to formulate a game plan for attacking and killing this cancer. We are excited and very hopeful for my husband’s complete recovery…because we have compassionate doctors who are given great talents for doing what is right for the patient and we have God on our side as well.

    Please do a in-depth piece on this chemo sensitivity testing…it is something that the patient community needs to be knowledgeable about and begin to demand from our doctors that this become the new std protocol !

    Thanks for all you do and many blessings to you,

    Jann


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