Homeopathy... any other users of it out there

I had a friend-now sadly dead, who only used homeopathy from diagnosis.Our primary diagnosis were wihin several months of each other back in 1996. I opted for mastectomy and chemo, my friend was treated primarily with iscador. Her large tumour disappeared. She had 12 very happy and healthy cancer free years, until brain mets just over a year ago. She again declined any treatment, other than homeopathic, but died within 6 months. The evening she died, I was preparing to be admitted to hospital for a lung biopsy and pleural effusion-my cancer too had recurred.

So, we have 2 cases treated very differently-conventional v iscador, with both patients disease free for the same length of time-12 years is a good amount of time to be disease free whatever the treatment used.

Glad to hear that your Mum is benefitting so much from it damhead. It can produce remarkable results, just as succesfully as chemo, if used in conjunction with other homeopathic remdies-I’ve seen the proof!

Hi all

I thought it may be useful at this point to post some information from our booklet called ‘Complementary therapies’ which offers advice and information for anyone who may be considering using any form of complementary therapy:

‘If you are having conventional medical treatment for breast cancer, it is important to let your specialist team know about any complementary therapies you are thinking about trying, including food supplements. It is just as important to let any complementary therapist you visit know about your breast cancer history.’

The booklet can be read via the following link if anyone would like any further information:

breastcancercare.org.uk/docs/complementary_therapies_aug07_0.pdf

I hope this is helpful
Best wishes
Lucy

Thanks ElaineD, for sharing that. I have recently read about iscador and will be doing more research on it personally as it warrants further attention from what I’ve read so far. I personally think that our current understanding of cancer is the tip of the iceberg ie scientifically we’re really quite ignorant about it at this stage but I can see that changing all the time and think some major discoveries will be made in the next 20 years, but until there’s a 100% certain cure I’m keeping all options open.

As for using Arnica before an op I was lead to believe it might not be a good idea but I’ve just done a bit of checking up and read the opposite is true, apparently taking it for a few days prior to surgery can help so yes I would but I’d still go see a proper homeopath personally just because your reaction to anaesthetic can vary so it might make you sluggish or constipated it might not.

good luck with the op.

Angie

There have been a large number of meta analysieses of trials using iscador and no evidence whatsover that iscador has anti cancer properties.

Yes iscador is used in Germany…a long and interesting history of use there…

There is science…and there is science. There is no alternative kind of science which somehow means that a particular drug is not amenable to scientifc testing.

Ther is no evidence whatesover that homeopathy has any benefits beyond a placebo effect. This is true of arnica as well. I peronally think it is scandalous that the NHS funds homeopathic hopsitals.

Jane

Your personal views are noted. As a user of homeopathy who has a rational mind I’m rather glad it’s not just up to you.

I have to agree with Angie, there. I’ve used homeopathy over the years and it’s a good way of treating the whole person, not just a bit that’s gone wrong. With BC I wouldn’t advocate homeopathy alone; rather it should work with so-called conventional medicine, but it should be something agreed upon between the person with BC and her med team. I wish that my hospital trust had access to a homeopathic hospital, I’d be very grateful for the help, and am glad that the NHS embraces, albeit in a small way, other forms of medicine.

I’m hoping to have a chat soon with my friend’s son, who will be able to give us more specific details of his Mum’s treatment. She was an inspiring girl who lived life to the full. A lifelong user of homeopthy she had few health problems until cancer entered her life- this she fought with tenacity and dignity, and I found her inspirational.I may have followed the conventional medical route, but I had nothing but respect for her choices and decisions-and in turn she respected my choices. I don’t consider it scandalous that she lived for 12 cancer free years before recurrent disease thanks to homeopathic hospitals and practitioners-I find it inspirational. Fortunately my friend was tolerant beyond measure when it came to discussing other people’s beliefs and choices :how I wish she was still with us to help those who are open minded enough to see beyond conventional medicine.I agree completely with vertangie that knowledge as it stands at present re cancer is still in it’s infancy and nothing should be discounted.

My personal views about homeopathac med cine are not plucked out of the air; they are based on reading loads and loads of evidence, wieghing it up carefully and coming to a rational conclusion.

I am pleased your friend lived a long time with cnacer Elaine but I do not think it was because of homeopathic medicne…but then I don’t belive the earth is flat nor that fairies live at the bottom of the garden either.

If someone can show me a properly conducted double blind clinical trial using iscador that works on cancer then great…but I challenge you to…you won’t. Nor can you find a single properly conducted clinical trial proving the benefits of homeopathic remedies either. I simply don’t belive taht there is some alternative kind of science which applies to homeopathy.

Jane

thankyou all for the advice…i shall give the arnica a go,especially as my surgeon has said it’s ok. As i am trusting my body to his skills i reckon he would have said no to using it if he felt there was a problem.In this, he is the expert and i am the student!

These are the homeopathic hospitals in the UK: Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital , Bristol Homoeopathic Hospital , Tunbridge Wells Homoeopathic Hospital, Department of Homoeopathic Medicine Liverpool where you can find more information.

I do know of several women who use/used these boards who do or used to take Iscador. Sadly some of these women are dead and I doubt that Iscador extended their lives.

Any supplements which are supposed to strengthen the immune system should not be used when having chemotherapy as chemo is supposed to try and kill cells and if you are taking something which is supposed to build up cells, they will work in opposition to each other and may well lessen the benefits of chemotherapy. It is important to discuss anything you take with your medical team. I was advised against many of the things I was tempted to try, by my onc, whom I trust implicitly. He does not know all the answers - and I wouldn’t expect an oncologist to be expert in homeopathy - but they certainly know enough (or should do) to advise on what will NOT harm you.

The only thing I do take now is Milk Thistle, and only during my week off Xeloda - and the jury is still out on this one, I have been involved in many debates as to whether this is OK or not.

Jenny

I attend the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital where I have been prescribed Iscador and other homeopathic treatments which I use in conjunction with all mainstream treatments as prescribed by my oncologist, GP etc. and with the agreement of these medical professionals. I feel that I have little to lose by this approach and, as a clinical scientist myself, would just say that ‘absence of evidence is never going to be evidence of absence’ with regard to clinical effect. It is the case that the homeopathic remedies have not had, and are not likely to have in the future, the huge sums of money poured into research by pharmaceutical companies that is the case with conventional treatments. To the extent that it is understood, the mechanism of action for Iscador may be via the immune system. Leaving aside the cancer issue it is the case that the past four months or so since starting Iscador I have kept extremely well and have caught not one of the various throat and gastric infections, colds and flu bugs which many of my friends, family and colleagues have suffered. I cannot recall an autumn/winter when I have felt so well. So I feel my quality of life has been enhanced regardless of what happens to the cancer in the longer term.

ShelleyAnn

Glad to hear that you’ve been keeping so well Shelley-and your attitude pretty well summed up my friend’s outlook too.She invested a huge amount of time and effort into investigating it all. She too felt incredibly well, full of energy and life, until those last fatal months. Whatever it did for her, it did it succesfully for a very long time indeed. If her remission was “all in her head”, and iscador played no part whatsover, then who cares-she was alive, healthy, happy and cancer free. As far as she was concerned it worked for her. Good luck for the future (from a former resident of Kilmacolm, now exiled through hubby’s work to Devon!)

I am indeed a fellow Scot-both hubby and I are originally from Edinburgh (we went to school together!), but spent 13 very happy years in Kilmacolm, while he was based in Glasgow. Loved it, loved it, and miss it so much. Try to get back once a year, although this year has been put on hold due to treatment. My medical history-original diagnosis in 1996, followed by recurrence to pleura, liver and bones last year (diagnosed on Nov 4th!). Had 6 cycles of combined taxotere/herceptin, with limited success. Am also BRCA2, and think that the gene misprint is muddying the waters somewhat-although er+ I’m not responding to hormone treatment, and having had several cycles of herceptin alone, the latest scan (got the results yesterday), shows that the cancer is active again. Huge disappointment and upset, so will be starting tomorrow on xeloda.
Hoping to get up to Scotland in the early pasrt of next year-maybe we could meet for a coffee-don’t feel obliged though-but would love to chat if you wanted.Like you, I feel very well at the moment, and find it hard to believe that so much is going wrong.

I have been taking various homeopathic remedies for 3 out of the 4 years since diagnosis. I had the very good fortune to be referred to the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital by my forward thinking Oncologist. My Homeopath specialises in cancer and has been a tower of strength for me over the years and is the only health practitioner who looks at me as a whole person. She and my Onc communicate closely so that I am always reassured that whatever she recommends is vetted by my Onc. I take Iscador in solution 5 days out of 7. I also take various other remedies for side effects and general well-being. It upsets me greatly to hear people dismissing homeopathy, but I realise that I am in a rather privileged position of being able to see a highly qualified specialist and not someone working privately who may not have the relevant background to treat advanced cancer patients. May I also mention here Penny Brohn Cancer Care who can offer excellent help on nutrition and complementary therapies. They have a residential centre in Pill near Bristol. www.pennybrohncancercare.org. One of their patrons is the Prince of Wales and they provide a great deal of valuable help to cancer sufferers.
Thora.

Hi Thora
Glad to hear that you too are having positive experiences with homeopathy. I can also say that it has been the only comprehensive holistic assessment undertaken with me in the fifteen years of having cancer - I really feel that my homeopathic consultant knows me very well in the short period I have known her and all the staff I have met in the Glasgow Homeopathic hospital have been pleasant, professional, caring and supportive (from consultant to ward cleaner!). As an NHS practitioner myself, the rest of the NHS have a lot to learn from them in terms of people skills! Have you participated in one of the Penny Brohn residential courses and if so was it helpful? I am considering it but it is fairly expensive by the time travel costs from Scotland are added - but happy to pay it if it is beneficial?
ShelleyAnn

Hi ShelleyAnn
SO glad to hear from someone else who values homeopathy. I haven’t yet participated in a residential course. I recently attended a free 10 week course in my town (I was sponsored by my GP) followed by a visit to the PB centre to see the facilities. The PB centre is lovely and peaceful with tasteful decoration, en-suite bedrooms and a restaurant and treatment rooms. They have a policy now of anonymous donations so you can pay as much or as little as you can afford and you put the money in an envelope. You choose what sessions you want - they are many and varied - nutrition, reflexology etc etc. I don’t post on this board very often but I will check in from time to time to see if you have any comments. Bye for now Thora xx

Just wanted to add that my hyper sensitive skin has basically had an allergic reaction to the aqueous cream I was given for after radiotherapy but I’m using the nelsons burns cream instead now and it’s working great so that’s one to add to the list. It’s basically calendula, urtica, Echinacea and hypericum in cream base, the cream does contain alcohol but so does the so called harmless aqueous cream.

Just thought I’d mention in case it’s of help to anyone else.

ElaineD. Looks like we may have a lot in common.

Now that I know I’m BRCA1 and understand what that actually means (ie 1 half of the gene does still work) staying as fit and healthy as possible has got to increase my chances of not developing another cancer I reckon, after all we do *know* that the immune system can kill cancer (gotta love those Killer T cells haven’t we) so I’m nurturing my immune system now instead, this involves laughter, healthy diet and plenty of inspirational walks (and a few of the oh god do I have to walk the dog it’s raining) walks too.

Homeopathy is certainly helping in my recovery but so are the vitamin supplements and diet all of which has been carefully worked out with my mum and her expert homeopath. Hospital basically poisoned me and left me to pick up the pieces. I’m grateful for the chemo and the rads but I’m just as grateful to those people helping me pick up the pieces now.

Angie

Ah, interesting re the aqueous cream. THink it might be causing me a prob too. I’ve got some of the burns cream too and think I might try swapping.
ann

It’s been 2 1/2 weeks since the rads finished now and the skin has completely gone back to normal and last week I only used a little of the burns cream once a day and no peeling, blistering etc FYI.

Leadie
Hi there, am new on the site and am recovering from a wide local excision and node sample. Have been involved with Homoeopathy for years and have been taking arnica 200 and bellis per 30. Haven’ needed any pain killers and wounds are healing well. Also do meditation and Tai Chi which has really helped me focus on staying positive during a really scary time.