issels treatment centre mexico

I wish to inquire about health care products which could assist my wife who has had breast cancer diagnosed and treated within the last 24 months. She was treated with TAMOXIFEN for the last 12-15 months.

Within the last week she has been advised she has now bone ( spine ) and liver cancer. The doctors are suggesting TAXOTERE drugs and more chemo and we wanted to look at Alternatives to help.

We are also interested in finding out about alternative centre’s in either Europe or America ( north and south ) who perhaps treat the immune system to strengthen it as opposed to the Philosophy of Chemo which destroys all cells and rebuilds.

In my wife’s case we feel the chemo did not obviously kill cancer cells as thought.

Can anyone assist with guidance on products or places of excellence. We have heard about the issels treatment centre in mexico and would love any info anyone has on this option

Thanks

Brendan

sorry Brendan but I would advise against alternative medicine such as Issels. You will waste so much money and the outcome won’t be any different apart from travelling outside your environment. Any treatments need to be tested by randomised controlled trials. These work by taking the treatment and giving it to one group of people randomly assigned to that group. A control group doesn’t get the treatment. then results are compared. That is the only fair way of knowing if a treatment works or not.

the alternative medics rely on magic, and encouraging people to believe a treatment will work.

Try reading Gloria Hunniford’s book on her daughter Caron Keating’s experiences of treatment for further details - Caron went to Byron Bay in Australia and to Switzerland in search of alternative treatments.- and ended up in the back of a car travelling back to England to die at her mother’s house.

Not what I’d want

Mole

There is a difficult line between wanting the best care and clutching at straws, believe me I have been there. Like your wife I have BC that has spread to my bones and liver. The one treatment I would reccomend is Anthrosophical medicine. This has been established for hundreds of years and is practiced in this country and extensively in Europe. They treat the person holistically and help you to heal spiritually as well as physically. Mistletoe is one of the treatmetns they use, and quite successfully. I attend Park Attwood, and have had wonderful support on all levels. Just google the name and you will find their web-site. I know I can onnly give limited information her but you can send me a private mesage if you wish.

Dear Brendan

Welcome to the forums, I am sorry to read of your wife’s recent diagnosis of secondary breast cancer. Please feel free to call our confidential helpline for support, information and advice on 0808 800 6000, our helpliners are specialist breast care nurses and can help you through this difficult time. The line is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Breast Cancer Care have published some information about secondary breast cancer which you may find helpful to read, the following links will take you to the booklets which contain information about a secondary diagnosis, treatments and support available and others which are specifically about secondary bone and liver cancer:

breastcancercare.org.uk/docs/sbc_sept_2007_web_final_0.pdf

breastcancercare.org.uk/docs/secondary_breast_cancer_in_the_bone_0.pdf

breastcancercare.org.uk/docs/secondary_breast_cancer_in_the_liver_0.pdf

Best wishes
Lucy

Molennium

I am sorry I do not know your diagnosis / history / experience with alternative/complimentary therapy - but I can’t believe your lack of enthusiasm for these therapies…I do agree yes, some havent been trialed so have no proven results, and some may be a waste of money, but if you read up and make sure they have a good history and are of safe use/without side effects etc…and if the person believes after this research that they should try the these therapies then we all have that choice…and is up to each individual person to decide what to take and what not to take and whether they can afford it or not…and I think sometimes its a mind game, and if it makes you feel you are doing something yourself then this can help us mentally and therefore make us more upbeat and positive about our general diagnosis and our future.

I dont know anything about the Issels treatment, but I do take/seek alternative/complimentary therapies and believe my well-being (I have spine and lung mets dx nov '07 after a local recurrence dx apr '07, bone met in sternum dx aug '05 all from original bc in '03) is due to what I do/take…I would always say you must take conventional medicine as prescribed by the docs, but as Brendan is looking to do for his wife use alternative/complimentary therapy as well to compliment the conventional medicine (but check before taking these alt treatments with the oncologist before you start them to make sure it doesnt interfere with the converntional treatment).

I hope I havent offended you Molennium, but I really wanted to put my point of view across that you should not discourage unless you know first hand, what an alternative/complimentary treatment may offer and even then it may be that certain treatment hasnt worked for you or for someone you know and doesnt necessarily mean it wont help someone else…the same with the conventional medicines may work well for some and not for others!..we can all make the choice to choose an alternative/complimentary therapy or not.

Good luck Brendan, but make sure you do research before undertaking the alternative/complimentary therapy to make sure you are happy what results it may offer and that most importantly it has been safely tested (ie. been tested for toxicity etc etc) …Hope your wife gets on ok with chemo :slight_smile:

Zippy xx

Hi Brendan,

I’m really sorry to hear about your wife’s diagnosis with secondary breast cancer.

Like Mole I would suggest you are very cautious about spending a lot of money on alternative treatments. There are many internet sites which seem to suggest miraculous cures for cancer and its these claims that you should be particularly wary of. If someone claims to cure cancer, or draws your attention to miraculous cures then the information is pretty sure to be wrong. There is no cure for termianl cancer…and many contemporay tretaments like chemotherapy are limited and debilitating.

Complementary treatments do help many people to feel better about living with the impact of cancer and the side effects of harsh treatments. Many people get great help from therpaies such as aromatherapy, reflexology, reiki etc. Some people believe in the strange theroies behind some of these therpaies…other just enjoy them for what they are…pleasant and relaxing time out with a sympathetic person that can help at a horrendous time.

I think there is a difference between therapies which claim to cure or prolong life and those which are simply about helping someone to live with the emotional and physical impact of serious illness.

Personally I don’t think the evidence is strong for iscador (misteltoe) which mills has mentioned but it is used in Germany and is avaialble at the Royal Homeopathic Hopistal. There are many private clinics like Park Atttwood which offer unproven treatments (for example the Liongate and Dove clinics). If you use one of these clinics check it is registered with the Healthcare Commssion. Some peopel swear by them…though lives are not saved or prolonged. Another reputable place to consider is the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre in Bristol (used to be called Bristol Cancer Care)

I too have read Gloria Hunniford’s book about Caron Keating and found it shocking…certainly not an approach I am taking.

best wishes

Jane

Hi Brendan

I just wanted to say that I feel there’s a difference between ‘alternative’ and ‘complementary’. Alternative means just that - it’s instead of the conventional route. Complementary is an add-on and I have found certain ones make me ‘feel’ better.

I don’t know enough about alternative therapies. The only one I’ve heard of is the Gerson one which is also very expensive and also quite a strong regime and I know I couldn’t go down that route but we’re all different.

I’ve heard a lot of good feedback from people who’ve been to the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre - it is expensive but from those people who have been, they’ve said it was worth it.

Chemo just halts the progression for however long that might be. If you’re wanting to build up your wife’s immune system I do feel that there must be much cheaper and easier ways of doing that than going abroad.

Pinkdove

Hi

I cant believe another negative comment about alternative/complimentary therapies has been posted!!!

I see the gloria hunniford book mentioned again being doom n gloom, what about the positive stories on cancer??? ie. Jane Plant, Lance Armstrong (cyclist - diff cancer but pos story), that lady who was on sky news the other day still here after 34yrs of secondary breast cancer etc etc etc…

Also to say that ‘There is no cure for termianl cancer…and many contemporay tretaments like chemotherapy are limited and debilitating’ yes maybe to some - but not to all !!! Everyone of us is different…who knows what the future holds or how the treatment will effect us?..the chemo could control and even some cases get rid of the cancer, and as I understand the bone mets although will never go, can be controlled and you cant die from bone mets! they will just increase in time (in some cases) and cause pain or breaks but as i understand its the situation with the body organs that will dictate someones future…so to say about secondary cancer is terminal is extremely negative, its just secondary cancer!!! just like having another disease like diabetes, epilepsy etc, just needs medication to suit…So please Brendan, make sure your wife feels positive about her future - I am only 34yrs old had this bc since I was 29yrs old, yes its not great, but im happy, still working full time, go to the gym twice a week, and look forward to seeing my goddaughter (whose just turned 3yrs old) grow up into a beautiful young lady…my secondary cancer is not terminal !!!

:slight_smile:

Zippy xx

Hi Zippy

I agree with you that we are all different and we are all at different stages with our disease but unfortunately secondary breast cancer can’t be ‘cured’ - we can live with it hopefully for many years but I think we are also realistic knowing that our chances of living longer aren’t as good as those who have a primary diagnosis.

I don’t consider myself to be at that ‘terminal’ stage at the moment. I was 2 years ago when I was told that I had about 3 months to live but the chemo really turned that around.

Bone mets can be controlled by bisphosphonates and other treatments - mine have just become active again after 3.5 years of them being stable. My concern is my liver and that’s being controlled by being on chemo indefinitely since 2 years ago,

I think (for me) it would be scary for me to go down the alternative route but if I was at the stage of no options left in the conventional route would I think about embracing it? I honestly don’t know…

Pinkdove

Hi Brendan,
I have a friend who was diagnosed with renal cancer…she refused surgery and conventional therapy and instead radically changed her diet and sought alternative therapies. She went to Mexico, to a centre (perhaps the same one), for a couple of weeks, one of the treatments that she was recommended was coffee enemas, several times a day, she was convinced that the combination of diet, enemas and homeopathy would ‘cure’ her…it didn’t!!!
Fortunately it didn’t cost her her life…she ended up coming back to conventional medicine and having the surgery.
I have been a nurse for many years and like quite a lot of the medical profession am very sceptical about alternative medicine…I think as Pinkdove said there is a place for complimentary therapy as an ‘add-on’ to conventional treatments but personally I would not want to ‘risk’ the solely alternative route.
I wish your wife lots of luck with whatever treatment she chooses.
Skimum

Hi Skimum

It sounds as though the coffee enemas is the Gerson Therapy as I know you have to have them quite a few times during the day plus fruit juices and they can only be prepared by a certain type of machine which is expensive to buy. I think there was quite a bit of publicity about it a few years ago (not good publicity unfortunately).

Pinkdove

Hi Zippy,

No you can’t die of bone mets alone but I have known women who died from ensuing complications of bone mets (who had no organ involvement).

If you search for ‘Jane Plant’ on these forums you will find endless arguments about her. Jane Plant is not an oncologist, did not have spread to her organs or bones and there is no valid research to back her claims. Lance Armstrong, as you said, had quite a different cancer to secondary breast, cancer which could be cured, unlike secondary breast cancer. I don’t know of any clinical evidence to support alternative therapies, I’m afraid, and I am sure that amongst the learned and bc-educated women on this site, we would have come across anything worth its salt by now. Secondary breast cancer is, in almost all cases, eventually terminal. Treatments stop working and there are only so many out there to try.

Many hospitals advise and offer ‘complementary’ therapies but not ‘alternative’ therapies. Also remember, that you must be very careful what you take alongside conventional treatments (chemo) as many supplements are contraindicated and you could be compromising the benefits of chemo. Like many people, I looked at every alternative out there, when diagnosed with bc and liver mets almost three years ago and have a cupboard full of tried and dumped options. I occasionally take one supplement only these days and even that one has no proof of being OK. I feel complementary therapies are palliative in that they may ease symptoms or make you feel better in yourself mentally, physically or both, and obviously this is a good thing. What they don’t do is kill cancer cells.

Brendan, I am sorry to read of your wife’s diagnosis and I wish you luck struggling with the minefield of information out there. As you can see from the response here, there are no easy answers.

I really hope we may all live to eat our words, see our children grow up and enjoy old age, but I’m not holding my breath on that one yet.

Jenny
x

As I recall from reading Lance Armstrong’s first book “it’s not about the bike”, he did not go down the alternative route. He found out which hospital in the USA was at the forefront of testicular cancer treatment and had the best that conventional treatment could offer. Testicular cancer is remarkable in that it is curable even if someone gets secondaries. He had brain surgery and chemotherapy, but describes his extremely strong consitution (very slow heart etc) as having had a positive impact on his ability to survive.

I don’t want to offend anyone and I’m all for complementary therapy if someone wants to try it with their eyes open, but as far as Issels is concerned I remember a great athlete years ago called Lillian Board who developed a kind of cancer in her twenties. She went to Switzerland in search of cure. I am sorry to say she died not long after. I also remember reading that Robin Fox, father of Edward and James Fox went there, when he got lung cancer (I think it was lung cancer anyway). Mrs Fox tells the harrowing story in her book “Slightly Foxed” (?) - I am afraid Mrs Fox took him away in the end as it was so unpleasant there.

Not that anyone need take any notice of anything I say of course. Personally I don’t like any kind of treatment alternative or mainstream and in fact stopped taking tamoxifen before the recommended medical period. But whatever my own personal situation, I like to look at the scientific evidence for what treatment is suggested for me, and then make up my mind whether I want to take it or not. I believe in a healthy scepticism, and I also take account of the interests of people who are suggesting different courses of action, e.g. is there any monetary benefit for them, or not? Do they want to develop a new treatment that will make their name/win them a nobel prize etc?

I also look at what is happening in other countries and the strength of evidence e.g. size of trials. In the case of Issels I would view the clinic more favourably if they had taken part in trials of the treatments they offer which are fairly unpleasant e.g. I believe some of them involve making you freezing cold - easy in Switzerland. Sorry to be so negative but I am giving my honest opinion, offensive or not.

Mole

Yes indeed bone mets can be controlled for many years. Sadly many people with bone mets subsquently go on to get mets in other major organs and it is these mets which kill them. However, sadly, I understand that bone mets alone can and do kill…yes it may be the complications of bone mets but that’s rather a moot point!

I know there is some controversy about calling all secondary breast cancer ‘terminal’ because often it isn’t immediately terminal and many people are living much longer than previously, but the word is useful to indicate the seriousness of metastatic breast cancer, and at this present time I think probably only 2-3% of mets patients live long enough to be considered ‘cured’ (I got this figure from Susan Love’s Breast Book.)Hopefully this figure will improve as treatments continue to improve.

My horror at Caron Keating’s story is not that she died, but that she became convinced that she was in some way to blame for her cancer…and that pursuing all kinds of strange alternative therapies she could cure it. This seems to me to be a horribly life limiting way to live your last years with cancer.

Brendan

Though I’m not a particular fan of alternative medicine please do heed what several of us are saying about the important distinction between alternative and complementary medicine. best wishes

Jane

hi mole, pinkdove, jennywren

I appreciate that secondary cancer cannot be ‘cured’ i am not totally insane! (yet! lol!!!) but i hate the word terminal…its just an awful word to use - who knows how long we’ve all got? …i do understand the consequences of sec breast cancer, and am not sat with ‘rose tinted’ glasses on! I have even thought ahead and tried to be sensible about my future and my prognosis and ive cancelled my private pension payments, sorted my will out, etc etc… but i dont consider myself as being terminally ill! i know in my heart i wont reach 65 but then i do hope i reach 40,50 etc !!! and by the stories of jane plant, lance armstrong maybe i was goin off at a tangent but i was trying to say that we should look at positive stories which have used any kind of treatment and not dwell on the negatives all the time.

For all we know we may be run over by a bus tomorrow (hope not!) - and then we’d still have secondary cancer! and wont have died from it!!! life is too short, we should all do what we feel is best and deal with it in the best way we can whether this means sticking to conventional treatments and/or having alternative/complimentary treatments.

Zippy :slight_smile:

A couple of thoughts here.

Lance Armstrong did the diet thing. He made sure when he was in hospital that he was brought freshly prepared organic food. But yes, he also took every conventional treatment going.

I am not sure his cancer was more “curable”. When he asked his oncologists, after his treatment had finnished and he was NED, what his prognosis had been at diagnosis they told him he had had only a 3% chance of surviving his cancer, which had metastasised. I find this gives me hope, too.

I honestly believe that, in some cases, even stage 4 is curable now. I have a friend who had mets to her sternum who had tax and herceptin and is currentlly, over 4 years later, NED. I know it might come back at any time, but she has been told that she has gone past the time they would have expected to see it. And with more treatments coming along, and the possibility of tax/herceptin again, who knows?:

As for alternatives, my dad went to the Penny Brohn centre (it was the Bristol Centre back then). He did the diet and the coffee enema thing to the letter. And by golly he had a very healthy year. There was nothing at all available then for his pancreatic cancer, but he lived really well. And the diet made him feel as if he was in control. He died after a year, but he only suffered at the very end. He even worked till just a few days before his death, and I am sure the diet helped him to stay healthy.

I made the mistake of browsing the Gloria Hunniford book only a couple of days ago. It horrified me. Caron seemed to forego conventional treatments in favour of alternatives, and I was shocked at how much suffering she was experienced as she made her last minute dash back home. I do wonder whether her death might have been less painful and stressful had she at the least combined some of the conventional treatments.

If I had the money I would be tempted to try some of the complementary therapies, even to go stay at some of the clinics offering different, immune system strengthening, treatments. But I would also stay close to my oncologist and make sure that I got the conventional treatments when I needed them, for as long as they offered something.

Deirdre

Dear Crocetti

I just wanted to let you know about a clinic that I visit in Germany called the Leonardis Klinik which has treatment options 10 years ahead of the UK. It does offer alternative/complementary therapies which support the immune system during chemotherapy treatment and beyond but the treatment plans include conventional treatments. They offer a blood test called a chemosensitivity test where your blood is tested against many different chemos to determine which chemo will best fight your cancer which means that you won’t waste time trying the standard chemos on the NHS “Gold list” until you get to the one that is right for your cancer. I believe this is still being trialled in the UK.

I have private treatment in Germany and am still on the NHS and if it were not for the German clinic I would not know of so many new treatments. I’m sure my UK Oncologist does not like the fact that I have so much knowledge and am forever asking about different drugs. You either accept what limited treatment you can get in the UK or you fight for your life and look elsewhere.

I have bone secondaries and now I have two lesions in the liver which are being treated by a Prof Vogel in Frankfurt using a technique called chemoembolization which injects chemo directly into the liver rather than having systemic, ie an infusion of chemo to the whole body. Following my first chemembolization my liver tumours have shrunk by 25%. I have since had a second procedure and will then have a third possibly followed by laser treatment. I have also had started on a treatment called Dendritic Cell Vaccine therapy.

Farrah Fawcett is also being treated by Prof Vogel and has visited the Leonardis Klinik. I have met many cancer patients who praise the clinic and say they have saved their life, I have also met patients who have since died but they went to the clinic when they were extremely ill but again they had nothing but praise for the clinic and said that their lives had been extended.

I feel that I had to add my comments to this thread because there are treatments out there which really can help. Unfortunately they do come at a cost and not everyone can afford this path. I have very kind family and friends who fund raise for me to enable me to get this treatment. I’m sure if they thought it was a load of crock they wouldn’t be so enthusiastic to raise money. Many of my friends have accompanied me on my trips to the German clinic and they are amazed at the positiveness and knowledge of the German Oncologists. I am not under any illusion that this is a cure but it sure beats sitting around waiting for something to happen as they do in this country.

I too have read Gloria Hunnifords book and believe that Caron chased the “alternative dream” rather than using it alongside conventional medicine. She was a strong lady and I think she realised too late that people like Brandon Bays were a little economic with the truth when it came to her cancer fight.

Anyway good to luck with the choices you make and if you feel that you should look abroad for treatment, don’t be put off by comments from people who have no experience. Yes, you must be careful but there is plenty of information out there to help guide you.

Best wishes.

Spike

Hi guys

Thanks for all your very sincere comments and attempts to clarify the position. I will come back to the point about complimentary treatments in a moment.

I find it really hard to understand for example in my wifes case. The speed with which you move from cancer suspected and diagnosed to very serious treatments - chemo happens instantly with certain drugs attached to that process that you know nothing about - FEC and thereafter for example tamoxifen - Tamoxifen i understand now can cause liver problems . arimidex the next suggestion, the same issues. Currently suggested by our oncologist is taxotere - check this out and liver and osteoporosis can result. Is this right ? i dont really Know but it stops you in your tracks with fear that you have introduced the new driver of your cancer - the drugs!!!

The whole point about complimentary medicines is for everyone to be given solid independent advice and assessment - yes by your oncologist !!! - who should know all that i dont know and more - and then allow the patient to determine.

Why when i call all the cancer agencies does everyone clam up when you mistakingly mention alternatives - when you yes really mean complimentary. It doesnt make sense to me that we know nothing about Issels , the oasis of Hope , DCA treatments , Raloxifene ( sept 2007 ).

The fact also that a nutrionalsit is not attached to all cancer patients is absurd as this would greatly assist all.

Perhaps i really dont know what to do - but breat cancer to met bone and liver cancer does not stack up to me - something is wrong and we may just have to attack the things from another side, pray and hope that we can beat it.

Thanks for your support - i would still like to know if anyone can assist with any knowledge of issels or any other source to help.

thanks for guidelines to Dr Rosy Daniels etc will check out

Brendan

Hi Spike

thanks for the advice - i will check this out. Appreciate your open frank views on treatments

thanks

brendan

I had a male friend in Florida with terminal lung and kidney cancer, who was on dialysis and in a wheelchair. Although he was being treated at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer hospital in Tampa, which is one of the top 3 cancer hospitals in the US, the oncologists said there was nothing more they could do except palliative treatment. His wife heard about the Gerson alternative therapy and they flew to Mexico (don’t know where). He had to drink gallons of juiced fruit and vegetables and had the coffee enemas. Within 3 days he was so ill he had to be flown by private plane to San Diego to an allopathic hospital where he was stabilised enough after a few days, to return home to Florida, where he died within 6 weeks. I cannot begin to imagine how many thousands of dollars this excursion cost them and it is sad to think he got no relief from the therapy, just seriously ill. They were however, desperate and really believed the Gerson therapy would prolong his life. It is a cautionary true tale. You may wish to google Gerson… I did, and was shocked by some of the true reports from patients who had been to Mexico for this treatment.

As far as I remember, Caron Keating refused chemo (don’t know about rads) which of course is her right, but I do wonder if she had had conventional treatment, she may have lived longer. Guess in the end we all have to make our own choices.

Liz.