Two years ago, an elderly woman came to the office with a mass in her right breast. It was a good-sized lump over an inch in diameter, firm and well-demarcated, non-tender, with the feel of a cancer. Mammography confirmed my suspicion, with findings definitive for breast cancer. She refused a biopsy, decided to address it nutritionally with an organic, vegan diet, her own form of positive thinking, and twice weekly injections of mistletoe, an anti-cancer plant product, for which I had referred her to a source.
She returned several months later, and detailed examination revealed no trace of the mass. It had disappeared. At her last visit a few weeks ago breast examination was again completely negative. Blood studies, including a breast cancer marker, were normal. She again declined a mammogram. The cancer seems to be gone, or at least suppressed into a long-term remission.
Conventional therapy for breast cancer is aggressive, always includes radiation after surgery, with chemotherapy added if any lymph nodes are positive. If the cancer is estrogen-receptor positive, some form of hormonal blockade is offered, usually for five years, sometimes longer.
At her advanced age, and with no family responsibilities, this patient felt free to address the cancer in her own way, using alternative approaches, and has been successful, with no toxic, painful or deforming effects of treatment.
Our practice believes that patients should be informed of their options for treatment, including statistics on survival, complications of therapy, and alternative approaches, without efforts to force them in a particular direction. We rely on patients intelligence, judgment, and desires to guide them in the right direction. They have the right to change their minds, and change direction, as they see fit.
Allan Sosin MD