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#53821 - 03/29/02 01:08 PM alternative/herbal medicines
kathy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 3
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
A good friend of mine has just been diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland, and his doctor has recommended radiation. He has decided against this procedure and is relying on herbal medicines and prayer to heal him of this disease. Are there any survivors out there who have gone this route and would be willing to share their experiences with him. Since making this decision....the medical profession has not given him any support and basically washed their hands of him. Is there a group discussion that he could join? Thanks for any help and suggestions you might have and good luck to all of you battling this disease....Kathy

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#53823 - 03/29/02 04:26 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Joanna Offline
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Registered: 03/23/02
Posts: 1140
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I must strongly second Brian's opinion. I lost a dear friend to a cancer that need not have killed her. She enriched the proprietors of the health food store, and lost her life. I am a recently diagnosed patient who has found incredibly helpful information here, and at other sites. Please direct your friend to this forum where he can hear, as have I, from those who have gone before in this scary situation.

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#53824 - 03/29/02 05:47 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
kathy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 3
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Thank you both for your excellent answers to my questions...I totally agree with your concerns about my friend...I and many other friends of his have put the same points and arguements forward to him to no avail and have reached a point of realizing all we can do is support his choices. I feel that herbal remedies and prayer should agument radiation....but he beat postate cancer several years ago using these methods and is convinced he can overcome oral cancer without medical intervention as well. In the month since being diagnosed he has been praying, fasting and using his herbal medicines, and the tumour does seems to have shrunk. I found and directed him to this site and he has checked out the messages but is frightened by what he reads here and has asked me to pose these questions for him....I will try to convince him to read more of the messages, I found them so inspirational. Right now though he is looking for a discussion group or forum of Christians who have beaten cancer through prayer, fasting and herbal remedies. Are there any out there??? Thank you to everyone....Kathy

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#53825 - 03/29/02 08:42 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Brian Hill Offline
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 4734
Loc: Laguna Niguel, CA
I can't imagine there are enough people alive who have beaten cancer through herbs and prayer, to have a discussion group. I have never seen one anywhere. Certainly I have seen web sites that try to sell you some unregulated herbal remedy, and they have testimonials to go with them. (Which when you try to trace them back to actual people, is impossible) But if there were herbs that cured cancer, don't you think that the hundreds of thousands of people who are afflicted with cancer each year would be buying them and getting cured? Wouldn't it be a major news story? There isn't a miracle cure out there. Only people trying to get rich off of other people's fears and disease. The truth is that when people are desperate, either to avoid a treatment, or to stay alive, they will try anything...believe anything. Unfortunately the world is full of unscrupulous people who prey on these individuals with the herbal "cures" that they sell, or faith healing. There is no peer reviewed medical journal that has endorsed any herbal cure for cancer. At best they can be used in combination with conventional treatments, usually to alleviate some of the problems caused by the treatments themselves. Prayer plays an important role for some. Those with strong religious beliefs find comfort in their faith, and certainly it helps some cope with the disease and its devastation. But when prayer is used in lieu of, (not in conjuction with), treatments with known success, I personally find this direction misguided. As to your friend he needs to embrace a medical path to cure, before the disease becomes so advanced that he can do nothing to reverse it.
_________________________
Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

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#53826 - 03/30/02 01:06 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
stefon Offline
Contributing Member (25+ posts)

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 45
Loc: Lakeville, Minnesota
Kathy,

I underwent cancer surgery in October 2000. My biopsy showed squamous cell carcinoma with a note that said "the neoplasm extends to the surgical margins" or basically, they probably did not get it all. I consider our family to be very religious and we prayed, and continue to pray, a great deal for healing. In conjunction with the prayer, I also knew that my best course of action was to follow my doctor's advice and remove any suspect tissue/bone. I had three teeth and a portion of my upper jaw bone removed, the biopsy of the removed tissue and bone showed no sign of cancer. Do I regret having surgery, no way! I feel that I have done all that I can do to beat this disease. The biopsy of the tissue/bone removed during surgery was not all inclusive so there may have been some cancer cells they did not find, or there may not have been any cancer remaining, It really doesn't matter. I have the peace of mind knowing I've done all that I can do from a spiritual and medical view. I am currently recovering from reconstructive surgery to replace the bone and eventually will have dental implants placed to replace the teeth I lost. I have no regrets, your friend needs to know that the decisions he makes affect not only his life but the lives of all who love and care for him. If he is not willing to seek conventional treatment for himself, maybe he can be convinced to do it for others who need him. Continue to pray and accept the tools offered up in answer to your prayers.

Best of Luck to you and your friend!
_________________________
Stage I diagnosed 9/18/2000

Dave

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#53827 - 03/31/02 02:13 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
kathy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 3
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Thank you Dave for your message...it was greatly appreciated. Unfortunately this friend has taken the stance that he no longer wants any input from anybody that's not a born-again Christian and since I do not fall into that catagory, he will no longer be discussing his health issues with me. I and others are very hurt and concerned about this descision, but for now can have no further input and must stand back and watch and wait for his miraculous healing brought on by prayer, fasting and herbal medicines, alone. My heart is breaking...but he has made it clear that this is the way it will go...stubborn old bachelor that he is. Thank you all for your concern and input, although he has chosen to ignore it, I certainly do appreciate hearing from all of you. My thoughts and good wishes go out to all of you battling this dreaded disease....I lost my dad a few years back to lung cancer, so understand the worry, and heartache brought on by cancer. Godbless you all....Kathy

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#53828 - 09/18/06 11:40 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
coverup Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 4
Loc: kansas
I just recently came across the message from Kathy about alternative treatments her friend was determined to take. Is that friend still alive? I am a born again Christian as is my suffering and just as determined 33year old daughter. We and hundreds of others have prayed for a year now and they have tried litterally everything "natural". She has now come to the place where she has to decide whether to have radical surgery or die a most excruciating death. Her throat is swelling shut,she cannot talk or eat. Her teeth are falling out from treatment received in Mexico. God has chosen not to heal her but I will say we have seen healing for spiritual issues. Perhaps that is what is most important to God. I do believe though, had she had surgery right away perhaps she would have been able to be a wife and mother to her little family by now. You cannot imagine the agony she is in. Drugs do not phaze it any more-only morphine and they can't seem to get that legally. This week she must decide whether to die or as she says,"have her face cut off". My advice--Pray, accept the prescribed treatment and keep on praying. Thanks for letting me tell this. I hope it will help someone. I have utter confidence that God will be glorified and I will see her in heaven someday. But it has been so very hard on so many of us who love her. Mom

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#53829 - 09/19/06 09:23 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Brian Hill Offline
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 4734
Loc: Laguna Niguel, CA
I respect your right to believe in any manner. I hope that your confidence in what the future holds brings you some inner peace. I read your earlier postings and realize what a horrible experience your family is going through. But I still cannot understand the willingness of individuals to abandon what we have learned over thousands of years about illness and healing, to decide not to apply the knowledge that has been learned through trial end error, or even in the eyes of some, gained through the grace of a higher being's desire to see us have that knowledge, and put it to practical use. Fear of treatments is often stronger than fear of the disease in its early stages, when it is not so painful or disfiguring.

Whatever became of Kathy's friend is unknown since she never came back to tell us, and no surviving friend of hers returned to tell others about his success that they may follow in his footsteps. Given the many people that I have talked with on the phone about similar issues over the last 5 years, and the inevitable results that befell them, I suspect there is no survivor to come back and talk to us.

I have lost count of the conversations I have has like these, and because of my own frustration with these senseless deaths, I no longer take calls from people convinced that God will save them (without the aid of medical persons and techniques that he was perhaps involved in revealing to a world certainly in need of them) or that He wishes them to end their earthly life long before their time. In matters of faith, reason has little place it seems. I have too much to deal with - dealing with those people (also) of strong religious beliefs that believe that (a) God wants them to use every tool that he (perhaps) provided to them to work through the difficult choices and live on to inspire others, and be with their loved ones.

I have stated in previous posts and in the FAQ's.... there are no treatments in Mexico that have proven to save people from cancer when looked at by any body of independent people. The only thing that happens is that the families are drained of any financial resources they have, and then when there is nothing more to be gained from them, they are left by those who promised them that they had an answer/cure to their problem.
_________________________
Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

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#53830 - 09/20/06 07:32 AM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Gary Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3552
Loc: San Francisco CA
Coverup,
I'm a "born again" Christian (I hate that term - I "rediscovered" Christianity in 1989 after 25 years as an agnostic and former Catholic - I am a non denominational Christian in an evangelical style church today). I had faith that my medical team would cure me and prayed often for wisdom for them. I also had many people praying for me.

I have been "hands on" involved in ministry for many years - LCT "Lay Christian Counseling", substance abuse/recovery ministry and the Praise and Worship music team.

Throughout the scriptures many unlikely people were used by God for many purposes, Judas Iscariot (the betrayer), the Apostle Paul (who was a despised tax collector) just to name a few. We are commanded in the scriptures to submit to authorities (that can include doctors). To forgo conventional medical treatment and use practically "new age" treatments are sinful in their own right. We are commanded to take care of our bodies as they are temples of the Holy Spirit. It is suicidal and delusional to do otherwise. By the way, I am the only one who didn't die from cancer that the prayer team at my church was praying for. Was it prayer that kept me alive? I really believe the fact I went to a comprehensive cancer center and sought the best doctors on the planet were what kept me alive. Some members of my medical team were devout Christians.

Jesus performed many healing and deliverance miracles during His ministry on earth but they all had one thing in common - they were used for example, teaching and outreach to the masses. Can you think of any instances where the Apostles achieved physical healing during their ministries? I think not. Even Paul couldn't get physical healing from God - see the links below.

See this article from the Christian Research Institute for more on physical healing: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-nwsl/web/crn0064a.html

Another persepective on "healing": http://www.surfinthespirit.com/healthy-living/healing.html


More information on "altermative cures" from a Christian perspective:

http://www.surfinthespirit.com/healthy-living/alternative-med.html

Footnote: I apologize for breaking the rule about posting links in this thread and topic but the Christians here need to have a balanced and biblical perspective on these issues. I apologize also to non Christians and people of other faiths or belief systems. It is atypical for me to intermingle cancer and religion but in this instance I felt compelled to make an exception and the thread had clearly taken on religious overtones.
_________________________
Gary Allsebrook
***********************************
Dx 11/22/02, SCC, 6 x 3 cm Polypoid tumor, rt tonsil, Stage III/IVA, T3N0M0 G1/2
Tx 1/28/03 - 3/19/03, Cisplatin ct x2, IMRT, bilateral, with boost, x35(69.96Gy)
________________________________________________________
"You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14 NIV)

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#53831 - 09/20/06 11:07 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
JAM Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 04/01/05
Posts: 2676
Loc: Arkansas
Brian and Gary, what thought provoking and to the point posts. Thanks for an interesting read- and I, for one, will continue to think about and process your words. Amy
_________________________
CGtoJohn:SCC Flr of Mouth.Dx 3\05. Surg.4\05.T3NOMO.IMRTx30. Recur Dx 1\06.Surg 2\06. Chemo: 4 Cycles of Carbo\Taxol:on Erbitux for 7 mo. Lost our battle 2-23-07- But not the will to fight this disease

:

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#53832 - 09/21/06 10:00 AM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Cathy G Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (300+ posts)

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 837
Loc: Newton, MA
Coverup,

Like Gary, I have some of the same background experiences as you in terms of knowing people who expect God to be a substitute for good, professional medical treatment -- and I continue to be perplexed and exasperated by it. I sort of did Gary's progression in reverse -- I was raised in an evangelical family and became a Catholic in my forties. While I was growing up, I saw relatives in my extended family dealing with major health issues and being very passive about medical treatment, saying "if God wants me to get better, he will heal me". On the other hand, I saw my father confronted with a seriously debilitating (and somewhat obscure) illness and observed my mother, a deeply religious woman, aggressively researching and pursuing every scrap of medical literature she could find on his illness so she could obtain expert professional help for him, which added greatly to the quality of his life, particularly in his later years. More than once I heard her explicitly reject the "sit back and wait for a miracle" approach that she saw in some other family members. Like her -- and like Gary -- I believe that God can and does use experienced medical professionals to accomplish great acts of healing. (My ENT surgeon was a very religious and compassionate man who used his skills to save many lives.)

If I had not gotten the kind of comprehensive treatment that I received 17 years ago, I'd probably be long since dead, as my pathology report showed a fairly aggressive type of tumor. I'm thankful for every day I've had since then, as I've had increasing opportunities in recent years to become more active in my church, as well as in several other volunteer activities. I've had many wonderful experiences (too numerous to mention) in my post-cancer years and believe that God DOES work in mysterious ways -- often using people such as doctors and nurses along the way.

Cathy

P.S. Brian -- I hope this is a permissible "breaking of the rules" in light of the tone of the thread.
_________________________
Tongue SCC (T2M0N0), poorly differentiated, diagnosed 3/89, partial glossectomy and neck dissection 4/89, radiation from early June to late August 1989

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#53833 - 09/21/06 10:09 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Brian Hill Offline
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 4734
Loc: Laguna Niguel, CA
This thread is well into the topic of religion and it started out that way. This is definatley the place to have these discussions.
_________________________
Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

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#53834 - 09/23/06 12:06 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
minniea Offline
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Registered: 08/02/03
Posts: 1627
Loc: va. beach
I am also a devout Christian, Baptist born. I contain my life to a small community that consists of my church and the school that is run by that same church. My kids all attend that private school and our social functions almost to a fault revolve around this environment. In other words, God is the common bond in our lives. BUT, trust me when I tell you that my first steps to help after being diagnosed were NOT in the direction of my faith in God, they were straight to my doctors office. Feet firmly planted in that direction, no doubt. My faith in God comforted and healed my emotions, but my doctors healed my body.
_________________________
SCC Left Mandible. Jaw replaced with bone from leg. Neck disection, 37 radiation treatments. Recurrence 8-28-07, stage 2, tongue. One third of tongue removed 10-4-07. 5-23-08 chemo started for tumor behind swallowing passage, Our good friend and much loved OCF member Minnie has been lost to the disease (RIP 10-29-08). We will all miss her greatly.

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#53835 - 09/23/06 11:58 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
coverup Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 4
Loc: kansas
Thank you all SO much for all your input. I have printed it and will refer to it again when I'm confronted with this issue. I can say "Here read this, they know what they are talking about." (No insurance had a part to play in my daughter's decision to go alternative). And just to put a plug in for the Lord---Mayo's in Phoenix has offered to do the surgery gratis!!! I'll keep you posted on the outcome of the tests. They will go ahead with the surgery 10/6 if the tests show it has not matastasized. Thanks again, you are great and so is this site! Mom

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#53836 - 09/24/06 09:12 AM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Lisa S.D. Offline
Gold Member (100+ posts)

Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 102
Loc: Long Island
Dear Mom,

I started to write a response to you three times before this but had such a hard time completing my post because I'm in the same situation with my Aunt and I am finding it VERY hard to stand by her decision to "put it all in God's hands" instead of following good sound medical advice.
My Aunt is a born-again Christian and she is experiencing a recurrence. Because of the recurrence and because she will not cooperate with the doctors, they've told her there is little they can do. It's too far advanced at this point. You have an advantage. Your daughter is "in the system" it appears. Don't let her out! Of course "with God, all things are possible", but we have to first TRY before He will intercede and push that boulder up the hill for us. My Aunt, with her intial diagnosis and with her recurrence asked all the dumb questions- "isn't there an herb that can cure this?" all while the cancer made a mad dash around local tissues and distant sites. In the nicest most Godly way possible, impress upon her that without drastic medical intervention (at this point) there is NO hope! I'm a very quiet reserved person, I'm a devout Catholic myself, but I believe there comes a time when we're forced to speak up. My Aunt is frankly putting my dear sweet Uncle through the wringer and I think it's unfair. The truth is, she hasn't much time left. I don't want to hear of someone else being in this same position. I'm at the point now where I wake up every day dreading getting that phone call from my Uncle telling me that my Aunt can't stand up on her own anymore or that she can't breathe on her own anymore because of the size of the tumor in her jaw and neck. My Aunt is willingly cashing it all in. Please in the name of all that is good and holy, don't allow your daughter to do that! She has so much to live and fight for.

We're in the same boat it seems and right now, that boat has a hole in it. Feel free to PM me any time. Yes, keep praying, of course always keep praying but make sure she understands the utter gravity of her situation and keep her in her doctors care.

Sending hugs,
Lisa
_________________________
Niece to Aunt Ro- Dx: 4/03. SCC Stg 4 BOT with mets to fl of mth & crvcl lymph node. AdenoC 1 sal gland. Two add. reconstrc. surgeries for adhesions. Recurrence 7/06- Sub-Mand AdenoC. Mets to both lungs. Lost her battle 5/4/07.

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#53837 - 09/26/06 02:06 AM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Gary Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3552
Loc: San Francisco CA
Coverup (AKA Mom),
I wish to correct some inaccurate information I posted about the New Testament Gospels specifically my statement "Can you think of any instances where the Apostles achieved physical healing during their ministries? I think not." There are indeed several recorded instances where the Apostles did perform physical healing. Specifically in Acts 3:5-8 and Acts 5:12-16. There were 10 other instances as well.
I use the NIV (New International Version) of the Bible.

My main reference for healing is a book simply called "Healing" by Francis McNutt, PhD. Here are some brief excerpts:

On page 23 of his book, in the chapter "Does Healing Happen? he states on page 23, Section C, "Physical Healing..." subpart ii), "increasing a fatalistic tendency among the people to let God take action without any initiative on their part to improve their lot - to create sanitary conditions, and to visit the doctor. The missionaries have had a hard time encouraging the people to take action and are not about to let them use prayer as a fatalistic dependence". Additionally many, many churches have medical and dental teams as part of their missionary activities.

On page 206, in the Chapter on "Medicine and Healing" 3rd paragraph, "There you have it all: a belief in prayer for healing as well as a recognition that God also cures through the skill of the doctor and through drugs. Medicine and prayer are not opposed, but the doctor, the nurse, the pharmacist, and the person with the gift of healing all together form God's healing team."

Lisa has it right - we are commanded to do ALL that we can do first and then ask for God's healing power.
_________________________
Gary Allsebrook
***********************************
Dx 11/22/02, SCC, 6 x 3 cm Polypoid tumor, rt tonsil, Stage III/IVA, T3N0M0 G1/2
Tx 1/28/03 - 3/19/03, Cisplatin ct x2, IMRT, bilateral, with boost, x35(69.96Gy)
________________________________________________________
"You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14 NIV)

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#53838 - 09/27/06 09:54 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Cathy G Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (300+ posts)

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 837
Loc: Newton, MA
Coverup,

Gary's post reminded me of another point I wanted to make. One of my aunts is a lifelong missionary in an evangelical denomination, who had chronic heart disease problems dating back to her childhood. When open heart surgery was just an emerging technique, decades ago, doctors told her that she truly needed this procedure -- that without it she would die a very early death in her early 30's. She went through the surgery (along with the prayers of many family members and friends), and is still alive today, at the age of 80, carrying on a very active life.

Cathy
_________________________
Tongue SCC (T2M0N0), poorly differentiated, diagnosed 3/89, partial glossectomy and neck dissection 4/89, radiation from early June to late August 1989

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