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Natural Quackery

San-DeeSan-Dee Member Posts: 99

I had my first consultation with my medical oncologist. He has recommended 4 rounds of chemo before I start radiation and hormone treatments. Something I didn't want to hear! Then he mentioned the Prosigna test or Oncotype DX. A bit pricey, but if the results show I can avoid chemo then it is worth it, so we decided it was a good way to go and now I am waiting ... again .... for more results before any treatment starts.

I am trusting my GP, surgeon and specialists to guide me in the right direction. I am trusting the science.

My sister is spending all her spare time researching the web and Dr Google. She is instructing me to drink bi-carb soda with lemon juice to alter my ph levels ... rub magnesium oil into my breasts to prevent further cancers ...take mega strength probiotics to remove fungal infections which cause cancer ... cut out all carbs because cancer feeds on them. She is citing "doctors" websites and youtubes. She is scaring the beejesus out of me with horror chemo and radiation therapy stories from these same sites, along with the conspiracy theories that oncologists and drug companies are keeping these natural cures from us so they can make more money. She's my sister, she's trying to help and I love her for it, but I am dreading her phone calls. She is driving me insane! 

Just as I was about to scream at the next person to offer me an alternative therapy, a dear friend turned up with an aloe vera plant for me. Wonderful, she said, for soothing the skin after radiation. Thoughtful and practical. I love her for it and welcome her calls. One of those magic moments when that old adage comes to the fore.

You can choose your friends ....

Warm hugs to everyone.







  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,852
    edited April 2016

    Hi San-dee 

    Families gotta love their enthusiasm. 

    Need to remind your sister that Dr Google is full of ads for potions that make money for someone but necessarily cure someone.  There are a lot of opinions out there on Dr Google which are someone's experience or view on how it should be or could be.

    You're in good hands with a medical team that are highly qualified and if you're sister is uncertain she can check your Dr's registration and qualifications...........  don't know where Dr Google's qualifications are...............

    Give you sister a big hug and tell her you are in good hands with your trusted medical team.

    Take care and good luck with your treatment

    Christine xx

  • San-DeeSan-Dee Member Posts: 99
    edited April 2016

    Hi Christine

    Yes ...gotta laugh. I wouldn't hurt my sister for all the money in the world. I'm lucky she lives so far away ... Ha!

    Thanks for the good wishes.


  • ScorpionQueenScorpionQueen Picton NSWMember Posts: 768
    edited April 2016

    Oh the potions, notions and remedies! My sis in law (God love her) bought me a bunch of watercress and said enthusiastically eat this is stops you getting cancer! To which I replied promptly too late I already have it! Then the old smoke cannabis jumped in....everyone means well but at the end of the day we need to really trust our teams.... We must ake the others with a grain of salt as annoying as it can be 

    good luck and best wishes


  • ScorpionQueenScorpionQueen Picton NSWMember Posts: 768
    edited April 2016

    Ps sometimes you just have to say that their advice is not helpful at this time.... 

  • San-DeeSan-Dee Member Posts: 99
    edited April 2016

    Hi Scorpionqueen,

    Someone has just recommended turmeric. I suppose I could use all these ingredients in a soup or salad or something. Can't hurt! Haha ... Gotta laugh ... and that's good for the soul.

    Thanks for the good wishes.

    Take care


  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,408
    edited April 2016

    Be very careful of the herbal remedies. I have delved deeper into some like the rage atm of turmeric and found with overuse they can actually cause other complications. Make sure you run any herbal treatments by your oncology team as some can negate the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Nothing wrong with eating healthy but bear in mind long distance cross country runners on the perfect diets and healthy as can be still get breast cancer. They do heal quicker though.

  • CosetteCosette Member Posts: 652
    edited April 2016

    Hey San-Dee. We have a resource that might be helpful for your sister (and, by extension, for you). It's a booklet called Helping a friend or colleague with breast cancer and you can order it here or download it here.



  • ScorpionQueenScorpionQueen Picton NSWMember Posts: 768
    edited April 2016

    Turmeric is a natural anti inflammatory....but be careful....large doses of anything "natural' can be harmful in other ways....

    *** I was told specifically by my Oncologist NOT to take any supplementary medicines natural or otherwise while having my chemo, so if you decide to, please tell your team first! ***

    I have also told everyone that yes a healthy diet IS paramount for healing and well being...and i am doing just that! so please don't advise me on such things anymore...a healthy diet and exercise (when I can) while I'm on treatment is all that has been ordered....and unless otherwise stated I will do just that! 

  • annebirdyannebirdy Member Posts: 69
    edited April 2016

    Hi, if I had a dollar for every time someone has suggested a 'cure' or offered me dietary advice....

    I know people mean well but it is overwhelming and hard to know what is the right thing to eat or thing to avoid. In the end, I started seeing a great GP who approaches this from a very holistic manner. She has done loads of research and based on clinical evidence/trials, she made some recommendations on supplements/diet (in collaboration with the nutritionist and naturopath in her practice). In general, eat more broccoli/greens, berries, turmeric, garlic, green tea, flaxseeds, mushrooms, carrots/carotene....but if you want specifics to your type of breast cancer and your own circumstances, then seek a professional opinion to make sure it won't compromise your treatment. 

    Importantly, my GP has put together a GP management plan which keeps my oncologist, breast cancer surgeon, plastic surgeon and radiation oncologist all in the loop. 

    Now when I get friends recommending all sorts of green juices, sugar-free products, cannabis oil, as well as all other alternative therapies....I'm able to say that I am seeing some 'experts' and they have sorted me out, thank you very much!

  • donnafischerdonnafischer Hervey Bay QldDragonfly Posts: 144
    edited April 2016

    Hey Sand Dee,

    I understand the bombardment of advice. It can be frustrating. One thing I want you to think about though with regards to your sister (and I dont know what you're family is like so this is just a thought ;)   I am a "fixer" type personality. My role is fixing people's problems. My daughter (god love the poor girl - she's 24) is just like her mum, so when we had the news of my cancer, she was very very angry and started organising me etc. When I finally got her to talk to me, she admitted that she couldnt "fix" this and this is why she was angry, so by organising me (and I needed that because there are so many appointments etc with cancer) she was able to do something. So maybe this is one way for your sister to help "fix" this :)

    On the natural side of things and advice, I am by nature one who tends to turn to my "voodoo potions" as my very practical and logical son puts it. I am involved with horses and animals and we use a lot of natural products. I also know that natural is often confused with a safer option when in reality it can be just as dangerous as a chemical solution. I also work with a gp whom I respect immensely. AND a close relative is also a GP who specialises in natural therapies who again, I and others respect immensely. So there I sat, with my diagnosis, with a split down the middle. My own urge to help treat this naturally, my fear of not surviving this screaming at me "take every drug shoved your way" and advice that is educated also on both sides of the fence. I was extremely conflicted very early on. So I came to a point where I could work with both and in my mind, be happy with the plan. I go along with the western medicine practices and have the surgery and the chemo and the radiation and probably more surgery at the end of that. I will then heal my body with my natural therapies. 

    I did get bombarded with a lot of weird advice, and that, well I just take it as someone trying to help, and either ignore it, change a subject or thank them and move along. It does become overwhelming if you let it, so i try and take the approach of slopey shoulders and let it all slide :)

    You've a long journey ahead my love, I wish you all the best xxx

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