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PostPosted: Dec Thu 14, 2006 11:15 pm    Post subject: Myeloma Reply with quote


Hi. I have read that Tea-Tree is a guard against Myeloma, what is it and where can it be got, I have had Myeloma in remission for 7 years, can any one help on this.....Derek
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MYELOMA 'Living Proof': Physician, Take a Hike By NATALIE ANGRIER

In June 1994, at the age of 54, Michael Gearin-Tosh was given the diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a virulent cancer of the bone marrow. After brusquely informing him that there was no cure for his disease, and that it surely would shorten his life, the doctor told him to come back the following week to begin chemotherapy treatment. ''With luck,'' she said, ''we should have you back at work in October.''

Four months of chemotherapy? the author wondered. Why such a long ''treatment'' for a disease that you just told me you cannot cure?

The doctor handed him a pamphlet to read at home and advised him to seek a second opinion.

The second opinion echoed the first. No cure, but start chemotherapy immediately; myeloma progresses rapidly and eats into the bone.

Gearin-Tosh, a teacher of English literature at Oxford University, refused to make haste. For one thing, he was a self-confessed procrastinator, an admirer of Queen Elizabeth I, who said she always deferred important decisions until she had mulled them over with the ''hinder part'' of her head.

For another, he couldn't help attending closely to language, and the language he encountered from the many experts and medical textbooks he consulted disturbed and often angered him. He heard weasel words and fudge phrases, qualifications, contradictions, obfuscations. He read statistics that chilled him, and he heard doctors play down those statistics -- before supplying him with ominous statistics of their own. Refuse our treatment, they warned, and you will be dead in less than a year. And if he accepted treatment, he retorted, how long would he live? Nobody knows, but, um, longer. What about this statistic here that says two to three years at best? Well, that's just an average, and there could be better treatments down the road, you know. So buck up, and take your medicine.

But then another cancer expert portended the opposite. If Gearin-Tosh so much as touched chemotherapy, said Ernst Wynder, a former professor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, he was ''a goner.''

What is a poor English don to do? Think with his hinder brain, ask many questions, dissect every syllable of the answers and then, in the end, take his body, his health, his life into his own cautious, obstinate hands. Gearin-Tosh refused the chemotherapy -- hence the subtitle of ''Living Proof'': ''A Medical Mutiny'' -- and chose instead to put together a semipersonalized program of Chinese breathing exercises, acupuncture, coffee and castor oil enemas, megadoses of vitamins and a diet rich in raw vegetables and fresh juices and stripped of salt, sugar and cooked fat. Eight years after receiving his imminent-death verdict, Gearin-Tosh is very much alive. He is not cured, he admits: he remains anemic, his bones are osteoporotic, and his immune system is, in his nonspecific term, ''disordered.'' Yet still, he is here among us, and now he has written, in a spare, wry, backhanded style reminiscent of the great English novelist Penelope Fitzgerald, the most persuasive case for alternative medicine that this skeptical, generally dismissive reader has yet come across. I don't know what I'd do if I were to come down with myeloma, and who knows whether the author's extended survival can be attributed to anything he ate, breathed or expelled; maybe he was one of the statistical outliers found in every patient population. Nevertheless, there is something to be said for challenging the use of toxic chemotherapy regimens when a cure is out of the question.

There is something to be said as well for large, ecumenical doses of skepticism, toward alternative and ''mainstream'' medicine alike. After all, both camps tend to exaggerate their powers, and to fall prey to the lure of the anecdote, rejecting data and studies that do not fit what they know must be true. In defense of alternative medicine, for example, Gearin-Tosh cites the much-ballyhooed work of David Spiegel, a psychiatrist at Stanford, who in 1989 published results in the journal The Lancet showing that breast cancer patients who attended psychological support groups lived longer than did patients who received standard medical care alone; and he expresses indignation at the Lancet editors who wrote a ''tetchy'' editorial to accompany the Spiegel study that voiced doubts about its results. Well, the Lancet editors were right to withhold their endorsement. Recently, a well-controlled and much larger trial failed to confirm the initial findings: breast cancer support groups, while improving the mental health of participants, do not seem to extend patients' lives.

For their part, clinicians who favor routine screening tests like mammography or prenatal ultrasound are all too ready to dismiss or revile recent studies that call the utility of their tests into question. They're doctors, by gum, and they know what's good for their patients! Gearin-Tosh thankfully avoids the gooey, reverential tone found in many New Age testimonials. He is no proselytizer, and he does not pretend to have found the answer to cancer. He merely ended up doing what he did out of a desire to avoid doing anything really drastic, and the more he read of chemotherapy, the more drastic, and possibly fatal, the procedure appeared. There were the dread side effects: ''vomiting, 'aching veins,' hair and eyelashes falling out, saliva not produced, nails falling out . . . 'neck swelling like a sumo wrestler's . . . lips puffing out like a Ubangi warrior's.' ''

Worse, he learned of the extent to which chemotherapy can devastate the immune system. Gearin-Tosh spends quite a bit of time deconstructing a friend's reference to a woman who died as a result of myeloma. ''Ironically,'' the friend wrote, ''she died not of the cancer, but of an opportunistic pneumonia, just after she had responded very successfully to treatment.'' Gearin-Tosh wonders, ''Can there be opportunism without an opportunity?'' In other words, wasn't it the ''successful'' chemotherapy treatment that had weakened the woman's immune system to the point where ''the pneumonia got its opportunity''?

The reluctant patient began reading unorthodox approaches to treating cancer, including books like ''Cancer and Leukemia,'' by Dr. Jan de Vries, which recommends visualizations and ''bone breathing'' exercises, and ''A Cancer Therapy,'' by Max Gerson, a program based on diet and enemas that many in the medical community consider close to crackpot. A world-renowned myeloma expert courteously but firmly tells Gearin-Tosh that ''nutrition has no place in the treatment of cancer.''

YET one mainstream authority refuses to ridicule his approach. When Gearin-Tosh describes to Sir David Weatherall of the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford the reasoning behind his decision to reject chemotherapy, and asks whether he is crazy to try diet, acupuncture and breathing exercises instead, Sir David thinks for a minute and then says, ''What you must understand, Mr. Gearin-Tosh, is that we know so little about how the body works.'' The author is astonished. ''Blood rushes through my head,'' he writes. ''I could be floating in air.'' A doctor has confessed medical fallibility. A doctor has said, your guess, and ministrations, and flailings, in this case are as good as mine.

Gearin-Tosh does not fight for his life alone. He is lucky to be surrounded by throngs of friends, colleagues, proteges who care for him, do extensive medical research, prepare his food, write letters to various authorities.

One brilliant former student, Carmen Wheatley, who is now a ''consort'' of a molecular biologist, becomes so versed in the science that she provides a long technical postscript that attempts to offer scientifically credible hypotheses for why Gearin-Tosh's particular program worked. Some of the banter in the book is a bit too precious, like dialogue from a late-night British sitcom. The bachelor author likes to pit his female hangers-on against one another, while placing himself as the hapless chap in the middle. But he's entitled to his small vanities and sporadic cattiness. He is the most elegant and good-humored of mutineers, and that, in the end, may be what keeps him alive.

Natalie Angier writes about science for The Times. She is working on a book about how to master the modern scientific canon. -Linda Mihalic
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My grandpa had this and we had a client with it. With both of them we used high amounts of germanium and we also used Korean ginseng. And I would also use cancer herbs.... They both did well. -Lora :-)
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