CSN Login
Members Online: 9

Anxious NPCsurvivor -- turmeric / curcumin ?

npcsurvivor
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2009

Next week I am due for my first MRI after treatment for stage 2 Nasopharyngeal cancer (T2-N0-M0). I had 30 IMRT sessions followed by 3 Cyberknife sessions with concurrent Cisplatin (3 doses) which ended on July 1 2009. I didn't receive any adjuvant chemo. Recently, I have started becoming anxious that cancer has returned to my body. I have not been able to put on much weight since treatment ended (I was 155 lbs b4 treatment, came out with 135 lbs after treatment and have been around 140 lbs for the last 4 months). I have been eating alright, appetite is good but still lack energy and feel cold when nobody around me does. Recently, I began to feel congested at night, especially in my right nostril where the original tumor had been. I also feel like getting a rush of mucous after meals, especially if I eat something sweet (even fruit, which I rarely do nowadays) or eat a a big meal. The mucous is yellowish in the morning. These are the symptoms that bother me and make me feel that I still have the beast in me. Would like to know if any of you have experienced similar symptoms.

Aside from the above, I have started thinking about alternative treatments. I have found several leads on the web that indicate that curcumin, an ingredient found in turmeric, may have anti-cancer properties. One article even mentions its positive effects on SSC cells. Turmeric is a yellow colored spice used commonly in curry in South Asian cuisine. On the web you can find many ways / doses for taking curcumin. I am not sure what's the right dose. Turmeric is rather cheap (you can find plenty of it in Indian/Pakistani stores) and easy to swallow, I don't wanna buy expensive capsules being promoted by their makers when the natural thing can do the trick. Also, I don't know if large doses of it may have any adverse effects. Anyway, my plan for now is to take some (?) amount of turmeric dissolved in water everyday, stay away from sweets (even fruit) and foods with simple sugars that quickly raise your blood sugar, try not to eat big meals ;) and hope for the best. Please find some links on curcumin below:

http://www.goodhealth.nu/News_Articles/050111-curcumin-anti-cancer-US.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/curcumin/AN01741
http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/pressrelease/2009-10-27-curry-kills-cancer-cells-in-lab

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

Guess what you are in a boat with a lot of others who have NPC. I had many of the same things you have described, some of them went away and some I still have. One thing you might get and don’t be afraid if it happens is bleeding, when this first happened to me I rushed back to the doctor thinking the worse, but it was nothing.

I use a lot of different herbal medicines after all I been there 3 times now and there is nothing that doctors can do but give me more Chemo. I eat a lot of fruit everyday, the sugar in fresh fruit is good for you body it helps the cells fight off cancer, the sugar that is process if very bad for you as cancer feeds on this type of sugar. I have been doing this for 3½ years now. Also I learned to put God in everything I do and give him the glory for helping me through all of this.

Also curry is very good stuff, you will find very few Indian people with cancer.

Take care and let us know how you are doing

Christmas
Posts: 92
Joined: May 2005

Hi,

It's been 5 1/2 years since my treatment for NPC, and I still get lots of mucous. I use a large syringe to irrigate both of my notrils with warm water morning and night. You might have a more severe case due to scarring of tissue in the radiated area.

As long as you're eating, then don't worry about your weight. Give your body time to heal. When you feel a bit better, do some exercise to build up your strenght. I was very fortunate that our hosptial offered a program for cancer survivors at the YMCA. And due to perfect timing, some of my workers coerced me to join them in Yoga lessons.

Have trust in your doctors. I know it's easier said then done, but stay positive and don't think that every little problem is your cancer coming back. I know because I've had more than my share of worries.

Take care!

seenanN
Posts: 24
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi

I am 5 year stage 4 NPC survivor and I get lots of mucous too. Sometimes it's yellow and sometimes it's red especially during the winter. I do not often use humidifier and am not worry too much. As long as you eat right, keeping you weight stable, thinking positive and physically active then I believe the beast will leave you alone.

Best wishes

npcsurvivor
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey guys

Thanks for your encouragement. My 5 month MRI is scheduled for tomorrow. I will find out soon if the beast has returned. Regarding the symptoms I mentioned, my intention was to figure out if they mean anything. Sometimes our body sends us signals which we can't interprete and / or do not take very seriously until it's too late. The diagnosis of cancer in my case can in part be attributed to my persistence with my ent doctors that there was something wrong with me other than nasal allergies. He and other docs dismissed my concerns multiple times before it was finally discovered due to an endoscopy which took all but 5 minutes. After all I didn't have any swollen lymph nodes that they were looking for. But I did have a blocked ear for 3-4 months and on-going weight loss for the past 1.5 years.

I think the forum is a great place for us to learn from each other. I have learned about a lot of things here that docs didn't tell me. I hope we all listen to our bodies' signals and share them on the forum. Perhaps it will help us seek out unlikely cures or formulate strategies in this fight of our lives. After all we all have been bitten once and are likely to be bitten again sometime in our lifetimes.

cjamesfu's picture
cjamesfu
Posts: 14
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi

I am in the 4th year remission and still have some of the symptoms you mentioned: not gaining weight, feeling cold, congestion, and mucous. But I got used to them and they don't bother me anymore. I too had a blocked ear that led to the diagnosis of NPC. I did not have swollen lymph node either, so the diagnosis really surprised me. I know I am doing fine now and hope you will be doing fine too.

npcsurvivor
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2009

I am glad to report that it's all clear. My scope looked good. In fact the doctor said he would give it a 10 out of 10. A preliminary examination of my MRI images didn't reveal any beasts lurking in the dark. The doctor did order blood tests for T4 and TSH levels to see if my thyroid / pituitary gland function was affected. The symptom that prompted him to test for this is the cold feeling.

cjamesfu it's great to know that you had a case similar to mine and that you are in your 4th year of remission in spite of these symptoms. These problems are much smaller than life and like you they don't bother me much in my daily activities. Hondo it's great to know that your tumor is under control. I hope it stays that way.

maria2009
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2009

Dear npcsurvivor

I am diagnosed with scc nasal septum in mid Oct and am still waiting for the cancer center here to give me a date to start radiation & chemo. I was offered surgery but rejected it.

I have also read about tumeric about its powerful anti-tumour properties. Everyday I take it in this fashion. You should heat a little bit of oil (olive or canola) in a small pan, then add tumeric say 1 tablespoon and sprinkle black pepper on it. Remove from heat once it start to sizzle. I add 1-2 tbsp of juice to tone down its bitterness. By the way I am used to tumeric because I eat a lot of curry in my younger days. I also drink veggie shake.

I weigh 118 kg and my husband is worried I might loose too much during the rad/chemo to counter attack cancer. I started to lose appetite one and half year back ( I used to weigh 20 lbs more before). I now suspect it is the cancer causing this weight loss.

I wish you the best of luck.

npcsurvivor
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Maria,

Thanks for sharing this with us. The weight loss you describe may be due to cachexia, a wasting disease commonly caused by cancers. I also experienced weight loss over a period of time (1.5 yrs) before my diagnosis although I did not lose appetite. You may want to gather more info about your options by talking to other doctors / hospitals and also on this forum before you reject any options. Radiation should not be an automatic choice. It causes a lot of side effects, some of which you have to deal with for the rest of your life.

BTW, I am currently taking turmeric powder uncooked mixed in with vegetable juice. I use a masticating type juicer to make the juice. I have an Omega J8005 juicer which is awesome. I bought it for about $260. It works by squeezing the juice out of veges rather than by shredding them as the centrifugal juicers do. It gets the most juice out of the veges. It's good for juicing all kinds of veges and fruits, even nuts. It's also easy to clean and makes very little noise. I mix in 1/4 tsp of turmeric with a cup of juice. I take one cup of juice every day. Taking more turmeric seems to irritate my stomach. Hope this helps.

Best of luck.

npcsurvivor
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello fellow survivors,

After all the doc found out that I had a hypothyroid problem. My TSH level was 97 while the normal range is 1-3. I started taking Synthroid 50mcg on Friday. By Saturday afternoon I started to feel like someone had breathed new life into my fatigued body. I feel much more energetic now, don't feel as cold and also experience less nasal congestion. My mood has also improved significantly. This little pill is magical. I am so glad that I told the doc about feeling cold. OW, he was not planning to test me for TSH at this time. If you experience similar symptoms, please get tested. Many of us may wonder if the fatigue and other ill effects are simply related to having cancer and / or cancer treatment. I am telling you in my case it was the thyroid that was making me feel this lousy 5 months after treatment, not the chemo. Best of luck.

I have heard it's best to take turmeric cooked or dissolved in bolied milk. Uncooked is a little hard on the stomach. I would give it a try.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

Glad to hear you are doing better, I did not find out that my thyroid stopped working until I almost could not walk anymore. I am on Levothroxine 0.112mg after taking it for a few weeks started felling like my old self again.

Keep up on your positive side it really helps to heal faster

lisam61
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2009

Hi Hondo I wrote to you awhile back about my husband. You look great in your photo. He's still having some issues after the radiation six months ago he seemed to be better but, then he got sick a sinus infection he couldn't kick, they did a pet scan and he needs a biopsy of his sinuses apparently something is showing there and they are not sure until they do this biopsy. It's so scarey I know you've been through quite a battle I am trying to stay focused and keep praying for him. If you have any thoughts on this pls. share.
Thanks God bless you Lisa

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

I have been worried about you when I did not hear anything back. When I first finish treatment I too had a lot of infections, I would blow the ugliest green stuff out of my nose that you could imagine and the smell was unbelievable. My ENT had to put me on some very strong antibiotics to get rid of it and yes it would come back again. I went to see the doctors at MD Anderson and they told me that I should be using a Sinus Rinse everyday or twice a day if needed. I have not had anymore infections after using the rinse for sometime now, can’t say if it was the rinse or my body’s immune system that just stated working.

As you know I am NPC and I have a area in my nasal way that has been lighting up there PET scans for almost 4 years now, At first it looks like cancer but the doctors here where I live were not sure, my ENT took a biopsy of it and it came back positive. So I went back to the doctors at MD Anderson, after they looked at all the test and did some more MRI’s and PET they are at the opinion it is scar tissue.

What ever happens get more then one opinion, I will continue to keep you both in prayer

lisam61
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2009

So glad you wrote back. We've had a few issues going on and it's been awhile since I could get online but so good to know that you are doing well. I was wondering if you had any other activity in your pet scans. My husband has been scheduled for another biopsy next week and they are going to clean out his sinuses apparently the sinuses are lighting up which is very worrisome for me. I hope this isn't going to be traveling. It's very difficult to go through all of this again. The ENT tried to clean him out but he said it was up into his sinuses and maybe the petscan is showing inflammation so he'd decided to clean out his sinuses and also to do a biopsy to be safe. WE see the Oncologist tomorrow hopefully he won't have to go through chemo. It's so good knowing someone else that has been through this. He rinses his nose with a netty pot everyday sometimes 2x a day or more. This infection the antibiotics were not able to help it because it's deep in the sinus. As always I am praying for everyone thank God for this Network. You continue to do well and I will stay in touch. Prayer is the power.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

I will be praying for you both so please stay in touch. I wish all these doctors who deal with us cancer people would have a way to talk to each other it would help them to take the guess work out of the way. Before they do any type of treatment I am willing to let your doctor talk to mine as he has been treatment me now for passed 5 ½ years.

Take care and God be with you both

lisam61
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2009

Hi Maria, I'm Lisa my husband has npc large tumor in his left nostril radiated 6mths ago.
I was interested in this Veggie Shake can you tell me what veggies you use he has trouble eating salads. I am praying for everyone with this awful cancer all we have is prayers and support from each other. My husband hates Curry so I don't know if the tumeric is going to be something he can take. He also lost 25lbs and has not been able to get it back. God bless you. Lisa

maria2009
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Lisa
I am sorry to hear of your husband's plight. The 2 bumps on my nose stopped growing after I took veg juices and food supplements and eventually disappeared 3 weeks before my radiation started. If you would like to give me your email, I will explain more in detail.
Honestly I once wrote about this and someone called me a scammer so I see no point in elaborating here.

But I was in a desperate situation with those bumps and there is nothing to lose. Meanwhile I really hope your husband situation has improved with radiation.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

First time I have seen your post here, I would like welcome you.

There are some here who don’t believe in Herbal medicine but as I say everyone has there own opinion. My opinion is that God has giving us more then one way to heal our broken bodies, please plan to stay as your insight are needed. Click on to Hondo and read my post

Take care

maria2009
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Hondo

thank you for your welcome and that you share my views.

Onco and rad docs are great, expert in their fields and I admire them for what they are going through everyday dealing with cancer patients, it is emotionally draining. However herbal medicine is another aspect even they are not familiar with. I cannot blame them, they are not trained in that field. I believe it is our responsibility to research more into herbal medicine as we are dealing with our own lives.

I feel it is unfair to ask the onco/rad doctors opinions on herbal medicines because (1)they really don't have the background (2)their job is to cure us of the disease with conventional methods (3)there are different views about herbal medicine and they don't really want get into a debate. Many times they are also not aware of any new scientific theories that has just been proven. They are only humans.

That is why I understand them when I asked my doctor what I should eat, and he said I can eat anything. But the day before he actually asked if I do alot of barbecue!

I can say you are truly blessed, for taking things in your own hands and having succeeded although I am not advocating alt med over conventional methods here. Both work in their own ways.

take care too.

laleh
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Maria,

I am gald saw your notes on this website. I am diagnosed with NPC and I am under treatment Chemo/Radiation. I saw you have used Juice of vegetable-Fruit to treat and control  your nasal tissue growth. I like very much to recieve the information on what kind of vegetable and fruit to use for huicing and how much to use per day that was effective in your case. I can provide my contact information if this work for you. I have heard that this can trat many other cancer as well. Let me know. 

laleh
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Maria,

WHAT do you know about herbal, vegetable, and fruit to treat  NPC. These information will be very helpful to all cancer patients. Thsnks in advance.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3085
Joined: May 2012

Laleh,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Maria, who you want to respond to your post hasn’t been on this site for over 3 years.  You will get a better response by starting a new thread.  Many people will not look at this post after they see the 2010 date.

 

Good luck,

 

Matt

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 860
Joined: Jan 2009

There's a book I would recommend you try reading, especially the chapter on food. The author mentions benefits of turmeric. He suggests that even though it's not readily absorbed in the body, simply adding black pepper greatly increases the absorption rate. There are lots of places to get bagged organic turmeric very inexpensively, amazon being one.

Name of the book:
Anti Cancer, A New Way of Life. He's a doctor who was diagnosed with brain cancer and given a very short time to live, quite some time ago.

lisam61
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2009

Well we went to the Oncologist today and he gave us bad news the cancer is back and he needs chemo it's spreading to his bones I don't know which way to turn. Maybe yours is different but I passed out in the doctor's office when I got the news it was so awful.
My husband would like to maybe one day talk to you or email you if that's okay.
Thank you for being such positive influence. God bless you Lisa

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

I am so sorry to hear this, my e-mail address is on my post just click on Hondo it will take you there, e-mail me your phone number I will call you.

Keep it a matter of prayer never give up hope, I too will be praying for you both.

lisam61
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2009

I sent you an email with my info any light you can shed would be appreciated. God bless you and keep you well always.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

I looked on my e-mail and don't see anything from you please try it again

timhonmc@aol.com

lisam61
Posts: 12
Joined: May 2009

Hi Hondo I just sent you in the info again, you might want to check your spam folder too sometimes it will go in there. Hope you receive it. God bless you.

Eversteve
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2013

I havent used any of these forums since I was diagnosed (after 2 yeaars of shear hell) and treated with radiotherapy and chemo (18 months ago) - as many of you guys have. I would just like to state that whilst the subject is obviously not on the top of the list of favourites; for me, thank you all for your honesty and your approach in discussing this **** mutual problem,we all have. good luck to you all, God bless you and stay strong.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network