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TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Hello Ladies :)

I am looking for some information maybe some of you can assist with.

My husband's Aunt who was diagnosed and treated for Breast Cancer ten years ago has been
recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. She is such an upbeat person and drove me to
Radiation for eight weeks this past winter. She cheered me on and motivated to keep me going during some pretty tough days. We were just talking this past Memorial Day about how she does not think back on the Cancer time in her life and how lucky she was to have beaten it.
AND now this....it is so sad.

I went with her to a new Oncologist today and basically he said stage 4...incurable and surgery is not an option. Chemo is her only option (non alternative treatment) option at this point. He said if she responds well, she may get a year. Tough enough for me to hear, and respond to.

She has asked me to do some research on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America...

Can anyone fill me in on what makes them a better facility than others?
What types of insurance do they take/not take?

Any input is appreciated. I am trying to keep her motivated to seek out the Chemo as she feels fine. She had stomach pain a few weeks back, but is now pain free.

Thanks!

Laurie

GracieGold's picture
GracieGold
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Laurie,
I have been treated by the Seattle Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center and they are part of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America alliance. I have gone there for the last 2 1/2 years for NH Lymphoma which I was first diagnosed with in 2002. I like their philosophy and practice because they have board certified oncologists who work hand in hand with naturopathic doctors. I believe that their treatment for pancreatic cancer and other metastatic cancers is to use small dose chemo(fractionated or metronomic) on a very regular basis to keep the disease at bay. I do not know the details since this is not my situation. I do know that they have had pancreatic cancer patients live for years when other doctors have given up. I met one woman in the chemo room who had been living with pancreatic cancer for several years at least.

My lymphoma is in remission, but this past June (2010) I had a hysterectomy for UPSC Stage 1A Grade 3. I was lucky that the Pet/CT scan that I had in April for my lymphoma follow-up showed abnormal activity in the uterus so this was caught fairly early. I am set for 4 cycles of Taxol and Carboplatin and 3 sessions of brachytherapy radiation. I have elected not to do the weekly chemo at this point since we are hoping for a cure rather than managing the disease at this point. I am going to have this chemo at a different clinic closer to my home.

I do recommend the Cancer Treatment Centers of America--at least the one in Seattle (Renton). They do take insurance. The nutritional and supplement advice of the naturopath is invaluable and I will continue with them for my lymphoma and for all nutritional advice. They also are willing do look at and administer alternative treatments like high dose IV vitamin C.

Best wishes for you and your aunt.

Kathy

llight
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2010

Hi Laurie,

I'm SO sorry to hear this news about your husband's aunt. I don't know anything about Cancer Centers of America but I've begun reading interesting things about the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. Not sure where you are located but if you are in or near Illinois you might want to look at this center to see what they have to offer. Keith Block MD wrote the book "Life Over Cancer" which I'm just about to read. Also, know in the book "Anticancer" by Servan-Schreiber he talks about a pancreatic cancer patient, Lenny, who he thinks gained more time by a change in diet. Here's a testimonial from a pancreatic cancer survivor from Block http://www.blockmd.com/testimonials_diane.htm.

So sorry again. Please keep us posted.

llight

bea-mil's picture
bea-mil
Posts: 106
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello,

I found someone on this board under Bladder Cancer who was successfully treated with IPT her name is susan smiles you can read her story.

"Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT)is a protocol for administering traditional chemotherapeutic drugs using Insulin to transport the chemotherapeutic drugs across the cell membrane into the cancer cells. A much lower dose of the highly toxic drugs is required, because IPT treatment targets only the cancer cells, sparing the good cells. The cancer cells get the chemotherapeutic drugs, not the normal cells. Therefore, the patient does not suffer the severe side effects so common with conventional chemotherapy – typically no hair loss, vomiting, or fevers. The quality of life remains high during treatment."

Cindy Bear
Posts: 563
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Laurie: Sorry to hear about your husband's aunt. There isn't a separate discussion board for pancreatic cancer but under rare and other cancers, you'll find a lot of people with PC. I don't have any first hand knowledge of Cancer centers but I did some googling in the past and people seem to love or hate them, no in-betweens. On some other cancer sites, like inspire.com and cancercompass.com they talk about them quite a bit. Unfortunately, Pancreatic cancer has a very low survival rate, it's something like 1%. If it were me, I'd ask for the numbers. In other words, what chemo would they give her and how much would it increase her chances. My mother passed away from stage IV uterine cancer last year. We didn't ask for the numbers. I so wish we had. I have read that chemo would only benefit her by 2-4% (I'm probably not wording that right) In her case, I do not feel that chemo was worth it. Good luck and we'll be praying for your family.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Laurie, So sorry to hear about your husband's aunt diagnosis. Yes pancreatic has a very low survival rate, as found with another friend of mine who passed after a 3-year battle.

A good friend of my husbands's wife works at the Cancer Ctrs. in Arizona (newest location), as on office side -- takes care of all the facility contracts, etc....legal stuff. Her husband was here for a visit this past week and speaks so highly about the place, especially on the employee side. If I go on the patient side it's as great. Don't have lots of specifics, but know they have the best professional staff around and cater to patients. Get chemo in your individual room, have alternative type options with acupuncturist, meditation, nutritionists, all included in the price. Yes you will need insurance as don't cover uninsured patients.

I wish you the best of luck and if you want additional specific information about the place, happy to chat with his wife. If this company had a location in my state I'd be there in a quick second....they're good!!

Good luck!
Jan

MoeKay
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2004

Laurie, I found this link that I thought you might be interested in:

http://csn.cancer.org/node/179783

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