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Cancer Center of America?

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

Hello everyone hoping you all are staying strong in these difficult journies we unfornately must encounter..it's been a very long hard and trying year with my Mom being sick and diagnosed with Stage IV Uterine Cancer it feels as if things never get better either and it becomes very discouraging at times..we are looking to change cancer centers yet again does anyone have some insight on the cancer center of America? we're located near the Philadelphia area so just wondering if anyone can share any information anything will help please?

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1124
Joined: Nov 2009

I saw that no one replied to your post.   I do not have any information with regard to CCA, but I believe there have been previous posts about it.   Look back a few months, you may find some posts there.   Sorry I cannot be of help on this subject.

 

DrienneB
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2013

Dear Kaleena,

I also don't know anyting about Cancer Ctrs. of America, but I know they advertise on National Public Radio

I have heard that it's good to find a doctor at a teaching or university hospital.

-jane

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

Thank you for the replies! One single response can help opposed to nothing at all :) Just trying to hear some thoughts on it I will check older posts as well.

NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 461
Joined: Mar 2013

But if you want to check it out you should!  I have read some things but they are opinions and you know how that goes.

cheerful
Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi:

 

   I did see your post regarding Cancer Center of America.  I did contact the Phila. branch a couple of years ago on-line. The rep was very helpful there, but that is all I know about them.

   I also live outside of the Philadelphia area in a suburb in Delaware County, PA and was diagnosed with UPSC Stage 1 back in early 2011.  My oncologist is with Crozer Chester Medical Center in Upland, PA - and is with Fox Chase Cancer Center there which is right next to the hospital and my chemo treatments were through the Fox Chase Cancer Center and the chemo nurses were very, very helpful and very friendly.  

  However, since you live near Phila. you could try Jefferson Hospital as there are oncologists there as it would be closer for your Mom.

  I hope I was of some help to you.

Cheerful

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi all,

It's always so nice to receive replies on here, so thank you again. My Mom was diagnosed a year ago with UPSC Stage 4, it has been one hell of road..we staretd at Sloan Kettering in New York the treatments were so strong for her they almost killed her, so they said they could not continue.. sometimes I wonder if chemo does more harm than good..anyway we're right outside the Philadelphia area as well and switched to Fox Chase and they said we can try another type of chemo so we did..I agree the nurses are wonderful there but we're at another speed bump her platelettes are too low to continue treatment again so I don't know what to do can anyone relate to this problem? what can you do? so Cancer Treatment Center of America would be a choice to see if there are any other possible treatment options I just feel like we're going in a circle and can't break this cycle :( :( :(

NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 461
Joined: Mar 2013

Sloan Kettering refused to give her anymore chemo?  I am not sure I understand what you mean by "they could not continue". 

Chemo really is just poison and pretty harsh stuff.  I was very lucky that I only had my last chemo delayed because of neutraphils (sp?) too low but I suspect other women here have had that and maybe more delayed themselves.   

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2296
Joined: Jun 2010

For whatever it's worth. . . Cancer Treatment Centers of America are large, commercial entities.  You receive Cadillac tlc - along with medical care.  I think so much of what helps cancer patients is HOW they are treated as humans and I believe the Cancer Treatment Centers have done a darn good job of that, from meeting you at the airport with their limo, massages, holistic approaches, etc. , etc. 

That being said, I believe that someone with a rare cancer belongs in a think tank (like a university teaching and research hospital) - some place where the physicians network with others in the field and have some familiarity with the type of cancer the patient has, are well versed in the literature about the disease and will think outside the box.  These are the qualities I would look for.  First and foremost, what is their level of expertise with patients with UPSC?

I know nothing about the medical reputation of Cancer Treatment Centers.  They sure are pretty, tho, and they have really good commercials.  So much of the information we as patients get is anectodal and based on one person's experience and their non-medical interpretation of the care they or their loved one received.  If someone doesn't do well, a provider can be labeled as being a "quack" (for lack of a better word) in spite of providing the best medical care available - or sometimes even if the provider is incompetent, but kind, s/he is called a saint and is highly recommended.  A recommendation from a health professional (i.e., another doctor) might be a good place to start if you're going to change providers again.  Stage 4 UPSC is serious business.   

I guess that doesn't answer your question.  I don't known anything medically about Cancer Treatment Centers.  I would venture to guess that patient satisfaction is very good with them because of the extra steps they take to comfort their patients, and this is important.

Suzanne

 

Sisters three's picture
Sisters three
Posts: 153
Joined: Nov 2012

Papaya leaf tea is noted for raising Platelet counts. Steep it in very hot water. It gets bitter at the bottom of the cup but you get used to it.

 

Lisa

lillefty's picture
lillefty
Posts: 22
Joined: May 2013

Hi - 

My mom is 70 years old, has MS, and was diagnosed with stage 4b clear cell uternine cancer (type 2 like UPSC) in April. We are very fortunate that my mom got the NED news in November. We feel very blessed and will cherish every day she remains NED. 

I thought I would share her experience in case it might be of any help to you and your mom. My mom completed traditional treatment (surgery and chemo - 6 rounds carbo/taxol) of course but also saw a naturopath very soon after her diagnosis. She completely changed her diet (she is very strict about it all organic, gluten free, low sugar, lots of vegetables, etc) as a result. Her naturopath, who specializes in oncology and is a cancer survivor herself, also ran a number of tests and suggested an array of supplements to address vitamin and other deficiencies (too much cooper not enough zinc for example) and to support my mom's immune system and promote healthy cell growth. My mom combined that with visualization and meditation. She also changed all of the products she put on her body to all natural ones (ranked 0-2 on this site http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/). I can't say what to attribute her success in beating cancer up to this point in time to but feel strongly it is the combination of all of these things that helped her. 

I don't know if changing her diet and taking supplements will help your mom because every person's fight is unique. At the same time, your mom is a statistic of one and from your posts it sounds like you and your mom feel like we did - you want to try anything you can to help beat this disease. If you want to learn more, I would recommend two books: 

Beating Cancer Through Nutrition: http://www.amazon.com/Beating-Cancer-Nutrition-book-CD/dp/096383729X

and 

Anticancer: A New Way of Life http://www.amazon.com/Anticancer-A-New-Way-Life/dp/0670021644

If you want to know more about what exaclty my mom did I would be happy to share. I wish you and your mom the best. 

Lisa 

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

wow I'm really happy to see the responses on here, I have posted other blogs and haven't heard much so this is much more comforting..anyway hello again ok so Sloan pretty much wrote my Mom off thats what she says and her Doctor would shove DNR papers in her face every follow up after they would no longer give her anymore treatment, so she was fed up with it and decided to go elsewhere, which is where we stand at Fox Chase -- they have been way more helpful than Sloan but I understand it is hard to treat a patient in a later stage of disease my Mom was unable to get surgery by the time she was diagnosed (they think she wouldn't heal from the procedure so they ruled out that option) after that the only choice was to do chemo but I've heard there are studies being done with molecular targeted therapy so considered Cancer Center of America maybe would have options on that..unfortunately I just received word that they went over my Moms records and are not willing to treat her because they would be doing the exact same treatment Fox Chase is..she has been on Doxil and her CT scan showed that it has shrunk the tumor except now her platelettes are low so they cannot continue to do anymore treatment..that is where we stand at the moment :(

 

Lisa that is great news about your Mom and I am happy to hear she has made it as far as she has, so I am very very interested and would love to know more about the naturopath and your own personal experience..I will look into those books as well as I have recommened trying holistic treatments to my Mom..I believe nutrition is everything after being diagnosed and during treatments I just don't know as much information as I would like to about naturopath, the problem is my Mom is a very very picky and difficult eater to begin with so trying different things (nutrition wise) has been so exhausting..but I do want to keep trying and curious as to what supplements were used as well? its just an awful situation my Mom is always in pain and it just feels like she is suffering day in and day out

lillefty's picture
lillefty
Posts: 22
Joined: May 2013

I am sorry that your mom is having such a hard time. I hope that the information I provide in this post is helpful. 

Naturopathic medicine combines science and nature to maximize harm prevention and treat the whole person in a holistic way that emphasizes comprehensive treatment and diagnosis. You can find more information about them generally here: http://naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=60

When it comes to cancer, the approach is look at the whole person and try to understand why cancer is able to grow in the person's body. We all have cancer cells in our bodies at different points throughout our lives (along with other types of abnormal cells). When our bodies, and correspondingly our immune systems are strong, our bodies simply destroy and eliminate those cells - we don't even know we had them. When our bodies are not, it allows the cancer cells to take hold and grow. My mom's naturopath and the book I recommended on Beating Cancer Through Nutrition talk about your body like soil (I have heard others talk about it as terrain but same kind of idea). When your body is strong, the soil allows plants to grow (healthy cells) and flourish, but kills any weeds that try to sprout (cancer and other diseases). When someone who is sick sees a naturopath, they focus on strengthening the body and the "soil" to restore the balance in the body so cancer cells no longer grow. Diet is a large part of it but so are supplements because they often feel a person needs very high doses of certain vitamins and minerals, for example, to get the person's soil back to a healthy place. 

The dietary changes might be difficult for your mom if as you say she is a picky eater. Two basic ideas - limit sugar (see below) and prevent inflamatory responses to food (by limiting toxins and certain foods). But here is how my mom changed her diet:

1. She eats six times a day (approximately every 2 hours - we call them meals but they are really not what most people think of as meals - approximately 300-400 calories at a time) to try to keep her blood sugar level (cancer feeds on sugar and blood sugar spikes provide a lot of food - the idea is to starve the cancer while giving a lot of health nutrients to your cells).

2. She eats a lot of vegetables (5-7 servings per day) and they are only organic (her naturopath suggests a mix of raw and cooked because we can access different nutrients in the same vegetable when they are raw vs. cooked). Organic can be quite expensive so if she can't afford all organic, at least try to buy the fruits and vegetables on the dirty dozen list as organic and buy the clean 15 to save on money (both lists are here - http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php). She does eat a small amount of fruit (organic again) but tries to eat "lower" sugar fruits and only ones with high levels of antioxidants. 

3. She limits her dairy and only drinks or eats dairy from grass fed beef. She has a daily yogurt to help support a healthy digestive track - greek yogurt to which she adds a freeze dried mixed berry powder as well as a small amount of assorted organic berries (again for the antioxidants). She eats some small amounts of cheese but again only from 100% grass fed cows (the Beating Cancer book I recommended explains why). She uses organic unsweetened almond milk instead of dairly milk. 

4. She limits meat (organic cage free chicken,  grass fed beef) and eats fish as well as lots of beans, nuts, and legumes. 

5. She drinks a shake/smoothie recommended by her naturopath as one of her "meals" every day. 

6. She is gluten free. Gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye - and sometimes oatmeal due to cross contaimination in farming) is avoided because even if one is not technically gluten intolerant, it can cause inflamation. She does eat organic gluten free bread but most baked products have to be avoided if you are trying to avoid gluten. 

 

Regarding supplements, the naturopath ran a number of tests to find out what my mom's "soil" looked like. I don't recall all of them but I know one test she relied heavily on was called a "sprectracell" test (http://www.spectracell.com/). The test gave the levels of various vitamins and minerals, metabolism, and other important cell building materials in my mom's body. The naturopath then designed a supplement regimen for her based on where she was deficient. The idea for my mom was protecting her healthy cells during her treatment, giving her body what it needed to grow healthy cells, and prevent cancer cells from growing. I can give you a list of what she took but I think it makes sense to really tailor the supplements to what is going on in the person's body. I imagine the naturopath would run tests and prescribe supplements trying to address your mom's platlet issues as a high priority - with the idea of helping make her healthy enough for treatment again. Here are some of the supplements my mom is taking: 

Mediclear plus powder protein shake (doesn't taste great but we combine it with other healthy things and my mom likes it), super high dose vitamin C (very important according to Beating Cancer book), astragalus, ginseng, super high dose vitamin D, TMG, Zinc, Aloe powder, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, a very strong probiotic (don't remember the name off the top of my head). She is taking more but that gives you an idea of what she takes. 

I hope this is useful information for you. Like I said before I can't say how much making these kinds of changes in diet and taking supplements will help your mom but I am confident that they made a big difference for my mom. My mom is sticking strictly with the dietary changes and taking the supplements (although her naturopath changed a few of them once her treatment was complete) because she wants to do everything she can to make sure her soil doesn't change back to allow the cancer to grow. She hopes to stay NED for a very long time (and I hope she does too :). Her naturopath recommends she does so for the rest of her life.

The best to you and your mom. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer. 

Lisa 

 

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

Wow! that is a lot of useful information and I can't thank you enough for taking the time out to write all that, I purchased the book Beating Cancer with Nutrition and so amazed with all the information in it! I started it yesterday and already halfway through it I can't seem to put it down there is sooooo much stuff that clarifies all different aspects of cancer itself. I am definitely passing along the information to my Mom and maybe she'll read it too when she feels a little better I see the ImmunoPower is pretty expensive but seems absolutely worth giving it a try, so did you use different supplements and powders recommended by your naturopath? or wondering if you tried the ImmunoPower? I completely agree that taking the proper supplements and a strict healthy diet will help change the way a person is feeling, symptoms, disease progression etc. dramatically and your story gives so much hope so thank you again! if I think of anything else I will be sure to comment happy holidays to you and to everyone else on here xo

lillefty's picture
lillefty
Posts: 22
Joined: May 2013

Hi again - Glad you found the information helpful. Happy holidays to you as well. To answer your questions, my mom only used what the naturopath recommended. We did not try the immunopower (not sure if you can buy it anymore actually). My mom uses Mediclear Plus powder in her daily shake, which has a ton of supplements including ones you might read a lot about in the book and on this board - like curcumin, green tea, and grape seed. It is also really high in protein (32 gms per serving of two scoops) because people need more protein and tend not to get enough when fighting cancer. You can see the complete ingredient list here: http://www.thorne.com/Products/Amino_Acids_Proteins/Protein_Supplements/prd~SP645.jsp. I think it might be similar to what was in immunopower - I can't remember from the book and it is at my mom's house.

The way I approached it was to make a list of every supplement listed in the Beating Cancer book. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by everything listed in there - there are just soooo many that I did not know where to start. I brought the list to my mom's oncology team and asked them if any should be avoided during treatment and had them write their thoughts on the printed list. I then brought that list with the oncology team's yes and no answers written on it to the naturopath (she really appreciated that). Based on the list and all my mom's test results (the ones the naturopath ran like the spectracell and her hopsital ones  - she had access to all my mom's records because she works at an integrative medicine center affiliated with the hospital in which my mom was receiving treatment), she suggested supplements in addition to the mediclear. My mom saw her during treatment as well and she adjusted the supplements based on new test results and any treatment side effects my mom was experiencing. For example, my mom was having severe stomach pain for about 4 days after chemo. The naturopath prescribed three homeopathic tinctures and they worked a miracle - she felt relief from the pain almost immediately. My mom said she could feel the drops descending and the pain going away. I did not feel like I could sort through all of the recommendations in the book and felt the naturopath could really focus on what my mom's deficits were and apporporiately prescribe the right blend of supplements. 

Again hope this is helpful. Continued best wishes to you and your mom. Sending positive healing energy to your mom and everyone on the board. 

Lisa 

 

rvtcst
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2013

I was diagnosed with stage 3C uterine cancer last year (2012) had a hysteroectomy. July 2013 went back to the doc who informed me the cancer was back, they would give me chemo again but I should "get my affairs in order".  I checked out the CTCA in Tulsa Ok, I am a patient there, they are by far the best place I could recommend!! Please ask any questions you might have.

NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 461
Joined: Mar 2013

What is CTCA doing for you?  What kind of treatment, diet, etc...?

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

Hello everyone, hope you are all having better days and good start to this year. Lisa, I do need your help I think the advice you gave was so helpful and I have been trying to follow some of the steps you have taken to help your Mom. I finished the book, it was a good book with lots and lots of useful information (if anyone else is looking into reading it I also agree you should, unfortunately they do not make their product called "immunopower" anymore. I did call to double check on that and the representative said they are no longer have a provider to make it.) So instead we decided to order the Mediclear Plus powder. I was so thriled to get it and excited to have my Mom to start it but the taste is awful. I am trying every possible way to disguise the taste, do you have any specific recipes that you use? I know they have some on their website but we are having a hard time haha let me know when you can! Thank you again. 

lillefty's picture
lillefty
Posts: 22
Joined: May 2013

Sorry to not respond sooner but I missed seeing your post. My mom could not really tolerate the taste of the Mediclear plus either! We tried a number of things and finally settled on the following recipe as a frozen smoothie with the naturopath's help: 

10 ice cubes, 8 oz of organic unsweetened almond milk, 3 teaspoons of raw organic cocoa powder, 2 organic strawberries, 1/3 of an organic banana, 1/2 teaspoon organic agave syrup, and the two scoops of the Mediclear plus powder (we also added some of the additional supplements the naturopath prescribed such as liquid zinc because my mom was deficient). 

One other suggestion is start with a smaller amount of the powder and add more every day until you get to 2 scoops - it is help get used to the taste.

With the above recipe (my mom makes it the same way everyday) my mom actually enjoys her daily shake - she kind of looks forward to it. I hope this helps. Sending you positive thoughts and healing energy. 

 

Lisa 

kdb1433's picture
kdb1433
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2013

You are a iifesaver thank you sooo much! I will give this recipe a shot and keep my fingers crossed :) Maybe I'll start with a lower serving of the powder and increase it overtime, sounds like a good idea. Also, if anyone is interested in this Mediclear Plus powder you do need to have a Doctor approve of this supplement (pretty much a referral). 

Best wishes to you all! 

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