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Alternate options of treatmens besides radiation and chemo

Falzone829's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

I've been diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, it was on my tonsils and lymph nodes.

First I want to say I don't health or dental insurance. It all started in the spring, so I went to the local community college that was offering a free teeth cleaning, and since I haven't had a cleaning in quite some time, I thought I'd take advantage of this. Well, I went and had the teeth cleaned, but I also have a few concerns on my teeth because the front 3 teeth on the bottom are loose. Being at the age 45 now, I need to start being more concerned with my health, and so that is why I went. The night after I had my teeth cleaned, I went to bed and had a severe pain in the neck, and thought I'd have to go into the emergency if it didn't go away, I took Ibuprofen & Tylenol, I was able to sleep. When I woke up, I noticed I had a lump in my neck on the left side. Being concerned, I had to have it checked out, there was no pain at all after that night, and up until today, there still has never been any pain, in the neck or mouth or throat at all. I went to a local health center that excepts patients without insurance, the doctor looked at the lump and also into the mouth, he noticed that my left tonsil was quite larger than normal. In the meantime, he took blood to check my cholesterol and triglycerides, both were very high. Well, after checking the neck mass a 2nd time, and not knowing what it was, I was referred to a Ear Nose & Throat specialist, he took blood tests, (2 times) both times coming back inconclusive due to it containing puss and couldn't get a good enough sample. I had a CT scan done and he decided that the tonsils should be pulled. A date was set for August 31st, 2011. As I went to the hospital for the operation, he did a biopsy before the operation, he found that I had Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the tonsils, he proceeded to operate and take them out. When I came through, he told me that I'd have to start radiation & chemo on the neck mass (cyst or tumor). I went to the cancer center one time and was told I'll need 7 weeks of radiation and not sure on how much chemo to do yet. My next appointment is this Friday, also an appointment with the dentist due to the loose teeth, and also a follow up with the doctor that pulled the tonsils.

I'm wondering is anyone has decided to an alternative route besides radiation & chemo, I've read both good and bad cases on it, and if anyone has finished an alternative treatment like the Proton Therapy or natural way of cleaning our your immune system, changing your diet, exercising daily, stop eating sugars, ect...

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome to the forum Falzone...

I had a similar diagnosis as you... STGIII SCC HPV+ Tonsils, and a lymphnode. Although I had traditional treatment.

Nine weeks of chemo three week cycles) of cisplatin, taxotere and 5FU. Then seven weeks of concurrent weekly carboplatin, and 35 days of radiation.

All has been clean and clear since.

The thing you mention in the ladder portion of your post refers more to life style changes. While those are good habits to practice, I doubt they will reverse what you already have been dignosed with.

There are some members that have looked into alternative health care...search both HONDO and Scambuster for starters.

Good luck and god bless on whichever path you chose to follow.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I did alterative treatment but it was a last resort thing because I was told there was nothing more they could do for me. I suggest fist you look into doing traditional treatment as cancer is not something you want to play with.

Welcome to CSN and glad to have you here my friend.

fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

I was 38 when SCC hit be across the forehead. Now 15 1/2 years later I am still here.

I picked the radiation, chemo and surgery.... it was not fun that is for sure. But it was not worth while tacking the big time risk. This is not worth fooling around with. The treatments and equipment they have now along with history and med's they did not have then make it some what easier. Still is hell.

It's about risk reward, do you feel is it worth the risk?

Good luck with your choice, you have come to the best place to get what you need and the people here do not let you feel like your alone.


nwasen's picture
Posts: 235
Joined: Feb 2011

Welcome aboard!
I for one would not want to put my life up there for alternative treatments...You look much younger than me. I am 61. I have a low paying job but good insurance. I went to the James in Columbus which is part of OSU. What my insurance didn't pay they wrote off (hospital only and not docs). I had noticed signs all over the place that if you didn't have the funds to pay they would still take care of you.
I would do some checking around. Also go to where they see head and neck cancer all the time. I got out of my small town for that reason.
Good luck to you and keep us posted on how you are!
Nancy aka toughcookie

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

I had stage 4 base-of-tongue cancer, HPV-16 positive Squamous Cell Carcinoma. It metastisized to lymph nodes on both sides of my neck. One of my lymph nodes was larger than 3 cm in size. I had two surgeries, 8 weeks of radiation and three rounds of Cisplatin chemotherapy. I'm 16 months out, and so far so good. No recurrences.

My girlfriend Donna Brown had a similar diagnosis a couple of years back. She decided against traditional treatment, and went with one of those naturopathic treatments that involved purging toxins from her body, eating organically and auyurvedically, drinking those strange mixes of herbs from Mexico, and had daily coffee enemas. It might have been the Gonzales Protocol. It didn't work. She died a painful death, with the lymph nodes in her neck so swollen that she looked like she had a goiter. I still miss her.

Personally, I haven't read anything scientific that supports the alternative route. The only evidence is anecdotal, and somehow it's really hard to track down those folks who write about how they were cured.

There is a fake email from John (sic) Hopkins University, that describes how the immune system boosting method is the only thing that works. That email is a hoax. You can look it up on www.snopes.com

Best wishes to you in your search for the best way...


connieprice1's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Oct 2010

Falzone, My wife Connie had SCC base of tongue HPV+. We had no insurance and things were looking pretty bad. She applied for assistance at MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center and although it took about 30 days she received 100% assistance. She also applied for Medicaid and was accepted a couple of months after she started chemo. After chemo she did 7 weeks of radiation and now she doing very well. I wished she didn't have to go through these conventional treatments because they are rough but she only had 3 months to live without treatment. Being 45, you are young and strong and you can beat this, be careful when considering alternative treatment because time is the issue. The longer you wait to start chemo & radiation the worse off you will be. You will never be alone as you travel down this road, the people on this website have been where you are and they will help you every step of the way. We wish you the best, Homer & Connie

Posts: 53
Joined: Jan 2011

after my dad was dx with cancer again in early Jan for the 2nd time, instead of listening the doc advise for more chemo, we choose traditional treatment instead. 3 month later when my dad vomited blood we send him to the hos and realise that his tumour had grown. this should that the tradtional treatment isn't working at all.. here we are again going through conventional treatment and i am hopping that its not too late for him. in a way i am regret for letting him choosing tradtional treatment in the 1st place.. he could have a better cure rate compare to now.
i would really like to stress that sometime conventioanl treatment work better after all especially if you are still young and have the engery to fight

Jimbo55's picture
Posts: 578
Joined: Jun 2010


Welcome to the site. I really wish there was a proven effective alternative to chemo & rads. Unfortunately, I don't believe there is. Cancer is not something you want to swing and miss on. Go for the rads and chemo. It won't be easy, though some are affected more than others during the treatment. For myself, it wasn't so bad. I am 1 year out from treatment now and doing fine. Cheers.


ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

Your only alternative is how you pay for treatment and where you go. You need some combination of chemo, radiation, and surgery. Trust your doctors.

Alternative treatment will kill you with 100 percent certainty. Those are Pretty crappy odds. This cancer kills about half the people that get it and that's with conventional treatment. Still crappy but that's all you got. Anyone who tells you their cousin, brother , etc. is alive because of coffee enemas or some magical extract is a damn fool who you should just walk away from. This is life and death for you, now , today. You want to live or die?

nwasen's picture
Posts: 235
Joined: Feb 2011

You said it plain and simple and cut out any bull...
I had friends who tried to talk me out of radiation and chemo and to eat certain foods, drink, etc.
I am still here and doing well. I shudder to think my outcome had I listened to them!

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

There are some alternative treatments out there that do work as in my case I had no other choice but to die or try it, but like I said very few that really work. I am still here 6 years later and my doctors tell me I am a mystery and they don’t understand how I am still living, “Quoted from my doctors at MD Anderson”.

The thing is, you have a lot better chance of getting rid of your cancer doing the conventional treatment and also getting rid of it a lot faster. But do not get treated at some local city or small town cancer site. Go to one of the major cancer institution in the USA for the best chance at correctly treating you right the first time.

Life is still good even with all the pain and problems with having cancer three times, it is better then laying 6 feet under somewhere. lol


Falzone829's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

Hello everyone.

First I'd like to say I'm still alive, 5 1/2 years and still going ! Next I'd like to say, after signing up on here and leaving my comment, I never came back, and I totally forgot all about this site. Now with that being said, I will let everyone know, I went through the chemo & radiation and it was hard. Before going through the treatments, I was referred to see the dentist, and prior starting, I needed to have 7 teeth pulled (this was due to the teeth not being in good order), next I was to have a feeding tube put in, but it never got put in prior starting treatments. So the week before Thanksgiving, I did my first chemo & radiation. Then the week of Thanksgiving, I started losing my taste and had to have the tube put in. The first attempt was unsuccessful because I was to be half sedated, yet my throat was enflamed, so it didn't work out. So they needed to reschedule and completely sedate me. In the meantime, I was already loing weight because I was not eating. Well, the feeding tube was what kept me alive throughout my treatments, because I would not and could not eat with my mouth.

Well, I finished my chemo and radiation as planned and then the operation afterwards to take out the lymphnodes. I currently am clean, but I have not been scanned in 3 years. I in fact just got insurance this year and have an appointment tomorrow as I speak for a scan. I have been to my doctor on a regular basis, and everything seems well. I do have a few side effects from all of this, 1. I sometimes have tightness in my neck on the side the operation was, probably because of scar tissue, ect... 2. My taste for spicy foods has magnified, so certain foods are more spicy than normal 3. Every time I eat, no matter what it is, my nose will run, not a bad thing, but will end up having to blow my nose a couple times during meals. Besides all of that, I'm alive and well.

I am now 50 years old, became a grandfather 3 years ago, living my life day to day as I always have and enjoying my life. I thank everyone who commented on this site, and hope everyone else is well.

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4336
Joined: May 2012


I first spotted my cancer on 11/11/11, about the time you began.

I am very glad you are doing well and found the conventional treatments survivable.

We have a new H&N member right now how is on the fence about traditional vs alternate treatments.  Your post should hit home with  him.

If there were an easy route, we all might have taken it.


CherieLW's picture
Posts: 472
Joined: May 2013

I do not know from experience, but I watched my dad go through treatment. It wasn't fun to watch and he faced challenges... Still can't taste, but all in all I'm glad it cleared him of nasal cancer. We just found out he has myeloma now. He will be taking chemo pills and chemo shots more than likely. Hoping whatever you chose, works best for you. I'll keep you in my prayers as I'm sure this is the hardest choice a person has to make. It's doable like most have told me.

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