Costs of Conventional vs. Alternative Therapies

devotion10
devotion10 Member Posts: 623
edited April 2013 in Colorectal Cancer #1

Smile -- Cynthia

This seems a useful discussion ... 

I'll start .... my only experience is that of having standard medical insurance through my husband's employer when he was diagnosed. As in most standard U.S. policies (I think) there is a max out-of-pocket expense.  In our case it was $3000 annually, thus after we paid the deductible and we reached the maximum co-pay ... we paid zero for the remainder of the year.  Generally, we would hit this maximum within the first two months of treatment each year.

Hopefully, others with more knowledge of Medicare or Medicaid and those from countries with a more socialized medical system can post with their experiences. 

Our family would not have been able to afford expensive alternative treatment at the beginning of my husband's diagnosis without selling our home and downsizing into perhaps a small apartment or moving in with family members. When I posed this question to my husband ... would he have taken any and all money that we had to attempt alternative treatments ... his response was absolutely not. 

Life choices and situations are so different ... I asked him would he do this if our child was ill, like Tony, and he said absolutely yes.

It is not the personal decisions that someone makes with their money or their treatments that I find disturbing ... it is the discussion of one's excess wealth that has seemed sometimes insensitive when many on this board are struggling not only with their cancer diagnosis and treatments ... but, with serious financial concerns.  Also, there was the insinuation that those who would not sell the farm for alternative treatments were not seriously interested in their health or well-being.

Does this deserve a thread or should we drop it? Seems an important topic if we can keep it civil. 

 

«134

Comments

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Keeping it cool

    Each person has to make their decisions based on personal abilities and resources.

    If there was an unlimited fund of money for each of us for medical expenses, would it change our decisions?  Perhaps and perhaps not.

    Each person has their own beliefs in what type of treatment plan they feel they need to follow.  That they differ from another should not be judged.

    At the end of the day, each of us must feel comfortable with our own decisions, even if they are not what someone else would make ,and be able to wish others well on their chosen path.

    Marie who loves kitties

  • Keeping it cool

    Each person has to make their decisions based on personal abilities and resources.

    If there was an unlimited fund of money for each of us for medical expenses, would it change our decisions?  Perhaps and perhaps not.

    Each person has their own beliefs in what type of treatment plan they feel they need to follow.  That they differ from another should not be judged.

    At the end of the day, each of us must feel comfortable with our own decisions, even if they are not what someone else would make ,and be able to wish others well on their chosen path.

    Marie who loves kitties

    If

    If I feel someone's post '' INSENSITIVE'', I would close my eyes by not looking at what one has to say....

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122
    Keeping it civil…..

     

    That’s not going to be easy! (btw, I totally agree with your theme!)

     

    There’s one thing that bothered (and still bothers) me about all the “alternatives” presented on these forums: It’s the cost of the “alternatives” and “supplements” that so many are overspending their budgets on.

     

    There seems to be so, so many posts talking about “natural” supplements that cost more than one’s typical week’s worth of groceries. They make it appear as you noted:

     

    Our family would not have been able to afford expensive alternative treatment at the beginning of my husband's diagnosis without selling our home and downsizing into perhaps a small apartment or moving in with family members.”

     

    I find that to be the average reader’s understanding of what to expect for costs. And especially so, after reading of trips around the Globe to receive the special treatments by some of the more affluent here.

     

    Please let me set some things straight? You don’t have to go to China to use Traditional Chinese Medicine.

     

    The herbs I bought and used for six month intervals, had cost between 5 and 6 dollars a pound. The list of those herbs are on my “profile page” under the “blog” section. A pound lasts an average of a month and a half. My list’s total was less than $100 per month.

     

    I posted links to the Syracuse Cancer Research Center (NY), and their Hydrazine Sulfate information. They do not sell anything; you can’t buy HS there. I bought two bottles of it (enough for full treatment) for $30 each.

     

    Although I’m not into taking “drugs”, HS would be a “last resort” if I found the herbs or TCM was doing the job for me. Read about it at the SCRC website; you may be amazed.

     

    The herbal route is safe when used as directed, but I strongly suggest one has a TCM physician or at least a qualified herbalist to call upon; self-medicating is never a great idea, but it’s do-able….

     

    Does it work? My present western medicine physicians seem to think it did. But I have absolutely no “proof”.

     

    The bottom line? Alternatives do not have to cost a lot. A used “Champion” juicer (they’ll juice  brick) costs an average of $100. A bag of “day old” fruit and veggies costs a few bucks and will last at least a week.

     

    You don’t have to fly to Timbuktu for a months worth of 20~30k treatments. If one can afford that, jolly good.

    I can’t, and I refuse to think that I’m going to die if I don’t sell my life insurance, my home, car, and get whatever I can get for my son….

     

    I’ll do the herbs. Maybe that $30 HS stuff…. If I have to.

     

    Alternatives do not have to be expensive; you don’t have to spend  fortune to survive cancer.

     

     

    Best wishes to all for better health,

     

    John

     

  • devotion10
    devotion10 Member Posts: 623
    John23 said:

    Keeping it civil…..

     

    That’s not going to be easy! (btw, I totally agree with your theme!)

     

    There’s one thing that bothered (and still bothers) me about all the “alternatives” presented on these forums: It’s the cost of the “alternatives” and “supplements” that so many are overspending their budgets on.

     

    There seems to be so, so many posts talking about “natural” supplements that cost more than one’s typical week’s worth of groceries. They make it appear as you noted:

     

    Our family would not have been able to afford expensive alternative treatment at the beginning of my husband's diagnosis without selling our home and downsizing into perhaps a small apartment or moving in with family members.”

     

    I find that to be the average reader’s understanding of what to expect for costs. And especially so, after reading of trips around the Globe to receive the special treatments by some of the more affluent here.

     

    Please let me set some things straight? You don’t have to go to China to use Traditional Chinese Medicine.

     

    The herbs I bought and used for six month intervals, had cost between 5 and 6 dollars a pound. The list of those herbs are on my “profile page” under the “blog” section. A pound lasts an average of a month and a half. My list’s total was less than $100 per month.

     

    I posted links to the Syracuse Cancer Research Center (NY), and their Hydrazine Sulfate information. They do not sell anything; you can’t buy HS there. I bought two bottles of it (enough for full treatment) for $30 each.

     

    Although I’m not into taking “drugs”, HS would be a “last resort” if I found the herbs or TCM was doing the job for me. Read about it at the SCRC website; you may be amazed.

     

    The herbal route is safe when used as directed, but I strongly suggest one has a TCM physician or at least a qualified herbalist to call upon; self-medicating is never a great idea, but it’s do-able….

     

    Does it work? My present western medicine physicians seem to think it did. But I have absolutely no “proof”.

     

    The bottom line? Alternatives do not have to cost a lot. A used “Champion” juicer (they’ll juice  brick) costs an average of $100. A bag of “day old” fruit and veggies costs a few bucks and will last at least a week.

     

    You don’t have to fly to Timbuktu for a months worth of 20~30k treatments. If one can afford that, jolly good.

    I can’t, and I refuse to think that I’m going to die if I don’t sell my life insurance, my home, car, and get whatever I can get for my son….

     

    I’ll do the herbs. Maybe that $30 HS stuff…. If I have to.

     

    Alternatives do not have to be expensive; you don’t have to spend  fortune to survive cancer.

     

     

    Best wishes to all for better health,

     

    John

     

    Ok John ... you passed the civil test and ...

    you provided good information.  You get extra points.

    With regard to TCM, I think you have always tried to help folks understand that this can be done while having conventional treatments should they feel most comfortable doing that and does not have to be a stand alone treatment. I agree with you that alternatives and complementary therapies do not have to cost a great deal and are within the range of most. I guess I was thinking more of the $200K+ range that has been discussed for some treatments.

    You know ... this might not be such a good post ... if it riles up anybody I will likely just remove it.  I really was very curious though how others deal with medical costs and decisions regarding treatment.  The post may not have a strong enough message to be discussed without inviting controversy ...  

    I haven't had enough coffee yet for controversy. Wink -- Cynthia 

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    We have the good fortune to have decent insurance,

    although we did change to a different plan right before I got sick, and of course it was a plan that had much higher out-of-pocket expense.  We pay about $6000 per year for our deductible, and we have co-pays of $30-60 on most visits.  But when you consider what has been spent so far on chemo and surgery for me, it's been a good deal overall.  I realize that for many people, even $6000 is too much.  I wish we had a better system for making sure people could get the care they need without forcing them to choose between their health and the many other things they require to exist.

    As for the tone of things, I think ignoring stuff is not exactly helpful.  Personally, I feel that when members make their feelings known, if they do so in a positive and respectful fashion (as the OP did in this case), it can help the forum be a more positive place for everyone involved.  AA

  • manwithnoname
    manwithnoname Member Posts: 402
    John23 said:

    Keeping it civil…..

     

    That’s not going to be easy! (btw, I totally agree with your theme!)

     

    There’s one thing that bothered (and still bothers) me about all the “alternatives” presented on these forums: It’s the cost of the “alternatives” and “supplements” that so many are overspending their budgets on.

     

    There seems to be so, so many posts talking about “natural” supplements that cost more than one’s typical week’s worth of groceries. They make it appear as you noted:

     

    Our family would not have been able to afford expensive alternative treatment at the beginning of my husband's diagnosis without selling our home and downsizing into perhaps a small apartment or moving in with family members.”

     

    I find that to be the average reader’s understanding of what to expect for costs. And especially so, after reading of trips around the Globe to receive the special treatments by some of the more affluent here.

     

    Please let me set some things straight? You don’t have to go to China to use Traditional Chinese Medicine.

     

    The herbs I bought and used for six month intervals, had cost between 5 and 6 dollars a pound. The list of those herbs are on my “profile page” under the “blog” section. A pound lasts an average of a month and a half. My list’s total was less than $100 per month.

     

    I posted links to the Syracuse Cancer Research Center (NY), and their Hydrazine Sulfate information. They do not sell anything; you can’t buy HS there. I bought two bottles of it (enough for full treatment) for $30 each.

     

    Although I’m not into taking “drugs”, HS would be a “last resort” if I found the herbs or TCM was doing the job for me. Read about it at the SCRC website; you may be amazed.

     

    The herbal route is safe when used as directed, but I strongly suggest one has a TCM physician or at least a qualified herbalist to call upon; self-medicating is never a great idea, but it’s do-able….

     

    Does it work? My present western medicine physicians seem to think it did. But I have absolutely no “proof”.

     

    The bottom line? Alternatives do not have to cost a lot. A used “Champion” juicer (they’ll juice  brick) costs an average of $100. A bag of “day old” fruit and veggies costs a few bucks and will last at least a week.

     

    You don’t have to fly to Timbuktu for a months worth of 20~30k treatments. If one can afford that, jolly good.

    I can’t, and I refuse to think that I’m going to die if I don’t sell my life insurance, my home, car, and get whatever I can get for my son….

     

    I’ll do the herbs. Maybe that $30 HS stuff…. If I have to.

     

    Alternatives do not have to be expensive; you don’t have to spend  fortune to survive cancer.

     

     

    Best wishes to all for better health,

     

    John

     

    TBH

    I would not have reached for an alternative option at first, all of our faith went into conventional medicine, that's where we put our trust and faith, like too many others it failed. We don't relish the idea of selling everything we have for a 'chance' at some unproven or experimental treatment, we may go on a clinical trial if we meet the criteria, it still means a massive disruption to our life.

    Also some cancers grow faster than others, I don't believe any 'soft' treatment will work with a fast growing tumour. 

    The 'alternatives' we are using range from very expensive immunotherapy to fairly cheap off label drugs and supplements, we will never Know what (if anything) worked.

    I was born in the UK, we have free medical, no one is turned away, Israel is more like the US system, for now it has been good, I believe no country has a perfect system, yet...

    In an hours time we have an MRI, like Schrodingers cat the 'reality' will unfold shortly afterwards and with it our future and treatment options.

    BTW, this topic is a moral and ethical minefield. :-)

  • devotion10
    devotion10 Member Posts: 623

    TBH

    I would not have reached for an alternative option at first, all of our faith went into conventional medicine, that's where we put our trust and faith, like too many others it failed. We don't relish the idea of selling everything we have for a 'chance' at some unproven or experimental treatment, we may go on a clinical trial if we meet the criteria, it still means a massive disruption to our life.

    Also some cancers grow faster than others, I don't believe any 'soft' treatment will work with a fast growing tumour. 

    The 'alternatives' we are using range from very expensive immunotherapy to fairly cheap off label drugs and supplements, we will never Know what (if anything) worked.

    I was born in the UK, we have free medical, no one is turned away, Israel is more like the US system, for now it has been good, I believe no country has a perfect system, yet...

    In an hours time we have an MRI, like Schrodingers cat the 'reality' will unfold shortly afterwards and with it our future and treatment options.

    BTW, this topic is a moral and ethical minefield. :-)

    Tony ... sending strong love your son's way ... as my

    original posts said ... for our child we would give up everything.  I know you and your family have come close to this to help your son.  

    Best to you on this day of all days. -- Cynthia

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571

    TBH

    I would not have reached for an alternative option at first, all of our faith went into conventional medicine, that's where we put our trust and faith, like too many others it failed. We don't relish the idea of selling everything we have for a 'chance' at some unproven or experimental treatment, we may go on a clinical trial if we meet the criteria, it still means a massive disruption to our life.

    Also some cancers grow faster than others, I don't believe any 'soft' treatment will work with a fast growing tumour. 

    The 'alternatives' we are using range from very expensive immunotherapy to fairly cheap off label drugs and supplements, we will never Know what (if anything) worked.

    I was born in the UK, we have free medical, no one is turned away, Israel is more like the US system, for now it has been good, I believe no country has a perfect system, yet...

    In an hours time we have an MRI, like Schrodingers cat the 'reality' will unfold shortly afterwards and with it our future and treatment options.

    BTW, this topic is a moral and ethical minefield. :-)

    Asking the universe...

    to give you guys a break, Tony.  As I said to Devotion in a pm, the universe doesn't seem to listen to me much, but come on...just this once?  Please keep us posted.  Despite the disagreements at times on the board, one thing we can agree on...we all want the best for your boy.  AA

  • Maxiecat
    Maxiecat Member Posts: 544
    I am also lucky enough to

    I am also lucky enough to have decent insurance...UHC.  We have a $3500 deductible for me (7,000 for the family)and $40 co-pays for specialists.  I think we have it our maximum out of pocket for me for the year...I just received 2 checks from the insurance co for about $175 each for prescriptions!  We are getting ready to go to an appendix cancer specialist in the next couple of weeks.  part of our decision on which one to see first (we may seek another one) was based on finances.  The plan my DH's company has does not cover travel while seeking medical treatment...so we decided to go to the university of Maryland ... Just about an hour's drive.  many people have recommendEd MD Anderson in TX (we are considering it) ... But we would have to pay for 2 flights, hotel for the 5 to 7 days that they want us down there for an evaluation and airfare for one of the grandparents to come and stay with the kids.... Not to mention return trips for me if they do come up with a treatment plan that requires surgery.  We just can't afford all of that right now. I am hoping that if the specialist recommends HIPEC that we can get it done before the end of the year...since it would be completely covered.

    one helpful thing for us that I did was that I set up a payment plan with the oncologists office and the hospital and the facility where I had my CT scan done.  they all agreed to take monthly payments and none of them are charging us interest.  The plan is to have everything paid off by the end of the summer.

    alex

  • wolfen
    wolfen Member Posts: 1,324
    Maxiecat said:

    I am also lucky enough to

    I am also lucky enough to have decent insurance...UHC.  We have a $3500 deductible for me (7,000 for the family)and $40 co-pays for specialists.  I think we have it our maximum out of pocket for me for the year...I just received 2 checks from the insurance co for about $175 each for prescriptions!  We are getting ready to go to an appendix cancer specialist in the next couple of weeks.  part of our decision on which one to see first (we may seek another one) was based on finances.  The plan my DH's company has does not cover travel while seeking medical treatment...so we decided to go to the university of Maryland ... Just about an hour's drive.  many people have recommendEd MD Anderson in TX (we are considering it) ... But we would have to pay for 2 flights, hotel for the 5 to 7 days that they want us down there for an evaluation and airfare for one of the grandparents to come and stay with the kids.... Not to mention return trips for me if they do come up with a treatment plan that requires surgery.  We just can't afford all of that right now. I am hoping that if the specialist recommends HIPEC that we can get it done before the end of the year...since it would be completely covered.

    one helpful thing for us that I did was that I set up a payment plan with the oncologists office and the hospital and the facility where I had my CT scan done.  they all agreed to take monthly payments and none of them are charging us interest.  The plan is to have everything paid off by the end of the summer.

    alex

    Rising Insurance Costs

    I will probably always complain about insurance premiums, but without insurance we would already be in the street.

    Being older, we have Medicare(hubby has had it for many years, due to disability), and we have UHC(from my former career). Like others, we have a $1,000($3,000 family) deductible with office co-pays. I also make payment arrangements with various doctors & institutions. Since the first of the year, hubby has 102 claims and the deductible has been met. We also have a mail in pharmacy program for long term meds & I find that Walmart is sometimes cheaper.

    Selling the "farm" would not be an option for us, as the farm has drowned. I do like the idea of the free medical coverage utilized in other countries, but am not familiar with the quality of coverage offered. As far as I know, those of you that have this option are happy with it. Hubby has taken a few supplements over the years(pre-cancer) and they were not too hard on the budget. I have just resigned myself to the fact that I will never be debt free, will lose my home in the future & this is how we must live to survive. This is not meant to be a depressing statement, just a reality.

    Luv,

    Wolfen

  • devotion10
    devotion10 Member Posts: 623

    Keeping it cool

    Each person has to make their decisions based on personal abilities and resources.

    If there was an unlimited fund of money for each of us for medical expenses, would it change our decisions?  Perhaps and perhaps not.

    Each person has their own beliefs in what type of treatment plan they feel they need to follow.  That they differ from another should not be judged.

    At the end of the day, each of us must feel comfortable with our own decisions, even if they are not what someone else would make ,and be able to wish others well on their chosen path.

    Marie who loves kitties

    Marie, yes a very reasoned post.

    Thank you for reminding us to wish others well and try not to be judgemental of another's chosen path even if it differ's from our own.  I think this board does a rather extraordinary job iof remaining open and it is only when the tone of post are troublesome that we get off track.  Thank you for always keeping it cool. -- best, Cynthia

  • thxmiker
    thxmiker Member Posts: 1,278
    John23 said:

    Keeping it civil…..

     

    That’s not going to be easy! (btw, I totally agree with your theme!)

     

    There’s one thing that bothered (and still bothers) me about all the “alternatives” presented on these forums: It’s the cost of the “alternatives” and “supplements” that so many are overspending their budgets on.

     

    There seems to be so, so many posts talking about “natural” supplements that cost more than one’s typical week’s worth of groceries. They make it appear as you noted:

     

    Our family would not have been able to afford expensive alternative treatment at the beginning of my husband's diagnosis without selling our home and downsizing into perhaps a small apartment or moving in with family members.”

     

    I find that to be the average reader’s understanding of what to expect for costs. And especially so, after reading of trips around the Globe to receive the special treatments by some of the more affluent here.

     

    Please let me set some things straight? You don’t have to go to China to use Traditional Chinese Medicine.

     

    The herbs I bought and used for six month intervals, had cost between 5 and 6 dollars a pound. The list of those herbs are on my “profile page” under the “blog” section. A pound lasts an average of a month and a half. My list’s total was less than $100 per month.

     

    I posted links to the Syracuse Cancer Research Center (NY), and their Hydrazine Sulfate information. They do not sell anything; you can’t buy HS there. I bought two bottles of it (enough for full treatment) for $30 each.

     

    Although I’m not into taking “drugs”, HS would be a “last resort” if I found the herbs or TCM was doing the job for me. Read about it at the SCRC website; you may be amazed.

     

    The herbal route is safe when used as directed, but I strongly suggest one has a TCM physician or at least a qualified herbalist to call upon; self-medicating is never a great idea, but it’s do-able….

     

    Does it work? My present western medicine physicians seem to think it did. But I have absolutely no “proof”.

     

    The bottom line? Alternatives do not have to cost a lot. A used “Champion” juicer (they’ll juice  brick) costs an average of $100. A bag of “day old” fruit and veggies costs a few bucks and will last at least a week.

     

    You don’t have to fly to Timbuktu for a months worth of 20~30k treatments. If one can afford that, jolly good.

    I can’t, and I refuse to think that I’m going to die if I don’t sell my life insurance, my home, car, and get whatever I can get for my son….

     

    I’ll do the herbs. Maybe that $30 HS stuff…. If I have to.

     

    Alternatives do not have to be expensive; you don’t have to spend  fortune to survive cancer.

     

     

    Best wishes to all for better health,

     

    John

     

    I went to an Alternative Doc

    I went to an Alternative Doc several times. It was $60 a visit.  When he found out that my cancer was bad, he reduced his rates to $40.  People will work with you.  My accupunture Doc did the same.  The Massuse went down to $35 from $65.

     

    When we are friendly and show a need, people will work with you.  That has been my experience.  In my business we never charged handicapped nor money strapped elderly. I would usually do those service calls, and leave a few business cards.  (I was an Audio Engineer and had an Electricl conracting company also. We would get asked to replace high light bulbs or replace  a balast in the kitchen, replace batteries in remotes, etc...)

     

    There are many goood nutrition sites that offer good advice on anti-cancer diets, foods, supplements, etc...  This is where I went with my own self treatment.  I got my PET scan back today.   My mass in my colon is almost non exsistent!  None of the mets showed.  None of the blood markers came back positive. We contacted UCSD for our appontment in a week. Life is good here!

     

    Best Always,  mike    

  • bspangler47
    bspangler47 Member Posts: 145
    wolfen said:

    Rising Insurance Costs

    I will probably always complain about insurance premiums, but without insurance we would already be in the street.

    Being older, we have Medicare(hubby has had it for many years, due to disability), and we have UHC(from my former career). Like others, we have a $1,000($3,000 family) deductible with office co-pays. I also make payment arrangements with various doctors & institutions. Since the first of the year, hubby has 102 claims and the deductible has been met. We also have a mail in pharmacy program for long term meds & I find that Walmart is sometimes cheaper.

    Selling the "farm" would not be an option for us, as the farm has drowned. I do like the idea of the free medical coverage utilized in other countries, but am not familiar with the quality of coverage offered. As far as I know, those of you that have this option are happy with it. Hubby has taken a few supplements over the years(pre-cancer) and they were not too hard on the budget. I have just resigned myself to the fact that I will never be debt free, will lose my home in the future & this is how we must live to survive. This is not meant to be a depressing statement, just a reality.

    Luv,

    Wolfen

    insurance/alternative

    hi, its been a few months since i have posted.   i am retired military n have tricare plus medicare n i am covered the VA.  i feel very fortunate to have  the coverage.  i wished i would of looked more into the alternative route in 2009.  i will be looking into the alternative route.

  • luvinlife2
    luvinlife2 Member Posts: 172
    Costs of therapies

    I am so very grateful that we do not have to pay the actual cost of conventional therapies, simply the insurance premiums.  If not for health insurance, we would have been bankrupt years ago and I'd probably be dead right now.  The cost of chemo is outrageous when compared to any alternative treatment.  My cancer agency has invested almost 1.5 million in my conventional therapies over the past 4.5 years.  I think it's absolutely criminal that the drug companies accept donated money for research and then charge such ridiculous prices...especially since there are no guarantees that chemo will work.  In fact, if it wasn't for insurance or government assistance or government health care, conventional therapies would be out of the financial reach for most of us here.

    Alternative therapies are cheap in comparison to surgeries, chemo, radiation, hospitals etc.  I don't know why everyone keeps going on about how expensive they are.  Maybe because most of us don't pay out of pocket for conventional treatments?   How many of us have a few hundred thousand sitting in the bank waiting to pay for the next hipec treatment, or liver resection?   What would you do if you had to pay out of pocket for your cyberknife, your folfox, your folfori or your avastin?  How long do you think it would take before the house was up for sale?  I wouldn't even have got to the chemo because we would have had to sell after my initial surgeries and hospital stay.

    I don't and won't, begrudge anyone's choices in how they choose to treat their cancer.  It is personal and not for me to judge.  Normally I stay out of these conversations but it's offensive to keep reading statements that those of us who choose to use alternatives are overspending our budgets or our treatments are a huge waste of money.  Honestly, I don't understand why anyone would say things like that.  It's my business how I spend my money and if I want to try alternatives that may help me through this disease then I should be able to do so and not have to read posts that try to make me feel stupid because I choose to spend my money on something different.  I'm not rich by any means.  It's about making choices and sacrifices.  Our house renos are on hold while I try to stay alive.  My husband and kids want me here more than a new kitchen and deck.  So if my Vit C iv's give me more energy and make me feel better after chemo that I can continue to live a decent life (and cook dinner...lol) then it's worth every penny.  Thankfully, my husband and kids don't think I'm a waste of money.

    I won't put down TCM despite the fact that it didn't do a thing for me.  It also cost me a lot more than my vit c iv's and other supplements.  Obviously costs vary depending on where one lives.   I would never tell anyone not to try TCM based on my experience or what I paid.  That would be irresponsible as who's to say it won't work for someone else? 

    To make insinuations that people who chose the alternative path are affluent or have excessive wealth is just wrong.   I've been doing alternative treatments for the past three years and we live on one income.  We found ways to make it work.  Cancer doesn't care what your financial situation is, rich or poor.  One person here is blessed with the financial ability to seek treatments that are not available in his country and he's continually ridiculed for it.  Put down by the same people who are equally blessed with great insurance that paid for their extensive treatments including incredibly complicated cutting edge surgeries...all available in their own country.  It makes me wonder if Pete had sought out conventional treatment in North America (treatment he couldn't get at home) would people be making such a big deal about how much money he would have spent on state of the art surgeries, treatments etc. 

    I would say to anyone who is interested in alternatives, start out small and don't do too much at once.  Find a reputable Doctor who has a clinic.  Do some research.  Alternatives don't have to break the bank account.  :)

  • lilacbrroller
    lilacbrroller Member Posts: 412

    Costs of therapies

    I am so very grateful that we do not have to pay the actual cost of conventional therapies, simply the insurance premiums.  If not for health insurance, we would have been bankrupt years ago and I'd probably be dead right now.  The cost of chemo is outrageous when compared to any alternative treatment.  My cancer agency has invested almost 1.5 million in my conventional therapies over the past 4.5 years.  I think it's absolutely criminal that the drug companies accept donated money for research and then charge such ridiculous prices...especially since there are no guarantees that chemo will work.  In fact, if it wasn't for insurance or government assistance or government health care, conventional therapies would be out of the financial reach for most of us here.

    Alternative therapies are cheap in comparison to surgeries, chemo, radiation, hospitals etc.  I don't know why everyone keeps going on about how expensive they are.  Maybe because most of us don't pay out of pocket for conventional treatments?   How many of us have a few hundred thousand sitting in the bank waiting to pay for the next hipec treatment, or liver resection?   What would you do if you had to pay out of pocket for your cyberknife, your folfox, your folfori or your avastin?  How long do you think it would take before the house was up for sale?  I wouldn't even have got to the chemo because we would have had to sell after my initial surgeries and hospital stay.

    I don't and won't, begrudge anyone's choices in how they choose to treat their cancer.  It is personal and not for me to judge.  Normally I stay out of these conversations but it's offensive to keep reading statements that those of us who choose to use alternatives are overspending our budgets or our treatments are a huge waste of money.  Honestly, I don't understand why anyone would say things like that.  It's my business how I spend my money and if I want to try alternatives that may help me through this disease then I should be able to do so and not have to read posts that try to make me feel stupid because I choose to spend my money on something different.  I'm not rich by any means.  It's about making choices and sacrifices.  Our house renos are on hold while I try to stay alive.  My husband and kids want me here more than a new kitchen and deck.  So if my Vit C iv's give me more energy and make me feel better after chemo that I can continue to live a decent life (and cook dinner...lol) then it's worth every penny.  Thankfully, my husband and kids don't think I'm a waste of money.

    I won't put down TCM despite the fact that it didn't do a thing for me.  It also cost me a lot more than my vit c iv's and other supplements.  Obviously costs vary depending on where one lives.   I would never tell anyone not to try TCM based on my experience or what I paid.  That would be irresponsible as who's to say it won't work for someone else? 

    To make insinuations that people who chose the alternative path are affluent or have excessive wealth is just wrong.   I've been doing alternative treatments for the past three years and we live on one income.  We found ways to make it work.  Cancer doesn't care what your financial situation is, rich or poor.  One person here is blessed with the financial ability to seek treatments that are not available in his country and he's continually ridiculed for it.  Put down by the same people who are equally blessed with great insurance that paid for their extensive treatments including incredibly complicated cutting edge surgeries...all available in their own country.  It makes me wonder if Pete had sought out conventional treatment in North America (treatment he couldn't get at home) would people be making such a big deal about how much money he would have spent on state of the art surgeries, treatments etc. 

    I would say to anyone who is interested in alternatives, start out small and don't do too much at once.  Find a reputable Doctor who has a clinic.  Do some research.  Alternatives don't have to break the bank account.  :)

    off label vs CAM vs not yet approved in the US

    I've been thinking about treatments and these discussions, and I separate the three above. 

    I live in the US, so conventional treatment to me means surgery, radiation, and FDA approved chemo/bioagents.  (a)

    Alternative to me means herbs, supplements, vitamins, diet and other treatments that aren't surgery radiation and FDA approved products. (b)

    In addition, we can go abroad for treatments that are approved by other jurisdictions (ie the EU) but not yet approved in the US.  (c)

    Or, we can stay in the US or go abroad for drugs used off-label, which most insurance plans won't pay for, requiring patients to use their own funds.  Chemo sensitivity testing is a large part of this process, to determine (outside of the body) which drugs best attack the tumor. And I suppose so is gene sequencing and custom made chemo.  (d)

    Or, we can participate in clinical trials (e)

    (a) and (b) are doable to varying degrees for those of us with insurance and modest income; (e) as well, although travel costs might be an issue.  (c) and (d) may be out of reach for most of us.  People with the means have all  options to choose from, and probably even more.

    I'm risk averse by nature, so (c) and (d) dont initially appeal to me, but I would like more information about the science of (d). Steve Jobs did (b) and (d) and it didn't work but he started treatment too late.  

    I'm using a combination of (a) and (b); I might sell the farm and go for (c). (d) scares the crap out of me and seems too risky. I was rejected by two trials but haven't given up on (e).

     

    Karin

  • devotion10
    devotion10 Member Posts: 623

    If

    If I feel someone's post '' INSENSITIVE'', I would close my eyes by not looking at what one has to say....

    Kindly request we do not take this post in that direction

    There have been many discussions through the years as to whether we should request the tone of posts to feel safe for all members or whether we look the other way when a member says inflammatory things.  

    Forgive me if it sounds like I am trying to censor your comment, I do not mean to -- you have every right to post your thoughts -- but, maybe it would be best to start a new thread and those who wish to repond may.

    Thank you. -- Cynthia

     

  • wawaju04976
    wawaju04976 Member Posts: 316
    Great to see the doctors

    Great to see the doctors starting to put a little pressure on these drug companies...

     

    http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/cancer-doctors-protest-astronomical-drug-costs

  • John23
    John23 Member Posts: 2,122

    Costs of therapies

    I am so very grateful that we do not have to pay the actual cost of conventional therapies, simply the insurance premiums.  If not for health insurance, we would have been bankrupt years ago and I'd probably be dead right now.  The cost of chemo is outrageous when compared to any alternative treatment.  My cancer agency has invested almost 1.5 million in my conventional therapies over the past 4.5 years.  I think it's absolutely criminal that the drug companies accept donated money for research and then charge such ridiculous prices...especially since there are no guarantees that chemo will work.  In fact, if it wasn't for insurance or government assistance or government health care, conventional therapies would be out of the financial reach for most of us here.

    Alternative therapies are cheap in comparison to surgeries, chemo, radiation, hospitals etc.  I don't know why everyone keeps going on about how expensive they are.  Maybe because most of us don't pay out of pocket for conventional treatments?   How many of us have a few hundred thousand sitting in the bank waiting to pay for the next hipec treatment, or liver resection?   What would you do if you had to pay out of pocket for your cyberknife, your folfox, your folfori or your avastin?  How long do you think it would take before the house was up for sale?  I wouldn't even have got to the chemo because we would have had to sell after my initial surgeries and hospital stay.

    I don't and won't, begrudge anyone's choices in how they choose to treat their cancer.  It is personal and not for me to judge.  Normally I stay out of these conversations but it's offensive to keep reading statements that those of us who choose to use alternatives are overspending our budgets or our treatments are a huge waste of money.  Honestly, I don't understand why anyone would say things like that.  It's my business how I spend my money and if I want to try alternatives that may help me through this disease then I should be able to do so and not have to read posts that try to make me feel stupid because I choose to spend my money on something different.  I'm not rich by any means.  It's about making choices and sacrifices.  Our house renos are on hold while I try to stay alive.  My husband and kids want me here more than a new kitchen and deck.  So if my Vit C iv's give me more energy and make me feel better after chemo that I can continue to live a decent life (and cook dinner...lol) then it's worth every penny.  Thankfully, my husband and kids don't think I'm a waste of money.

    I won't put down TCM despite the fact that it didn't do a thing for me.  It also cost me a lot more than my vit c iv's and other supplements.  Obviously costs vary depending on where one lives.   I would never tell anyone not to try TCM based on my experience or what I paid.  That would be irresponsible as who's to say it won't work for someone else? 

    To make insinuations that people who chose the alternative path are affluent or have excessive wealth is just wrong.   I've been doing alternative treatments for the past three years and we live on one income.  We found ways to make it work.  Cancer doesn't care what your financial situation is, rich or poor.  One person here is blessed with the financial ability to seek treatments that are not available in his country and he's continually ridiculed for it.  Put down by the same people who are equally blessed with great insurance that paid for their extensive treatments including incredibly complicated cutting edge surgeries...all available in their own country.  It makes me wonder if Pete had sought out conventional treatment in North America (treatment he couldn't get at home) would people be making such a big deal about how much money he would have spent on state of the art surgeries, treatments etc. 

    I would say to anyone who is interested in alternatives, start out small and don't do too much at once.  Find a reputable Doctor who has a clinic.  Do some research.  Alternatives don't have to break the bank account.  :)

    Luvinlife2 –

     

    Re:

    To make insinuations that people who chose the alternative path are affluent or have excessive wealth is just wrong.   I've been doing alternative treatments for the past three years and we live on one income.  We found ways to make it work.“

     

    I suppose I oughta’ clarify something?

     

    There was no “insinuation”; it was a simple statement of fact. We had an individual that had continually made claims that what he is doing is the only thing that will work against cancer. The costs that cited were excessive for the majority of cancer victims.

     

    When we read about the tales of other spending a fortune on “alternatives”; on things like “grape seed extract” and “scorpion venom”; things that most of us would have a difficult time paying for, it develops the notion that all “alternatives” cost a lot of money to try. The fact is, it isn’t the case at all.

     

    There were claims that “TCM” didn’t work…. and to my suggestion that perhaps that the specific TCM physician was not as qualified as another TCM physicians might be, was met with a vengeance: how dare I suggest that!

     

    The truth is, that there are very competent physicians of every modality, and there probably more that are incompetent than there are competent. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a surgeon, oncologist, or TCM practitioner,

    there are good and bad in every field, licensed or not.

     

    My wife went to two different “TCM practitioners” while we lived in Massachusetts; neither one helped much, and both charged more than a standard physician’s visit. The TCM practitioner here in Melbourne Florida has treated local physicians successfully for various maladies. My wife did well with him, and he’s resolved my problems with AF, kidney stones, blood clots, etc… So yes, not all physicians are created equal. Some are better at diagnosis that others, some pay attention to their patients, while others seem to pay attention to their bank account more.

     

    We all choose the paths we take, and we all hope we chose the right one; the path that worked for me, might be the rockiest path for someone else. But we will never know what will work or not, unless we try!

     

    And that’s “my beef”. If the cost of “alternatives” that are said to work by some individuals is extremely high, those reading about it will assume they can’t afford an alternative that works.

     

    And…… there are too few of us out here that stick around long enough repeating the truth, to really matter against those that denounce the inexpensive treatments.

     

    It’s frustrating enough, that we’ve had two “juicing” advocates leave this forum. And the one or two other TCM  advocates that had posted to this forum, gave up and left long ago.

     

    It’s more than frustrating to me, to see so many suffering, yet so unwilling to try something that’s been around nearly four thousand years, and has worked for various maladies for billions upon billions of humans that entire time……. A science that is only now, starting to be taken seriously by the major cancer centers….

     

    No, there are no guarantees with using any “alternative”, but your favorite oncologist will tell you the same thing about chemo and radiation. There are no guarantees, period.

     

    But….. there are less costly means to an end, than some seem to avoid talking about.

     

     

    My hopes for everyone’s better health,

     

    John

     

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571

    Costs of therapies

    I am so very grateful that we do not have to pay the actual cost of conventional therapies, simply the insurance premiums.  If not for health insurance, we would have been bankrupt years ago and I'd probably be dead right now.  The cost of chemo is outrageous when compared to any alternative treatment.  My cancer agency has invested almost 1.5 million in my conventional therapies over the past 4.5 years.  I think it's absolutely criminal that the drug companies accept donated money for research and then charge such ridiculous prices...especially since there are no guarantees that chemo will work.  In fact, if it wasn't for insurance or government assistance or government health care, conventional therapies would be out of the financial reach for most of us here.

    Alternative therapies are cheap in comparison to surgeries, chemo, radiation, hospitals etc.  I don't know why everyone keeps going on about how expensive they are.  Maybe because most of us don't pay out of pocket for conventional treatments?   How many of us have a few hundred thousand sitting in the bank waiting to pay for the next hipec treatment, or liver resection?   What would you do if you had to pay out of pocket for your cyberknife, your folfox, your folfori or your avastin?  How long do you think it would take before the house was up for sale?  I wouldn't even have got to the chemo because we would have had to sell after my initial surgeries and hospital stay.

    I don't and won't, begrudge anyone's choices in how they choose to treat their cancer.  It is personal and not for me to judge.  Normally I stay out of these conversations but it's offensive to keep reading statements that those of us who choose to use alternatives are overspending our budgets or our treatments are a huge waste of money.  Honestly, I don't understand why anyone would say things like that.  It's my business how I spend my money and if I want to try alternatives that may help me through this disease then I should be able to do so and not have to read posts that try to make me feel stupid because I choose to spend my money on something different.  I'm not rich by any means.  It's about making choices and sacrifices.  Our house renos are on hold while I try to stay alive.  My husband and kids want me here more than a new kitchen and deck.  So if my Vit C iv's give me more energy and make me feel better after chemo that I can continue to live a decent life (and cook dinner...lol) then it's worth every penny.  Thankfully, my husband and kids don't think I'm a waste of money.

    I won't put down TCM despite the fact that it didn't do a thing for me.  It also cost me a lot more than my vit c iv's and other supplements.  Obviously costs vary depending on where one lives.   I would never tell anyone not to try TCM based on my experience or what I paid.  That would be irresponsible as who's to say it won't work for someone else? 

    To make insinuations that people who chose the alternative path are affluent or have excessive wealth is just wrong.   I've been doing alternative treatments for the past three years and we live on one income.  We found ways to make it work.  Cancer doesn't care what your financial situation is, rich or poor.  One person here is blessed with the financial ability to seek treatments that are not available in his country and he's continually ridiculed for it.  Put down by the same people who are equally blessed with great insurance that paid for their extensive treatments including incredibly complicated cutting edge surgeries...all available in their own country.  It makes me wonder if Pete had sought out conventional treatment in North America (treatment he couldn't get at home) would people be making such a big deal about how much money he would have spent on state of the art surgeries, treatments etc. 

    I would say to anyone who is interested in alternatives, start out small and don't do too much at once.  Find a reputable Doctor who has a clinic.  Do some research.  Alternatives don't have to break the bank account.  :)

    Hmm...Pete's threads

    have typically been filled with people (myself included) being very supportive of him.  I don't think he's been "continually" riduculed by any means.

    He did get some flack for calling people here at CSN "sheep", stating that we don't "care" about our own survival because we don't jump on an airplane and follow his example, comparing people eating sugar to heroin addicts, and numerous other inflammatory comments.

    It's not the specifics of Pete's journey that bother me.  It's all the unkind editorializing of virtually every other cancer patient in the world that I find disurbing.

    AA

  • luvinlife2
    luvinlife2 Member Posts: 172
    John23 said:

    Luvinlife2 –

     

    Re:

    To make insinuations that people who chose the alternative path are affluent or have excessive wealth is just wrong.   I've been doing alternative treatments for the past three years and we live on one income.  We found ways to make it work.“

     

    I suppose I oughta’ clarify something?

     

    There was no “insinuation”; it was a simple statement of fact. We had an individual that had continually made claims that what he is doing is the only thing that will work against cancer. The costs that cited were excessive for the majority of cancer victims.

     

    When we read about the tales of other spending a fortune on “alternatives”; on things like “grape seed extract” and “scorpion venom”; things that most of us would have a difficult time paying for, it develops the notion that all “alternatives” cost a lot of money to try. The fact is, it isn’t the case at all.

     

    There were claims that “TCM” didn’t work…. and to my suggestion that perhaps that the specific TCM physician was not as qualified as another TCM physicians might be, was met with a vengeance: how dare I suggest that!

     

    The truth is, that there are very competent physicians of every modality, and there probably more that are incompetent than there are competent. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a surgeon, oncologist, or TCM practitioner,

    there are good and bad in every field, licensed or not.

     

    My wife went to two different “TCM practitioners” while we lived in Massachusetts; neither one helped much, and both charged more than a standard physician’s visit. The TCM practitioner here in Melbourne Florida has treated local physicians successfully for various maladies. My wife did well with him, and he’s resolved my problems with AF, kidney stones, blood clots, etc… So yes, not all physicians are created equal. Some are better at diagnosis that others, some pay attention to their patients, while others seem to pay attention to their bank account more.

     

    We all choose the paths we take, and we all hope we chose the right one; the path that worked for me, might be the rockiest path for someone else. But we will never know what will work or not, unless we try!

     

    And that’s “my beef”. If the cost of “alternatives” that are said to work by some individuals is extremely high, those reading about it will assume they can’t afford an alternative that works.

     

    And…… there are too few of us out here that stick around long enough repeating the truth, to really matter against those that denounce the inexpensive treatments.

     

    It’s frustrating enough, that we’ve had two “juicing” advocates leave this forum. And the one or two other TCM  advocates that had posted to this forum, gave up and left long ago.

     

    It’s more than frustrating to me, to see so many suffering, yet so unwilling to try something that’s been around nearly four thousand years, and has worked for various maladies for billions upon billions of humans that entire time……. A science that is only now, starting to be taken seriously by the major cancer centers….

     

    No, there are no guarantees with using any “alternative”, but your favorite oncologist will tell you the same thing about chemo and radiation. There are no guarantees, period.

     

    But….. there are less costly means to an end, than some seem to avoid talking about.

     

     

    My hopes for everyone’s better health,

     

    John

     

    I can see clearly now....

    John, thanks for your clarification.  Here's what bothers me:

    "There’s one thing that bothered (and still bothers) me about all the “alternatives” presented on these forums: It’s the cost of the “alternatives” and “supplements” that so many are overspending their budgets on."

    This is typical of the generalizations you and others here have made toward those of us who chose to use alternative treatments.  The only fact here is that you know nothing about my budget matters or any of the "many" you refer to.   In fact, I would further venture to guess that the only budget you are privy to on this board is your own, so how can you possibly make a statement that so many of us using alternatives are overspending our budgets?  Your erroneous statment alone, gives one the impression that alternatives and supplements are expensive and unaffordable, and that those of us who choose to go that path are spending beyond our means.   This is the kind of thing that drives people like myself away from this board.  All these little "digs" that quite frankly, get old after awhile.

     

    "And that’s “my beef”. If the cost of “alternatives” that are said to work by some individuals is extremely high, those reading about it will assume they can’t afford an alternative that works."

    Seriously???   I think your assumption of people, especially "those" of us reading these posts is quite wrong.  I think we are a lot smarter than what you seem to be willing to give us credit for.   I could be completely wrong, but in my opinion, the folks who have found this place are probably also the kind willing to spend the time to investigate a treatment that sounds promising despite what one person has spent.   There are a lot of very intelligent people here who are quite capable of digesting information and making decisions for themselves. 

    Personally, I don't care if someone wants to spend thousands of dollars or 30 dollars on a treatment.  I care about whether or not it is working for that person and I am always so happy for people when they have found something that helps in their management of cancer.   I don't come here to push my treatments like some, nor have I ever criticized someone else's choices although mine have been ridiculed many times.

    So there was one individual who made a few empassioned statements that he probably should have kept to himself.  He wasn't the first person guilty of this but he certainly was he called out on it, wasn't he?    However, despite that, it appears according to so many posts his biggest sin is the amount of money he's paid for his alternative treatments.  No doubt, if his treatments hadn't worked, you and others would be madly posting about how much money he wasted on his alternative choices.  Interestingly enough, no one ever makes a post about the billions of dollars spent on conventional medicine as being a waste of money when the surgeries, radiation and chemo don't work.  Sadly, another person has left the building taking with him all his interesting info of other options for cancer treatments.  Just like the juicing.

    Re: TCM...while I do believe there are many benefits to be had both with disease and general health issues, I have yet to meet or hear of one person who has been completely cured from their stage 4 cancer diagnosis without any type of other medical intervention.  Unfortunately, the people I know personally who made the decision to completely rely on TCM to cure their late stage cancer have passed on.  My cancer clinic is full of immigrants from China who believe conventional medicine will cure their cancer rather than the traditional medicine of their homeland.  Go figure.