How We Give Hope to Stage Four Cancer
“The cancer has progressed to Stage Four.”
This daunting prognosis is usually followed by, “There’s nothing more we can do.” But is it really time to throw in the towel and say “I give up. You win”? The truth is, although stage four cancer is a daunting opponent, there is still hope.
A large portion of patients who come to Oasis of Hope have stage four cancer. Their diagnosing physicians may have thrown up their hands and said, “We’ve done everything we can”, but at Oasis of Hope they find doctors who are eager to work with them and to fight for them as long as they are willing to fight for themselves. Here, there truly is hope for patients with stage four cancer.
What is Stage Four?
If a cancer is labeled Stage Four, it has spread from where it started to other organs throughout the body in a process called metastasis. Unless it has made its way to only one specific, accessible site, it usually means the cancer is no longer curable with localized therapies, such as surgery or radiation treatment (radiotherapy).
Chemotherapy and Cancer Cells
Some types of stage four cancers can be attacked effectively with chemotherapy, while others respond poorly to the cytotoxic drugs, which literally poison living cells. Even if the tumor shrinks or seems to disappear at first, most cancers eventually grow back more resistant to the drugs. This is because, while chemotherapy can kill a high number of tumor cells, there are still less responsive cells that can survive and grow into new chemo-resistant tumors.
Our Integrative Approach
At Oasis of Hope, we attack cancers with a number of integrative treatments that can often make cancers more responsive to chemotherapies—even those that a cancer has responded poorly to in the past. Our goal is to block the molecular mechanisms that cancers commonly use to help them survive chemotherapy while boosting the communication pathways that make cancers more vulnerable. We seek to beat devious cancers using adjuvant, or assisting, drugs and nutraceuticals, which are foods enhanced by additives that are beneficial to health.
A Promising Strategy
One particular approach we find encouraging is called epigenetic therapy, a new strategy that works to reverse so-called epigenetic changes in chromosome structure often responsible for evolution of chemo-resistance. (Epigenesis uses processes in which gene function modification occurs without changing the sequence of the DNA.) We also employ a range of other measures intended to protect the body’s healthy tissues from the ravages of chemotherapy so the patient tolerates the experience better. We work to achieve a less traumatic therapy that successfully slows tumor growth.
New Therapeutic Protocols
Some types of cancers inherently resist chemotherapies, but some potentially responsive cancers fail to respond, even when all reasonable adjuvant strategies are used. That is why Oasis of Hope has developed IRT-C and IRT-IL, new therapeutic protocols that offer genuine hope for shrinking or controlling the cancer without using cytotoxic chemotherapies.
IRT-C therapy involves intravenous infusions of large doses of vitamins C and K in an effort to induce lethal levels of oxidative stress. Basically, this stress causes an imbalance between what is called reactive oxygen and the cancer’s ability to readily detoxify or repair itself. In response to IRT-C therapy, the tumor shrinks in some, though not all cancers and is often effective in types of tumors that are typically unresponsive to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Our new IRT-IL protocol complements IRT-C with a range of measures, including daily injections of the hormone-like compound interleukin 2. Together, these therapies maximize the effectiveness of the immune system’s assault on the cancer.
Throwing Roadblocks in the Path of Cancer
Sometimes cancers continue to progress despite the best efforts of doctors and patients. Although it doesn’t always prove possible to wipe out a cancer or control its growth indefinitely, Oasis of Hop offers therapeutic resources that can help patients achieve extra months or years of high quality life.
Still, Oasis of Hope can employ a range of safe and well-tolerated approaches that can render the cancer less aggressive and throw obstacles in its path. One such measure is signal modulation therapy, which interferes with the cancer’s growth signals by slowing its progress. Another set of therapies, called anti-angiogenic strategies, suppress the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, a process vital to the spread of cancer. Immune-stimulant measures can also be taken to boost the body’s immune cells that assault cancer cells.
Mind, Body and Spirit
There is more to facing cancer than the therapeutic measures used to attack it. Oasis of Hope also looks out for the psychological and spiritual needs of its patients. Professional counseling and fellowship with other patients helps them break out of the isolation and dread so often felt with cancer. Patients can truly appreciate each day they have here on this wonderful earth, and can fully experience the tranquility and hope of their faith.
Hope Backed by Results
Recently, we analyzed our two-year survival statistics for several common stage four cancers—breast, lung, ovarian and colorectal—and have found that this is achieved decidedly higher, sometimes twice as high as those calculated by the National Cancer Institute from U.S. cancer statistics. (You can find the detailed data in our new book integrative Regulatory Therapy: A Multi-Focal Strategy for Cancer Control.) But, one death is one too many. Admittedly, we have a long way to go, but we are making progress, and we are constantly revising our therapeutic protocols in light of the latest discoveries in cancer science.
If you or a loved one have been told that nothing more can be done for stage four cancer, don’t believe it! Oasis of Hope is here to fight for you and with you every step of the way, using the most advanced and creative clinical strategies available to help ensure that whether you have months or decades left to you on earth, you will really be living!