Dr. Ian Gawler, a veterinarian, suffered from osteogenic sarcoma (a form of bone cancer) of the right leg when he was 24 in 1975. Treatment of the cancer required amputation of the right leg. After completing treatment he was found to have lumps in his groin. His oncologist at the time was confident this was local spread from the original cancer, which is highly aggressive. Gawler later developed lung and other lesions as well, and was given 6 months to live due to his metastatic disease.
Gawler decided to embark on an alternative treatment regimen, involving coffee enemas, a vegetarian diet, and meditation. Eventually he was completely cured of his terminal metastatic cancer. He has since become Australia’s most famous cancer survivor, promoting his alternative approach to cancer treatment, has published five books, and now runs the Gawler Foundation.
At least, that is the story he believes. There is one major problem with this medical tale, however – while the original cancer was confirmed by biopsy, the subsequent lesions were not. His oncologist at the time, Dr. John Doyle, assumed the new lesions were metastatic disease and never performed a biopsy. It was highly probable Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*
Severe osteoarthritis of the hands
One of my patients came to see me today with severe right knee pain. This is not a new problem, and in fact, we have been dealing with flare ups of her osteoarthritis for years. It mainly affects her knees and hands and today her right knee was swollen and felt like the “bone was rubbing together” with each step. She could hardly walk because of the pain.
Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis and it is one of the most common maladies of aging joints, affecting millions of people. The cartilage in joints wears down and inflammation causes the bones to build up spurs and small micro tears. It affects women more than men and the cause is unknown. There are likely genetic factors as it tends to run in families. Arthritis can occur in any joint but the most common are the fingers, wrists, hips, neck and spine and knees. Stiffness (especially in the morning) and pain are the main symptoms that limit mobility.
You can see Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
You may have heard that AF is a tough disease to understand. Questions far outnumber answers.
What causes AF?
Why do some not feel it at all, while others are incapacitated?
What’s the best treatment? Drugs? Ablation? Surgery? No treatment?
Should I take a blood thinner…and which one?
Where should one go for the best AF care?
This short email from a reader captures the essence of AF support group mayhem: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
Talking About Side Effects With Your Health Care Team
Side effects may occur with any new treatment, including new medications, placement of a new medical device, surgery, or even physical or occupational therapy. We usually think of side effects when we begin to experience bad changes —when the treatment introduces new worrisome symptoms or problems. Most treatments have some sort of side effect associated with them, and many of us may wonder if side effects are simply the price we must pay for a necessary treatment.
But side effects shouldn’t be taken lightly, for a number of reasons. At their most extreme, side effects raise the alarm when you are having harmful and even potentially fatal treatment reactions. Even somewhat mild side effects like a dry mouth, sleepiness, or minor muscle aches may still interfere with your daily life. Sometimes side effects bother some people so much that they skip doses or give up a treatment altogether, which can derail care and put them at risk for both short- and long-term complications.
Before treatment begins, here are a few questions you can discuss with your health care team: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Prepared Patient Forum: What It Takes Blog*
The word “cancer” strikes fear in everyone who is told they have it. It conjures up images of a fast-moving, life-threatening disease.
That isn’t necessarily the case for men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer. More than half of them have a type of cancer that is confined to the prostate gland and that grows so slowly it will never affect their health or their lives. Yet almost 90% of men told they have prostate cancer opt for immediate treatment with surgery or radiation therapy—which often cause trouble getting or keeping an erection and an assortment of urinary problems.
Two weeks ago, a panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health recommended that many men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer be closely monitored, and that treatment be delayed until there was evidence that the disease was progressing.
“It’s clear that many men would benefit from delaying treatment,” Dr. Patricia A. Ganz, conference panel chairperson and director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California in Los Angeles, said in a statement, adding that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*