Vol 7 Issue 1

 Dear All at CANCERactive,
 
 I have eagerly devoured all your information on your website, in your
 magazines and in Chris’s newsletters and books for the past three-and-
 a-half years, and am immensely grateful for every word. 
 Recently I changed my email address and then realised that I wouldn’t
 be getting Chris’s newsletters anymore! So today I registered as
 though a new recipient. 
 In doing this, I saw something that is bothering me a little bit. I
 was asked what my interest is - general, family or ’cancer
 sufferer’. I know it is just one word - but ’sufferer’ took me back
 a bit. Although I have indeed suffered greatly with the various
 treatments I’ve endured - I try to be positive as far as possible. 
So - and I do hope you won’t mind me suggesting this - I wondered if
you might consider changing ’cancer sufferer’ to ’cancer patient’,
 perhaps? (At some point when you’re updating things).

 Please Please PLEASE don’t take this as a criticism. I’m probably
 only here because of you, and cannot thank you enough for all that
 you do for me through your information.
 
 Yours most sincerely,
 
 Nicolette Maybee

(Ed: Our expert, Malcolm, is on the case and has already made the change).

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Hello Mr Woollams,
Keep up the good work - I am a staunch supporter of yours!  In Feb 2003 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and took the Gerson/Plaskett route back to health after I had surgery.  I have blood work done every 3 months or so and they have been stable over the last few years.
It will be five years soon, and I was given only a 30% chance of getting there. More people need to know about these options, and even more importantly, more need to know about the successes. I attribute my success to not having any systemic therapy, despite the urgings and pleadings of the one oncologist I saw. (When 5 years comes up, I will send him a really nice card to remind him.)
I did not know about Cancer-Active when I was looking at ways of helping myself, and it was hard work getting all the information together. You offer an excellent short-cut to everything the person with cancer needs to know. 
Are you covering the research on DCA?  I have an excellent GP who prescribes Iscador and low dose Naltrexone for me. He will also prescribe Phenergan if necessary. I wonder whether he will prescribe DCA? However, that is just another option, and there are so many. Probably more than there are for the average breast cancer sufferer who choose the conventional route.
Sincere regards and very best wishes.
Jacqui Gath
Sheffield
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Dear Chris,

My mother, Julia Singh, passed away recently. You first helped her in 2000. Thank you, Chris. One thing I remember very clearly is how much hope your book ’Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’ gave her, how empowered she felt, and how that kept her going through the really bleak moments. I know how much she respected and admired you, and how much she cried when you lost your daughter.

I will of course keep spreading the message - Mum taught me that knowledge is power, and I live by that.

Best regards,

Rachael
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Hi Chris,
I am going to your talk at the Wirral with an unwilling husband who "does not want to be depressed" about talking about Cancer.   This is the man who has bowel cancer that has gone to his liver, who fought with me not to take your advice from your book, but did so anyway, "no harm in giving it a try" he says.
He is alive today because of you, not the powers that be.   The butterfly* certainly does flap her wings and what a beautiful butterfly she is.   Great big thanks to Lindsey for all the hard work that she has done and I wish her well in her new job.
Keep going Chris, you are truly an inspiration.
Pauline O’Brien
(Ed: Readers can read Chris Woollams’ piece about his daughter called the Butterfly, on /page.php?n=1814. Originally written for a book Chris felt this very personal account was probably too strong to appear in the magazine.)
**********************************************

Hi Chris

I would just like to say a big thank you to you for the encouragement and positiveness your book gave to myself and my husband John when he was
diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Your inspirational words encouraged
us to go on with a positive outlook when conventional medicine had little
effect.
Good luck in the future for whatever you do.

Best wishes

Lynne Gill
******************************************************************************************
Dear Chris
The results of my latest scan STABLE. One remaining liver lesion thought probably cystic, plus a small cluster of liver lesions more clearly detected by better equipment but not thought to be malignant, otherwise no change.
 On 19th December 2003, I was told:
 you have six months possibly a year
 chemotherapy will not effect your longevity
 you will die of this
and to expect around 3 months of quality time.
So, after basic chemotherapy and immunology, some 46 months later.. I owe a debt of gratitude to many including CANCERactive, whose magazine ’icon’ confirms much of what I heard informally and says much of what the Penny Brohn Centre believes to be helpful to the body in fighting cancer.
I say to readers if you know someone with cancer and want to help them try a subscription to icon: /shop/home.php?cat=248&join=1
From the heart thanks and best wishes to you
Ian Dixon

(Ed: People who donate over 3 pounds a month to CANCERactive via Direct Debit will receive all future copies of icon, posted direct to their UK address on day of issue).

Not all our letters are so praising. Following the last issue of icon we received the following e mail:
Dear Mr Woollams

My attention was drawn to the most recent issue of icon by a colleague, who felt that the centrefold pin-up regarding radiotherapy was "alarmist and misleading and for some patients would be contra-indicated because of their current or some co-existing condition". I obtained a copy from our Cancer Information Centre, and entirely agreed with this view. I also asked one of our Oncologists, Dr Gareth Rees, for his opinion on this and his response was that he was appalled at the content and also felt that some of your patrons would be very dismayed at their names and faces being associated with this. He confirmed that my action in requesting that the Cancer Information Centre withdraw the issue immediately was entirely appropriate and that I should make our grave concerns known to you.

Yours sincerely
Janet Crane, Radiotherapy Service Manager. Radiotherapy Department Bath; South West NHS
 
This was then followed a few days later by a curt e mail from another, saying simply ’Cancel our copies of icon’. The same reason was given the Radiotherapy centerfold.
We take this matter very seriously. We do our homework and pride ourselves on the thoroughness of our research. But we are open-minded and certainly not infallible and we are prepared to correct any point that is inaccurate or misleading. And so replied to each, encouraging them to detail exactly what was alarmist, what facts were inaccurate and to provide us with any research or evidence showing the article was factually inaccurate.
We have repeated that request 5 times to each, but receiving no replies at all.

To show readers the lengths we go to when preparing an article let me detail what we said to Janet.
The article was a ’polishing’ of one that originally ran over 3 years ago, and has been on our web site ever since. It was written and checked with reference to three US cancer web sites and 2 UK ones. The article was then sent to one of the top UK oncologists in this field and to a radiotherapy manager at a top London center. Their comments were incorporated.
The points about possible side effects are taken from recent research in the Lancet and the Lancet oncology and covered in icon Cancer Watch. If the results were ’alarmist’, we wonder what these hospitals tell their radiotherapy patients about possible side effects. Radiotherapy is ever more targeted and accurate but the beam can affect surrounding organs. My daughter had significant loss of short-term memory from her brain tumour radiotherapy; breast patients can have damage to lung and heart tissue; CancerBACKUP records on its web site that radiotherapy is not appropriate with certain cancers because of the proximity of important organs. Are we guilty for telling the truth?
The use of supplements causing conflict with Radiotherapy is an old chestnut. We have been asking for hard evidence from the critics on this for 5 years and never receive any. On the contrary we know there has been research at St Thomas’, the Royal Marsden, M.D.Anderson and UCLA all previously covered in icon - and so we told readers that supplements like selenium, astragalus, soya isoflavones can improve the success of their radiotherapy. Only recently we covered the Ralph Moss review in PUBMED on this. John Boik of the M.D.Anderson center and The experts at UCLA have all argued that certain supplements enhance radiotherapy’s killing effect on cancer cells whilst protecting the healthy ones. Should we be ignoring this evidence?
Equally after radiotherapy is finished there are certain proven supplements for re-booting the immune system. Proven? Yes, in research. And with great success in my daughter’s case they worked better than the therapies St Thomas’ Hospital provided.
To repeat: We are open-minded and will change anything where we have made an error. But our only responsibility is to Patients not to Doctors, nor Drugs companies, nor Government. Just to the People.
And if something has risks, but if certain factors can reduce the risks and improve results then we believe it is your right to know.
And if Hospitals kick out icon because it contains something a doctor doesn’t like, then this is little more than bullying. Denying patients a magazine that included such items as ’Diet Therapies that are supported by Clinical Trials’, or a Living Proof where someone used Interferon, or the latest research from all over the world on cancer seems totally improper to us. Patients can go to the Internet right now and find out the alternatives to orthodoxy better they come from a body like CANCERactive that has conducted proper, objective analysis of the research than let patients risk believing the quacks that all too often frequent the net.

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