Volume 2 Issue 4 - Nurse Patricia Peat

Originally published in October 2003 icon

Nurse Patricia Peat

Patricia Peat is a registered nurse who has combined vast experience of working in oncology with years of research into natural approaches to dealing with cancer.

Patricia runs Cancer Options a private Integrative Cancer Consultancy.

You can send your questions to Patricia c/o Health Issues Ltd. or e-mail enquiries@canceroptions.co.uk.

Cancer Options is a specialised team of practitioners providing individual consultancy and coaching into treatment and making decisions for all approaches to cancer.


October 2003


Q:
I have chosen to have a course of vitamin C and B17 intravenous cancer treatment instead of chemotherapy. My doctors have not been very supportive of this, but the chemotherapy offered me only has a 30% chance of response. I believe I will get a better result from alternative choices, without ruining my immune system in the process. Is there any way I can get the health service to fund this, using the money they would have had to spend on the chemotherapy?

A:
This is a reasonable request, grounded in common sense, patient choice and autonomy, especially as these treatment programmes cost less than chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the NHS does not often allow for choice and autonomy to influence their funding decisions.
The current regulations state that money can be made available to pay for "alternative" therapies, providing your doctors do not have a viable treatment to offer you. In reality, unless you have a very enlightened doctor, you have to firstly exhaust all orthodox options. As you may know from reading icon, most orthodox treatments cause varying degrees of immune suppression, and damage to various body systems. So the paradox is, you cannot get funding for these treatments early on, when you have the optimum opportunity of capitalising on periods of relative good health but have to wait until your cancer is becoming extensive.

The process of getting funding is done through your GP, who presents the case to your local healthcare trust. In my experience, even when there are no viable alternatives, people have still not been granted funding. I have however, recently been told by an integrated clinic that they have had some patients referred to them on diagnosis by oncologists so the message may be getting through.

Your first step should be to discuss this with your GP, and see if he will support your application - also see if support may be forthcoming from your oncology team. If not, have a word with the oncology nurses; there may be another more open-minded oncologist who can help.

This process can take a very long time, and it is unlikely to be resolved in order for you to arrange treatment soon. You may have to pay for the treatment yourself, and see if funding is forthcoming retrospectively.

Q:
I have myeloma and am monitoring various levels but have not quite got to the point where I need orthodox treatment (chemo and stemcell x-plant) yet. Compared with other patients, my early diagnosis makes me very fortunate and I have decided to see if I can do anything (preferably non-toxic) to help my own immune system fight the disease. This search has let me to Imm Kine and C Statin. I am trying to discover whether this combination could buy me more time before treatment is necessary and would welcome any further information.

A:
The short answer is yes, these products can help your body deal with myeloma and delay the need for orthodox treatment. The longer answer is that while these two products are excellent and will certainly help your immune system, you may benefit from widening your regime.

As you know, our immune systems are designed to deal with cancer cells; when they do not, there is any number of things, in a fairly long biochemical process, which may be the weak link or links. For this reason, practitioners normally recommend taking a number of supplements which act in different ways. This of course has to be tailored to the individual’s lifestyle and finances (at least until the NHS wakes up to the common sense of these approaches).

If this is your only supplement you may wish to consider adding firstly vitamin C, and some additions from the following groups: wide spectrum anti-oxidants, probiotics, and a comprehensive mix of vitamins and minerals.

Your diet should be based on mainly organic fruit and vegetables. There are some dietary regimes which have actually had outstanding success in putting myeloma into remission, most famously Gerson Therapy as used Michael Gearing-Tosh. This does make many lifestyle demands, but when successful, it is very successful.

If you go for chemotherapy, there is such you can do to protect yourself from the worst effects on your immune system (see this month’s centrefold). With Stem cell transplants, I have seen several people use high dose intravenous vitamin C therapy as immune stimulation afterwards. This has kick-started an immune system made dormant by chemotherapy, and led to a successful transplant.

Advice from The Cancer Experts - your questions answered
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