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4:07 PM Thu, Jan. 17th

Community View | It’s too bad, when fighting cancer, institutions won’t think outside the box

A few weeks ago I read Claire Whitley’s heart-wrenching account of her grandmother’s ovarian cancer which eventually took her life. Through the years cancer has taken the lives of many Americans whether rich, poor, famous, white, black, brown, and even some of those scoundrels we call politicians. The disease doesn’t seem to be choosy about who its victims are going to be.

A couple of years ago I became a victim when my doctor told me I had prostate cancer.

He told me I had three choices in dealing with this dreaded invasion to my body. I could go the chemotherapy route, have all the cancer cut out, or do nothing. So with my outlook on life dragging on the floor I went home to ponder the idea of which of the three choices I would select.

Having worked on the fire department years ago, I made frequent trips to the hospital with patients. I saw the many devastating results from chemo. These patients had lost most of their hair, but the thing that shocked me the most was their weakened condition due to the chemo and not the cancer. These people were in such bad shape that their immune system was probably open to anything else bad that should come their way. Remembering this time in my life, I decided to vote no to chemo.

Next on the list was to be operated on and have a doctor cut out all the bad stuff. Hey, wait a minute, stop the bus, and hit the brakes. That’s my good stuff they were talking about cutting out. As a married man that wasn’t an option. Sorry fellas, no dice. Put your sharp knives away.

The last choice was to do nothing, but I didn’t like that idea either. My first blood test resulted in a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test score of 7.3, and then three months later the PSA had risen to 7.9, which meant the cancer was increasing. The PSA is a part of a blood test which determines cancer rate.

Well, I’m not the type to lie down and let the grim reaper come calling, so with my wife’s help I decided to do some research. Medical science didn’t offer the choices I wanted, so I went elsewhere.

The nutritional route seemed like it might help. I felt I would have a better chance if I strengthened my body with vitamins and herbs rather than weaken myself with chemo. Sure, chemo kills some cancers, but many times the patient goes, too.

While searching through the internet I found this guy pushing vitamins and herbs. He claimed that ginger root would get rid of prostate cancer.

When I read the first part of his report I thought to myself, “Yea, and I’m Santa Claus,” but as I read on this guy went into great detail on how ginger root will cause the cancer cells to actually eat each other. Well, call me gullible or maybe desperate because after reading the rest of the report I rushed right over to the health food store and bought a couple bottles of ginger root. After taking the ginger root, one tablet daily for three months, I had another blood test.

This time the PSA was 6.2.

The doctor looked at my chart with a bewildered look and said , “Your PSA went down. It generally continues to go up.”

I wasn’t bewildered at all. My lifestyle and diet had not changed except for the addition of the ginger root. When I told the doctor it was the ginger root he looked at me in disbelief.

I wasn’t offended that he didn’t believe me. When future doctors go to medical school they are taught medical procedures. They aren’t allowed to think out of the box, none of this alternative stuff. The American Cancer Society for years has been putting ads on TV telling us a cure is just around the corner. Really? How many years have they been throwing that fable out to the public?

Through my research, I found that for every dollar they receive, only one cent goes for research. One penny.

The rest of that dollar is spent on ads, fat cat salaries and office expenses. They are big business. If a cure was found today they would be out of business.

Once in a while we hear about alternative treatments for cancer. Remember Laetrile? That got hushed up.

The CBS Sunday morning show had a young Asian-American girl who wrote out on a chalk board the cure for cancer. No one investigated it, and we never heard about her again.

There have been other studies. A doctor claimed that by laughing, a body chemical was released and fought cancer cells. At first look that seems a little far out, but look what stress does to the body. As crazy as some of these treatments sound, we the public never heard if they worked. They were hushed up.

The American Cancer Society is not about to let go of the golden goose, too much money involved. When cancer strikes I’m afraid we are on our own.

For me, I think the ginger root is working. My latest PSA is 4.0. My doctor is probably still a little skeptical, but his parting words gave me a lift, he said, “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

I hope those of you who are in the same boat I was in will do some research.

I’d like to think this letter helped some of you.