Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Surviving melanoma in Zealand (with a bit of luck)

This relates to material on the melanoma treatment situation in New Zealand, HERE

Surviving melanoma – Pam and Robin’s experience

I would like to talk a little about my own experience along with that of my partner Pam.

Both of us have been melanoma patients and both had operations done.

In Pam’s case this dates back to 15-16 years ago. She had a melanoma removed from her hand. The only follow -up was regular checkups at the hospital Within a couple of years (and within a couple of weeks of a regular checkup) she felt something wrong in her armpit. When a biopsy was done it was found that she had a secondary melanoma so she had an operation to remove her lymph glands.

The only response of the System was to have several sessions with an oncologist who gave a grim view by quoting survival statistics, but had nothing else to suggest.

In the meantime we decided not to rest on our laurels and Pam treated herself with Gerson therapy that consisted of mostly vegetable juices, a diet and coffee enemas. We were amused when Pam’s first juice coincided with a visit to the hospital; when she fainted they asked her if she had a cold (!).

As I was in practice at the time I treated her with NAET (Nambudripad’s allergy elimination technique) with, among other items an energetic copy of her tissue sample)

As luck would have it she was told about a melanoma vaccine trial being run at the Sydney Melanoma Clinic by Prof. Peter Hersey.

Oh yes, said the oncologist at the hospital, there is a trial in Queensland too (that they weren’t going to tell her about) – but that is a double blind trial.

There was no way she was going to opt for something that possibly involved a placebo so she opted for Sydney despite no encouragement from the melanoma clinic at the hospital).

Prof. Hersey was a totally different person from the Wellington people. He sent Pam back with a chilly bin full of vaccines which were administered by the nurse at the medical centre where I worked at the time. This went on for two whole years with two trips back to Sydney and with bi-monthly blood tests for the cancer antibody (which stimulates the production of T-cells that detect and fight invading cancer cells)

From all the people that had travelled to Sydney anecdotally at the time not one person had died from the disease.

Pam was eventually cleared by the Wellington hospital (with yet another spouting of statistics) and taken off the books.

Fast forward to 2013. Also through not “feeling right” about a mole on my midriff I went to a locum doctor who although initially vocally sceptical decided, on second thoughts, to remove the mole and send a tissue off to the hospital.

The tissue proved positive so I was sent off for an appointment with the surgeon.

The whole picture had completely changed.

Prof Hersey’s melanoma vaccine trial had been wound up and whereas we had previously been told that melanoma was seen as a problem of the immune system and that chemotherapy was ineffective in treating melanoma we were now fed a completely different story.

The drug companies had come up with a new generation chemotherapy and that was all that was available.

So for me there was no possibility of immunotherapy.

The only route was to have a preremtory six-monthly check-up at the hospital. After that it has been relegated to my GP (who coincidentally is a specialist in this area but had absolutely NOT HEARD, not only of Prof. Hersey’s program but of vaccines in general.

Not so my usual doctor, William, who referred me to a story from his hometown, Vancouver, about a doctor who had disciplinary action taken against him for using an unauthorised treatment (a melanoma vaccine) on a patient.

When I came to write this article I could not find anything on this although I did find this, involving a naturopath from neighabouring Washington.

As an aside it has always seemed amazing to me that a clearlly-effective (but simple) blood test for cancer bodies was OK to check progress but was not authorised as a diagnostic tool, leaving only the clearly ineffective manual check-up as the only tool – it had clearly failed Pam who picked up her secondary growth two weeks after such an examination.

The situation in New Zealand, one of two melanoma capitals in the world and where one person dies every day from melanoma, is dire.

I therefore support efforts to get government funding for the breakthrough drug treatment, Keytruda so it is available for patients generally, and not just for those with the large amounts of money to fund treatment themselves.

However I do ask myself the question of why there is no support (and little support) for effective and simple remedies such as cancer vaccines.

Why is it next to impossible to get any acknowledgement that such a treatment does, in fact exist.

I have to ask myself why Prof. Hersey’s programme at the Sydney Melanoma Clinic was discontinued.

I think I know the answer.

It reads, simply, BIG PHARMA.


P.S. Comments from Pam

I understand that any treatment of melanoma, once cancer cells have invaded the lymphatic system, blood stream and organs will probably have a low success rate.

Early detection and treatment offer the best chances of survival. Why, therefore, is the proven, effective and cost-effective immunotherpay not available for stage 1 and stage 2 melanoma patients when it could save so many lives?

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