Patient Testimonial – 40 year old female with breast cancer
1) When did you first visit Care Oncology Clinic and commence adjunct treatment? What led you to seek out additional treatment options?
I first visited the COC in September 2016. This was halfway through my chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer.
Despite the intended outcome of my primary cancer treatment to be curative, I was shocked by the number of women I met through support groups who had experienced a return or spread of their breast cancer in the years after completing primary treatment. I then analysed the statistics and profile of my cancer diagnosis – it suggested I also faced this risk. I simply knew I had to do more.
Dr Conte MD from the University of Padova and Istituto Oncologico Veneto, in Padova, Italy, recently stated:
“it is estimated that approximately 30% of patients presenting with non-metastatic breast cancer at the initial diagnosis will eventually relapse following standard treatments and require subsequent treatment”
I decided immediately that 30% of patients is more than just “an unlucky few” for whom primary treatment is unsuccessful. In addition, I had read that many patients acquire resistance to the long-term ongoing hormone treatments which are designed to keep the disease at bay (such as Tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors). My view was – I’ve had cancer and I’ve been treated however, why should I wait to see if the treatment worked for me and for cancer to progress to an incurable stage? After all, prevention is always better than a cure.
From here I began my own research which quickly revealed that there were indeed additional, well researched drugs that may be beneficial from an “anti-cancer” perspective that had very low toxicity to the body. I was also aware that several books on cancer drug combinations or “cocktail therapy” had been published and had gathered a following. After all, drug combinations were what helped to crack the treatment of HIV… why not cancer?
I began wondering how I could get a GP or oncologist to prescribe some of these off-label drugs when a friend shared a newspaper article about the Care Oncology Clinic. I immediately booked an appointment with them. Maybe the COC treatments could even help make my primary treatment more effective? I signed on as a patient.
My approach to treatment has been about adding in additional drugs, treatments, therapies and supplements that would provide an upside chance against tackling the cancer in my body, whilst having very little downside to my general health. Doing more and being proactive felt a lot better than the sitting duck option.
In summary, what led me to seek out treatment options? Primary cancer treatment doesn’t work for everyone. I am 40 years old with a young family. Whilst I have completed treatment for the cancer diagnosis I had, I want to do everything I can to prevent it returning to or spreading around my body. COC is helping me to do that with off-label drugs alongside the provision of expert medical oversight and monitoring. I feel extremely fortunate to have found them.
2) In your opinion, has being a patient at the Care Oncology Clinic been beneficial to you? If so, in what ways has it helped?
Yes. COC has provided me with access to safe, low toxicity, off-label drugs. The off-label drugs they prescribe all have a growing body of evidence to support their use against cancer, particularly in combination. I believe this drug protocol may provide me with a better chance of keeping my disease in remission. I am tolerating the drugs extremely well and am being actively monitored by the clinic every quarter. As part of the monitoring I get the opportunity to speak with highly qualified, open minded oncologists all of whom have excellent communication skills. This team are genuinely interested in thinking outside the box to assist patients who want to do more to prevent recurrence or to manage their disease. The data they are recording on treatment responses and different combinations could be incredibly meaningful for prolonging the lives of future patients.
3) What are your thoughts on the Care Oncology Clinic’s funding/joint venture initiatives to promote wider access to additional, evidence-based treatment?
The use of off-label drugs as part of a cancer treatment regime is very interesting and potentially very effective. I believe the promotion of the Care Oncology Clinic and they work they are doing is essential to progressing cancer treatment. Cocktail/combination therapy has proven highly effective in the management of several diseases through time (tuberculosis, HIV, leukaemia) and it’s about time that we had a committed and focused approach to using it for cancer. I sincerely hope the COC can raise the finances needed through their current campaign to continue this important work.
The collection of current patient data on off-label drugs for cancer in practice effectively becomes a “real world trial.” In addition, this data may help open the door for future patients in similar circumstances faster, rather than having to wait years for a double-blind randomised clinical trial to be conducted. There is no magic bullet for cancer and many cancer patients don’t want to wait for their disease to progress before taking greater action; I certainly didn’t. The question is – why wait to add in the COC drugs to your cancer treatment when it may potentially help whilst doing very little harm? It feels like a reasonable step to take when juxtaposed with doing nothing or rolling the dice on a clinical trial where you may end up with a placebo.