Cancer comes in many forms, categories and stages. It affects different parts or the whole of the body, which subsequently copes in various ways. This creates difficulty in diagnosis, patient treatment planning and expectations. Conventional treatments have come a long way and it is to be hoped these days that there is enough history about the application of these treatments to particular cancers to predict outcomes.
Cancer treatments have many outcomes including cure, life extension and/or palliation (to alleviate the symptoms). Managing patient expectations is therefore one of the most important factors in diagnosis and treatment. While the Radiowave Therapy Clinic does not provide diagnostics, it has a strong commitment to ensuring patients are well informed and understand the unpredictable outcomes of the treatment. At the same time, the Clinic is extremely conscious of not undermining the fundamentals of a patient’s belief structure nor their need for conventional medicines.
Getting diagnosed with cancer is very confronting and for most, a life-changing experience. It is vital that patients understand their disease and come to terms with what it is they expect of a treatment.
No one with cancer should ever be left without hope. Some with cancer arrive at a point where their future is uncertain and they find they have limited control over their lives and their cancer treatment outcomes. So it is important for those with cancer to have reviewed all options, compared notes with others, remained informed and to have actually been a part of their treatment decisions so that they have a sense of control over the treatment undertaken and the expectations from it: cure, remission, palliation, or other.
What is cure? Basically, it is to restore health. One definition is that a person is cured if the majority of the cancer cells are killed or revert to normal cells and the patient’s immune system is at the point where their body can naturally defend against future bouts of cancer. Generally with cancer the 5-year test is applied. If there is no sign of the disease at the end of that time after treatment, then you could argue the patient is cured.
In theory, if cancer is detected at an early stage it can be cured entirely if the tumour is removed from the body. This may entail removal of the tumour, or the entire organ in which it is located. However for some cancers, such as blood or brain cancer, this is clearly not feasible.
Even when the entire tumour is removed, some cancer may remain in the body. A single cancer cell has the capacity to re-grow into a new tumour, leading to a recurrence of the cancer. For this reason, pathology of the surgical specimen is required to determine if a margin of healthy tissue is present, thus decreasing the chance that microscopic cancer cells are left in the patient.
In addition to the removal of the primary tumour, surgery is often necessary for staging, to determine the extent of the disease and whether it has metastasized to regional lymph nodes. Staging is a major determinant of prognosis and the need for adjuvant therapy.
When the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body, complete surgical excision of all the tumour sites is often impossible. Further surgery may be given palliatively to control symptoms, compression of organs and obstructions.
The following briefly summarises the conventional approach to cancer treatment starting with the Primary treatment:
- The Primary treatment refers to the treatment used first, or alone, to treat a disease. For most types of cancer this is surgery, but chemotherapy or radiotherapy are sometimes used for particular cancers. Chemotherapy or radiotherapy may also be used pre-operatively in which case they are referred to as neo-adjuvant therapy.
- Adjuvant therapy is given after the primary therapy in order to kill residual cancer cells that possibly remain in the body. This can take the form of radiotherapy, chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
- Chemotherapy is termed a systemic therapy because it affects the entire body. In some cases chemotherapy is divided into three stages called induction, consolidation and maintenance therapy.
- The purpose of the induction stage is to kill enough cancer cells to put the patient into remission, the consolidation stage is designed to kill cancer cells that have survived the first stage, while the maintenance stage aims to destroy remaining cancer cells and maintain the remission.
What is remission? It is abatement in the intensity or degree of a disease, as evidenced by the disappearing of some or all of the signs and symptoms of the disease, termed a partial, or complete, remission respectively. The disease is under control but cancer cells may still be in the body. The remission can be further classified as temporary or permanent. This then begs the question: What is the difference between permanent remission and cure? The 5-year test could possibly apply here. Matters get more complicated when one talks about life extension, not to be confused with remission.
Life extension may mean disease control, such as a slowing of its progression and this may be the best aim for some patients, especially those who have had a number of previous treatments.
Palliation can play an important role here. To palliate means to reduce the symptoms of a disease, to ease the severity of a disease or associated pain, without removing the cause.
Dr Holt argues radiowave therapy has its place with most cancers and can cure; can reduce tumours; can stabilise disease progression; can achieve remission; can bring life extension and can be a useful palliation instrument. This may be the case, as there are patients with different forms of cancer who will testify to its efficacy. The Clinic, however, can make only the claim that it can provide the treatment that Dr Holt was providing at the time of his retirement – and that it is providing it under medical supervision, with high standards of patient facilities and care.
The Clinic strongly recommends patients talk with those they trust most and share their thoughts with their medical advisors. It would have to be the patient’s decision to undertake radiowave therapy in preference to other more conventional treatments.
All too often it seems that the Clinic is treating patients as a last resort measure. It may well be that some people are not getting what they seek from conventional treatments or that the opportunity for their best results have passed. It is quite understandable that in these instances, people become open to other options like radiowave therapy. Radiowave therapy may well be able to help in a way that other treatments have not. Yet the same cautions must apply – the patient must choose the therapy through their own decision-making.
Whatever it is that you are intending to gain from whichever treatment you undertake, it is important to be realistic, have been a part of the decision-making and have sensible expectations.