Steve Jobs Really a Difficult Patient?
by Bill Sardi: Don’t
Read Those Black-Box Drug Label Warnings, They Will Make You Sick
The CNN article
Jobs: A Difficult Patient" provoked hundreds to comment
online. Here is a sampling of some of the responses:
- The one
man who could get the best possible treatment on earth ultimately
did not survive. What point does this prove?
- What an
idiot, he basically killed himself off by his own stupidity.
- He forgot
to try leaches – that is why he died.
Mr. Jobs survived
by nearly 9 years a slow-growing form of pancreatic cancer first
discovered in 2003. He initially shunned surgery (a drastic operation
called a Whipple procedure) which is a very trying operation for
surgeon and patient. You can get a view of this complicated operation
at the Mayo Clinic website here.
The operation involves removal of the head of the pancreas where
most tumors originate as well as removal of the gall bladder and
the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) and reconnection
of the digestive organs.
of Mr. Jobs’ decision to delay surgery appears to be unsubstantiated.
A recent study
shows average survival after surgical treatment of this type of
tumor is about 9.5 years, about the survival time achieved by Mr.
not necessarily slow tumor growth. It may or may not buy time. It
certainly does de-bulk a tumor and reduce pain and other life-threatening
problems as the tumor expands. But contrary to the CNN report, surgery
does not inhibit the spread of cancer. In fact, because surgery
provokes wound healing responses it promotes new blood vessel formation
(angiogenesis) which is how tumors obtain nutrients to grow.
In cancer surgery
there is no such thing as "got it all." If a 1-millimeter
ball of tumor cells remain after surgery that would equal 10 million
tumor cells. Surgeons will remove a wide margin of tissue from the
edge of the tumor in an attempt to remove all of the cancerous tissue
but the fact is the new blood vessels that form to feed tumors (called
angiogenesis) emanate outside the tumor zone.
medicine has no effective treatment designed to halt the spread
(metastasis) of cancer, which is the mortal form. Roaming cancer
cells can spread to other surrounding or distant organs, often the
liver (which Mr. Jobs had removed and replaced because of metastatic
tumors there) and sometimes the brain, bone, lung or other organs.
all important to optimize the immune system to generate white blood
cells known as neutrophils, macrophages and natural killer cells
to digest or destroy roaming cancer cells before they colonize at
a nearby or distant site. While immunotherapy has been called the
for cancer, virtually nothing is done to optimize the immune response
in cancer therapy today. It needs to be said that all three conventional
approaches to treating cancer impair the immune system. No one should
belittle Mr. Jobs or any other cancer patient for seeking alternative
therapies that may help restore immunity against cancer.
strategy is to inhibit adhesion of roaming tumor cells as their
movement in the blood circulation must be halted for 30 minutes
for colonization to begin. Usually metastases
develop where blood clots in small blood vessels form and block
the movement of tumor cells. There are various natural (fish oil,
garlic, resveratrol, nattokinase) and drug (blood thinners) strategies
to inhibit clotting and therefore the spread of cancer. It is not
likely Mr. Jobs ever learned of these or other science-backed alternative
strategies to beat cancer.
and invariably tumors develop resistance to chemotherapy and then
cancer must be battled without medicine and a weakened immune system.
These toxic treatments only produce temporary shrinkage of a tumor.
It is said
that Mr. Jobs practiced quirky dietary measures before and after
diagnosis of his tumor including fasting. He must have known something
was amiss inside his body. He most likely practiced fasting intuitively
rather than based upon any published science. However, it is well
known that fasting can starve tumors and is a confirmed strategy
to stave off the growth of tumors. In fact, the use of a limited
calorie diet has been shown to reduce the size and severity
of pancreatic tumors.
In regard to
the prevention and treatment of cancer in general, and pancreatic
cancer specifically, modern medicine already has identified the
primary molecular pathway that leads to cancer. It is called
the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) pathway. NF-kappa B is a
protein that binds to specific DNA sequences controlling the flow
of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA, which is how new
cells replace old.
molecules are well known NF-kappa
B inhibitors, such as molecules from spices (curcumin from turmeric),
from grapes and green tea (resveratrol, catechin) and other herbs
(silymarin from milk thistle). Because of Mr. Jobs’ interest in
alternative therapies, had he been schooled in these natural medicines
he would likely have employed them with some success. Despite the
promise of natural NF-Kappa B inhibitors, they largely are ignored,
dismissed and unused by modern medicine.
It is instructive
to learn that genistein, a molecule obtained from soybeans, inactivates
NF-Kappa B and increases the anti-tumor activity of the most commonly
employed chemotherapy drug (gemcitabine) used to treat pancreatic
cancer. In a lab dish chemotherapy killed ~25% of tumor cells whereas
if tumor cells were pre-treated with genistein 60-80% of tumor cells
killing action of gemcitabine is also enhanced when it is used in
combination with vitamin C and in cells that are totally resistant
to the drug vitamin
C inhibits tumor growth by 50%.
E succinate is yet another natural compound that exhibits strong
anti-pancreatic tumor cell activity.
It is widely
known that gemcitabine, the standard treatment for advanced pancreatic
cancer, is not very effective when employed alone. The red wine
molecule resveratrol works non-toxically to inhibit the growth of
pancreatic tumor cells and works synergistically
with gemcitabine in animal studies.
The point of
citing these scientific reports here is to show that alternative
therapies for cancer should not be dismissed outright. They have
a scientific basis and while unproven must be compared against the
"slash, burn and poison" approach of conventional cancer
care which have been repeatedly disproven. Ridiculing Mr. Jobs for
seeking alternative therapies is uncalled for.
For those individuals
who cannot possibly fathom how natural medicines can trump the best
man-made molecules, skeptics must be confronted with evidence that
some natural molecules inhibit all three stages of cancer – initiation,
growth and spread – something that no existing anti-cancer drug
can claim. The biological action of synthetically-made anti-cancer
drugs is too narrow to fully address all the challenges posed by
molecules come to mind when searching for natural medicines to address
cancer – curcumin derived from turmeric spice and resveratrol known
as a red wine molecule.
broad biological action. Researchers say curcumin exhibits "great
promise" as a therapeutic agent for cancer and it inhibits
NF-Kappa B – the pathway that leads to cancer. Unlike single-gene
targeted anti-cancer drugs like Erbitux and Herceptin, curcumin
targets many genes and is posed as an inexpensive way to address
many diseases, especially cancer.
has recently been found to cause
pancreatic cancer cells to die off without the toxicity characteristic
of chemotherapy. Unlike chemotherapy, resveratrol
does not harm normal (non-cancerous) cells in the pancreas.
have yet to be used even as adjunctive therapy for cancer, despite
promising reports of their safety and potential effectiveness.
promising molecule (IP6 phytate) from rice bran has been demonstrated
to have strong
anti-cancer activity in the pancreas. When combined with other
natural molecules (IP6 + catechin from green tea) it is even
stands out among all natural molecules in the fight against cancer.
In the late 1990s researcher John Pezzuto was commissioned by the
American Cancer Institute to scour the planet for natural molecules
that had anti-cancer action. After screening 30,000 molecules he
concluded that resveratrol (rez-vair-ah-troll), a red wine molecule,
stood out among all molecules tested. His 1997 report in Science
Magazine was widely acclaimed at the time but has been long
forgotten. It is unlikely Mr. Jobs ever learned about resveratrol,
the most promising anti-cancer molecule currently in existence.
him mail] is a frequent writer on health and political
topics. His health writings can be found at www.naturalhealthlibrarian.com.
latest book is Downsizing
© 2011 Bill Sardi Word of Knowledge Agency, San Dimas, California.
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