One of the most common questions to a cancer treatment facility from a
cancer patient is “What is the success rate? Can you imagine what
would happen if a doctor turned that question around on patients and asked,
“what do you think your chance of survival is? What is your plan
in this healing partnership?” Patients do have choices of how they
treat their body, and many of them can greatly influence how your health
changes throughout the cancer fight.
The antagonist to a success rate is the mortality rate; this is a dark,
scary number to think about. Rather, it is important to realize that both
are rudimentary numbers, and just like with any other statistic, it is
important to consider the
variables that factor into calculating them. Don’t let a number define you,
your strength, or your future.
The Uniqueness of Cancer Treatments
Cancer is, by definition, recognized as “a disease in which abnormal
cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue;” it can occur
through many different host sites, such as the heart, skin, bone, or breast.
However, each type of cancer – from location to the stage –
is innately unique and features principles that differentiate it from
other types. Similarly, there is no “one size fits all” for
treating cancer. Chemotherapy is often the first term that comes to mind
when one thinks of how to treat cancer, but it is not that simple or straightforward.
Treating cancer is complex; there are many factors that go into creating
a treatment plan, and rarely is there a one- step system in place because
there are a lot of variables to account for. For example, “cells
within a tumor will also interact with healthy cells in neighboring tissues,
bones, blood cells, connective tissues and so on. The shape and structure
of a tumor can also affect how cells within the tumor, and hence the tumor
itself, behave: cells can be compressed by other rapidly dividing cells,
or cells at the middle of the tumor can be starved of oxygen and so have
to activate new metabolic pathways.” As such, your doctor will work with you, incorporating variables including
your medical history, genetic predispositions, among others to determine
a plan that works best for you. This may include medicines to strengthen
your immune system, and targeted therapies specifically designed to combat
and “block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific
molecules ("molecular targets") that are involved in the growth,
progression, and spread of cancer.” Again, cancer is not a uniform disease and neither are the treatments
designed to combat it. They are designed with
you, the patient and fighter, in mind and are the tools that will best help
you fight the disease in your own unique way.
The Uniqueness of You
You are unique, and you are special. This includes your personality, your
physical and genetic composition, as well as your medical history. No
one is a carbon copy of another; even identical twins, who have the same
DNA, grow and create individual emotional identities, thus making them
unique in their own way. Some people have certain drug sensitivities,
whereas others do not. Some people have pre-existing conditions, like
hemophilia, that might affect how they respond to certain medical treatments
or procedures. When compiling statistics, all of these individual, minute details are
not included. Statistics are meant to capture the big picture –
a generalization by which larger conclusions can be drawn. Some that are
reported are even globally inclusive, meaning they summarize distinctions
that take the entire world into account. When looking at such data reports, it is natural to feel overwhelmed.
These statistics are meant to be educational, or serve as broad guidelines. They are
not meant to be your personal compass: they do not take into account your
medical history, inner strength, or ability to fight medical battles, in mind.
Fighting Beyond any Statistic
There is so much more to fighting cancer than chemotherapy. We at CMN offer many
therapies, including but not limited to dendritic cell therapy, bone marrow stem
cell therapy, and ozone blood therapy, as part of a multi-dimensional
treatment plan designed to heal you physically, mentally, and spiritually.
How can a single statistic capture all of that? It can’t, so it is
important to see beyond them and take charge of your healing.
You have the power to take charge of your fight against cancer. Rather than
focus on a statistic and however it may try to measure or limit you, have
faith in yourself and that of your doctor. The patient- doctor relationship
is sacred and crucial, and they are there as a resource who want only
the best for you. Work with them, and be the captain of your team as you
all navigate the cancer journey together. Cancer treatment is a partnership
and doctors cannot make promises, but they are more educated and able
to speak accurately on your individual situation than that of a printed
Further, use your power to take healing outside of the treatment center.
Your doctors are relying on you just as you are relying on them. Simple
changes one can make that can affect treatment include having a healthier
diet, exercising, limiting alcohol intake, and eliminating smoking. Self-treatment is crucial, and education is another way in which you can
take control of your cancer journey. Being kind to yourself, and having a positive outlook can make a world
of difference. Your mental health is not mutually exclusive from your
physical health; rather, your mental attitude can greatly affect how you
physically feel, and you have complete control over that.
You have more power over cancer success than you realize.
 Elizabeth Coker. “Unravelling the complexity of cancer.” The
Institute of Cancer Research.
 “Targeted Cancer Therapies.” National Cancer Institute.
 April Kahn. “Bleeding Disorders.” 2015.
 “World Health Statistics 2010.” WHO Statistical Information (WHOSIS).
 “Stay Healthy.” American Cancer Society.
 “Attitudes and Cancer.” American Cancer Society.