GUANGZHOU, China- A person afflicted with cancer and given a time frame of three to six months to live is left with painful options - should he seek treatment or not?
There is a third option though. The Chinese traditional way of curing cancer in Modern Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou, a city in Guangdong Province of southern China.
Businessman, Eduardo Yu, 65, of Balut, Tondo, Manila flew to Guangzhou, China together with his wife Nelie in November 2011 after being diagnosed with a liver tumor by the Metropolitan Hospital.
Yu said that he was told that he would only live to three or six months and needs to undergo operation. They decided to get a second opinion at the Chinese General Hospital. But the diagnosis was the same and doctors at the Chinese General Hospital gave him a shorter time frame - one week to a month.
"We decided to fly to Guangzhou to seek the treatment and now, six months after I was diagnosed with a liver tumor which is about 10 centimeters big, I feel better and can even do jogging exercises in the morning," Eduardo said.
Eduardo said he undergoes three Chinese traditional treatments offered by the Modern Cancer Hospital - intra arterial therapy, cryotherapy and the seed implant. The good news is that the tumor found in his liver has reduced in size.
The intra arterial therapy is a method of delivering drugs or other agents directly to the tumor mass, giving a maximal anti-tumor effect while minimizing the exposure of the body to the potentially toxic effects of the agents. This procedure is similar to cardiac catheterization, except the small tube is not positioned in a cardiac artery, but in the smallest artery that supplies the tumor.
The cryotherapy method, on the other hand, tries to decrease cellular metabolism, increase cellular survival, decrease inflammation, decrease pain and spasm, promote vasoconstriction and when using extreme temperatures, to destroy cells by crystallizing the cytosol.
For the seed implant, it has fewer complications and mild side effects. This will not lead to severe organ malfunctions. The 1251 seeds implant is an energy radionuclide which can give off continuous, short-range y-ray to kill tumor cells. It can achieve the same internal radiation effects on tumor as surgery does which is also called seeds knife.
The tumor size from CT and MR results is inputted into three-dimensional treatment planning system (TPS) to construct a dimensional image with the same size as that of the actual tumor. The number of seed implants, location of each implant and overall treatment plan depend on tumor location, shape and size.
Under CT or ultrasound guidance, I 125 seed implants are directly placed into the tumor by a special set of equipment or placed into residual tumor bed and possible paths of metastatic lymph node spread. These implants keep emitting y-ray within the tumor, as "land mines" targets tumor cells accurately.
Another Filipino patient, Regina Manguiran, 56 of Muntinlupa City was diagnosed in April 2011 to be suffering from stage 3 cervical cancer.
"I was already uneasy and wanted to determine the cause of my spotting so I went to an oncologist and an IE test found that I am already suffering from stage 3 cervical cancer," Manguiran said.
Manguiran said a friend who suffered from prostate cancer and had treatment in Modern Cancer Hospital told her to go to Guangzhou.
"I have nothing to lose so I sought treatment here and now I am feeling better because the seven-centimeter tumor found in my cervix is already small," Manguiran said.
Modern Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou was set up by BO AI Medical Group in 2005. It is a tumor hospital. BO AI is a combination of the Chinese words which mean "Big Love".
The hospital has been receiving cancer patients from Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh and Cambodia.
Dr. Wang Huaizhong, hospital director and chairman, said that their main goal in admitting cancer patients, especially those who were refused to be admitted in other hospitals, is to prolong their lives and improve their condition.
He also said that they are offering 12 kinds of methods in treating cancer. Among these are the use of acupuncture and a combination of herbal medicine which is the Chinese traditional way plus western medicine and technology which are found to be effective.
The hospital director also said that their hospital is different from Fuda Hospital that also offers methods in treating cancer.
Huaizhong said that although they both cater to cancer patients and use a combination of conventional treatment combined with several newly developed technologies and traditional Chinese medicine, they don't compete with each other.
He said that Fuda Hospital offers cryotherapy as a main cure for cancer cancer but their hospital offers 12 methods which provide the fastest cure to cancer.
BO AI who established the Modern Cancer Hospital is thinking of establishing special relationship with the Philippines in two or three years. The BO AI has already established 113 cancer hospitals all over China.