Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A fungus was among - me

kw: alternative medicine, cancer, fungi

A relative loaned me a DVD, a documentary about nine treatments that are purported to cure cancers. I watched it a few weeks ago, and from time to time I wonder about some of them. But there is one that I am sure is not so.

An Italian doctor claims that cancers all begin as fungus infections, and are largely composed of fungus. He has written a book about it with the title Cancer is a Fungus. I just Googled "cancer is a fungus" (including the quotation marks), and got nearly 500,000 hits. The treatment recommended is baking soda. Of course, you have to deliver the soda to the physical cancer, which is hard to do for internal tumors. But it is based on the known fact that baking soda does more damage to fungi than to our bodily tissues. How much more? Nobody is saying.

There is an easy way to test the premise. If most of the bulk of a cancerous tumor is fungus, a systemic antifungal such as Lamisil (terbinafine) or Nizoral (kenocotazole) ought to eliminate it. Fact of the matter is, lots of people take antifungals for things like toenail fungus. Some of them die of cancer. I was almost one of them.

I was treated for a nail fungus several times between 1990 and 1999. In 2000 I was found to have a large tumor in the colon. It was called a "fulminating tumor" by the pathologist, meaning it was growing fast. After an operation and a half year of chemotherapy, I was OK, and have been a "cancer survivor" now nearly twelve years. The antifungal medicines did nothing to prevent my cancer from developing or growing. The surgery and chemo did.

Furthermore, I have a good friend who is a pathologist. A few weeks after the operation I borrowed the slides from the hospital pathologist and took them to my friend. He and I went to his lab, where he had a two-headed microscope, one used for teaching. We looked over them in quite a bit of detail. Now, you need to know that I have a good microscope at home also. Cost me a pretty penny (but his is much better). Microbiology is a hobby of mine. I've looked at lots of things, including mushrooms, molds and other fungi. The cancerous tissues in my pathology slides were definitely abnormal colon tissues, but they were just as definitely nothing like fungal tissues. My friend has seen slides of tissues invaded by fungi, and he was equally clear that there was no trace of fungus in these slides.

Why did I ask him about fungus? Because I saw photos of the tumor taken by the doctor who did my colonoscopy. It was very pale, almost totally white. I said, "It looks more like a mushroom," as compared to the normal colon tissue surrounding it, which was deep pink. Yet I also saw one photo taken right after the doctor took a sample through the colonoscope. The tumor was bleeding profusely. And what I saw through the slides showed that all the tissue was well filled with normal capillaries, except in some areas where the tumor had grown too fast and outrun its blood supply, and was dying. But dying cells still don't look like fungal cells. At any rate, my pathologist friend said I had been pretty sick, but I didn't have a fungus.

Pathologists know these things, folks. Why not ask your doctor? Every doctor knows at least one pathologist. Some will give you their phone numbers and you can call to ask, "Did you ever see any fungal cells in a surgically removed cancer?"

I really, really wish something as simple as baking soda, or a round of antifungal medicine, would cure cancer. I do not know of any case in which it has.

No comments: