So many times the a criticism of anecdotal is leveled at alternative therapies. Here is my success story. Not a friend of a next door neighbor’s cousin or some such but me personally.
Like too many of us, I was diagnosed with a local
recurrence two years after a lumpectomy. I opted for a second
lumpectomy against recommendations. That was nothing new for me, I had
refused radiation based on my discovery that it offered no survival
benefit for women with no lymph node involvement and small tumors(under
That same month I began an intensive program of
alternative treatment. I began the "Kelley" program using metabolic
enzyme therapy. I had doubts about its efficacy from the beginning but I
stuck with it for about 9 months. I also did a program of colonics and
herbs. I flew to Canada with a group of women and learned how to take
Nothing seemed to work. I continued to produce very slow
growing tumors in the breast, culminating in a mastectomy that September
1995. As soon as I woke from the (same day) surgery, my doctor told me
I would need radiation to the chest wall as that was now in danger of
recurrence. Again I refused, but I was horrified to hear this news.
went to a clinic in Mexico, spending three weeks learning the Gerson
program. I stayed on this program for a full eighteen months. However,
while on it I developed a series of small skin recurrences at the scar
site. Several were surgically removed and found to have an S phase of
just 1.5%, slower than normally growing cells. I felt this demonstrated
the basic rightness of my methods to have such a slow growing cancer.
Chemotherapy was not appropriate and I had no intentions of using it.
In consultation it was decided that I should try high dose Vitamin A.
There is plenty of precedent for using this, as retinoic acid. It has
been experimented with in lung and head and neck cancers. There has
been some work done in breast cancer as well. It has been used in
Germany successfully as well. A talk at the American Association of
Cancer Researchers discussed a three year trial that had shown efficacy
in tumor reduction. Dr. Maurice Black (See more on Dr. Black on this
site) and now his associate, Dr. R. Zachrau have been experimenting with
Vitamin A for many years.
My physician in Mexico suggested I buy
Vitamin A at my local store and use 300,000 I.U.’s each day for the
first seven. Then switch to 150,000 daily. I began taking small tablets
daily. I found that I needed to break up the dose into two to avoid
discomfort. It was strongly suggested that I take a blood test every
five weeks to check liver function as Vitamin A is said to be "toxic" to
the liver. It might also make the skin on my fingers peel, make me
dry and perhaps cause headaches. I faithfully took it from March 1st
until I noticed a change in the tumor just three weeks later. I told my
husband I thought it might be shrinking. By the next day I knew it was
shrinking. I contacted my doctor in Mexico and he said he was so glad I
was taking this product-liquid A and of course the liquid Vitamin E at
1600 I.U. Well, that was the first time I had heard that part but since
I had experienced tumor reduction, all was well. I did switch to the
liquid form which he said left the body more quickly. The Vitamin E was
to help balance the overuse of a particular vitamin. I upped my
Vitamin C to 4 grams and selenium to 400 mcgs(twice the normal dose).
eighteen months later I had the remnants of that tumor surgically
removed. This is what we found: it was well differentiated, it had
very few malignant cells and the estrogen and progesterone receptors had
TRIPLED(30% to 90%). Well differentiated meant that it looked like
normal cells. Receptor status when it declines is said to be a sign of
disease progression. So I was happy. Over the counter vitamins had
shown a successful tumor reduction.
There were two problems. The
first was that tumor reduction is not necessarily a correlate of
increased survival and is an argument I use against the standard drug
therapy approval methods. Still it seemed like a victory, especially
after the pathology report. Secondly, I had developed another tumor at
the same time as I reduced one.
What to do? From my experiences
at scientific conferences and my readings, I knew that cancer cells are
complex. They can respond one way at one time and another way later.
Look at how Tamoxifen could turn from being an estrogen antagonist(anti)
to an agoniste (estorgen promoter) over time. Obviously my
experience had shown me that some things worked some of the time. I
began looking for the next method.
At that time I was sent
information about a clinical trial about to begin in New Jersey, using
Maitake mushroom extract. I had flirted with this product over the
years but never used it seriously or in a committed way. Japanese
research had shown that the substance could reduce tumors and modulate
the immune system. I purchased four bottles and began using two
droppersful daily beginning at the end of June 1998. The tumor was
about the size of a long-grain grain of rice set on a vertical axis. I
continued to use the product daily until I ran out of it at the end of
October. Two and a half weeks later, I noticed that the tumor had
gotten smaller. It continued to reduce, I restarted the Maitake as it
was the only new thing I had been doing and I felt there was a
As I write this in April 1999, I still have a tiny
shred of the tumor. In a similar manner to the reduction in 1997, the
tumor first shrunk to half its original size, then shrunk in half daily.
I have experienced NO side effects, either from the Vitamin A regimen
nor the Maitake extract.
I want to emphasize that these methods
are best overseen by a physician especially if you can find a
sympathetic one. The cost is really low and I had no negative effects.
The original bottle of Vitamin A tablets cost $8.00. The liquid costs
about $16 and lasts three weeks. The Maitake D-fraction is a bit more,
each bottle between $30 and $45 depending on where you buy it. Still, a
small cost even when we have to pay it ourselves. The blood work done
every five weeks was mostly covered by insurance. I came to know a lot
about how to read blood tests and follow them with interest now.
methods worked for me. There is nothing special about me except that I
faithfully follow a regimen of supplements, healthy eating and
detoxification at the same time as I used the above products. If it
works for one person, it can surely work for others. At no time have I
had chemotherapy or radiation. It is now more than six years since my
original diagnosis. Only time will tell but that is true for all of us
whether we have cancer or not.
Ann E. Fonfa
The Annie Appleseed Project (212)545-0050 AnnFonfa@aol.com fax 545-0025
developed new tumors subsequent to this writing and by June 1999 began using
Chinese herbs under the supervision of Dr. George Wong at that time head of
Herbal studies at the Strang Cancer Prevention Center. She took the herbs
for almost 14 months, starting and ending with an MRI. By September 2001,
she was shown to be cancer free.