Vitamin C for Lung Cancer and Why
Being a doctor offers me unique opportunities to get the intimate details of people’s stories. I had a patient who died a few years ago who was the rarest gem in the King’s crown. I didn’t realize how much of an impact she had on me until about one year after she died. Deepressed and feeling sorry for myself, I looked up from my bedroom couch and saw the wreath Eileen made for my wedding a year ago. There was such love put into this. She folded many one, five, and ten dollar-bills, accordion-style, and tied them to a wreath made of sticks in the shape of a heart. Each bill looked like a bow. Since she was not driving to Santa Barbara, I called to thank her for it. She said it would make sure there was always some money in the house, we would never be destitute. But that wreath has so much more value than the cash hanging from it.
Eileen came to us with an 8cm (3-inch) mass in her lung. The week prior, her oncologist told her flatly that she wouldn’t live three months. She pointed her finger at him, looked him straight in the eye, and firmly snapped,
“There is no expiration date stamped on my ass, and you’re not going to put one there! You don’t know how long I’m going to live!”
Then she walked out of the office. Recommended by a friend, she came to see us at the Integrative Medicine Center of Santa Barbara to get high-dose intravenous vitamin C drips.
Lung cancer is difficult to treat. No matter which treatment used, it seems the life span doesn’t change. Every treatment has about a 20% regression, or spontaneous remission. When those who are getting chemotherapy have regression, they thank the oncologist for saving their live. The oncologist assumes that they have done some good. However, the same percentage of lung cancer patients who have IV vitamin C get regression or remission. All treatments work in roughly the same percentages, but each credits their treatment for the remissions. Thus, there is so much confusion surrounding lung cancer. It’s so hard to know which to choose because there is no clear stand-out for remission. I prefer, and recommend, IV vitamin C for one reason – quality of life. Those who do radiation and/or chemotherapy are generally miserable. They are not able to function at least while they are getting the toxins, or there are nasty long-term “side-effects.” Whereas those on vitamin C feel better with treatment.
While chemotherapy is bad, radiation is worse. Radiation always causes cancer stem cells. Why would anyone do this? It only makes sense if there is no hope for treatment, so limit the benefit of radiation to terminal patients who need a tumor shrunk down. Anyone who says that radiation can cure cancer should die by her own devices – and she DID! Marie Curie was sure until the end of her life that her discovery would end cancer, even after the “Radium Girls” were sick and dying all around her. In 1934, Curie died from aplastic anemia due to the high radium exposure she experienced through her research. Even buried in a coffin made of one-inch-thick lead, her house continues to be radioactive a century later. If you want to look at her books, you must sign a waiver stating you know the risks of radiation and then put on a radiation suit for protection.
UCLA did research on the use of radiation for breast cancer showing that every dose of radiation causes cancer stem cells that can become cancer in 5 years. The published article was removed at the request of radiation oncologists because that kind of truth is bad for business. Despite this, radiation oncologists still bully their patients to succumb to being irradiated unnecessarily. This is especially true of: “We don’t see any cancer, but you should have radiation just in case. If you don’t it’s going to come back – worse!” If they wanted to be truthful, they would have to say: “Do radiation because that’s how we get paid. It will create cancer, but it will take five years or more so it will be off our 5-year survival statistics.”
After a few months, the repeat CT scan of Eileen’s lungs showed that the tumor had stopped growing, but it wasn’t any smaller. We added glutathione every week. Glutathione is arguably the most important antioxidant in the body and is especially needed in the lungs. Three months later her lung cancer shrunk down to about 4 centimeters, half the size, and she remained active. Eileen continued coming to Santa Barbara every week for IV treatments. She would then drive back to Los Angeles, a two-hour drive, to go to work. She said the treatments energized her. She did not want to miss work.
Eileen was a parole officer working with reprobate adolescents in downtown Los Angeles. This woman was tough! But she loved the boys assigned to her. She knew them, their families, their situations, and their friends. She walked with them through downtown. Nobody messed with her. She had friends in low places. She told it like it was and didn’t take any crap from them. No matter what they went through, she had been through worse. Nobody had an excuse in her eyes. Even in her 70s with lung cancer she commanded a lot of respect. She really loved her work.
After telling off her oncologist she never went back.
Doctors previously missed a diagnosis on her son as a baby. So, she was not going to rely on the opinion of an expert. She had learned to rely on herself. Knowing the dismal statistics of treatment for advanced lung cancer, she was looking for alternatives, and ended up in my office. After a few months, she said that if she had gone for the treatments of the doctors she would be disabled or dead. For her, disability was the worst! She felt so happy to have a treatment that shrunk the tumor while at the same time allowing her to work. She never felt bad; she just felt normal. And she continued to smoke.
I am not of the opinion that alternative cancer treatments are better than anything conventional. However, it is essential to look at the risks of each. While IV vitamin C does not improve overall outcomes, statistically, it does at least as well as chemotherapy and is non-toxic. Even if it wasn’t quite as good, I believe that chemotherapy would not be worth the risk. I have had too many people with disabilities from cancer treatments. They get neuropathy, leading to chronic numbness, tingling, swelling, pain, and rashes. It also causes brain problems like “chemo-brain” which leads to fogginess, and memory loss. It may affect every organ and system of the body.
Once, while she was in the office sitting in the IV chair for about three hours, I had a chance to sit down with her and talk. Every time she came in, she was knitting. I asked her about grandchildren. Her son was in Colorado and had a couple children. I asked her if she was knitting something for them, and she said, “No. It’s winter, and the guys in the streets get cold. I knit caps for them to wear.” These caps were not for “her boys,” but they were for homeless people who lived around the downtown area. Amazed at her charity, I asked her about her life.
Elaine was born in Europe; she doesn’t know when or where. There is no record of her birth nor her parents. She was probably the product of an American GI and a German woman during WWII. The first record of her existence was in an orphanage in Germany where she lived until she was about five. Transferred to Spain, she lived there for another three. At this time, the American military began to take responsibility for all the war babies. Scheduled to come to the United States, a military family planned to adopt her. She was on a ship bound for New York Harbor, but when they got to the Statue of Liberty they had to turn around and go back due to a report of an outbreak of tuberculosis in Spain. She went back for a few more years before she was finally taken to America.
She was assigned (ordered) to be adopted by a military family. The father was nice to her, but the mother told her she hated her. A year later the father died, and the mother told her to leave. She had nowhere to go, and she didn’t know anyone, so, from about 13 years of age, she lived in the streets of Atlanta.
She wanted an education, so she went to school while living in the streets. She began working at a clothing factory, sneaking in, and sleeping in the cloth at night. In the morning she would get herself up and go to school, then come back after school and work in the factory. The other girls who lived in the streets told her that she could make more money and wouldn’t have to work by selling her body to men. But she thought, “I’m not going to do anything I would have to explain to my children someday.”
She did so well in school, that the principal wanted to advance her a grade. Told to bring her parents to the principal’s office, she decided to go alone since she didn’t have any parents. The next day, while she was walking to his office, she was thinking about how she was going to tell him why her parents couldn’t make it. As she was crossing a street and a car driving very fast turned the corner and hit her. Taken to the hospital, they found she had several broken bones, a broken hip, and a concussion. She was unable to walk and put in a body cast.
The nurse tried to find and notify her family but couldn’t find any records. The social worker confronted her while she was in the hospital bed, and she told her the whole story of her life. The social worker worked hard to find a family for her. When she got out of the hospital, she was placed with a foster family. But, within a short time, her foster parents became very abusive, so she ran away and found herself on the streets, homeless again. She had known the streets, and she thought it was much better than living with this foster family.
She continued to work to support herself and eventually finished high school and then went on to college. She was able to get a better job, and an apartment. There she met a man, and they married. Within a couple years she was pregnant with their first child, and her husband died. She had to go through the pregnancy and raising her son alone.
When her son was an infant, she noticed that he did not respond to voice, or noise. She brought him to the doctor and told him that her child was deaf. The doctor said, “Nonsense! His behavior is normal.” She realized she was on her own and that she wasn’t going to get any help from the doctors. So, rather than wait for a diagnosis, she studied on what to do. She began teaching him sign language and lip reading. It took two more years before the doctors figured out that her son was deaf. By then he was already proficient in sign language. (Her son came to the clinic with her on one occasion. He now has a cochlear implant.)
She eventually married again to a man she loved very much — the love of her life. But, after about ten years, he was diagnosed with cancer. She took care of him through all his treatment until he finally succumbed to the disease. Because of this, she learned the cancer industry, and how it serves the system more than the patients. She knew about the downside of chemo and radiation therapy. That’s why she immediately looked for alternatives a few years later when diagnosed with cancer herself.
Eileen continued to be a weekly fixture in the clinic for almost two years. Then she started losing weight and having headaches, so additional tests showed multiple brain tumors. Lung cancer commonly metastasizes to the brain. Despite shrinking the primary tumor, it had spread long before she diagnosed. It can take five to eight years for a tumor to reach two centimeters (about an inch). IV vitamin C and glutathione did not seem to affect the brain metastases.
At that point she started declining in her ability to function. One day she called and said she was too weak to make the drive; she couldn’t even make it to work. We never saw her again. When I got married, she sent the heart money wreath with a friend who personally drove all the way just to bring it to me. Eileen made it as she was literally dying of cancer. She was not absorbed in her own pain. She thought of others more. Certainly, this wreath has more value than the money on it, and more than sentimental value.
It represents hope in humanity — that one person could come out of such hardship, pain, and suffering and be so loving.
For me, it is a reminder that love exists. It is a priceless gift representing the gift I was given of knowing her – Eileen Cooper is my heroine
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.