Trinh, David | Surviving Mesothelioma

Trinh, David

If I had a late stage form of cancer and the oncologists have declared that it was terminal, I would definitely try to heal my cancer in several ways at the same time. I would strengthen my immune system both mentally and physically. At the same time I would search for both experimental drugs in clinical testing stages that are appropriate for my type of cancer, as well as traditional and alternative remedies that have promising potential. I would try to heal my cancer, or at least stop its progress, by taking a cocktail of these drugs and remedies all at the same time, rather than testing them one at a time.

To improve my immune system and my health, I would keep my body in the best shape possible, by exercise and nutrition, as well as keeping a positive attitude. I would try to fight the cancer growth by meditation, focusing on the locations of the cancer with the determination of using mental force to attempt to shrink the cancer cells. I would also seek the help of a hypnotist to assist my mind to focus on mentally reducing and suppressing the tumors.

Besides searching for anticancer drugs in clinical studies, I would try to identify alternative treatments. Four natural systems are of particular interest to me, namely, artemisinin, lemon grass, methylglyoxal, and a combination of betaine hydrochoride and vitamin C. These natural systems and others can be effective but do not receive adequate attention from the pharmaceutical companies because these alternative remedies cannot be protected with exclusivity, thus lessening the financial rewards from them.

Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone that is used mainly to treat malaria, but has been found to have anticancer properties. In the U.S., artemisinin is actively studied by two research professors, Henry Lai and Narendra P. Singh, of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. An example of their research is the prevention and delay of breast cancer in rats by artemisinin [Lai and Singh]. The Department of Bioengineering at UW maintains a comprehensive list of publications on artemisinin versus cancer [Department of Bioengineering]. There are reports of positive effects from artemisinin on several types of human cancers. However, there are also reports of artemisinin’s diminishing effect with long-term use [White]. Therefore, I would try to use artemisinin intermittently with other cancer-fighting remedies given below.

A natural source that I would use to fight my cancer is lemon grass. The research team of Dr. Rivka Ofir and Prof. Yakov Weinstein from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, found that citral causes cancer cells to “commit suicide: using apoptosis, a mechanism called programmed cell death” [Sommer]. While the citral killed the cancerous cells, the normal cells remained unharmed. Citral is the main ingredient of lemon grass. Based on that finding, many doctors in Israel now advise their cancer patients to drink a fresh lemon grass brew [Sommer]. Since lemon grass is used in cooking in Southeast Asian countries, I believe that it is safe for human consumption, and if it can provide anti-cancer properties, I would use it voluntarily.

A third ingredient that I would use to fight my cancer is methylglyoxal. The effect of methylglyoxal was discovered by Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, a Nobel laureate in Medicine for the isolation and discovery of vitamin C. He reported that injecting methylglyoxal daily into mice with cancer was highly effective, with no harmful or toxic side effects to other cells. He explained that: “Methylglyoxal is normally produced by the body and, when it is, it prevents the growth of existing cancer cells. But the body can lose its ability to produce this substance. Putting methylglyoxal back in the body, just as we put insulin back into a diabetic’s body, can stop the growth of cancer.” [CancerFightingStrategies]

In the late 1990s, methylglyoxal was tested on a group of advanced cancer patients at the University College of Science in India. It was found that of the 19 patients who completed the 25 week study, 11 were in excellent health, five were stable, and only three had died [CancerFightingStrategies]. If I were in a late-stage cancer, I would certainly try the methylglyoxal treatment.

The fourth approach that I would follow is the use of a combination of betaine hydrochoride and vitamin C as a means to suppress malignant tumors. This is a remedy intended to treat cancers in combination with other cancer drugs either concurrently or sequentially. For example, a combination with artemisinin is mentioned [Aylor]. The remedy is proven to be effective in animals and some humans and is disclosed in a pending U.S. patent [Aylor]. Since it is known that cancer treatments such as artemisinin gradually lose their effectiveness [White], it might be more effective to a treatment with artemisinin when it becomes less effective, by using the betaine/vitamin C dose in between, and then switch back to artemisinin later.

I strongly believe that facing cancer with courage and positive attitude is much more effective than with fear and discouragement. In my own case, I can always count my blessings and things that I have done to help others with pride, as well as things that I have not yet done with hope. As a middle school student I co-founded with my two brothers the Bethany Group, a non-profit student organization to provide ourselves and other students with opportunities to perform community service. I was able to help the Group grow from just seven original members to over 150 students who had participated. For details about the Group’s programs, please visit our web site. For my extensive community service I received a Presidential Service Award that was personally given to me by President George W. Bush on May 19, 2006. I was subsequently named Ohio’s top high school volunteer in the 2007 Prudential Spirit of Community Award program. With this Prudential Award, I have received tributes from Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, from the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives, and from Senator George Voinovich. I also received the 2008 AXA Achievement Award as the top high school volunteer of Ohio. Being so fortunate to be recognized for activities that I love to do, I always try to maintain a positive and proactive attitude, and I strongly believe that with this mindset I could fight cancer effectively to the best of my ability without fear.

Bibliography

Aylor, R. B., Makover, L. H., and Haines, R. A. Suppression and Prevention of Tumors. United States Patent Application Publication. Pub. No. US 2009/0042845 A1, Pub. Date: Feb. 12, 2009.

Cancer Strategy #3: Lack of Methylglyoxal Causes Cancer – Getting Methylglyoxal Into the Cells Puts the Brakes on Cancer.

Department of Bioengineering of the University of Washington. Artemisinin Publications. Apr. 30, 2009.

Lai, H and Singh, N.P. Oral artemisinin prevents and delays the development of 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast cancer in the rat. Cancer Letters 231:43–48, 2006.

Sommer, A. K. Fresh Lemon Grass Fields in Israel Become Mecca for Cancer Patients. Israel21c – Innovation News Service. April 2, 2006.

White, C. L. Cancer Smart Bomb, Part I: An Idea from Ancient Chinese Medicine. New Horizons – Brewer Science Library. 2002.

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