Treatment

Please be sure to read the disclaimer below.

I was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2013. To learn about my treatment history read my About page. I had a recurrence in my right supraclavicular lymph node that I found in January of 2015.

Search for Treatment

I initially received different opinions from my medical and radiation oncologists who were at Georgetown and Sibley respectively. One suggested I have the lymph node removed and keep my fingers crossed that it hadn’t spread elsewhere. The other suggested I go on chemo even though it was unlikely to work. What I really needed was a more targeted treatment but I didn’t qualify for most medical trials because the lymph node was too small (it needs to be 1 cm on the shortest axis and mine was .5 cm) and because I have Graves disease, an auto-immune disease which disqualifies me from most trials for immunotherapies. I ended up getting opinions from oncologists at the following institutions: MD Anderson, Mayo, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Johns Hopkins, Dana Farber, Mass Gen, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina, Cleveland Clinic in addition to my hometown hospitals Georgetown and Sibley.

The consensus was that my cancer was likely chemo- and radiation-resistant so neither of those would be helpful treatments. Surgery was not recommended as it was believed that the cancer had already spread and that surgery would not successfully resolve the issue. It was also believed that my best bet was a clinical trial so I should wait for the tumor to grow large enough or to move into my internal organs to qualify me for a trial. I didn’t accept this as my only options so I found an integrative oncologist and several naturopaths who offered me some treatment options.

Current Treatment

My current treatment includes recommendations made by naturopaths and my integrative oncologist. My treatment is also monitored by a local medical oncologist. I have PET scans every 3 months and will likely be on this course of treatment, assuming it goes well, for several years.

The philosophy behind this treatment is different from most cancer treatments which usually follow the clinical-trial model of one or two treatments at a time. Instead this course of treatment tries to target all of the pathways (metabolic, genetic, angiogensis, and immune system) that cancer uses to grow all at once. We don’t know what treatment ends up working but by combining many at once the hope is that combined they will end up working. All of the treatments are proven and backed up by evidence from clinical trials and the side effects are generally much less harsh than traditional chemotherapy.

Drug/Supplement Total Amount Per dose Doses Brand
Boniva 4mL 1 infusion 1x/month Rx
Xeloda 500 mg 1 pill 1x/day Rx
Low-dose Naltrexone 3.5 mg 1 capsule 1x/day Rx
Metformin 500 mg 1 pill 2x/day Rx
Proleukin 2 mg 1 injection 1x/month Rx
TM 2 capsule 2x/day Rx
Calcium D-Glucarate 3 g 2 capsules 2x/day Integrative
Fish Oil EPA-650 mg, DHA 450 mg 1 capsule 3x/day Ultimate Omega Nordic Naturals
Melatonin 20 mg 2 pills 1x/day Now
Probiotics 1 capsule 1x/day Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic
PSP Cloud Mushroom Extract 1500 mg 4 capsules 3x/day Meridian
Theracurmin 3 capsules 2x/day Integrative
Valerian Root 90 mg 1 capsule 1x/day Vitamin Shoppe
Vitamin B12 1000 mcg 1 full drop 1x/day Thorne
Vitamin C 2,000 mg 2 capsules 2x/day Solaray
Vitamin D3 10,000 IU 1 capsule 1x/day Thorne
Vitamin K2 40 mg 20 drops 2x/day Thorne
Escozine 4 ml 1 ml drops 4x/day Medolife

Updates/Changes:

  • TM: I was originally taking 1 capsule of the TM and increased it to 3 because it is meant to chelate copper and my copper levels were remaining too high.
  • Butyrate: I was taking 2400 mg of this every day but stopped because I was feeling nauseated and thought this might be the culprit. It may not have been the culprit in the end but I have not gone back on it.
  • EGCG/Green Tea Extract: I was taking 400 mg of green tea extract but suffered for several months with nausea and vomiting and after much trial and error determined it was the EGCG that was causing that. It needs to be taken on a full stomach, which I was doing, but I still had really bad problems.
  • Cytoxan/Xeloda: I switched from a low-dose of Cytoxan (50 mg/day) to a low-dose of Xeloda. I initially switched because I thought the Cytoxan might be causing my nausea but I’m not certain it was the culprit. I have stayed on the Xeloda because there is more research on it and triple negative breast cancer.

If you have questions about any of these treatments please feel free to contact me by going to my Contact page.

Results

I started this treatment slowly between February and March 2015. Here are my results thus far:

Original PET scan- January 15, 2015:Lymph node tumor measures 12 mm x 7 mm with SUV 10.8. Other lymph nodes light up including one in my mediastinum that measures 5 mm and one in my right auxiliary that measured 5 mm.

PET scan- April 10, 2015: Right supraclavicular lymph node measures 13 mm x 7 mm with SUV 6.4. Lymph nodes in auxiliary and mediastinum no longer light up. Additional areas in my pectoral muscle and my right auxiliary light up but they are likely post-surgical.

PET scan- July 17, 2015: Right supraclavicular lymph node measures 10 mm with SUV 3.2. No other areas of concern.

Last updated: 07/30/2015

Disclaimer: This page is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. This site and linkages to other sites provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Katie Campbell is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.