Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the March 2017 edition of TTAC’s Heroes Against Cancer member newsletter.
There’s exciting news on the cancer front… three early detection cancer tests are reported to detect most cancers when the tumors are only about the size of a pencil tip (about the size of the period at the end of this sentence). Cancer at such an early stage is known as Stage 0 cancer and it is reversible virtually 100% of the time.
Other than finding a universal cure for cancer, being able to detect cancer when it is in the earliest stage of development has been the “Holy Grail” of cancer research. Quite simply, the earlier cancer is detected, the better the odds are of beating it. Thanks to revolutionary new advances in cancer testing and detection, we may finally be on the verge of being able to detect many (if not most) types of cancer much earlier than ever before.
The early detection cancer tests are also reported to be extremely accurate as well as relatively affordable. One of the tests, whose cost is estimated to be $850 or less, is able to detect cancer 99% of the time and it identifies where the cancer is located 97% of the time. Another test, which detects lung cancer in very early stages of development, costs around $1,200. A third test detects the amount of cancer in the body (but not the location), and is set to cost less than $200. Even better news is that all of this vital information is available from simple blood tests!
One potential course of action is that working with a qualified healthcare provider, a person could use the less expensive test to identify the presence of cancer. If that test comes back positive then one could proceed using the second test to determine the type and location of the cancer, and what kind of treatment will be most effective. Thereafter, the less expensive test could be used to monitor treatment progress.
In other words, for around $1,000 to $1,350 you could detect the presence of cancer, identify it, and begin a therapeutic program to eliminate it in the very earliest stages. Meanwhile you could be monitoring progress periodically with tests costing less than $200.
If these tests work as predicted, existing medical tests such as mammograms, colonoscopy, and PSA testing could become obsolete for many kinds of cancer.
Liquid Biopsies and Other Early Detection Tests
Author, registered nurse, and cancer survivor Jenny Hrbacek talked about the early detection cancer tests during this author’s The Best Years in Life radio show in October 2016. Ms. Hrbacek is perhaps the go-to authority on early cancer detection, which is a major topic of her book Cancer Free! Are You Sure?
Ms. Hrbacek said that two of the most promising early detection tests are so-called liquid biopsies. These are non-invasive tests that require only a drop of blood and test for the presence of the Enox2 protein – a protein which is only produced on the surface of cancer cells.
Here are some details on these cancer tests and how you can access them:
The ONCOblot® Test
You may have heard about The ONCOblot® test, developed by ONCOblot® Labs in Coppell, Texas, previously on The Truth About Cancer, as it is a favorite test of several of the docu-series experts. The ONCOblot technology is in the process of changing hands after the death of the owner, and is forecast to be available once again in early April 2017.
Under its previous ownership, ONCOblot was able to detect 20 different sites of origin for cancer and 25 different types of cancer. Results for the test have typically taken about three weeks. The cancers detected by the test included:
- Non-Small cell
- Lung Small cell
- Squamous Cell
- Follicular Thyroid
- Papillary Thyroid
- Testicular Germ Cell
The way ONCOblot® testing works is that a test kit is ordered and delivered to your physician (the kit must be ordered by a physician). Blood is then drawn and the completed test kit is sent back to ONCOblot® Labs. It typically takes about 3 weeks (15 business days) for ONCOblot® Labs to complete the test and send the results back to your doctor.
A study published in the journal Clinical Proteomics found that the ONCOblot® test detected mesothelioma 4 to 8 years in advance of clinical symptoms.
EarlyCDT®-Lung is a blood test that has the ability to help detect cancer before it is visible on the standard CT diagnostic test usually used to find lung cancer. The test measures seven auto-antibodies to aid in the detection of lung cancer earlier and with higher specificity than CT scans.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in men and the fourth most common cancer in women. Each year, lung cancer kills nearly 160,000 Americans – taking more lives than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney, and skin cancers combined. Lung cancer is usually only detected after symptoms appear, when the cancer is in its latest stages. If lung cancer is detected early, at Stage I or Stage II, survival rates triple. Find out more at: http://www.myinnovativelab.com/lung-cancer/
Why Tumor Size Matters When It Comes to Cancer Detection
The ONCOblot® and EarlyCDT® tests can detect cancer which has as few as 2 million cells. By comparison, standard cancer tests such as CT scans are unable to detect cancer until the cancer has grown to anywhere from several billion cells to trillions of cells. In other words, these tests are able to detect cancer when it is anywhere from several thousands of times smaller than conventional cancer tests to over a million times smaller.
Traditional cancer tests often do not detect cancer tumors until they are pea sized (8mm) and become clearly visible on CT scans. In lung cancer, fast-growing lung tumors such as large or small cell carcinomas grow to the size of a pinhead in an average of 1.1 years. The tumors reach pea size at 2.3 years.
A little over a year later, at 3.4 years, the fast-growing tumors will be the size of a golf ball, which is the point where tumors become clinically apparent and physical symptoms appear. From there, the tumors grow to the size of a grapefruit at 4.6 years, which is the terminal stage (the stage where death occurs).
Intermediate-growing lung tumors, such as squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas, reach the size of a pinhead at 4.2 years, the size of a pea at 8.4 years, the size of a golf ball at 12.6 years, and grapefruit size (terminal size) at 16.8 years.
Thus one can see the rapid growth rate of cancers from the time they are only a pinhead in size until death occurs. Fast-growing tumors go from golf ball size where symptoms become apparent, to death in little more than a year.
What to Do If Cancer Is Detected in Early Stages
When cancer is detected in a very early stage, relatively simple natural cancer therapies and good health practices may be all that is needed to eliminate the cancer. However, most people have been conditioned to treat all cancers using mainstream treatments – especially chemotherapy. Not to mention that most mainstream oncologists are going to recommend chemotherapy even when the cancer has been detected early. What many people are unaware of is that non-traditional (i.e. natural or alternative) cancer therapies can be more successful than mainstream therapies for virtually all cancers, and that is especially true of cancers which are detected early.
Instead of opting for conventional cancer treatments which are harsh, expensive, and often dangerous, cancers in early stages can be healed with fairly simple and inexpensive natural therapies. These might include detoxing and avoiding future toxins, changing to a healthier anti-cancer lifestyle, employing a healthy diet which includes cancer-fighting and immune boosting foods, and using natural anti-cancer supplements that support the immune system.
The Truth About Cancer website, the Heroes Against Cancer newsletter, and TTAC docu-series are all filled with information about how to naturally beat cancer and keep cancer at bay.
Chemo Sensitivity Testing
Chemo sensitivity testing is an emerging field with great promise for improving patient outcomes. Many people end up opting for chemotherapy due to urging by their doctor and/or oncologist, as well as pressure from family and friends. Therefore it is important to be aware that conventional chemotherapy can be greatly enhanced with chemo sensitivity tests. These tests enable a person to personalize their treatment by finding out which drugs are most effective against their particular cancer(s). Sadly, the majority of patients are never offered the option of such tests. If you or a loved one does choose to go the allopathic cancer treatment route, it would be a very good idea to inquire about (and insist on!) such tests.
A chemo sensitivity assay is a laboratory test that measures the number of tumor cells that are killed by a particular cancer drug once tumor cells have been removed from the body. The assay may help in choosing the best drug or drugs for the cancer being treated with a goal of giving each patient the best opportunity for a positive response to their drug treatment.
As Ms. Hrbacek explains, the word “goal” is used advisedly because even though drug therapy can be effective against cancer cells, it is not a cure. There are inherent problems administering any cytotoxic drug, even if it is the best choice for the patient’s tested cancer cells. Side effects can be debilitating and lasting. Plus, tumors have the ability to develop drug resistance. That means patients need repeat sensitivity testing and adjustments to the treatment plan. Perhaps most importantly, drug therapy does not address the root causes that enabled cancer to first gain a foothold.
Chemo sensitivity testing can prevent your exposure to a drug that not only would be ineffective at fighting the cancer, but could also be extremely damaging to the immune system. Without chemo sensitivity testing, a person falls victim to the one-size-fits-all, broad-based approach of conventional oncology. Usually, standard drugs from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines will be prescribed – even when a more effective drug may remain on the shelf.
Worse still, a person may be prescribed a less effective drug because it is one that the oncologist wants to sell. Perhaps because they have considerable inventory of the prescribed drug on hand, and/or the amount of profit (markup) the oncologist makes on that particular drug.
An earlier form of chemo sensitivity testing was “drug efficacy (or response) testing,” which has been around since the 19th century through the work of Drs. Louis Pasteur and Paul Ehrlich in determining which antimicrobial (antibiotic) would kill a certain strain of bacteria. Drug efficacy testing is routinely done today, for example, with bladder infections. Patients give a urine sample to the lab where it is tested against the various antibiotics used for urinary tract infections. The doctor then writes a prescription for the antibiotic that was shown to do the best job of knocking out that particular infection.
Integrative oncologists have been using sensitivity testing for years. Actor and author Suzanne Somers is a well-known alternative cancer treatment advocate. She has interviewed many cancer doctors and written several books on cancer therapy after her first-hand experience with breast cancer. She is quoted in Cancer Free! Are You Sure? as having this to say about chemo sensitivity testing:
Now that I realize chemo sensitivity tests exist, it feels unconscionable that chemotherapy would ever, ever be administered without testing first to find out if the chemo is even compatible with the specific cancer.
A few notes of caution: As mentioned earlier, chemo does not “cure” cancer. For that matter, neither does radiation or surgery. In fact, both chemo and radiation create dangerous cancer stem cells which are far more difficult to eliminate than regular cancer cells. The main reason these mainstream treatments do not cure cancer is that they fail to address and eliminate the root causes (usually toxins), which enabled cancer to gain a foothold in the first place. Nor do those treatments enhance the immune system which is the body’s natural first line of defense against cancer. Chemo and radiation both damage the immune system as well as vital organs such as the heart and liver.
Alternative/Natural Agent Sensitivity Testing
This testing identifies natural substances that will be the most effective treatment for attacking cancer cells and boosting immune system function. Therapeutic doses of vitamin C, for example, have been shown to kill cancer cells and vitamin C does not have the toxicity or the tendency for the development of drug resistance that chemo does.
Jenny Hrbacek reports that, even though there are increasing numbers of patients who are seeking natural therapies, she thus far she has only identified two labs (both outside the United States), which offer any type of testing for natural substances. Many of the substances the labs test are those which support the immune system while aiding in the reduction of the number of cancer cells through a process called angiogenesis or apoptosis. The two labs are:
- Research Genetic Cancer Center (RGCC), Greece, which tests for 46-48 natural substances ranging from mistletoe and Metformin to Artecin® and Thymex®. They add new substances periodically. Find out more here.
- Biofocus®, located in Germany, tests for 14 different natural substances ranging from quercetin and Ino- IP6, to curcumin and amygdalin B17 (laetrile). Find out more here.
Angiogenesis is the process that the body uses to signal the growth of blood vessels to a tumor to provide it with nutrition for growth. The Angiogenesis Foundation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reports that all cancerous tumors release angiogenic growth factor proteins that stimulate blood vessel growth to tumors. Anti-angiogenic therapies literally starve the tumor of its blood supply by interfering with this process. An angiogenisis test identifies natural substances that are anti-angiogenic to the individual patient’s tumor cells.
Apoptosis is the process where cells die due to normal programmed cell death. However, as part of the cancer process, cancer cells lose their natural programming and refuse to die. They keep replicating endlessly, forming a barrier to protect themselves from compounds which might otherwise be deadly, and ultimately spreading to other parts of the body. The apoptosis test identifies natural substances that cause cell death to the individual patient’s tumor cells.
Another company, Rational Therapeutics, takes living tumor tissue and puts it in contact with different immunontherapies and drugs to determine which treatments will be most effective. You can learn more about this company here.
Other Early Detection Tests Worth Noting
RGCC Research Genetic Cancer Center’s Comparative Genomic Hybridization test detects cancer stem cells circulating in the blood. The test costs $500 Euros (approx. $535) and can tell what kind of cancer, how much cancer, and the site of origin. Find out more here.
Biocept can give you enumeration as well as biomarker identification of breast, prostate, colorectal, lungs, gastric, and melanoma cancers and is usually covered by insurance. The cost is $625. Find out more here.
Also worth noting when it comes to cancer testing:
Researchers from a study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center developed a simple checklist of six warning signs to help detect ovarian cancer earlier: pelvic pain, abdominal pain, bloating, increased abdominal size, feeling full quickly, and difficulty eating.
- Thermograms detect cancer earlier than mammograms, are considerably more accurate, and are much safer. Unlike mammograms, thermograms do not cause cancer and the tests result in far fewer false positive results which cause unnecessary surgeries and chemo treatments.
- Exact Sciences, a Wisconsin-based diagnostics company, has developed a stool test shown to be 98% accurate for detecting cancer and up to 83% effective for spotting pre-cancerous lesions. Learn more here.
About Jenny Hrbacek, RN
I first learned about the new early detection cancer tests from Jenny Hrbacek, the author of Cancer Free!: Are You Sure?, during an interview on my weekly radio show last fall and she is the source who provided me with, and pointed me towards, a substantial amount of the information contained in this article.
I believe that Ms. Hrbacek, who says that her mission is “to change how cancer is detected in the United States,” is one of the best resources for the latest information on early cancer detection. Here is some more information about Ms. Hrbacek:
- Jenny Hrbacek set out on a life-changing journey when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. She hosts “The Cancer Free University” on TVN (The Vitality Network). She appears in “The Truth about Cancer: A Global Quest” docu-series and has appeared at the Cancer Answers Global Summit. She is also featured in the Cancer Connection segments on Dong Kauffman’s TV show, “Know the Cause.”
- Ms. Hrbacek has also started a public awareness campaign named “No Lump or Bump” to spread the word that the old lump or bump detection methods have become obsolete and to tell about the new tests which detect cancer much earlier and which may be able to save millions of lives.
This article first appeared in the March 2017 edition of TTAC’s Heroes Against Cancer newsletter. Each month in Heroes Against Cancer we share the best ways you can use to get and stay healthy – including delicious recipes and the best in supplements, herbs and spices. Find out more about our member newsletter here.
New tests can detect Stage 0 cancer, reversible almost 100% of the time.
Early stage cancer can be eliminated with natural therapies and health practices.
For patients who elect to have chemotherapy, chemo sensitivity testing is an emerging field that can improve patient outcomes.
Chemo and radiation create dangerous cancer stem cells which are far more difficult to eliminate than regular cancer cells.
The TTAC website is filled with information about how to naturally beat cancer and keep cancer at bay.