Anyone who’s ever gone through cancer treatment can tell you that it’s not easy going through The Big Three — surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Below, Battling Cancer discusses the story of two individuals whose own cancer diagnoses inspired them to seek better treatment plans for themselves and others:
A scientific writer and inventor, Neil Ruzic dedicated his life to asking questions and improving the scientific research climate. When he was diagnosed with mantle-cell lymphoma in 1998, he shunned traditional approaches to curative care in search of more nontoxic approaches. For four years, he visited several comprehensive cancer centers, investigated new cures in research laboratories, and enrolled in clinical trials. He compiled his research in a book entitled, Racing to a Cure: A Cancer Victim Refuses Chemotherapy and Finds Tomorrow’s Cures in Today’s Scientific Laboratories. Before he passed away in 2004, he founded the Ruzic Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding experimental approaches to lymphoma treatment.
John Kanzius was a retired radio station owner living in Florida when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002. While undergoing traditional treatments, he noticed how the physical and emotional demands of such approaches were affecting the spirits of children with cancer. Inspired to make treatment easier for them, he started tinkering in his garage with pie plates and spare radio parts to create an invention that relied on radio waves rather than radiation to treat cancer. Dr. Steven Surley, a researcher at MD Anderson Cancer Center, studied Kanzius’ invention and adapted it to work on laboratory animals. A journal article recently published in an October 2007 issue of Cancer chronicles how Kanzius and Surley’s radio wave technology was able to completely ablate tumors in rabbits.
While I certainly don’t want to encourage readers to give up on The Big Three when it comes to cancer treatment, it is inspiring to see how the trials in these two individuals’ lives helped open our eyes to novel avenues of treatment. Between these and emerging complementary therapies, I think today’s cancer patients are given more options than ever before.
Do you think that it’s irresponsible of doctors to encourage their patients to seek alternative therapies? Let us know in the comments!