Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Beat Cancer (Part 2)

The weirdest cancer stories of 2013

Chris Wark
31 December 2013
As you can imagine, I’m constantly keeping an eye on cancer-related news, mostly related to the latest anti-cancer nutrition research as well as the failings of conventional cancer treatment, but in the midst of sifting through these stories all year, I also see some pretty strange stuff.
As much as I want to post all the strange headlines I come across, which would certainly get me more web traffic, it’s more important to me to not clutter up the blog with a bunch of stories that may be interesting but really aren’t helpful.
So instead of doing that, I’ve collected the weirdest cancer stories that come across my screen in 2013 and put them together in a year-end wrap up for you.
Cancer doctors behaving badly, cancer researchers behaving badly, and people faking cancer for financial gain.
Breast cancer doctor tries to poison her co-worker/lover
Or my alternate title “While trying to save lives, Oncologist also tries to end one”.
Or “Oncologist routinely poisons cancer patients, then another doctor”.
High drama unfolded in January at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas when prominent oncologist Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo was charged with aggravated assault against her co-worker and lover Dr. George Blumenstein. She is accused of putting ethylene glycol in two cups of his coffee and passing it off as Splenda while they were chilling at her crib. FYI: Ethylene glycol is a sweet tasting but deadly toxic antifreeze used in medical research. Sixteen hours later Blumenstein was taken to the emergency room with central nervous system depression, heart problems and kidney failure. The poison reportedly destroyed his kidneys, requiring dialysis. Dr. Gonzalez-Angulo was indicted in September. The trial is pending. Can you imagine being one of her patients when this story broke?
Cancer doctor deliberately misdiagnoses patients, making millions
Get a load of this guy. “Wonderful” Detroit oncologist Dr. Farid Fata was arrested in February accused of falsely diagnosing patients with cancer so he treat them, and then bill medicare for all the expensive testing and treatment including CT scans, PET scans and chemotherapy. It was reported that he made a cool $35 million in two years with his fraudulent medicare billing scheme. That’s some “Fata cash”. The feds have also accused him of causing the death of a patient by giving them chemo for a head injury. Yeah. He’s facing 20 years in prison.
Here’s one of his beautiful cancer centers

And here’s his beautiful house, being raided.


San Jose doctor charged with embezzling cancer research funds
Dr. Tri Minh Do, a 46 year old Santa Clara Valley Medical Center radiologist making a measly $293,000 per year, was charged with stealing prostate cancer research money from the hospital.
He allegedly cashed $46,000 in checks made out to the hospital, using the money to pay off his credit card and to help his parents pay off their mortgage. Perhaps if they paid him a fair wage he wouldn’t have had to steal. He’s facing four years in prison.
Sources: Fugitive.com and NBC
Doctors resign after infecting cancer patients’ brains with fecal bacteria
On purpose. And yes, fecal, as in feces. Two California neurosurgeons at UC Davis, Dr. J. Paul Muizelaar and Dr. Rudolph J. Schrot, infected three glioblastoma brain cancer patients with bowel bacteria as a last ditch effort to stimulate their immune systems “in an effort to save their lives.” One patient developed sepsis and died within two weeks. The second died in less than a month. The third lived over a year.
The surgeons did have the patients permission, but when the story broke in the news, the fecal bacteria hit the fan. Several investigations were launched by the university after patients died, which resulted in the two surgeons resigning, followed by a resignation of Dr. Claire Pomeroy, dean of the university’s school of medicine who said, “I would do this for myself.” For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t call this bad behavior, but it’s definitely a weird story. Ultimately, it’s just sad to see well meaning doctors grasping at straws while ignoring nutrition and non-toxic therapies.
Med student busted stealing research to take to China
42 year old medical student Hua Jun Zhao was caught attempting to steal cancer research and ship it to China, where he allegedly intended to take the compound to a Chinese university to develop further. He stole a cancer drug compound called C-25 and then tried to delete several years of research off of his supervisors computer. Zhao plead guilty to computer fraud and was sentenced to two years of supervised release.
Source: Fox News
Utah mom lies about her daughters cancer
Abreail “Abby” Winkler, 30, lied about her 4-year-old daughter having cancer — including to the girl and the girl’s father — to scam donations in her community. Winkler “told the girl she had cancer and that she would be treated. When she was around her dad, the little girl would talk about having cancer,” said Keith Campbell, assistant chief of the Vernal Police. Winkler’s scheme raised about $3,000 before she got caught. She is awaiting sentencing.
Source: WTKR

This lady faked cancer to pay for her dream wedding
Lori Stilley, 40, raised nearly $12,000 from friends and family after telling them she had bladder cancer. She created a facebook page, sold t-shirts that said “Team Lori Rocks”, and even sold an e-book about her “cancer battle”. And yes, it was all just a scam to pay for her dream wedding. Stilley was convicted with theft by deception and sentenced to 4 years probation, 500 hours of community service, and ordered to pay restitution to the people she scammed. If it were up to me Team Lori would be breaking some rocks.
This chick faked cancer for heroin money
Brittany Ozarowski, 21, was convicted of pretending to have bone and brain cancer for two years and scamming people for money to support her glamorous heroin habit. She created a fake website, put on several fundraisers, and even placed donation jars in businesses all over Nassau and Suffolk County New York. Her father drained his retirement account and her grandmother sold her house, reportedly giving Brittany over $100,000. She looked the part and apparently no one could tell the difference between a heroin junkie and a cancer patient. “This was a despicable scam,” District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “There was no cancer. .. The only thing that there was, was heroin, and more heroin.” Brittany plead guilty to 24 counts.
So there you go. The weirdest cancer stories of 2013. And the most common denominator… money.
Although faking cancer is especially despicable, people behaving badly is really not surprising,
unless it’s a doctor, because we’ve been conditioned to worship doctors. Especially cancer doctors.
We put our full faith and trust in them, and blindly follow their directions. Why?
Because they are doctors. And doctors are good people.
However, despite public perception, earning a medical degree does not make you a good person.
The world is full of bad people, and hey, some of them are doctors.
Don’t assume anything about anybody.
The Exercise Cure
How can we motivate people to take a free, safe, magic pill?
Dec. 30 2013
Lack of fitness is the public health epidemic of our time,” says Bob Sallis, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.
If there were a drug that treated and prevented the chronic diseases that afflict Americans and we didn't give it to everyone, we’d be withholding a magic pill. If this drug was free, in a country that spends more than $350 billion annually on prescription drugs, where the average 80-year-old takes eight medications, we’d be foolish not to encourage this cheaper and safer alternative as first-line treatment. If every doctor in every country around the world didn’t prescribe this drug for every patient, it might almost be considered medical malpractice.
We have that drug today, and it’s safe, free, and readily available.
Exercise has benefits for every body system; it is effective both as a treatment and for prevention of disease. It can improve memory and concentration, lessen sleep disorders, aid heart disease by lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure, help sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction, and raise low libido. Exercise does it all. Even with cancer, particularly colon and recurrent breast cancer, the data show clearly that exercise is a deterrent. Newer studies on a glycoprotein called Interleukin 6 suggests that general body inflammation, a factor in almost every chronic disease, is reduced by regular exercise.
The United States currently spends more than $2.7 trillion, roughly 17 percent of GDP, on a health care system that is financially incentivized to treat disease. The more tests that are run on patients, the more medicines that are dispensed, the more procedures that are performed, the greater the financial burden for us all. Despite far outspending any country in health care, the United States is currently ranked 28th in life expectancy. Our current system does very little to encourage preventive health. We are mortgaging our country’s financial future to pay for increasingly expensive treatments for the same diseases we could effectively delay or prevent.
Professionally and personally, I have made dispensing the drug of exercise a large part of my life. I treat limping and hobbled athletes of all ages in my sports medicine practice at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. My waiting room is filled with 8-year-old gymnasts to 80-year-old marathoners, all wanting one thing: movement. My job is to fix their aches and pains and to keep them going. Before and after work, I am one of them, an avid athlete who has run 30 marathons and 11 Ironman triathlons. I’m what you might call an exercise fanatic.
There probably is such a thing as too much exercise, but I’m much more worried about inactivity. As my colleague Bob Sallis, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine says, “Lack of fitness is the public health epidemic of our time.”
Seventy percent of Americans are overweight, 30 percent are obese, and only a very small fraction exercise for the 150 minutes per week recommended by the American Heart Association. What can we do to motivate them?
In a recent study, Kevin Volpp from the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania took 56 morbidly obese, middle-aged, male participants and studied systems to incentivize weight loss. In the world of obesity, morbidly obese men are tough customers; it’s very difficult to get them to change their behavior patterns. Obesity and related conditions and diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, account for more than 50 percent of annual health costs in the United States. Solving the obesity epidemic is the key to reducing health care costs.
Volpp randomly divided subjects into three groups: a control group and two financially incentivized groups, in a study in which the goal was to achieve a 16-pound weight loss over 16 weeks. The control group was weighed at regular weekly intervals with no financial reward. One financially incentivized group was given a fixed sum of money weekly that they could win if they hit their target weight-loss goal per week, and the other group was enrolled in a lottery system in which they had the chance of winning smaller or larger amounts of money but could qualify for payment only if they hit their weekly weight goals. Subjects from all three groups were educated on the role of exercise and nutrition for weight loss at the beginning of the study. After 16 weeks, both the fixed payment and lottery system subjects had lost more than 16 pounds while the control group had not. The financial incentive was relatively small, averaging $350 in total payments over 16 weeks. This isn’t a long-term solution: Four months after the study’s completion, most subjects had returned to their prestudy weight. But it shows that even the most challenging cases of obesity can be helped with the right incentives.
In the United States, we routinely incentivize behaviors deemed conducive to a highly functioning society. Financial incentives encourage marriage, having children, owning property, even accruing debt. As much as we believe we are free to choose, Big Brother’s tax code is pulling our strings from above. I’m not arguing that this is poor policy. On the contrary, encouraging favorable behavior for the greater good helps keep the fabric of our society together and the wheels of our economy turning.
When I began writing The Exercise Cure, my thought was to provide a guidebook to encourage healthy behavior. Having investigated the correlation between disease and fitness, I now believe that we can save billions of health care dollars by incentivizing movement. Rather than mortgage our financial future on a bloated health care system that isn’t doing a very good job of making us healthy, we’d be much better served by incentivizing people to get off the couch. Ideas to make this happen include lowering health care premiums based on activity levels: The more steps you take per month or year, the less you pay. This doesn't have to be large amounts of money—even a little bit of incentive goes a long way. We also should encourage the use of a fitness vital sign for annual medical checkups where the amount of physical activity that someone is doing per week is monitored in the same way heart rate and blood pressure are. These methods will help encourage movement and health and will reduce disease prevalence.
I can’t promise you that if you work out daily you won’t get sick. I’m also not suggesting that exercise cures all ills. Genetics, chance, socio-economic, and other factors clearly play significant roles in affecting health profiles. What is becoming increasingly apparent, however, is that the drug called exercise can help prevent, alleviate, or treat almost every disease state. I hope my book inspires you to take it for yourself.
Jordan D. Metzl, MD, is a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. His newest book is The Exercise Cure. Follow him on Twitter.
Also See:Avoid Chemotherapy and Radiation!
(Part 1)
19 November 2011
(Part 2)
02 August 2012
Cancer and Exercise!
04 September 2011
A World Without Cancer!
(Part 1)
08 March 2011
(Part 2)
31 January 2012
Research: Meat and Dairy Cause Cancer!
23 December 2012
Misinformed About Cancer? You Are Not Alone!
06 June 2013
I Beat Cancer
(Part 1)
10 November 2013