04/02/13 Hopefully over the next few weeks, Western Pennsylvania will start to see a change in environment as the weather turns from a cold and dull gray into a brighter and warmer atmosphere. When spring arrives, hopes for a fresh start come along with it – we shed our winter coats, deep clean our houses, and plant flowers. After a harsh winter, we hope for a better, brighter few months ahead, but with that hope is a reminder that hope alone does not bring change – it requires work.
The cancer community needs to work to bring about needed change; whether the change comes in the form of small actions that help those around us who have cancer or a larger movement to bring alternative, noninvasive cancer treatments to fruition. For some, the smaller actions can make all the difference– making dinner, doing laundry, or just lending an ear. Often times, even in a non-cancer circumstance, our ability to listen is the best tool we can offer to someone who is troubled. I know I’ve said this before, but sharing is a powerful thing.
Over the past two weeks several stories have caught the media’s attention. These stories tell of cancer patients’ fearlessness, strength, courage, and motivation. On the other hand, they also tell of the ghastly side-effects and their lasting outcomes on a patient’s health. Valerie Harper announced that she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. But even worse is that the doctor did not offer her any hope. No one should have to face cancer without a solution. In England, Lord Maurice Saatchi, who described his wife’s ovarian cancer treatment as “medieval,” is proposing a bill to parliament that would allow doctors to use experimental therapies even if there is no proof they work – what a novel idea! And then, a new study was released telling us that for women who have undergone radiation treatments, their risk of heart disease increased. If there is something to be learned from these three stories it is that we need to listen to what these stories are telling us: current cancer treatments are not sufficient!
The old adage is that wisdom comes with age, but I’ve got this idea that wisdom can also come with the ability to listen. Listening to stories, listening to differing opinions, and, even listening to yourself can have a profound effect on our outlook on life. We have to listen to what cancer patients and survivors are telling us – that a different, “a better way” to treat cancer is a necessity. Current treatments, with their life altering, harmful side effects, are not good enough. Eliminating one disease should not cause an onslaught of future health problems. We all know that finding a cure is the ultimate goal, but until that happens, finding a more humane way to treat the disease is critical. With thousands of people saying radiation and chemotherapy aren’t good enough, I think it’s time that we listen and provide “a better way” that doesn’t cause harmful side-effects. Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation is trying to do just that with the Kanzius Noninvasive Radiowave Cancer Treatment. This method, using tiny pieces of metal targeted specifically to cancer cells and controlled radiowaves, promises to be the answer to many questions and statements that I have heard over the past few years.
Treatments without the dreadful side effects of chemotherapy or radiation, and even a cure for cancer, will only come to fruition if we listen to one another and understand what we need to change in order to move forward. The things we learn when we listen to cancer patients and their personal experiences are how we realize what we need to change for the future. If we all just take a moment to listen, we will realize that a great change in cancer treatment is possible. We have the ability to make the Kanzius Noninvasive Radiowave Cancer Treatment a reality. You’ve listened; now, respond!
MARK A. NEIDIG SR. is executive director of the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation (MNeidig@Kanzius.org).