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Bladder Cancer No Longer a Death Sentence

SARASOTA, Fla., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- At 51, Charles Daniels had a lot to live for. A thriving construction business, a precious 11 year old daughter and a happy long-term relationship. When he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, he was determined to beat the odds. According to TMD, a medical tourism corporation, Daniels case is typical - he tried conventional medicine until they had nothing left to offer but a poor prognosis, and then went out of the country for alternative cancer treatment and is cancer free today.

Just before Christmas 2007, Daniels urinated blood. He went right to his primary care doctor, who did an ultrasound and X-rays, which were inconclusive. Suspecting an infection, his doctor gave him antibiotics. Within 24 hours, the blood was no longer visible. But a follow up visit showed microscopic blood in his urine, and he was sent to a urologist. A cytoscopy exam (where a small camera is inserted into the bladder) and intra-venous pyelogram (an X-ray with contrast that provides pictures of the entire urinary system) found bladder cancer. "I was shocked," Daniels said. "I was in perfect health, I felt good, and I thought I just had an infection."

This year, almost 71,000 Americans will be diagnosed with bladder cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the survival rate for stage III bladder cancer is 50%; stage IV is rarely survived. Symptoms include blood in the urine and frequent, painful or urgent urination.

Risk factors are smoking, chemical exposure to dyes, rubber and pesticides, chronic infections and parasites. Women undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for cervical cancer also have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

Daniels' oncologist recommended surgery to remove the tumor. While his doctor was cautiously optimistic, further testing confirmed the invasive tumor had penetrated the muscle wall. "My doctor wanted to remove my bladder, prostate and surrounding lymph nodes, and create a new bladder from my intestines. He said with this surgery I had a 90% survival rate. I wanted to live, and 90% sounded like a good number."

Daniels expected to wake up after surgery and be cancer free. But his surgeon found that the tumor had grown outside the bladder wall and surrounding lymph nodes tested positive. His survival rate dropped from 90% to 40%. Despite an aggressive chemotherapy program, his next CAT scan revealed three new tumors in his liver. He now was stage IV. At this point, mainstream medicine offered no hope of cure, and his life expectancy dropped to around nine months. The chemotherapy left him feeling exhausted and sick, and he suffered weight and hair loss. Permanent side effects included hearing loss, tingling in his extremities and 'chemo brain'.

Next, Daniels underwent Radio Frequency Ablation (RAF), a guided imagery surgery where a needle like probe transmits microwaves into tumors causing the destruction of tumor cells. The RAF destroyed the tumors, but he was told they would come back - there is no mainstream cure for his cancer.

Daniels then began researching alternative treatments. He sent emails with his medical history to clinics throughout the United States and Mexico. He interviewed doctors and talked to patients. When he asked about success rates, the answers he received ranged from "we'll make you more comfortable" to "complete remission".

Finally, he learned about a fairly new cancer treatment called SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy (SPDT). This non-invasive treatment uses a non-toxic sensitizing agent along with sound and light to destroy cancer cells. Dr. Antonio Jimenez, medical director of the Hope4Cancer Institute south of San Diego, California in Baja, Mexico, has successfully treated bladder and other cancers with this program. Although this is a natural treatment without side effects, SPDT is considered a mainstream cancer treatment in 25 European countries. SPDT has proven effective against ovarian, prostate, colon, lung, pancreatic, liver and breast cancers, among others. It has not yet been approved in the United States.

Daniels decided to travel to Mexico for two weeks of SPDT treatment followed by a two month home program. "My doctors were not opposed to this," Daniels says. "They had nothing left to offer me."

"From the minute I walked into this clinic I had hope." Daniels says the doctors were upbeat and the staff was exceptionally caring. "The treatment was painless and there were no side effects. When I finished the program, my CAT scans were absolutely clear and my blood work was normal. I continue to have testing done every few months, and I am still completely cancer free. I stay on a maintenance program. I am going to watch my daughter grow up. I married my long time sweetheart. I only wish I would have found this treatment sooner."

Marla Manhart is a health writer and patient advocate. She can be reached at:

SOURCE TMD Limited Corporation
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