Hi, my name is Steve Lamb. Welcome to CancerJedi.com the website that my wife Dorothy and I have decided to build to share what we have learned about cancer from personal experience and from an extensive study of the cancer literature both popular and scientific.
I am by training and occupation a Biochemist. I have been interested in nutrition and health since the early 1980’s and have done extensive reading of both popular and scientific literature in these areas. In early 2010, as I often do, I was alternating between reading two books: 1) “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell which is Professor Campbell’s account of his lifetime research on cancer culminating in what has been described as the “Grand Prix of Epidemiological Studies” which documented correlations between cancer and diet in China; and 2) “It’s Not About the Bike”, Lance Armstrong’s personal account of his battle with metastatic testicular cancer.
I was about half way through my second reading of “The China Study”, which shows a strong correlation of a whole-foods plant-based diet with a lowered risk of cancer, when I was read Lance Armstrong’s account of what devastation and shock he felt when he learned of his diagnosis with metastatic testicular cancer. When reflecting on this I posed for myself the question, “What would I do if I were diagnosed with Cancer?” and the answer that popped into my mind with considerable force was that I would immediately go on a whole-foods plant-based diet. Analyzing the strength of that conviction I had to ask myself that if I truly believed that a whole-foods plant-based diet would indeed help prevent cancer then Why Would I Wait? Why should I wait for a cancer diagnosis to start eating to fight cancer?
So, in 2010 at the age of 62 I became a dedicated whole-foods plant eater and since that time except on very rare occasions have not eaten animal products of any kind and have eliminated or minimized processed foods focusing instead on whole plant foods with documented actions against cancer. My wife Dorothy, not wanting to cook two types of meals each day, pretty much adopted my way of eating except for family dinners where she cooked for our non-plant eating children and grandchildren and occasionally at restaurants.
I continued to read about diet and cancer and in the fall of 2013 I read “Life Over Cancer” by Keith Block, MD director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. After reading Dr. Block’s book I told Dorothy that if I ever were diagnosed with cancer I knew where I wanted to go for treatment – The Block Center in Skokie, IL. Little did I know that soon we would have occasion to act on that decision. On December 27, 2013 following a routine mammogram, Dorothy was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Since that time Dorothy and I have focused on learning as much as we about cancer and putting what we learned into action. In September of 2015 we decided that we wanted to share with as many people as possible what we have learned about attaining a victory over cancer and thus was born CancerJedi.com
On December 23, 2013 Dorothy had her annual scheduled mammogram. On December 26 Dorothy was called in for a follow up mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. On December 27 a phone call gave us the news that the biopsy was positive for Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma, the most common form of Breast Cancer. Tumor was small (1.4 cm – about ½ inch) and was what is called a Nottingham Grade 1 (1=least aggressive, 4 = most aggressive). We met with a general surgeon where we live here in Shakopee, MN at St. Francis Medical Center and he recommended a lumpectomy as soon as possible. Based on Steve’s reading of “Life Over Cancer” we decided to get a second opinion at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment.
On Monday January 13 we went for a consultation at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Skokie IL. We spent over one hour each with Dr. Block MD-founder of the Block Center, an Integrative Oncologist trained at Mayo Clinic, a Nutritionist, and a specialist in Stress Reduction. The Block Center develops customized treatment programs for each cancer patients encompassing: 1) An integration of state of the art conventional treatment including surgery, radiation, with various new types of chemo and hormone therapy including off-label drugs all based on blood and tumor sample genetic and biochemical testing; 2) Nutrition – Emphasis on Whole-Foods Plant-Based eating; 3) Nutrient supplementation program based on extensive blood testing which includes plant extracts and concentrates, Chinese herbal blends, decaf green tea concentrate (=46 cups/day); turmeric root extract, Reishi and other medicinal mushroom extracts… all focused on increasing the body’s defenses against cancer cells both immunological and molecular; 4) Aerobic, interval, strength and mobility exercise/weight loss program to enable the body to better tolerate treatment and enhance recovery and remission from breast cancer; and 5) a Stress Reduction program enable us to better cope with the diagnosis, to improve restorative sleep and to help Dorothy’s body in its fight against cancer.
Dr. Block and the oncologist agreed that Dorothy’s cancer has been caught at an early stage and they felt that with the Block Center Program she will be completely well soon. They both recommended that we have a lumpectomy + sentinel (nearest) lymph node removal done by a surgeon that specializes in Breast Cancer Surgery. They gave us a recommendation of a surgeon in Evanston, IL (the one that Dr. Block sent his wife to) and we were able to get a surgery scheduled for Mon Feb 3. The surgeon recommended that we come Friday Jan 31 for a bilateral (both breasts) MRI to make sure there was no sign of cancer anywhere other than that shown on the Mammogram and Ultrasound. This was done and no further cancer was found and the lumpectomy was done the following Monday Feb 3. During surgery tissue samples of Dorothy’s tumor were taken and sent to Agendia Labs for a genomic test called a Mammoprint in which the specific expression profile of 70 cancer specific genes from Dorothy’s tumor is compared to the specific expression profile of 70 genes from a data base of 25,000 breast cancer tumors. The Mammoprint results showed that Dorothy’s tumor was classified as a Low Risk of recurrence within 10 years. On the basis of this Mammoprint and other tests Dr. Block and associates recommended that no chemotherapy was indicated and radiation treatment was optional. We elected to have post-operative radiation treatment through our local radiation oncologist. Dr. Block had reviewed the facilities and staff of our local radiation clinic and said he was confident that they would provide state of the art radiation therapy.
At Dorothy’s checkup just prior to her Mammogram and cancer diagnosis Dorothy’s family doctor recommended that she get a suspicious mole on her right shoulder checked out but the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment caused us to postpone compliance with this recommendation. After completion of the radiation treatments Dorothy made an appointment with the Dermatologist to which we were referred and got the mole checked out. A biopsy was done and the results came back as Stage 0 Melanoma. The Dermatologist recommend surgical removal of the mole with wide margins but said that a Mohs surgery was not indicated as the mole was classified as Melanoma in situ. After a phone consultation with Dr. Block and his review of the Dermatologist’s report he agreed with the surgical recommendation and said that all the all the things we were doing on the Block Program for Dorothy’s Breast Cancer were exactly what we should be doing for the Melanoma diagnosis.
So, on June 11, 2014 Dorothy had surgery to remove the Melanoma and all margins creating a 1-inch by 5-inch incision on her right shoulder which has healed nicely leaving a barely visible scar. She goes in for dermatology checks for suspicious moles ever three months which has resulted in three suspicious moles being removed none of which tested positive for cancer.