Update 5 February, 2015: please note that I have been receiving reports from patients that Hallwang Clinic’s services are not meeting expectations and Grace Gawler no longer runs Medi-Tours to Hallwang. Therefore, before you go to Hallwang, please get it in writing that the oncologist and Prof Vogl will be there throughout your stay.
I decided that the clinic that seemed to offer me more bang for my bucks was Hallwang private oncology clinic.
Hallwang offered a personalised system of treatment based on the type of cancer, and the individual, using lab tests. Also, it had a policy of outsourcing to experts the treatments that they could not provide themselves.
[After my arrival, I talked with patients who had travelled the globe in the search for cures, and many of them had ended up at Hallwang because of its reputation for personalised programs with effective treatments not available elsewhere.]
I was also persuaded by the beautiful setting of the clinic: right in the middle of the Black Forest. There are only 18 beds in the clinic (with some patients choosing to stay outside the clinic), 4 full-time doctors and 24/7 nursing. So a high staff to patient ratio.
To recap: I had written to 5 overseas oncology clinics. Some of them had a strong holistic bias. Most offered the same treatments. There was no monitoring of the effectiveness of the treatments so the sense I got was that it was hit-and-miss. This wasn’t good enough for me because I wanted a system that was more targeted and with results that were measurable.
My aim was to get a better surgical outcome for the mastectomy – I wanted clean margins and a shrinkage of the lymph nodes.
Hallwang offered two treatments that were not available from the other clinics:
(1) Removab – a tri-functional antibody that would train the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells. This would also have a protective function.
(2) Trans-arterial chemoembolisation performed by Prof Dr Vogl of Frankfurt University. This involved making a cut in the femoral artery, then passing a catheter through to the main artery feeding the tumour, chemotherapeutic agents would be squirted, and the artery temporarily sealed. This meant that the chemotherapy was localised, and the side-effects minimised. Yes, that’s how far I’d come, that I was prepared to move away from a purely non-allopathic approach, to using chemotherapy.
So now all I had to do was get time off work, find the dosh for the treatments, pack, and get my flights.