Save your lives: get your thyroids and port veins checked by ultrasound! (a session with Prof. Marco Ruggiero)

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

[GcMAF can be obtained from Sansei-Mirai or ImmuneBiotech.  I’ve heard that the Sansei-Mirai product is very potent and stable.]

I was recently privileged to witness Professor Dr. Marco Ruggiero demonstrate his expertise in conducting ultrasound scans (or sonography as it is known on Continental Europe).

I was familiar with ultrasounds conducted on tumours, but in the hands of a master, it can reveal conditions not clinically evident in blood tests, thus providing an early signpost for more in-depth testing and treatment.

Thyroid ultrasound

Image credit: endocrinesurgery.ucla.edu

I’ve previously always posted about Professor Ruggiero as the genius behind GcMAF.  He is also a trained clinical radiologist and uses ultrasound to measure the success of GcMAF treatments.  This was the first time I saw him demonstrate his mastery in ultrasound scans.

Scanning the thyroid

The subject was a friend of mine who had cancer.  Professor Ruggiero conducted an ultrasound of all his major organs and then he examined the thyroid gland.

Thyroid gland

image credit: USF Thyroid Center

You’ve probably seen an ultrasound image – it looks like different shades of grey murkiness.  The professor pointed at some grey areas on my friend’s ultrasound image.  To my eye they looked just like slightly-greyer shading, and nothing out of the ordinary.  But with forty years of experience and also as a lecturer of radiology, he saw something that was not normal.

He magnified the field and it became more obvious.  There were faint lighter margins around the grey areas, and the margins were ragged.  In his experience, they probably indicated a high probability of pre-cancerous or even cancerous nodules.

The news was delivered with brutal honesty – I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or not – how do you break bad news?  Professor Ruggiero did not mince his words or pussy-foot with his bedside manner.

It was a devastating moment, to discover that my friend could potentially have another metastasis.  But on the other hand, we were grateful this had been detected early so that something could be done about it.  It also went a long way to explaining why my friend’s response to immunotherapies may not have been as good as expected.  My friend had had all the blood tests for thyroid and they were normal.  The only one he didn’t have was for immuno-globulin of the thyroid.  So this would not have been detected if he had relied on normal blood tests.

That was shocker number one.  Shocker number two followed close on its heels.

PortACath

image credit: cfmedicine.com

Scanning the port-a-cath region

Professor Ruggiero went on to scan the area around the Port-a-cath that had been recently implanted.

At first all looked hunky-dory.  The professor showed me the jugular vein which was just a dark opening that moved with my friend’s breathing.  Then there was a moment of silence and the professor pointed at something on the screen.  The something looked like a little butterfly attached to the bottom of the vein.  It fluttered twice with each heart beat as the blood flowed past it.

I looked puzzledly at the professor.  “Is that something to do with the port?”  I asked.

Unfortunately.  No.

It was a thrombus, or a blood clot.  If it detached from its moorings it would become an embolism, and travel into the pulmonary artery.  There it would either cause part of the lung to stop functioning, or cause instant death.  Again, the words delivered with medical brutality.

Thrombus

image credit: medline plus

We were silent for a long moment.  We had barely recovered from the first shock.  My heart went out to my friend who was lying on the examination couch and whose body had betrayed him not once, but twice today.

“Great!”  I groaned – it was a knee-jerk British reaction, sort of black humour.

I don’t think Professor Ruggiero quite got the British sense of irony.  He thought I was being serious and celebrating my friend’s dilemma, and kept pulling me up over it!  I tried to explain that it was this sense of disbelief that my friend was fighting so hard to beat the cancer only to possibly not die of cancer.  Oh, the irony of it!

[I think I can only credit my off-colour reaction to feeling as though a car had run over me once, and then reversed and run over me again.  If I felt that way, I wonder how my brave friend was feeling having to fight enemies on not one, but two fronts now?]

But what can I say except that the silver lining was that Professor Ruggiero had saved my friend’s life.  Cancer may kill in the long-term, but in the short term, the thrombus was a more pressing, urgent, medical emergency.

Apparently, according to Professor Ruggiero, he had seen this complication with thrombus many times with ports.  It’s something that happens too frequently, and the patient is unaware of the silent killer lying in wait in his body, ready to deal out instant death.

Clexane

Clexane injection. image credit: mims.com

Clexane (heparin) the clot-buster

When I was at Hallwang, I remember hearing about a few patients who had done extremely well on treatments, then flown home on long-haul flights, only to keel over a few days after their return and die of embolisms.

This fortunately stopped when Hallwang instigated a strict practice of administering Clexane (a low-molecular version of heparin) to patients before any journey of more than three hours, the night before, and the morning of the journey, with top-ups during any stop-overs.  I thought Hallwang was being OTT, but I now know better.  I wonder if some of those embolisms were thrombus caused by slip-shod port implantations?

Why do cancer patients have stickier blood?

Cancer patients in particular have stickier blood, with a propensity for blood clots because tumours produce molecules called proagulants that make the blood cells clump together more easily.

Chemotherapy also increases the risk of blood clots  Chemotherapy reduces the body’s defences against blood clot formation.  Unfortunately, a 2003 survey found 80 per cent of oncologists were not taking any measures — such as giving heparin — to counter clots.

Flying in a pressurised cabin also increases the stickiness of blood so Clexane should be compulsory for all all cancer patients.

Here is a link to Lifeblood, a charity that aims to increase awareness of thrombosis and improve patient care,  and is campaigning for better education within the medical profession about the connection between cancer and clots.

‘If you have cancer, you’re seven times more likely to have a blood clot. For some cancers the risk is increased 28-fold,’ says Dr Simon Noble, clinical reader in palliative medicine at Cardiff University and Lifeblood’s authority on cancer-related blood clots.

Here is a website on the increased risk of thrombosis with cancer patients:  http://www.thrombosisadviser.com/en/other-diseases/thrombosis-and-cancer/increased-vte-risk/

Lessons learned

So what can we learn from this?  And am I scaremongering?  [I don’t think so – this is a topic that is much-neglected, and that Prof Ruggiero has given me permission to blog about].  If this post saves a few lives, I will be relieved.

[And please could we all say a huge thank-you to my friend whose unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on whether you’re a silver lining person) provided the lesson and gave me permission to blog this.

And of course a huge round of applause for Professor Ruggiero whose quick actions and amazing skills saved my friend’s life.]

1.  Get your thyroid scanned via ultrasound

Professor Ruggiero bemoaned the fact that in the four years that my friend had been on the cancer journey, no one had checked his thyroid.  In the Italian language, the thyroid is known as the Queen of the Immune System.  Any disorders in the thyroid will affect immune function.  For Professor Ruggiero it was obvious what the first step in treating cancer should be.  But as I pointed out to him, it was not standard testing procedure in the UK or anywhere else in the world.  No radiologist in the UK had ever peeked at my thyroid.

Even at Hallwang, I’d had blood tests for the thyroid, but no one had performed a scan of the gland itself.  It just isn’t standard protocol.  So I don’t know how you’re going to get your thyroid scanned,  … but if you don’t have the chance to have a session with Professor Ruggiero, beg your radiologist to check your thyroid and then pray that your radiologist has Professor Ruggiero’s ability to spot the subtle.

2.  Get your port veins scanned via ultrasound

‘Nuff said.   Just do it.  Just make up an excuse that you can feel a pain or something and get it scanned.

3.  Take Clexane before long journeys where you won’t be moving about or walking much

This is critical.  This includes long car or train and not just plane journeys.  Who knows where in your body you may be harbouring a thrombus?  It’s not like you can feel it as a lump.  My friend’s thrombus was about 8mm in length from end to end and like a little fluttering butterfly.

And BTW, dying of a pulmonary embolism is a very painful process, akin to suffocating for two hours, so don’t think it’s the easy way out!  Read this early post on why so many cancer patients are needlessly dying of blood clots.  And this newspaper article on a cancer patient who died of blood clots.

If you have cancer and are unable to move much (e.g. bed bound) please ask your GP for Clexane.  It is self-injectable, into a fold on the tummy.

If you are having surgery, please ask your doctor/surgeon to administer Clexane for as long as you are not up and moving.

In my early post I suggested lycopene as a substitute for Clexane.  I don’t think that is as potent – play safe, go for Clexane for journeys.  You don’t want to take the risk that lycopene is a clot-buster.  Clexane definitely works.

4.  Download iClot, a Lifeblood phone app on thrombosis

For Android phones:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cranworthmedical.lifeblood

For iPhones:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/iclot/id515844927?mt=8

Alas that there is no app that will allow us to download a free session with Professor Ruggiero!

Is it OK to use Heparin with GcMAF?

In case you were wondering, in the past heparin inhibited the action of GcMAF, but with the new goleic form of GcMAF this is no longer an issue.

*******

Postscript:

You’re probably wondering what happened to my friend?  Well, we got him to a doctor who gave him a prescription for Clexane and he started injecting himself with it immediately.  To cheer us up, we went to a chocolate factory and made chocolate – that’s the kind of fighting spirit and joie de vivre that my friend has.  My friend is one of the most wonderful, kindest, generous people on earth.  He is married with two children and wants to live to see his grandchildren.  Please send your prayers for my friend that there is a happy, healthy ending.

Further postscript:

??????????

The GcMAF clinic, Switzerland

I’ve since discovered the Professor Ruggiero has a wicked sense of humour.  His patient will be lying on the examination table, with strict instructions not to move because the injection has to be precisely-guided using ultrasound.  This means not breathing, or speaking or even twitching.  The position has to be held extremely still.  The word statue comes to mind.

So the helpless patient is lying absolutely rock-still on the table, going blue in the face from not breathing when suddenly Prof Ruggiero says out loud: “where’s the serrated knife?”  The patient opens eyes filled with alarm – hang-on, this wasn’t part of the usual procedure, was it?  Remember – the patient can’t move or speak.  “Where’s the scalpel … and the axe?”  At which point, the patient, already heaving, bursts into laughter.

[A number of readers have asked me about my experiences in the GcMAF clinic in Switzerland.  I was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement about my treatments there so cannot post.  If you are looking for information on GcMAF from the patient-experience, please contact the Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/439553602725764/]

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5 responses

  1. Hi . Are u in Switzerland ? . I have a port and it has not been flushed in two weeks , this is scary stuff !!!. Best Scarlett

    El sbado, 15 de febrero de 2014, BisforBananasCisforCancer escribi:

    > bisforbananascisforcancer posted: “I was recently privileged to > witness Professor Dr. Marco Ruggiero demonstrate his expertise in > conducting ultrasound scans (or sonography as it is known on Continental > Europe). I was familiar with ultrasounds conducted on tumours, but in the > hands of a m”

  2. “The only one he didn’t have was for immuno-globulin of the thyroid.” – would this be the TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) test ? or it is some other test(s) ? that he should have had.

    “Cancer patients in particular have stickier blood” – do you think, via blood test, it would show up in elevated platelet counts or an upward trending of it ?

    Thanks
    j

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