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From the Townsend Letter
August / September 2008

Letter to the Editor:
Effects of Chemo and Diagnostic Use of AMAS Post-Surgery for Papillary Serous Carcinoma

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Early in September, a friend who had recently had a hysterectomy and two treatments with carboplatin and paclitaxel for serious carcinoma came to stay with me. She had discontinued the chemo after two treatments of a projected six due to pains all over her body. I put her on castor oil pacts, nettle tea, Reishi mushroom tea for the immune system, fresh greens picked from the yard every morning to be put in her scrambled eggs, and seaweed. I recommended that she discontinue caffeine and referred her to my gynecologist for follow-up. She is a Type O, who had been largely vegetarian before diagnosis. On the recommendation of herbalist Susan Weed, reinforced by my own experience, she began eating red meat again.

My gynecologist and I collaborated on a plan that consisted of a gynecological exam and Pap smear, AMAS test to be done more than 97 days post-surgery (as per the literature provided in Oncolab's information packet) and bloodwork after the chemo (to help us come up with nutritional recommendations), which I sent to Lynne August, MD, for the Health Equations' blood test evaluation. Pathology and surgical reports indicated a good outcome without complications, and the gynecologist's report stated, "Risk of recurrence extremely low."

Toward the beginning, I found that my friend would get upset easily. On occasion, pain in her arthritic right hip would be exacerbated. Whenever either of these circumstances arose, I would instruct her to eat burger, and the emotional upset or pain would clear almost immediately.

Fortunately, I had two sets of bloodwork, one post-op but pre-chemo and the other post-chemo. The most salient differences I found in the two were a lowering of total cholesterol from 230 to 192, triglycerides from 126 to 62, total protein from 6.5 to 5.4, albumin from 4.3 to 3.8, and globulin from 2.2. to 1.6. The lowering of cholesterol can be explained by impaired liver function post-chemo. The lowering of globulin explains immune system impairment. I looked up carboplatin and paclitaxel in Donald Yance's Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer1 and found that carboplatin is supposed to interfere with DNA synthesis in cancer cells, and paclitaxel is supposed to interfere with protein synthesis in cancer cells. This explained the patient's extreme need for red meat and also explains the body pain. I don't think any of her oncologists discussed this with her.

Once we passed the 97-day mark post-surgery, we scheduled the AMAS. The patient had reservations for her flight home, so we wanted to get it done as soon as possible. On the first attempt, the phlebotomist used a butterfly. Oncolab warns against this because the plastic tubing can absorb antibody and lower the titer by ten to 30 points. Even so, the titer was elevated, causing some consternation to the patient. We repeated the test two weeks later. By that time, the titer had dropped to normal. In this particular case, it had taken not 97 days, but over four months for it to do so. Fortunately, I was able to reach her with the good news about the second test in the middle of her journey home.

Recently, I had an email from my friend. She said she was doing well, except her hip pain had worsened. Her gynecologist there was recommending a gynecological exam and Pap smear at the six-month mark, which made sense to me. However, she was also recommending a chest X-ray, endoscopy and biopsy, and colonoscopy. It seemed to me that all of that was unnecessary, since the path and surgical reports had shown no signs of potential complications, and the second AMAS had been normal. Colonoscopy involves the risks of surgery and anesthesia. Chest X-rays and endoscopy involve radiation and possibly use of injected contrast media as well. We had originally decided on the AMAS precisely so that she could avoid further expensive, toxic, and invasive testing. I told her what I thought and that I was passing her email on to my gynecologist for comment.

I would like to see much more widespread use of the AMAS for this purpose. It could avert a great deal of expense, discomfort, and anxiety on the part of the patient.


Nancy Offenhauser, DC
P.O. Box 583
Amenia, New York 12501-0583


1. Yance DR, Valentine A. Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer. Lincolnwood, IL: Keats Publishing; 1999.


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