News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinenature-healthhealthcancer — Viewing Item

Vegetarian diet helps man fight cancer { June 7 2007 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Going against the status quo for cancer treatment
Healthy lifestyle changes help Millstone man win cancer battle
Staff Writer
June 7, 2007

MILLSTONE - When doctors couldn't agree on a method of treatment for him, Jim Matthews decided to take matters into his own hands to fight off cancer that had invaded the right half of his body.

Matthews, 46, of the Clarksburg section of Millstone, was diagnosed with cancer in 1996 at the age of 36. His daughter, Tara, was only 4 months old when doctors diagnosed him with leiomyosarcoma (or LMS), a rare type of soft-tissue sarcoma that is a neoplasm of smooth muscle.

"It's quite shocking today that one out of four people have cancer," Matthews said. "It's bound to hit close to home."

Matthews, an avid runner and a person who kept a fairly healthy lifestyle all of his life, said that six months before he was diagnosed he had pain in his right shoulder. He initially avoided seeing a doctor by icing down the pain and believing that it would eventually go away, but when the ache didn't subside, he finally caved in and made an appointment.

"I went to an orthopedic surgeon because I believed I had torn a rotator cuff," he said.

The orthopedic surgeon checked Matthews out to no avail, but Matthews soon contracted a cough on top of the shoulder pain. For the cough, he went to his family's doctor, Dr. Francis Urbanski, in the Perrineville section of Millstone.

Urbanski ran some tests and within one day the doctor told Matthews that he had discovered a large shadow on the right side of his body.

Within a week, Matthews went to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, where doctors took a biopsy and later diagnosed him with malignant cancer.

Matthews said he does not know how he developed cancer or where in his body it originated.

"Using pragmatic sense, I believe it is the result of an environmental chemical, something I may have been exposed to as a kid," he said, adding that he was a golf caddy during most of his youth and spent numerous hours on greens that were sprayed with weed killers and other lawn chemicals.

"The cancer could have been in my body for 10 or 20 years, but what triggered the growth - I don't know," he said.

"Civilization has been battling cancer since the 1900s," he continued, "and some researchers believe it may be dormant in all bodies, but what spurs the growth we don't know.

"It could be diesel fumes, smoke or pesticides," he added.

Within one week of being diagnosed, Matthews said doctors performed surgery by cutting his right side open from the back and removing a grapefruit-sized tumor, his right diaphragm, at least one-third of his right lung, 3 inches of his esophagus, and - because the cancer was so close to his heart - his pericardium, which is a covering on the heart.

"The next week the doctor wanted me to go for radiation," Matthews said. "Chemotherapy was not suggested because according to statistics, radiation is the most successful at battling dormant cells."

Strong believers in health care might have felt compelled to thrust into the first medical evaluation, but Matthews said he prayed about not having to take the radiation because he had doubts.

"In the words of the Gospels and [with] all my strong Catholic upbringing, I turned my life over to Him," Matthews said.

When Matthews and his family questioned the doctor about the necessity of the radiation treatment and if it was the only option, a board of doctors at the hospital reviewed Matthews' case.

"On this board of 10 to 12 doctors, in my case when radiation was suggested, one-half said yeah and the other half said nay," Matthews said.

Due to the split vote, Matthews went out and sought various other opinions. He went to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y., the University of Massachusetts and the University of Pennsylvania, and he got a couple of local opinions as well, he said.

"Everyone had different answers," Matthews said.

Matthews read a book by Anne E. Frahm, who had breast cancer that spread into her shoulder. Frahm, a Christian, went against what doctors prescribed and fought off cancer with nutrition. Finding the idea intriguing, Matthews discussed with his wife, Laura, the possibility of warding off cancer by juicing, taking vitamins and becoming a vegetarian. Laura ultimately convinced him to go with his heart and try that method of treatment.

"We all search out our understanding of beating cancer," he said. "Those who go traditional, as well as others that seek a road less traveled."

Matthews said that Lance Armstrong's book about his cancer experience and how radiation and chemotherapy treatments nearly killed him also played a large role in his decision to go against the status quo. He also visited with a group of cancer survivors from Orange County, N.Y., who formed Citizens Reunited to Overcome Cancer (CROC) Alumni - - in 1999. Members of the nonprofit grassroots organization, whose motto is "Turning Tragedy into Triumph," led Matthews to believe that many people in fact do survive cancer while forgoing traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Today, Matthews is a vegetarian who regularly juice-fasts for a couple of days at a time. He only eats food grown organically, and he's a big proponent of green, leafy vegetables, Coenzyme Q10, Ester-C, Vitamin D, calcium and Vitamin A. He also advocates getting regular checkups and complete blood counts.

"As I started on my path to survival," he said, "I would guess how long it would take me to gain a certain amount of strength, and I wanted to get to five years."

He continued, "As each year went by, people would see me and would say that it didn't look like I ever had cancer."

Matthews would show those people the scars from his surgery.

As more years went by and Matthews grew even stronger during his recovery process, he decided that he wanted to reach out to other people who had been touched by cancer.

"There are groups that people can rely on for support," he said. "One of the greatest feelings of strength from the human perspective is a sense of comradeship. Trying to reach out and help others - that is what I love."

Along with finding strength in survivor organizations - and providing it as well to fellow survivors - Matthews has taken part in the local annual Relay for Life in the New Egypt section of Plumsted for the past six year. It is here where he shares in the emotions of those touched by cancer "who seek peace and solace to live each day to the best of their ability."

"When people relate to each other about survival, a very powerful feeling comes over you that carries you into the next years," he said.

Matthews, who will have been in remission for 11 years come August, said his condition is truly a mystery since he believes seeking good health played only a small part.

"So many friends I have seen leave this earth since my years in support of those with my specific cancer," he said. "The real factor I have gained is growing in my faith stronger."

Through his experience with cancer, Matthews said he has learned that the real fortune of life is family and peace in survival.

His daughter is now 11 years old, and he and his wife have two other children, Derek, 9, and Sawyer Thomas, 7.

"Having a second chance," he said. "What a blessing."

1mil new skin cancer { May 27 2003 }
20 cancer fighting foods to eat all summer
African american women higher breast cancer { December 7 2003 }
All types of alcohol raise cancer risk
Antibiotic use causes cancer
Asians get cancer when in america
Asians low cancer rate
Beta carotene supplements
Blacks more likely die cancer
Breast cancer link to use of antibiotics
Breast cancer risk reduced by exercise
Broccoli helps prevent cancer { April 20 2005 }
California sues mcdonalds and potato chips over cancer
Cancer broccoli { May 28 2002 }
Cancer causing drug found in british poultry { October 21 2004 }
Cancer causing pesticides living in our bodies { June 21 2005 }
Cancer deaths decline first time since 1930 { February 9 2006 }
Cancer french fries { July 3 2002 }
Car exhausts may cause child cancer
Carbohydrates could be linked to breast cancer { August 9 2004 }
Carcinogen sealed glass jar foods
Carrots help cut cancer risk
Curry fights cancer
Curry fights prostate cancer study says { January 17 2006 }
Curry shuts down melanoma cancer tumors
Diet alcohol linked to one third cancer cases { May 20 2004 }
Diet and tobacco account for most cancer
Diet responsible for half cancers says fox files [wav]
Doctor in africa discovers western diet is cancerous { February 28 1911 }
Eating red meat increases risk of colon cancer
Eu beef cancer { May 4 1999 }
Fatty diet linked to cancer { March 21 2007 }
Garlic wards off cancer
Good night sleep fights cancer
Green tea cuts risk of cancer
Green tea reduces risk prostate cancer
Hair dyes linked to kind of cancer { January 24 2004 }
High fat diet increases breast cancer risk
High fat linked breast cancer { July 18 2003 }
High fiber reduces colon cancer { May 2 2003 }
High sugar diet linked to cancer { March 21 2007 }
Hormones in milk are linked to cancer
Meat and alcohol cause breast cancer
Meats and sweets boost cancer risk { July 10 2007 }
Microwaving plastic causes cancer in foods
Milk cause of cancer
Miso soup cuts breast cancer { June 18 2003 }
More causes cancer
Natural solutions for estrogen
New study says sun screen ineffective { June 15 2006 }
Nonfat milk linked to prostate cancer
Obesity linked to cancer { January 9 2006 }
One third cancer caused by diet
Pill linked to cancer { April 3 2003 }
Processed meats raise risk of cancer
Prostate testing debate
Red meat cancer { April 30 1996 }
Red meat diets cause cancer { April 7 2004 }
Red meat fuels bowel cancer risk { June 15 2005 }
Redheads risk of skin cancer without burns { August 29 2005 }
Regular aspirin use linked to cancer cases { January 9 2004 }
Study links breast cancer to antibiotic use { February 16 2004 }
Sun exposure may aid skin cancer victims { February 2 2005 }
Sunlight vit d prevents breast colon lung prostate cancer
Sunscreen blamed skin cancer
Sunscreens fails to prevent free radicals
Sunshine helps fight against breast cancer { August 4 2007 }
Sunshine may protect prostate from cancer { June 15 2005 }
Tea may fight ovarian cancer
Toxin in pet food eaten by chickens fed to people { May 4 2007 }
Toxins in the kitchen { May 4 2007 }
Vegetables and soy combats cancer
Vegetarian diet helps man fight cancer { June 7 2007 }
Vitamins tied to prostate cancer
Western asians higher cancer than eastern { June 1 2001 }
White wine increase risk of cancer
Women double risk for lung cancer { December 2 2003 }
Women plagued by lung cancer

Files Listed: 78


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple