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Category Archives: Drugs and Treatment

Sample Types In The Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma

April 11, 2011

Depending on the type of mesothelioma and clinical presentation, there are several samples that may independantly and collectively be examined to diagnose mesothelioma. Optimisation of sampling is crucial as it can greatly affect and inhance the pathpologist’s ability to offer a correct diagnosis.

Although wedge biopsies – and even open biopsy via thoractomy – are sometimes required to establish a diagnosis for mesothelioma, there are several less invasive forms of sampling which may be diagnostic in some settings.

These latter samples are discussed as below:

Effusion Fluid

When a serous effusion is present an adequate sample (preferably over 50ml of fluid) should be collected and sent to the cytology laboratory; this will enable smears and a cell block to be prepared. In addition, som of the cell deposit can be set aside for ultrastructural examination. A definate diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma can be made on cytology of effusions in the majority of cases.


Closed Needle Biopsy

Although taking a close needle biopsy (of the Abrahams’ type) at the time of tapping the effusion was the standard practice in the past, there has been a reduction in this form of sampling related to a significant proportion of inadequate or inconclusive biopsies. The high diagnostic yield from effusion cytology has probably also influenced this decline.


Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)

Over the past years – there has been an increase in thin core sampling for plueral-based lesions, especially where there is no accompanying serous effusion. This procedure is well tolerated by patients who require only a simple local anaesthetic.


NHS Funding For Mistletoe Therapy May be Scrapped

July 15, 2010

Mistletoe (Viscum Album) is the most predominantly used complementary therapy in cancer care in Europe and is used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. Mistletoe therapy was developed in 1917 and is seen to be a complimentary medicine in cancer care.

There are also several consultant-led clinics and hospitals in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands that specialise in this therapy.

Mistletoe therapy improves and strengthens the natural defenses of the body through a supportive effect on the immune system, and has been shown to ease the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Mistletoe therapy can also help cancer patients cope with symptoms like fatigue, nausea, digestive problems and weight loss, sleeplessness, low mood, recurring infections and pain.



Woman uses Mistletoe therapy to treat non-hodgkins Lyphoma.

Joan van Holsteijn, age 53 (above) refused chemotherapy and believes that she fought the cancer by using Mistletoe instead. She had a large tumour in her leg and has since had the all-clear since her Mistletoe treatment. In a statement she said that she owes her life to Mistletoe and is grateful for such treatment.

In the UK   – Mistletoe therapy is available via private Homoeopathic Hospitals and clinics, such as ‘Park Attwood’ a non-profit charitable organisation, and up until recently – UK cancer patients – who cannot afford the Mistletoe Therapy have had their treatment funded by the NHS.   

However – such funding is being withdrawn by the UK Government along side other complimentary therapies. This means that it will be no longer available for funding on the NHS – leaving cancer patients who have faith in and draw strength from complimentary medicine like Mistletoe treatment – to try and pay for the treatment themselves.

Debbie Brewer –  (below) A UK resident who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma (a rare lung cancer caused by asbestos inhalation) in 2006, received Mistletoe Therapy at the ‘Park Atwood’ Clinic  in 2008. She had the treatment along side a pioneering treatment called Chemoembolization.




Debbie has a lot of faith in Mistletoe Therapy and she knows from her own experience with the treatment how important it will be to other cancer sufferers like her self. She has currently set up a government petition asking that funding for Mistletoe Therapy will continue to be available on the NHS. An excerpt from her petition reads:

“We hope that the government can look into supporting patients who have found their treatment works, even in a psychological way, please don’t remove what little hope and faith patients have. Mesothelioma has very little open to it that helps patients, taking mistletoe away from these patients is cruel and heartless”


Please support and sign Debbie’s Petition here:

Can Pawpaw Inhibit Cancer and Mesothelioma Tumours?

April 28, 2010


What is pawpaw?

The pawpaw is a large shrub that can be found in many areas of North America. The fruit looks like a large yellowish/green berry and is approximately between 5 and15 centimeters in length, and contains brown coloured seeds embedded in its soft fruit pulp. According to many who have eaten the fruit – it tastes really delicious like a creamy coconut banana flavour. The fruit is not viable commercially as it rapidly spoils once harvested. It also contains high nutrients, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

Pawpaw Fruit

People tend to think that the fruit is related to papaya fruit as it is similar in appearance but the two fruits are not at all related. Pawpaw consists of approximately 8 different varieties and one of them in particular – ‘Asimina triloba’ has been scientifically researched for its potential medicinal properties. Dr. J. Mclaughen a Professor of ‘Pharmacognosy’ at Purdue University, and who has studied this particular species for the past 20 years found it to contain a special compound called ‘annonaceous acetogenins’. Acetogenin is a natural fatty acid and possesses some very unique properties. In laboratory trials – the special compound was found to exhibit powerful properties in fighting cancer cells.